Posted in Writing

Happy Halloween

Most years, I would be going out and dressing up for Halloween. Tonight, is going to be a little different. This time, because of the weather (Thanks Houston) and other reasons, I’ll be staying home (I think). My friends and I are (hopefully) rolling characters for a tabletop game. For now, I won’t disclose those details.

I also plan on finishing up some last minute preparations for NaNoWriMo. I’ll have to make a daily planner so I can divide my day up in order to get my word count done for the day. I’ve learned that Novlr is free this November due to NaNoWriMo. I’ve used this website before in 2016. It’s a basically a writing tool with it’s own word tracker and you can have story chapters as well. The trial extends for the entire month of November. Afterwards, there is a monthly fee if you want to keep using it.

I enjoyed the fact that the website shows you the word count and basically keeps track of when you do the most writing. That year, I worked better in the evening and it still holds true. I’m still not sure if I’ll use Novlr again but I’m keeping my options open.

Last but not least,

Happy Halloween!

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Posted in NaNoWriMo, Writing

Final Preparations

There’s only a week left before the start of NaNoWriMo but I’m not freaking out. Not yet at least. For the next few days, I’ll be outlining and making notes on important scenes that need to happen in the story. The only issue that I see coming up is the fact that the current story is about 74 chapters long but those chapters aren’t that long. They’re about 1k -1.2k words in length. Not much to work with.

With this story (TVPGTHS), I need to have almost everything planned out. There’s not going to be much room for flexibility. It’s troubling because normally, I do leave room for the story to change but this time, I can’t. This mainly has to do with the fact that I am rewriting this story. I guess that means that I’m not exactly ‘participating’ in NaNoWriMo, I just happen to have the same deadline. However, personally, I still think it can work. I’m starting the story from scratch. I’m not using any of what I have already written. I’ll be rewriting every single word.

As of right now, I’m not sure if I’ll be using any writing software. Google Docs has been really good to me so far and I can take it anywhere. I think I’ll stick with that for now until a better option comes along.

I haven’t decided how many posts I’ll be able to publish during November. If anything, they won’t be very long but I’ll keep everyone updated on progress.

Posted in Resources, Writing

Sweek and Contests

As November draws closer, I’ve been busy and productive lately. Not only have I started rewriting a certain story from wattpad that I don’t like, I’ve also entered a screenplay contest on Sweek. I’ve only recently discovered the website and I have yet to draw any conclusions from it. I also haven’t invested a lot of time on there but that might change.

For this screenplay contest, you can follow the link here, I decided to write up one of my little writing exercises I’ve posted on here. Can you guess which one it is? Not to leave anyone in suspense and because it is October, I decided to write ‘Summons‘ as a screenplay. I extended the ending and I changed a few things up. You can find my entry here.

I’ve also decided to enter in a few more contests as well. Thanks to Freelance Writing, I was able to find most of these contests. Some of those include #MicroBlue, ServiceScape Short Story Award 2018, and Beartooth Anthony’s Halloween Campfire Story Contest. I’ll probably not enter in all of them but, for the most part, I’ll enter in a few.

My focus is still preparing for NaNoWriMo. The next step is to write an outline of the story I’ll be working on. I’ve decided that I’m not going to use any of the original work if I can help it. It’s going to be a brand new story with the same characters and story but just told differently. It does help that I have certain scenes and events planned out already so outlining isn’t going to be too bad.

Honestly, I think my outline is more of a synopsis without calling it a synopsis. Outline is more loosely based on what’s going to happen. A synopsis details what does happen. I’ll be writing a mixture of the two so I can stay focused. I’m not really trying to experiment on the story or characters this time around. Everything is set in stone. The story just has to be rewritten.

 

 

Posted in Methods, NaNoWriMo, Writing

Plotting Subplots

I’ve made up my mind on what story I’ll be working on for National Novel Writing Month this November. Unlike the other times before, I won’t be starting from scratch. Instead, I’ll be rewriting an entire novel. This novel is currently on Watford and I absolutely don’t like it. It’s terrible and I just made things up as I went and that somehow made a story.

So, since I already have the majority of it already written, I can use that to help me write. I believe I mentioned beforehand how I might have read something where it’s better to rewrite a story as opposed to editing first. I’ve found myself agreeing to this logic. Knowing myself, I know that most of the time I’ll end up rewriting whole sections of the story and calling it editing. To avoid that, I’ll just rewrite from the start then edit.

Now, I know the main plot for my story (the vampire Prince goes to high school). I might change the title later but for now, it’ll stay that way. However, I need to plot out my subplots. I use the same method as I do to figure out how to plot a novel. The first thing I do is to list my supporting characters. Then, I figure out what they want.

For example, one of my characters named  Carlos wants to  let the public know that vampires take advantage of the system because everyone is afraid to speak out and demand  justice. So, what does he do? He technically joins  ” vigilantee” organization that broadcasts messages over vampire wrongdoings, etc.

Knowing all of this, I use the information to feed conflict into the story. My main character, Rin, finds herself in a position where she needs to cooperate with the vampire Prince and this “vigilantee” group doesn’t like that. They believe vampire and humans shouldn’t mix. Run feels pressure from everyone.

That it but one subplot that runs through the story. I have plenty more to work with. The trick is to figure out the purpose your characters have in the story. What do they contribute? This is true to the characters surrounding your main character. Do they want to help or hinder? Are the rivals? What obstacles, if any, do they present? Use character motivation to your advantage. If goals conflict, that makes for perfect conflict.

Personally, I don’t fill out character sheets for anyone. They sort of tend to develop on their own. But this might not be true for everyone. Find out what works for you and stick to it. Out on a word document, on paper, online, whatever works for you. Just have it written down somewhere so you can always go back and refresh your memory.

A good trick I found was to draw a line with plot points that I know will happen in the story. Then, I add more points as my subplot surface. This method gives me something visual to look at and it’s not only in my head. I can easily erase and move around points of I have to.

As always, thanks for reading? For those  participating in NaNoWriMo, how do you prepare? Why are your methods?

Posted in Methods, Writing

Plot and Structure & NaNoWriMo

We’ve reached the first week of October and you know what that means? There’s only about 30 days left until the start of National Novel Writing Month in November. This is a very exciting month for me. Unlike during the summer, I will attempt to write the complete 50,000 words in November.

I don’t consider myself an experience participant of NaNoWriMo because surprises hide behind every corner and I can’t say that I will accomplish the goal. However, I will work really hard to meet that goal despite all the other responsibilities that I have.

Although I don’t call myself  an expert, I do have some wisdom to share – if you can call it that. Whether this is your first time participating or not, I feel like there’s a lingering fear (or maybe it’s just me) that I will come across a wall and have nothing to write about or that my muse packed her bags and left me in the middle of the month. So, in order to avoid that, I have a few tricks that have gotten me through tough writing situations.

A. Who is the story about?

B.What do they want?

C. How are they going to get it?

This is all about the main character. What does s/he want in life? Is it to win a basketball game? Is it to date a friend? Having an idea of what your character wants can lead the writing for quite a while. Plus, knowing what they want and forming an idea of how the character can achieve that goal is a great place to start.

Once these questions are answered – and they might not be answered at the beginning. Sometimes it takes a few chapters – then take a look at what obstacles the character has to face in order to accomplish this goal.

D. What are the obstacles?

E. Who is their rival towards accomplishing this goal?

I use these questions to get me started and then I write it down on a timeline of sorts. This helps me know where the story is headed and how to get there. Even having an idea of how it is going to end helps a lot. If I know that much then, I can work backwards and figure out how the character is going to get there.

Of course, I’m not saying that you need to know what your character likes for breakfast on most days. All I’m saying is that knowing what your character wants is a good lead to figuring out how the story is going to unfold.