NaNoWriMo Prep #5

This is the very last NaNoWriMo Prep before NaNoWriMo 2017 finally begins! I am so excited and have been prepping and planning like crazy this weekend, so I am counting down the days until I can finally get all my thoughts and ideas down on paper, or well my computer screen. Anyways, today I decided to share with you guys what I put in my designated “NaNo” journal so that while writing, I can flip through it and stay on track with my thoughts!

 

The First Few Pages:

I use the first few pages of my NaNo journal to introduce my story to me, and generally they look a little like this:

  • Plot summary with key points about my plot/world
  • Q+A Page where I ask myself important, key questions about my world and then answer them in lengthy responses
  • Quick 3 act structure where I outline, briefly, what I want to happen in each section of my story

Character Profiles:

After those three points that I listed above, I jump straight into character profiles because I love creating my characters and getting to know them. Some things I include when describing and creating them are:

  • Their name (obviously) as well as age, “title”, background and if they have any powers
  • Personality
  • Physical appearance
  • Likes/Dislikes
  • Fears
  • Hobbies
  • Family

The Juicy Stuff:

Once character profiles are finished, I generally get into the more juicy and complex stuff. This usually takes up a few pages for each topic, and some of the topics I explore on for this part of my NaNo journal are:

  • The powers of my world that characters can or do possess
  • Possible heritages characters can have
  • Legends/myths of my world
  • History
  • More detailed 3 act structure with key plot points I want/need to hit

Random Facts:

Sometimes things about my world hit me at odd times and I don’t always generally know where they fit into my NaNo journal…so when that does happen, I usually have a page or two designated to “random facts” about my world or characters or really anything. It may be a bit messy and unorganized, but as long as I have it jotted down I am good to go.

Word Count Tracker:

This is a new feat for my NaNo journal, and basically what this section is, is a few pages where I write down day 1, day 2, day 3 and so on, and write down the word count goal I have for that day. I am a very optimistic person when it comes to NaNoWriMo and despite my hectic schedule for November, I have given myself a daily word count goal of 2000 words. Crazy I know. But I also have a section on my page where I write down what I actually wrote that day, just so I can see how unrealistic my word count goal is and whether or not I need to edit it. 2000 usually works for me which is why I chose it, but as always we will see!

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That is a basic overview of my NaNo journal and I hope you enjoyed! Comment below how you organize yourself for NaNoWriMo and also what genre of story you plan on writing; mine is fantasy! Also don’t forget to check out my last blog post: Reading/Writing Update!

Reading/Writing Update!

I have about 100 pages left of Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare, and I am determined to finish it before the weekend is over…or at least before the end of October next week. One thing I really want to do is have a mini readathon tomorrow, being Sunday, a day where I plan on having absolutely NO plans. All I want to do is sit down and finish Clockwork Angel and then jump into the next book, Clockwork Prince. Lately reading has been on the back burner, but not reading makes me so sad because all I see in my bedroom are unread, unhappy books! I really want reading to be a high priority for me, especially when I get really busy with other things because it is one of the best stress relievers.

Currently I am taking a creative writing class, and I am really enjoying it! So far I have only done a few little assignments, but it has been really interesting to see how a creative writing class is formatted and laid out since I have never taken one before. I am also scrambling to finish prepping for NaNoWriMo because it starts in 4 days! Can you believe it? I have an idea mapped out but I am still working out the plot points and some other fine detailing…fingers crossed I will be ready for Wednesday. I am also looking forward to hopefully attending a few NaNoWriMo Write-Ins at my local library, but we will see if time allows. I would love to connect with other Wrimos and just talking about NaNoWriMo has me so excited.

That is all for my reading and writing update and I hope you enjoyed. Don’t forget to check out my last blog post: November 2017 TBR…as well as all my NaNoWriMo Prep posts!

November 2017 TBR!

Ah! October really just flew by and I am scrambling to catch up. November means colder day, NaNoWriMo, and less time for reading…but I am really hoping to get a good amount of books read this coming month!

Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare 

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As I have mentioned in my previous reading updates, I am currently re reading The Infernal Devices trilogy by Cassandra Clare, and am loving it! Clockwork Prince is the second in the trilogy, which follows the prequel, Clockwork Angel. Clockwork Angel follows Tessa Gray, an American girl sent to London to visit her brother, but upon her arrival is kidnapped by the “Dark Sisters” for her mysterious shape shifting talents. These books take place in the late 1800’s in London, which makes it that much better too!

Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia 

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I am in the mood to re read, so I decided to pick up a fun contemporary as the days get darker and colder. Eliza and Her Monsters is about a girl named Eliza who is the anonymous creator of the online webcomic phenomenon “Monstrous Sea”. She is awkward, quiet and very relatable. This book has some romance sprinkled in as well, but ultimately it is about feeling comfortable with who you are. I read this back in July for the BookTubeaThon and absolutely adored it so I am looking forward to revisitng these characters.

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas 

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This was a book that I read only a few months ago as well, but I really want to try reading the second one again so I thought diving back into the first one would make that process easier. A Court of Thorns and Roses is about a girl named Feyre who goes hunting in the woods, only to shoot a wolf that is really a faerie. Killing a faerie is a crime, so when she is given the option to die or live out the rest of her mortal life in the faerie realm as a punishment. She chooses to live, and as the story goes on she realizes that her captor may not be the beast she thought he was. This is a very steamy fantasy book and I am really looking forward to refreshing my mind on this world!

Since November is going to be a very busy month writing and school wise, I want to keep by TBR low so I don’t disappoint myself too much…hopefully I will be able to squeeze a few more books onto there but only time will tell. Don’t forget to check out my last blog post: NaNoWriMo Prep #4!

NaNoWriMo Prep #4

Only one more week of prepping before NaNoWriMo hits us full force! Are any of you feeling the crushing pressure? If so don’t worry! In this blog post I will be giving some worldbuilding tips because I accumulated some amazingly helpful ones from a writing conference I recently attended, as well as some helpful tips to keep you calm and prepared for NaNoWriMo 2017. Enjoy!

Worldbuilding: 

  • Good worldbuilding incorporates aspects of our world that we take for granted
  • Worldbuilding takes place through the character’s eyes, not the writers
  • Think of diversity and ignore tropes
  • Remember: worlds are defined by the people who live there!
  • While worldbuilding is important, remember the story is the main focus
  • Know about our world before you build your own
  • Include sensory when describing your world to your readers!

Things to Keep in Mind About NaNoWriMo:

  • Remember that this is your story and nobody else can write it but you
  • You are your worst critic and it probably isn’t as bad as you think!
  • Don’t fret about the 50,000 word count…write what you can and it will still be a massive accomplishment!

Awesome TED Talks Playlist:

https://www.ted.com/playlists/194/10_talks_from_authors

Those are some tips and things to keep in mind as NaNoWriMo approaches and I hope you enjoyed. Don’t forget to check out my last blog post: Reading/Writing Update!

 

 

 

Reading/Writing Update!

This past week was a busy week of traveling, which meant a lot of ridiculously early mornings and late nights…so not a lot of time for reading. However, I did read about 100 more pages of Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare so I am just over half way done! I am really enjoying this re read and cannot wait to continue on with re reading the trilogy. The setting in these books is so dark and autumnal and gets me in the perfect mood for fall!

Yesterday was a very inspirational and motivational day in regards to writing, and that is because I attended a writing conference for the day! It was 8 hours of connecting with other writers (even quite a few young writers my age which was great!) and learning some tips from published authors. I attended this conference last year, but have to say that this was year was 10x better! I was able to attend due to their generous scholarship, as well as some of my other writing friends, and am hoping to attend next year as well. If any of you have the means and opportunity to go to a writing conference, I highly recommend you do everything you can to try!

That is all for this reading and writing update, and I hope you enjoyed. Sorry for no blog post Thursday, I was traveling all week and couldn’t find the time to write it…however I will be back on Monday with the second last NaNoWriMo Prep post!

NaNoWriMo Prep #3

We are already at the halfway point of October, aka NaNoWriMo prep month, which is absolutely insane. I really need to get a move on with my story and what I have planned for it, because the rest of this month will go by in the blink of an eye. Today, I will be sharing some helpful tips when it comes to world building and really solidifying whatever you have created in your head, and I hope you enjoy!

Things to Keep in Mind When World Building:

  • When building a fantasy or sci-fi world, base everything around at least one real thing – Worlds in the fantasy and sci-fi genres can get pretty crazy sometimes, and while you do have the freedom to create whatever you want, it has to somewhat make sense. Just base everything around one common and understood fact, and the rest will make sense!
  • Add your own twist – It is fine to have a world that is similar to others like the Harry Potter world or the Percy Jackson world, but add your own elements to make it unique and your own. Yes, we all love a good wizarding world, but sometimes we get tired of reading the same stories over and over again so make sure to make it your own!
  • Know the Facts – You can’t build a good world without knowing the facts. Know the history of your world, and why it is the way it is, even if your readers are not going to read about that part of it at all. You have to understand it before they can!

“Relax, not every page has to be a masterpiece.” – Unknown

“A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.” – Thomas Mann

“Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s.” – Stephen King

That is it for this quick NaNoWriMo prep post on world building and I hope you enjoyed. Don’t forget to check out my last blog post: Reading/Writing Update!

Reading/Writing Update!

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It has been quite a few years since I have read The Infernal Devices trilogy by Cassandra Clare, and I forgot how much I enjoyed it! Everything from the story line to the setting (because London in the 1800s!) to the characters, it is all great. Even though I was originally planning on only rereading the first book, I think I will end up continuing with the rest of the trilogy. I also really would like to reread The Selection by Kiera Cass, because I am in the need of light, fluffy and addictive read and The Selection is the perfect option.

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NaNoWriMo is arriving at a rapid speed and I still haven’t decided on an idea yet! I have a few ideas swirling around in my head, but I need to dedicate a few hours to really think about what I want to write and then plan it out. November is going to be a busy month between school, volunteering and NaNoWriMo, but hopefully I will be able to achieve 50k words! Next week is my writing conference though, so hopefully I will learn a lot of new things and get inspired to write for NaNoWriMo. Last year I took a lot away from this conference so I am excited to see how it goes this year!

That is all for my quick reading and writing update, and I hope you enjoyed. Don’t forget to check out my last blog post: Fantasy Recommendations for Fall/Winter!

Fantasy Recommendations for Fall/Winter!

Fall and winter are the perfect time to snuggle up with a good fantasy read, so here are a few recommendations to get you going!

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

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Sarah J Maas is excellent at writing these dark and addicting fantasy reads. This is a very loose retelling of Beauty and the Beast, and follows our main character Feyre who while hunting, kills a wolf that turns out to be a faerie. Her punishment for this is that she can either die or live out the rest of her mortal life in the faerie realm. Choosing to live, she moves in with a faerie who seems like a monster at first, but she realizes there may be more to him than she thought. A Court of Thorns and Roses is such a swoony book that will leave you wanting more and more. There are also two other books in this trilogy so you can binge the whole thing!

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare 

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I realized that I rarely recommend this trilogy on my blog, and that is because I haven’t read it in forever! I have decided to reread it though this month, so I thought I would recommend it since it is such a dark, cozy read. Clockwork Angel takes place in London, which screams fall with its dark, rainy days (usually). It follows Tessa, a girl from America who receives a letter from her brother telling her to come visit him in London so she does, only to discover it is a trap and is kidnapped. However, Will Herondale, a Shadowhunter, saves the day and brings her back to the institute where he lives. There we are introduced to more Shadowhunters, more action and adventure, and even a heart wrenching love triangle. This trilogy is amazing and if you haven’t read it, definitely check it out!

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs 

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This book is a perfect fall/winter read because it is definitely on the darker and peculiar side (haha). Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children follows a boy named Jake, who visits his late grandfather’s home country of Wales after his mysterious death. There, he finds the gateway to an alternate time where he meets the peculiar group of children who grew up with Jake’s grandfather. I haven’t read this book in what feels like ages so I have the sudden urge to re read this one too as the days get darker!

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi 

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Another trilogy I haven’t read in ages and am dying to re read. Shatter Me follows a girl named Juliette who has been locked up for over a year because of her powers, alone, until a boy named Adam is brought in with her and breaks her out. I really enjoyed the Shatter Me trilogy, which is actually soon going to be a series! It was fast paced, fun but also on the darker side that makes it a perfect read for the fall/winter time.

Grimm’s Fairy Tales by the Grimm Brothers 

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Fairy tales are the perfect stories to read during the fall/winter time, especially Grimm’s fairy tales because they are so dark and twisty. There is Little Red Cap, Rapunzel, Hansel and Grethel, etc. They are all stories we know and love, but there are also some in there I guarantee most of you haven’t read. So snuggle up and crack open this magical book because it will give you the cozy vibe you need during the colder months,

Those are a few recommendations for the fall/winter time and I hope you enjoyed. Don’t forget to check out my last blog post: NaNoWriMo Prep #2!

 

NaNoWriMo Prep #2

 

It is week 2 of NaNoWriMo prep month! Hopefully you have an idea of what you are going to write about in November, or at least have a few ideas. Today I will be giving some insights on characters and will be ending off the blog post with a few motivational tips and tricks so I hope you enjoy 🙂

Characters~

Characters are such an important factor in any story, because when someone reads your story they look for something or someone to connect to. Usually what they connect to is one of your characters, whether it is how they look, act, what they enjoy or hate, or even just something they have experienced. It is also important that you connect with your characters and understand them because otherwise your characters will fall kind of flat! Anyways, here are a few tips to keep in mind when creating characters.

  • Flaws – Even though though this should be an obvious one, we have to remember that since nobody in this world is perfect, neither is a character in your world. Whether it is them biting their nails to stubs, always forgetting their keys or being late to everything, they need to have some flaws. It is also good to have physical flaws because nobody looks perfect either! Maybe they are a teenager who has acne or someone who has a scar on their lip from a fishing accident. Whatever it is just give them some sort of flaw that makes them like you or me!
  • Uniqueness – What makes them different? Readers don’t want to read about a character they have read about a million times so change it up! You don’t have to have a super massive difference that makes every single one of your characters extremely different from one another, but for a few consider what makes them “special”.
  • Diversity – This is a huge one because we need more diversity in books! We need characters of all races, sexual orientations, genders, etc, etc. Everyone needs to be represented in books so remember that when you are writing! Not only does it help more people connect with your book, but it also is more realistic.

Motivation~

Remember to have fun creating your story and world! It should be fun and exciting because you are creating something from nothing which is truly amazing.

If you feel as if you are lacking in motivation, some tips I have for you is to check out some TED Talk videos! There are some really inspiring and amazing talks with authors like Amy Tan, and they talk about creativity and where story ideas come from. I had to listen to a few for my Creative Writing class and I really enjoyed them. Below are a few links from ones I personally enjoyed 🙂

https://www.ted.com/talks/elizabeth_gilbert_on_genius

https://www.ted.com/talks/amy_tan_on_creativity

https://www.ted.com/talks/tim_urban_inside_the_mind_of_a_master_procrastinator

That is all for this NaNoWriMo Prep #2 and I hope you enjoyed. Don’t forget to check out my last blog post: Reading/Writing Update!

Reading Update!

During the months of August and September, I read a grand total of 1 1/2 books…yeah not too impressive. On Thursday though, I finally finished Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier! I think I have been finally pulled out of my reading rut and am finally ready to keep on reading. Currently I am now reading Simon VS the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Abertalli, and am about a hundred pages into it already. It is such a fast paced, light hearted and enjoyable read that I have no doubt I will be able to finish it this weekend. Today I am doing a lot of traveling as well as tomorrow, so I plan on getting quite a bit of reading done. Hopefully I will finish Simon today and get started on my next read, The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater, because it is the perfect book for the fall time and I am excited to continue on with this series!

That is all for my reading update and I hope you enjoyed. Don’t forget to check out my last blog post: Series I Haven’t Finished…