Reading + Writing Update

Happy Sunday!

Sorry for no Friday blog post, my idea fell through but that’s alright because as Queen says, the show must go on! (I’ve been listening to a lot of Queen lately since the movie comes out in 2 weeks! Ah!) Anyways, this was a rough week. I had tests and projects due which means yes, the nights before were spent scrambling to finish them rather than read. However, surprisingly reading and writing got done this week so let’s discuss that!

Last Sunday I started listening to the audiobook for Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier and I absolutely just flew through it, as expected. Despite all the other books I need to get finished, I will probably start listening to the second book, Sapphire Blue on Monday but I am going to try to focus on finishing the City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare audiobook since I have been listening to it for a while. I have also been making my way through Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden for my English class, and now only have about 84 pages left of it meaning I read just over 100 pages of it which is great. Once I got halfway through the book, I did start enjoying it a lot more as I finally found a rhythm with the characters and the story, but I am really looking forward to finally finishing it by the end of this coming week. The last book I’ve made progress in this week is The Light Between Worlds by Laura E. Weymouth. I’m not moving as fast through this re-read as I would like because of other books I need to read at whatnot, but I did manage to read about another 75 pages of it this week. That means I still got quite a bit to go…like 150 pages, but fingers crossed I can get those pages read by Wednesday which is when I want my review to go up for it!

As for writing, I was productive enough. Especially when I like to spend October focusing on planning and prepping my NaNoWriMo projects for November. I did do some re-writing and editing of a short story I wrote a while ago, as well as writing the first draft for my writing class short story assignment. For this short story assignment, it was supposed to be a literary piece of fiction and let me tell you, literary fiction does not come easily to me. It is so hard to write something that seems interesting enough to me but doesn’t have magic… I’m glad I have to write something out of my comfort zone like this though because so far, it has definitely helped me become a stronger and more well-rounded writer.

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

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Preptober Week 3 – Determining Your Goals

Happy Monday!

NaNoWriMo is fast approaching so now is the time to kick our prepping into high gear, and get some stories planned. Today we will be discussing all things goals for NaNoWriMo and how to have an overall successful and productive month!

 

Step 1: Create Big SMART Goals

I always bring up SMART goals whenever I make a blog post centred around goals because these are the type of goals you need to focus on making. SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant, Time-bound, and by following these five words, you will create goals you can ACTUALLY achieve! When making goals, it is important to make them as directed and specific as possible and to make sure they are goals you can achieve in the time given. Some examples of my big, overall NaNoWriMo goals are:

  • Edit and re-outline character profiles, world history, and act I, II, III by October 31st – I specify what I want to edit and re-outline and also by what date = SMART goal!
  • Write 50k words by November 30th – This is a SMART goal because I determine how many words I want to write by whatever date, and I have achieved it before so I know it is attainable!

Step 2: Create Smaller SMART Goals

Now it is time to narrow our focus into the individual days of November and figure out what daily goals we can make to help lead us to success. The main goal in NaNoWriMo is to write 50k words in 30 days but in order to do that, you need to write at least 1,667 words per day. Maybe you can’t write that much a day though, and 1,667 words in a writing session is a rare, amazing occurrence. Whatever the case, you need to tailor these daily goals to your life and make them attainable so you are not letting yourself down at the end of the day and month. While 1,667 words are the average daily goal, maybe your goal needs to only be 1,000 words a day or maybe you write a lot and want your daily goal to be 2,000 words!

I also recommend if you have the time during the day, to split your NaNo writing session into two or even three sessions. For example, on the weekends (this is only what happens during Camp NaNo or NaNo, I don’t do this every weekend!) I like to write for three 30 minute sessions because, in the end, I finish the day with up to 3,000 words! That way, I still have time to get other things done but still get a lot of writing done. Figure out what works best for you in order to attain your personal daily goal so you can finish the day with the largest amount of words possible!

Step 3: Set Up a Reward System

Now that you have your big and small goals created, it is time to put in place a fun reward system! Whenever you hit a big, overall goal, like you write 50,000 words in NaNoWriMo, reward yourself with a big reward! For example, when I reach 50k I plan on giving myself a weekend free of writing where I get to watch Netflix and basically do whatever I want. November is not only busy because of NaNoWriMo, but also because school really picks up for me during this month so I know I am going to be exhausted by the time November 30th rolls around. When it comes to the smaller, daily goals, I like to give myself little rewards at the end of the week if I have written 5-7 days of that last week. Here are some smaller reward ideas!:

  • 30 mins of Netflix
  • A writing session at a coffee shop!
  • 30 mins at the gym (I know this might not be a reward exactly, but if you use some spare time to workout you will feel AMAZING. Trust me)
  • Reading time! (I don’t know about you, but finding time to read the books I want has been incredibly hard, so this will definitely be a reward for me)
  • Adventure to the bookstore

Step 4: Displaying Your Goals

It is important to have these goals AND your possible rewards displayed somewhere you will always see them. Whether that is when you first wake up or when you sit down to write, have them put up somewhere looking all pretty and exciting for you to see and be reminded of. I know you probably already wrote these goals down, but now take a clean piece of paper and make them colourful and lively; something that will catch your eye.

Okay! Those are the four steps to creating smart goals for NaNoWriMo! Now, to make sure these are truly smart and achievable goals, ask yourself if you know what your overall goals are for the month and how you are going to achieve each one. Know each step, or at least have it written out for you, and remind yourself of the deadlines and rewards for when you finish them!

I hope you found this blog post helpful and that you enjoyed it! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post, as well as my social media accounts which are all linked down below for more bookish and writing related content. Thanks 🙂

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Reading + Writing Update!

Happy Sunday!

Since I didn’t update you all last week, I have a lot to update you all. Long story short, I am currently reading six books. Yeah, six. How did this happen you might ask? Well, I just kept picking up and starting books I wanted to read (some re-reads), and here I am. I am just going to roll with it though and focus on two or three at a time (still a lot, but some of these are books I have to read for school!) until I get through them all…hopefully by the end of October. Anyways, because I have so many books that I am currently reading, I am not going to write a paragraph because it would be MASSIVE. Instead, I will do a quick, to the point update.

Books Finished:

Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia – Finished on October 6th – LOVED re-reading it 5/5 stars

Currently Reading:

Traplines by Eden Robinson – Progress: 70/215 pages (none since the last update)

City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare (audiobook) – 6ish/12 hours (4 more hours since the last update) – Still enjoying my re-read of this series!

Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden – 191/384 pages (started it on Oct 5th) – Not exactly my cup of tea but I have to read it for school so I am getting through it…slowly

Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi – 80/394 pages (started it on Oct 8th) – Enjoying it a lot so far, especially its atmosphere (college, coffee shops, and romance!)

The Light Between Worlds by Laura E. Weymouth – 50/325 pages (started it on Oct 10th) – Re-reading this hauntingly beautiful story for my review of it since it is getting released to the world this month on Oct 23rd!

Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier (audiobook) – 1.5/8.5 hours (started this today!) – I really wanted to re-read this trilogy during the fall and thought it would be smarter to re-visit them via audiobook. Loving it of course!

Okay, that was a lot easier than writing out a monstrous paragraph. Anyways, as for writing, I haven’t done too, too much. I have done a few hours of NaNoWriMo prep since it is right around the corner though. I have re-outlined the first act (almost), some of the magic system, and characters as well. I still need to finish re-outlining the second and third as well as a few more characters, but other than that I think I will be set for November! This weekend I actually did do a little bit of writing. I am re-vamping a short story I wrote almost a year ago for my writing portfolio, and have written about 700 new words of it so far. Hopefully, I will finish my first draft of re-writes for it this week, but I am not rushing it.

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

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The Shadow King

Happy Friday!

One sort of “resolution” for my blog was to share my own writing from time to time…so that is what I am doing! This is an older story of mine…maybe like from 1.5 years ago when I was 15, but I still wanted to share it because it is polished and well, finished. Can’t really say that about any other of my other writing projects…but anyways, if you want to critique it or give me feedback, don’t hesitate! Tell me you like it, tell me you hate it…whatever your heart contents.


 

Her cloak was a flashing torrent of black as she zipped through the forest. Gnarled roots twisted out of the ground, but the princess skipped over them with beads of sweat dripping down her face and thighs screaming of pain. Her blue nightgown caught on a root and she slammed into a tree trunk, gasping, pushing the hood of her cloak off of her inky curls. She dropped to her knees, exhaustion blurring the edges of her vision. Her eyes scanned around. The towering trees had swallowed her up, shielding her from the outside world with their bushy tops. When she looked over her shoulder there was no sign of her castle in the distance, its vine-twisted, cobblestone walls and candlelit windows now just a faint memory of bitter times.

A silver coin winked down at her from high up in the sky, sprinkles of gold-dusted around it. The moon. Had she been running for that long already? She looked around. Night had settled over the forest. It cast its thick shadows which danced in the small slivers of moonlight, and its crisp wind which swept through the leaves. Pinching her lips together, she pushed herself to her feet and wandered deeper into the forest. The princess’s shoulders tensed, her neck angled and grey eyes keen as they scanned around.

Crunch. She stopped, breath trapped in her chest and fingers halting mid twitch. Goosebumps sprouted along her arms as she took another step forward, the icy claw of fear seizing her throat.

Snap. Her heart leapt from her chest and onto the ground. She placed a hand over her gaping mouth. Past the darkness, something flailed from behind a tree, and a deep groan echoed throughout the forest. Fingers trembling and knees wobbling, she shuffled towards the tree, carefully skirting around it in a big arc. Behind it, a wedge of moonlight trickled down onto a pile of leaves. Something twitched on those leaves; a body angled oddly with a face concealed in the shadows of the night. The princess swallowed down the bulging lump in her throat.

“Hello?” she croaked and then cleared her throat, balling her hands into shaky fists. “Hello?” she called out again. A wheezy breath rattled in the lungs of the body at her feet. The princess grimaced. “Excuse me…are you okay?” Several heartbeats passed, and she was only answered by silence.

Help me,” a raspy voice hissed, and she whirled around, expecting to see someone lurking behind her but there was nothing. It was the lump on the leaves that spoke. She turned back around, her stomach flipping at the face which was now illuminated in the pale moonlight. It was the face of a young man with sickly skin so white traces of blue veins shone underneath, and dark streaks of blood and dirt were slashed across his cheeks. He blinked, his eyes a dull blue, like the sky before a rainstorm. The princess could tell his eyes were once a brilliant blue, maybe even like the ocean on a summer day, but now they were leeched of their colour and empty. His clothes were torn and tattered, and like his face, blood and dirt stained. Her eyes flicked down to his arms and legs, which had deep, bloody gashes carved into them. The princess looked away, fist pressed against her sealed lips.

“What happened to you?” she asked breathlessly. His blue eyes darted around nervously, and his skin was shiny with sweat. The princess’s heart twisted, and she reached down for his frail hand. It was ice cold and thin under hers. He glanced down at their hands, his entire body tremoring before relaxing.

“What happened to you?” She shook her head. “Who did this to you?”

“The…” he started, his voice hitching and his eyes wide. “The Shadow King.” The princess flew away from him like he had suddenly caught on fire, the blood slowly draining itself from her body. “I was a prisoner,” he continued, pulling his arms and legs to his chest, “for two years in his castle.” He shuddered, eyes fluttering shut as poisonous memories tainted his mind. A seed of uneasiness planted itself in her stomach, and she no longer felt as sympathetic for the young man as she did a few seconds ago.

“How did you escape?” she asked, shaking as that name rang inside her mind. The Shadow King. Her mother used to tell her stories of a king who lived underneath their land for centuries. An ambitious king made of darkness and shadows who was tired of living beneath the feet of humans. A king who was building up an army to take over the lands above. The only thing was that it wasn’t a story, but a fragment of history people chose to forget. Until now.

“He let me go,” the young man said, leaning over and coughing. A dark liquid blossomed on the ground next to him and the world tilted under the princess’s feet.

“The Shadow King doesn’t just…let people go,” she said as the young man rolled onto his back, sweat dribbling down his forehead and his chest heaving up and down. The princess bit her lip. “Tell me the truth.” The young man sighed and looked up at her through the corner of his eyes, defeat and exhaustion painted in grey all over his face.

“He-he let me go to-to,” he started, squeezing his eyes shut and grimacing. “T-to deliver a message to the King of Nordom.” The world around her faded, all noise becoming just a faint static in her ears. She shook her head, lips parted. What message would the Shadow King give to my father? What does this mean?

“What is it?” she asked, head snapping up as everything came back into focus. The young man stared blankly at her. She pushed the stray pieces of hair from her face and glared down at him. “I am princess Adelyn of Nordom,” she hissed viciously, startling him and herself. She had never known herself as the kind to hiss, or be vicious. The princess glanced away, shaking her head. “Just tell me. Please.”

“The Shadow King said,” the young man started slowly and hesitantly, licking his dry lips, “that the world will not end in a bang or a crash, but with one scream at a time…u-until there is nothing left,” he paused, lips shaping invisible words. In his lap, his fingers fiddled with each other. “A-and that end is the next Harvest moon.” The world was a carpet being yanked out beneath her feet. Her knees wobbled and she fell onto the forest floor. The next Harvest moon? That was only four days away! Her stomach flopped and flipped like a fish out of water as fear washed over her in monstrous waves, her skin clammy and chest tightening until no air was left. She dragged her eyes to the young man. He was suddenly still and unmoving. Pushing herself to her feet, she walked over to him, arms crossed over her chest as if to defend her from the bitterness of reality. He still didn’t move. Not even when a stick snapped under her foot, the sound echoing sharply throughout the forest.

“Young man?” she asked, bending down next to him and shaking him gently. No response. She leaned over him and gasped. His blue eyes were open and glassy, and he wasn’t blinking. Letting out a soft breath, she closed his eyes with her fingers before scrambling away and retching beside a tree trunk. Tears trickled down her cheeks in winding streams, sobs silent but stabbing pains in her chest. She stared up at the night sky.

The King’s message played over and over in her head. She realized what she had to do. Adelyn had to go back. She had to go home to her parents and warn her people, despite all the mistakes they made she still loved them.

It was only a matter if they would love her back.

Slowly she backed away from the dead body on the ground, and then spun around, breaking into a sprint. The tears continued to roll down her cheeks, the same words playing on a loop in her mind, inching her closer to the edge of insanity.

The world will not end with a bang or a crash, but with one scream at a time. Until there is nothing left.

Those words sounded insane, the product of one who sees ghosts and talks to the moon like she is a friend, but the princess gripped those words to her chest as she ran through the forest, cradling their power and hoping that it was all enough.

How to Write More During NaNoWriMo

Okay, before we get into this post I just wanted to let you guys know that this blog post is a collab with descript.com! I am really excited to be collabing with them because their website works really well with what a lot of my blog posts have been about lately (prepping for NaNoWriMo) so honestly, it was the perfect time for them to approach me. Of course, I would not be collabing with them if I didn’t really think their website would be helpful to you all and it definitely is so I cannot wait to tell you all about it below! Okay, now to the actual blog post…


Image result for nanowrimo

NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is all about trying to write 50,000 words in 30 days, and that is no easy task by any means. To help make it a little easier though, I will be sharing 5 tips on how to write more during the month of November and get a little closer to that 50k goal! If you have been keeping up with my blog this month, you probably noticed that I have been posting Preptober posts every Monday to help with prepping for NaNoWriMo. However, this is a little bonus, Preptober blog post because it is Wednesday, not Monday so I hope you enjoy!

Descript.com

Image result for descript

As I mentioned above, this is a collab with descript.com. Basically, Descript is a transcribing website where you can record audio for a podcast, video, or even your NaNoWriMo project, and then insert that audio onto their website. They will transcribe your audio and allow you to physically edit the words you spoke! It is great because if you don’t have the time to sit down and physically write, you can talk out your story and transcribe when you get the chance. It is also a great way to break through writer’s block because sometimes we just need to talk things out and get those creative juices flowing to finally find the motivation to write again. If you want to learn more about how descript.com can help you overcome writer’s block, especially during NaNoWriMo, check out their super informative blog post all about it HERE. Also, if you decide to give their website a try (you get 30 mins of it free when you sign up, but it is pretty affordable if it is something you think you will use!) let me know how you liked it and what you used it for 🙂

Freewrite In the AM

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One thing I have gotten back into recently is journalling right when I wake up in the morning. I sit down with some coffee at around 6am and try to write at least a page of my thoughts, feelings, and goals for the day. Journalling is a great way to get your creativity flowing early on in the day and it sets you up for writing success later on. Instead of writing about what’s on your mind though, especially during NaNoWriMo, you could freewrite a short story or part of your NaNoWriMo project just to get you started for the day. This warms up my mind and helps me crank out 1-3k words each day!

Listen to 88 Cups of Tea with Yin Chang!

Image result for 88 cups of tea

Whenever I am feeling unmotivated or I just really need to sit down and get some words down for the day, I know that I can always count on the amazing podcast 88 Cups of Tea with Yin Chang. I have been a HUGE fan of this podcast for over 2 years now…wow, that’s a long time, and I recommend it with my whole heart. It features people of different creative backgrounds like writers, actors, and literary agents who offer really useful advice for pursuing creativity. I always finish each episode itching for my computer so definitely check it out throughout the month of November!

Plan Goals for Each Writing Session

I don’t always do this but I wish I did because it helps me immensely in determining how productive my next writing session will be. After a writing session, I like to first off, take a step back and breath because I probably had been writing for a while. Secondly, I like to take a piece of paper and a pen, and looking at my outline, see what major(ish) beats I need to hit next. These are just 1-3 major (or minor, but still important) points I need to hit in the next scene in order to make it exciting, interesting, and also easier for me to write. This way I still let my panster side run wild in the next writing session, but I have a loose map I can still follow so I don’t get lost. I recommend trying this to see if it works for you and if it doesn’t, that’s alright! If it does, that is awesome because it always helps me so, so much when I do this.

Set Aside 1-2 Hours of Self-Care Each Day

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I talk about taking breaks a lot in my writing posts but it is just something that all writers need to keep being reminded of, so here I am, mentioning it again. I’ve talked about how you can set aside one day a week for self-care, or like an hour at night every once and a while, but I am back with a slightly different tip. I am challenging you to take 1-2 hours every. Single. Night to focus on yourself. After a day of writing, working, and existing, you need time. So, take this hour or so to watch TV, read, or just lie down and exist. This is super important to do, especially during NaNoWriMo, so you don’t burn yourself out. I get a little wound up when NaNoWriMo hits, and usually spend a lot of time at my computer and my back does NOT appreciate that. So, my goal for this November (apart from writing 50k) is to take a 1-2 hour break for just me every night (probably 8-10pm) to relax.

Those are my 5 tips on how to write more during NaNoWriMo and I hope you enjoyed! Don’t forget to check out Descript.com and their blog post all about how to use their website to overcome writer’s block because it is a really cool and efficient way to write this November! Also, make sure you check out my last blog post and all of my social media accounts linked below for more writing and bookish related fun. Thanks 🙂

Last Blog Post: Preptober Week 2 – Are You Planning Enough?

 

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Preptober Week 2 – Are You Planning Enough?

Happy Monday!

First of all, before we get into this Preptober post, I wanted to apologize for not having my usual, weekly reading and writing update up yesterday and having this blog post up later than usual. I’m Canadian so it was my Thanksgiving weekend (and still is) and I was visiting family and just did not have time to sit down and write a blog post, let alone pre-write blog posts for the week which is what I usually do. But that’s ok! I am back now with this brand new Preptober post that I hope you all enjoy 🙂


Image result for nanowrimo

Are you prepping enough?

This is a really important question when it comes to preparing for the event that is NaNoWriMo because it has time constraints and a massive goal surrounding it…and because of that, you don’t have the time to continue outlining in November because that is the time you need to spend writing your story! So, to make sure your prepping doesn’t get carried out in November, here are some tips and tricks and things to keep in mind during Preptober.

Sit Down and PLAN

Sit down with your notebook right now (well, after you finish reading this post!) and plan out your characters, world, history, plot, and the overall synopsis of your story. Just sit down and go through all of that, making as much progress as you can in each section. Those are 5 things that you MUST have in-depth, detailed planning for otherwise, you will still be planning in NaNoWriMo.

I recommend having at least 2 pages of information for each character, like AT THE VERY LEAST. This will include their age, race, family, likes/dislikes, personality, past, etc, etc. When you plan out the world and the history, I recommend planning it out like it is a book that is going to be read in schools across the world. However, remember that you are always, always going to know more than your readers, so if you have a lot of info about your world and its history, don’t freak out about trying to fit that all into your story…no, no, a lot of that is just for you so you can write the best story ever. With your plot, this is where you can tweak things depending on the type of writer you are. If you are a plotter, you are going to have pages of plot and like, every scene plotted and connected to others. If you are more of a pantser like me (although, I have been forcing myself to plan a lot for this project), then you are going to want to just have enough to get you through your story. I recommend having a good idea of the beginning, middle and end, and how all those parts are going to connect. These are all super important things to plan, and you need to make sure you plan all of this otherwise you might get disappointed when November 30th comes around and your still several thousand words short on your project.

Ask Questions

Okay, when you finish planning and plotting (and this does take time, like at least a whole month sometimes!), you need to figure out if you actually know what you are writing. Yeah sure, you can sit down and fill a notebook with info but that doesn’t always mean that you are ready to write your story. That is why we answer some questions about our project just to make sure. Here are some questions I ask myself:

  • If someone asked me what my project was about, what would I say? How would I describe it? Do I have a good synopsis that someone who has no knowledge of my story would understand?
  • How would the characters in my world react to some of the things happening in MY world? Or things that happened in my world a long time ago? What part would they have in it, or would they not have any part in it at all?
  • Do I know my ending? Do I know how I am going to get there? (P.S. I don’t always know my ending, but I have noticed over the years that it really does help to have an overall idea on what that ending is…it makes for a better story and also makes it easier for you to write and edit.)
  • If I had to teach a history lesson of this world I created, what would be the 5 major events I would focus on? These are the 5 major events that people in the future could not ignore or forget. How do these events affect this world now? 
  • If my characters were all together and witnessed someone in need (someone fell down, dropped their groceries, etc, etc), how would they respond? Who would help? Who would pretend they didn’t see it and carry on with their day? Who would just watch? 

These are just SOME question ideas you can ask yourself and of course, tailor to your own story. I recommend asking anywhere from 10-15 questions because they will really test your knowledge on your world and characters to make sure you are ready for NaNoWriMo. If you have trouble answering one or two questions, maybe head back to your outline and go over what you wrote, adding whatever needs to be added so you can answer these questions!

Make a Story Bible

What is a story bible? Why do I need one? These are both very valid questions that guess what? I am going to be answering right now! So, a story bible is a handy little notebook, a piece of paper, the backside of a napkin or really whatever, that has some basic info on your story that is ready for you to access whenever. It can have the first and last names of characters, the five major historical events that affect your world, or just really anything that is necessary to your story and will be needed lots. For example, my WIP deals with lots of mythology so I have the names of some immediate gods and also character names in my little, handy notebook. It is great to turn to while writing instead of having to dig through all your notes to find whatever it is you need. It saves time and stress so make one and fill it with whatever you need.

There it is! My three major tips to make sure you are planning enough for NaNoWriMo and are chugging along on the path of success. I really hope you found this all helpful and for even more tips, check out my last Preptober blog post here where I give a quick overview on how to get ready for NaNoWriMo this year. I link a lot of great worksheets for building characters, world-building, and creating your plot so check those out! Also, make sure you check out my last blog post and social media accounts which are always linked below for more writing and reading related fun. Thanks!

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Preptober Week 1 – Getting Started

Happy October!

October is one of my favourite months because it is rainy, spooky, and also the month before NaNoWriMo, Preptober! I will be spending Preptober working on re-outlining my WIP to write technically draft 3, but since I didn’t fully finish writing draft 2, I’m going to call it draft 2.5. But anyway, in today’s post I will be talking about determining your NaNoWriMo project and getting ready for a month of prepping. I hope it’s helpful and let’s just get into it!

NaNoWriMo_logo_w_words

Quick Questions to Ask Yourself About Your Project:

  • What genre is it?
  • Who is telling the story?
  • What are the major plot points in this story that you NEED to hit?
  • Who is it for? Young adults, middle grade, adults?
  • How would you describe it in one sentence?
  • Why are you writing this story? For yourself, for someone else, just because?
  • When are you going to try and write? Early mornings, late at night?
  • What are 3 things that you do to motivate yourself to write? Go for a walk, read a book, watch some AuthorTube?
  • What are you going to use to write this story? A notebook and pen, your laptop, a typewriter?

Step 1: Meet Your Characters

Who are they? What do they do? Who are their friends, their enemies, their lovers, their family? What are their strengths and weaknesses? What are their fears? Their passions? What do they hate? If they could change one thing about themselves, what would that be? There are so many questions to ask them and on Tomi Adeyemi’s website (author of Children of Blood and Bone), she has a great selection of character sheets for you to print off so click HERE for them!

Step 2: Create Your World

Whether you are creating a magical world or writing a story in our world, you still need to build it. If you are creating a brand new one, draw maps, write up the world’s history like its battles, leaders, etc. Know who the leader of it is and how the political system works and such. If you are using our world, how do your characters and plot fit into it? Where does it take place? What year? What month? Here is a link to someone’s blog post I found for some more ideas of what to consider in your world if you need some more ideas!

Step 3: Build Your Plot

Now that you have your characters and world, build your plot around them. How do they interact with the plot? What sort of plot would make sense with these characters and world? I would recommend having like 9 main plot points that you need to hit throughout your story, and then connect them with the strings (subplots) to keep your story at a good pace and still interesting! Again, Tomi Adeyemi has some amazing posts regarding plot so for more ideas and insight, click HERE. Just scroll down until you see the PLOT related posts but as I was linking this, I realized that she also has a FREE plot course! That is amazing so if you are interested, click HERE.

Step 4: Keep Organized

You have this information so make sure you keep it all organized! Separate characters from world building from the plot but keep it in a place where you can easily access it whenever you need. I recommend a physical notebook over keeping things on your laptop, but whatever is easier and works best for you, do that! If you prefer staying organized on your computer, I do have some recommendations that I’ve used and liked in the past: Scrivener, Evernote, Word, Google Docs.

Step 5: Create a (Loose) Schedule

One thing I stand by is to try and stick to a schedule during the first week of NaNoWriMo. If it doesn’t work out, then whatever, just write when you can, but if it does stick then you will get so much more done! You will get in the habit of writing at certain times and when that time comes, you will actually feel like writing. Or at least feel like you should be writing. For example, recently I have been getting up a little earlier on weekdays and writing a bit. Sometimes only for 30 mins but sometimes even more than that. It allows me to start my day off being productive and makes sure I get some words in each day. I also write in the later afternoon after I get home from school and relaxed a bit, but before dinner time. These are the times that have recently been working for me but sometimes change. And that’s okay! I recommend spending October trying to figure out a potential writing schedule because if it works, NaNoWriMo will be sooo much easier.

More Fun Things to Get You Ready for NaNoWriMo:

Videos: Preptober|Planning Your Novel for NaNoWriMo – Kristen Martin

NaNoWriMo Prep|Survival Kit – Natalia Leigh

Blog Posts: NaNoWriMo Prep #1, #2, #3, #4 – by ME!

That is all I have for this week’s Preptober post and I hope you enjoyed and found it helpful! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts all linked below. Thanks 🙂

Last Blog Post: Reading + Writing Update

 

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September 2018 TBR

As well as the summer went for reading, I know for a fact that September will be nowhere near that. Not only am I starting my senior year of high school, but I am also taking a writing class at university. I will be juggling all these classes, trying to keep up a social life, writing as much as I can, and still trying to post consistently to my blog and social media. So yeah, September will be a hectic month and I don’t know when I am going to have the time or energy to read but if I do, here is the list of books I want to get to!

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

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This is one of my favourite books to read during the beginning of the school year because it takes place for a lot of it at school. It also gives me all the cozy, fall/winter vibes that get me excited (well as excited as you can get) for school and the colder weather. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before follows a 16 year old girl named Lara Jean whose secret love letters mysteriously get sent out to all the boys she has loved before, and she finds herself having to fake a relationship with the most popular guy in school to keep her sister’s ex-boyfriend from finding out her true feelings for him. This is such a fun and adorable story, and I will definitely be re-watching the movie (for the millionth time) right after re-reading it for all the feels.

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi 

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I really wanted to get to this book read in August but I just ran out of time and took longer to read other books than I expected. Anyways, this book is MASSIVE so I can see it taking me the entire month of September to read. Since I have heard such amazing things about it though, I am hoping that I fall so in love with the story that I can’t help but just read, read, read. I don’t know too much about the plot, but I do know this is a YA fantasy book inspired by West African mythology and ugh, I am so excited.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

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Since I want to get reading done in September still, I want my TBR to be mostly contemporary based so I get through them quickly. Fangirl follows a girl named Cath who is starting her freshman year of college with her twin sister, Wren. While Cath is shy and socially awkward, Wren is bubbly and extroverted, finding it easier to fit in at this new school than Cath. However, when Cath meets her roommate Reagan and her best friend, Levi, she starts to slowly break out of her shell a bit more. This is one of my favourite contemporaries to read during the fall time because it gives me school and cozy vibes like To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.

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Those are all the books I plan to get to in September and I know it isn’t very long, but if I somehow manage to read all three, I will be pretty proud with myself. Don’t forget to check out my last blog post and all of my social media accounts linked down below 🙂

Last Blog Post: Reading + Writing Update!

 

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Reading + Writing Update – BookTubeAThon Days 6 +7

I have been TERRIBLE at updating y’all on my reading progress this readathon, but it is the last day of the BookTubeAThon and I am here to update you all on what I did manage to get done.

The last few days have just been a weird type of busy. I haven’t been productive whatsoever, but it has been a blur of going out with friends and kind of being social. Sadly, my reading and writing suffered because of it, and I did not get nearly as much done this week as I hoped…First off, I never did finish Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman but I am about 200 pages in and in love with it. Hopefully I will be able to finish the last half of it early this coming week, because there are so many books I am anxious to get to in the last few weeks of my summer vacation: The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater, Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi, Love & War by Melissa De La Cruz…yeah the list goes on and on. I did get four and a half books read this readathon though, which is more than I would read any other week so I am not too upset about that. The books I did manage to finish were:

  • Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire – 4/5 stars
  • Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins – 4.5/5 stars
  • City of Bones by Cassandra Clare – 4.5/5 stars
  • Fullmetal Alchemist Volume One by Hiromu Arakawa – 4/5 stars

As for writing…I think I only wrote like 7k words this week which is a lot less than what I usually write, but still better than nothing. I am almost 70k deep into my current WIP which is crazy and I am so, so excited to keep inching closer to the end. I have not written in like three WHOLE days which is crazy, and I am itching to write, but I know my creative well really needed a lengthy creative break. Apart from my WIP, I also wanted to have a short story written and then jump into edits this coming week, however that definitely did not happen. There were a lot of gaps in my outline of it so I am going to go back and reshape it before attempting to write it again this week. Hopefully it will go quicker than the first attempt, because I really do want to have a good handful of short stories ready to send around by the end of August!

Anyways, that is all I have to update you on and I hope you enjoyed following me along my BookTubeAThon 2018 journey! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post, as well as all my social media accounts which are linked down below. Thanks for reading 🙂

Last Blog Post: Reading Update – BookTubeAThon Day 4 + 5

 

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Reading + Writing Update!

This week has been incredibly productive reading and writing wise so I am especially excited to share my progress with you all today!

It is currently April 8th and I have already finished two books already this month! For me, that is crazy because for the last month or two, two books is all I have managed to get done. It also means I am only reading one book instead of four, which is also a relief. Last night I finished The Book Thief by Markus Zusak and overall I enjoyed it, but I absolutely flew through those last one hundred pages because it was so good! Highly recommend. Now I will be finishing off Labyrinth Lost which I have about one hundred pages left of, and then diving head first into The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson, a book that has been on my TBR since what feels like the beginning of time.

Image result for CAMP NANOWRIMO

I cannot believe the first week of Camp NaNoWriMo is done. It went by so fast and I am incredibly proud of how much I managed to get done, all on top of also writing a short story for a literary magazine. My daily word goal to achieve 40,000 words by the end of the month is 1,334 words, and the days I did write, I easily achieved that. My average was actually about 2,000 words a day which was great, because the words just kept flowing! However, I wrote absolutely nothing on Thursday and Friday because a friend from out of town came, but I managed to catch up on Saturday! I will leave my daily word counts below though just to see how well I did. Since I took two whole days off I am going to try and not do that again because catching up was a little stressful, especially this specific weekend when I have to study for a chemistry midterm and have about a billion assignments due…but it was nice to see I could actually do it.

Day 1: 2,086 words

Day 2: 2,216 words

Day 3: 1,344 words

Day 4: 2,000 words

Day 5: 0 words

Day 6: 0 words

Day 7: 2,389 words

Weekly Total: 10,035 words

That is all for my reading and writing update and I hope you enjoyed! What books did you just finish? How is your Camp NaNoWriMo going? Let me know in the comments below! Also, don’t forget to check out my last blog post and my Camp NaNoWriMo ones linked down below.

Last Blog Post: Things All Aspiring Writers Should Do

Camp NaNoWriMo 2018: Week 1: My Writing Survival Kit

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