3 Tips for Writing Romance

Happy Friday!

Today, I want to share my 3 essential tips for writing romance.

Writing a romance your readers will fall in love with is no easy task. Often, authors opt for insta-love but unless it is done well, it is the slow-burn, hate-to-love, etc tropes that really grab at readers’ hearts.

Before we jump into my tips, I wanted to remind you that 2 weeks ago, I launched my freelance editing and writing website! If you need copy editing, proofreading, manuscript critiques, blog writing, social media content creation OR copywriting, check it out HERE. I’d love to work with you.

Now, let’s get into today’s post because it has been a while since I posted!

Here are 3 tips for writing romance your readers will love.

1. Know Your Characters Individually Before You Know Them Together

This goes for any relationship, real or fictional, but you must know yourself before you can be with someone else. When writing romance, you need to have a grasp on who your characters are. What do they like? What are they afraid of? What do they want? What is their family like? If you don’t, they will be two-dimensional people in a two-dimensional relationship. That makes for a boring plot line and dynamic altogether.

Here is a basic character questionnaire that you should ask each of your characters in order to vividly paint them on the page.

2. Figure Out How They Fit Into Each Other’s Lives Organically

A lot of the time, a romance in a novel feels unnatural and forced. It is as if the author wrote two characters, decided their audience would probably want some romance, and then pushed the two main characters together because hey, they were right there anyways.

When it is done correctly, it works really well, but if it feels too forced and convenient, you are going to lose your audience. Here are some ideas for how your characters can organically fit into each other’s lives.

  • Their pasts are intertwined (maybe their families are close or are enemies, maybe they are childhood friends, etc)
  • They both want the same thing
  • One of them has something the other wants
  • One of them saves the other

3. If the Romance is a Subplot, Treat It Like a Subplot

Unless you are writing a romance novel, the romance should not be the main attraction. I hate when I am reading a fantasy and the romance overtakes the world, the magic system, the other characters, etc. If the romance is just one aspect of many within the novel, it should stay that way. Of course, it can have its moments in the spotlight, but it should not overshadow the rest of the story.


Those are 3 simple but essential tips to apply to your story when writing romance. If you have any other tips, please feel free to leave them down in the comments below!

Don’t forget to check out my freelance website and subscribe to the monthly newsletter for more tips, tricks, updates, and freebies on writing and the business of writing. You can check that all out HERE.

Also, make sure you read my last blog post and check out my social media accounts which are all linked down below. Thanks for reading 🙂

Last Blog Post: SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: My Freelance Business Launch

Twitter icon
Instagram - Free social icons
Pinterest - Apps on Google Play
Patreon changes have creators concerned they'll lose income ...

August Reading + Writing Goals

Happy Friday!

It is that time of the month where I share all my reading and writing goals for August, and go over what I got done in July. To be honest, it was not a lot! Life got in the way as it always seems to do when I attempt to be productive, but c’est la vie.

August is going to be a crazy month no matter what. I have some traveling I am doing (which is completely following the rules of my province), I start my brand-new full-time job as a Communications Development Lead, and I am launching a secret business! There is a limit to what I can do alongside all of this, so this will be a very practical goals list.

TIP: Write down everything that you MUST get done that month and then plan your goals. This way, you know what your main focus(es) are but also how much time you have to dedicate to other projects.

Here is what I wrote and read during July.

Writing

The Obsidian Butterfly – This is my Camp NaNoWriMo project and my goal for the month was to reach 25k. However, I ended up only writing 6,704 words. I am not too bummed about it because I was dealing with a lot of things for the last half of July. Overall, this is a good start and I’ve decided to take a break from the novel version of this story anyways (more on this later).

Flanelle Magazine -Fashion, Design, Culture & Photography

Flanelle Magazine Interview – In July, I got a really exciting project for the magazine I write for (Flanelle Magazine) and it was an interview with Zonnique, a 24-year-old, Atlanta born singer. This was a cool project because I’ve never done an interview before. I will link it once it is live on the website!

Reading

Daisy Jones & The Six: A Novel: Reid, Taylor Jenkins ...

Daisy Jones & the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid – Even in a reading slump, this book never fails me. While this was the third time I’ve read this book, I zipped through it in only 2 days. I adore this book, the characters, the story…everything about it is just so addicting. It follows the rise and fall of this band from the 70s, and it was inspired by Fleetwood Mac so what is not to love? 5/5 stars

Kingdom of Souls (Kingdom of Souls, #1) by Rena Barron

Kingdom of Souls by Rena Barron – This took me a bit to get through, but overall, I really enjoyed the mythology, the characters, and the overall story. It didn’t blow my mind and I didn’t love any of the characters specifically, but it reminded me of my own book and it helped inspire me to work on it throughout July. Kingdom of Souls is inspired by West African mythology and follows a girl who year after year, has not been able to find her own magic. When the story takes a dark twist, she finds magic but it is not in the way she wanted or expected. 3.5/5 stars

Here is what I want to write and read in August…

Writing

The Obsidian Butterfly (Novella Version) – In March, I wrote a novella version of my novel idea, The Obsidian Butterfly, and submitted it to the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future contest which I received a Silver Honourable Mention for. I’ve decided to re-write this story because I feel it was missing some things that really held it back. My goal is to get 7,000 words done in August because the word limit is 17,000 (which being the overwriter I am, I will reach). Since the deadline is October 1st, it should give me enough time to finish it even with all the other things I’ve got going on.

Reading

Eliza and Her Monster by Fransesca Zappia – Yes, this is a re-read but apparently I am in the mood for re-reading my favourite contemporaries. Eliza and Her Monsters is an all-time favourite of mine, especially because the main character suffers from anxiety and how she feels and eventually copes with it is something I strongly relate to still. With everything going on, my anxiety has definitely spiked. I’ve been the most anxious these past few months that I have ever been in my entire life, but I’ve found re-reading my favourite books has helped.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell – I have an unofficial tradition of reading this book every summer, or in the fall, before school starts. I am going into my second year of university and Cath, the main character, is in her first and we follow her as she experiences it. This book is also another one that is so easy for me to read. I have no doubt I will fly through it in less than a week!


Those are all the things I want to write and read during August, and also what I got done back in July. I swear, the months are flying by and I can BARELY keep up. But, I am doing my best and despite everything, this has been a productive quarantined summer.

Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts which are all linked down below! I will be announcing my secret business on there first, so follow my Twitter, Instagram, AND Pinterest.

Thanks for reading 🙂

Last Blog Post: Beginner’s Guide to: Aztec Mythology

Twitter icon
Instagram - Free social icons
Pinterest - Apps on Google Play
Patreon changes have creators concerned they'll lose income ...

5 Tips for Writing a Novel

Writing a novel isn’t easy, but here are 5 tips to help you out

Happy Monday!

Writing a novel is hard, which is why I have put together 5 tips that will make writing a novel just a little more easier.

Of course, there are the basics that go into writing a novel such as outlining before writing. Outlining includes creating 3D characters, mapping out the world your story takes in, knowing your plot points, etc. However, I will be covering novel writing aspects that you might not think about as often.

Here are my 5 tips for writing a novel.

1. Dedicate a Time & Place for It

This is a basic tip, but it is one of the most important tips out there. If you do not dedicate a specific time and place for writing. In order to write a novel within a reasonable amount of time, you must carve out a certain time to write it and be consistent with following it. For me, my mornings are for writing. That is when I sit down and know it is writing time. I do not sit down only one morning in the week either, every morning where I do not have to work, I use that time for writing.

It is also helpful to have a writing space, or even a few. These are spaces where you sit down and feel inspired to write. Having these spots trains your brain to know that when you sit down there, it is writing time! For me, this is just my desk but I have a nice setup going there with my candle, laptop, and lo-fi music.

2. Know EVERYTHING About Your World

While you do not need to know everything about your plot, it is essential to know everything about your world and characters. You do not need to share everything about your world or characters with the readers (at least, not right away or even ever), but it is important for YOU to know that information. Even if it never gets included in your book!

However, here are 3 things your reader MUST know:

  • Where are the places your story takes place? Describe them for your reader; make it vivid and descriptive
  • How does your world work? Who is in charge? What type of government is it?
  • What are the rules of your world? (This is especially important for fantasy novels)

3. Think of What You Want (or Wanted) to Read and Write It

Think back to when you were younger, or to whenever you pick up a book. What are the things you were hoping for within it? What did the book not have that you wanted? These are things you should think about and write down and then, when you are outlining your plot, include them.

This is why I read lots of books that are similar to my own during the outlining phase. It helps to warmup my mind and prep me for creating a plot that will hold my own attention first, which is crucial when writing a novel!

4. Welcome Surprises and Twists Within Your Story

It is important to follow an outline, but sometimes your story has a mind of its own. These are the times when we have to let our story go where it needs. Often, this makes the story more exciting too. The times where my plot has deviated from the outline created a more thrilling story overall. Those are scenes that felt more natural and less plotted out compared to the scenes I did map out. However, both are important!

Of course, your outline is there for a reason, but if you want to add in a new scene because it feels right, don’t shy away from it!

5. Hold Yourself Accountable, but Don’t Be Too Harsh!

It is nice to have a few friends who can hold you accountable for you writing goals, but I think it is also important for you to hold yourself accountable. Like anything in life, we cannot always rely on others. However, that is not an opening to be harsh on yourself! Be flexible and realistic with yourself, just like you would for a friend that YOU are holding accountable.


Those are 5 tips for writing a novel and I hope they were helpful. If you have any more, leave them below in the comments so we can help each other out!

Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts which are all linked down below. Thanks for reading 🙂

Last Blog Post: July Writing Goals

Twitter icon
Instagram - Free social icons
Pinterest - Apps on Google Play
Patreon changes have creators concerned they'll lose income ...

July Writing Goals

My June reflection and writing plans for the month of July

Happy Monday!

I cannot believe it is already time to talk about my July writing goals, but here we are, only 2 days away from finishing up with June.

June was an interesting month. No a single word of creative writing got written, but I was pumping out the blog posts, Instagram posts, and whatnot. So, it was an incredibly productive month, but for July, I really want creative writing (specifically my Aztec novel) to be one of my main priorities. Especially since it will be Camp NaNoWriMo!

Before we jump into my July goals, let’s reflect back on June.

  • Finish Re-Typing: I did finish this today actually, so yay! A checkmark for me. My goal deadline was June 12 which was quite a while ago, but I got it done before July and that is all that matters. This project was challenging, but a lot of fun because I got to read this person’s story and learn a lot. I cannot say anything about the story or its author because of legal reasons, but hopefully I can sometime in the future!
  • Finish Writing Act III of The Obsidian Butterfly: This is my Aztec novel idea and I’ve been working on it for over three years but it has changed a lot structure wise over the years. I really wanted to finish outlining Act III in June, but I decided to scrap my outline and re-start. Fingers crossed I get it done in the next 2 days…
  • Write 10,000 Words of The Obsidian Butterfly: Ha, this did not happen.
  • Write 2 Articles for Flanelle Magazine: I didn’t write 2, but I did manage to write one article about this hair product called Wetbrush. I don’t think it is on the website yet, but I’m glad I was able to contribute something this busy month.

While I didn’t achieve every goal, June was still productive and I am proud of it. Things change and goals have to be adjusted due to these changes. I still like to set some goals each month, however, because it helps keep me on track during the month. Now, let’s discuss my July goals.

JULY WRITING GOALS

WRITE 25K DURING CAMP NANOWRIMO

During Camp NaNoWriMo, I want to at least write 25,000 words for The Obsidian Butterfly and get back on track with this project. I only have 2 months left before school, and since I plan on doing a full course load AND working part-time, I want to go into the school year with a good chunk of this novel’s first draft written (even though technically, this is like the fifth draft). This is still a lot of words, especially since I am working and interning in July, but I think it is doable.

WRITE 2 ARTICLES FOR FLANELLE

Once again, I am bringing this goal back. I have written a few article ideas out, I just actually have to sit down and write them. Like I mentioned before, I enjoy writing for Flanelle because it allows me to write things I wouldn’t post to my blog such as how the film industry is impacted by this pandemic and how art is as well. If you want to check out my articles, here are the links:

COVID-19: The importance of keeping art alive in quarantine

5 Ways to stay creative during quarantine

COVID-19: How is the entertainment industry adapting?

Post One Book Review to Blog

About a month ago, I was given a book to review and I really want to get that up on my blog this coming month. I haven’t done a book review since House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig, so I feel like it is time to write one up. The book I will be reviewing is A Touch of Death by Rebecca Crunden so stay tuned!


I decided to keep my July goals short and sweet because I know I have a lot going on. It is important to not expect too much for yourself when setting your monthly goals, or really, any goals, because that is setting yourself up for failure. Well, most likely. I hope you enjoyed hearing what I have planned for July, and make sure you comment your goals for July if you have them planned already!

Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts which are all linked down below. Thanks for reading 🙂

Last Blog Post: Tips for the Creative Entrepreneur

Twitter icon
Instagram - Free social icons
Pinterest - Apps on Google Play

7 Tips for Conquering Camp NaNoWriMo

Your in-depth guide to achieving your goals and winning Camp NaNoWriMo

Happy Friday!

Camp NaNoWriMo is right around the corner, which is why I will be sharing 7 tips for conquering Camp NaNoWriMo this July.

What I like about Camp NaNoWriMo is that you get to set your own goal. Instead of a word goal, you can have a page goal or even an hour-related goal. It allows you to really tailor it to what you can honestly achieve. Don’t feel forced to try and reach the 50,000 words in one month goal. Do 20,000 or even less if you want!

Even with a flexible goal, it can be hard to make the time to write. Especially with everything going on in the world right now. I recommend using your writing time as you hour or two in the day to escape. While it is essential to be present during some of the crises we face today, it is important to know when to take a breather. Channel all the anxiety, fear, and anger you are feeling into your writing and enjoy your absence from our crazy world for a little bit.

Read on to explore the other 7 tips I have for conquering Camp NaNoWriMo.

1. Spend Time Creating an Outline

Having a guide to what you are supposed to write, and where you are supposed to take your story is one of the main things you MUST do in order to win Camp NaNoWriMo. Even if you are like me and consider yourself a pantser, try and write out the main points of your story and characters in some tangible form. That way, if you don’t feel like writing or don’t know where to start, you will be able to turn to that outline and feel comforted that at least past you knew where the story must go.

If you don’t enjoy outlining, carve out an hour each day for a week or so to spend on your outline. Include an Act I, II, and III with at least 5 major events that occur in each one. Spend time thinking about your characters too. Who are they, what do they like, what are they afraid of? (Check out below for some key questions to ask your characters!) You can make outlining fun too. Put on some music or a podcast and break out your stash of coloured pens and highlighters. I love colour coding when outlining because when you look at your outline during a writing session, it will be easier to find what you are looking for.

2. Install Writing Triggers

Writing triggers are great for getting your mind and body in the writing zone. A writing trigger can be anything from a certain beverage you only drink when it is writing time, or a playlist that you curated specifically for writing. They ensure that when you drink them or smell them or hear them, you will feel obligated to write and hopefully, have a good writing session.

My writing trigger is any lo-fi music, but I do enjoy the Chilled Cow the most. Usually I will just plop my headphones and listen to the Spotify playlist, but sometimes I will play the YouTube videos. They are relaxing and a nice background noise to ensure my mind doesn’t wander because this is the biggest problem I face when writing!

3. Complete a Trial Week of Writing

Before July, take a week the month before to test out your writing schedule. This will show you if it will actually work in your day-to-day life, or if you need to choose a different time of day. Make sure you spend 7 consecutive days testing out your writing schedule. Don’t skip a day or two in between! If you realize your schedule isn’t working, you will save yourself SO much time instead of discovering this when you are actually supposed to be writing. This trial week also serves as a great writing warm-up!

How to Find a Writing Time That Works for YOU:

  • Ask yourself, “When do I have the most free time?” because this might be when you need to be writing!
  • Decide if you are more of a morning or night person. This will tell you when you are most creative and productive.
  • Ask yourself, “Do I work better in writing sprints or straight working sessions?” because this will ensure you get the MOST out of your writing time.

4. Aim Lower…You’ll Achieve More

As backwards as this sounds, it is true. If you sit down knowing you need to write like 1,200 words, you might feel a bit intimidated. If you tell yourself that yes, 1,200 words would be nice but for now, I will just try to hit 1,000 words, there is a good chance you will be able to surpass that. This is because once you hit that 1,000 words mark, you will realize another 200 isn’t too bad. You are already warmed up and the creative juices are flowing, so what’s another 10 or 20 minutes?

5. Reward Yourself

I discuss having a reward system often because it is so important and a huge contributing factor to your success during Camp NaNoWriMo. You need to curate your reward system according to you. For example, some people enjoy experiencing some small rewards after every writing session like a special coffee from the coffee shop or a TV episode. On the other hand, others will enjoy larger rewards after a successful week like going to see a movie or taking an afternoon off.

Rewarding yourself will encourage you to keep writing. It will show you that all your hard work does pay off, thus making you want to keep doing it! Make sure you set limits to your rewards and also guidelines. If you want to have a big reward at the end of each week, how many words minimum do you have to write? Or in your daily sessions, how many words do you have to write? You must know this before you reward yourself, otherwise you will be tossing out rewards left and right, or none at all!

6. Join a Writer’s Group

The great thing about social media is that you have a community right at your fingertips. This is incredibly helpful amidst all of this COVID-19 chaos. Whether you join a group of likeminded writers who are also participating in Camp NaNoWriMo on Twitter or Instagram, having others who will hold you accountable to your goals will help you conquer Camp NaNo.

Check in with each other at the end of each day and discuss if you achieved your goal for that day or if you didn’t and why. These people can help you work through your struggles and offer you advice because most likely, whatever you are feeling regarding writing, someone else in your group has experienced it too. That is the great thing about forming a community. You will feel less alone in this lonely passion and having those connections will encourage you to write even more!

7. Remember that Camp NaNo is Fun!

Remember that the only person truly holding you accountable is yourself. Don’t hold yourself to insane standards, but also do not let yourself slide too much within your goals. Achieve what you can, work hard, but enjoy the experience. At the end of the day, Camp NaNoWriMo is an event where you set your own goals and spend time doing what you love: writing!

Ask yourself: “If I don’t hit my Camp NaNo goal, what will happen?”

Nothing! It just means you have more of your story to write, but guess what? You (probably) have lots of time left to do that in next month and the month after that!

Camp NaNoWriMo (@CampNaNoWriMo) | Twitter

Those are my 7 tips for conquering Camp NaNoWriMo and I hope you enjoyed. If you have any other tips, please leave them in the comments below!

Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts which are all linked down below. Thanks for reading 🙂

Twitter icon
Instagram - Free social icons
Pinterest - Apps on Google Play

How I Edit My Stories

Happy Friday!

In honour of Camp NaNoWriMo (which I am failing!), I thought it would be fun to share my editing process. I always like reading about how other people write and edit, and I thought it would also be a great way to inspire you to finally sit down and work on your current WIP.

Anyways, I hope you enjoy 🙂

STEP ONE: What Type of Edits Am I Doing?

This is where I like to start off on; asking myself what type of editing my story requires. If you are unaware, the three main types of editing are substantive editing (content editing), copy editing (grammar, sentence structure, etc), and proofreading (formatting errors like a missing period, sentence indentation, etc…small things). Usually, each round of edits I do contains the first two types. I will look for content mistakes as well as grammar mistakes because I find it hard to not change a misspelled word or delete a repeated word if I see one. Proofreading is always left for last though.

Some people like to focus on one at a time, and even recommend doing substantive edits first and then copy edits. I found that for me, I have a hard time ignoring the copy edits so I just do both at the same time. I will say, doing both at once does mean you have to comb through the manuscript a few extra times (sometimes), but I have not had a problem doing that with speed and efficiency. Like writing, it is important to figure out what process works best for you.

STEP TWO: Remind Yourself, or Determine Your Word Goal

As an someone who overwrites, I always write with a goal in mind but sometimes (or most of the time), I easily surpass it. Over the years, I’ve found it easier to just keep writing and worry about that later though. When I finish writing the story, I will figure out what word count I need it to be and that will be another task in the editing process.

An excellent example of this is when I was writing my Aztec story in March. My word goal was 17,000 because it was for a writing contest and that was the maximum word count. However, my final draft was 22,000 words! That is 5,000 words over the limit but yes, I did manage to cut it down to 16,999 words. That is why I recommend not worrying about your word count while writing. Just write. Even if it seems daunting, you really can get your story to wear it needs to be. When reading your story over and over, and editing it over and over, you understand what needs to be in it and what does not. So, go into editing with a word goal in mind.

STEP THREE: Set Daily or Weekly Editing Goals and a Final Deadline

I like to set a page count goal per day when it comes to editing. Although, maybe your goal is to edit for two hours every day. Figure out what works best for you, and what allows you to get your editing done in a productive and timely manner. It is then important to set a deadline. This can help you figure out what your daily or weekly goal too, if you are unsure of how much you need to get done each day/week.

Right now, I am freelance editing and working on a 220 pages manuscript. I was given a month deadline which is coming up this Sunday, but I was able to finish two rounds of edits a couple days early because I stuck to my daily goals. For the first round, my goal was to edit eight pages per day, six times a week. When it came to the second round, I wanted to edit faster so I switched my goal to 15 pages per day, five times a week. It has worked really well and as of yesterday, I was able to finish them. This allowed me to give one final skim through to make sure I did not miss anything, and not feel rushed when submitting my client the edits.

STEP FOUR: Time to Edit!

Once I figure out my plan for editing, I get right into it. I like to edit with lo-fi music playing, whether that is in my headphones or on my computer screen with the ChilledCow videos playing (if you know, you know).

I like to get all my writing related tasks done in the morning. Before, I gave myself from 9-12 but since I am not currently writing anything new (I always decide to take a break during Camp NaNoWriMo or NaNoWriMo, as I always manage to do), I have switched it to 10-12. Since I am also working with a client right now, that is my top priority so I like to work on that first thing. It takes me anywhere between 30 minutes and an hour to get my editing done for the day. It’s nice to have a schedule because then you aren’t spending your whole day editing! As a writer and overall creative person, you have other projects to devote time to. Having a schedule and a goal allows you to work on them.

STEP FIVE: The Final Round

Proofreading is essential and I feel like a lot of people wave it off after they finish four rounds of substantive and copy edits. However, I have caught so many mistakes while proofreading even though I had just gone over it four times before. I like to do at least one round of proofreading, but I do try to do two if I have the time. It’s is incredibly important and should not be overlooked!

If a project is short, like the one I am working on, I like to do two to three rounds of edits. However, if it is longer, I like to tack on an extra round or two. If it is already a polished manuscript though, sometimes it needs less editing because I barely found anything the first time. If it is not polished, sometimes it will need more work and care. It all depends on the project!

 

Those are all the steps I take in my editing process and I hope you found it interesting and helpful. Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts because yes, I am finally posting to my Instagram again!

Thanks for reading 🙂

Last Blog Post: Stay Home Reading Rush TBR + Tag

See the source image  Buy Me A Coffee

 

 

@zoermathers

 

 

Image result for instagram  @zoeiswriting

 

 

My Classes Are Almost Over…Now What?

Happy Monday!

Today marks the first day of me posting twice a week (Mondays and Fridays) which you would know if you checked out my last blog post…which you definitely should right here!

Anyways, I wanted to do another update type blog post because like the world right now, my plans for the next month seem to change constantly. My online classes are coming to an end on Friday this week, which means most of my school projects will be over then too. However, I do have two more final essays that will be due later on in April. Other than, I will have a lot more time on my hands. I plan on filling it up, of course, and here is what I have on the agenda!

Camp NaNoWriMo

Remember when I said I was going to do a short story collection? Well, that still sounds fun but for all of March, I worked on my Aztec mythology story. I want to spend April turning it into a novel (it is a novella right now) because I am in the mindset to write for it, and also because when I wrote the first draft of the novella, I wrote 5,000 words over my goal of 17,000. I ended up cutting a lot (and still am), but there are so many more obstacles I can add to the story and overall, just more content that I think the story would benefit from. So yes, I am now attempting to have my manuscript reach at least 50,000 words. This means I will need to add around 33,000 more words to it. Being the overwriter I am, I do not think this will be a challenge.

Reading

I decided to participate in the O.W.LS month long, Harry Potter inpsired readathon that happens every year, organized and created by Book Roast on YouTube. I have never participated in this readathon before but I am so excited to give it a go because it looks like a lot of fun. It is a really complicated and complex readathon so I won’t try to explain it here, but you can go check out her YouTube channel where she gives an in-depth explanation on how it all works. If you have took part in it before and know what it all means, I am “studying” to be a ministry worker. I have to read 5 books during April which should not be too hard, but also not that easy. I will tell you all the books I plan on reading for the prompts this Friday!

School

This is something I’ve considered since the beginning of the school year, but I decided to take on online class this summer through my university. Since schools closed early due to COVID-19 and had to transfer online, my school has been adapting to this change for their summer courses as well. This means, I have a lot more options. Sadly, there are not many English courses offered this summer and the ones that are available do not interest me. However, I decided it might be the perfect time to take a language course through my school so as of now, I really want to take an intensive Spanish course. I chose against taking one during the fall and winter semesters because I knew I would not prioritize it and therefore, not get what I wanted out of it. Since it will be the only class I take this summer though, I will be able to give it the time and effort it needs. It is intensive which means it will take more hours and days than a “normal” course and is also only a month and a half long. I have to see if it works with my work schedule first, but if it does, that is my plan!

Anyways, that is a little update on what I plan on doing once my classes finish up this week. I hope you enjoyed and don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts linked down below!

Thanks for reading 🙂

Last Blog Post: Children of Blood and Bone Has Too Much Hype?

See the source image  Buy Me A Coffee

 

 

@zoermathers

 

 

Image result for instagram  @zoeiswriting

WIPs, Camp NaNoWriMo + More

Happy Friday!

This week zipped by because of how chaotic and absolutely insane it was. Not only were there assignments and projects and readings for school I had to tackle, but as the entire world knows, the COVID-19 virus has escalated intensely in the last few days. Where I live, there are only 3 known cases at the moment, but my school is still considering shutting down for a few weeks. My fingers are crossed that this doesn’t happen because we have less than a month of classes left and I would really like to finish them. That, and get marks for all the assignments and projects I have poured HOURS into! Of course, if that is the safest option for everyone then I understand but hopefully, it does not come to that.

Anyways, amongst the chaos, I have somehow found time to write so today, I wanted to share this rambly, chit-chatty post all about my writing progress and plans for the coming month.

Currently, I am writing a short story/novella based on my Aztec mythology idea and decided earlier this week that I was going to scrap what I had already written of it (around 3,000 words) and start fresh. Usually, I would highly advise you NOT to do this, but sometimes it is the best thing you can do for your project and this was one of those rare cases. I have not written too much for the new draft, but I have clocked in around 1,300 words which is better than nothing. Another plus is that I have really enjoyed writing this story and it does not feel like a drag to work on it anymore. That was my main problem with this story before. Every time I had to force myself to work on it and I never had any clear sight of where I wanted to take it. Naturally, I am a pantser so sitting down with only a rough idea in mind is how I typically write my stories, but I had no motivation or inspiration with where this story was going to start. So, long story short, I changed my idea a bit and plan on finishing my first draft (which should be around 17,000 words) sometime next week…preferably mid-week but we shall see.

Some other projects currently on the go for me is a project for one of my classes. I decided to create a zine which is a collection of various pieces of your own work. This is for my fine arts class and for it, I am writing poems and flash fiction pieces that will tell one story throughout the entire zine. At the moment, I am trying to make it so it switches between poem and flash fiction, but overall, I will just have to see what works best for the story and flow of it. I am also including some art pieces which is kind of new for me. I used to draw a lot when I was younger and I am not being modest when saying I am not the most talented drawer…but I think it will be an interesting addition to the zine. Also, a necessary one because you need art for the front cover at the least! This is due by April 3rd so I have some time but I would rather start now than leave it to the last minute. So far, I have a flash fiction piece and a poem that I am still working on. I’ve also been practicing the types of drawings I want to include. The theme is very whimsical and mystical so it has been a lot of fun so far!

Leaping into the future just a bit, I have decided to re-think my Camp NaNoWriMo plans a little more. After starting this little zine project, I thought it might be fun to work on a short story collection rather than one novel or novella project. For years, I have been working on this Aztec story, and of course, in between, I have devoted time to other projects, but this zine idea has really inspired me to take a break from that world this coming month. For now, I am thinking of just including short stories into this totally separate project from my fine arts one, but I might include other forms of written pieces as well. Basically, I am giving myself creative freedom for April which could either be a brilliant or self-destructive idea.

 

There you have it! Those are my current projects and future plans for writing and I hope you enjoyed. Let me know below what you currently have on the go, as well as if you are participating in Camp NaNo this year because I would love to know. Don’t forget to check out my last blog post, and also my social media accounts which are all linked down below!

Thanks for reading and stay healthy 🙂

Last Blog Post: Reading on a Budget

See the source image  Buy Me A Coffee

 

 

@zoermathers

 

 

Image result for instagram  @zoeiswriting

All Things Camp NaNoWriMo: My Plans, Ideas + Tips

Hellooo

Can you believe it’s already almost March? Aka the month before Camp NaNoWriMo! Me either.

Since it is right around the corner, I decided to make a post discussing all my plans and ideas for Camp NaNo since I actually plan on participating. I finish classes by April 3rd and don’t have exams until the 18th and 24th so if all goes as planned, I will have a lot of time to write.

Anyways, time to discuss all things Camp NaNoWriMo!

So, what am I going to be working on this April?

If you have been following my blog for the past 2 years, you would know that during April 2018, I worked on a novel idea centered around Aztec mythology. Basically, I will be continuing on with that. I am starting fresh though. I’ve changed a lot of things about the story and my approach to it, so I am hoping to just get a solid rough draft that gives me a good idea of how I want to go about it. And hopefully, it sticks.

That is not to say I haven’t been working on it all these years though. I worked on it during Camp NaNo July 2018/summer 2018, and I’ve also worked on short story versions of it since. I love the concept, the world, and the mythology, there are just a lot of possibilities and I’ve had a hard time decided which route I want to take it. However, I am just going to keep working on it until it feels right.

What’s my word count goal?

Like I said, I finish classes in early April and only have two final exams later on in the month. That being said, my goal is going to be 15,000 words. I don’t think it is a good idea for me to write 50,000 words after only writing here and there for the past several months, so I decided to give myself a smaller yet still, significant word count to try and hit.

My tips for Camp NaNoWriMo: Time management, motivation, and ideas

While I haven’t successfully completed NaNoWriMo or Camp NaNo since last year, I’ve still participated in it my fair share of times (and have won a few!) so I thought it would be nice to share some of my tips and tricks for writing all the words.

#1: Set aside time to write

Wow, isn’t this the most basic tip of all?

But in all seriousness, this is a common yet extremely overlooked tip. A lot of the time we plan to write at some point during the day but we don’t slot a certain time to do it. I recommend keeping a certain time in mind when you want to sit down and write. It doesn’t have to be set in stone, for example, if you put aside an hour at night but get a lot of writing done during the day by chance, then congrats! If you want, you can still write in the evening but you got your writing done!

Just having some sort of time period you plan on dedicating to writing, even if it’s not precisely that time, is incredibly important and helpful to your success with writing.

#2: Create a productive atmosphere

If you’re office or room or kitchen or wherever you write, is a mess, tidy it up a little before you begin writing. I’m not saying you should get out your sponge and mop and deep clean the place, but at least clear the space around you. I am very guilty of not doing this and I’ve definitely noticed a difference in my productivity levels, whether I am writing or doing homework, when I take care of the space around me.

#3: Start of your writing session with a warm-up

I used to rave about writing prompts and I still stand by their value! Sometimes I do this when I don’t feel in the mood to write. I will find a prompt on Pinterest that interests me and write a little story for 5-10 minutes inspired by that prompt. It helps to get my creativity flowing and sometimes, aspects of that little story make it into my current project.

Another thing I’ve noticed from doing these warm-up exercises before my writing sessions is I can write for longer periods of time. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t do this every single time I write, but I try to save it for when I feel the most uninspired.

 

Those are my plans, goals, and a few tips for Camp NaNoWriMo this April! I hope you enjoyed and found the tips useful. Let me know if you plan on participating in Camp NaNo and what you are working on because I would love to know!

Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts which are all linked down below. Thanks for reading 🙂

Last Blog Post: Silver and Gold by Zoe Mathers

See the source image  Buy Me A Coffee

 

 

@zoermathers

 

 

Image result for instagram  @zoeiswriting

Camp NaNoWriMo – Plans, Goals + More

Happy Monday!

Today is the FIRST day of Camp NaNoWriMo, so I thought it would be a good idea to share with you all what exactly I plan on working on this month. What story am I tackling? What’s my word goal? Well, all of that will be discussed right now.

At first, I was not going to make this because once again, I am working on my Aztec mythology story that oh, I’ve worked on for the past 3 or 4 Camp NaNoWriMos. What I am most excited about though, is that I’ve managed to stay in love with this project even after all this time. Usually, I write an idea (as a short story) and then edit it a bit and boom, done. I don’t ever have the desire to work on it more. However, this is a story I just have not been able to get how I want for whatever reason, but that only makes me want to work on it more. I am definitely getting closer and I am willing to take the time it needs to get there.

To be honest, apart from my word goal of 17,000 for this project (and I might write a short story if an idea comes to me), my main goal of this month is to fall back in love with writing. Actually, now that I think about it, that is not the right way to phrase it. I still love writing and there hasn’t been a moment where I stopped, but over this past month or so, I’ve definitely neglected it and it has not made me feel good. I was busy so I am not blaming myself, but I really want to spend this month working on my writing and getting back into the routine of it. It always brings me joy but I just want to make sure I am actively doing it. These past two months have been some of the greatest months of my life in all aspects, mentally, physically, socially, etc, etc, but one part (or two, but they kind of go hand in hand) that has been lacking is writing and reading. I have been neglecting my passions and while it has still been a fun and good time, there is this part of me that feels incomplete just because I am not carving out that bit of time each day to focus on what fuels me as a person. As we got to the end of June, I definitely felt myself lacking and gathering energy from a dry well. Yesterday though, I spent a good hour reading and just enjoying literature and it felt AMAZING. I also finally finished a book and I think it is either the first or second book I finished in June…however, I am still on track for my reading goal!

But yes, this month is, of course, me trying to reach my goal of 17k words, but overall, I am striving to recenter myself as a creative being. Already I have written my words for today and it was my first writing session in a long, long time. I wrote 1, 846 words and it filled me with the sort of happiness you only get when you are pursuing what you absolutely adore. I cannot wait to sit down again tomorrow and write some more words, but I am trying not to push it at the same time. I write when I feel like it (I do aim for the mornings still though), what I feel like (still on my main project), and how long I feel like. So far, it’s going great, and I hope your Camp NaNoWriMo is as well!

That is all for this blog post and I hope you enjoyed! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts linked down below. Thanks for reading 🙂

Last Blog Post: Why I Love Libraries

 

@zoermathers

 

Image result for instagram  @zoeiswriting

 

@zoematherswrites