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.

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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)”

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”

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:

Nanowrimo Prep: Snack time!

Who doesn’t love snacks? No seriously, who? CRAZY PEOPLE.

It’s that tiiiime, more NaNo Prep talk! I’m very excited to write this one about food because NOM, who doesn’t love food? If you said crazy people, you’re catching on!

If you’re new to Nanowrimo and aren’t quite sure what I’m talking about please see my Early Nano Prep blog post for more info and appropriate inspiration and linkage. But if you do know what Nano is, and you’re here for some fun, let’s get to it!

During the most grueling and intense month of your year (soon to be November), you will be subjected to such tortures as: sore fingers/wrists, possible arthritis, hunger pains, dehydration, and many more. All of these things can be solved (well aside from the arthritis really), with a few simple steps involving one key ingredient. SNACKS! (And breaks!)

If you’ve never heard of food/meal/snack prep, then let me explain. Basically you just need some tupperware and/or plastic baggies. Personally I use both, depending on the snack/meal. In my day to day life I do happen to meal prep, so it’s lucky you stumbled upon my humble blog posting! For this post we will only be covering snacks, but the same rules apply.

Step 1 – Head to your local grocery store. Pick out a plethora of healthy snacks (or unhealthy, depending on your poison). Some helpful suggestions:

  • Carrots (with or without dip)
  • Celery
  • Grapes
  • Yogurt
  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Berries
  • Your favorite veggies/fruit
  • Granola bars
  • Cereal
  • Popcorn

Those are just a few that I generally buy on a bi-weekly basis.

Step 2 – Now armed with a pile of snacks and tupperware/sandwhich baggies, it’s time to devise your plan!! Depending on the frequency in which you buy groceries, steps may repeat. For the sake of this step, we’ll say you’re prepping for a week. SO how many meals should you eat in a day? 3! How many snacks do you generally have? This will be personal for everyone, but on a regular day I have 2 snacks at work and usually one in the evening. Sometimes this can be more, depending on the day/what I’m having for dinner/lunch. In this step you need to choose how many snacks you will need!

Step 3 – Now you need to pick your snacks according to the last step! I choose 3. So from my bag of tricks, I need to have 21 snacks for the week. Sounds like a lot, but this next step is easy! Taking my bag of carrots, I’ll distribute them into proper portion sizes inside my small snack sized baggies. Once I have my baggies filled, I’m set! That leaves 14 to go. Next I’ll choose yogurt for 4 of my days as I have a pack of 4. You guys get my drift right? Easy!

Step 4 – Be sure that you’ve sealed your baggies and tupperware well so you don’t get any of your snacks going bad on you! This is VERY important! If you’re in the middle of writing and get the munchies, you want to grab a nice little bag of GOOD carrots, not gross slimy ones, or ones that have dried out.

Step 5 Last but not least, place your snacks in a spot you can easily grab them from and get back to work!!

More Tips:

  • Choose your snacks wisely. You want finger food so you can keep typing, OR something you can eat one handed (so you can keep typing with one hand).
  • Don’t choose messy snacks. You don’t want sticky fingers all over your keyboard.
  • Have beverages ready too! Bottled water is perfect as well if you’re on the go!
  • I also recommend meal prep if you live on your own like I do! It will save you money AND most importantly, TIME! It’s much easier to throw a meal in the microwave then spending 30 minutes making supper! It also keeps your from making unhealthy choices like delivery Chinese or frozen pizza! (Not that I don’t love those as much as the next gal!)

That’s all I have for this post! For more info on Nanowrimo, head over to their website! For more ideas on snacks, hit up your local grocery store/pinterest/the internet for inspiration!

See you guys soon!

Stay classy internet!

Nanowrimo Prep: Why i’m going to have a designated DO NOT WRITE day!

Do not write? DO NOT WRITE?! Are you mad woman?! This is NANOWRIMO!!

I can hear the questions now, but simmer dooown ladies and gents. 30 days. 50k. 1666ish words a day. There are 4 Saturdays in November – that’s only 6664 words that I’m missing out on, and God knows I’m not going to stick to a limit every day. There will be days I write no words and days where I write 8k or more. There is plenty of in between as well.

The main reason I’m choosing to ensure I have a day off a week is because I need a break once in awhile. I don’t think I can go hard for 30 days straight, and I’m not going to force myself to. I also have commitments. I cannot completely clear my schedule entirely. I know hardcore NaNoers will disagree and say that working 30 days straight is the best way to succeed but honestly on top of a full time job and trying to get my writing career off the ground, I just won’t physically be able to go that long in a row.

I also think that breaks are necessary. We have them at work – we have a lunch, 15 minutes breaks for every 4 hours we work, and we have weekends (or just days off in some cases). We have those to recharge. Saturday is going to be that day for me to recharge, and I am going to relish it! Trust me, I’ll make it up during the week! (Or at the Writer’s Conference I have scheduled to attend in November!)

So my lovely readers, are you going to go for 30 days straight? Or take some time off? Let me know in the comments below, or on social media (find me on Twitter and Facebook)! Looking forward to getting some conversation going on this topic!

Stay classy internet!

Nanowrimo: Early prep time!

If you don’t know what Nanowrimo is and you’re a writer, WOW WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?!?!

So let me explain… Nanowrimo (or National Novel Writing Month) is basically this awesome global event that happens in November every year. It’s for writers of any caliber to join; it’s free, it’s easy, but it DOES take some preparation! Which is why I’m starting early (teehee). The goal of Nanowrimo is to write 50,000 words in one month (1,600-1,700 words a day). It can be a daunting task but once you get going it can be easy! (So I hear.) The good thing about this global event, is that you have motivation, you have people to push you, you have collateral in the form of internet friends who will yell at you to get your life together and JUST DO IT! (Oh, Shia hehe).

For myself, this will be my VERY FIRST YEAR!!! OMG!!! Well the first year I’m LEGIT going to do it if it kills me. I’ve tried in the past, but most of the time I just fall short after a few days and stop trying. BUT THIS YEAR WILL BE DIFFERENT! This year I have over a month to prepare, so I will prevail!

What I’m doing to prep is this:

  1. Writing a LOT. Wow sounds like brain surgery right? NO. I try to write a lot and keep “in the zone” so that I’m continuously motivated and inspired to KEEP writing. I don’t want to get to November and just start writing then, because I will most likely crash and burn from lack of previous commitment. It’s easier to keep going once you’re started than to start at all.
  2. Outlining. From prepping my brain, to prepping my story, this is something you SHOULD DO. I know people who just want to jump in and let the story take itself away and that’s great if it works for you, but if you’re not in that small percentage; THAT IS HOW YOU FAIL. That is how you get stuck somewhere and don’t know where to go. That is how you stop writing 2 days into Nanowrimo! NO MORE! We will outline to our hearts content! (And in great detail!)
  3. Ready the troops! Really, how do you expect to write anything if you don’t KNOW who you’re writing about? Know your characters, their enemies, and most of all know your protagonist! For a helpful character sheet to get you started, try this one.
  4. Get in the zone. Read, and read a lot. Read books that inspire you. Listen to music that inspires you. WRITE things that inspire you. Do whatever it takes so that on November 1st you are dying to put words on that page!
  5. Put things in perspective. Think about it. 50,000, writing between 1,600 and 1,700 words a day is not a lot. It is doable. Which is why writing a LOT puts you into practice. I can VERY EASILY get through 5-6k in a day. Keep in mind that’s while I’m at work, between taking calls (I work at a callcenter, BLEH). That’s also between my other work, blogging and social networking. Not to mention socializing with coworkers. If you write a lot, you’ll be ready to keep writing, I promise you!
  6. Knowing how to start. This goes along with outlining, but realistically it also needs to be a point of its own. If you don’t know how you’re going to start your story, you’re never going to get started. SO, take the time to think about your story, think about the scene you want it to start on. Think about it on the bus, on the way home, at work, before you go to sleep – solidify it in your brain so you don’t only start, but you get off to a GREAT start.

Well I think that about covers the steps I’m using to prep so far… More are bound to be added closer to the date. Such as; food prep, plans, making sure I have non-writing related outings to give me a break and having time to talk to other writers to get inspiration too.

There’s also this neat little thing where you can meet up with people in your area who are participating in Nanowrimo. I think that is a WONDERFUL idea and will hook you up with people all over who will be going through the same stuff as you, so don’t be afraid to get involved! You can find a location/group near you on the Nanowrimo website.

For more tips on prepping for Nanowrimo, head over to Pen and Muse to get some ideas! These two lovely ladies are experienced Nanowrimers and they know their stuff!

Until next time,

Stay classy internet!