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 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?

Posted in NaNoWriMo, updates, Writing

Changes, Articles, and July

June has come to an end (sort of) and July is right around the corner. The week has been productive. Starting next month, I’ll be writing articles about Dungeons & Dragond for GamerNationNews and I’ll provide the links for that. It’s also for tabletop games so that’s going to be interesting.

As you’ll know, the website has changed. I’ve made some visual changes. There’s more changes coming but it’s going to subtle and I’ll mention it as well.

The certification program is going well. There’s a lot of reading but nothing I can’t handle. With managing everything, I’m getting posts published on a set schedule. Plus, I have also manged to get in some writing time.

Now, as July comes closer, there’s one thing that I’m unsure about. July brings Camp NaNoWriMo. Unlike the other times, this time, I don’t know if I want to participate. There’s a lot on my plate and there’s only so much I can time manage.

If I wasn’t attending the program, I could do it but now, I’m not so sure. I think what I might end up doing is to start Camp NaNoWriMo in July and continue with it as much as I can. There’s a way to change the word goal for the month.

Instead of 50k words, I might set the goal at 25k or maybe even 30k. To me, every goal for any NaNoWriMo is write more than my usual daily word count. Finishing a novel in 30 days won’t be my goal this July. I just want to write.

Hopefully, my time management will work out. In any case, if I can’t get to my set goal, at least I tries. However, for now, I won’t think negative thoughts. I’ll focus on Camp NaNoWriMo.

Posted in NaNoWriMo, Writing

Ready, Set . . .

Camp NaNoWriMo starts in a day and I’m not exactly prepared. While I do know what I’m going to be working on next month, I might not be mentally prepared for this task.

Now, while I have participated in NaNoWriMo before, I don’t think I will ever be mentally prepared to write 50k words in one month. It doesn’t get any easier. It’s going to be a challenge.

I’m not nervous or anxious. Not really. It’s more like I’m already thinking of potential lack of motivation and hair pulling down the line. Granted, I’ve always finished NaNoWriMo and gotten through tough spots but even so, I can’t help but think of what’s in store. I guess this just means that I have to manage my time a bit more than I have been. (I might have to cut back on gaming. Yikes!)

As of right now, I haven’t downloaded Scrivener on to my desktop yet. I’m really hoping I can download the program to a flash drive so I can take it anywhere with me. Probably not but a girl can hope. If it doesn’t work, I’ll manage. It’ll work out in the end.

For those participating in Camp NaNoWriMo I wish you the best of luck. May the odds be forever in our favor.