NaNoWriMo · Novel Writing

How to Win Camp NaNoWriMo

Can you feel it? The prickle of tension on your skin, the butterflies waking up in your stomach? I can, and it only means one thing. Camp NaNoWriMo approaches.

Let the writing begin.

Camp NaNoWriMo July 2017 starts in FIVE days! Are you ready?

Here are some of the things I’m doing before it starts to prepare myself.

Catching up on sleep – I know I will have to sacrifice sleep to win this, so before the month begins I’m resting as much as I can.

Practising a daily writing habit – I try to write most days, but life gets in the way, and once or twice a week I can’t manage it. It’s no big deal, and I don’t beat myself up about it. However, in the days leading up to NaNo, I make sure not to miss any writing sessions. I need my writing muscles at full strength.

Planning out all my scenes – I know exactly what I am going to write, which character is going to do what, and where my story is going. Even at five in the morning, my sleepy brain will have a full set of writing instructions. Writer’s block will not stop me.

Organising my word count – I’m on holiday on the second week of July, and I don’t plan on writing on those days unless I really, really want to. Therefore, I need to up my word count the rest of the month. I know I need to hit 2,500 words a day to win, with a little wiggle room built in.

Leaving room for failure – with a word count of 2500 a day, I can fail some days and not miss the mark. I’m planning to shoot for the stars and if I miss them, at least I’ll have reached the moon.

Do you have any helpful NaNoWriMo preparation tips that you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you. 

Novel Writing

Advice Please: To Plot or Not to Plot?

Are you a panster or an outliner? Do you plan your stories in minute detail or do you let the words take you where they will? Are you a JK Rowling or a Stephen King?

I want to be a pantser, I really do. It’s so romantic. I dream of letting the pen take me where it will and following its call. I tried it. For a while, I would give myself an hour a day and let the word vomit flow.

But it didn’t flow.

I found myself, confused and irritated, sat in front of the blank computer screen with no clue of where to go. Suffering from literary constipation.

When the muses did strike me, I would find I had a string of scenes, so different from each other in style and content that they could have come from separate novels.

I had to face the sad reality that I need an outline. But my disappointment was short lived as I soon found a love for the order and creativity I found in my outline.

 As an administrator with a science degree, it’s not hard to see why I need to organise my writing. I am detail orientated and precise person with a creative flair, so for me, a strong outline is a necessity.

There are a thousand and one posts out there about the for and against’s for outlines which are incredibly varied in advice. My plan is to get a range of opinions from you wonderful writers on the blogosphere and put a collaborative post listing the benefits of pantsing and outlining.

I would love to hear from you in the comments section. I will write a post collating all the comments and linking to your blogs. 

What I’d love to know is –

  • Are you a Pantser or an Outliner?
  • ONE benefit you have found from being a panster/outliner? 

Thank you again for your wonderful advice and wisdom. Last time I did this with sentence starters the information gained was priceless.

 

Novel Writing

Imagination: Why I love to Write

These quotes are so blinking inspiring! Any of you having a bad writing day, check these out. If you’re on top of the world, read them and feel even better. I hope you love them as much as I did.

Elixir: Creative and Reflective Writing

Imagine is an ancient word, borrowed from the Old French, from the Latin ‘imaginari’, which means, ‘to picture oneself’ although imagine currently means to form a picture in one’s mind.

To write is to imagine,not just an image but an idea, thought, impression, place, even a feeling. Can you imagine being present when the words below were first uttered or written? What or who do you imagine prompted them? What happened next?

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.

Henry David Thoreau

The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.

Albert Einstein

Imagination is not only the uniquely human capacity to envision that which is not, and therefore the fount of all invention and innovation. In its arguably most transformative and revelatory capacity, it is the power to that…

View original post 15 more words

Novel Writing

5 Things Killing Your Writing Productivity

This post is a well-timed reminder for me; I hope you find it useful also.

Novelty Revisions

writing

How do you become a more productive writer? That’s a loaded question. Productivity, as you hopefully already know, requires a few major attributes in terms of writing well, often, with purpose. One reason many self-proclaimed aspiring writers can’t get any writing done is because they can’t get past common roadblocks to writing productivity … or rather, they don’t even know what these potential roadblocks are.

There are habits and circumstances killing your writing productivity. Here are the most common ones, and how to extinguish them.


1. Self-editing

Self-editing, while you’re writing, is destructive and time-consuming. It’s tempting; I know. I still do it way more often than I should, too. If you’re always stopping to fix what you just wrote five seconds ago, your piece isn’t going to move forward very quickly, if at all. As tempting as it may be, save editing for later. Always finish writing first…

View original post 470 more words

Novel Writing

How to Murder a Draft, and Resurrect A Better Story

Here are some incredibly helpful tips on editing, when I get to this point I will be checking this post out again and again. I hope it helps you too. Happy writing everyone!

AlvaradoFrazier

Do you ever want to throw your work in progress away? Chuck the manuscript you’ve worked on for years?

If you’re a writer, you’ve been there and done that.

The last few months I’ve taken writing classes with an editor, Toni Lopopolo and her assistant, Lisa Angle. We’re a small group of writers who brave the weekly sessions with Toni and Lisa so we can become better writers.

I’ve learned I must swing a machete through a draft to become a better writer.

Wield your writing machete like Danny Trejo

Machete-wielding is a dirty job. You must be merciless. This will hurt, but it’s for your own good.

These tips will help you murder your draft:

  1. Pluck out backstory in the first pages.
  2. Delete the flowery prose that serves no purpose. This includes adverbs and -ing words.
  3. Hack out the ‘terrible 20‘ words that result in the passive voice.

View original post 211 more words

Novel Writing

Advice Please: How do I stop Starting all my Sentences with Pronouns?

I need your help! This writing malarky, as we all know, is blooming difficult. Not only are we trying to craft a robust and compelling story, but we need to write it in a varied and engaging way. It is hard!

I don’t know about you, but I have found that in my writing it is easier to notice when something is wrong, than when I’ve done a good job. Those pesky errors stand out like a Kindle in a bookshop.

One error I keep finding in my writing is that I start so MANY sentences with “She”, “He”, “Character Name”. 

I am well aware that this is a sign of immature writing and I’m not afraid to admit that I have a heck of a lot to learn. That’s why I love reading about other writer’s processes and advice. You are all making me a far better writer.

So I wonder, do any of you have some top tips for creating variety in your sentence starters? Have you written a blog post about it? I would LOVE to gather your wisdom, and I plan to write a blog post about it, linking to any bloggers or posts who have some useful tips. Thank you in advance.

Novel Writing

Ten Tips For Creating the Perfect Pace in Your Novel

Here are some great suggestions on how to pace your novel, I hope they help you as much as they helped me!

lmnelsonscorner

marathon_mouse_spot-2Sometimes as writers, it’s hard to create the perfect pace in our stories.  I attended a writing workshop recently and learned a few things about pacing. Here’s what I walked away with.

  1. Impose a deadline. Your characters must have an urgency and a time constraint to accomplish their task. Give them a timeframe.
  2. Up the ante. Make the task harder, danger greater, or stakes higher. Challenge your character, create tension and throw things at them that get in the way.
  3. Create a mystery. Leave open questions. Create doubt and uncertainty. Why was he here? What was he doing with that person?
  4. Swap point of view. Change the voice. Alter from heavy to humorous.
  5. Leave white space. Keep paragraphs short. Vary sentence length. Create chunks.
  6. Create an unsettled feeling. End chapters by leaving readers on edge.  Make them want to know what’s going to happen next.
  7. Interlock episodes. Every scene connects to the…

View original post 97 more words