Camp NaNoWriMo 2018

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Hey guys, I’m participating in Camp NaNoWriMo again this year! I have an idea I was trying to work on last year for NaNoWriMo in November, I think, but I’m deciding to revisit it because I never got farther than about 500 words into the first chapter.

What is NaNoWriMo?

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing. 

On November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 PM on November 30.

Valuing enthusiasm, determination, and a deadline, NaNoWriMo is for anyone who has ever thought about writing a novel.

What is Camp NaNoWriMo?

Camp NaNoWriMo is a virtual writer’s retreat, designed for maximum flexibility and creativity. We have Camp sessions in both April and July, and we welcome word-count goals between 30 and 1,000,000. In addition, writers can tackle any project they’d like, including new novel drafts, revision, poetry, scripts, and short stories.

With that being said, here are some of the basics of what my story is going to be about this time:

Word Count Goal: 10,000 words

I hope to reach 10,000 words by the end of the month. Of course, I know my story is going to be much more than 10k words, but I am out of practice with writing, so I want to give myself an easier pace and an easier time with really focusing on the story and not rushing just to reach the 50k goal.

This means I only have to write 333-334 words per day every day this month to reach that goal. Considering I can very easily write 1,000 words in a half hour if I’m on a roll and really excited for the chapter I’m writing? Yeah, it’ll be easy. I hope.

Rough Synopsis:

Mahlia is unknown. She blends in with the crowd as much as possible and tries to just go through her day to day life without bothering anyone. But she has a secret that she can’t make known unless she wants to forfeit not only this life that she’s made, but also her freedom. If she keeps this secret any longer, though, it may just consume her – body and soul.

Vex is the third prince in line for the throne, and as such he gets away with pretty much whatever he can. As he was forced to choose between priesthood and the military, he decides to join the royal army alongside his second eldest brother. Fire courses through his veins just as it does through his second brother and his mother, but his magic is stronger, different, and one that could ignite a change he hadn’t expected.

In a world where elemental magic is abundant, the threat of war is upon the country of Arkin from their neighbors across the sea – Nyrrin, who craves their lands and their very prosperous resources. But these once comrades of Arkin come with weapons unlike that which Arkin has ever seen, and it could change the outcome of the war for the worse for Arkin.

I know this doesn’t give a lot of information, but I’m still working on it haha!

I also have a Pinterest Board that shows the kind of feel and aesthetic I’m going for with this story.

So there you have it! I hope I’m successful this time around because I really want to get back into writing and creating again. I want to work on an outline before the start of the month, so I hope I’ll be able to get that done before the first (not that I’ll be able to work on it because I’ll be busy and gone all day since it’s Easter and have plans already).

Let’s Chat! ^w^

Are you participating in Camp NaNo this month? Even if you’re not, do you have any writing projects you’re working on? Are you trying to write more character-driven stories, or more plot-driven? Tell me all about what you’re writing!

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Beautiful Books – 2017 Writing Goals

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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. Click here or the picture to be taken back to the most recent Beautiful Books linkup page!

Today’s post is focused on our writing goals for 2017. Now I already talked briefly about some of the goals I hope to achieve this year, but this one goes a little more in depth in a few places where I feel I didn’t touch upon. So here we go!

1. What were your writing achievements last year?

I think just writing the story that had been on my mind for so long was the biggest achievement I accomplished. I had wanted to write about these two characters, Nara and Mikail, for so long and finally doing it was such a release. I loved it!

I also successfully outlined for the first time in years and I actually liked it? I’ve griped about outlining before and how pointless I found it but OH MY GOD I LOVED IT. I need to outline with every single story I do in the future. Seriously, it helped to keep my story focused on the goal I was trying to achieve with it, and even if I didn’t use every plot point that I had written, I was still hitting the major ones and it felt so incredible to be able to see that happen and how the story changed and morphed as I went as a result.

2. What’s on your writerly “to-do list” for 2017?

  • Finish writing not only the draft from NaNo 2016, but also the draft from Camp NaNo 2015. I haven’t finished either story yet, but I’m getting so close to the end for both! (I have a problem writing endings, so that’s probably why I’ve avoided it for so long.)
  • Then edit said drafts. I might just focus on one story for this year even though I love both of them (and the draft from Camp NaNo is a hot mess… I have NO IDEA how I got to where I am in the story from the beginning of what I was writing…). So I think that I’ll just focus on the NaNo 2016 draft for now and edit that one.
  • But here’s my main “to-do list” when it comes to writing this year:
    • Finish drafts.
    • Edit them.
    • Find beta readers.
    • Edit some more.
    • Query some agents and hope to find a great agent.
    • Proceed with publication process. Hopefully.

I’M GOING BIG OR GOING HOME THIS YEAR, GUYS. IT’S GOING TO HAPPEN.

3. Tell us about your top-priority writing projects this year!

“The Thief and the Magician” is my top priority this year. I really loved what I was writing for this story, but I just have a few kinks to work out and obviously some major editing, but otherwise, this story is going to be my primary focus. I feel like it’ll be the story that I want to surface to the world.

I also want to finish writing “Crossing Boundaries,” the story I was working on in 2015. I LOVE my two main characters, but as I’ve stated: it’s a hot mess. I don’t know if I’m going to let it see the light of day any time soon, but maybe one day in the future.

Also, I feel like I have ideas brewing in my mind that I should probably write down. Maybe I’ll work on something new? Or maybe a sequel? Who knows? Not me, clearly.

4. How do you hope to improve as a writer? Where do you see yourself at the end of 2017?

I want to improve in all ways as a writer, honestly. I want to listen to people about what makes a problematic book and how to defeat that beast. I want to do more outlining and just work on editing. At the end of 2017, I want to be able to feel like I’ve accomplished something rather than just letting these projects sit and feeling sorry for myself that I’m not actually doing any writing.

By the end of this year, I want to be able to follow my passions and dreams and write and create and be happy.

5. Describe your general editing process.

After my first NaNoWriMo that I actually wrote 50k words (which was 2014), what I had done was printed out my story (and used up all of my ink) and began to read through it with a critical eye, using a red pen (yes, the dreaded red pen) to mark changes, grammar fixes, etc. For me, personally, I feel like I need to write with pen on paper in order for changes to really stick out in my mind. I could do it all on the computer and save trees and ink and whatnot, but I’m old school and love the feel of writing out what I want to see changed in my story by hand.

At this beginning stage, I already know a LOT of things that want changed because I think of them as I write the first draft, but I rarely go back to fix those things. But once I know I’ve successfully completed writing my first draft, that’s when I can move on and actually put those changes in. Like even now I know there are several things I want to add and change and remove from my draft of “The Thief and the Magician,” but I’m not ready to make those changes just yet.

After that, I’ll go back in, apply those changes to my documents on my computer, and at that stage I’m thinking of letting my husband be my first reader. I want a second set of eyes from someone I trust (who’s also a fast reader) to give me feedback. I know if I tell him to be honest and not sugar coat it that he’ll let me know if things sounds weird, if the flow is wonky, whatever the case may be.

After that, I’ll do another round of edits. I’ve never gotten past the first stage that I talked about, though, and even then I never finished my first round of edits, so this is going to be interesting for sure. But I’m going to take my time with it, doing small chunks at a time until I’ve completed it, then I’ll go from there.

6. On a scale of 1-10, how do you think this draft turned out?

Well, considering I’m not finished… With what I have actually written, I think that this draft is turning out around a 5 or a 6. I’m happy with parts of it for sure, like personalities, certain scenes I know I want to keep, certain emotions that I want to keep, but there’s a lot that needs to be fixed. So yeah. 5/10.

7. What aspect of the draft needs the most work?

If Nara’s supposed to be extremely afraid of Magicians, or just wary around them, WHY DID I NOT MAKE HER MORE AFRAID AND WARY AROUND MIKAIL? UGH. This is currently my biggest gripe of the whole draft and I need to add chapters or change some scenes around to fit this in. Just. UGHHHHHHH. I’m mad at myself, honestly, haha! And I knew I was doing it as I was writing, but I didn’t want to stop and fix it. It’s fine, EVERYTHING’S FINE.

And then there are obviously kinks and stuff I need to elaborate more on, and there’s definitely one chapter that I KNOW was just a filler chapter and needs to be replaced, like, ten years ago, and… yeah. Okay. The draft in general just needs some work.

8. What do you like most about your draft?

I love my characters. I grow very attached to a lot of characters I write, particularly the main characters because, well, duh, and this story, “The Thief and the Magician,” is one I feel so passionate about that I’m so glad that I decided to give it another shot because I struggled HARD during Camp NaNo 2016 when I first started working on it. The chapters weren’t coming out right AT ALL. In fact, I rewrote several chapters during this time because they just didn’t work and they weren’t how my characters were supposed to be, and I was writing it in the wrong tense, so that was frustrating. But yeah. The characters are really what make my draft feel alive to me.

9. What are your plans for this novel once you finish editing? More edits? Finding beta readers? Querying? Self-publishing? Hiding it in a dark hole forever?

I kind of already glossed over it in a couple questions already, but here’s more:

  • Finish the draft, do a round of edits, let husband read it, do another round of edits.
  • Hopefully find two beta readers to give feedback, then do another round of edits.
  • THEN I’ll start querying. I want to go the traditional publishing route because that’s just what I personally want to do.
  • Then I’ll just go from there.

10. What’s your top piece of advice for those just finished writing a first draft?

Let it sit for a little while.

I literally haven’t looked at my draft or thought about it or touched it since the end of NaNoWriMo 2016, and I haven’t even finished it yet. Writing over 50k words in 30 days really taxes the brain, and even if you didn’t do NaNo but you still have a completed first draft (or mostly completed): let it sit.

Don’t think about it, don’t open the file, don’t let yourself worry about it for now. Obviously, don’t take too much time away from it or you might never go back to it until you’re filled with guilt, but give it a month or two. Or give it a week or two. Either way, just let it sit so your brain can recuperate from the hard work it just put in with you writing this first draft. You worked extremely hard on this draft, so now take a break, do something for yourself that isn’t writing, and then go back to your draft. You’ll have refreshed eyes and quite possibly a new outlook on what you want your draft to look like once you start edits. Taking that step back could be very beneficial to you.

Let’s Chat! ≧◡≦

How are you doing on your writing project? What are your plans for this year? Is your novel ever going to see the light of day, or is it going to be buried under mounds of debris, never to be seen again? What do you like most about your draft? Tell me all the things!

Beautiful People: September Edition

Hey peeps! Welcome to another round of Beautiful People! It’s hosted by Cait @ Paper Fury and Sky @ Further Up & Further In. If you want to know more about Beautiful People, you can check out the FAQs page here.

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This month’s questions are an assortment to get to know our characters better. For this one I’m going to choose a character I haven’t talked about yet: a thief named Nara who grew up with her father, who was also a thief, and together they lived wherever their hearts took them in the Rising City. Of course, that’s not to say that they didn’t have their fallouts, but now, as a young adult, Nara is on her own and gets herself into a little more than she can chew when she runs into a Magician – a rare kind of person to find nowadays in the City.

I really like her, but I haven’t gotten to really explore her character yet (or my magician, Mikail) because when I was writing their story I had THE hardest time and nothing flowed and I had to rewrite almost every single chapter I wrote… So now I’m just going to start from scratch because I think I’m starting to get to know them a little better, like they’re ready to tell their story now.

So let’s jump into the questions!

1 . How did you come up with this character?

I came up with Nara when I got the idea for this story I wanted to write back in April for Camp NaNoWriMo. All I had was a synopsis (the best one I’ve ever written) and I instantly wanted to write about this thief and magician. Here’s what I wrote:

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.

2. Have they ever been starving? Why? And what did they eat to break the fast?

She’s never been starving, but she has had days when she hasn’t eaten due to losing her father – her teacher – and having to learn to survive on her own. Though it was difficult at first, she had no choice but to quickly learn what to do to survive if she wanted to keep living the way she had before. She would swipe whatever she could off of vendor stalls, even though she got caught a few times in the process, but always managed to finagle her way out of the situation.

3. Do they have a talent or skill that they’re proud of?

Nara is very proud of her skill of thievery, because she grew up with it and learned from her father, who was one of the best thieves in the Rising City. After her mother left at a very young age, it was her father who raised her and taught her the life skills she’d need to use in order to survive – and to also use her natural born gifts as well. She has a quick mind and a clever way in which she utilizes to get what she wants in certain situations.

4. List 3 things that would make them lose their temper.

-Being treated like a child would definitely get under her skin depending on the situation and who says what. If it’s a friend just goofing around with her, that’s one thing and she’ll jab right back; but if it’s some punk who thinks just because she’s small and she’s a girl she can’t do what she does? Oh yeah, she’ll show them just what she’s capable of.

-If her height is constantly being pointed out she’ll probably lose her cool. She knows she’s short (5’1″), so that’s been both a help and hindrance in her line of work, but when it comes to people pointing out how small she is, like they’re looking down at her? Watch out.

-If she sees children or animals or anyone, really, being abused. She isn’t afraid to go over and defend the one being abused if she’s not stopped first.

5. What is their favourite type of weather? Least favorite?

Favorite: She prefers sunshine, but not hot days. Mostly autumn days make her happy because they’re often sunny, the leaves are changing, and there’s a crispness in the air.

Least: She’s not a huge fan of thunder storms, as she still gets scared by them even to this day.

6. What is their Hogwarts house and/or MBTI personality?

I can definitely see her being in Ravenclaw, but also probably Slytherin. She has the mind of a Ravenclaw, and the occasional arrogance to match, but she can also be cunning and swift like a Slytherin.

7. Are they more likely to worry about present problems, or freak out about the unknown future?

Nara tries her best to live in the moment, so she doesn’t try to worry too much about the future. She savors whatever moment she can and she tries to make the best out of many situations. Of course, she is human and does have worries, but she never shares them because she doesn’t need others knowing her weaknesses or her faults. (Which is, in reality, one of her faults.)

8. What is their favourite thing to drink?

She’s a big fan of ice tea with lemon. It’s one of those delights that she enjoys having on hot summer days.

9. What is their favourite color? Least favorite?

Favorite: Purple, like a lavender.

Least: Probably browns and grays, as she finds them boring.

10. What is a book that changed their life?

If we’re talking books in our real world, I think a book that would’ve changed her life definitely would have been The Mortal Instruments series. I can just see her reading these books, including The Infernal Devices, and being hooked on every word, taking from it the importance of friendship and family, and wondering if her magician was the Jace to her Clary.


And there you have it! I feel like I’ve definitely learned a bit about Nara along with you lovely peeps. Writing about this has made me excited to actually get started on rewriting her and Mikail’s story and telling it the way it should be told.

Let’s Chat! ≧◡≦

What’s one book that changed the life of your character? What talent/skill do they have that they’re proud of? And what Hogwarts house are they in? Tell me all the things!

Beautiful People: Childhood Edition

Hey peeps! Welcome to another round of Beautiful People! It’s hosted by Cait @ Paper Fury and Sky @ Further Up & Further In. If you want to know more about Beautiful People, you can check out the FAQs page here.

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This month’s theme is around childhood, which is interesting because sometimes when you write about characters you don’t always think about what their lives were like as kids, or even what their futures will look like as adult; you think about what’s happening in the present. So this is a chance to take a closer look at the childhood of one of your characters.

For this particular edition I’m going to talk about a character I just created not that long ago, a man named Celezar (sell-eh-zhar). He is a human man who is twenty years old and is a soldier in his father’s army. Oh, and he’s also in love with a Dragon named Talia. Mind you, in this world, Dragons are able to shift into humans, but they often have one telling characteristic that can distinguish them as Dragons. For some, that may be they are unable to shift away their wings, or they can’t shift away the slit of their pupil, or maybe a patch of scales can still be seen. For Talia, her telling characteristic is her eyes.

But Celezar is a young man who grew up the son of the General, so he has had a lot of pressure put on his shoulders to be strong, the be a warrior, and the vanquish the kingdom of Dragons. He has a free spirit and a heart for people, but he also does not want to disappoint his father or his King and the kingdom. Of course, as you can imagine, that is kind of a predicament.

So let’s explore Celezar’s childhood, shall we?

  1. What are their first childhood memory? Celezar was running in a meadow one day away from the small cottage his family called home. He was about four or five at the time, and he went to go play a farther than he ever had before. In the meadow he came upon a sleeping Dragon – an Earthdrake with a massive jaw, dark brown and green scales, and no wings. He remembers going up to the Dragon and putting his little hand against its massive nose and when he looked up he saw that the dragon was watching him. He stood still with fear, but the Dragon just lifted its head and looked down at him, the scales shifting in color from brown to green to a deep blue, and back to brown. He heard his mother scream from a distance away and the Dragon looked up at her before rising to its feet, looked at him one more time, and lumbered away.
  2. What were their best and worst childhood experiences? Best: Getting to pet the Earthdrake. Worst: His mother passed from a different Dragon attack when he was about nine years old as she tried to protect him. Their house ended up burning, and though she managed to get Celezar out of the house, she couldn’t get out herself and burned inside.
  3. What was their childhood home like? It was quaint and cozy with four bedrooms, a large study, a nice kitchen, and a huge yard that he could practice with his father or play games with the other kids in the surrounding area.
  4. What’s something that scared them as child? Close spaces. He’s still claustrophobic to this day, but as a soldier he’s had to learn to handle it; only in extenuating circumstances would he have a problem.
  5. Who did they look up to most? He looked up to his father, for sure. He was strong, intelligent, charismatic, and fun.
  6. Favourite and least favourite childhood foods? Faves: Blueberry pie, roasted ham. Least Faves: Brussel sprouts, pumpkin anything.
  7. If they had their childhood again, would they change anything? He’d definitely make sure his mother would still be alive to this day, that’s for sure.
  8. What kind of child were they? Curious? Wild? Quiet? Devious? He was a happy child, always smiling and giggling at a lot of things. He was also highly curious and wanted to know all about the world around him. He took an interest in medicine and wanted to help out the local doctors as much as possible.
  9. What was their relationship to their parents and siblings like? He was very close with both of his parents, but more so his mother than his father because his father would always be away at war meetings or on the battlefield. He doesn’t have any siblings.
  10. What did they want to be when they grew up, and what did they actually become? He wanted to become a doctor, one that could study medicine for both humans and Dragons, but he became a soldier to please his father.

And there you have it! You (and I) got to learn a little bit about Celezar and who he is as a character. I’m actually really happy that I got to do this because it gets me thinking about his past and how it can affect him now and such.

Let’s Chat! ≧◡≦

What kind of childhood does your character have? Is it traumatic? Happy? Strenuous? What is your character’s best and worst memories?

Beautiful People: May Edition

Hey peeps! Welcome to another round of Beautiful People! It’s hosted by Cait @ Paper Fury and Sky @ Further Up & Further In. If you want to know more about Beautiful People, you can check out the FAQs page here.

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This month’s questions are all kind of random and dive in more into characters and some of their inner things that make them who they are.

Today I’m going to be talking about my character Abby, that I introduced when I first started joining in Beautiful People.

Abigail (Abby for short) is a maid in the palace of Travine, and she performs her role well in the eyes of those who need to see it. But when she’s not under scrutiny, she can be kind, stubborn, curious, sensitive, fun, and protective. She has a secret that not even she knows about, and one that she’ll have revealed to her eventually.

  1. How often do they smile? Would they smile at a stranger? Abby would smile at a stranger because, well, it’s partly her job to be pleasant to guests at the palace, but that’s also just her nature. She’s kind hearted and wants those around her to feel loved.
  2. What is the cruelest thing they’ve ever been told? And what was their reaction? I think being accused of killing a prince and princess is kind of high up there. She reacted as one would expect to react: shock and frustration because of her innocence.
  3. What is the kindest thing they’ve ever been told? And what was their reaction? Probably that she has a kind heart by her mother and her best friend, Morgan. She felt warm inside, like something budded in her heart.
  4. What is one strong memory that has stuck with your character from childhood? Why is it so powerful and lasting? The night her mother died, the sky had cried. The blue sky turned to gray clouds and the heavens opened up, drenching everything in sight. The rain lasted for three days, flooding the landscape and the houses of Travine. Abby’s heart ached like it never had before, and she cried along with the sky for those three days. Her mother had been her nurturer, her protector, her best friend, and her whole world. When she died that night, her strength gone and her eyes still smiling at her, Abby had felt a piece of her heart – her soul – breaking. It was a night she would never forget.
  5. What book (a real actual published book!) do you think your character would benefit from reading? I can see her reading and loving The Remnant Chronicles by Mary E. Pearson. She’d see a lot of herself in Lia and how she wished she could be free of the palace and all it held.
  6. Have they ever been seriously injured? How severely? How did they react? No, I don’t think so.
  7. Do they like and get along with their neighbours? Oh yeah, she can get along with most anyone. She has one of those kinds of personalities where she makes friends easily.
  8. On a scale from 1 to 10 (1 being easy and 10 being difficult) how easy are they to get along with? I would say a 3. She’s pretty easy to get along with, but once she sets her mind to something and you try to overrule her, she’s not going to go down without a fight. Or get revenge if she can’t fight.
  9. If they could travel anywhere in the world, where would they go? In our world, I think she’d want to see Paris. Of course she’d have Maddock go with her because, hello, city of love and all that.
  10. Who was the last person they held hands with? Maddock. ♥

And that is it for this month’s Beautiful People! I actually really enjoyed these questions because they really got me thinking about Abby and her background. I knew some of it, but some of these were a surprise.

Let’s Chat! ≧◡≦

Is there a major event that happened to your character when they were younger that has stuck with them all of this time? How does it affect them now? And also, because I’m a sap, who was the last person they held hands with and what their significance to your character?