Things I Learned From Draft One

Writing the first draft of this specific project taught me a LOT, and I wanted to share those things in a blog post because while some lessons might be the same, many will also be different.

1. Outlining is a LONG, Hard Process

I always knew outlining was a process obviously, and I knew it took time and motivation, however I realized spending about a month and a half of taking some time each day to work on it, was not enough. I am still adding and changing things to my outline for draft two. I am still having to research things to fill the holes that I should have filled in my outline, but haven’t. Make sure you determine your world, its rules, everyday life, your characters goals and motivation, magic system (if there is one) and anything else you can think of. My problem is that I will outline and then think I researched and wrote out every important thing for my story, but then realize I was missing so many key points later on. I recommend searching outlining tips or outlining worksheets online to help you gather all the main and minor ideas you need to have.

2. Just Because Your First Draft Sucks, Doesn’t Mean It’s Bad

Yeah, your first draft 100% sucks. Words are being thrown left and right, some with meaning some without, but that is okay. Just because you feel as if you word vomited about seventy thousand words onto a document, doesn’t mean the essence of the story is bad. Nobody is a great first writer, trust me. The books we read required dozens and dozens of revisions and edits from not only the author but their editor too. You can’t expect to pump out a clean first draft in one go because that it is the craft of writing. Every time you work on it, it gets a bit cleaner, and slowly, you polish it enough to see that the story hidden behind all those words was never that bad in the first place.

3. Read The Anatomy of Story by John Truby

Honestly, this book has been my savior when it comes to trying to finish outlining my story for draft three. It has everything you ever need to know and more, and will help you see storytelling in a different way. You take away so many valuable tips, tricks, and ideas from this book, and I cannot recommend it enough. I wouldn’t recommend investing in many writing craft books, but this is one of them! Little tip though, I would recommend not using it for first drafts but just knowing you will be using it for future draft will take some stress off, trust me.

4. Focusing on Hours Spent Writing Is More Beneficial Than “Words Written”

I promise you that this is SUPER important. You will get so much more done if you aim to spend an hour or maybe even two hours writing each day, instead of focusing on that pesty little word count tracker at the bottom of your page. I do three thirty minute sprints throughout the morning each day, and all I focus on is writing for that entire thirty minutes, or even writing a bit past. There has only been one or two times I have not reached 1000 words each half hour writing sprint, but other than that, this method has worked wonders for me.

5. Camp NaNoWriMo or NaNoWriMo Are Excellent Times to Start Your First Draft

Seriously though, if you happen to be close to Camp NaNoWriMo (an online writing event where you try to write as much as you can in one month – takes place April + July of every year) or NaNoWriMo (an online writing event where you try to write 50,000 words in one month – every Novemeber), then I highly recommend signing up and participating. NaNoWriMo motivates you because for once, it is not only you working on a project, but thousands of people across the world. Every one is trying to get all the words down, and it is really motivating to see how much progress you will make by the end of it! I have participated in Camp NaNo and NaNo quite a few times, and started my first draft for my WIP during Camp NaNo back in April. I reached my 50,000 words and kept going!

Those are five things I learned from draft one, and I hope you enjoyed! Currently, we are on day three of the Biannual Bibliothon, so make sure to check out ALL the blog posts I have done for it so far!

Last Blog Post: Reading + Writing Update – Summer Biannual Bibliothon 2018 + Camp NaNoWriMo Week 2

Biannual Bibliothon: Summer Biannual Bibliothon Day 1 – Favourite Vacation Spots

Reading Update – Summer Biannual Bibliothon Day 1

Summer Biannual Bibliothon Day 2 – Favourite Summer Books!

 

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Prepping for Camp NaNoWriMo #3

Welcome to week 3 of prepping for Camp NaNoWriMo 2018! Today I thought it would be a good idea to talk about researching when outlining because it is a really important part of the outlining process, more so for some than others. I know for me, my current WIP requires a lot of research and often I am asking myself these two questions: what do I really need to research? and how much is too much research?

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When it comes to researching, I recommend researching as much as you can. Do as much as you think is necessary and even a little more. It is important to know more than your readers will, so even if you don’t plan on injecting every bit of this research onto the page, it can come in handy later on. Okay, now onto the first question!

What will I really need to research?

This question depends on what kind of research you are doing. If you are researching an entirely different civilization for your book, it is pretty obvious that you will need to know what they wore, what they ate, what their government was like, what the common day looked like for them…basic things that we know about ourselves. For example, maybe you want to write a book that takes place during Ancient Greece and you are focusing on Greek mythology. Clearly you will need to research everything about the gods and the rich myths and legends that come with this ancient civilization, but it is also important that you know what they ate and what they wore and maybe even throw in a few common phrases people would say. Every little thing you throw in will add to the authenticity of your story and make it that much better. However, if you are not researching a civilization but maybe you need to know about a certain job like a scientist, that means it will be handy to know what kind of scientist they are, their pay, their hours, their duties, etc.

How much research is too much research?

The next question might be the most important one because while I just said above to research a lot, and that is true, but there is researching a lot and than there is researching too much. You should take the time to carefully research what you need to but don’t let the research take too much time away from the actual writing of your story. For me, I am giving myself 3 weeks to research (already 1 1/2 weeks in) and then wherever I am at, I need to stop and write. By the end of 3 weeks I should know enough about what I researched to actually start on my story, thus not allowing me any excuses. I recommend setting yourself a time span like this, and if you don’t feel it is enough time by the end of it, don’t worry, write anyways. You can research along the way or just blast through your first draft and research more afterwards for your second draft. The point is, don’t let researching get in the way of you writing, especially with something like Camp NaNoWriMo!

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

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September Talk 2016

I decided to start talking about the different books and movies coming out in each month  that I am excited for so I really hope you guys enjoy these upcoming blog posts! Don’t forget to check out my last post as well 🙂

Empire of Storms by Sarah J Maas – This FINAL book to the Throne of Glass series is coming out on September 6th of this year…I cannot believe it honestly. The Throne of Glass series is so epic and even though I haven’t read the 4th book, Queen of Shadows, I am still super excited for this conclusion to the series!

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo – This is the sequel to Six of Crows which by the way was a FANTASTIC book that I loved so much so as you can tell I am so pumped for the second book! Leigh Bardugo, like Sarah J Maas, has such a beautiful writing style that I simply devour. Cannot wait for September 27th which is when this book will be released into our hands!


Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children Movie!!! I am sooo excited for this movie just because the book was so interesting and unique and I am curious to see how they portray that on the screen! This movie hits the big screen on September 30th and I know for a fact I will be one of the people lining up to see this most likely amazing movie!

Those are a few of the things that I am most excited for in September and I hope some of you are too! Hope you enjoyed it and if you did give it a like or leave a comment because that always makes my day 🙂

 

 

How To: Find Motivation to Write

Hello! So I decided to do another “How To” blog post just because you guys like them and they are fun to put together so here is one on how to find motivation to write because that can be hard sometimes. Writing is hard so I want to help you guys find the motivation to push past that and just write.

Podcasts – I love podcasts, they are just fun to listen to and depending on the subject, they can be very informative. I especially love listening to writing podcasts because they motivate and inspire me to write while giving helpful tips. My ultimate favourite writing podcast is 88 Cups of Tea with Yin Chang just because she has amazing writers and artists come on and give amazing tips and quotes. Definitely check this podcast out if you haven’t!

Writing Books – I love to read so recently I began reading books on writing. I’ve read books on fantasy and sci fi writing, literature, technical writing, and really just anything that will help me become a better writer. I jot down notes that I find helpful or little quotes that inspire me to keep writing because I feel like when you look back on those notes, you may feel inspired to follow them. Reading is a very very important part of being a writer, so why not also read books on writing?

Author Talks – On YouTube you can find endless amounts of videos on whatever topic you imagine. I know for a fact there are author pep talks or author interviews on there and those always motivate me to write. Just hearing about how the author struggled at times and things they did to overcome whatever obstacles were thrown in their way will inspire you to move past your obstacles. Also, they most likely give great writing tips and information that will help you! It’s always good to listen to the pros.

Writing Tip of the Day – Remember, an idea doesn’t make a story. It’s the way the writer writes it that makes it a story.

Writing Quote of the Day – There is no greater agony than baring an untold story inside of you. Maya Angelou

 

 

August TBR 2016!!!

August is finally here and I am so excited because I have a lot of hopefully amazing books to read this month! Last month I read a ton of books and I know I won’t be able to read as much but I am still hoping to read a lot. Anyways, here are the books I have planned for this month!

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas – This is my current read and I am really enjoying it so far! High fantasy is a little hard for me to read but Sarah J Maas’s books always pull through. I am really terrible at explaining this book but I will give it a try…A Court of Thorns and Roses is about this girl named Feyre who kills a faerie by accident and is given a choice to either live in the faerie world forever or be killed. She ends up taking the offer of living in the faerie world but it is harder than it seems.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen – I am finally picking up a Jane Austen book and I have a feeling I am going to like it. Again, I am terrible at explaining what this book is about but most of you probably know or have an idea so I’ll just leave it at that…anyway’s I am really excited to be reading one of her books finally and I really hope I like it!

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling – As I mentioned in my July Wrap Up I will be reading a Harry Potter book a month! I am on to the second book and I am very excited because I really love the second one. Anyways, it is always fun jumping into the Harry Potter world and I am excited to continuing staying in it!

Bloodlines by Richelle Mead – The only thing I know about this book is that it follows Adrian and Sydney from Vampire Academy and that is good enough for me. I finished the Vampire Academy series last month and I absolutely loved it so I am really excited to read the spin off series! I know I am going to love it.

Those are all the books I plan to read in August but hopefully I’ll pick up a few more!

Camp NaNoWriMo Wrap Up!

So Camp NaNoWriMo is over and I am really sad because I had so much fun writing this month! I was doing really really well with my writing and I was even ahead 9000 words but then everything started going downhill…I don’t mean that I hit writer’s block or anything I just mean that I went on an unexpected trip for an entire week without my computer…so yeah I did not complete my 50000 words. I’m okay with that, just because I was away but it would have been nice to finish. I ended with 40000 words so that isn’t too bad and I will definitely be continuing with my story. Just because NaNoWriMo is over until November does not mean you need to stop writing! Keep writing! Anyways, overall I am pretty proud with what I wrote and I hope you guys all had a fantastic Camp NaNoWriMo and I will be back with more NaNoWriMo blog posts in November so get excited!

BookTube-A-Thon Reading Wrap Up!

Today is the last day of the BookTube-A-Thon and I am very happy to say I completed all of the books I planned on reading! BookTube-A-Thon was very fun and exciting and I really enjoyed participating in it this year and will without a doubt be participating next year! I won’t be going into full detail about what these books are about but if you are interested then check out my BookTube-A-Thon TBR 2016 post.

Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson – This was the first book I completed for challenge #1: Read a book with yellow on the cover. I really enjoy all of Morgan Matson’s books so it was fun reading this one! I am glad I chose to read this book first because it was a really easy read that set me in the mood for more reading! 4/5 stars.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling – It was so good diving back into the Harry Potter world! I flew through this book like always and loved every single second of it. I used this book for 3 challenges and they were challenge #2: Read a book after sunset, challenge #5: Read a book that is older than you, and challenge #6: Read and watch a book-to-movie adaptation. I also really loved reading the book and than rewatching the movie so that just made completing this book so much more fun! 5/5 stars.

Champion by Marie Lu – I read this book for challenge #3: Read a book you discovered through BookTube because I first heard about the Legend trilogy over BookTube. I really liked this book, but it was a bit slower than the first 2 books in the trilogy. I still flew through and overall I really enjoyed the series! 4/5 stars.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan – I completed this book for challenge #4: Read a book by one of your favourite authors. I absolutely loved re reading this book! It was easy and so much fun and it didn’t even feel like I’ve read it a couple million times… Anyways, of course I loved this book and I am so happy I decided to read it again! 4.5/stars.

Those are all the books I read during the BookTube-A-Thon! I would have chosen and read more but I went camping for the last 3 days so I decided to just read 4 books. Hope you liked it!

 

 

 

Camp NaNoWriMo Writing Tips #4

Ahh Camp NaNoWriMo is almost over and I am starting to loose motivation so I decided to make another one of these writing tip posts in case any of you are doubting your work!

Writing Tip #1 – Running out of ideas for a story? Look at a picture and write about it. A picture tells a thousand words so you should easily be able to get your ideas flowing by doing this.

Writing Tip #2 – To improve your vocabulary which is very important for a writer, subscribe to online vocab building websites because you will be able to do activities that teach you knew words that you may be able to use in your story!

Writing Tip #3 – Doubting yourself? Give yourself a writing goal to achieve every week and if you complete it reward yourself. Example: Say your goal by the end of the week is 10,000 words and if you complete it then treat yourself to a chocolate bar, or an 10 minute longer break during writing. Whatever you want.

Writing Prompt of the Day – It was like nothing happened. He didn’t remember a thing and I was off the hook, or so I thought…(From WritingPrompt.com)

Writing Quote of the Day – “Be courageous and try to write in a way that scares you a little.” – Holly Gerth

Hope you guys liked this post and I hoped it help! If you have any writing questions don’t hesitate to ask!

Camp NaNoWriMo Writing Tips #3

I really like doing these blog posts so here are some more tips, prompts and inspirational quotes for all you writers! Whether you are participating in Camp NaNoWriMo or not, I hope this will help you with your writing journey. 🙂

Writing Tip #1 – Have any of you ever been working on a writing project and then suddenly get another idea? Well here is a tip on what you should do when that happens. If you suddenly get an idea while you are writing, don’t abandon your writing project! Write down the idea in a notebook, and let it sit. Finish the project you are working on and then if you can’t stop thinking about that other idea start it! If you end up forgetting about the idea then it might not be as important as you thought it was.

Writing Tip #2 – Sometimes you just don’t want to write. I get this all the time, but don’t let that stop you from writing because to be a writer you actually need to write. Don’t let yourself stop writing just because you feel blocked. When you come to this, just free write for like ten minutes! Get your brain moving, and write about whatever you want. Write about why you don’t want to write, what else you could be doing, really anything that just keeps you writing.

Writing Prompt of the Day – You fall in love with a sorcerer who changes you into anything they want, until you… (Prompt found on WritingPrompt.com)

Writing Quote of the Day – “Hard writing makes easy reading. Easy writing makes hard reading.” – William Zinsser