NaNoWriMo 2017 Week 4: Keeping Yourself Interested

It is week 4 of NaNoWriMo which is absolute insanity! Since it is week 4 though, I am sure a lot of you may be feeling a little lost with your project as we start on the journey of drawing them to a close. However, there are a few things you can do to spice up your writing and get yourself excited to keep writing your story!

  • Plot Twists! – An overload of plot twists takes the fun and thrill out of them, but scattering one or maybe even two makes for an exciting book; not only for the reader but for you as the writer too! Surprise yourself with a plot twist, or finally write the one you planned at the beginning of the month and are dying to get to. It may surprise you how much it reignites your writing flame.
  • Reading Your Favourite Book – Most writers want to write because of their favourite authors. They inspire us to be like them; successful storytellers. I know that when I read my favourite book, or just a book that I really admire or connect to writing style wise, I get the writing itch. Just reading the book inspires me to write my own, and is a great way to get myself back into writing.
  • Changing Your Plan – Sometimes the simplest way to keep yourself interested in your story is to change the path of it. I am not saying change a massive portion of your book, but maybe throw in an unexpected obstacle or even kill someone off! Whatever it is that changes the pace of your story and surprises you, because once you surprise yourself in your story, you will leave yourself wanting more!

Writing Resources:

NaNoWriMo YouTube Channel

http://margaretatwood.ca/resources-writers/

http://susandennard.com/for-writers/

That is all for my NaNoWriMo tip post for this week 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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Okay so let’s start off with some good news…I read 2 books this week! I decided I needed a break from fantasy and decided to pick up and re read To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han. This is one of my favourite books, and favourite trilogies, and I picked it up because I was really in need of reading a light hearted and fluffy novel. I started it on Wednesday and since then have already finished the first two books. Now I am re reading the third and final installment and I haven’t actually re read this one yet. This will be the first re read which makes me excited because I forget what happens exactly. Anyways, I love these books and Jenny Han’s writing so I know that this was the right choice. Hopefully I will finish Always and Forever, Lara Jean today and after that I am not entirely sure what I will pick up next…but we will see!

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Now for NaNoWriMo…so I am at about 18,000 words and I will sadly not be continuing with it. It has been so hard for me to not find time to write, but find the motivation to write because just after writing a few hundred words, I would feel drained. I decided it would be best for me not to continue on with NaNoWriMo, because I also do not feel like my story is “novel ready”. I need to let it mull around in my head for a bit before I write it down on paper, and honestly, I have no idea when that will be. However, I am still writing. I am still writing short stories, and even some essays which I haven’t done much for my own enjoyment. Anyways, I hope that all of your NaNoWriMo journeys are going well but if not, don’t worry because you are not alone!

That is all for my reading and writing update and I hope you enjoyed. Don’t forget to check out my last blog post: Writing Goals for

Writing Goals for 2018!

Before I never used to make writing goals, but this past year I realized how crucial it was to make them so I had a clear path on what I want to do with my writing and how I will get there. These goals are listed in potential chronological order, but obviously unexpected things happen so its more in the order I want them to happen. Anyways, hopefully this will inspire you to make some writing goals for yourself because they help so much!

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  1. Finish Creative Writing 12

I am currently in grade 11, but really wanted to take this class this year because of my school situation for next year (which I will be taking about more in one of my later goals). I also wanted to become better in the craft of writing and have some insight from a creative writing teacher. This is a course I am taking online, but so far I am having a lot of fun with it and know I will be able to easily finish it in the next five months.

2. Get Accepted into UStart for Writing

UStart is this amazing program that most universities/colleges have, or they call it “dual credit” and is a way for students in grade 12 to experience the university life and get a head start. The university I want to go to offers this, and if I get accepted, it will allow me to take my first year of writing! This would be a huge step for me and is a goal I really, really need to accomplish.

3. Learn the Basics of Poetry, Script Writing, Screen Writing and Creative Non-Fiction

Regardless of whether or not I get to start my writing degree a year early, the first year of writing focuses on the five main directions of writing. Out of these five, I am only comfortable and familiar with one, and that is obviously fiction. However, I would really to broaden my horizons and learn the basics for these styles so I am not completely lost when it comes to Intro to Writing. It will also just overall, make me a better writer!

4. Submit to At Least 2 Writing Contests

I love entering writing contests, and have won my fair share. Ever since I was thirteen I have been building up my writing portfolio and the more contests I submit to, the more chances I have at making that portfolio better! Writing contests are also a great way to learn from mistakes and grow as a better writing because of that.

5. Submit to At Least 1 Literary Magazine

Literary magazines are also amazing to submit to, because as I said about writing contests, it builds up your portfolio if your story gets published! Hopefully I will be able to submit to more than one, but I always forget how long it can take to craft a story I am very proud of.

6. Apply to the Tan Seagull Scholarship

This scholarship is a scholarship that allows me to attend my (kind of) local writing conference for free. I submitted to it last year and got accepted and was able to attend, and since I am still young and eligible for it, I want to take advantage of it while I can. Writing conferences are amazing if you can afford it, and I always leave feeling like I learned so many new things.

7. Prep for Writing Scholarships

I am a very…prepared person when it comes to my education and because of that, I already have a few writing focused scholarships I want to apply for this year. They include thick portfolios that display my best work, so I need ALL the time I can to prepare for them. As you can probably see from my goals, I am a very ambitious and eager writer which can be good, but also bad at times!

Those are my 7 writing goals and while they are going to take a lot of hard work, I have no doubt I can achieve most of them. Don’t forget to comment below any writing goals you have for yourself for the new year, and also check out my last blog post: NaNoWriMo 2017 Week 3: Tips for Staying On Track!

NaNoWriMo 2017 Week 3: Tips for Staying On Track!

This blog post is very relevant for a lot of you I am sure, as well as me…this weekend I planned on getting really ahead (even though I was already on track) but let me tell you, that did not happen. I have written next to nothing over these past 3 days, maybe about 800 words. I just needed a mental break but hopefully tomorrow I will be back and writing before I fall too behind. Hopefully for any of you in the same situation as me, these five tips will be helpful to keep in mind for the rest of NaNoWriMo!

Tip #1: Determine Why You Haven’t Been Writing

Getting to the source of the problem will help you know how to proceed and fix it. Maybe you haven’t been writing because you have been so busy, or maybe you have hit a massive road block. Whatever it is, analyze it and then think up the best solution to get around it.

Tip #2: Come Up with a Plan

Are you going to write an extra five hundred words every day to catch up? Or are you going to have a whole day dedicated to writing? Whatever it is come up with that plan and stick to it. Clear the time you need and make sure nobody bugs you so you get back into the writing groove. In a few days, you will be back and better than ever!

Tip #3: Stick with the Plan!

If you make the plan you have to stick with it otherwise you won’t ever catch up. Hopefully if you are passionate and committed to your project, you will want to keep on writing it. It can be hard to stick to your plan and actually sit down at your computer, but once you do it, it will be as easy as breathing…for the most part!

Tip #4: Reward Yourself

It is hard to write and stay on your schedule, which is why you deserve to be rewarded! Whether that is a little reward every day or a bigger one at the end of each week, it will amaze you at the difference it makes and how motivated you will feel to write. Some examples of rewards are a drink from a coffee shop, or allowing yourself one full hour of watching Netflix. Whatever works for you!

Tip #5: Don’t Lose Hope!

Even if you are so, so far behind, do not give up! Keep on writing because if you do not end up with that end goal of 50,000 words, any amount is more than what you started with and that is something to be proud of. It is important to remind yourself that you can keep on writing even when NaNoWriMo ends, the writing doesn’t end with November!

Current NaNoWriMo Word Count: 18, 695

That is all for my week 3 NaNoWriMo post and I hope you enjoyed. Don’t forget to check out my last blog post: AuthorTuber & BookTuber Recommendations! and also keep on writing 🙂

 

AuthorTuber & BookTuber Recommendations!

YouTube has expanded into a such a massive platform that is filled with content that will have you glued to your computer screen for hours. I love YouTube and watch a wide variety of channels daily. However, I will only be sharing some amazing AuthorTubers (YouTubers who are authors and discuss their processes and craft) and BookTubers (YouTubers who discuss books), because those are the two genres of YouTubers that fit the best with my blog! If you have any other channel recommendations please leave them below because I am always looking for more YouTubers to watch!

AuthorTubers:

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Lindsay Cummings – Lindsay Cummings is the author of the Murder Complex series as well as Zenith which she co-writes with BookTuber, Sasha Alasberg. I have not read any of her books (yet), but I really enjoy her videos which give us insight on the life of an author and also ways to improve our writing.

 

Image result for kristen martin channel;Kristen Martin – Kristen Martin is an AuthorTuber that I have found recently and I absolutely love her videos! She is a self-published author of a sci-fi series called The Alpha Drive trilogy, and is an Amazon best-selling author. Apart from self-publishing all of her books, she also has a full-time job and uploads 2 writing filled videos per week on her YouTube channel. Kristen Martin inspires me to be more productive with my life and writing overall, and she shares helpful wisdom on writing!

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ShaelinWrites – Shaelin is also a new AuthorTuber for me, but I really like watching her because like myself, she is a younger writer and has accomplished so much! She is writing major in university, which is something I have always had an interest in doing, so I found her videos describing her first and second year as a writing major very helpful and eye opening. It is is great watching a young writer chase her dream, because it inspires me to not give up when things get tough which is something all writers struggle with.

 

BookTubers:

Image result for abookutopiaabookutopia (Sasha Alsberg) – I mentioned Sasha Alsberg when recommending Lindsay Cummings channel because they co-wrote Zenith together, a sci-fi, YA novel. Sasha was originally a BookTuber who I have been watching for years now, but over the years she has incorporated writing into her videos which I have really enjoyed. I would be surprised if you are a lover of books and writing and haven’t heard of her, but if you haven’t please check her out!

Image result for peruseprojectPeruseProject (Regan) – Regan is another favourite BookTuber of mine who reviews and recommends books, but also dabbles in fashion and has been putting out a lot of fun vlogs lately! She has a very broad reading taste which I think is great because it makes me want to read books that aren’t generally in a genre I would read. For example, I have had the urge to read historical fantasies because she is a huge fan of those, and that is a genre I don’t generally read.

Image result for readbyzoereadbyzoe (Zoe Herdt) – I would be lying if I said the reason I found Zoe wasn’t because I saw that we have the same name…but regardless I was so glad I found her channel because she is one of my favourite BookTubers! Lately she has been doing a lot of readathon vlogs where she reads as many pages/books she can in a day, which is really inspiring me to start reading more again. I used to read all the time, but now I am getting close to being done with high school so the workload is a lot more. Anyways, her channel is amazing so please, check her out too!

Those are a few AuthorTubers and BookTubers that I love to watch, but if you have more recommendations (especially in the AuthorTuber category), then please leave them below. Don’t forget to check out my last blog post: NaNoWriMo 2017 Week 2: Tips and Tricks!

 

NaNoWriMo 2017 Week 2: Tips and Tricks!

Week 1 of NaNoWriMo is done and week 2 is here! Hopefully your writing is going well and you are getting those words in. Today I will be giving some helpful tips to make the NaNoWriMo process easier, and some motivational words as well. Good luck!

Tips/Tricks to a Successful Rest of NaNoWriMo:

  • Write Multiple Times a Day – Most of the time I can easily get my word count in with a single writing sprint, but if you break up the times you write during the day, you can get SO much more done. For example, I write a little in the morning before I have to get ready and then in the evening which is when I usually write. Even if you can only get a few hundred in the morning, that is still an extra few hundred already written for your next session!
  • Refer to a Craft Books – Writing craft books are a great way to give you insight on your novel, and things to keep in mind throughout the rest of the month. They are also a great way to get motivation to write, and they always get me excited to write. Further down I have listed some recommendations for craft books so definitely check them out!
  • Attend Local Write-Ins and Connect with Other Wrimos – Connecting with other writers is so great, whether it is in person or over social media. I love connecting with other writers, especially other young writers who are at the same spot in their writing as I am. Writing is lonely! Take advantage of this world-wide writing event and meet some other writers.
  • Keep a Notebook of Newer Ideas – Whenever you get a new idea for your story, write it down in a notebook so you can refer back to it in your second draft when you are rewriting it. DO NOT restart your first draft unless you ultimately feel like that is the best decision for your story, because sometimes that is what you need to do. But having a book with these little notes for you to remember is super helpful.

Craft Book Recommendations:

  • No Plot? No Problem! NaNoWriMo Novel Writing Kit by Chris Baty
  • Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass
  • Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury

Those are some of my NaNoWriMo tips and tricks as well as some craft book recommendations, and I hope you enjoyed. Don’t forget to check out my last blog post: NaNoWriMo and Reading Update!

 

NaNoWriMo and Reading Update!

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Finally, finally, finally I have finished another book this month, and even though it took me an ENTIRE month, I can say I have finished re reading Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare. I was hesitant re reading this trilogy because I remembered that back when I did read it for the first time a few years ago, I didn’t enjoy it as much as Cassandra Clare’s other published works. However I absolutely adored this book and am so excited to continue on with the trilogy. Since I finished Clockwork Angel last night, I have jumped into Clockwork Prince and am about 40 pages into it. I forgot how much I loved these characters and this world!

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4 days of NaNoWriMo have already passed and it is the end of the first week so I thought it seemed fitting to update you guys on where I am and how it is going. Luckily I am starting out strong, having beat the average word count of 1,667 words almost every day so far. Here are what the days have looked like for me:

Day 1: 1840 words

Day 2: 2043 words

Day 3: 1504 words

 

Total: 5387

My weekly goal for this first week of NaNoWriMo was 9000, because there definitely will be a few days within the month of November that I will not be able to write as much or even at all.

Tiny Tweak in Upload Schedule!

Hi,

I have decided it would be best if I started uploading my reading/writing (upcomingly reading/NaNoWriMo) updates on Sunday because that is the last day of the week, and it means I can report what I managed to finish that day as well. I originally didn’t change it to that when I was doing the last changes in my uploading schedule because then I would be uploading Monday, Thursday and then Sunday, but it just makes sense with the type of post they are. Hopefully it won’t mess up things too much, but I think it is for the best!

Anyways, stay tuned for my NaNoWriMo and Reading Update this Sunday, as well as my writing and reading posts next week 🙂

September + October 2017 Wrap Up!

I have not been a vivacious reader lately, so since I have only read a few books in the last 2 months, I decided to combine the books I read in September and October into one big wrap up. Hopefully I will start picking up the pace soon, but with NaNoWriMo and school it will be challenging but I am determined to at least read 3 books in November! Anyways, here are the books I read in September and October:

Geekerella by Ashley Poston 

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This was the one book I read in September and it took me the entire month to read it despite being a short, fun contemporary. I did finish it though and overall really enjoyed it. Geekerella follows a girl named Elle who is obsessed with a sci-fi TV show her father used to love before he died, and when she sees a cosplay contest in celebration of the reboot of the TV series, she enters, the prize being a ticket to ExcelsiCon, she jumps at the chance to make her fangirl dreams true. This is such a fun and entertaining read that I read during a time where I was kind of in a reading slump. This book definitely brought me out of it and I was really glad I finally picked up this newer release! 4/5 stars

Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier 

Ruby Red

Ruby Red is a book I rave about on my blog a lot, and as I have mentioned before, it is the perfect to read during the fall time. It takes place in London, has time travel and witty characters that you will love. Ruby Red follows Gwen, a sixteen year old girl born into a time travelling gene, however, her cousin Charlotte is the one believed to possess the gene. That is, until Gwen is taken back in time and her entire world is flipped upside down. This is the first book in the Ruby Red trilogy, and every single book in this trilogy is amazing so if you have NOT checked these books out please do! 4.5 stars

Simon VS the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Abertalli

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I decided to pick this book up because the movie will be coming out in spring 2018, and it is also a book I have heard plenty of people rave about. Simon VS the Homo Sapiens Agenda follows Simon, a gay teenager who is “blackmailed” into setting his friend up with this guy named Marty. The book is really light hearted though, and I absolutely flew through this book in a single day!

Those are the three books I read in the months of September and October and I hoped you enjoyed. Don’t forget to check out my last blog post: NaNoWriMo Prep #5!