Category: NaNo

So…

…I’ve decided to do NaNoWriMo for the first time in 4 years! I did it–and “won”–5 years in a row, from 2007-2011. In 2012, I started it, but then my depression kicked in and I stopped writing.

Had the stroke in June 2013, and I’ve been struggling to get my writing groove back ever since.

I’m not going to write a new novel, though. Instead, I’m going to finish the novel I started in 2012, now called Siren Song. I finished the outline months ago. Now I’m going to put it to use.

I’m witchofbreithla over there, if you’re interested.

Yes, it’s probably insane to be working full-time, finishing up my Bachelor’s degree, and training for a 10k..and deciding I need to spend most of November writing.

Insanity is relevant.

The Muse Returns

I finished up the outline for Siren Song in January, and then promptly didn’t write a word until… late February. My “goal” (which I frequently find myself ignoring) is two 500-word sessions a week. I can remember writing 10,000+ words  a day for NaNo years ago, so 500 words twice a week should be ridiculously easy. Should be.

As it turns out, actually making myself sit down and write is almost impossible. But this morning, I made that my first priority, and wrote 1,000 words.

Not setting any records with that, but I’m thrilled with it.

I also started outlining my final project for my capstone class, which is a short story based on the mythos of Camelot. I’m actually looking forward to writing it, and using it as backstory for when I start writing the Camelot project sometime in the future (because my Muse gave me a fantastic idea with that months ago).

How is the Muse performing for you?

Getting My (Writing) Ducks in a Row

So…School is out. Vacation is over. Real life has started again. That means it’s time to get back to writing. Yay! In that direction, I went through the “Writing” folder on my computer on Sunday.

And found 67 pages of a story I don’t even remember writing, for NaNo 3 years ago. I read probably 15 pages before I believed that I actually wrote it. It’s a YA about the Sirens and Spartans, but set in the here-and-now. It was kind of like having an out-of-body experience, reading through something I have no memory of writing. (The writing took place about 6 months pre-stroke, and I stopped when my depression got really bad).

Yesterday, I found the story notebook for my newly rediscovered story. That’s the good news. The bad news…in it is one piece of paper with 40 words on it. Mainly character names. No plot ideas, no outline, nothing else. Also some printed out research on sirens and the like. It appears that I will be basically starting from scratch, because, let’s face it, I’m totally sucked into the 67 pages of MS I have. I was seriously like “Did I write this? It’s really good!” Guess what just got bumped to the top of my to-write list?

That’s not strictly true. I want to get going on The Fall again, too. I’ve only got a few chapters written, and I need to change some stuff that my Muse gave me over the past few months when I wasn’t supposed to be writing (my Muse is, apparently, a rebel). An outline would, perhaps, be helpful. Or, heck, even a basic idea of where the story was going. At this point, I’m flailing around in the fog, only able to see two steps in front of me.

I also discovered a tiny bit of another story, along with its notebook and partial outline, as well as a good bit of notes for a third story. I think 4 WIPs is a bit excessive, even for me. My Muse either fainted from excitement, or went on strike, I’m not sure which.
80dadce63d2aa2ab1fd2e3841870d518

Let’s not forget my to-be-revised list, which grows ever longer. Sigh…Think I’m gonna start with Witches,  though. Cutting down that 300,000 word behemoth is going to be…tricky, but the characters are talking to me. Or, possibly, I’m hearing voices….Yeah, it could be either one.

Writing question of the day:  does anyone else juggle multiple stories at the same time?  Some tips would be helpful. And very much appreciated.

Things I Learned from NaNo (just not this year)

I may not be participating in NaNo (National Novel Writing Month) this year, but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate the beauty of some of the things I learned over the years I did participate (I feel pretty ancient after that statement).  Sure, it’s a crazy frenzy of pouring thousands of words straight from your heart to the page (or the screen), but that doesn’t mean it’s all impulse.  Here are a few of the things I learned from NaNo.

1)  Have a plan.  This doesn’t mean you have to have a detailed line-per-scene outline complete with character names, descriptions, and complete family history going back ten generations, but it should probably be more than “Write about apples.”  (Why apples?  I don’t know.  That’s what popped into my head.  Thanks, Muse.  Such a smart-Alec.)  My personal favorite is a brief 2-3 sentence synopsis of the major scenes, plus a mention of anything that pertains to that scene that the Muse might give me (Like, “It would be really funny if the story opened with her tripping and almost falling into the casket in the middle of the funeral.  Flashing the audience would be great, too.”  Again, thanks, Muse.  True story.).

2)  Have goals.  Goals are pretty important in writing, I’ve found.  How else are you going to write 50,000 in 30 days if you don’t know that you need to hit 1,667 words per day?  Word count goals no longer work for me (at least not currently).  Now I go with pages.  My goal may be a paltry 2 pages per week right now, but it’s a goal.  (Don’t judge me.  I have a lot going on, and my days only have 24 hours in them.).

3)  Have friends.  By “friends” I mean “fellow writers you can talk to.”  Trust me, non-writers do not get it.  Just because I’m a writer does not make me a poet.  Or a biographer.  (The two most common “You should write–” suggestions I get.  Why would I want to write about your life?  Yes, you’ve done some stupid things, but it’s really better if we don’t publicize them…).  If you hit the wall while writing, writing friends are a helpful support group, always available for hand-holding, pep talks, and/or moving the bottle out of your reach.

So, there you go.  A few helpful tips   Now, back to your keyboards!  Those 1,667 words aren’t going to write themselves (probably).  I’m off to work on my plan (since the Muse hasn’t seen fit to grace me with one for The Fall yet…).

NaNo Wishes

It’s November.  Not a news flash, I know.  But if you’re a writer, you might know this month better as National Novel Writing Month, or NaNo.  If you don’t know, NaNo is all about writing a complete, 50,000-word novel in 30 days.

The first novel I ever completed was my first year doing NaNo.  I’ll never forget the rush, the thrill of knowing I was writing alongside thousands of other writers all over the world.  That alone was inspiration enough, but if my motivation ever flagged or I had questions, the forums were a fantastic place to go find it again or find answers.  I didn’t finish that novel in November, but I finished it just a few weeks later.  Since then, I’ve honestly forgotten how many times I’ve done–and “won”–NaNo, but I think it’s at least four (For the record, at least twice I wrote 100,000 words during NaNo.  Yes, I’m a masochist.  And clearly insane.  I have papers.)  I was even wearing my NaNo shirt when I met Laurell K. Hamilton, and she asked me about it because she’d never heard of it.

I haven’t done NaNo for the last…um, four years, I think.  Because of school mainly.  I can only juggle so much, and what amounts to two full-time jobs keeps me pretty busy.  I haven’t even found time to write a single page in weeks, much less around 1,700 words a day.  (There isn’t enough caffeine in the world to keep me awake for all that.)  But in early October, when I remembered it was almost time for NaNo, I was tempted.  Oh, so very tempted.  Fortunately, common sense prevailed.  I have a little.  And, in the face of working 3 11-16-hour days a week, plus 2 8-or-so-hour days doing homework, and crazy busy weekends filled with half-marathon training…Yeah, common sense sucks, but it was right.

But I’d like to wish everyone doing NaNo lots of luck (and caffeine).  If you are so fortunate, I’d really like to hear about how well it’s going.

Where Have I Been?

…that’s a good question. Let me see if I can give you the simplest answer. (Simple. Ha. There IS no simple answer. But I’ll try to explain.). For the first time ever, I started NaNo but didn’t finish it. I think I wrote about 18k words, and then hit a wall. Not a wall in my writing, a wall in my life. For the past four months, I’ve been struggling with depression. And also, apparently, denial. But about halfway through November, I hit this wall, and realized I wasn’t getting any better on my own. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t focus on anything (Good luck with writing…). I didn’t want to be around people. I was sad and hopeless all the time. Thank God, I have good friends, some of whom have been through this. I finally listened to them, saw a counselor and my doc, and now, six weeks later, thanks to meds and some other changes I’ve made, I’m feeling MUCH better. It’s hard to overstate just how much better I feel now. I feel like myself again. And that is SO nice.

I’ve started being active in my crit group again. I’ve started revising my Werewolf story (again). I’m even planning on starting a new story, if not today, then Saturday. And I plan to start blogging here regularly again. I’m back. You’ve been warned….

NaNo: Day One

So, despite my already-full schedule, I decided to do NaNo this year. I skipped last year, but before that, I won five years in a row. I need the outlet of writing, so I’m giving it a go again this year. Without an outline. With only a handful of character names and only the haziest of plot ideas. I’m writing about Spartans. And Sirens. It’s gonna be great…

Day One Word Count:  1,682

I Think My Muse is (Finally) Back from Vacation….

So, I haven’t done any writing to speak of in…oh…a year and a half. I know, right? The horror! Seriously, I’m not sure how I’ve managed to stay sane without it. (Okay. Sanity is relative. And people who know me would say I’m sort of dangling off that cliff anyway…). Ahem. Anyway. I’ve been taking classes for basically the last two years, but I’m taking this summer off, and writing is definitely on the agenda. Two separate novels, in fact. And I’m planning on revising another one (FINALLY). Also, my crit group is–hopefully–going to be active again after over two years of not-much-of-anything-going-on, so I’m hoping to put the faerie story (Chasing Shadows) through it as well.

I didn’t get to do NaNo last year, since I had too much else going on, so I’m going to give Camp NaNoWriMo a try in June. I’m sure if I can write 100k in November–twice–I can write at least 50k in June. Just to get back in the swing of things.

Hello, Muse. So good to see you again!

Another Year’s Goals

I don’t do “resolutions” per se, but I do set goals at the beginning of every year. I don’t always reach them, but I strive to do my best to get there. This year, I didn’t set a lot of goals. I know it’s going to be a busy year, what with finding a new job and continuing my back-to-school journey, so I didn’t want to over-reach myself and get distracted. That being said, here are my goals for the year:

1) Revise Chasing Shadows
2) Revise Witches
3) Complete the 2YN2 story (probably about 40k left to write)
4) Completely re-do and finish the sequel to Werewolves for Dummies
5) Do NaNo

As far as non-writing-related goals, I only have two:

6) Complete a half marathon (“complete” meaning some walking is okay)
7) Carry a 4.0 in school

Of course, “revise the zombie story” will hopefully be added in sometime this year. And I should mention that the NaNo story will probably be something new and completely different…NOT a sequel to anything else. I have some ideas percolating…I can feel them. I’m currently querying Werewolves for Dummies, and I’ll start querying Chasing Shadows when I’m done revising it, as well.

So, yeah, those are all my goals for the years. Anyone else setting any for the year?

I am DONE! Yay! Okay, so the story isn’t actually done. Far from it, actually, but I am done with it for now. Now I need to focus on finals this week, getting everything transferred so I can start school back in Texas in January, the actual move, and, you know, finding a job! But I’m through with NaNo! Done and won five years in a row now. I actually only wrote 17 days out of 28, which averages out to around 3k a day. Not too bad. Now, I’m off to much more mundane writing: my Sociology final.