Get Crackin: Preptober

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It dawned on me today that I have yet to even start getting ready for Nanowrimo next month. I had a slight panic attack but seeing as how it’s still early in the month, I relaxed a little.

Everyone has their own way of getting ready. Some are old school like me and write up notes and index cards, while others use programs like Scrivener. (I will get that eventually…she said for the umpteenth time).

Some writers have a full blown manuscript on just their prep alone, with pages of character sketches, maps, plot points, scene break down, etc… While others have little to no idea the day Nano starts. (You people are my heroes…I know people who have had success doing this.  I am not one of those people.)

If you don”t know what your method is, just find what works for you. All writers are different. What works for me might not work for you.

This is what I need to prep this year:

Characters: I am writing in the same universe as my Blood Bonds so I know my charcters well, but there are a couple of new faces. One has introduced himself to me, the other two are being coy and won’t come out of the shadows…yet. Hopefully they will by November 1st.

Setting: Again, same universe so I know the setting well. I will be getting to know it a tad more, but nothing too major.

Plot: Ok, so this is where is gets tricky. Basically I know I want two things in particular to happen…in my head one is a plot and the other is a subplot, but things may go a bit differently. I need to think on my story more. I plan to write some scenes I know I want to happen. I will bring out the index cards and use that method. It’s one of my faves. This will help me figure out plot and give me something to work with come November.

Rewards: Yeah, this is totally on my prep list. I need some sort of treat to fuel me to get a few extra words in. If I hit 25k ahead of schedule, I am having a day off and a Big Mac. I used to use Halloween candy. Like, have a piece after five hundred words or so. But let’s face it, I can’t refrain myself from dippin in the treat bowl. 😉

So, what are you doing to prep for Nano? Do you know what your project is for this year?

 

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Making A Plan And Making Writing A Priority

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It is really easy to put things off. I am the Queen of Procrastination. It isn’t that I don’t want to do certain things, but the phrases “I am going to start this soon” or “I will get on that tomorrow”, become easier to say. And tomorrow turns into the next day and so on.

I have been doing a lot of thinking lately about my writing. I am kicking myself for wasted days and being lazy. I’m not as prolific as I used to be. I’m not happy with that, so it is time for a REAL change.

I’m not the type of person to write every day. Some writers are. Even during NaNoWriMo there are days I don’t write. Either because life is simply too hectic that day, or I need to give my brain a little bit of recharge time. (Although I only do that if I am at least a day or two ahead of schedule.)

While I am not a person to write every day, all week, all year, I know I can write some of the week. So I am making myself a schedule of sorts.

I am vowing to write four days a week. If more, bonus! But unless life takes some major curve ball, I know I can write (or edit) even a page or two that much during the week. I have no real excuse right now not to do that.

I have last year’s Nano to work on, plus a new project I have been dying to get at. So I have a great starting point for my work.

Instead of just thinking about writing, I need to get off my ass and start DOING.

Have you made any new changes or goals for your writing? If so, what have you decided to do?

 

NaNoWriMo: Day 17

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It has been a little while since my last update, but I have been stuck deep down in the word mines. I’m just emerging now for a quick breath before I head back in again.

Last night I hit 30,000, and I am pretty happy about that. My word progress is coming along. I wanted to stay ahead, for the odd day where I couldn’t write. And since I have recently become a Jamberry consultant, I have had a day or two where I have been focusing on that.

Tonight I am heading out to our third official NaNoWrimo write-in. I love them! There’s nothing to do but sit and write, no distractions.

Usually at this point in the month, the words are slower coming. It is like trudging through sludge. In the beginning we had a fresh, brand new idea that we couldn’t wait to start. Now we are trying to muddle through the middle. Figure out where we want our novel to go. How it is going to get to the ending we want. Or handle characters that have gone rouge and are doing things you didn’t plan or expect.

But keep going. No matter how hard this part seems, don’t give up. We’ve got this. Grab your coffee. Go hide. You can do this!

 

When Your Novel Isn’t Going According to Plan

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When we sit and jot down notes about our novels or sit down and plan them at some point we generally get a feel for what we hope/want/think will happen.

Sometimes when the day comes to actually sit and write it, everything is going fine and then suddenly-BAM! All of a sudden there’s things happening that you didn’t expect. Or the general feel for your novel has changed. And sometime those characters sound wimpy when they are supposed to be strong. Or sound like a cardboard cut out, when, in your head you SWORE they had a personality.

Right now I am taking part in NaNoWriMo. I decided to do something fun. Something for me. I wanted to get creative and have a world where I could have a free for all.

After a talk with a friend, I decided to write a twist to a classic fairy tale. During the creative process I decided it would be a dark fairy tale. I decided that there would be other fairy tale characters after all. I made my map and figure out what magic and creatures would potentially be in my story.

On day six of NaNo, my dark fairy tale isn’t that dark. It is way more on the…romantic end that I wanted it to be. And my heroine isn’t as…kick ass as I wanted her to be. My villain is more like a cardboard cut out then a person.

So what do you do when things aren’t as you’d wanted?

Roll with it. This is a first draft. You won’t finish a first draft if you keep going back to change it, edit it, alter it in some manner. Take some notes and keep on going. I will work on making my heroine more kick ass, so now that will be part of her character development in the novel. As for making it dark, I will keep it in my mind as I write and when edits come, I will change what I have written to suit the rest of the novel. As for my villain, well, she needs improving. At least I know that.

Even when your character does something unexpected, roll with it. The characters are telling this after all, not you. (This is where Mr.C would look at me funny.) I have written novels where my basic outline got thrown out half way through writing. They just weren’t relevant anymore.

So, don’t get too upset. Don’t get mad or frustrated. Words can be erased or deleted. Have fun and roll with the punches. 🙂

NaNoWrimo: Day 4

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Last night I went to our first Nano write-in and managed to get my word count of the day plus a little extra. It was a small group with about seven of us but we had a great time and everyone made progress! 🙂

I felt like the pace was a bit slow. I had been planning so many action scenes and events in October, and I kind of forgot the fact I had to introduce my characters. And I wasn’t sure how long it would take for the action to pick up.

Today while at work I had some time to write. Well, it was a slow day so lots of time. I wrote almost 3000 words, bringing my grand total to just over 10,000!!! AND the pace is changing now. I am where I wanted to be. There is upset in my FMC’s life. Things are just going to get even better from here.

How is your progress? No matter if you write a few words or lots of them so far, the main thing is this: you wrote. You created. Keep it going. We got this! 🙂

My Top 3 Tips For Surviving NaNoWriMo

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In just a few more days writers around the world will take to their laptops, tablets and notebooks and begin the adventure that is NaNoWriMo.

While NaNoWriMo is a month full of writing, cramped fingers, coffee and meet ups, it is a long, stressful month. And sometimes we need to remind ourselves to trudge on.

Here’s how I plan to survive November.

Take a breather. As important as it is to crank out that 50k, it is just as important to take time here and there to take a deep breath. Ahead of schedule? Go for a walk or spend the evening watching a movie. Behind and stressing? Take a short walk or make a coffee run to your fave cafe.

Reward yourself. Don’t reward yourself for every little thing, but do set some sort of reward system. Finish 500 words? Grab a piece of candy! Make the word count for the day? Go play Candy Crush. It’s the little things that help.

Get out. If you are able to get to write ins and Nano meet ups, go! They are fun and you get to chat to fellow writers who know all about the struggle. If you have a writers group, make sure you meet up for inspiration and motivation. Nobody around? Get online and find a writers group or hit the Nano forums.

What are your tips for surviving the month? 🙂

One Week To Go

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A week from today is Halloween, which means that NaNoWriMo is on the horizon. For all of us taking part, we have one full week left to plot, plan and brainstorm. To get in as many finishing touches as we need to begin what I affectionately call ‘The Month From Hell’. (Or as one of my friends call it, ‘The Month That Kerry Disappears’.)

I am panicking slightly.

Okay, I’m lying. I am panicking A LOT.

Which is normal for this time of year. I feel like I am back in highschool and a big exam is in a few days and I realized that I haven’t really even begun to study.

I’m not totally unprepared. I’m writing a dark fairy tale/fantasy. So I have a map printed off and I have gotten totally addicted to creating a little world. I have a semblance of a plot. I don’t like planning every moment because that takes the fun out of writing the actual story. I have a hero I am in love with and he is so fun to work with. He’s flawed and has an interesting backstory and has these little secrets. And he’s yet to tell them all to me.

My heroine is another story. I like her, I really do. But creating her is a bit more…work then it is to create my hero. And I still need to add touches to my world building and figure out a bit more of my actual story.

The part that worries me is my FMC, because I don’t want her feeling like a cardboard cut out the day I start writing.

How is your novel planning going? Are you all ready to go or are you panicked like I am?