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.

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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.

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

NANOWRIMO WINNER!

NaNo-2018-Winner-Badge

The final countdown has begun and I’m happy to announce that I met the goal of 50,000 words for the month. It’s been a great experience for me and I’ve got so much of the novel rewritten. The story is half way through the middle and I already have the end set up so, it shouldn’t take too long to finish now.

I’m planning on finding a few beta readers for this story to catch any typos and to let me know what works and doesn’t in the story. Most of the original content was kept but was repurposed so, a few things might not work well anymore. Overall, having a few extra pair of eyes will help me out.

Moving forward, I’m going to work extra to to go back to the schedule I had set up before where I’d post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Recently, everything has been jumbled up but that is the goal.

In the midst of all that, as I mentioned, I’ll also be studying for the Texes content exam that’s coming up in a few weeks so that might mess with the schedule a bit. It should not be too much of an issue. I have practice studying for exams so, I’m not too worried. With some time management and to-do lists, I think I got everything handled.

For everyone who reached their NaNoWriMo goal: Congratulations!

For those who are still writing: Keep up the great work! You got this!

 

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.