Camp NaNoWriMo- Day 5


Hello everyone! It’s day 5 of Camp NaNoWriMo. Yesterday was independence Day in the states and today is my town’s celebration.

I hope that you’re all having a wonderful day, whether or not you’ve decided to take the day off from writing. Me, I am going to use as much of today as I can to get stuff done! I haven’t written anything yet today (I know, shame on me) but I am proud to say that I am already a quarter of my way to my initial goal of 10k words for the month.

Yes I know, 10k doesn’t seem like a lot, but in previous Camp NaNoWriMos I’ve set my goals too high and didn’t meet them. Back in March I wrote a blog post about Setting Managable Writing Goals. This is still important for me to remember, as when I set my goals too high (especially during Summer months when I am beyond busy) I don’t do well at all.

So this week I’ve been pretty darn productive. I’ve read, revised, and edited Chapter 5 of TGGC before sending it off to my lovely critique partners. Today I plan on getting a start on Chapter 6 and by the end of tomorrow I’m hoping to have it at least half way done.

So You Want to Write a Novel- Part 5: World Building

world building

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With Camp NaNoWriMo just around the corner, I thought that I would continue my So You Want to Write a Novel series, to help me (and any of you who are doing it).

Setting is yet another necessary element of writing a novel.

If your setting doesn’t feel authentic (even if it’s made up), your book won’t feel as authentic. It won’t resonate with readers as much as you would like it to.

World building is essential to writing a novel. Authors should know a bit about their world and who lives in it before they start writing, even if they are pantsers.

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Why You Should Do Camp NaNoWriMo.

1. It gets you writing.

I struggle getting anything accomplished without some kind of structure or goals set for myself. Camp NaNoWriMo, is a more relaxed version of NaNoWriMo that allows you to tune into your creative spirit and just go.

2. You can set your own goal.

Does the goal of 50k words seem a bit daunting to you, especially in the summer when there are so many other things going on? Fret not, you can choose your own goal for Camp NaNo. So if you’re a beginner and can only write a fraction of that, you can make your goal lower to make it more manageable. If you’re more experienced, you can set your goal higher than 50k.

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Week 1 Camp NaNoWriMo Update!


Hello friends, if you’ve noticed I haven’t been around much since April 1st, it’s because Camp NaNoWriMo has begun.

With a manageable goal for the month, I realized that I might be able to finally finish this draft of The Girl in the Glass Coffin. That is looking like it might actually happen! In the first couple days of week 1 I wrote Chapter 28 of TGGC and now I am about half way through Chapter 29. I’m hoping to have that finished and sent to my critique partners by Friday at the very latest.

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Setting Manageable Writing Goals

setting manageable writing goalsThis week I am starting another month of writing insanity, Camp NaNoWriMo. While my goal is only 10k words for the entire month, I know I won’t get anywhere without setting smaller goals for myself. I want to make that seemingly impossible task of writing that much while I’m trying to get ready for a craft show, running a creative writing group, and practicing for roller derby twice a week— that much more manageable.

You can set all the Writing goals you want, but if they aren’t manageable, you won’t reach them.

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Monday Musings: NaNoWriMo is Over! (and basically I suck at blogging)

Originally my goal was to post updates on my progress for NaNoWriMo a couple of times a week last month…

Then I thought, hey, maybe once a week updates would be sufficient.


Obviously, none of that happened.

But I did win NaNoWriMo on Saturday, Nov 29th, at one of my write-ins! Myself and another WriMo raced one another to 50k and both ended up making it there in the same word sprint!

It felt awesome! I won NaNo last year, but forgot that amazing writer’s high you get when you see your word count reach 50k and finish the first draft of your novel at the same time!!! I know I am going to have to revise and add bits and pieces in there, but yay– my second novel is written!

exciteddavidtennantI really do apologize for not updating during NaNoWriMo, but honestly, I was so wrapped up in my story and in life that adding one more thing to my daily schedule may have tipped the balance of my writing productivity into less productive territory.

But I am trying to come up with a decent blogging schedule for the rest of this year, and into 2015

Can you believe that 2015 is only one month away?!? I can’t wrap my mind around it.



I am going to keep reading (now that I have time I have a huge TBR pile to catch up with) and I am going to go back to revisions of The Girl in the Glass Coffin here in a week or so— after I give my poor brain a break.

Did you participate in NaNoWriMo?

How did it go for you? Do you have any writer goals for the last month of 2015? Let’s chat and catch up!


NaNoWriMo Day 5: Tappity Tap

Hello! Today is NaNoWriMo Day 5 and I’m still feeling pretty good! Coffee may or may not have a large part in this, but honestly I am just glad to be caught up. I still have today’s words to write, but I ended the day yesterday with 6,944 words.

I struggled a bit during the first couple of days of NaNoWriMo. I fully planned on writing November 1st, but we had company and I couldn’t lock myself in a room and be rude to them. So I didn’t write. And I spent the last couple of days playing catch-up and making up for it.

Today the goal is to hit that 8,333 word mark. While I can’t necessarily do it during the day (as much as I’d like to) because I’m at work, there are some things I’ve been doing to help myself.

I’m not a huge outliner, but I’ve been outlining each chapter as I go along.

After I finished Chapter 1, I had some ideas for chapter 2, and made an outline for it. It wasn’t a super detailed outline, was hand-written, but it helped me to organize my thoughts for those word wars I was doing with my friend Tracy last night. I find that this doesn’t take long— maybe 10 minutes or so, and it saves me so much grief.

Outlining this way, also keeps me from feeling constrained and like I have to stick with a multiple page, detailed outline.

If I end up deviating from my notes, big deal. It allows the story to flow naturally and keeps me concentrating on the next scene or chapter.

I hope that all is going well for all of you WriMos!

What are you doing to help you get through NaNoWriMo 2014?


Now on to write all the words!!! Good luck!

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Why Your Novel is a TARDIS

When coming up with analogies for what writing a NaNoWriMo novel is like the other day, an idea popped into my mind.

Your novel is a TARDIS.

doctor-who-tardisYou may (or may not) be wondering, WTF is a TARDIS Amanda?

If you’re a Doctor Who fan, you know that the TARDIS is a magical blue police box that travels through space and time and brings the Doctor and his companions on countless adventures all around the universes.

doctor-who-its-bigger-on-the-insideIt’s also bigger on the inside.

Impressively so. It has rooms upon rooms, a library, even a swimming pool. Like a TARDIS, your novel is bigger on the inside. It has rooms and chapters, characters and arcs, mysteries and adventures just waiting for you.

For an author, writing a novel is a bigger adventure than it is for the reader.

You the author has the control over the direction the book is going. You may have everything all planned out, or you may be pantsing, but your novel can take you on so many magical adventures. Each novel can take both the writer (and the reader) to so many different places or worlds.

Your novel lets you travel through time and space


and lets you be in control of how and when all of that happens. It lets you be the Doctor and travel to far-off worlds, or save the world you live in from a terrible threat.

It’s still early in the month for NaNoWriMo 2014, but don’t let anything get you down.

Let your mind and your novel be your TARDIS.

Let it take you to places you never thought you would go, places only your writing can take you. And enjoy every minute of it 🙂

Happy Halloween and NaNoWriMo Eve

photo(6)Happy Halloween!!!

I hope that everyone has a wonderful and safe time! If you’re going out to celebrate, please be safe. Don’t drink and drive!

Halloween is my favorite holiday. Not only do we have our annual All Hallows Eve party at my house, but I love dressing up. This is my costume for this year– a steampunk Amelia Earhart!

And Happy NaNoWriMo Eve!!!

photo(7)My Halloween costume was actually inspired by my research for my NaNoWriMo novel. I will be attempting to write steampunk. I won’t be writing at midnight tonight, because I will be entertaining guests, but I will be up bright and early tomorrow morning to get a good start to my novel. My region’s first write-in is Sunday, so I’m quite excited for that as well. My to-do list for that includes: Writing the day one Pep-Talk to send out to my region and post here, creating some cute goodies to share with everyone that comes (goodies correspond to my pep-talk), and just making sure I reach the 1667 words (no matter how I am feeling tomorrow).

I made this awesome Viking Hat for one lucky WriMo in my region to win (I might have to make one for me to wear too throughout the month–or make one when the person wins). For every write-in they attend, their name will go into a drawing to win this awesome hat! At the TGIO party I will draw the winner’s name!

So woohoo— party on! Happy Halloween, happy NaNoWriMo Eve, and have a fabulous day.

NaNo Prep #5- Your Characters Need Flaws

Over the weekend, I had the Oswego region’s Kick-Off party. While there was only a handful of us that were able to make it, it allowed me to get to know some of the participants better. We also got to talking about our books and characters. I was asked a question that for some reason, I had trouble answering

What are your character’s flaws?


Shit. I drew a blank at that question. I knew that my character isn’t perfect. She’s involved in some pretty seedy things and gets herself into a hell of a lot of trouble. But it got me thinking– what exactly are my character’s flaws?

I spent the rest of the weekend trying to mull it over and read through her character sketch at least ten times. I went from ‘I’ve got this” to “Oh my god I have no clue what I’m doing next month” and then went back and forth a couple of times. This morning I did a quick Google search for “character flaws” to try to come up with something so that I could stop freaking out.

Brave1All I can say is, I don’t know what I did before the Google Machine.

I found generators and lists of character flaws and explored them. I wasn’t looking to create a character based on flaws that a generator came up with, but ones that I knew would fit my character and her personality. While I browsed through lists they came to me, and for the time being I feel much better about my NaNoWriMo  novel that I will begin in just a few, short days.

In order to be realistic, your characters need to have some sort of flaws to go with their redeeming or good qualities.

Otherwise you tun the risk of having flat, boring characters that are dangerously close to being a Mary Sue. One of my biggest fears is realizing that after spending so much time writing and revising my book, that I have a Mary Sue main character on my hands.

No real person is flawless and we want our characters to be as real as possible— why would we expect our characters to be flawless?

Giving your characters flaws makes them feel real to the reader, makes them more dynamic, and gives you something to help them grow and change throughout the novel.

Likewise, your antagonist can’t be all flaws. You want them to have some redeeming quality somewhere (even if it has to do with their past or back story).

Overall, I’m really glad that this issue was brought to my attention.

Even if it did cause a whole weekend of self-doubt and “can I do this?”. My characters and novel will be so much more interesting as a result– and even better, my main character will not be a Mary Sue, and I understand her so much more.