Recovery 2015

Recovery 2015

For the past few months, I avoided writing on here. From a strenuous NaNo to Finals to various minor events over Winter Break, I felt that I had nothing worth writing about, nothing to celebrate or tell.

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My 2015 Planner & my new GOALden 2016 Planner.

However, I looked over my 2015 Passion Planner, and I saw how many things I started, accomplished and achieved. I experienced new things and reaffirmed my goals with the start of the New Year.

And so, after a long break (and a good mental kick in the butt), I present the most striking events of the last two months of 2015 (& a little of 2016.)

NaNoWriMo Lessons

I discovered that 1,667 words, while good for getting 50,000 words in a month, proved to much for my inner & inexperienced writer. I tend to put an extreme amount pressure on myself to live up to my stated goals, even if my goals are obviously too high. As a first time NaNo-er, I should have lowered the standard.

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From a NaNoWriMo Workshop

In the end, I wrote a total of 23, 678 words on my novel over about two weeks (if I don’t count the days I didn’t write). While it isn’t close to 50,000 in a month, the last time I wrote a story over 20,000 words, it took me five months to complete it. I wrote 23,000 in two weeks, and I’m not even close to finishing it!

With some newly acquired time management skills, this next year will see my novel completed, I can guarantee.

Finals: a brief overview

I was the lucky girl who only had two finals this semester, and I used that fully to my Procrastination Advantage. I did not study at all until the Friday before my finals week (whatever you do, don’t do that), but I managed to do well on both of my tests, getting an A in one class and a B in another.

Still, the stress from finals exacerbated the burnout I felt from NaNo, and by the end of the week, I was ready to be out of school for a while.

All the Wisdom Teeth!

Everyone has heard of them, seen the funny videos post surgery and dreaded having their own out.

Well, I had four wisdom teeth, and they all needed to go.

My surgeon was kind and caring, and I easily slipped into the anesthesia-induced sleep . Immediately after awakening, I stumbled out of the building with my mother and an assistant holding me up, lacking any feeling in my lower face. Stitches on my gums gave me the stereotypical chipmunk cheeks, and I couldn’t eat solid food for two weeks.

Unfortunately, I have no funny videos to share, but here’s some pictures!

Me with my magic ice pack and favorite doggie
Look at those Chipmunk Cheeks

Fics & Writing Goals

 While taking a break from my NaNo novel, I’m working on my Harry Potter fanfiction called The Choice. Since publishing, it’s been viewed almost 300 times!

A quick moment of silence for the late Alan Rickman, who played the infamous Severus Snape and inspired me to write this fanfiction. May he rest in peace.

I’m excited to continue with this story and see how my OC develops in the Wizarding World. Fanfiction allowed me to stretch my writing fingers and focus on developing my OCs without feeling the pressure of “I’m-writing-a-novel.”

With my renewed focus on my fic, I decided to set a daily and monthly word count goal. I learned from NaNo that a having a short and long term goal makes writing seem more urgent and feel more important. While 1,667 words a day and 30,000 words total were too much for me,  500 words daily and 15,000 monthly allows me the option of a quick writing session when I’m in a time crunch. It’s a lot less than NaNoWriMo, and that’s perfect for me.

Thoughts?

Whew! That’s what I get for not updating!

What do you think? How has your winter break been? What were your NaNo & Finals experiences?

Sound off in the comments below!

A Reaffirmation Pledge (or 10 days of Not Writing)

Looking back on the past ten days, I regret putting off writing as much as I did.

While two big projects needed my full attention, I could have easily started writing vigorously starting this past Thursday. Instead, I was lazy and sat on my phone the entire time. I even avoided looking at writing prompts on Pinterest so I wouldn’t feel guilty.

Now that it’s Thanksgiving, that I “have the time” to write, I’m sitting at my computer not writing.

I already accepted that I probably wouldn’t make it to 50,000 on my first NaNo attempt. My schedule for November gave me a good heads up for that. But I know that I could have written more and been farther along than I am now, had I disciplined my writing more.

However, I’m going to make myself write. No matter where I am, I will do it. No excuses, no stops.

Thank you for reading my little rant. 🙂

A New World With a New Character

A New World With a New Character

Learn through Mistakes

I entered into this NaNo with grand ideas, a multitude of feels and a plan to get through it. Yet at each new event in my novel, I’m finding new mistakes and unplanned details taking up all of my writing time.

My first 12,500 words or so take place exclusively in a realistic world. No magic, no supernatural, just everyday problems, and maybe a few weird dreams.

Now that I’ve passed this opening sequence, I realize that I am totally unprepared for this new world my Protag. has entered.

I have an entire idea in my mind, full of a heaven painted into the center of the Universe with new colors and nebulas filling the streets. Yet, I can’t put that into the words of my Protag. Hell, I don’t even know how to fully describe it in my own words.

Help?

While I know a lot of this is on me for not preparing, I want to know what World Building Tips you have, and how you incorporate describing that world with your Protags or other miscellaneous characters.

Also, what are y’alls word counts at the moment? Remember, even a sentence is more than if you had never written at all!

Breaking Writer’s Block RANT

Breaking Writer’s Block RANT

I normally make myself plan out a post before writing it, but for NaNo, I’m making an exception and free-forming a little Breaking Writer’s block post.

I’ve hit that point in NaNo…

…where I have zero motivation or desire to write, even though I’m extremely excited about this story. It’s mostly where I’m at in events, to be perfectly honest. I hate writing the beginnings of stories.

I feel my beginnings are boring, missing too much information and/or lacking that magical something. It’s the set up, the exposition, and I hate writing it.

Now, I could just skip writing this part all together and get to the portions I want to write. But knowing me, I’d never write the beginning at all if I did that. And it’d be about as crappy writing it first as writing it last (as is normal with first drafts).

That’s why I am writing this post: to get my fingers moving and the writer’s gears going. Even if I’m writing just a personal blog, at least I’m writing. Hopefully, this post can help me transition into writing the NaNo Novel.

So how do y’all get through writer’s block or part you don’t want to write, but must? Any tips or tricks? Sound off in the Comments!

Happy NaNo!

Happy NaNo!

Sorry, y’all for not posting much! Like I said, school has taken over my life, and I haven’t been able to write much other than my NaNo outline and journaling.

But today is the day! NaNoWriMo has officially begun, and I could not be more excited! I’ve written about 2000 words today, but I can’t count on such a good amount everyday. School will definitely become a priority on some days.

Just a short update. Let me know in the comments how your first day of NaNo went!

NaNo Struggles & Prep pt. 2

NaNo Struggles & Prep pt. 2

A Much Needed Session

This week in my NaNoWriMo Prep meeting, we discussed two very important pieces of our novels: opening scenes protagonists.

As I discuss in the video below, I struggle with these two extremely important elements of my stories. When I first start writing stories, I always worry if I am over-explaining or giving away important information early in my stories.

Even more so, I struggle with how to describe my characters. I find most of my  physical descriptions are either too lengthy and hastily shoved into a paragraph, or they’re lackluster and minimal.

During my second NaNo meeting, we did multiple exercises detailing different emotional, demographical and social aspects of our protagonists. I normally skim over these types of “character sheets” and details, simply because I thought I knew my characters well enough. Hopefully, knowing these facts will help flesh out my protagonists.

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My Rough Outline

My opening scene was even more difficult. In this aspect, I struggle  with under-explaining. Since my novel is mostly set in modern day, I don’t really think to write out what the setting is like, how my character’s life is like before it all changes. I prefer jumping straight into the action and ignoring the background story.

Well, I found out that I’m losing a large portion of my story when I do that.

*Almost 25% of the novel is the Opening Scene!

This NaNo, I’m going to be outlining my opening scene intensely. Especially since I’m incorporating different religious ideas and mythos, I’ll need to have a fairly detailed opening scene to establish the basic facts of this novel’s world.

Watch my video below to hear more about the meeting and what I learned:

School: The Downfall of NaNo

Outside of NaNo, I’m also a full-time student, and I made some frightening discoveries whilst marking my November planner.

Simultaneous Group Projects

Not only will I have two group projects going on in different classes, both projects will be due on the same day in November. Any chance of getting my word count every day of November is gone, sadly.

My Own Laziness

Unfortunately, I haven’t taken my grades as seriously this semester as I did my freshman year of college. I’m make a C in a class I normally make A’s in, and I’m in a Computer Programming class (which I like to say is like teaching a fish Chinese.)

So during November, I need to also focus on my grades. Wish me luck.

Tell Me Your Story!

I know a lot of you have done NaNoWriMo before, so tell me some things you struggled with and how you overcame those (or are still working on them).

Happy writings!

The Ultimate Writing Challenge – Accepted

The Ultimate Writing Challenge – Accepted

NaNoWriMo

If the name of the website wasn’t clue enough, I’ll tell you now. I LOVE TO WRITE! And November is the Official National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo.

I had heard of NaNoWriMo, and the nationwide organization that promotes the non-profit writing challenge, years ago, but for most of my life I was too busy (read: lazy) to really commit to the challenge.

This past New Years, my resolution was to complete the first draft to a novel I started in high school. And 25,000 words later, I was done. The problem is this:  25,000 words barely qualifies as a short story.

A novel, according to most publishing officials, is approximately 70 – 75,000 words. Almost three times my finished draft’s word count.

25,000 words was hard enough. There was no way I could expand my first novel into that word count.

Insert NaNoWriMo. The purpose of NaNoWriMo is to write at least 50,000 in 30 days. This challenge really scares and excites me because it took me 5 months to write 25,000. The amount of discipline and dedication to write 50,000 in 30 days will I think bring out a new writer in me.

MERCH

IT IS NOT NANOWRIMO WITHOUT NANOWRIMO SWAG!

As an avid sweatshirt wearer (mostly because every building on campus is freezing), I had to purchase the intensely cozy and epically  large NaNoWriMo Sweatshirt. See Below:

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NaNoWriMo Prep!

My area offered some awesome pre-NaNoWriMo workshops to help outline  our up coming novels, and I decided to give you a glimpse of that experience!

If you’ve ever done NaNoWriMo, comment your experience below! What was it like? Did you make word count? Did you go past your word count?

If you’ve ever wanted to do NaNoWriMo, what’s been stopping you?