Writing Wednesday: Preptober

Writing Wednesday: Preptober

Happy  Preptober!

What’s Preptober, you ask? Well it’s the best month in the whole year (October) and NaNoWriMo Prep time. Hence, Preptober!

It’s the time of year when those of us participating in NaNoWriMo start to brainstorm, to develop our ideas, to come up with Pinterest boards for inspiration (here’s mine).¬† If you’re a pantser, this might be all that you do, just come up with a vague idea for a story, the characters, etc.

If, like me, you like to plan a little bit more, Preptober is your best friend!

I love knowing my story’s premise before I start writing. Brainstorming is probably my favorite part of the planning process. I love how bits and pieces of things start to come together as I find connections.

Do you use a notebook, Word (Scrivener or Google Doc), or your phone to help you keep track of your growing ideas?

As you plan this October, you’re going to need a place to record your ideas (you don’t want to lose those. That’s the worst). So make sure you have a notebook or computer document of some sort where you can add to your story idea as you come up with more information. This is also helpful when you have many ideas and are trying to figure out which one you like the best (often that is the idea you have brainstormed the most about). Continue reading

Writing Wednesday: Starting a New Project

Writing Wednesday: Starting a New Project

So you finished your last writing project. What do you do now?

Starting a new project can be scary, especially when you’ve spent so long writing, revising, and editing a manuscript already.

How do you know when it’s time to let one project go, and put it out into the universe, and start another one? That’s a tricky question, and there is no “right” answer. You just know. Maybe you’ve decided that your current manuscript isn’t the one that you want to query with, maybe you’ve been in the query trenches for what feels like forever, maybe you have published already but are just waiting around to be struck by some sort of inspiration.

But if we want to have careers as writers, we need to write more than one thing. And there is no better time than the present to start a new project.

Even if you write just for the fun of it, the only way that you can grow and get better is to keep writing. As you look at a new, fresh (and very very blank) Word document, doubt and fear may rise up. Don’t let it.

Instead, allow this new project to take you on an adventure you’ve never been on before.

Allow this new project to fill your imagination with new characters, settings, conflicts, and stories. Imagine yourself as a character in your story and see where that takes you.

Let yourself play.

You’re in the beginning stages, the brainstorming stages of your project at the moment. It’s okay if you throw your main character into the most ridiculous place right off the bat. See what happens and embrace it!

Most importantly, have fun!

Whether you are a pantser, a planner, or some combination of the two, it’s important that you have fun and that you love your story. You won’t love it all the time, but try to enjoy your new story and your new world. Add elements that you love. Make it exciting for yourself.

Starting a new project is a fun and exciting time for a writer. Time to take that shiny new idea and run with it!

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Write 365- Day 2: Making a Plan

write 365 day 2: making a plan to write

If you’re just as in love with these journals as I am, you can find them at http://www.heyatlascreative.com/shop .

A few days ago, a friend mentioned that she was challenging herself to write every single day for an entire year.

And I thought, hey I can do that.

I should do that. I will at the very least try to write every single day for a year.

Since last November, I’ve been struggling to motivate myself to write. Last year was the first in 4 years that I didn’t win NaNoWriMo. I was depressed and couldn’t find that creative spark within myself. This year, I decided to rewrite my entire first novel as a young adult novel because the story worked better that way. The progress with that has been slow the last few months.

Write 365 might just be the thing to get my brain acclimated to writing every day, to accomplishing some words in a WIP every single day. And I understand that this may be hard, that there may be some days were the words just don’t flow. I’m prepared for that. I’m also prepared to not get myself down if there’s a day that I don’t write. Continue reading

My Writing Space

My Writing Space

Welcome to my writing space, the place in my home that is on any given day the most or least productive place that I spend my time. One of the most important tips I have for surviving NaNoWriMo is having a comfortable place to write with as few distractions as possible. So let’s take a look at mine!

Author Kami Garcia, has a great weekly blog post where she shows what’s on her desk that week. I would like to make that a once or twice monthly post to show you what I have and use in my writing space to keep me as productive as possible! Continue reading

Halfway Through NaNoWriMo 2015

Yesterday was November 15th! We’re halfway through the month and that also means that NaNoWriMo is half over. Woohoo, I’ve made it this far as have a bunch of people in my region. It makes me so happy to see my fellow writers succeed!

The past couple of weeks have been crazy. I’ve been scrambling to meet my word count every day, subbing almost every day, and last weekend I was crazy and thought I could do a craft show. Needless to say, last week I struggled a bit. But having done this a few times, it’s pretty expected that I will struggle during week 2. Continue reading

Don’t be Scared: Working with a Critique Partner is Awesome!

One of the best parts of being a writer is working with other writers! Diana has been one of my critique partners for nearly a year and she’s helped me get through Draft 3 of The Girl in The Glass Coffin! She’s also been helping me with Draft 4 and polishing it up!

Read a little bit about my critique partner and learn about our process of how we work together and the benefits of having a critique partner (or CP).

Meet my CP!

Name: Diana Tierney

critique partnerMy current project: It’s called Woman in Red and its an historical fiction piece on Anita Garibaldi. Writing this has been a fascinating journey. Anita is one of those underrated historical figures where the legend is threatening to over take the reality.

My favorite genre to write: Historical fiction i feel like i am a bit of an anthropologist constructing an actual character from the historical clues.

My favorite genre to read: I like books with strong female leads primarily but historical fiction is my absolute favorite to read as well.

My goal for 2015 is: To actually finish my book!

Check out Diana’s Blog!!!

Follow her on Twitter!

And on Instagram!

The idea of sharing your writing with a critique partner can be scary, but it can also be an amazing experience! Check out what Diana and I have to say about working with a CP!

Continue reading

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

world building

Photo from: earthobservatory.nasa.gov

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.

Continue reading

So You Want to Write a Novel- Part 4: Conflict

conflict - so you want to write a novel part 4

Took a little bit of a break yesterday, but we’re back today talking about what I think is the most important part of the puzzle to keep your story going and interesting. Conflict.

Truth be told, a story without some kind of conflict is no story at all. In fact it’s a snooze-fest for both the reader and the writer.

conflict- so you want to write a novel part 4Come on, you know you get a sick sense of pleasure when throwing terrible circumstances at your characters!

Continue reading

So You Want to Write a Novel- Part 3: Characters

Characters- So You Want to Write a NovelWelcome back to So You Want to Write a Novel! So far we’ve talked about where we get ideas and the audience, genre, and whether to plan our novels.

Today we’re going to talk about characters, or the people you will have in your novel. If you’re like me, you have the characters of at least ten different novels running around your head all the time, asking “when will you write me.” That makes me sound pretty crazy, but they are all filed away in my notebook, and someday I will write about all of them.

Continue reading