Posted in NaNoWriMo, Writing

The Finish Line – Camp NaNoWriMo

Today is the last day for Camp NaNoWriMo. Unlike what I had planned to accomplish, I fell short of my goal. However, I did managed to arrive at my second goal once I figured out that 50k words wouldn’t possible this month. I’m actually proud of myself for that. Against all odds, I was able to sit down, write, and get further in the story (the sequel to the Vampire Princes goes to High School). Because of this, I’m have chapter written weeks in advance which gives me time to prepare and write more chapters. That’s a good feeling to have.

There are about 6 to 7 hours left of the event and I’m going to take that opportunity to keep writing. I doubt I will be able to increase my word count by much, and that’s not the goal, but I just want to write as much as I can during this event. There are more opportunities to write that are coming up so hopefully, I’ll be able to reach those goals.

In part, it had to do with the fact that starting a new job with a new scheduled made things a bit difficult to adjust. It didnt take too long but I believe that it did affect some part of writing. I also know that I’m also to blame so, it was a bit of both sides were the
“guilty” party so to speak. I’ll have to reflect on this month in general and proceed from there.

For those who are very close to hitting their goal, keep writing. There is plenty of time left. Don’t throw in the towel just yet. You’re almost there.

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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.

Posted in Resources, Writing

Unnecessary Characters – Are they necessary?

 

unnecessary characters
Image Link Here

 

One of the things I try to look out for in my writing is unnecessary characters. Sure, as writers, we must populate the story but when is it too much? How can we identify these unnecessary characters?

I like to use the sexy lamp test. This test doesn’t apply only to the relevance of a female character, it applies to other characters as well. If you can replace a character with someone else – or a lamp in this case – they aren’t necessary. The test can also be applied to your main characters.

If, for some reason, you really want a certain character in the story because they bring something unique then, maybe the character needs more work. Flesh them out. Every character has some sort of motivation that gets them through the day and if after all that, the character still doesn’t work then, cut them. You can always recycle them for later.

 

 

Posted in Methods, Resources, Writing

Filling in the Blanks

post filling in the blanksRecently, I found a post on Pinterest that I found very interesting. The post goes to say that writing dialogue first makes the scene easier and longer . The author goes to say that this method worked for him/her when he/she wanted to get some work done. Overall, I think that’s some decent advice.

Personally, it hasn’t been something I’ve tried consciously. I’ve done something similar where I write the basic lines of a scene and dialogue and then go back to fill in the blanks. My method made  me feel like I was too lazy to write everything out completely but seeing this post changes that.

Like many, I’ve always tried to put my best work on the page even if that means rewriting the same sentence a few hundred times. It doesn’t help that I know that that’s not how it works but I find myself doing it anyway. I’ve been trying to work on that, and while there has been progress, there are times when I tend to slip.

I (probably) won’t be using this method consciously right off the bat but I’m not going to write if off. It kind of feels like writing an outline more than anything else but that’s just how I feel. In part I believe because I’ve always associated going back and adding things to a manuscript as rewriting or even editing, I can’t immediately jump to using this method.

Overall, I’m always on the look out for advice and tips that will help me become a better writer. I always strive to grow my skills and abilities. Plus, it’s not like I’m opposed to trying new things. If the chance presents itself, I might just end up writing the dialogue first and the filling in the blanks later.

Posted in Writing

One Track Mind

It has come to my attention that I’m terrible at keeping a schedule. It’s been a bit hectic lately. I’ve been more focused on editing a certain story than writing blog posts and doing much of anything else. This will be the first time that I’ll say that I have a one track mind when I have the energy to work on a story.

However, I will say that I’ve gotten so much done over the last three days. I’ve edited a total of six chapters and it feels good to get things done. Here’s hoping that the momentum stays consistent. Mostly I think it has to do with the fact that I’m finding editing enjoyable again. Before, it felt a bit like a chore because I needed to get it done and I’d force myself to sit down and do it. Those times weren’t too productive and only got about ten pages done. To me, that wasn’t a lot because I knew I could do better.

Now, I feel like since I didn’t feel like I was always productive, I’m trying to make up for that ‘lost’ time. Whether that’s a good or bad thing, I haven’t decided yet. All I know is that I want to keep editing and rewriting.

Writing is very much about discovery and I’ve discovered a few things about myself these last few months. I’ve been asking myself if this is really what I want to do and honestly, I don’t see myself doing anything else. I would regret it if I stopped writing and stopped trying. So, I’ll keep writing because, even though I say I don’t like it and it’s frustrating, I don’t want to do anything else in my free time.