NaNoWriMo 2016 – Week 1

Boy this year’s Nano weeks are weird. Starting on a Tuesday, ending on a Monday… what is this?!

So it’s that time of year again. NaNoWriMo time. Honestly, this is probably my favorite time of the writing year. SO many people get together to support one another. I get to meet some local writers, get a crap ton done, and it just feels great to really focus on one project. Though this year I’m not entirely focusing on one project since I have marketing to do, but I’m only writing ONE project.

Continue reading “NaNoWriMo 2016 – Week 1”

Nanoprep: Character Worksheet (2016)

Hey guys! NaNoWriMo is almost here!! Can you even believe it?

I haven’t spent as much time Nanoprepping as I probably should have this year, given I was trying desperately to finish writing the Queen of Thieves before November. Somehow I finished it over a week early (woo!), so that’s giving me some extra time to figure out everything.

For this year’s Nano project, I’ll be writing the sequel to Haven, which is pretty exciting, let me tell yah. SAVAGES is going to be a fun, although very dark YA project, which actually kind of works since QoT was really dark too and I’m already in the mindset for that!

Continue reading “Nanoprep: Character Worksheet (2016)”

Top 5 NaNoprep Tips

Alright guys, it’s Nanoprep time.

Ready to get serious? Ready to get down and dirty with the nitty gritty details? I hope so!

Nanoprep is all about getting ready to commit yourself to 50k in November, which is by no means a small feat. You have to either write 1600 words a day, or choose your battles and write a LOT more than that to make it. It’s a ton of work, but it is SO worth it. So let’s go over my top 5 tips for your best Nanoprep yet!

Continue reading “Top 5 NaNoprep Tips”

NaNo Prep 2016

Hey guys!

It’s that time of year again. NaNoWriMo is right around the corner! Are you participating this year? I know I am! I’ve been dying to start the sequel to Haven, so what’s a better time to start than during NaNo when I HAVE to write 50 thousand words?! Though the task is daunting, I’m up for the challenge.

So, nanoers, if you’ve been following my blog for some time, you know I have lots of posts about NaNoWriMo. Let’s start with those:

Continue reading “NaNo Prep 2016”

Camp NaNoWriMo 2016

Can anyone in all honestly tell me they can believe it’s already July? Because I seriously can’t. It feels like 2016 just started and here we are, Camp NaNoWriMo just DAYS away! So I guess it’s time to talk writing, outlining and some tips on getting your butt in gear and through this NaNo month!

First of all, the fact you’re researching or clicked on this post is a FABULOUS start! It means you don’t want to go it alone, that you want help or tips on the best way to get through the next four weeks. So let me tell yah, I am HERE for you! If you have any questions about writing, hit me up anytime and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can! I may even get some sprints going on Twitter, so be sure to add me! @KattyB3

Continue reading “Camp NaNoWriMo 2016”

NaNoWriMo Week 4 (Final week!)

Good morning everyone, and happy December 1st!

That’s it, NaNo is officially done! Honestly I’m kind of sad to see it go! I met a lot of cool people during NaNo and had some great discussion. Not to mention NaNo was motivation central! I hope everyone made it, I certainly did (just!).

So let’s take a look at the last week of NaNo to see how things were winding down…

Continue reading “NaNoWriMo Week 4 (Final week!)”

Nanowrimo Prep: Final tips!

I can’t believe November is right around the corner. Where did October go?!

Before we jump into this one, I just wanted to wish everyone a happy Halloween and be safe out there in whatever you’re doing! Be that trick or treating, clubbing, binging on candy or heading to a house party, BE SAFE and don’t eat too much!

With that said, I wanted to talk over a few final tips before November starts and we’re all thrust into Nano madness!

  1. Schedule: Set yourself a schedule or time of day when you WILL write.
  2. Word Goals: We all know the goal is to write about 1600 words a day, but that will definitely flux are you take days off from writing. Adjust your word goals weekly to keep on track!
  3. Only stop when you know what comes next: If you do this, you’ll always know what you’re going to write the next day or next time you sit down to do so.
  4. Have someone to hold you accountable: Whether it me your mom, sibling, friend, etc, have someone to hold you accountable and ask you how much you’ve written that day. Personally I have a friend or two that participates as well. They’re THE best motivation because if they tell you how much they’ve written so far, and it’s over yours, it instantly becomes a competition to see who can write more, faster. They can also yell at you to get your shit together. That can be pretty helpful.
  5. Outline: If you have not done so yet. DO IT HOLY MOTHER OF GOD! If you need help with outlining, check out my outlining for NaNo post OR this awesome and hilarious blog post by Chris Wendig on outlining for Nano (Seriously read it, it’s amazing).
  6. Ready the snacks! More on that here.
  7. Characters: Have your characters fleshed out and ready to go, that way you can always make sure your story is heading in the right direction.
  8. Do not edit: I know it may be tempting to constantly read and revise what you’ve already written, but Nanowrimo is NOT about that, that’s for December. Save it for National Novel Revision Month. 😉
  9. Don’t sweat it: Don’t be too hard on yourself with your word count every day. If you’re having a bad day and can’t write through it, then don’t. Make it up when you’re feeling better. The same goes for your novel. If you’re not feeling it, don’t worry about it. Just keep writing. That’s what editing is for!

I think that’s it for me guys! I hope you’ve enjoyed this series, and I will be sure to let you know how things go throughout the next month! Good luck with Nanowrimo everyone, and feel free to hit me up on Twitter, Facebook, or in the comment section to let me know how you’re doing!

Stay classy internet!

Nanowrimo Prep: Character Worksheet Exercise

Welcome back to Nanoprep everyone!

Today I thought we’d do something a liiiittle different. Instead of my blathering on about things, I thought it’d be fun to do a character worksheet together! But Kat, what is a character worksheet, you may ask? Well my young (or old?) friend, it is basically a bio about your character. You could do it about the villain in your story, your protagonist, his/her best friend, family members, etc.

For this little exercise I will be using Pen and Muse‘s character worksheet that you can easily find here. Be sure to check them out, as they’re both very smart ladies with great advice!

For the purpose of this exercise I’m going to use my character Haven (MC of Haven, duh lol) instead of Selene (who’s from the story I’ll be writing for Nano). The reason for this is, Selene is a terrible example. She has some memory loss issues that could prevent me from answering these questions to their fullest potential. So Haven it is!

So I’m going to jump right to it, and occasionally I’ll put some comments in italics if I have anything helpful to add.

Main Characters name: Haven Delyth Fyre

Age: 19

Physical Appearance: Haven has amber eyes, and long wavy brown hair that ends in red at the tips. She has olive skin, a striking jaw line and a heart shaped face.

Generally I don’t go more into a physical appearance than this, especially when writing. The looks of a characters should come up organically, not all at once. No one wants to read a long fancy paragraph description on the bridge of your characters nose or the way their hair looks in the morning sun. Your writing should be brief and descriptive enough that your reader knows what your character looks like, and fills in the blanks with their own imagination.

Personality Traits: Haven is introverted in the beginning, emotional, spoiled, and ignorant to the world outside herself and her castle. She’s been very much so kept in a bubble most of her life, easily giving up on activities, classes and training when it suits her. However, this all changes when she is made Queen. Haven becomes reckless, selfless, confident and a leader.

Generally I don’t like to focus on how a character begins so much as their transition to how they end up. I think a changing character is very important to a novel, and makes them less of a Mary-Sue and more of a unique and dynamic person.

Favorite Things: Her 3 guard friends are most certainly her favorite thing in the world. Without them, she wouldn’t be who she is, past and present. She also loves the beauty of nature, her horse Wren and the castle gardens.

Flaws: Gives up easily, ignorant, reckless.

Quirks/Character Traits: Very unobservant. Throughout the book this becomes a bit of a theme (or joke), as Haven does not observe the little things.

Love Interest: (Ahem, not giving this away but there is one.)

What does your MC really want? Haven’s main goal is to save her people and destroy the evil Queen Kadia before she destroys them.

What changes about your character through your story? Throughout Haven’s story, she goes from a quiet introvert to a mostly confident queen. (I don’t want to spoil more than this.)

Father/Mother/Siblings and their ages: Her father is King Keane Fyre (50), her mother is Queen Denica Fyre (40s), her two brothers (both in their twenties) are deceased as well, and her only living relative is her younger sister Astrid, who is about 15 when the main story takes place.

Friends/Ages: Blythe (22), Lareina (20), Malka (21), Emeril (22), and Toma (40s)

Enemies/Forces against the MC: Evil Queen Kadia and her army.

Keep in mind while I’m writing this I’m trying to keep out major plot points, some characters, and most spoilers considering Haven isn’t out yet. If I was making this solely for myself, it would be much more detailed. So I expect it to should be a little more detailed for the rest of you. 😉

So what did everyone think of this exercise? Yay or nay? If you did give it a go, feel free to drop a comment on how you did (or post your character sheet if you really want to!). If you didn’t do it, why not? If you answer that you don’t have the time for this, how on earth are you going to make time for Nano? JUST SAYING.

Well that’s all for me today ladies and gents!

Stay classy internet!

Nanowrimo Prep: Opening Scene

For those of you who’ve been following along with this little segment, welcome back!

If you haven’t been, take a look at what we’ve been talking about. Here are all the links you’ll need:

Nanowrimo: Early prep time!

Nanowrimo Prep: Why I’m going to have a designated do NOT write day

Nanowrimo Prep: Snack time!

Nanowrimo Prep: Outlining

If you’re wondering what Nanowrimo is, I urge you to check out those links for more explanation! But, now let’s get on with the show!

If you’re prepping for Nano, you’ve been thinking about a few things (or should be). You may be asking questions like: Where do I start? Do I outline or not? How am I going to find the time to write 50k in one month? Well, this series in to help you answer all these burning questions BEFORE Nano starts! In this post we’ll be covering your starting scene. This is VERY important and will help you set the feel for your book, as well as motivate you to go on!

I urge everyone participating in Nano to spend some time thinking about this opening scene. Since you’re all writers, I’m sure you spend some portion of your day thinking about scenes in your books or books to-be! I know I spend at least an hour or two (mostly on the bus to work or before bed). Now is the time to redirect that brain power to your opening scene.

If you already have ideas, GREAT! If you don’t, here are some suggestions I have for you:

  • Start with something interesting. WOW how could I be anymore clear? I know, it sounds obvious, but a lot of people will start out with something that doesn’t draw in the mind of a reader let alone their own interest.
  • Don’t start with a fight scene. It’s tempting, I know. I love writing fight/battle sequences, but if you do, YOU may be inspired but whoever is reading it later will have no idea who they’re voting for because they’re not connected with your character yet. I recommend waiting until chapter 2 to bring out the battle moves.
  • Perfect your opening line. Like a query letter, starting your story off with a good line will propel you into the story, hook a reader and get you down to business.
  • Don’t over describe. I hate this. Don’t do it. I don’t need to know every detail about the room they’re in. I want to know your protagonist, not the color of the drapes.
  • Don’t introduce too many characters. I would limit yourself to two or three maximum. There’s nothing worse than being assaulted with a hundred characters/names/places that leave you breathlessly wondering WHO THE HELL ARE THESE PEOPLE?!

For a few examples, I’ll tell you guys about opening scenes I’ve written into my books:

  • Sanctum starts out with Skye interrogating her latest lead. She’s trying to find someone and oh boy will she ever find him or kill this guy trying. It’s not a fight, but it tells you how serious Skye is about finding her brother. I introduce what her motives are (family killed) and who she’s after (evil brother). Personally I find it’s a good start, that leads to this guy telling her what she wants to know. She then follows this lead to a underground Metahuman fight club and that’s where the first chapter ends. Interesting right? Well I think so!
  • Haven starts out a bit more tame! You can actually read the first chapter on the World’s Best Story website if you’re looking for more info or inspiration. But basically the opening scene is with Haven in her room before her coronation. It’s mostly just interesting thought going on, but it introduces you to her power (can’t die) and the situation at hand (about to rule a kingdom that she never expected to rule). It proceeds to her coronation followed by receiving an arrow to the heart, which she quickly recovers from. All of this introduces you to my protagonist. You also get to meet more characters, but not in great enough detail to confuse you (I hope).
  • The Aldar Dominion‘s opening scene is about the two main characters this time, Selene and Rikkard. It focuses on Selene, dangling out of a hovercraft ready to infiltrate a laboratory of sorts. It’s a good look at Selene’s character (sassy and reckless) as well as Rikkard’s (dour and bossy), while throwing you right into their lives (which involve being international smugglers).

Now that you hopefully have some ideas about where to start, I’d love to have some comments with your suggestions for others or tell me about how you’re going to start your story this year! My next blog post should be later this week, and will be more about the writing process or what I’m going to be writing about. There’s less than a month until November guys!!! SO CLOSE! I hope y’all are ready 😉

Stay classy internet!

Nanowrimo Prep: Outlining

WOW A MONTH UNTIL NANOWRIMO STARTS!

Where on earth did the time go? It seems like just yesterday I was just making an EARLY Nano prep post! Jeez!

Theatrics aside, today I wanted to discuss outlining. If you’re the type who just starts and writes, writes, writes, then good on yah! But I can’t do that! Personally I think outlining will give you your best shot at Nanowrimo. Though I’m sure many people do it without one!

For me, outlining is a way to propel yourself into your own story. It’s a way to plot and pitch (to yourself) where you want this to go. An outline is not set in stone. You can make as many changes as you want, or as few as you want. I know I ALWAYS without fail end up changing mine. I go where the writing takes me, even if I have a thorough plan.

For example: The Aldar Dominion is what I’m currently working on and what I will be working on for Nano. My timeline is 10k. Yes, you read that right. 10,000 words. And that’s without the edits I’ve already made. I know that is A LOT, and your timelines do NOT need to be that long! I just like writing a detailed timeline on everything I want to happen, chapter by chapter (this way I even know where to end). But remember everything doesn’t always work out as you plan it, and that’s OK! I know I’ll sometimes shorten a chapter or lengthen it on the fly because I thought of more details or decided to take some things out. Not to mention, sometimes a scene just doesn’t end up being as long as you thought it’d be, and that’s OK!

But, do you need a timeline? That question again. In my opinion (again), yes! Yes you do.

A timeline will keep you on track and tell you where to go when you’re unsure. Instead of writing until you run out of juice or get stuck, you can look at that handy little timeline and say, “OH! This is where things go next. Awesome!” Or, you know, something along those lines.

This is a pretty short post, but honestly I’ve talked about why you should outline SO MANY TIMES before! If you want to know more, you can check on my Nanowrimo Early Prep post, or the video I did a couple years ago on outlining:

So that’s it for me today guys! Let me know your take on outlining in the comments below!

Until next time! Stay classy internet!

 

UPDATE: 

Since creating this post last year I’ve made an updated video on outlining. Check out that video below: