NaNoWriMo – Day 20

I’m tired. The words are not coming as easily as they were at the start of the month. This is likely due to two factors:

  1. I had a plan for the start of the month which has long since been exhausted.
  2. I’m not used to a) writing every day and b) writing a decent amount every day

Luckily, though, I am still on track(-ish) to finish on time.

In other exciting news, summer has finally arrived so the house is like a sauna (humidity included) which makes it difficult to concentrate enough to write or do anything really.

How is your NaNoWriMo journey going? Are you maintaining momentum?

NaNoWriMo -Day 12 *25,000*

So it’s day 12 of NaNoWriMo (the end of in my time zone), and my momentum has really slowed since my last update. I managed to hit my targets on 5th – 8th but the news which came out of America on the 9th threw me a lot more than I was expecting. I also had an event that night so although I got some words in before work, I finished the day well under target. I’ve been feeling the knock-on effects of that since.

Luckily, due to my great first day, I managed to hit the half-way mark this evening. I’m super pleased to still be a few days ahead and what is honestly motivating me the most is the thought that the sooner I hit the 50,000, the sooner NaNo can be over.

Today, I also reached the end of my outline so from here on out, I’m back in solid pantser territory so that’s likely to keep my word count low for the next couple of days until I get the next part of the plot sorted out in my head.

How are you going with NaNo? Are you loving it or over it?

NaNoWriMo Update – Day 5

Hello, hello! I hope you’re all having a wonderful and productive day! We’re already five days into NaNoWriMo 2016 and, to be quite frank, I’m already exhausted.

In the lead up to NaNo this year, I was feeling a bit uncertain about my story. It’s something I first came up with almost two years ago but hadn’t touched in over a year. However, I’ve been lucky enough to get off to a flying start. I think this is due in part to my decision to actually plan beforehand. I’m usually a pretty precise planner but for some reason, when it comes to writing, I try to fly by the seat of my pants. This will be my fourth year participating in NaNoWriMo and the first year I planned in advance.

I do think it’s paid off. Tuesday 1st November was a public holiday in my state so I had plenty of time to write and managed to break my previous personal record with a total of 5,272 words. I was really stoked with this because I usually sag between days 8 and 12 and never quite manage to make it back up. With this head start, I hope to keep on top of the line, even if I miss a day or two.

I hope to share some of my NaNo novel with you guys in Wednesday as part of WIPpet Wednesday, so keep an eye out for that!🙂

Are you doing NaNoWriMo this year? What’s your story about?

Book Challenge Update – November

belle

As we near the end of the year, I thought I’d give you guys a quick update on how I’m going with my goal of 26 books this year.

  • The Raven Boys | Maggie Stiefvater
  • The Queen’s Choice | Cayla Kluver
  • The Captive Prince | C. S. Pacat
  • The Many Coloured Land | Christopher Koch
  • The Architect’s Apprentice | Elif Shafak
  • Sasha | Joel Shepherd
  • The Dream Thieves | Maggie Stiefvater
  • Blue Lily, Lily Blue | Maggie Stiefvater
  • All Our Yesterdays | Cristin Terrill
  • Me Before You | Jojo Moyes
  • The Secret History | Donna Tartt
  • The Stone Diaries | Caroline Shields
  • Ukraine Diaries | Andry Kurkov
  • My Brilliant Friend | Elena Ferrante
  • The Raven King | Maggie Stiefvater
  • Close Call | Stella Rimington
  • Sailing to Sarantium | Guy Gavriel Kay
  • Throne of Glass | Sarah J. Maas
  • Crown of Midnight | Sarah J. Maas
  • Heir of Fire | Sarah J. Maas
  • Queen of Shadows | Sarah J. Maas

Currently reading: –

I haven’t started my next book yet but I should be starting it tomorrow. I don’t want to be reading anything in the genre I write while I do NaNoWriMo so I’m trying to find a readable non-fiction book to occupy me during the commute to and from work.

How are your reading goals going? What was the last book you read?

NaNoWriMo Prep – You Need a Plan

nanowrimo_2016_webbanner_participant

Yes, you. You need a plan, I need a plan, we all need a plan if we are going to tackle the 50,000 word challenge and emerge as healthy, happy human beings at the end of it.

There’s a general attitude in the amateur writing community that there are two basic types of writer:

  1. The Planner. The planner, as the name suggests, plans things, sometimes to within an inch of their lives. Chapter outlines, character concept sheets, interviews, charts, day-to-day to-do lists – you name it, a planner has probably done it. They likely have a document already twice the length of the eventual novel with all the background they could ever want or need. And maybe only one or two sentences of that material will ever make it into the finished product.
  2. The Pantser. A.k.a. every year, all the time, always. Hey, I’m working on it. And, as a general rule, there’s no problem with this method. It works really well for a lot of writers. That said, this method comes unstuck when you mix it with 30 days, 50,000 words and other time commitments like work, school, and a social life.

So I’m gonna make this super clear. Your health (mental and physical) is more important than a book, than a month, than a challenge. 

Which brings me back to my first point – if you want to tackle NaNoWriMo and survive it, you need to plan.

Planning for Pantsers

Yeah, I know – you don’t have time, planning stifles your creativity, your writing flows better when you fly by the seat of your pants. Normally, I would agree with you but for November, I’m just gonna refer you to the first half of this post.

(Planners, you already got this bit so you can skip to the second set of dot points.)

  • Do you know the general shape you want your story to take? (This may (read:will) change as the month progresses. So what? Having an idea of the overall shape will help, I promise)
  • Do you have a protagonist?
  • Do you have an antagonist?
  • Is there conflict?
  • Do you have a space where you can write? Can you easily make space?
  • Do you have the right materials?
  • Do you know how much time you have each day to write? You don’t want to be sacrificing too much sleep or ignoring all social obligations or not turning in assignments or skipping shifts at work just to complete a challenge that means nothing in the larger scheme of things.

You obviously don’t need to have concrete answers to all of these dot points but you may find it helpful to mull over them as October draws to a close.

Y’all need to be paying attention to this bit.

Ok, I know I haven’t really emphasised this very much* but you need to look after yourself during November. It is really really easy to fall into a pattern of caffeine abuse, junk food and bum in seat inaction.

I’m not going to tell you to not eat chocolate/poison treat of choice or to take up running/rock climbing/ocean swimming/extreme yoga. That would be ridiculous and I certainly wouldn’t be following that advice. You’d never tear me away from chocolate. So instead here’s a few tips to minimise the damage.

  • Drink water. I know some people aren’t huge fans of water (a lot of tap water in the U.S. seems to be pretty undrinkable from what I’ve heard) so if you can’t stomach the idea of straight water, try tea. Energy drinks and soda will only get you so far. I honestly find that a glass of cool water does more to wake me up and help me focus than a shot of coffee.
  • Have some healthy snacks on your desk. Fruit or nuts or seeds or carrot sticks, whatever you want. Have that chocolate handy too but mix things up.
  • Move. Stand, stretch, walk, dance. If you can stand while you type, that’s better for you than sitting the whole time. Kill two birds with one stone and meet a friend for a walk. Take a dance class.
  • Try something new. You’re going to spend a whole month focusing religiously one one thing. It’s little wonder that so many NaNo-ers suffer writer’s block. Mix things up, take a class or watch some YouTube videos and learn a new skill. Your brain, your body and your writing will thank you for it.
  • Read. When you’re not writing (during your commute or before you go to sleep) flick through a few pages of a book from a genre completely different from the story you’re writing. This will help you avoid cliches and could give you a insight into some really cool writing tricks.
  • Enjoy it! Let’s be real, NaNoWriMo, for most people, is no walk in the park but you shouldn’t be so stressed and miserable trying to hit your words goals that you’re getting nothing out of the experience. I honestly feel I learnt more about writing and myself the years I didn’t hit the 50,000.

If you made it all the way to the bottom of this post, thank you. It ended up a little longer than I intended.

Best of luck in November and feel free to add me as a writing buddy🙂

NaNoWriMo Announcement!

With NaNoWriMo now just around the corner, I’ve decided to announce the piece I’ll be working on this November.

*drumroll please*

Soldier ◊ Sorcerer ◊ Healer ◊ King

The once powerful empire of Erelda has been plagued by drought, famine, highwaymen and poor leadership for decades when the Sacred Flame finally Names the successors to the four empty thrones.

Some believe that it is a sign that prosperity will return to Erelda but there are those who will stop at nothing to ensure that the four children chosen to lead never reach adulthood.

Intruiged? You can check out my interviews with some of my characters below and this pinterest board gives you a window into the world of Erelda.

Maisha

Jahinda

Kalegos 

Itsak

Zyr

Are you participating in NaNoWriMo this year? What’s your story about? Tell me in the comment below!🙂

And feel free to add me as a writing buddy. May we conquer November, together.

 

Camp NaNoWriMo – A Review

So in the lead up to NaNoWriMo, I thought I’d share again with you my thoughts on Camp NaNoWriMo. Don’t let the names fool you – these are two vastly different creatures.

A.E. Browne

So, I took part in Camp NaNoWriMo this year, and boy is it a different beast to normal NaNoWriMo. If the November session is a huge street party of creativity, the Carnevale of writing, Camp NaNoWriMo truly is a camp. That one you went on when you were like thirteen, stuck in the woods or up a mountain with a group of the least talkative people. You know those ones who refuse to participate in the activities and sit in the corner on their phones/game consoles?

I’m certain that if you have people you can share your cabin with, it would be an awesome, supportive, inspiring experience. Unfortunately, that was not my lot this year. Maybe next year. Who knows?

That said, there were some amazing parts of Camp NaNoWriMo:

  • the ability to define your own goal
  • the thrill of seeing the word count rise
  • the race against the trajectory…

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