NaNoWriMo 2016 Week 2 – Don’t Give Up!

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Well, this week was less than stellar, as you can see by my LACK OF WRITING AT ALL. UGH. I just couldn’t bring myself to write last week, what with the election, work, no motivation WHATSOEVER. I’M NOT GIVING UP THOUGH. I’m going to do my best to reach 50,000 words this month, I swear it!

I also got some NaNo merch last week and I swear they have magical properties. Each time I’ve put them on I’ve felt the need to write, and I actually would write and get a lot done, too. It’s crazy. Here’s the merch I got:

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  • Astro mug
  • Knit hat
  • House NaNoWriMo scarf

I feel like I can conquer the beast when I’m wear this merch (and have the mug next to me), so I should seriously just wear it each day I write.

This week is going to be better! It is! If you’re like me and you’re stuck, keep pushing through! I know it’s hard, but we can do it.

Goal

50,000 words total by the end of November 30th.

My average daily goal is to write 1,667 words.

Stats for Week 2

Day 6: 0 words
Day 7: 0 words
Day 8: 0 words
Day 9: 0 words
Day 10: 0 words
Day 11: 0 words
Day 12: 0 words

Total Words: 14,384 words

*I’m not including today, November 13th, as the day is not over yet. Today’s word count will be in next week’s recap.

This Week’s Advice: Don’t Give Up

When the going gets tough, the tough get going, right? Well, this is usually the time when everyone starts to feel exhausted from writing. If you’re a good person you’ve been writing every day and meeting your word count, but you might start feeling like you’re winding down, giving up. If you’re a bad person (like me) you probably feel like there’s no point to you writing because you’ve fallen SO FAR behind.

Well I’m here to tell you: don’t give up!

We’ve set ourselves up to reach a very hard goal this month: writing a short novel in thirty days. It’s challenging even for some highly acclaimed published authors, let alone people doing this for fun or otherwise. Don’t feel like you NEED to prove anything to anyone other than yourself. Show yourself that you can do this, that you can write every day. Forget about the word count goal; just write for yourself, write as much or as little as you can per day.

Do your best and don’t give up! It’s not about winning, it’s about getting your story out of you and onto paper (or computer). You can do it. You may get frustrated, tired, drained, but you can still do it. Once things start falling into place in your novel you’ll start to feel so much better.

Keep your eyes set on the horizon and keep writing!

Let’s Chat! ≧◡≦

How was your second week of writing? Was it as bad as mine? (aka non-existent) Have you been meeting your word count goal every day? How far have you gotten in your plot? Tell me all the things!

NaNoWriMo 2016 Week 1 – Embark on an Adventure

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This week started out really strong. Like really, really strong. You can see by my stats below that I was kicking some major butt the first day of NaNo. And then… it just kind of went down hill real fast, haha! The end of the week was a bit more difficult for me to concentrate on writing, so I wasn’t able to get much done at all. And that’s fine. I’m still writing and doing what I can and having a good time doing it. At least this time around my story is flowing a lot easier. I’ve got an outline I’m following and I find that it’s really helping me.

Goal

50,000 words total by the end of November 30th.

My average daily goal is to write 1,667 words.

Stats for Week 1

Day 1: 10,339 words
Day 2: 2,092 words
Day 3: 1,869 words
Day 4: 0 words
Day 5: 84 words

Total Words: 14,384 words

*I’m not including today, November 6th, as the day is not over yet. Today’s word count will be in next week’s recap.

This Week’s Advice: Embark On An Adventure

When you’re writing a story, you’re not just writing a bunch of words to get them down and out of your head; you’re embarking on a journey. It’s long and tedious and, quite frankly, exhausting, but it’s so much fun and so worth it when you see that end product on the horizon. Even if you don’t meet your goal, you still accomplished something just by starting because most people don’t even get that far.

Take the time to sit back and enjoy what you’re writing. The first week is probably the easiest week and it’s only going to get tougher from here. You’re going to want to quit, to change everything, to start a new story. I implore you to keep going! Don’t let that funk put you down and don’t let anything stand in your way. This is YOUR story. YOU are the only one who will be able to tell it.

I want you to try something this week: envision yourself as your character. I know you’re already going along for the ride with them as their creator, but just imagine yourself as them for a minute. Are they enjoying the journey? Can they see what’s coming next? Or is it a thrill to have a foot in the unknown? If you find that you are struggling, put yourself in your character’s shoes for a moment and make sure that what is going on is what THEY need out of the story. Not you.

Take this journey and embrace it. It’s a fun time, and though, yes, it will get rocky, that sight you see when you’ve reached your goal will be one of the best ever. So keep at it, and keep reaching toward that horizon.

Let’s Chat! ≧◡≦

How has your first week gone so far? Have you achieved any personal milestones yet? Have you participated in any sprints? What is your main goal in the week to come? Tell me all the things!

NaNoWriMo 2016

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It is that time of year again, my peeps! I will be participating in National Novel Writing Month once again and I am SO excited for this year because I am so excited for the story I’m writing and the characters I get to learn about and so much more.

If you don’t know what NaNoWriMo is, it’s a yearly, month long writing extravaganza where you have thirty days to write 50,000 words, which is the length of a short novel.

Now, 50,000 words might sound very intimidating – and it is! – but it’s a very fun month and there are a lot of people who participate, encourage others, and provide awesome support. There are even NaNoWordSprints that are hosted every day by individuals and the official Twitter account for said sprints and they really help to push individuals to reach goals.

I’m also very excited for this year because the awesome people in charge of NaNo created some new, helpful tools for writers this year which I am SO GLAD they finally implemented because we’ve only been waiting a million years for them. And that is they’ve introduced 1) a word sprint tool on the site, which is cool, and 2) they’re making it so we can add to our total word count by what we’ve typed, instead of trying to calculate the total on our own. So say you’re already at 5,678 words and you’ve written another 1,392 words. You don’t have to try to calculate that total, but rather there will be an option to add what you’ve typed (the 1,392) into the bar and it automatically calculates it. I love it.

SO, how about I actually talk about the novel I’m going to be writing this month? I mean, that is kind of the whole point of this post.

I’m not going to lie: I did start writing early. I COULDN’T HELP IT. I was too excited for my story, my characters, and everything that I just had to at least start it and see where it went from there.

I did talk a bit about my novel in this Beautiful Books post a few weeks ago, but I figured I’d talk about it a little more here and how I hope my month of November will go.

Here’s my working synopsis:

Nara is a thief of the Rising City, and she’s been one since she was a little girl, trained and abandoned by her father. Now, as a twenty year old, she is one of the most infamous thieves in all of the Rising City. But when one mistake almost costs her her life, she is thrown into a life debt by someone she never would have thought she’d ally herself with: a Magician.

Mikail is a Magician, a rare breed that is seldom seen in the world anymore, and he is still honing his skills. When his powers manifested at a young age, he didn’t expect to be in the eye of every powerful person in the Rising City – especially that of the Queen. But when one day his magic goes haywire and he saves a thief from most certain death, he thinks that maybe she is his ticket to freedom.

Though the two cross and their lives mix, neither one could be prepared for what happens to them – or their hearts.

I love these characters and I didn’t realize how much until I was writing my responses to the Beautiful Books post. I had started writing this story for Camp NaNoWriMo back in April of this year, but I just couldn’t write any good chapters. I was seriously getting so upset with how my writing was turning out that I tried writing at least two or three different kinds of stories before giving up. I would sit there and write a chapter, hate it because it didn’t feel or sound like who I envisioned the characters to be at all, and then rewrite the ENTIRE chapter the next morning, surpassing whatever I had written the previous time so I could up my goal.

It was horrible and I don’t want that to happen again.

As it turns out, when I started writing this story early, I tried a new method and I’ve found that it’s worked for me so far. Instead of writing in third person past tense, I’m writing in first person present tense, keeping the dual perspective, and I’ve found that I like it so much more for these characters.

To me, their voices are distinct, their mannerisms their own, and I just need to learn so much more about them through this story – their story – and I can’t wait to see where they take me.

As for the goals I hope to achieve this month, here are a few I definitely hope to achieve in my writing and overall:

Overall

  • Reach 50,000 words and surpass it by at least 2,000 words by November 30th.
  • Learn as much about my characters and world as possible.
  • Make new friends as a result of this year’s NaNo!
  • Enjoy myself and don’t stress too much over it. (I do work full time, even if I have this first week of the month off for vacation.)

Specific

  • Write at least the average goal of 1,667 words per day, but personal goal: write at least 2,500 words per day.
  • Let the characters tell the story, as usual, but don’t let the plot go wild.

That’s it! Oh man, guys, I am SO excited for this NaNoWriMo. I haven’t been this excited since last April 2015. I hope that this month proves itself successful because, damn, I miss writing. I want to make this my profession and I’ve pushed it away for long enough. Let’s get this party started!

Let’s Chat! ≧◡≦

Are you participating in NaNoWriMo this year? What’s your novel about? Have you come up with an idea? Are you more of a planner or a pantser? Share all the things!

Beautiful Books 2016| Introducing the Novel

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Hey peeps and welcome to Beautiful Books, hosted by the lovely Cait @ Paper Fury and Sky @ Further Up & Further In. What is Beautiful Books? It’s very similar to the monthly link up of Beautiful People, but this month it focuses on NaNoWriMo writing projects rather than specific characters in the novels. You obviously don’t have to be participating in NaNo in order to join; it can be any writing project.

So for today I’m going to be discussing the project I will be working on during NaNo, which is the one I started for Camp NaNoWriMo this past April: The Thief and the Magician. I want to restart this novel because even though I didn’t get very far the first time, I still didn’t enjoy what I was writing almost at all. I love my characters Nara and Mikail, but I didn’t like the way the chapters were coming out. I literally rewrote every single chapter that month to improve it because I couldn’t stand what I had written the day before.

So for NaNoWriMo 2016 I’m going to be working on this story of mine that I really want to tell. With that, let’s jump into the questions:

1. What inspired the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea?

I honestly have no idea where the initial spark came from. I have a writing journal where I write any idea that comes into my head that I would like to one day use in a novel, and I must have been looking at it one day because I have written in there: the thief + the magician. I don’t know if I wrote it in after I thought about writing it, which looks like the case considering I have more details than I normally write in my ideas area, but that’s probably where it started. I’ve had the idea for it since at least March or April of this year, so not too long.

2. Describe what your novel is about!

Here’s my current working synopsis:

Nara is a thief of the Rising City, and she’s been one since she was a little girl, trained and abandoned by her father. Now, as a twenty year old, she is one of the most infamous thieves in all of the Rising City. But when one mistake almost costs her her life, she is thrown into a life debt by someone she never would have thought she’d ally herself with: a Magician.

Mikail is a Magician, a rare breed that is seldom seen in the world anymore, and he is still honing his skills. When his powers manifested at a young age, he didn’t expect to be in the eye of every powerful person in the Rising City – especially that of the Queen. But when one day his magic goes haywire and he saves a thief from most certain death, he thinks that maybe she is his ticket to freedom.

Though the two cross and their lives mix, neither one could be prepared for what happens to them – or their hearts.

It sounds good, right? That’s the best synopsis I’ve ever written, and even I want to read this novel – but first, I have to write it!

3. What is your book’s aesthetics? Use words or photos or whatever you like!

I was seriously so excited for this question when I first read it, so here is my working aesthetic for my novel:

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4. Introduce us to each of your characters!

Nara is a twenty year old thief who has been on her own for the last eight years after her father passed and her mother left six years prior to that. She learned all she knows from her father, whom she loved and respected greatly, and continues to learn all she can to become the best thief in the Rising City. She’s brave, sarcastic, quick on her feet, intelligent, but sometimes she gets too cocky, which can cause her to get in a bit of trouble. She’s also afraid of thunder storms.

Mikail is an Illusionary Magician, a rare breed of Magician that is rarely, if ever, seen in the empire anymore. His skills have always been desired ever since he was a child. Now, at eighteen, he runs for his life. He may look pretty serious a lot of the time (resting bitch face is a curse, alas), but he’s actually pretty friendly and easy to get along with. He’s smart, kind, and has a compassionate heart, though that may one day lead to his downfall. He’s also afraid of heights and, on occasion, his own illusions.

The Queen is a powerful woman who looks to be in her mid thirties but some think she is much older than that as she never seems to age and she’s been on the throne for a long time. Her game is political ploys and schemes, always looking for the next thing that can continue to increase her power and hold over the Rising City and the empire. She is intelligent, cunning, swift, and full of secrets. Though she does have one fear that she doesn’t let anyone know or get a hold of.

The Lion is the Queen’s top guard, a man who is ruthless when it comes to serving his Queen. And like his Queen, he has very mysterious powers and secrets that none wish to uncover. He’s cruel, harsh, and cunning. He has no known weaknesses, which causes him to be even more of a threat. You do not want the Lion looking for you.

5. How do you prepare to write? (Outline, research, stocking up on chocolate, howling, etc.?)

What is this “preparation” you speak of? I hate outlining. With a passion. I also hate drafting, but I know it’s a necessary process when it comes to writing. I find that when I write out an outline all of my ideas go with it so I feel like I can’t write out what I’ve just written down. That’s why I like to keep as much as possible in my mind to write down for my story itself. I know my characters, what they look like, how old, and general appearances and personality, but it’s the story and how they act in the story that tells me who they are.

But I also do enjoy chocolate. So there’s that.

6. What are you most looking forward to about this novel?

Finishing it. Seriously. I haven’t finished a novel since NaNo 2014, and then I’m very close to finishing another novel I started for Camp NaNo 2015, but I have no clue how it really got to where it’s at in the story and it was turning into a trilogy at that point… So yeah, I’m looking forward to finishing it. If it’s even a one book thing, I have no idea. I have no end in mind, just a general story I want to tell.

But here’s what I hope to do:

  • Reach 50,000 words. (Duh.)
  • Get a nice romance going on. Maybe sexy times, we’ll see. OR just a nice friendship. I honestly don’t know where these characters are going to go in terms of that.
  • Learn all I can about my characters. Their ins and outs and everything in between.
  • Figure out what the hell I actually want to happen in the story.

7. List three things about your novel’s setting.

My novel mainly takes place in a city called the Rising City. I pictured it to have various sections around the city with grand buildings in the Shopping and Elite areas, warehouses and smaller houses in the Commons area, and then the Slums and Port. There’s large, elaborate buildings, museums, stores, a clock tower, beautiful lights, and such. They do have electricity in this world, but their modes of transportation is by horseback, caravan, or walking.

But here’s three general things:

  • The Commons houses the majority of the people in the Rising City, the capital of the Empire. It is also the main thoroughfare and festival celebration area. Parties, ftw!
  • The Elite area does have the Queen’s castle, a large, grandeur structure with opulent windows, details, and finery. It’s truly a beautiful sight, inside and out. Though, like all castles, there are secrets within its walls.
  • Past the Rising City is the Grand Highway, a large, open area of vast valleys and plains where travelers took refuge and could get to any other major city or town in the empire. It’s also wrought with dangerous creatures and mysterious beings and happenings.

8. What’s your character’s goal and who (or what) stands in their way?

Both Nara and Mikail crave freedom, even if both are very different versions of it. Nara wishes for the freedom to come and go as she pleases without having to keep one eye open while she sleeps, while Mikail wants out of the City and into a land where he won’t be hunted and desired for his powers.

For Nara, she’s really her own worst enemy in a way because she holds all the power within herself to change her circumstances, her life, and make different decisions, but thievery is the only life she’s ever known and she feels a connection to her father because of it. There’s something slumbering within her that calls her to it, and she’s not sure she can stop.

As for Mikail, the Queen and the Lion are really who stand in his way. The Lion does the Queen’s bidding, and as the Queen wants Mikail for his power, he wants to get as far away as possible. He’d even be willing to give up his powers, somehow, for a chance at normalcy.

9. How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?

I’m not sure as I don’t even know where I want my novel to go. But as I’m typing this out, more and more scenes are playing in my head – which is nice! – just not the ending. So I’m anticipating it just as much as everyone else! I do hope that both Nara and Mikail come to terms with something by the end, but I have a feeling they’ll have more to tell than what one novel can hold.

10. What are your book’s themes? How do you want readers to feel when the story is over?

I feel like the main themes of the book are acceptance, learning to face fears, and trusting in others.

When the book is over I’m hoping readers will feel one of these ways: 1) they’re craving more from these two, wanting to know what happens next; or 2) they feel like the story came full circle and that Nara and Mikail stand out in their own regard.

I want readers to leave the book feeling like they got to know two people who were in very different places in the world, but who came together and made the most of what they could.

There’s plenty I hope readers will get out of my story, but those are the main things.


I’m so excited to get started on rewriting this story. I glanced over the chapters I’ve already written, and there’s some things I’ll probably keep, but a lot I’m going to end up changing. I prefer writing in third person, but I might switch to first person while keeping the dual perspective. I feel like this story is going to be a ride and I am so excited to go on this journey with Nara and Mikail.

Let’s Chat! ≧◡≦

Are you participating in NaNoWriMo this year? In three words tell me what your story is about! What do you hope readers of your story will take away from it? What genre does your story fit under? Tell me all the things!

Camp NaNoWriMo: July Edition

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It’s that time again! It’s actually going to be my first time ever participating during the summer session of Camp NaNoWriMo, so I’m pretty pumped about it.

If you don’t know what Camp NaNoWriMo is, it’s a more relaxed version of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in which the goal for NaNoWriMo is to write 50,000 words in one month. NaNoWriMo takes place every year in the month of November, but Camp NaNoWriMo takes place in both April and June of each year. The only thing is is that the goal for Camp is set from 10,000 to 999,999 words. So you have a much broader range in which to write!

Check out their FAQs for any questions you might have.

So I’m going to be doing a totally different story for this session and I’m going to also be writing for a smaller word count goal. I’m doing this partially because I don’t want to overdo myself like I did last session, but also because I feel that this goal is very attainable. So here’s the stats:

Word Count Goal: 15,000 words

Average Words Per Day: 484 words to meet my goal by the end of the month.

Synopsis:

Celezar is a soldier in his father’s army, a strong warrior who was brought up to hate Dragons and to fight against them for the kingdom. But he never really believed in what his father said about Dragons to be true, but he also does not want to disappoint the only family he has in the world. His heart is for the people and he would rather help and heal them than slay a Dragon.

Talia is a Firedrake and she has always been told that her destiny is to “bring a new world from the ashes of the old,” but all she wants is to become a scholar and read books – mountains of them – and to educate the world about Dragons. As the daughter of the Dragon Lord, though, she always knew that her place would be among the court, not traveling the world to learn as much as she can.

As the war in the kingdom wages on, Talia and Celezar must do what is in their power to stop either side from wiping out the other. But can they do it alone, or will they have to rely on each other – and others – in order to do so?

I’m pretty pumped because I love dragons and I want to write my own version of them. I’ve already talked a little bit about Celezar’s childhood and who he is, but I’ll talk a little bit more about each of my characters in my weekly recaps for the month. Also each week I’ll talk a little bit about writing, my writing progress, and any tips and tricks I may have.

If you want to check out my progress and add me as a friend, you can check out my profile!

Let’s Chat! ≧◡≦

Do you plan on participating? What is your story about? How do you feel about dragons? What is your word count goal?