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Posted in Methods, NaNoWriMo, Writing

Can I really do it and How?

Writing a novel, much less 50,000 words in a month, can be a bit daunting. Every year/ NaNoWriMo month I ask myself I can really do it. I ask if I’m ready to commit to a project and to all those hours of writing. Every time, I ask myself “why not?”. Why don’t I just try? What do I have to loose?

Upon making that decision, I tend to start panicking because it means I have to prepare and block off hours of my time to even write. Then I find that I’m going about it the wrong way. While my goal may be 50k words, someone else might be 30k or 40k. It all depends. There was a time where I knew it was going to be a busy week so, I gave myself a different goal.

Campnanowrimo allows you to change your overall goal for the event. So, if you believe that you can only write 35k words then, it’s possible to track that progress. There’s also the option to have a writing buddy in case you want a partner in crime.

Once you decide you’re really going to do it, the next question is “how?”. How are you going to complete set set goal for NaNoWriMo? The answer depends on the person and commitment. Plus, each project is different. You could write an anthology, biography, poems, etc.

First, it’s important to figure out your end goal. How many words are you going to write in the month? Mine will be 50k words. My project will be to finish up the rest of a novel that I’m working on at the moment. I believe that 50k words should be enough to complete the story. That might change and 50k words may not be enough but, for right now, that’s what I have set. Set a manageable goal.

Next, what will you be using? I don’t plan on using any software. The story is posted on Wattpad and I’l be using their site to work on the story. I won’t be posting every day as I finish my daily goal but there is where I’ll have all the chapters. If I’m ever away from my phone or a computer, I don’t mind using pen and paper to write. I don’t find it a chore to type up what I hand wrote.

Third, while this doesn’t seem like a big deal, I feel like I should mention it. Check out the website for the event. CampNaNoWriMo has a resources and pep talks during the event to help writers. They have a twitter account with word sprints and topic starters last time I checked. Plus, when you input your daily goal, the website helps you track your progress and let’s you know how many words you must write to reach your goal in time.

Lastly, I won’t be going into too much detail on how to actually plan (or not) your project for April. That post is for another day. What I will say is that Camp NaNowriMo is about opportunity. It challenges you. Maybe it’s your first time participating maybe it’s your fifth, but overall, we all together to write and I really think that’s amazing.

Thanks for reading. Until next time.

Posted in NaNoWriMo, Writing

Reeling and Powering Through

Life has taken priority of my time at the moment and, because of that, I’ve been absent for a few days. Too much is going on and I haven’t found a way to balance it all. I thought I had a schedule set up but that fell through. Most of everything that I thought would happen has fallen through and I’m still reeling from that.

I know that not everything is going to go exactly as planned, but it still doesn’t feel good. I’m not discouraged because I don’t have time to be discouraged. While it is tough to keep powering through with no results, I just have to keep doing it. I’ll have to change the way I approach things and try to get better results.

On the plus side, during all of this, I have continued to write and post on my wattpad page. The sequel to The Vampire Princes goes to High School is going well. Speaking of which, I have decided to finish writing the sequel of The Vampire Prince for Camp NaNoWriMo in April. This doesn’t give me too much time to plan, but I already have a vague idea of what the rest of the book is about. All I have to do is put it on paper. Writing is probably the only thing that keeps me sane. Plus, I enjoy doing it.

Since April is only about two weeks away, I’ll be writing a mini-series of sorts for preparing for Camp NaNoWriMo. There will be six to seven posts in total and, through the month of April, I’ll post updates and new things I discovered with my writing and how well my planning worked. I’ve come to find that each time I participate, I have switch it up and discover other ways of writing 50,000 words in 30 days.

Overall, I’m excited about it. So, stay tuned and thanks for reading.

Posted in Writing, Writing Prompts

Writing Prompt – Glowing Hands

The small girl stared at her glowing hands to her older brother’s, her voice shaking as she spoke. “Are we monsters?”

John’s throat closed up at her question. What could he possibly say? Hadn’t their neighbor been taken away just last night due to a “mysterious illness”? Everyone knew the real reason. The Human Protect Agency kidnapped colonists that started developing strange abilities. John was sure that glowing hands was one of them.

“No, Stacey, we’re not,” John forced out.

Stacey stood uncertainty by the bed. The glow on her hands illuminated the frown on her brow. John pulled her up and sat her next to him.

“But the videos,” Stracey insisted.

“We’re not bad people,” John reminded her. “We fill our daily quota and pay our taxes on time. Those other people do bad stuff. We don’t.”

“But what if – ”

“Stace, listen.” John grabbed her hands. The combined glow of their hands illuminated their faces completely. “I know this is scary, but don’t worry. I’m going to figure this out, okay?”

“What if the HPA finds out?”

“They won’t.”

”But what if – ?”

John squeezed her hands. “Stacey, they won’t find out. I’ll make sure of that. We’re going to keep this a secret, okay? Let’s act like we normally do. It might go away.”

Stacey didn’t look convinced, but she didn’t say anything else. She looked down at her hands. A lot of the glow had somewhat dimmed. It wasn’t exactly bright, but it was noticeable.

From what he remembered from the videos,  people with glowing hands were sick. They needed to be retained by the HPA.

“Go back to sleep,” he told her.

“Can I stay here with you?” she asked. “I don’t want to be alone.”

John sighed. “Alright,” he said.

Stacey joined him in bed.

That night, neither of them slept. Stacey latched on to his arm. He felt her dozing off a few times but never stayed asleep. John stared  up at the dark ceiling. His stomach was in knots.

The day had been normal. They’d went to work like always, ate at the cafeteria, cleaned. It was close to 1 am now. The glowing hand started half past midnight. At least, his had started. Stacey knocked to his door closer to 1 am.

No one knew where this glow came from or what caused. All they knew was that once the HPA found out, they were never seen or heard from again. There were rumors of experiements going around.

Both orphans, he and Stacey lived at the community house in the city. It was one of thousands. The Madam wouldn’t care if two more mouths left.

John turned over and pulled Stacey closer. He didn’t want to lose her. She was the only family he had.

One thing became apparent to him, the risk of exposure was too great. They couldn’t stay here any longer. What if he and Stacey were separated? He’d rather risk traveling to a far away colony where the HPA was lax than stay in the city and risk getting caught.

John had saved up a few credits on the side. If he took extra shifts, he might be able to pay their way out of the city. Just maybe they could get out of here before anyone noticed their glowing hands.

Posted in Writing

Cause and Effect

Cause and Effect Blog postMany years I go, I heard a really good piece of advice. Or maybe I read it somewhere but I can’t remember the exact details. However, I will say that that advice stuck with me even now. It floats around in my head and pops up when I’m writing or reading over someone else’s work.

As I write this, I suddenly remembered that I read about the advice while researching how to write action.  That piece of advice is this “cause and effect”. Something happens before something else. Or another way to say it: there’s an action and then the consequences.

Take a look at the sentence that follows:

“Ron stumbled back as Henry punched him.”

The punch should come first and then the stumbling. At least, that is how I see it. It wouldn’t make much sense that someone would drown before falling into the water either or someone falling before tripping down some stairs.

Action isn’t the only thing that I use this advice for. I also use this when I writing in general. It’s how I create tension and conflict. If a character says something (cause) others will react differently (effect). It’s a fact that there are consequences for everything. Some might be mild, but others aren’t. I find it that this keeps my characters human. It means that they have real emotions and they react like human beings. They aren’t just filling up space. They have purpose.

Plus, I find it helpful to make a list of all the actions and their consequences so that I may, not only remember all the tiny details, but also so that I can bring that into the story along the way. Maybe a character holds a grudge over what was said. I have to remember what was said first in order to further develop that. That list of action and consequences aka cause and effect also helps with plotting. While it might not help for all instances, it can help for some.

For example, the protagonist is part of a special suit unit and they have a job somewhere. They jump out of a transport. Said protagonist suffers a malfunction and is seperated from the group. Now, we have consequences. If the protagonist can’t reboot her/his suit fast enough, they’ll be a pancake. Drama. Tension.

This is just but one example. Another I can think of is when it doesn’t involve actual writing instead. How can that be? The Cause and Effect list that I mentioned can be used before any writing begins.

Maybe you have a story in mind but you don’t know where to start. Write

I’ll use one of my stories for this. It’s has low sci-fi western vibe to it.

My protagonist is in a desert with enough provisions for himself. He comes across another human being, hurt and starving. Now, he has to ask himself  ‘do I help and deplete my resources faster or do I continue on my way?’ Not only is this a great situation to showcase the protagonist’s personality but it builds up to the potential consequences of running low on food. There’s also perhaps the mental trauma of leaving someone to die. In the end, my protagonist does help and now I have a lot of things to work with as the consequences unfold.

So, remember: action and then consequence. Cause and effect.

Posted in Writing, Writing Prompts

Writing Prompt – Game Over

 

Game Over
Find Source Here

I took a shuddering breath. My lungs felt like they were about to cave in. What was this? I must be seeing things. There was no way this was a video game. Stuff like this didn’t happen in real life. This was real and I knew I was going to die. There was no way around that.

Somehow I managed to look away from the screen. There were figures around my bed but I couldn’t tell who they were. One of them held my hand, squeezing tightly. I felt their warmth but didn’t have the strength to squeeze back. Their voice sounded familiar but I couldn’t understand what they were saying. There were two others by the foot of the bed. I couldn’t recognize their faces either.

My memory was a bit hazy. I remember an accident and that my parents had been with me. No one had told me about them and I couldn’t manage to. Would they tell me if I asked? I couldn’t move either. My strength faded with each passing moment.

Again the screen flashed with the two options.

Maybe I was crazy for entertaining the thought. It wasn’t like I had any regrets. I got into a good college and attended school for two years, but I hadn’t enrolled for the next semester. There wasn’t anything I wanted to be. I’d thought if I took some time off, I could decide.

My parents had been okay with it. It’s why we decided to go on a family vacation . . . but then the accident happened. It was all coming back to me. And I knew, deep down, even if no one told me, that my parents were gone.

At the thought, my throat squeezed painfully. There was no point in staying then. There was nothing for me here.

Tiredly, I looked at the screen again. ‘Try again’ or ‘End Game’, huh? The decision was easy enough.

End Game.

Gradually, my vision darkened. The darkness started from the corners of my vision. It spread towards the center, darkening the blurred figures. Finally, the darkness reached the center and my vision went black.