NaNoWriMo 2018 Kick-Off

First of all, let me start by saying Happy Halloween! I’m sorry it’s taken me a little while to get back to the blog and talk about my writing. Truth is I didn’t accomplish very much this month. It’s now been exactly two weeks since I had my nose surgery and I’m just now starting to feel more like myself again.

For NaNoWriMo I will continue working on Troubling a Star, which I’m renaming A Familiar Story. It suits it better and will mark a new leaf for this project. I recently looked back at my plot summary for the project this weekend and fell back in love with the story. I think trying to write chronologically was messing me up, so I’ll probably be jumping around this month in an effort to maintain my enthusiasm and momentum.

November Writing Goals

The official goal for NaNoWriMo is to write 50,000 words by the end of the month, which translated to about 1,667 words per day on average. I’ve long been a proponent of each participant picking a goal that works for them and their schedule; the most important thing being participating at all. This year I will be aiming for that 50k word count goal.

Additionally, I have mini-goals for the month that relate to writing.

  • Write at least 5 minutes every day
  • Write somewhere different at least once a week
  • Use my bullet journal
  • Don’t start any new books or T.V. shows!!!

My Bullet Journal

I’ll share it next week!

❧ ☙ END NOTE ☙ ❧

Sorry this post went up a little later than I meant for it. It actually published before I was finished drafting it. I had decided not to post it, then it went up and I realized I should just polish it up.

I would like to start blogging a little more regularly, but this is not the month for me to commit to anything major. I’m planning to do at least one post per week related to NaNoWriMo and it is simply going to be a weekly log of my progress. I’ve already started it and I’m super excited about it.

Are you participating in NaNoWriMo? If so, how are you preparing?

Thank you for reading!
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OctoWriMo | NaNoWriMo Prep

Hey! Sorry for the short absence! October started with a bang and I didn’t want to burn myself out so I took a little unexpected break while I worked on other things that I want to begin to share. I’ve been working on my story, so that’s been a lot of fun!

I decided I wanted to gear up for NaNoWriMo this November by practicing in October with a modified daily word count goal. Instead of the goal of 1,667 words, I decided to merely write 1,000 minimum a day. That’s not been happening every day yet, but I’m optimistic I will end the month at that pace and with 31k words total regardless of my slow start.

I encourage anyone who is thinking about NaNoWriMo to start practicing making time to write and putting words on the page. If you want to be a writer, you don’t need to wait until November to start writing. In this post, I hope you are inspired to start writing! I’ll be sharing what I’ve been up to for the past 10 days and my revised plans for the month of NaNoWriMo Prep!

Writing This Month So Far…

As you may already know, for the past couple of months I’ve been working on my WIP currently titled Troubling a Star (TaS). The title no longer fits, but it was never meant to be a final title anyway. For the sake of continuity I will not be changing it until I’m done with the first draft! I started writing it in August with a very loose idea of the plot and where the story needed to go.

see: A New WIP

In August, I had decided to start writing in a Google Doc so that my writing buddy could check on my progress (or lack thereof) and give me positive feedback whenever she wished. I’ve since taken away her viewing privileges so she can be surprised when she reads it for the first time, but I’m still writing primarily in that Google Doc! I’ve added a Table of Contents, so it’s easy to jump directly to the chapters I’m working on when I open the webpage.

I’ve talked about how I initially plotted this story last month, but I recently completed a more detailed plot outline by summary outlining. With the major plot points I had as light posts guiding me through the murky swamp that was my story, I wrote short paragraphs in which I elaborated about what happens to my protagonist. So essentially I told myself the story in 1,315 words.

I am so glad I dedicated more time to plotting in this way because I truly believe it will help me write a book that feels very cohesive and not just like disjointed parts glued together. I added characters and mini plot arcs that will strength the main story.

When I was at the midpoint I started breaking my outline into chapters by copying and pasting excerpts from the summary under the corresponding chapter headers, breaking paragraphs up where it felt most natural to start a new chapter. I assume as I write there will be even more that happens that might change where I break up chapters, but for now it will just help me know where I am in the story.

My Google Doc currently has 3,465 words in it but a lot of that is stuff I wrote before my more detailed plot outline, so I feel like I’m starting from scratch! However, the thing about NaNoWriMo is you must not delete anything. If something doesn’t fit anymore put it aside but DON’T DELETE! So I’ve moved about 2k words to the very bottom of the document to a “chapter” titled “Unsorted”. (These include scenes I still very much like and will be saving for future projects, perhaps.)

Now that I’ve got a better idea of what I need to write, my goal is to start writing at least 1,000 words a day as originally planned. I will most likely be jumping around a bit to write the stuff that seems the most compelling or important to write first. I’m keeping a journal to help me keep track of all my writing progress on a day-to-day level.

October NANoWriMo Prep

I shared my NaNoWriMo Prep schedule for this month last month before I took my little break, but I still want to stick to that, so you can expect what should’ve been today’s post at some point before next Wednesday (fingers crossed)!

  • Oct. 3: OctoWriMo | NaNoWriMo Prep
  • Oct. 10: Deciding What to Write | NaNoWriMo Prep
  • Oct. 17: A Writing Bullet Journal + Organization Tips | NaNoWriMo Prep
  • Oct. 24: NaNoWriMo Survival Kit | NaNoWriMo Prep
  • Oct. 31: Making Time to Write | NaNoWriMo Prep

I’d don’t know how long it will take me to finish up a first draft of TaS, but I’m still really energized by the opportunity of starting something completely new for NaNoWriMo next month, specifically a contemporary. I just saw A Wrinkle in Time (2018) and actually thought it was a really good modernization and adaptation of the book. Even though it did drag on a bit and get a little lost on the way to the original message of the story.

I would really like to try to write my own L’Engle-inspired work! By that, I mean a book that deals with contemporary issues and modern day scientific discovery. I think I will talk about this more in my next post in which I try to help aspiring writers tips for generating story ideas.

❧ ☙ END NOTE ☙ ❧

I was hoping to include my writing updates this month at the beginning of every post, but I may actually start sharing the odd writing update in single posts as I do find myself having a lot to say. I’ve thought about starting up my YouTube channel again instead to dedicate specifically to my writing updates, but that presents its own challenges!

So I guess we’ll see! I’m hoping to be back with regular blog posts again this weekend so stay tuned for that. ^_^

Are you participating in NaNoWriMo? If so, how are you preparing?

Thank you for reading!
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Setting Writing Goals | Novel Progress

My writing buddy and I usually Skype at least once a week, typically during the weekend, and for as long as I can remember we tend to end each call with plans for what we would like to accomplish on our own before we next talk. These are really simple, achievable goals that are easy to remember so that we can hold each other accountable.

We pick these goals for ourselves. They are things we would like to achieve, that are within reason, and the only obstacles to them is ourselves and how we choose to spend our time during the week. She’s amazing and meeting and exceeding these goals. I’m so-so. But I love setting goals. I love knowing what I should be doing (even if I don’t do it)!

Types of Writing Goals

Whether you are a fan of setting goals or not, I think we can all agree they serve some function of motivation. I think they also help writing a novel seem more manageable. Each goal is a stepping stone that leads to the ultimate destination: a complete novel draft.

There are a few different types of goals you can consider setting for yourself. There are long-term and short-term goals. With long-term goals you may have dates in mind for completing your WIP as a whole or for beginning your novel querying. Short-term goals are often stepping stones toward the long-term goal. They take less time to complete and account for different methods to achieving the long-term goal.

Here are some writing goals you might consider on a daily or weekly basis:

  1. Word count goals. Similar to NaNoWriMo, you may aim for productivity by consistently adding new words to your draft. If you know exactly what you want to write, or have no problem writing on the fly, then this goal might be great for you. You can be ambitious or realistic, adjusting the exact number of words as needed.
  2. Finish [x] chapters/scenes. If you want to prefer to look at your novel as a collection of discrete parts, you might feel more productive meeting a goal where you are writing scene-by-scene. Instead of a random number of words, you can know when your writing session for the day is complete when you’ve finished a specific part of your book. Word count doesn’t matter. You’re weighing your satisfaction upon the completion of a scene.
  3. Task-oriented goals. Maybe you like to edit as you go. You might have a goal of writing one chapter this week and next week you’re going through a round of edits. Maybe you leave a lot of fill-in-the-blank spots in your draft and like to attend to those all a once. These can encompass a number of things: naming places/characters, writing witty dialogue, adding hints of foreshadowing, fixing plot holes. Its all still work you can quantify as progress.
  4. Sitting down at [this time] to write. If actually sitting down to write is your problem, then you might consider making it your writing goal to write at specific times/places during the week. No, it may not relate directly to your novel. But this goal will help you complete your novel in the long run.

You have got to know yourself and your writing in order to set good goals for yourself. I personally jump back and forth between all of these different writing goals each week.

If I’m having trouble making the words flow, I find having a word count goal can help. If my mind is on a specific part of the novel, I may dedicate my time specifically to working on that. Sometimes I just want to spruce up the words I already have. I find that by looking closely at my words from time-to-time sparks ideas for things that can happen before and later.

October NANoWriMo Prep

In case you’re new to the blog, you may not know that I love participating in NaNoWriMo each year. When I was younger, NaNoWriMo always seemed to sneak up on me, so in an effort to promote the writing event and encourage others to participate, I organize a weekly NaNoWriMo preparation series on the blog in the place of the regularly scheduled writing updates.

I announced my schedule in my Week in Review this past Sunday, but I also wanted to share it here for anyone who might have missed it.

  • Oct. 3: OctoWriMo | NaNoWriMo Prep
  • Oct. 10: Deciding What to Write | NaNoWriMo Prep
  • Oct. 17: A Writing Bullet Journal + Organization Tips | NaNoWriMo Prep
  • Oct. 24: NaNoWriMo Survival Kit | NaNoWriMo Prep
  • Oct. 31: Making Time to Write | NaNoWriMo Prep

I’m hoping to finish up my current WIP so I can start something entirely new for NaNoWriMo, but I don’t know yet if it will be possible. I have to make sure I’m in a good place to stop with Troubling a Star, if I’m going to start a new project.

❧ ☙ END NOTE ☙ ❧

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that I started a bullet journal, specifically for writing. It’s turned into a real bullet journal, now though, so it’s taken me some time and research to create page layouts that work for me. The actual writing-related sections are in my October spread, so I’m excited to start seeing how those work next month. Hopefully I’ll be able to share my success on the 17th as currently planned!

What kinds of writing goals do you set for yourself?

Thank you for reading!
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Writing Update #1 | NaNoWriMo 2017

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Hey, everyone! Hope you’re doing well and hanging in there! In case you haven’t noticed from my lack of posting, I’ve been avoiding writing this post. The writing has been a struggle for me personally, and I’ve been waiting for something positive to happen before I write my first update. I’ve realized though that it’s late enough in the month that I need to update or I’ll have no record to look back on at the end of this month, so here I am!

This post comes to you in two parts:

  1.  An update on how my writing is going
  2. The tricks and advice that are keeping me going

Novel Progress

As I predicted at the beginning of NaNoWriMo I did a lot of jumping around at the beginning. I started towards the beginning and as I wrote and learned more about the story, I began jumping ahead to make notes under chapter headings of things I want to remember to write once I get there in this draft.

I started this month with a Word document that contained 30 chapters with headings to remind me at what point I should have major plot points (e.g midpoint, pinches, climax, etc.) happening. I adjust these periodically and by no means am dead set on ending with 30 chapters. I just find it useful as visual representation of the mental framework I want to remember to follow so that stuff is actually happening. (I’m too good at stalling the story while I set up scenes that aren’t fully formed yet.)

There are often a lot of thoughts bouncing around in my head as I write. I’m try to stay in the moment, but my internal editor is always reminding me that I’m telling too much and that I keep changing my writing POV and that holistically the story is a mess and that my protagonist has no personality. But something I’ve found very encouraging to remember, when I’m in the mood to be optimistic are these words from Adam Silvera.

“For the first draft I “Tell Now, Show Later” because I gotta learn the characters and story first by TELLING myself before SHOWING you.

I find it a lot easier to write when I remember that this a crucial first step in writing a novel. I need to get all my ideas out and then select from amongst them the strongest that will make this story more coherent. Not everything will be necessary to include in a final draft, but the final draft will not be reachable unless I get all these scenes out of my head.

I also remind myself that I will be able to commit to a POV after I’ve decided what I want to keep and how to best have the story unfold. At that point I will be able to better develop my protagonist’s voice and better bring her to life.

So right now as I endeavor to catch up, I’m still jumping around to write the most interesting bits and following leads I discover as I write. I’m also rereading what I’ve written, which I know some people advise against, but I always find I’m able to add words as I reread and make things more clear because when I sprint I find I leave out clarifying and descriptive details in my hurry to keep up with the story unfolding in my head.

I also make in-line notes about things I want to fix later or add to make certain details more meaningful. And the best thing about doing it this way is I feel like I’m satisfying my inner editor and adding to my word count!

At this point, I figure I’ll share my current writing stats as depicted in graph form. Bare in mind, that although I’m behind, I have not given up hope!

Screen Shot 2017-11-14 at 10.16.35 AM

Tricks That Help Me Keep Writing

I’m not a fast writer. I also find it difficult to write when I’m stressed out or deeply unhappy about something, because the words I write at these moments are often tinged with those negative emotions. Because I don’t think anyone should force themselves to write if they’re not in the right headspace for it (which, let me be clear, I consider separate from the infamous “writer’s block” headspace), I have found certain ways to keep adding words and not feel like I’m totally slacking.

These are my tricks for anyone struggling to write:

  1. Open a second NaNoWriMo document for all the extra stuff you don’t want cluttering your main story and don’t want to delete for the sake of winning. In my second document, I have transferred scenes that no longer fit, summaries for scenes that I’ve since written, and ideas for spin-off storylines and even related novel ideas I may want to pursue later! Then I just add up the word counts between the two documents when I want to update my NaNoWriMo word count on the website.
  2. Commit yourself each day to time spent with your butt in your writing chair. NaNoWriMo is all about that word count, but I find it much easier some days to think of success in terms of time spent writing rather than words written. If you often find yourself procrastinating on writing because you’re telling yourself you can do it later in the day, this might be something that can help you. I often find myself getting ants in my pants after I’ve written a couple hundred words and feel like I deserve a break, but it’s avoidant behavior that shouldn’t be indulged! If I tell myself to sit down for an hour and not get up, I often find that I’ll end up writing things that surprise myself and make me want to keep writing. These are often things I would’ve never thought of if I was allowing myself to take a break every 20 minutes.
  3. Don’t look at your friend’s stats if you’re behind! When I’m on track or even ahead, I find it incredibly reassuring to look at my writing buddies’ stats and remind myself that I’m doing exactly what I should be doing. But if you’ve not been able to write for a few days and have fallen really behind, comparisons can be really detrimental to your already fragile writing self-esteem. So my advice for catching up is to look up how many words you need to write each day to catch up and focus on meeting or exceeding that goal.

I also wanted to share a video with some good advice for those of you who may be stuck because you do not know what to write next! I was going to share this video in a post that may not end up happening so now’s a good a time as any.

In “WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE? | NANOWRIMO DAY 6” Katytastic provides what I think is excellent advice for this predicament, starting around 1:31 in the video.

End Note

Writing is hard. There’s no way around it. If  you are behind and feel like all is lost, I encourage you to look at your NaNo stats, which provide an estimate of how many words per day you need to write to still finish on time. As I am currently at 6,927 words on Day 14, my current estimate is 2,534 words, which is not hopeless! Especially when I think about how some days I may still manage to write more than that.

I don’t know when I’ll be able to update you all again. My priority is winning NaNoWriMo so I can’t guarantee another one this month, but I do hope to update you if and when I am able to catch up to where I need to be.

Thank you for reading!
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October Wrap Up + November TBR

It’s a little late but I still wanted to do my October Wrap Up and November TBR, both of which I decided to combine because I didn’t feel I really had enough content for two separate posts. I didn’t read much in October and I don’t expect November to be much better because of NaNoWriMo.

I’m pretty happy at this point that I’m right on track with my Goodreads Reading Challenge, even if it’s only because I lucked out in starting a new trilogy with such short books that I could burn through them really quickly.

October ’17 Wrap Up

  1. Uprooted by Naomi Novik – Reviewed!
  2. White Cat by Holly Black
  3. Red Glove by Holly Black (didn’t finish until November 6th)

I loved what I read in October! I had suspected I would really like Uprooted, but it was still a lovely surprise of a read. It was nothing like I had expected and a refreshing standalone fantasy novel. There were some cliches that irked me, but overall I think the author managed to challenge them enough to satisfy me. The main thing I appreciate from a writer’s standpoint is how a book with magic can still have beautiful moments that illuminate human nature. I really hope to do that will the stories I write.

White Cat I started because I watched an interview with Leigh Bardugo and at 46:20 she recommends reading the Curse Workers trilogy by Holly Black if you’re a fan of Six of Crows. I was going to write a book review for it, but I started the sequel Red Glove immediately and then NaNoWriMo started and it just didn’t happen, which I’m super bummed about. I may read them again and try to do a series review or something because I think these books are a little underhyped.

I’ve never read anything by Holly Black before (other than her co-written middle grade fantasy The Iron Trial, which I felt was really derivative of Harry Potter). I feel like the Curse Workers trilogy is something I would’ve really loved in middle school when I was an avid reader. But I still enjoyed them a lot reading them now.

The books are set in an alternative universe U.S. on the east coast where the magical mafia is a thing! Workers are people who are born with one of seven abilities: physical, memories, luck, emotions, dreams, death, and transformation. People wear gloves because everyone fears being worked upon. In the backdrop of the stories, the government is trying to pass legislation that makes testing mandatory so that workers are identified.

I love the protagonist Cassel. He’s adorable and reading from his perspective is refreshing for me personally for two reasons. One, because I feel like I’ve been reading a lot of novels with female protagonists. I hadn’t noticed until I read this book and am hearing him talk about his girlfriends and realize just how subtly different it is to be a boy than a girl. The second reason is just because I don’t read a lot of books set during high school anymore, so the background concerns about staying out of trouble in school and worrying about homework and grades took me back.

November ’17 TBR

As I’ve mentioned loads in the past week, I’m participating in NaNoWriMo so I don’t think I’ll be reading too much, but given that it is the end of the year already somehow I want to stay on track! So I’m still planning on reading at least three books: one novel, an anthology, and a non-fiction book.

Books I Want to Read

  1. Black Heart by Holly Black
  2. The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo
  3. A Nervous Splendor: Vienna 1888-1889 by Frederic Morton

I’ve already read Black Heart, because I totally procrastinated on this post. It was a satisfying conclusion to a too short series. I’m honestly distraught that I won’t have these books to look forward to at night and when I want to procrastinate on writing.

Next up is The Language of Thorns, which I pre-ordered ahead of its September release this year. I think an anthology is a smart choice for NaNoWriMo, because I won’t need to binge it all in one go; I can read a story here and there and not feel like I’m spending too much time away from my own story.

I may also be able to read A Nervous Splendor at the same time. This novel is one I bought for my German Lit. class last fall and it’s somewhat inspiring the world and some events in my novel so I figure it’s a good time to finally read it and hope it positively influencing my worldbuilding.

End Note

Sorry this post is coming so late, but writing and reading have taken up a majority of time of late. I’ve also been working on job application and will soon start grad school application. I plan to release a NaNoWriMo writing update very soon (maybe even tonight), so stay tuned for that! I don’t have many words yet but I have gotten a lot done.

Thank you for reading!
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What I’m Writing This Year | NaNoWriMo 2017

What I'm Writing

In which I share details about my WIP and how I plan to write it.

Happy Halloween! It is 7:16 p.m. as I finally begin drafting this post and I can hear the rain outside pattering against the window and flowing through the gutter. I had intended to begin writing this earlier. I had also thought I might start writing the novel already, but my sinuses have been bothering me since Monday and I’ve just been trying to get some rest.

I’ve finally created my novel on the NaNoWriMo website. Feel free to add me as a writing buddy if you would like so you can keep up with my writing progress if you are interested. I’ve added a one sentence summary to it, which I will include below.

A thirteen-year-old witch is abducted in the place of the sickly young princess in order to end a century-long curse upon the beasts who have been plaguing the countryside.

It’s going to be a YA-targeted fantasy novel. I’m still reluctant to share much more details about the story as I still feel it might change at any point, as it often has in the past as I write. I’m fairly confident in how the story will begin and, thus, I’m willing to commit to it here finally!

I anticipate there will be lots of adventure, political intrigue, and magical beasts.

How I Plan to Write

I have found that starting from the beginning is often counterproductive for me, as it will often change the course of my novel before I’ve gotten to what I have planned. It’s actually heart-breaking, because I really love writing new beginnings (more so than finishing novels in fact). But that’s why I know it will be better if I save it for later. It’s something to look forward to.

I’m going to be writing out of order this year, and jumping around as I see fit to add stuff where I feel I need to in the moment. I’ll also be writing partially in summary form and probably by subplot line so nothing is forgotten.

The very first thing I’m eager to do first thing on November 1st is write all the scenes featuring the antagonist, whether they be direct interactions or bits that will foreshadow. I’m also eager to build up a big lead at the beginning as I know it will be difficult to write on days I work, and it’s important not to fall behind too early.

End Note

I intend to post writing updates throughout the month. In the past, I’ve attempted weekly updates on my story. I will most likely try this again, but I don’t want to make any promises if it begins to seem like it’s getting in the way of my actual writing. I plan to have a couple more posts going up this week, including a book review and my October Wrap Up that I’ve decided to combine with my November TBR since both should be fairly short.

I’m so excited to start writing! Best of luck to anyone who is participating! You can do this!

Thank you for reading!
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Let’s Talk Plot + Tips | NaNoWriMo 2017

Plot Tips

A post for anyone who might want to participate in NaNoWriMo, but doesn’t know what to write.

I think one of the main obstacles that prevents people from even trying to attempt NaNoWriMo is that they don’t know what they want to write. Some people have loads of works-in-progress, so choosing between them might be the most of their worries. And of course, there are those pantsers who are perfectly content to just write by the seat of their pants with no plans in sight, following every scent they come across as they go.

But for others like me, there might a desire to write but a hesitance, maybe related to confidence, to choose something and just go for it.

I have struggled with plot a lot in the past. I used to be a pantser, and was successful at completing NaNoWriMo. But once I realized that the drafts I wrote were not anything I wanted to continue working on past NaNoWriMo and that one of the major determinants of what books become my favorites is a strong plot I decided I wanted to become a writer with a plan. Of course, it’s been easier said than done.

I do not have all the answers and am still figuring out how to plot in a way that works for me. But I have come across a bunch of tips and resources that might help others, which is why I wanted to compile them here in a post for anyone who might benefit.

Bare in mind, this is not a comprehensive list, only stuff that I’ve personally come across and think have best influenced me.

Resources

  1. NaNoWriMo Adopt A Plot Forum. The official NaNoWriMo has an entire forum listed to adoptables each year. Here’s a link specifically to the Adopt a Plot forum, where people list anything from plot synopses to questions that might spark ideas. So it’s not exactly full-length prompts, but this might be a good starting point for you if you’re not even sure what kind of story you want to write yet.
  2. Three Act Structure. One of my favorite YouTubers is Katytastic who got her start making writing videos. Her explanation of the Three Act Structure is really easy to follow and something that might help you develop an effective plot that takes place over 27 chapters. It might make your story feel formulaic at first, but I think it’s a good starting place for a first draft and it may be smoothed out after the core of the story is written.
  3. Marissa Meyer’s 9 Steps from Idea to Finished. On her blog, the author of the Lunar Chronicles shows how she brainstorms/ researches and outlines in a few posts that I have found really helpful. I’ve not quite reached the point where her last few steps come in handy (e.g. revision), but I will definitely return to this series once I’ve got a first draft I’m ready to polish.

One Option (For if you’re really stuck)

Do a retelling of a well-known or beloved story with a different cast and setting. Some really successful fantasy novels that have done this are the A Court of Thorns and Roses trilogy and the Lunar Chronicles series. For instance, you might select a favorite Grim’s fairytale, Shakespeare play, Jane Austen novel, Biblical story, or tale from any other world mythology that speaks to you. Classics are wonderful sources to pull from because they’ve stood the test of time and are still around because there’s something universal about their stories that continues to resonate with modern day readers.

End Note

One last thing I want to leave you with before I go is about how prepared you need to be. Hank Green on the YouTube channel he shares with his brother John recently did a video called “The Secret to My Productivity” in which he describes that he doesn’t shoot to be 100% ready before he starts anything; he gets to 80% and then gets going. It might be hard to wrap your head around it, especially if you grasp at any excuse to hold off the future (like me). But I do believe he might be onto something.

I’ve come to realize over the last year that one thing that has really held me back in life is waiting until I’m 100% ready to do anything, which means I’ve gotten very little done. So what I’m getting at is that you should not not participate in NaNoWriMo if you don’t feel like you’ve figure out every last detail about your story. There’s point were you need to just start if you feel like you have enough to go on to figure out the rest along the way.

I hope you’ve found this post helpful. I wish I had more to share, but I think these tidbits are a good starting point for anyone who’s not got much planned at all. On Halloween I plan to finally tell you all about the story I’m writing for NaNoWriMo and how I think I’m going to be successful.

Thank you for reading!
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Announcement + Plans | NaNoWriMo 2017

Today I want to officially announce that I will be participating in NaNoWriMo 2017! In case you’ve never heard of it, NaNoWriMo is a month-long writing event that takes place each November. The main objective is to complete a new novel from scratch with a minimum of 50,000 words by the end of the month, which translates roughly to 1,667 words per day. It’s a whirlwind, but it’s fun!

I prefer to think of the rules as guidelines, so I anticipate I may start my novel early. But my goal will still be to add 50,000 words between November 1-30.

If you are not certain if you would like to participate, I encourage you give it a shot if you’ve ever thought you wanted to be a writer. It’s an amazing time of the year where all kinds of writers are joined together over this crazy goal and you will have so much emotional and motivational support, especially if you are active in the NaNoWriMo forums or on Twitter where there will almost always be writing sprints available.

Directly following today’s post, I plan to release two more before November 1st. One will cover some thoughts and tips on plot for anyone who may be still be wondering about what they want to write if they participate. In the second I will share as much as I can about my novel and how I personally think I will go about writing, including personal goals.

During the month I hope to do weekly writing updates, some things I might find useful as I go. I also am already planning an inspiration/motivation post for the second week of November that I think will help anyone like me who is sure to be suffering after the “honeymoon period” of NaNoWriMo (aka the time after the initial week’s excitement when the doubts settle in and distractions come into play).

Pep talks I think only work so much and I’ve stumbled upon a few resources I will share along the month that may hopefully help you keep your writing mojo going. I do think that one of the most important things to keep in mind is that it’s supposed to be fun.

End Note

Let me know in the comments if you plan to participate in NaNoWriMo or have any questions I or anyone else might be able to answer. If you have no interest in NaNo-themed posts, rest assured I will continue to post book reviews or anything else I find interesting on the topic of books through November. I will have my October ’17 Wrap Up and November ’17 TBR coming out next weekend after the NaNoWriMo kick off is completed. ^_^

Thank you for reading!
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Time for Camp NaNoWriMo!

Hello friends!

As promised I’m back again this week with my official Camp NaNoWriMo announcement post in which I will share my personal goals for the month-long event and some tips for my fellow busy bees who are crazy enough to want to join me on this journey.

In case you don’t know, Camp NaNoWriMo is a month-long writing event that happens officially twice a year in April and July. These events are more relaxed than the official NaNoWriMo event that happens in November in which a 50K novel is the official goal. In Camp, you can feel free to set your own goal and write whatever you want, including scripts, poetry, or even revisions.

I will personally be trying to write a really short first draft of a new novel idea I developed in March.

Disclaimer: This post will not be helpful if you don’t know what you want to write. I do hope by publishing this post two days before it starts so that hopefully you have enough time to scrounge something together!

Word Goal

Because of how busy I anticipate April being, I’m only setting a goal of 20,000 words, which translates to roughly 667 words per day.

Tips

This is my final month of my final semester of grad school so I have a lot of things to do. I have three final projects to complete, all of which involve 12-15 page papers due at the beginning of May. I also have to keep up with my regular tasks of assigned reading and grading which is part of my job as a TA. Oh, and I really need to start looking for jobs! So taking on Camp NaNoWriMo right now maybe is not the best idea, but I’m doing it anyway!

The tips I have to share that I know will get me personally through this month in one piece are:

  1. Be Organized. To do lists are my best friend. I write one every week at the beginning of my weekend. I plan out everything I want to accomplish on each day. And I break down larger projects into discrete units so I have more boxes to feel good about once I’ve marked them off. :)
  2. Set a Reasonable Goal. I’ve done this by setting only 20,000 words as my goal which means roughly 667 words per day. I think this goal should be achievable on top of the writing I will already need to do for my regular assignments and my final papers. Additionally, I think its enough that I can write it in about an hour of uninterrupted writing.
  3. Utilize Writing Sprints. Don’t underestimate the power of writing sprints. Particularly if you feel like you don’t have enough time blocked off to write. The Camp NaNoWriMo official Twitter page if likely to host several sprints throughout the month. You might also encourage your writing buddies to partake in your own writing sprint parties! (Who says you can’t be social during a NaNoWriMo event?!)
  4. Plan Ahead. If there are some days of the week you just know you will not want to write, then make sure you get extra writing done early so that you don’t feel guilty about it.
  5. Don’t Fall Behind. There’s nothing more disheartening than falling behind on something when you still have so many other things to do. That’s why I plan to start Camp off really strong this weekend on April 1st so that I get that rush of achievement early on and do not feel guilty if I don’t manage to write on my busiest days (Tuesday and Wednesday).

Plans

Camp NaNoWriMo begins on April 1st, which this year is Saturday so if you’re a real go getter you could stay up Friday night and start writing right at midnight if that sounds exciting to you. I personally think I may wake up early and have myself a little write-in after breakfast. My plan is to get a good head start early in the month and write a lot during the weekend. Ideally I’ll work on my novel a little every day, even if it’s not properly writing.

If you’re participating in Camp NaNoWriMo too, let me know in the comments! I hope write weekly updates, but I don’t feel confident committing to that schedule. If I have blogging time I also want to do other posts, some of which I hope will go up next week, so stay tuned for that. Thanks to everyone who’s been showing my blog some love. I really appreciate it!

Thank you for reading!
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