Posted in Methods, NaNoWriMo, Writing

Where to Start?

Now that I’ve decided to participate in Camp NaNoWriMo (some of you may have too), it’s time to decide where to start. This is where the time to decide what project to work on for the month comes in. My project for April is currently ongoing at the moment and I do have a few chapters written. Camp NaNoWriMo will be used to write 50k words of that story. However, that doesn’t mean that I don’t have any planning to do.

For those who don’t have a project in mind, I’ll offer some advice. In my humble opinion, I feel that Camp NaNoWriMo is all about writing (I’ve probably already said this before and I’ll continue to say it). It doesn’t really matter what you write, only that you’re writing. We all have a story inside of us and that doesn’t necessarily mean that this story will or should be share with anyone else. Maybe it’s a story you have to write for yourself.

The story can be anything. If you want to try your hand at fan fiction, go ahead. If it’s mystery, or romance, or science fiction then, go for it. It’s not going to be perfect – it never is – but at least you’re going to try and that’s all that matters.

Most of the writers I’ve met keep an idea journal with them. What’s to stop you from choosing an idea from there? However, in case that you can’t seem to choose something, there are tons of story idea generators out there. A quick search online gives you a lot of websites. Choose ones that interests you.

Once you have a story in mind, what I like to do is to keep a separate notebook or folder for this story. This is where I place all my notes so that I don’t loose anything and they’re easy to find. The method of developing the stories and generating ideas differs from person to person. I tend to think (daydream) scenes with my characters or maybe it’s just a phrases but I take note of everything because I might use it later. The scenes I think about don’t always make it into the writing itself but it is a place to start.

Now, what I won’t go into is naming the characters. It must be done. What I will say is that it’s okay for character names to change. For now, especially for Camp NaNoWriMo, use a name and, if later you don’t like it or doesn’t fit well, change it. The name doens’t have to be perfect right off the bat. I literally used “the Vampire Prince” has a name for almost half of my story on wattpad because I finally figured out a name for the Prince. It can be done.

The next “step” is a little tricky. We have to figure out what’s going to happen at the beginning, middle, and end. Planning is probably the second hardest thing, I believe, when writing. Editing is the first hardest then, writing. So, how are we going to plan?

For starters, there isn’t a correct way. It depends on how you write. Do you need a detail plan or do you just mostly wing it and see where that leads you? This is where having scenes in mind can come in handy. If you have a scene, you can figure out how the characters are going to arrive at that point. Maybe that scene is how the story starts. Planning is a lot of brainstorming and trying to fit it all together.

Lastly, if you’re new to Camp NaNoWriMo and/or writing, try both ways. Write down a sequence of events. It doesn’t have to be too in depth. Rough ideas or scenes help too. I find using flashcards for this helps. With the scenes on each flashcard, you can rearrange them how you like without deleting, copy and pasting, or starting over on a document. You don’t have to be a newbie to do this either. When I’m not too sure on which scene should go first, I take out some flashcards and lay them out in front of me.

Overall, find an idea and try brainstorming about it. The idea might change but the more you think about, the more it can help. April isn’t here yet so, you have time. Be flexible in your thinking and planning.

As always, thanks for reading.

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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.