NaNoWriMo Without a Plan Pt. 2

So, in my last post I told you all about how busy I have been lately and how busy I was going to be. And how it was highly likely I was not going to participate in Nano this year, and even if I did I probably wouldn’t win.

Well here’s my Nanowrimo 2017 update

11/6/2017
Words written: 3,021

I am very, very behind if I am going to try and make it to 50,000.

Don’t know if I’ll make it to 50,000 by the end of the month. But I can say that I am trying and my novel is advancing surprisingly well, considering I started without a plan or even a plot. Let’s see where this takes me!

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NaNoWriMo Without a Plan

So here’s the thing. Just today I made my first ever job resume. Yup that’s right people! I AM OFFICIALLY UP FOR HIRE! So I am hoping to get a part time job so that I can pay for all my art supplies and some other things I need. I am also concentrating on my painting. Therefore, I probably will not be able to make it to 50,000 words this year.

But don’t get me wrong! I am going to try, I am going to try with all my might to get to 50,000 by the end of November. But I am not promising anything. What’s more, I haven’t even worked on the plot of my book. Which can be either really good or really bad.

Here’s why

1.) If you have no plan, your story can go which ever way it chooses. Making it easier to write.

2.) If you have no plan, you may get stuck. Causing you to have a completely different problem of not being able to write anything, AT ALL!

So this is the first time I am going to part take in NaNoWriMo without a set plan.

Use me as a guinea pig, I’ll keep you all updated on how NaNoWriMo “Without a plan” works out.

How to prepare for NaNoWriMo 2017

It’s October, that means time to get ready for NaNoWriMo 2017! Unfortunately I have “graduated”. So I will no longer be able to participate in the YWP. Which means no more easy word count goals set by myself. This means word count goal over 50,000! Yikes!

I have been working on Galiana Chronicles for… quite some time now.  But I have saving Loxley Chronicles for this years’ NaNoWriMo, since I have not actually written any of it.

I wrote part of my novel, Galiana Chronicles, for NaNo 2016. And reached my YWP goal of 15,000. So this year I’ll have to more than double that!

Loxley Chronicles

Loxley Chronicles takes place in the year 2011. The opening scene takes place in a local park, with dozens of 7th graders. Alice, an adventurous little 12 year old, takes off into the woods with her best friend, Sean. They find a strange, futuristic card of iridescent honeycombs. Loxley Chronicles tells the adventures and magical journeys of Alice and Sean in that forest.

So there’s my summary for Loxley Chronicles. The plot is still very rough, but it’s getting there. Slowly, very very slowly. I’ve always believed in writing a story’s ending first, but I haven’t found the ending for Loxley Chronicles yet. (Good thing is I still have a bit of time before NaNo begins.)

Now that I kinda have my idea down for my book, I have to prepare for it. What am I going to need? 

Well, since this is my first year doing the 50,000 word count goal I am very nervous.

So if I want to make it to my goal of 50,000 I’ll need to do 1,666 words per day. That’s gonna be tough for me since I am a very busy person.

It’s gonna be difficult, but not impossible.

So if I am going to tackle that word count goal, I need to be ready. How?
Here’s a short list of things I’ll be using and doing to get ready for NaNo 2017

  • Have writing supplies ready
    Since I don’t spend very much time on my computer, and carrying my laptop everywhere is a bit of a hassle for me, I’ll be using a notebook, pens, pencils and such.
  • Coffee/Green Tea
    This is very important. Coffee and green tea have caffeine, you have to find a way to keep your energy going. I will say however that I find green tea to be better. Because it gives you smooth energy throughout the day, coffee (At least with me) gives you more of a rush then a slump half way through. But chose which ever you like best!
  • Find a writing buddy
    So this is a new one that I have not tried before. But I have a friend or two who love to know about my writing(s). I am planning on picking their brain throughout the month of November to get to my word count goal and to find new writing prompts and ideas.
  • You need a comfy place to write
    Be it a desk chair, on your bed, on the couch, or maybe all three (or more). Just find somewhere where you are comfortable to write, somewhere that inspires you to write.
  • Start working on a playlist
    Now this will vary greatly on you and what you are writing. I am going to be writing SciFi/fantasy and time travel this year. You may be working on a romance, thriller, horror, medieval, historical, fantasy, YA, fanfic or autobiography for all I know. Just create a playlist that inspires you on whatever genre you are writing. It’s a great idea to use Spotify. Because with Spotify you can actually create playlists with songs you want to listen to, you don’t have to listen to a bunch of music you don’t know or even like. The only thing is that you do get adds, and Spotify on mobile you have to shuffle your music. But if you use it on your tablet or computer you can pick whatever song you want.
  • Make a plan
    When are you going to write? Mornings, evenings, midday? I don’t know, it’s up to you. Just have a plan to tackle those 1,666 words per day!
  • Don’t stop
    Sometimes it happens that we’ve got nothing. No inspiration, no desire to write anything whatsoever. But what about those days that everything just keeps pouring out? Don’t just be content that you met your goal for that day, keep going! If you plan on writing only 1 chapter per day, but you got that one chapter done and you still have awesome ideas coming. Keep going!
  • Don’t edit
    This causes you to slow down, and not reach your word count goal. Save the editing until after you have met your 50,000 word count goal.

Taking these steps and mentally preparing yourself for NaNo 2017 will help you get to you word count goal and be a winner!

The Writing Process Pt. 2: How to make a story binder.

First off I’d like to say sorry. Last week I didn’t get to post anything due to being ridiculously sick. I was in bed for 5 days straight! And I am still suffering an annoying cough.

 

Now about my story binder

I had been going back and forth (as you can see here) as to digital or paper for my novel writing. And I finally cam to a decision. Paper.

I have always had a love for paper. Always obsessed with stationery of all sorts.

I own a ton of composition notebooks because of school. I don’t use them anymore, but I am going to use them for writing my novels.

So here are some tips to make a story binder:

Supplies:

  • Binder
  • Composition notebook
  • Loose pages
  • Sticky notes
  • Sketch paper (If you want)

So, first off you’ll want to title you binder. You can use “story binder”or the title of your book.

Then you’ll want to write your plot, or story line. just to make sure that your writing stays on topic.

Third, on a separate page write a list of characters of your book

Now, on the composition notebook you can start writing the first draft of your book.”

Your first draft is not supposed to be perfect, it’s supposed to be finished.

You can use sticky notes to make observations on things you need to change in your story.

Now just write, write, write.

I think there is so much information out there for writers that we get overwhelmed and forget to make the first step. Just write.

I believe that other writers, and readers too, want us to be as perfect and experienced as  Rowling or Austen. Well guess what. It ain’t gonna happen! To become a good writer, sure we have to “study” or research. But to be a truly good writer, we must gain experience, this means just write

 

The Writing Process Pt. 1

How do you write? What is your process? Many writers have many different techniques. Some write their novel digitally, others write one paper. Some have 3-hole binders while others use computer files. Some work on the couch others at a desk, and others in bed.

Well, here’s my writing process. Maybe it will spark your imagination and get you writing!

First off, I use a 3-hole binder. I use an index card to write the title. The plot is 3 pages long, all hand written. Then I have an open pouch where I stick my notebook and the first 20 pages of the novel. Then I have another pouch for my writing prompt notebook (It is very useful to carry this around everywhere you go.) And I have several other loose pages in the binder. I have an itinerary for my book, character page, list of places, a timeline, and a “courses” page since my character will be attending an academy.

My notebooks are not fancy by any means. In fact they are simple composition notebooks. (They’re cheap, and have many pages 😉 just perfect for me). I absolutely love tiny notebooks too, they come in handy when your bag is too small to carry a regular sized notebook.

Things I want to change:

First I want to get nicer binders for my novels.

I really want to create an accurate map of the places in my novel.

I also want to insert pictures and drawings. I might also add quotes to the cover of my binders.

I really want to make a writing binder, for writing in general. I am also going to make a page especially for blog post ideas.

Click that follow button to stay updated!

The Calling: How I Found it and How You Can Too

Find your calling.png

In this journey we call life, we must find our calling, our passion, the thing that we are supposed to bless the world with.

But I can say as a newly graduated high school student, it’s hard. Really, really hard. People pulling you every which way, not only parents, but teachers, friends and other family members. They always suggest things like becoming an accountant or bookkeeper. A Doctor, nurse, lawyer or any such thing. I had many comments like “What are you going to study in college? What university are you going to? What are you going to pursue as a career?” And it all started my freshman year, and only intensified the closer I got to my senior year and graduation. And let me be honest, I had NO IDEA what I was going to do after high school, even my senior year I had no clue.

It was about 3 months before graduation. I had this in my head nonstop, “What was I going to do?”

I started thinking “What do I love to do? What am I really good at?” My mind would always wander to writing and painting. “But… how do I make a living at it?” I drew up a plan, and then another and another.

Basically what I came down to was writing my own blog, and selling my art. I must admit, since I only started about a month ago I haven’t achieved much as far as money. But I am getting there, slowly, very slowly. My blog has thankfully been getting more and more views and subscribers! (Shout out to all who follow thank you! You motivate me to keep going!) Also my Instagram is about to reach 100 followers! I am getting tons of love from my viewers and my friends too! In fact, as far as my art goes, I got my first two commissions this past week! They’re about done, so I sent pics to the clients and they loved them! Things like that just make my day!

As I said before, I have not made any money yet with my business. But it seems like it’s gonna go well.

But now, for you.

How do you find your calling?

Well, first ask yourself “What do I want from my life?” For me I don’t want to be tied down to a horrible 9-5 job filling or taking orders and earning minimum wage. That’s just not me. I’d be bored out of my mind for the rest of my life! I want something flexible, that will sustain me, help me to retire one day, travel a bit and just lead a simple life I enjoy. But more than anything I want to love what I do. I don’t want to hate my job. I am the kind of person who becomes bored easily, distracted, and I tend to lose interest if I am not doing something I love.

Now think about things you are good at. Generally if you like a certain subject/hobby you’ll be good at it, because, since you like it you put more effort into it. For me writing has been a passion since I was small, but I never really realized it at the time. I always wanted to write a book (Back then it was a pony club style book, give me a break I was like 8! I’d draw out pictures and my characters, though I never got to the writing part. As I said I was tiny, who at that age actually knew how to write well? And don’t even get me started on those book based movies, like Narnia, God I was obsessed with creating a world similar to that) Anyhow, back to the subject. Looking back on my childhood I can clearly see now I was meant to be a writer, it was always with me, just there lingering, waiting to be discovered. Same thing with art. (Even before my writing, I loved art. Art class was my favorite subject. I sucked at drawing and sketching, but painting, man I loved it!) So as you can see, I always kinda carried those things around with me, though I did not realize at the time I had a passion for those subjects.

And now, the third step. Ok, so you must have demand. You gotta have people who want to listen, or want your service or product. Because without customers, your dream job is just a hobby. So, like me, I want to be a writer, now I have to put myself out there for people who want what I can offer. What we’d call you, my readers. Without readers, a writer is nothing. We need people who want us and our product or service. So look around, where will you be needed? My books are needed on shelves, so I’ll write my book and send it to publishers to get it out on those shelves. My art needs to be on walls. I need to go find people who want my art on their walls. Where do I go? I go where the art loving people go, festivals, galleries, coffee shops etc.

I got awesome advice from an older friend named Ana she said she knew a young girl who makes her living as an artist. She told me it is possible, just that you must work hard at it. Get your name out there. And just do it! She told me what this artist did. She found a local coffee shop and asked to put up her art along with her contact info. Whenever someone likes the art and wants to buy it they take the business card and get in contact with the artist to make the sale transaction.

 

I really hope this post helped you. Remember the amount of money you have will not make you happy, doing what you love will. So find something you love and find a way to make a living from it, you don’t need globs and globs of money (Although sometimes that would be nice) to be happy, be content with what you have and do what you love.

How to Make an Awesome Storyboard on Pinterest

How to make an awesome storyboard using Pinterest.png

Here’s an awesome idea that I have stuck with since day one of writing my novel. Storyboards. Sometimes us writers need inspiration. What a better way than to look at a storyboard that was made by YOU! It’s amazing because it serves as a blue-print for your story. It helps you to “get in the mood”, really transport you into your book. (Even when or if you don’t feel like writing)

First, what is a storyboard on Pinterest?

In simple terms, it’s a board dedicated to your book/novel. A compilation of pins that you hand-picked for you story. For a few examples check mine out. This is my Galiana Chronicles board and this is my Loxley Chronicles board.

Second, how do you make a storyboard?

Well, it’s actually quite simple. Just follow these simple steps

1.) Add a new board 

2.) Title it (Preferably the name of your book/story)

But what if your book/story doesn’t have a name yet? Well, just make a quick description of what your book is about. For example, mine would be Medieval fantasy. Or  you can use the description of your main character or the plot. Or better yet, use a phrase or quote from your book! The awesome thing with this is that, you have full control over this board.

3.) Add pins! Ok, so this is the fun part. Ask yourself “What is my book about? Where does it take place? When does it take place? And who are the characters?” Now just look for pins that you like and pin them. For example, mine is a medieval fantasy. So I look up pins that have to do with that theme.

So add pictures of places, people, ships, autos, whatever you want!

Pretty simple huh? Now go get pinning!

*Add a specialized playlist.

So I just figured this out right now, and it’s super cool.

I love music, so obviously I had to make a special playlist for when I am writing my novel. But… Why not share it with the world? Get people in “the mood” for reading your book?

Here’s how to add a link of a playlist to your storyboard.

1.) You have to go to Spotify Web Player, not just your Spotify app. I know, it was a bit of a pain (You’ll need to be on your desktop or laptop, the web player doesn’t work on phones or tablets)

2.) Go to your specialized playlist.

3.) Right click then select  “Copy Playlist Link”.

4.) Go to your Pinterest storyboard and click the “+” button

4.) Click on “Save from a website”

5.) Paste the link into the bar and viola, you have the pin for your playlist.

 

*Quick Tip*

If you have the “Pin It” button on your browser

1.) Go to playlist

2.) Click “Pin it” button.

3.) Select board you wish to save it to.

 

Here’s a really helpful tip against writer’s block:

Once you have created your playlist and your storyboard, go back to it. When you feel that nagging writer’s block coming on, go to your storyboard and blast that playlist. It will almost instantly transport you into your book, making you want to finish that awesome story of yours!