I’m doing NaNoWriMo 2017 – Maybe This Year I’ll Win!

NaNoWrimo 2017 Participant Banner

Like every-single-bloody-year, I’m trying my hand at NaNoWriMo. The last week before it starts is always the hardest trying to hold back from writing all these ideas floating around. But I have been kept semi-occupied this year that made it a teeny bit easier.

I got WAY over 50,000 words of material ready, it’s the last book in a trilogy so I got all the characters, places, motivations down to a T at this stage. Now, I just need to get my butt in chair and write once November 1st comes along.

As always, I have a Love/Hate relationship with NaNoWriMo. I love it because for one month of the year I have an excuse to put my writing before everything else in my life.

Then why do I hate it?? Because it means that people who aren’t writers the rest of the year…Honestly don’t know why people do it when they aren’t….write 50,000 words and thinks it’s a novel and done and then swarm publishers and agents with whatever they’ve thrown together. So, I hate the whole main idea of throwing 50k words and hoping they stick, no matter whether they make a novel or not, but I like it for giving me a reason to actually put everything else a side and be involved with people who are doing the same thing as me.

PREP
– I got my food prep thought out for the first week – chick-pea curry that I’m batch cooking on Monday.
– Iv’e bought new comfortable clothes to sit around in and write. Sooo looking forward to putting them on.
– Got all due assignments done beforehand so I can free up as much time as I possibly can.
– I got my chapters, plot points and scenes all ready that I have 100k to work with. I’m just aiming for 50k, to finally say that I bet NaNoWriMo.

Searching for an Alpha Reader

I’m halfway through this line edit of- I think we’re onto the 5th draft now- and I’m aware that this may be the one that needs an Alpha Reader. Yep, somebody is finally going to get all the words to read!!

But who to send it to?

Because the person I would send it to is absolutely terrible at getting back in touch and bad at time management, so she’s out of the question.

Then, there’s the family of course. Now, I do love my family but a critical opinion I’m just not going to get from them and just wanting the manuscript to read isn’t what I need right now.

That leaves me in a right little pickle. Who do I give this to for ANY sort of critical feedback?

I’m tempted to post on Facebook Pages such as:
Beta Readers & Critiques
Writer’s Tips and Feedback

There’s also the Goodread Groups:
Beta Reader Group
Beta / Proof Readers Group

But it is just too daunting for strangers to read the synopsis of the novel that I’m having doubts.

I may have to finally get involved in a writing group if I want what I need.

I hope my fellow writers have better success than I am. Let me know how you went about it.

Camp NaNoWriMo Vs NaNoWriMo

Camp NaNoWriMo 2017

I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with the concept of NaNoWriMo and I’m officially jumping off the NaNoWriMo train as of right now. I’m not doing going to be doing it this year.

I love it for it gives me a reason to put everything else aside and focus on my writing.

I hate it because it’s used by people who aren’t writers and then publishers and literary agencies get bombarded with terribly rough first drafts straight after November from people who had no intentions of being a writer beforehand.

CampNaNoWriMo on the other hand I just love!

CampNaNoWriMo gives everyone, whether they are writers, scriptwriters, poets or artists a chance to put what they love into focus for the month. They can all go at their own pace. You don’t have to throw shit at the wall in the hope that it sticks. You can make you’re own goal!

It gives you the urge to put your passion before everything else for a whole month and get’s the clogs in the brain working again without having to strain yourself and ruin your work trying to up your word count.

So, for me personally: CampNaNoWriMo trumps NaNoWriMo.

Keep Writing Shit Until You Find the Gem

I got talking to one of my closest friend yesterday in a pub, over a pint of Bulmers and a virgin cocktail.

Like all the rest of our meet-ups, our conversation went onto our writing.

We both started writing our main novels around the same time. All the way back in college!

She’d always get motivated after meeting up and then run home and type out load of chapters that she’d send to me to read over. I’d get excited and dying for more and she’d say she was going to work on, she hit a writer’s block…but I never hear anything back.

It’s easily been over a year and from meeting up I found out she still hasn’t made progress.

She says that she hates her writing, that it’s shit. And my answer is that first drafts are always shit or that writers/artists the majority of the time think their work is shit until someone tells them otherwise.

It was interested to see the two sides of the same coin.

I think my writing is shit, always will. But I keep chipping away at it, editing and rewriting scenes and chapters. Yes, I have weeks where I don’t touch it, but it’s always on my mind and I will always go back to it. Somedays I can’t bare to look at while other’s it’s all I stare at for hours-at-a-time.

Writing isn’t just going to happen. That book that you have in your head isn’t going to appear over night. Life is going to get in the way…no matter how hard you try to not let it.

For all my writing friends. Just don’t let yourself get in the way too.

Keep chipping away!

You need to uncover that gem that’s underneath all the shit you keep seeing.

Nanowrimo 2016 – Still Have Mixed Feelings.

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Nanowrimo is mid-way over and I’m finally writing a post about it while it’s on. For anyone who doesn’t know, Nanowrimo is National Novel Writing Month. Basically you try to write 50,000 words in the month of November month.

I still have love-hate relationship with it. That hasn’t changed.

I always start off great at the start of the month- well not great- but I get consistent with writing again. The most I’ve written during a Nanowrimo before now was over 13,000 words. Not bad, but not exactly the 50k that they’re looking for.

There’s a few reasons for this:

One – Life just screws me over and I just lose steam or time.
Two – I run into a massive wall of writer’s block that I can’t bulldoze my way through
Three – and the one that happens most of the time – I realise how absolutely ridiculous Nanowrimo is.

I’m at about 26,000 words at the moment, the best I’ve done in Nanowrimo ever, but the same thoughts have started to swirl around.

Nanowrimo isn’t for writers. You should not need Nanowrimo to write. This is one of the major issues I have with the whole concept of it. One day at the start of the month I came across a topic on the forum- probably the reason why I kind of went ‘screw it’ with this Nanowrimo- the majority of people who do Nanowrimo- and please, I’m not talking about everybody, a large amount of them don’t write any other time…

This does not make a lick of sense to me either. Why spend all this time writing something that you have no intention of going back to or doing anything with? Some people just do it for the sake of doing it. I get that you have a story at the end of the 30 days and that you can feel proud. I just don’t understand why someone would give themselves the extra stress of writing a novel when they don’t actually like writing?? That’s like me picking up a paint brush and painting for 30 days straight just to say I have splodges of colour on a canvas…it doesn’t make sense.

See, I use Nanowrimo not to ‘win’…winning is not the goal for me with Nanowrimo. I use to get back into writing every-single-day. Then I get to a certain point where I know what I’m putting down is pure shit. That’s when I stop aiming for the 50k and just keep going at my own pace. I don’t care anymore about the end count. As long as I keep up with writing every-single-day, whether it’s 500 or 5,000 words, I’m happy. I’m not forcing it out of me just for the sake of it. I know that I most likely will go back and edit and delete everything I write, but again, I want to at least make a bit of sense than complete nonsense.

There’s just a fine line between writing and throwing shit at the wall hoping it’ll stick. That’s the line I just don’t cross, no matter how much I would love to write 50,000 words in one month, my writing still needs to make me feel something.

Nanowrimo 2016

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I’m attempting Nanowrimo again this year. I think this will be my fifth time- including 2 Camp Nanowrimos.

I’ve never gotten passed the 20k mark, that the most words I’ve written for Nanowrimo was last year’s with 13,038. [10k was written in the first week]

I have love-hate relationship with Nanowrimo. I love it because I get to enjoy writing with other people and there’s an excitement and a buzz about it. I hate it? The whole ‘just write’ attitude. There’s people that do it, that just write in November and then don’t do anything all year round.

The reason I’m doing it? I really need to get a manuscript that has been sitting unfinished for years. It’s gone passed the point of an acceptable time-frame. This was the same novel I wrote for last year’s Nanowrimo. I just need to get the words down at the stage, don’t care if they’re not perfect. If I keep going at the rate that I’m going at now, I’ll never write it.

This time around through I’ve listed out the scenes that need to be written and allocated a rough amount of words for each one and they bring me to about 65 – 80k words in total. So, 50k should be a walk in the park. Right?

Here is my profile if you want to buddy up.

Editing is the Grim Reaper of Writing.

It never gets any easier. Changing a chapter. I always thought that once you have done is so many times  you won’t get the anxiety attack that comes with re-working a chapter.

You Do.

On one summers day in 2014, I got this brainwave of an idea to write a prologue to start the novel off on the right footing and to bring all these characters into it without ever saying any of their names. Pure briliance!

It then occurred to me today, after plainly ignoring the prologue because I loved it so much and didn’t want to end up deleting it, I went back to it. It was obvious, after many many changes to the rest of the story and to the characters, my beloved prologue had to go.

I reworked a new prologue that blends better with the story that I have, but I don’t think it’s ever going to have the same feel of the first prologue. The one that came in a mad wave of pure creative genius.

I just killed the one chapter I loved the most and need to figure out how to love this new one the same way. This weekend is going to spent trying to get to know this new prologue and hopefully by Monday loving it in the same way as the old one.

This writing business isn’t easy on the heart.

Trying to get my Characters to Talk.

I’ve been writing these books for a few years, when it dawned on me- about an hour ago- that I have a major issue with one of my main characters.

He isn’t a main character in the first two books, but then the secret about him is spilled and he becomes one of the major characters for the following books. So, because of this, I was having him being in the background – getting another character to do his dirty work. My MC knows him, and so if he showed up it would be a dead giveaway. But, now that he’s so buried and hidden throughout book one and two; when he does show, the readers are going to be like who the fuck is this dude? 

I need to get him more involved in book one, so that when he does show up that he already has all this life and story that the characters and the readers thought was real.

That’s my dilemma now, and I’ve spent the last hour doing anything other than editing or writing trying to make sense of him as a person. And it’s like trying to get blood from a stone. My brain is melting.

As the writer, I know who he is, what pushes him, his backstory etc. I just don’t know what my characters think and because of this I need to make up another other life and backstory for him.

Anyone got any tips?

 

 

A Weekend of Editing

So, I never thought that editing this stupid book would be so hard. Finding the time is the hardest part. I know- I know. The whole: If you love something, you’ll find the time for it. It’s all about priority. 

Okay, so yea I could wake up extra early or go to bed an hour later, but you don’t think like that when you’re either cozy and warm or dead on your feet.

Then, there’s the whole day-to-day crap I got to do that means my morning is gone and a chunk of my evening is gone too. That leaves me a few three-odd hours in the middle somewhere that are free if I don’t get caught up with something else.

I just…I just never found finding the time to work on my books this hard before. I used to be able plonk myself down and not move for two-to-three hours straight. Where the hell is that writer gone to?? I want her back! She was awesome.

19th – 21st August Writing Aims

I’m going to get these stupid chapters edited. Aiming to be at chapter 5 by Monday. I’m not even planning on working on other works. Just to see how focusing all my energy will work out.

 

Writing Weekend – June 15th – 17th

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Camp hasn’t really happened for me. I only have myself to blame though. I’ve stopped forcing myself to sit down to write anymore. But this weekend, writing is coming before everything else. No excuses.

I’m not going to aim for anything, I’ve already started to plan for 10 – 15k words, but I think I’ll be better if I just take it hour-by-hour. See if that works. I was going to do a 1ok day, but I haven’t done one in years and I more-than-likely I’d barely crack 2k before giving up.

So, hour-by-hour is what I’m going to do. I have a spot at the kitchen table with my pens, notebooks and Filofax. I may have to knock off the internet too- Pinterest is a total time-waster at the moment and the perfect site to procrastinate on.

Starting Camp Word Count: 3,590 [yep…it’s that bad]