NaNoWriMo 2017 Week 4: Keeping Yourself Interested

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

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

Writing Resources:

NaNoWriMo YouTube Channel

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

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

That is all for my NaNoWriMo tip post for this week and I hope you enjoyed. Don’t forget to check out my last blog post: Reading/Writing Update!

Reading/Writing Update!

to-all-the-boys-ive-loved-before

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

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

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

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

NaNoWriMo 2017 Week 3: Tips for Staying On Track!

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

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

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

Tip #2: Come Up with a Plan

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

Tip #3: Stick with the Plan!

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

Tip #4: Reward Yourself

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

Tip #5: Don’t Lose Hope!

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

Current NaNoWriMo Word Count: 18, 695

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

 

NaNoWriMo 2017 Week 2: Tips and Tricks!

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

Tips/Tricks to a Successful Rest of NaNoWriMo:

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

Craft Book Recommendations:

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

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

 

NaNoWriMo and Reading Update!

Image result for clockwork angel pdf

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

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

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

Day 1: 1840 words

Day 2: 2043 words

Day 3: 1504 words

 

Total: 5387

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

NaNoWriMo Prep #5

This is the very last NaNoWriMo Prep before NaNoWriMo 2017 finally begins! I am so excited and have been prepping and planning like crazy this weekend, so I am counting down the days until I can finally get all my thoughts and ideas down on paper, or well my computer screen. Anyways, today I decided to share with you guys what I put in my designated “NaNo” journal so that while writing, I can flip through it and stay on track with my thoughts!

 

The First Few Pages:

I use the first few pages of my NaNo journal to introduce my story to me, and generally they look a little like this:

  • Plot summary with key points about my plot/world
  • Q+A Page where I ask myself important, key questions about my world and then answer them in lengthy responses
  • Quick 3 act structure where I outline, briefly, what I want to happen in each section of my story

Character Profiles:

After those three points that I listed above, I jump straight into character profiles because I love creating my characters and getting to know them. Some things I include when describing and creating them are:

  • Their name (obviously) as well as age, “title”, background and if they have any powers
  • Personality
  • Physical appearance
  • Likes/Dislikes
  • Fears
  • Hobbies
  • Family

The Juicy Stuff:

Once character profiles are finished, I generally get into the more juicy and complex stuff. This usually takes up a few pages for each topic, and some of the topics I explore on for this part of my NaNo journal are:

  • The powers of my world that characters can or do possess
  • Possible heritages characters can have
  • Legends/myths of my world
  • History
  • More detailed 3 act structure with key plot points I want/need to hit

Random Facts:

Sometimes things about my world hit me at odd times and I don’t always generally know where they fit into my NaNo journal…so when that does happen, I usually have a page or two designated to “random facts” about my world or characters or really anything. It may be a bit messy and unorganized, but as long as I have it jotted down I am good to go.

Word Count Tracker:

This is a new feat for my NaNo journal, and basically what this section is, is a few pages where I write down day 1, day 2, day 3 and so on, and write down the word count goal I have for that day. I am a very optimistic person when it comes to NaNoWriMo and despite my hectic schedule for November, I have given myself a daily word count goal of 2000 words. Crazy I know. But I also have a section on my page where I write down what I actually wrote that day, just so I can see how unrealistic my word count goal is and whether or not I need to edit it. 2000 usually works for me which is why I chose it, but as always we will see!

Image result for inspirational writing quotes

That is a basic overview of my NaNo journal and I hope you enjoyed! Comment below how you organize yourself for NaNoWriMo and also what genre of story you plan on writing; mine is fantasy! Also don’t forget to check out my last blog post: Reading/Writing Update!

Reading/Writing Update!

I have about 100 pages left of Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare, and I am determined to finish it before the weekend is over…or at least before the end of October next week. One thing I really want to do is have a mini readathon tomorrow, being Sunday, a day where I plan on having absolutely NO plans. All I want to do is sit down and finish Clockwork Angel and then jump into the next book, Clockwork Prince. Lately reading has been on the back burner, but not reading makes me so sad because all I see in my bedroom are unread, unhappy books! I really want reading to be a high priority for me, especially when I get really busy with other things because it is one of the best stress relievers.

Currently I am taking a creative writing class, and I am really enjoying it! So far I have only done a few little assignments, but it has been really interesting to see how a creative writing class is formatted and laid out since I have never taken one before. I am also scrambling to finish prepping for NaNoWriMo because it starts in 4 days! Can you believe it? I have an idea mapped out but I am still working out the plot points and some other fine detailing…fingers crossed I will be ready for Wednesday. I am also looking forward to hopefully attending a few NaNoWriMo Write-Ins at my local library, but we will see if time allows. I would love to connect with other Wrimos and just talking about NaNoWriMo has me so excited.

That is all for my reading and writing update and I hope you enjoyed. Don’t forget to check out my last blog post: November 2017 TBR…as well as all my NaNoWriMo Prep posts!

NaNoWriMo Prep #4

Only one more week of prepping before NaNoWriMo hits us full force! Are any of you feeling the crushing pressure? If so don’t worry! In this blog post I will be giving some worldbuilding tips because I accumulated some amazingly helpful ones from a writing conference I recently attended, as well as some helpful tips to keep you calm and prepared for NaNoWriMo 2017. Enjoy!

Worldbuilding: 

  • Good worldbuilding incorporates aspects of our world that we take for granted
  • Worldbuilding takes place through the character’s eyes, not the writers
  • Think of diversity and ignore tropes
  • Remember: worlds are defined by the people who live there!
  • While worldbuilding is important, remember the story is the main focus
  • Know about our world before you build your own
  • Include sensory when describing your world to your readers!

Things to Keep in Mind About NaNoWriMo:

  • Remember that this is your story and nobody else can write it but you
  • You are your worst critic and it probably isn’t as bad as you think!
  • Don’t fret about the 50,000 word count…write what you can and it will still be a massive accomplishment!

Awesome TED Talks Playlist:

https://www.ted.com/playlists/194/10_talks_from_authors

Those are some tips and things to keep in mind as NaNoWriMo approaches and I hope you enjoyed. Don’t forget to check out my last blog post: Reading/Writing Update!

 

 

 

NaNoWriMo Prep #3

We are already at the halfway point of October, aka NaNoWriMo prep month, which is absolutely insane. I really need to get a move on with my story and what I have planned for it, because the rest of this month will go by in the blink of an eye. Today, I will be sharing some helpful tips when it comes to world building and really solidifying whatever you have created in your head, and I hope you enjoy!

Things to Keep in Mind When World Building:

  • When building a fantasy or sci-fi world, base everything around at least one real thing – Worlds in the fantasy and sci-fi genres can get pretty crazy sometimes, and while you do have the freedom to create whatever you want, it has to somewhat make sense. Just base everything around one common and understood fact, and the rest will make sense!
  • Add your own twist – It is fine to have a world that is similar to others like the Harry Potter world or the Percy Jackson world, but add your own elements to make it unique and your own. Yes, we all love a good wizarding world, but sometimes we get tired of reading the same stories over and over again so make sure to make it your own!
  • Know the Facts – You can’t build a good world without knowing the facts. Know the history of your world, and why it is the way it is, even if your readers are not going to read about that part of it at all. You have to understand it before they can!

“Relax, not every page has to be a masterpiece.” – Unknown

“A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.” – Thomas Mann

“Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s.” – Stephen King

That is it for this quick NaNoWriMo prep post on world building and I hope you enjoyed. Don’t forget to check out my last blog post: Reading/Writing Update!

Reading/Writing Update!

Related image

It has been quite a few years since I have read The Infernal Devices trilogy by Cassandra Clare, and I forgot how much I enjoyed it! Everything from the story line to the setting (because London in the 1800s!) to the characters, it is all great. Even though I was originally planning on only rereading the first book, I think I will end up continuing with the rest of the trilogy. I also really would like to reread The Selection by Kiera Cass, because I am in the need of light, fluffy and addictive read and The Selection is the perfect option.

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

NaNoWriMo is arriving at a rapid speed and I still haven’t decided on an idea yet! I have a few ideas swirling around in my head, but I need to dedicate a few hours to really think about what I want to write and then plan it out. November is going to be a busy month between school, volunteering and NaNoWriMo, but hopefully I will be able to achieve 50k words! Next week is my writing conference though, so hopefully I will learn a lot of new things and get inspired to write for NaNoWriMo. Last year I took a lot away from this conference so I am excited to see how it goes this year!

That is all for my quick reading and writing update, and I hope you enjoyed. Don’t forget to check out my last blog post: Fantasy Recommendations for Fall/Winter!