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Prep Work

So, NaNoWriMo is around the corner. Just a few more weeks, in fact. Do you know what you’re going to write?

I have a vague idea as to what I’m writing with a cast of great characters (some that still need names, actually). It’s fantasy-ish, of course, and there’ll probably be dragons because why not?

Anyways, as the lot of you may know, I’m quite a pantser when it comes to writing. Meaning, I don’t do too well with outlines or planning too much ahead in my stories. I’m usually lucky if I have a clear ending in mind rather than just a muddled picture. I focus a lot on characters and their development, and they’re usually pretty good sports about pointing me in the right direction as I type away at their stories.

Out of curiosity, though, any of you plotters out there have some simple outlining tips? How do you make sure you stay on course with your stories, especially during the fast-paced, no-backspace month of NaNoWriMo?

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Posted by on October 11, 2016 in Home

 

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Brace Yourselves… Camp NaNo is Coming

Although it’s the beginning of March, April will be upon us before we know it. To most people, April means spring and flowers and allergies and all that fun stuff. Where I live, we still have about three or so feet of snow covering the ground. Fortunately, it’s finally starting to melt away, teasing us with hints of withered grass just waiting for a hint of sunlight.

To us writers, though, April also means Camp NaNoWriMo! It’s similar to a regular November NaNoWriMo, except a bit more flexible. November’s NaNoWriMo challenges folks to write 50 thousands words of a brand-new story. If you create your own goal (such as, writing a screenplay rather than a novel or challenging yourself to write 25k instead of 50k), then you are considered a “NaNo Rebel” (but you’re definitely still celebrated because, hey, no matter what or how much you are writing, you are writing, and that’s worthy of balloons and champagne just like those 50k-writing novel people).

Camp NaNoWriMo is more geared toward those NaNo Rebels, allowing writers the flexibility to pick what and how much they’re going to write for the month. Want to make 150k words your goal for the month? That’s cool. Want to write poems for the month? That’s cool too.

As per usual, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to write for Camp NaNoWriMo. My go-to strategy is to use the month to add on words to current WIPs, usually 25k or so. This year, however, I’m going to stick to the 50k goal, pushing myself to get into a better writing habit. I’ve done 50k in a month with the November NaNo, so I know I can do it for Camp.

I also got a new story idea that I’m saving for Camp. I spontaneously came up with the idea yesterday while driving back home from… I don’t even remember where I had been coming from. Nevertheless, I had a fairly concrete idea, an idea that had formed enough in my mind for me to actually fill out the synopsis section of my Camper profile:

Kurt is an NPC, a non-playable character, in the new massive multiplayer online role-playing game “Dragon Tamer.” He was created specifically to help the game moderators and the new players stay safe while enforcing the rules. It’s a good life for him, one that he enjoys, especially when real players — such as the moderator he knows only as Animus — don’t treat him as just an NPC.

Then the Hackers invaded. Not only is Kurt’s very existence threatened, the very identities of the real players are in trouble. Kurt wants to help, but what can a non-playable character like him do to solve a real world problem?

I’m excited about this novel and wish for April to come sooner rather than later so I can work on it. In the meantime, I’ll probably do preliminary stuff, background info, maybe some sort of an outline for the story, before April 1.

Happy writing!

 
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Posted by on March 5, 2015 in Home

 

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July 2014 Camp NaNo

Happy Wednesday!

Another session of Camp NaNoWriMo is around the corner. Anyone else participating? Rachel and I are, with our usernames being Fiery_Sapphire and Winged_Spirit, respectively.

I’m more of a pantser when it comes to writing. I don’t do outlines much at all. Granted, I have a general idea as to where I want the novel to go, but I enjoy the ride when it comes to writing, liking the surprises that the plot, the setting, and the characters spring on me. For July’s Camp NaNo, though, I do have a tentative written outline for a novel.

Usually for NaNo, instead of starting a new novel like you’re “supposed to,” I just add my word count to whatever story I’m currently working on. This time, however, I’m going to try to “play by the rules” and write a new story at the beginning of camp. Due to this, I’m trying to get into the habit of writing every day, at least 500 words, on something, whether it be just a story idea or a new part to an existing novel sitting on my flash drive. Hence why there have been scribbles and prompts posted on here for the past couple of days.

Critique and comments are always appreciated on them! If anyone wants to share prompts, or use one of the prompts that I have used, let me know and comment with links to the stories that use the prompts. I’d love to see them!

 
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Posted by on June 18, 2014 in Home

 

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April 2014 Camp NaNoWriMo

Day 1 Word Count: 1873/50000

Last camp NaNo, I had the word count goal of 25000 to make it a bit easier to reach during my busy work schedule. However, I had reached the 50000 word count goal for this past November, so I figured I could try to reach that again. After all, it’s the same amount of days, and if I did it once, I can do it again, right?

Rachel and I are in the same cabin for this camp, along with 10 other campers. We got a big cabin, haha! Most of us seem to be off to a good start, and hopefully the streak will continue all month long.

Some time ago, I found a 30 Day NaNoWriMo Meme on a random tumblr account. I thought it would be something interesting and motivating to do throughout the month, so I am subjecting you to it:

Day 1 – Have you participated in NaNoWriMo before?  If so, which years and what end result?  If not (or even if so, for that matter), what’s your connection to writing?  Why do you want to participate this year?

I have participated in NaNoWriMo before, and have been doing so for a couple of years now. I found NaNoWriMo around 2008, and have attempted to do NaNo since then. I have only ever “won” NaNo once, which was last year, when I really started to take my writing more seriously. I love to write and enjoy creating fantasies and stories, most of which I hope to share with the world one day through publishing. Participating in NaNo helps me practice and churn more words out than I normally would in a month.

Good luck to everyone else in their writing and life! 🙂

 
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Posted by on April 1, 2014 in Home

 

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Define Success

Marva Collins: “Success doesn’t come to you, you go to it.”

Success is generally defined as the accomplishment of one’s goals. Whether that means completing your homework or research paper in a timely manner, teaching your dog how to sit, editing that final draft of your novel, or beating your sister’s turtle in a game of hide-and-seek, the meaning of success varies from person to person.

(I’m not kidding about the turtle. During the colder months, she likes to hibernate, and currently I cannot find her buried among the three or so inches of bark in her tank. She’s probably under her pool, I’m sure, but she is definitely the queen of hide-and-seek.)

I’ve been thinking about my journey to success lately. I considered myself successful when I beat the NaNo challenge with 50023 words (the winner certificate is still on my desk) and when I got promoted to a manager position at work. All of that is well and good, but how is my relationship with success towards my dream of writing?

I have two first drafts of novels finished, and the strong start of a few more. I want to write, to make writing my main focus in my life, to be able to share and live off of my works. To get my name out there, to figure out what this publishing business is all about, to work by my own rules… That will be my definition of success.

I’m going to be 24 at the end of next month. Through hard work, discipline, and a bit of silliness here and there, I will be successful. Let’s see how it all pans out.

 
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Posted by on December 19, 2013 in Home

 

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NaNo Day 7 – Character Appreciation

Dory, from Finding Nemo: “Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming…”

NaNoWriMo Day Seven Word Goal: 11666
Current NaNoWriMo Word Count: 12170/50000
My NaNo Profile: Winged_Spirit

This year (or maybe previous years as well and I’ve just never noticed it), the NaNo site has a word count validator available all month where one just copies and pastes one’s whole novel into the little box and NaNo will count how many words you have. It’s fantastic if one is like me and bounces from Microsoft Word to OpenOffice, both of which tend to disagree with word counts, with a story. Now I have a tool that will always be able to correctly count words for when it really matters.

Anyways, I’m still doing well with NaNo, and I’m hoping to continue this streak despite the coming Week Two, in which most NaNoers feel the pressure, and the temptation to slow down the challenge is huge. My characters are being awesome, especially this random side character named Eddie. He’s a classmate and a student to the main characters, and has already proven to have a good sense of humor, leadership qualities, and seems to be supportive of everyone. He may have to have more of a prominent role in the story…

Here’s hoping that everyone else is having good luck with their writing, characters, and life in general. 🙂

Also, here’s the obligatory link to Rachel’s blog, because we always link to each other with every post, haha!

 
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Posted by on November 7, 2013 in Home

 

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NaNo Day 5 – Atmosphere

Ray Bradbury: “You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.”

NaNoWriMo Day Five Word Goal: 8333
Current NaNoWriMo Word Count: 8514/50000
My NaNo Profile: Winged_Spirit

Yay for being on par with NaNo! I’m a little ahead with a couple of hundred words from the daily goal, which I am proud of.

Rachel and I tend to try to write together when we can, and lately the place where we write is at our kitchen or dining room tables. During the summer, we always tried to go to our local Barnes and Noble during my day off. We’d hit Dunkin’ Donuts for a quick, sugary breakfast, then order drinks from the convenient Starbucks that was inside our B&N before plopping ourselves at a table and firing up our laptops. It was a fantastic writing atmosphere, with all the reference books we would ever need and easy access to caffeinated beverages.

I admit, half of the time we distracted ourselves, but it was all in good fun and we always made some sort of progress on our writing dreams, whether it be typing up a new chapter, creating character lists, or editing the first draft of a novel.

Being the school year, Rachel has her homework to worry about as well as her full-time hours at her work. I recently got promoted and, while the work isn’t too different, there are definitely more responsibilities on my shoulders along with some interesting hours. During this month, we do our best to keep up with each other’s progress, asking about word counts and character tidbits when we do see each other. We’re doing our best to devote Sundays to each other, grabbing Starbucks after church before heading home to write for as long as we can.

It would be easier if our den/video game room was all set up for us to use. Lately we’ve been having gentlemen work on the house’s insulation, and they’ve been cutting holes in the walls upstairs where our den and bedroom are located (we had to sleep in the living room a few nights due to this). Those brand-new desks we have can’t be put to use with our writing just yet! Hopefully everything will be all set soon.

Rachel and I have contemplated staying at the Starbucks we visit after church to do some writing. It’s fairly small and cozy with awesome workers and a little lounge area with a FIREPLACE. I want a fireplace. There are outlets under most of the seats and tables. I do feel as if we would be a bit too loud for the place, though. It’s why we don’t go to write at the library, haha!

For the most part, we’ve been doing well making up our own “writer’s atmospheres” at home. We get distracted often enough, of course, with the animals and kids (and parents, haha — Hi, Mom!), but as long as we can keep writing, then I guess the atmosphere works in our favor.

Happy writing everyone!

 
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Posted by on November 5, 2013 in Home

 

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