Writing a Book #2

I am back with this new series on my blog called “Writing a Book…” and I am excited to talk about my progress and current thoughts on my book, which I am currently calling “Project Night”. To catch you up really quick, it is a darkish fantasy novel and I am currently working on my first draft of it! I estimate it to be somewhere from 70-100,000 words and am aiming to be finished the first draft by September 5 of this year.

Now for my progress! Last time I posted one of these, I was about 20,000 words into my story but now I have reached my “July goal” of 50,000 words and the month isn’t even over yet. I am very happy with my progress of this book, and have to thank Camp NaNoWriMo for happening at the right time, because I am not sure how far I would be if it wasn’t for their word sprints motivating me when I felt lazy with my work! I really do think I will be able to complete my overall goal of the first draft on time, but I need to write as much as I can from now to August 11, because from August 12-19 I will be unable to write which I am not looking forward to…that is 7 days where I could be getting closer to my goal but it is what it is.

One thing that has not faded since day 1 of my writing is my passion for this story. I keep coming up with new concepts and scenes to add to it, and grow more excited about it each and every day. Most projects I easily get bored with, and toss away after a couple thousand words, but now with Project Night, I am over halfway done and still loving it! That is definitely the most important thing when it comes to writing your story, that you love it and are passionate about wanting to share it with the world.

Anyway, that is all for my “Writing a Book #2” and I hope you enjoyed. Don’t forget to check out my last blog post: Camp NaNoWriMo Week 4: Escaping Writer’s Block!

Camp NaNoWriMo Week 4: Escaping Writer’s Block

It’s inevitable for you to feel blocked in your writing at some point, and just in case that is happening to you, here are a few tips on how to defeat the ugly monster we call, ‘writer’s block’.

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  • Identify the Source – First things first, you need to identify the source of your writer’s block. Some possible sources are: you just don’t feel like writing, you are stuck on what should happen next, or maybe you didn’t plan your story enough and have NO idea where it is heading. If you know what is causing it, it is easier to stop it.
  • Just Write – One way to get through writer’s block is to just write. Free write a page or just push through the scene that is troubling you. Either way, writing is the best cure.
  • Take a Walk – Taking a walk outside will help clear your mind, and help you figure out what to do next. Sometimes the cure to your writer’s block can be that you just needed to NOT write, but take a step back and let your mind solve the problem.
  • Figure Out Where You Went Wrong – Sometimes when I have writer’s block, it is because I wrote a scene that doesn’t flow right. What I do is re read the scene and then if I really don’t know how to fix it, I will delete it and rewrite it until it is good enough for me to keep going. Remember: Only delete it if you REALLY don’t know what doesn’t work in that scene.
  • Read! – Sometimes all you need is a way to release your creativity in another form than writing. Reading is a necessity for all writers, so if you are feeling blocked, read to help get your creative juices flowing. It also helps you strengthen your writing so there is really no loss from picking up a book at any time!

That is all for this final Camp NaNoWriMo weekly tips and tricks blog posts, and I hope you enjoyed. Hopefully you had a fun and successful Camp NaNoWriMo, and don’t forget to check out my last blog post: Reading/Writing Update!

Camp NaNoWriMo Week 3: Turning Off Your Inner Editor

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I am about 30,000 words into my book so far, and this is when I start wanting to go back and rewrite everything. That little voice inside my head is screaming at me to rewrite this awful jumble of words I call a book, and have everything make sense, and I am sure a lot of you have this problem to. Here are a few tips that will help when it comes to turning off your inner editor so you can move forward with your story!

  • Just Keep Writing – The most important thing when it comes to participating in Camp NaNoWriMo, or just writing your first draft, is to just keep writing! Get the words down on the page so you know your story and understand it. Don’t think about making it perfect, just get it done.
  • You Have Time – Unless you are under a deadline, you have time to finish writing your story before going back and fixing, well, everything. The world is NOT going to end if you do not go back and rewrite, or change that one paragraph that doesn’t sound perfect at this very second. Finish your first draft and when you are done you can go back! But the point is you have, usually, an endless amount of time to work on this, so just keep writing and don’t look back.
  • Things WILL Change In Your Story – It is probably for the best that you don’t go back and fix everything at this exact moment, because there is a possibility that you change your mind about a certain character or scene in your story. If you change it, it can require more work so just keep writing your probably crappy first draft, and by the end you will kind of know what you want to do with your story and how this will lead to this.

That is all for this quick blog post on tips to turn off your inner editor and I hope you enjoy. Don’t forget to check out my last blog post: Reading/Writing Update!

Reading/Writing Update!

For the next month or so, I will be in the process of packing up my room and moving, but I did pick out quite a few books to keep with me, so that I always have something to read. Those books are City of Ashes, City of Glass and City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare, Once and For All and the Moon and More by Sarah Dessen, The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh, The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater, and Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. Anyways, but for what I have accomplished reading wise, is that I am now over half way through City of Ashes! Zoe Herdt from the BookTube channel @readbyzoe, is hosting a 24 hour readathon today, which I will be participating in in hopes of at least coming close to finishing this book.

Writing has also been very successful because from Monday to Friday, I have so far written just over 5,000 words, and I am hoping to reach a week goal of 8,000 by the end of the weekend. My story is kind of at a slow bump in the road, so I am going to go back, fix that, figure out where I want the story to go, and then keep on writing! Good luck to any others participating in Camp NaNoWriMo because the month is half over which means we need to start raking in those word counts! I put my word count goal as 30,000, but I am only about 9,000 from completing that so I am sure I will easily complete that. However, I did want to be at 50,000 words for my entire story by the end of July, so that last week of the month will be me writing hard!

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

Camp NaNoWriMo Week 2: Tips and Tricks to Stay Motivated!

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First week down, now bring on the second! The first week of Camp NaNoWriMo flew by and was a great first week for me, so I am hoping that the next three are the same. Anyways, sometimes the second week is when you start losing motivation for your project but remember to keep going! If that is the case, I have a few tips, tricks and inspirational quotes for you to keep that creative flame burning and help you chug full steam ahead with your project. Hope they help!

  • Remember the First Draft is Supposed to Be Messy – This is one I always have to remind myself because the inner perfectionist and editor inside you deeply wants to go back and rewrite whatever you just wrote to perfection. But when it comes to writing a book that you want to actually finish before you die, then you have to shut off that part of you. It is okay for your first draft to be a complete disaster and make close to no sense because eventually you will write a second, third, fourth, or however many drafts it takes for you to make your book good. During those rewrites you can edit your work, but take pride that your first draft is messy because everyone else’s is too! The first draft is as bad as the book can get, remember that.
  • It’s Okay if You Don’t Really Know Where Your Story is Going – Sometimes your story gets the best of you and takes you in an entirely different direction than you ever imagined. That’s okay though because that is what writing is all about. Our stories change and shift for the better, and sometimes it isn’t always what we planned out. Let your imagination seize control!
  • Forget About Your Word Count – A word count is a goal for yourself, nobody else, so if you some days you cannot bring it in yourself to write up to it then that is totally fine. We all have days where our daily word counts are not realistic, but the point is that when that happens we shouldn’t beat ourselves up about it. As long as you are putting something down on the page, consider that progress.
  • Read, Read, Read – When you are not writing, read, read, read. By reading, you pick up on what not to do and what to do with your writing. It gets your creative juices flowing and is not only beneficial but fun!
  • Write Like There Are No Rules…Because There Aren’t! – There are no rules when it comes to YOUR writing. Write the story you want and don’t put yourself in a box that contains your creativity. Just because you see that many writes do things one way, doesn’t mean you have to as well!

There comes a point in your life when you need to stop reading other people’s books and write your own – Albert Einstein 

I’m writing a first draft and reminding myself that I’m simply shoveling sand into a box so that later I can build sand castles – Shannon Hale

Write a page, only three hundred words, and in a year you have written a novel – Stephen King

That is all for my Camp NaNoWriMo Week 2 post and I hope you enjoyed it!

Camp NaNoWriMo Update #3!

I thought I would quickly update you guys on where I am at with Camp NaNoWriMo because I got a lot accomplished this week already! My goal for Camp NaNoWriMo is 30,000 words because I figured with me working 32+ hours a week, I may have not have a lot of time for writing, but I have been proved the opposite. I am already over halfway over my goal and it is the only the eleventh day! Today I wrote 2264 words which brought my word count up to 17,264 words, which means I have just over 12,000 words to go. I actually already have 30,000 words technically, but that is only because I started writing a week or two before Camp NaNoWriMo, but by the end of the month I should have at least 42,000 words. My whole goal for this book is a minimum of 60,000 and I am hoping that I can keep it in the 70-80,000 range…but by the looks of it at the moment that will NOT be the case. I estimate that my first draft will end up being over 100,000 words easily which is really intimidating! One thing that has been helping me a lot this Camp NaNoWriMo, and has been motivating me to write more and more, is following @NaNoWordSprints on twitter (while you are at it, if you want to add me my Twitter is @Zoe_M8, I tweet when my blog posts go live and about writing and reading!) During the months of Camp NaNoWriMo and NaNoWriMo, they have people who lead anywhere between 10-30 minute long writing sprints where they encourage you to write as much as you can it that time span, take a break and report what you accomplished, and then get back to writing. I have a lot of fun participating in them and if you need to get your word count up or just need some more inspiration to write, definitely follow them! As I am writing this blog post, my phone is buzzing with notifications from their page…

Anyways, that is all for my Camp NaNoWriMo Update and I hope you enjoyed! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post: Favourite Books of 2017 (So Far).

Writing a Book #1

Yes, I am writing a book! I started it just before Camp NaNoWriMo began this July, and have been going full steam ahead with the idea. I didn’t want to start making blog posts about me writing this book because usually I lose interest not too far into whatever I am working on, but now I am 20,000 words in and still excited about it! I thought I would share my hard, but fun adventure on my blog because I am sure there are a few of you out there also working on a book that can relate to all the struggles I am feeling. This is my first draft of my first book, which I have mentioned in previous Reading/Writing Updates, and am calling it “Project Night”. I won’t say too much about it, other than the fact that it is fantasy and has magical elements too it as well as Kings, Princes, Princesses, etc. My original daily goal for this project was 1,200 words a day, but I have amped it up to 1,600 words a day because my summer just keeps getting busier and there will be a few days where I won’t have access to my computer.

One struggle I am facing is getting to know my characters, but I feel like that is a common struggle for first drafts. Slowly as I dive deeper into the book, I understand my characters more and feel like I know them well enough to anticipate and write what they will do in certain situations. The first draft is definitely very, very messy so far but I know by the second draft I will have figured most things out.

I am really glad I decided to start working on my book at the beginning of summer break because I would NOT have time to start it during this coming fall. I am moving in August (which of course will affect my writing time sadly) and starting a new school so things would be way to hectic to dive into a brand new story. I do plan on finishing my first draft by September 5th of this year, and then allowing myself a week or two break from it before starting my first draft. I want to skim over my story, but another reason I am taking a long break is because I have heard that it is good to distance yourself from your story after you finish writing each draft so you come back to it with a fresh mind. The other obvious reason for taking some time off it is because the first week of school and whatnot.

Anyways, that was my first blog post on me writing a book and I hope you enjoyed! I do have a few questions for any others who are writing a book and they are:  do you listen to music when you write? If so what kind? and also what is your daily word count and do you find yourself being able to reach it easily or not at all?

What To Do After Camp NaNoWriMo

Camp NaNoWriMo is over, and now you are probably thinking, now what? Well, here are a few suggestions and some tips, to help you figure out what to do next.

Option #1: Decide How Important the Story is

Sometimes we write stories that we just don’t feel connected to, and believe me, this happens to me all the time. You may be really excited to write something, but then half way through you realize it isn’t really working or you just aren’t enjoying it as much as you hoped. If it isn’t something you want to continue with, save it, because maybe someday you will come back to it. If it is something you love though, definitely look at making it better!

Option #2: Keep On Writing

You may have achieved your goal of ten, twenty, thirty, or maybe even fifty thousand words, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you finished your story. If you still have more story inside you, keep on writing! My goal was pretty small, being only ten thousand words, and I am definitely not finished it so I know what I will be busy with for the next few months.

Option #3: Second Draft

Maybe you did achieve your goal and you are completely done your first draft which is awesome! But that also means you have a second draft to write. I used to never write a second draft for anything, whether it was a NaNoWriMo project or just a short story, but trust me, it helps so much. If you didn’t plan on writing a second draft, definitely reconsider and maybe spend another few months writing it to make your story even better and cleaner.

Option #4: Take a Break

After writing a lot for an entire month, it can be a lot on your creative brain, so if you feel like you need to, take a break. There is no shame in taking a step back and taking some time away from what you just wrote. I find that it helps to take a break after I write a lot, or finished something, because when you go back maybe a few weeks later, you will be able to see any little or big mistakes you made.

Option #5: Enter it in a Contest

Writing contests are amazing because not only can you win cash prizes, but you can sometimes also get some feedback on your story. Maybe you finished Camp NaNoWriMo feeling really confident with your story, so edit it a bit and then send it in to a few different contests to see what happens! If you need some writing contests to enter, check out a blog post I wrote not too long ago where I list writing contests with no entry fees.https://mylifewithbooksblog.com/2017/03/29/writing-contests-to-enter-no-entry-fee/

Those are five suggestions on what you can do after Camp NaNoWriMo and I hope you enjoyed. Don’t forget to check out my last blog post: April 2017 Wrap Up!


Reading/Writing Update

the-unexpected-everything-9781481404549_hrIt took me forever to finish re reading Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare this month, because not only have I been pretty busy, but I was also hit by a reading slump. Luckily, I just finished Lady Midnight and I am positive it has finally brought me out of my reading slump! It also made me very excited for Lord of Shadows, the sequel to Lady Midnight, even more than I already was. Since I have finished, next I am going to pick up The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson. I am always in the contemporary mood so I am super pumped to finally read this newer Morgan Matson book, and I am sure I will love it!

As for a writing update, I have written about six thousand words for my story. I only have until…tomorrow to finish my Camp NaNoWriMo story, but I think I can do it…yeah!

That is all for my reading and writing update and I hope you enjoyed. Don’t forget to check out my last blog post: April 2017 Book Haul!

Reading/Writing Update!

lady-midnight-by-cassandra-clareAs I have mentioned, I am re reading Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare, in preparation of Lord of Shadows which comes out in May! Lady Midnight is a pretty large book (being about 668 pages), but I am over half way done and am loving it just as much as the first time. Lady Midnight takes place in Los Angeles, and follows Emma Carstiars, a Shadowhunter who is searching for the answer to her parents mysterious death years ago with the help of her best friend, Julian, and his family. Cassandra Clare’s books never disappoint me, so I am extremely excited to get my hands on her newest book soon! I am guessing I will probably finish Lady Midnight, hopefully, sometime next week, and when I do I plan on reading the Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson. I bought this a book a few weeks ago, and I love Morgan Matson books so I am ready to dive right into it.the-unexpected-everything-9781481404549_hr

For writing, I have written about three thousand words for Camp NaNoWriMo, because I am finally participating in it after three weeks. My goal is only ten thousand words, so I have my fingers crossed that I can achieve in nine days…

That is all for my reading and writing update, and I hope you enjoyed. Don’t forget to check out my last blog post: Favourite Re Reads!