Posted in General

On NaNo Prep

If you’re feeling like November is breathing down your neck already, you’re not alone. There’s two weeks left before November first arrives, and with it, NaNoWriMo. That’s something I didn’t realize until sitting down to write this post. Time to complete any necessary NaNo Prep is running out.

Much as I like to write without a plan, it’s important to remember that NaNo is a marathon, not a print. Doing it without any sort of plan is possible, but not recommended. Doing it with zero preparation is absolutely inadvisable.

That leaves only a few options.

Option A, rush through and try to get outlines, character arcs and research done in two weeks. While doable, unloading a ton of energy into just preparing may not leave you enough energy to pour into the actual writing. Secondly, a rush job might leave holes later that need closing up, potentially dragging out the editing portion.

Option B is to hodgepodge things together. A vague outline or a couple of free writes might be enough. In the spirt of Rebel Wrimos, this is also a good place to decide once and for all that you’re going to do That project you keep putting off or finish This novel that you’ve been creeping through. It might mean you spend these last days making notes on what’s happened so far, and ideas of what’s coming up. It’s good for those who can flex well or have works-in-progress they want to put fifty-thousand words towards.

Option C is to dive into the story without a plan. That’s not necessarily an easy thing to do, and it will make your NaNo harder. It’s not something I’d recommend if this is a first attempt at NaNo. If however, you know your personal process well enough and if you’re already brimming with ideas, this is more than possible. It means rather than plotting or developing characters, your focus on the next two weeks is in filling your creative well with as many ideas as possible. Building playlists or creating mood boards is a good way to help with that for the hardcore pantsers.

Regardless of how detailed your plan is, you need to be prepared to put in a lot of work over the next thirty days. That includes making sure you have time dedicated to writing. If you haven’t told your family or friends about it, do it now! Today!

This is also a good time to clean out your space if you need to. Having a clean and fresh space to work from can help you focus on the task ahead, rather than getting distracted.

Finally, make sure you are taken care of. If that means setting up a reminder on your phone to get up and get some water, do so. Get a writing buddy that will also challenge you to stand up and stretch every thirty minutes or so.

Are you ready for NaNoWriMo? What’s your plan for November? Let me know in the comments!

 

Posted in Exercises, writing

The WiP Showoff Challenge

One of the hardest parts of being a writer sometimes is willingly sharing our work, especially when it’s not finished. We want it to be good and we want others to enjoy it as much as we enjoy writing it.

Which is why I’d like to invite all of you to follow me in a game. Open your current Work-in-Progress to join in. Then show off your work with the following challenges:

  1. Share the title and any previous working titles.
  2. First paragraph where your MC’s name appears.
  3. Favorite line from the first page.
  4. First line of dialogue from page eleven.
  5. Least favorite line from the most recently written page.
  6. Favorite line from or about your antagonist.

Ready? Go! You can find mine down below. Drop me a link if you take up the game, I’d love to see the highlights of your work in progress!

  1. Share the title and any previous working titles.
    • Rosekeeper. So far that’s the only title.
  2. First paragraph where your MC’s name appears.
    • The rattle of the old carriage as they moved forward grated on her already sensitive nerves. For the third or fourth time, Bella smoothed the front of her dress. She was starting to get tired of hauling her finest clothes out to arguments like this.
  3. Favorite line from the first page.
    1. “One revolutionary thought at a time,” Jims counseled.
  4. First line of dialogue from page eleven.
    • “I’m sorry,” Sola said.
  5. Least favorite line from the most recently written page.
    • “What’s stopping you from hiring them?” Sola asked.
  6. Favorite line from or about your antagonist.
    • There was a monster of the Rose Garden alright, but it turned out the only monster was the one who locked women in prisons and reneged on his agreements.
Posted in blogging, General

April Recap

I think it’s fair to say that April has been a month full of stress and worry. COVID-19 continues to be a very real threat.  I hope you all are safe at home. If you’re one of the essential workers helping to keep everything running: thank you. Thank you to the firefighters, the nurses, the doctors, the police and the sheriffs helping protect and combat this virus directly. Thank you to the delivery drivers, grocery clerks, farmworkers, and sanitation workers helping our families and first responders survive this crisis.

While COVID is affecting daily life heavily, there is still some progress to be noted about the month. Here at least, numbers have begun to plateau. Although it’s likely the situation won’t resolve for months at the least, the fact that there is some positive change is at least a sign that we can and will get a handle on the situation.

Moving onto other news, I’m really pleased with how my personal challenge went this month. I had quite a few rough days where I didn’t get much writing done. If you want a day-by-day breakdown, you can check out the 30 Day Shorts Part I,Part II, Part III and Part IV. Below you’ll find the last few days of the April Challenge.

I actually really enjoyed having a challenge and I wish I had another one to do. I might see about finding another, perhaps for July.

Day 26
Two more flash-pieces done, the first titled ‘Problem Solver’ and the second being ‘Bus Tickets’. I had more ideas but unfortunately didn’t get a chance to start on any of them.

Day 27
Worked on ideas from yesterday. Finished up the selection of pieces with ‘Recruiter’ and ‘Technomancer’. I’ve actually gotten caught up somehow and am sitting on twenty-seven pieces.

Day 28
One more short, this one titled ‘She Came Through’. Ended up using the Day 27 prompts on accident.

Day 29
Ended up scrambling to get laundry done and dried yesterday since my dryer has broken. Nothing short written.

Day 30
Last day of the challenge! I ended up not working on any short stories today, meaning I finished the month out with a total of twenty-eight shorts. All things considered, even though it technically means I didn’t succeed at the challenge, I’m happy with what I ended up with.

How was your April?

Posted in Exercises, General

30 Day Shorts IV

Part I is here. Part II is here. Part III is here and you’re on part IV right now!

Day 18 and 19
Absolutely no shorts written. To be fair, the 18th was also another writing-free day.

Day 20
I got a short written early this morning. Hoping I get more done as I’m about five shorts behind.  Current title is ‘Learning’.

Day 21
Finished one short early in the day titled ‘Petal Soft’. I also managed to start another short before bed titled ‘A Sister’s Love’.

Day 22
Managed to finish the short I started yesterday. Also did another short currently titled ‘Big Announcements.’ Still well behind where I should be but getting closer to catching up.

Day 23
I managed to get three very short flash pieces done today. The largest of them, currently titled ‘An Adventurer’s Binds’ is only 306 words. The other two, ‘A Suitor Declined’ and ‘Desert Wood’ are 230 and 233 respectively.

Day 24
Just one short finished today, bringing my current total up to twenty-two. Latest title is ‘Words and Actions’.

 

Posted in General, writing

30 Day Shorts III

You can check out the first two parts here and here.

Day 11
I ended up not writing anything today. Mostly spent it working on some art instead of writing.

Day 12
Another writing-free day. I spent it looking through my various projects and organizing some notes.

Day 13
Got some flash pieces done! They were more to get me back into the mindset of a particular series so aren’t much more than fluff scenes. I ended up with two; ‘Puppy Love’ and ‘Marry Me’.

Day 14
Ended up using today’s word list to get a short piece done for my main project. It spanned a little longer than I expected it to, clocking in at just over a thousand. Currently titled ‘Genius’.

Day 15
Nothing short written today, but a little bit more done on one of my main projects.

Day 16
Again, nothing short written, but a lot of good stuff written for my main projects. A little worried about how I’ll catch up on all the shorts at this point, but that’s the point of a challenge is to push and see how much I can do.

Day 17
I got a short flash piece done this morning! While I’m still behind, having one done takes some of the worry off. Current title is ‘Housekeeping’.