Posted in NaNoWriMo, Writing

Murdering Some Darlings

40,000 words down, 10,000s more to go. It’s been a very hectic and busy week with Thanksgiving this past Thursday. I was able to keep my word count stable through the holidays but there were some days that I got really close to falling behind.

Frankly, it has been more difficult to keep writing but not for lack of wanting. I didn’t realize how much material I had to work with and now I’m tasked with deciding what I want to keep and use. So far, I’ve done a good job at following the main story line. It’s when I have to work with the subplots that it gets a bit complicated. There’s so many things that I want to include to the story but I know that I can’t include everything.

The ‘original’ is like eighty-one chapters. This is mostly due to the fact that each chapter wasn’t divided up properly and some have like two to three pages for a chapter. In truth there’s about thirty to forty chapters in total of the original story. I hoping to cut down on a few chapters for the rewrite.

It’s been a bit stressful to be honest. The lead I set for NaNoWriMo grew shorter and shorter but I’ve kept it steady. I’ve been on tract. Only five more days to go and NaNoWriMo comes to an end. I doubt the revision will be done in five days but most of it will be completed.

Once December comes along, I’ll be studying for my TEXES content exam and hopefully pass it. This means that I’ll take a break from rewriting for a bit but it should be fine. My goal is to finish the revision process some time in December. I think that’s attainable.

 

Posted in NaNoWriMo, Writing

The Passive Voice

As I continue to work on my NaNoWriMo book, I came to the realization that I use a lot of passive words. “He was talking” and “It was snowing” are some of the examples that I mean by passive words. Instead, I should be using “He talked” and “It snowed”. While it’s true that I’m working on a rewrite and there is still time to edit afterwards, I still don’t want to fall into a habit of using “was walking” in my writing.

A good advice for NaNoWriMo is to kill your inner editor and just write. It’s good advice but I’m not going to following that. I’ve found myself going back into my writing and looking for any signs of passive voice. Normally, I would never do this because I don’t have to time to edit. I need to write. However, this year, I’m a bit more confident in my ability to type up 50k words which is the only reason why I’m doing this. Words are coming easier this time around.

So far, I’ve hit my daily word count and have written more than the recommended daily word count amount to hit 50k words. Now, I know all about the passive voice and avoiding it but I still find myself using those types of words/ sentences. It mostly has to deal with the fact that I’m just trying to get everything down and I’m not thinking about how it’s been written.

To be honest, I feel like a part of me is trying to cut down on the amount of editing I have to do when I finish writing the book. So, it could be one or the other or both. Now, when I do edit, I’m not exactly looking for every instances of passive voice. That comes later. At the moment, I’m focused on “was looking” and “was walking” type of words because I feel like those are the ones that stick like a sore thumb.

I also found that rereading what I wrote the day before helps me, not only get inspiration for the day, but also with editing. I read the words aloud and when it doesn’t sound right and if it doesn’t make sense, I go in and make the writing a bit clearer. If I do find passive words in there, I change that as well. However, I don’t edit all the time. If there is something I need to double check or research, I leave a comment to myself. I really try to avoid using the internet because one click and then I’m wasting my time ‘researching’ instead of writing.

Most importantly, I do know myself and the habits, whether good or bad, that I have. So, I try to manage the bad habits like ‘researching’ when I should be writing. So far, I think I have enough self control to only change the passive words that I find. I haven’t convinced myself yet that I need to go back and change a few scenes but that can change. I’ll be vigilante.

Posted in NaNoWriMo, updates, Writing

A Good Feeling

It’s the seventh day of Nation Novel Writing Month and I have to say that, so far, I’m on schedule. There have been a few days where I wait until the last minute to type, underestimating how many hours is going to take me to get 1,667 words that day. 1.6k words doesn’t seem like a lot words but, trust me, when you’re sitting at your computer or sometimes on your phone, it is a lot. You type up three paragraphs and whole page even and then you check the word count. Not even close.

I’ve found that music tends to help me sometimes but that’s not always the case. There are times when I can’t have music on because I’m at work or it’s just not possible. Personally, I like to think of what I’m going to write during the day before I actually sit down and write. It’s more like day dreaming than anything.

With this method, I sort of play through the scenes of my head so I can have an idea of what’s going to happen in the story. There are times when I just sit down, read what I wrote before, and write because I need to finish the scene or I automatically know what’s going to happen next.

Thanks to this, I have finally finished the original story. Now, I can focus on the rewrite. Maybe I mentioned it before, but in case that I haven’t, I’ll say that I know where I want to go with the story. I know what needs to be changed in the rewrite. While I will use almost the same scenes and characters, I will be changing things up a bit. I have a good feeling about this month.

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 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?