Posted in NaNoWriMo, Writing

Day 25th of April

We’ve run out of water . . . Actually, that’s a different story.

However, the fact still remains that April has gone by way too fast. Now that there is only five days until May, I realize that I need to get my butt in gear and, not only plan more for my wedding, but also write. That’s a lot to unpack right there. Combined, they tire and stress me out.

But, I would say that I am diligently writing every day. I can’t seem to hit my daily goal, but I have come to terms with the fact that I won’t write 50k words this month. If anything, I’m hoping to hit 25k or 30k depending on other factors. That doesn’t mean that I’m not going to try my hardest to reach those numbers.

While I may not be where I wanted to be by the end of the month, I have gotten a lot done. I’m moving further and further into the middle part of my novel (the Vampire Prince Returns to High School). Consequences of what happened in the previous book are coming up and I’m eager to reach that portion. It’s just something about writing conflict that excites me. It’s my favorite thing to write.

If I hit that point before the end of Camp NaNoWriMo, I might be able to write more than 25k or 30k words. Honestly, I think I just need a push, or in this case, a jump start, to sit down and write more than a thousand or less words per day. Plus, as we all know, the middle isn’t always the most exciting or easiest part to write (at least for me) regardless of the story.

That being said, I’m still on Arc 2 of writing. At this point, I’m not quite sure how the story is going to end. I don’t want to make it super long as the first story (the Vampire Princes goes to High School), but I also don’t want to end prematurely. At least for this book, I think it’s more of a set up to the last book than anything else. However, it must also be a stand alone story.

So far, I believe I’m doing that correctly. There are more topics and character relationships that I want and can explore. I also believe, I have a solid plot for this story. I’ll continue to believe this until I don’t anymore.

If I had any advice for myself, and anyone else, it wouod be to get to the parts that you want to write. If you have to skip around then, do so. Just remember to link the two scenes together. As I’ve mentioned before, Notecards help because you can physically see the scenes laid out in front of you instead of floating in your mind. Do what you have to do, to write.

P.S. I’m working on a new look so, the site might look a change over the next few days.

Posted in NaNoWriMo, Writing

Hitting the Middle

It’s the start of the second week of April and things aren’t looking good. I underestimated the travel distance from work to my house and how that affects me mentally. However, I have managed to write every day despite not hitting that daily goal.

Perhaps part of that comes from the fact that I have hit the middle point of my story. As I might have mentioned before, I am working on a previously started story. While I had a few major plot points planned out, I’m finding it difficult to write the details that lead to said plot points.

So, I need to reevaluate my goals here. I still want to work on my novel this month and I still want to participate in Camp NaNoWriMo. I’m going to do all that and try to write as much as I can this month. There is a high chance that I might not make it to 50k words but even writing 30k sounds like a good number.

The game plan is to do a bit more brainstorming. As I wrote, I created two situations that I have to further develop. These were completely unplanned but I’ll be using them. Just imagining the scenes will increase my word count but also, and most importantly, add some tension and conflict to my story.

Typically, once I’ve gotten to this point, I’d start thinking about the end, but not this time. For now, I’ll focus on what I need to write next. I want to stay true to the story and not add things that aren’t necessary to the overall story. Personally, I don’t like adding elements that can easily be taken out or replaced by something else.

Lastly, I hope that everyone who is participating in Camp NaNoWriMo is doing a lot better than I am. If we’re in the same boat then, I’m rooting for us. We got this. 🤞

Posted in NaNoWriMo, Writing

Around the Corner

Camp NaNoWriMo is just around the corner. Even though I have a few things planned, I realized that I might have made a mistake. My new job takes a lot of time to travel and exhaustion is more than an issue than I had initially thought. Saying this, I will still try to do my best in the following month. My overall goal count might decrease by 10,000 words or perhaps 20,000 words, but I’m not backing out.

The past few posts have been about developing ideas for April. Now that Camp NaNoWriMo is around the corner, it’s best to sit back and take a breather. By this point, a writing schedule should have been put in place. If not a writing schedule, perhaps an idea of between what times you’re going to start writing. There are some things that we’ll have to give up, but I’m willing to cut down some time from other activities to write.

This weekend is about ironing out the starting details for your story. Even if the middle and end aren’t exactly planned out to the fullest, just having a vague idea or a goal, will make writing easier. The first few days (maybe the first week) of Camp NaNoWriMo are, I believe, fairly easy mostly because these days are about introducing your character and their everyday life. You might want the perfect starter sentence but don’t worry about perfection until later. Focus on writing.

Have pen and paper on hand or perhaps use an app like Evernote or Google Docs on your phone so you can write away from home. Ideas tend to strike when you least expect it. Also, write when you get the chance. You’re waiting for something to heat up? Write. You’re a passenger? Write. Take advantage of the free time you have. Of course, you don’t always have to be writing. Taking breaks is essential. You don’t want exhaust yourself every day.

Personally, I like to write whenever I get the chance. I like to decrease the word count as much as I can before I sit down and actually write.

Overall, test the waters the first few days. If you get to write more than the daily recommended amount, that’s good. It gives you a bit of leeway on other days. Figure out what works for you and go from there.

Just remember, take a deep breath. We got this.

Posted in NaNoWriMo, Writing

Backwards to a Goal – Method 2

I’ve been talking about a few methods of how to develope an idea for Camp NaNoWriMo in April. We only have a week left before it truly starts. So, like promised, today I’ll touch upon working backwards to a goal. This specifically is having an ending to a story and working backwards to figure out how you, the writer, is going to get there.

I’ll be the first to say that starting with the end is tricky because more often than not, you don’t have the ending planned from the beginning. Should you not try this method? It depends. Personally, there are times when the ending suddenly comes to me right as I start writing act two. Then, it’s a simple matter of figuring out what scenes are going to lead up to the end.

All of this works specifically if you have the end in mind so this post will address that situation. Act three is important. This is where the characters may or may not have closure, might be a cliff hanger, or neatly wraps up a series. Knowing how it all ends helps the writer focus on the writing and can keep the story concise.

So, the question remains, how do we work backwards for a goal?

A good question to ask is how did the character get there? What did they have to do to be in that moment in time? This queation is meant to get thise gears turning. It works like retracing your steps only it’s not for you. I tend to write the steps in bullet points so its easier to visualize.

Once those bullet point come in mind then it gets simpler. What came before that scene? What about the one before that? And the before that? You see where I’m going with this?

This method can also work even if you didn’t have the ending in mind at the beginning. Maybe you started at the beginning and, as you wrote, the ending solidified. Now, all that is left is to figure out those steps in between. The writing becomes focused with purpose.

Lastly, it’s important to keep in mind that scenes and endings don’t always appear so suddenly. A lot of it comes from the writer writing and thinking what’s going to happen next. Keeping thinking, keep imagining what will happen next. Let the gears turn. And as always, have fun and take breaks to prevent from becoming frustrated with the lack of progress or if the execution isn’t as you intended. Take a deep breath and plan on.

Posted in Gamernation News, NaNoWriMo, Writing

Developing that Idea – Method 1

You decided to participate in Camp NaNoWriMo. Awesome. You have an idea of what you’re going to write about. Cool. You’ve mulled it over for some time and you have a a vague story. Yet the question remains, how are you going to get that idea to blossom into 50k words for you? This is where I’ll put my two cents in.

This post will mainly focus on developing the idea for novel writing that can bleed into scripts, novellas, and short stories. To begin, I find it good practice to summarize  your idea into one sentence. I’ll use the following example throughout the post.

A prince must escapes his kingdom to save the world.

It’s not the greatest logline but it will have to do. Now, if this was my idea, the first question I’d ask myself is ‘how?’. How is this going to happen? This is where the three arc structure comes into play.

To summarize, it consists of the beginning, middle, and end. The beginning is where we introduce the character’s normal life before we introduce the big inciting moment. This moment is where the character realizes (somewhat) that their normal life won’t be the same. They are thrust into the new world (act two: the middle). Here they struggle, overcome obstacles, meet the ‘big bad’ that can be an actual enemy, a tough decision, bigger life changing event, etc., before leading up to the end (act three) where they find out the consequences of their decision and we get too see how it all plays out.

How does this look in practice? So in the first arc, I’d introduce the prince and his life. This is where I’ll show the readers his daily life, what he strives for, and what he fears.

A lot of developing the idea process will blend into other areas like character creation, world building, etc. It might seem overwhelming because there’s so much to do, but focus on the idea first. In my humble opinion, I believe that without a well developed idea, the writing can fall through.

So, in my notebook, I’d write down a few qualities of the prince. He’ll be responsible, eager, and stubborn. As mention before, the first arc introduces his world. We find out about the family and all that good stuff.

At some point, he discovers that a family member began a coup so, the youth prince must flee (It’s cliche but, for this purpose, it works). Perhaps during the escape, he learns some information. His aunt must obtain some relic in order to take the throne (or something). So, off the young prince goes with retainers or a bodyguard. That’s act one.

Act two, is the largest part of the story.  This is where the young prince tries to find more information on the relic. Where is it located/ hidden? He’ll probably have to consult with far away people and mystics for that information. During his travels, he has to hide his identity, learn how to survive, and dodge his aunt’s assassins and bounty hunters. All of these are obstacles.

To raise the stakes, the young prince learns that the relic only appears every ten years, on a certain day, under certain stars, and under a tree. That day is technically a week away and no one knows where this relic is. Eventually, they find the location and off they go. A race against time and enemies. You get the picture.

To simplify, what does your character want? How are they going to get it? What can you do to make it more difficult? Or another way. What does you character cherish? What can you do to take that away? Everyone wants something. Start with that and then rock the boat. Make that journey more difficult, think of obstacles.

Say for example you’re in the middle of the story and everything is going smoothly. No. It can’t. Murphy’s Law. Think of what can go wrong and make it happen.

Lastly, you don’t have to have everything planned out right at the beginning. I would suggest starting with the first act of introductions and rocking the boat. This is probably the first five or so chapters in the story. Then, starting thinking about that middle part. How can it get more complicated. Give your character some wins but keep the pressure on. The ending is where you resolve everything.

Ideas may come to mind as you write that are completely different from what you wrote initially. Embrace that. Not everything will go according to plan and that’s okay.

For the next post, I’ll go into starting with the ending and writing backwards. Thanks for reading.