Posted in Methods, NaNoWriMo, Resources, updates, Writing

Scrapping for Ideas

Over the weekend, I decided that I will be participating n July’s Camp NaNoWriMo. My reason for this is due to the fact that I haven’t been writing as much as I should. Using July’s Camp NaNoWriMo, I want to trick myself into writing more that I have been. This month, however, I won’t be aiming towards 50k words. Instead, I’ll be aiming towards 30k words this month. If, for whatever reason, I write more than 30k words than my goal was successful. With everything that is going on right now. I don’t have that much free time.

Saying this, I don’t really have anything planned for this month. I do have a few story ideas floating around and prepared but I’m not sure if those are novel ready. So, this poses the question: how am I going to reach 30k words or more without having a lot prepared.

First off, I’m going to wing it. I don’t normally do this because I typically have a sense of where the story is going to go. For this story in general, I have the basic idea for it but I don’t know where to go from the beginning. There’s a vague idea floating in my head but nothing is concrete.

Secondly, I’m going to write random scenes. I’m going to have my characters is conversations with others that could pertain to the plot. Maybe as I write these conversations, inspiration will strike and Camp NaNoWriMo will go smoothly. Fingers crossed. And, I never know. Inspiration might strike at random.

Next, I might actually do some plotting when I have the time. This won’t be too elaborate or too in depth but it might help. I don’t want to get stressed over writing 30k this month. So, while I will put effort into completing my goal, I don’t want to force myself to do it. When it’s forced, it’s not fun anymore and I always try to have fun when I write. I want to enjoy it.

Lastly, I might even go back to the original draft and steal ideas from that. The story I’m writing for this Camp NaNoWriMo, I worked on it a few years back. It never went anywhere because I didn’t like the direction it was going so, I basically stopped writing. This time around, I’m trying to revamp the story. I really liked the characters and the magic system I created for this world so I want to keep using. If worst come to worst, I might even think about combining ideas together. I’ve done that before and it has worked. It might work this time too.

Now, while I usually post world-building posts on Mondays, for this month, it might change or it might not. Depends on the day and what I have to do. I’ll try sticking to the schedule I set up because I think it was working really well with a few exceptions. If anything changes, I’ll announce it.

Thanks for reading and, for those participating in Camp NaNoWriMo, good luck. Don’t forget to share some tips. I’m going to need all the help I can get.


Posted in Writing

Character Creation – part 1

Sometimes a character pops into my head before the actual story. There might be a small scene around the character but nothing is concrete. I don’t plan for this to happen, it just does.

So, what do I do when I have an idea of a character? For starters, I tend to know the character’s sex. I don’t know the character’s gender until way later.

Next, I think about what kind of world would this character live in? Futuristic? Fantasy? Modern day?

Once, I decide that, I look at the situation they are in. Do they struggle to pay for basic essentials? Are they on the run? Are they a gun for hire? Maybe they are a detective/ investigator.

If I can’t think of an answer, I mix and match. Would this character fit in an urban setting? Would it make sense if they were on the run? Nothing is is ever concrete at the beginning. Characters are like clay. They can be modeled as many times as they need to.

As the character takes shape, pieces tend to fall into place. A character now has a sword and a gun. The only place they drink their coffee is from a run down shop on a corner of a not so nice street. For character creation, I think it’s helpful to start with the little things.

What would their room look like? It’s a clean? Messy? Undisturbed? Do they use mouth wash? What snacks do they eat? Do they drink too much coffee? What does a normal day for them look like? What kind of clothes do they wear? Where do they buy their clothes?

There are a lot of character creating questionnaires out there and I’ve found some of them very useful. However, I don’t always need to use them. Sure it’s important to know if your character has any family, siblings, a boyfriend/girlfriend, or a pet, but I found that somethings, character creation gets bog down with those sorts of questions.

At times, it feels like a job to me and it’s no longer fun. The character just slips from my mind and it never goes anywhere. I like to mull it over a bit. Keep it a secret if you will before putting it down on paper.

Posted in Methods, Writing

It’s all in the details

On the path to rewriting a project I’ve been working on for a long time, I began to think of a basic question: how was bread made? Off to the internet I went searching for answers and, not only did I get the information, I learned about the type of bread different social classes ate and the different ingredients that went into making bread. Somewhere in the midst of those paragraphs, any hype I once had about the impact of bread in my story vanished.

Not only did I realize that I have been out of the researching game for a while, I also thought about the actual impact bread would have in the story. What difference would it make to have those small details? For some project, say historical fiction, those types of details would definitely be important and I’m sure readers would call you out on it if it wasn’t right. But in my case, when I really thought about it, mentioning bread wouldn’t make much of a difference. If for example, I turned my story into a rags to riches story and bread was one of the ways that would reveal to the reader how out of place my character is then you bet I would research bread throughout history.

Today, I’m here to say that basics matter. I guess that seems obvious but at the same time, it’s not something that pops out right away. At least, in my case, it doesn’t. Some writers have everything planned out from what their characters ate on a particular morning to the type of underwear they were at night – if they do at all. If you’re like me, however, I tend to focus on the plot and how to get my story on paper first before I deal with all the small details.

I’m not saying that I don’t do research for my stories; when it comes to weapons, I research everything; time period, the way they were made, who used them, everything. Looking at lore, clothing, social classes, hand-to-hand combat are but a few of what I look up in books and internet. However, sometimes the research tends to get too overwhelming and my excitement evaporates which is why I have to write the story and if anything major comes up that I need to look into then I will.



Well, do become knowledgeable about whatever topic you’re writing about. Consult experts, books, research studies, etc. Just don’t overwhelm yourself with so much researching that you won’t want to write your story. Read other’s work. Look at what other authors have done and what can you take from them.

Plan out your plot. Knowing what’s going to happen a few scenes down the road would definitely help. For example, your story takes place in medieval times or in a fantasy, you did research over weapons. Your characters walks through the market and two knights are fighting each other. One has a broad sword and the other wields a falchion. Small opportunities like that add to the world building and also reveal that your character knows what a falchion is and it reveals your research. In the end, it makes your story jump off the pages.