“You can write one word, even when you are at your darkest.”
– Neil Gaiman
Hi! I’m Millie Ho, an aspiring YA neo-noir author from Toronto, Canada. I use this blog and my YouTube channel to document the journey to publication and the writing lessons learned from interesting TV shows, books, and films. I also discuss media representations in an evolving entertainment and arts landscape.
I’m working on a Long-Suffering Manuscript, and throughout the process have experimented with odd writing methodologies, edited my many drafts into bloody, perfection-driven pulps, tweaked and re-tweaked characterizations and suffered a creative burnout of such colossal magnitude that I sought shelter in a foreign county and quit blogging for months before digging out the keyboard again.
Then I had a wakeup call and changed my writing process entirely.
A brief timeline of my writing history:
- 2005: Decided, after reading Philip Pullman’s The Golden Compass, that I wanted to write a book. I would spend my middle school and high school years writing, finishing, and abandoning multiple novellas in the fantasy and sci-fi genres.
- 2009: Graduated from high school and spent my two months of summer vacation churning out a 77,000 word novel that would later get rejected by literary agents for “lacking a strong voice”. I thus made a pact with myself to improve and find a story worth writing about.
- 2010: Spent the bulk of my university years strengthening my writing skills by competing in writing and poetry competitions and, occasionally, winning them.
- 2011: Saw the movie Drive. Realized, after watching Ryan Gosling’s nameless vigilante character drown a mobster in a lake, that neo-noir fiction was my life’s calling. The signs were clear—I just had to see them.
- 2012: Worked on a creative thesis project and wrote a neo-noir book for the first time. This book will become the Long-Suffering Manuscript (LSM) I am working on to this day.
In 2013, I graduated from the University of Western Ontario with a Honors Business Administration degree. I am now working in a retail consulting firm, and lead a double life where I devise business and marketing strategies by day and hack away at the LSM at night.
As of May 2015, I have finished plotting a solid novel skeleton and am stitching on the meat. I’m writing more honestly and deliberately and am starting to see the patterns responsible for why some stories succeed and others fail. In short, I am enjoying the writing process immensely, and whatever improvements I make are simply a bonus.
So here’s to continuing the journey, spilling new blood, and reaching the destination half-alive.
Thank you for coming along!
- Second Prize in the Lillian Kroll Contest in Creative Writing
- Winner of the Marguerite R. Dow Award in Creative Writing
- First Prize in the Alfred Poynt Poetry Contest
- Winner of the SAA Young Artist of The Year
- Art Exhibitions in England and Canada
- Profiled on “High School Rush” (Rogers TV)
- Profiled in “Paint” (SAA magazine), England
- Winner of the EWB National Essay Competition