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:

Image result for lindsay cummings channel

 

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!

Image result for shaelin writes

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!

Image result for clockwork angel pdf

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!

Shield-Nano-Side-Blue-Brown-RGB-HiRes

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 

Image result for geekerella

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

Image result for simon vs the homosapien agenda

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!

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!

Image result for inspirational writing quotes

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 

Image result for clockwork prince

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 

Image result for eliza and her monsters

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 

Image result for a court of thorns and roses

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!