RIP E.L. Doctorow
So I’ve mentioned in previous posts that I am an avid fanfiction writer. I love fanfiction. Well, today marks exactly six years since I joined fanfiction.net. Six years since I took up the screen name: OwenHarpersGirl. In that time (as of 11:59 last night) I have:
1,512 Story Favourites
1,013 Story Alerts
149 Author Favourites
157 Author Alerts
Included in 12 Communities
Have left 119 Signed Reviews
Read in 158 Countries
To celebrate six years, I updated every ongoing multi-chapter story I have posted so far, as well as uploading three new things.
But why is fanfiction so important to me? Well, before discovering fanfiction, writing was something I had always done for fun. It was a hobby. And when I say always, I mean always. I found some old notebooks from when I was four to six that I had written in and they contained stories I had made up about Pokemon and Digimon characters.
OwenHarpersGirl is like a second name to me now. It’s the name I use on all three writing websites I’m a part of (ff.net, AO3, and Wattpad) as well as my deviantart, NaNoWriMo, and tumblr. It was even the name on my Twitter and Pinterest up until I created this site. While at first it was a name I created because of my favourite character in a tv program, now it’s literally become like a part of who I am.
Writing fanfiction has changed my life. I never thought six years ago, when I first signed up, that I would have almost 100 stories with readers in 158 different countries! I have made so many amazing friends and learned so many new things through fanfiction and it’s crazy to think that my life could be totally different right now if I hadn’t signed up that day.
A big thank you to anyone who has ever read any of my fanfiction and I look forward to many more years of fanfiction writing.
If you haven’t you can check them out by scrolling up and clicking on my Fanfiction Page.
Do any of you write fanfiction? Why or why not?
How many of you use Goodreads? As both a writer and a lover of books, I find myself on Goodreads quite frequently. Users can create lists of books (Books Read, Books You Want to Read, etc.), write reviews on books, and discuss books with others (sometimes even the authors!)
Starting in 2009, Goodreads launched their Readers Choice Awards. Here’s 20 categories and people are able to nominate, and eventually vote on, their favourite books. Here are the winners of 2014!
Landline, Rainbow Rowell
Runner Up: Big Little Lies, Liane Moriarty
Mr. Mercedes, Stephen King
Runner Up: The Silkworm, Robert Galbraith
All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr
Runner Up: The Invention of Wings, Sue Monk Kidd
The Book of Life, Deborah Harkness
Runner Up: Words of Radiance, Brandon Sanderson
Written in My Own Heart’s Blood, Diana Gabaldon
Runner Up: Maybe Someday, Colleen Hoover
The Martian, Andy Weir
Runner Up: Lock In, John Scalzi
Prince Lestat, Anne Rice
Runner Up: The Girl With All the Gifts, M.R. Carey
Yes Please, Amy Poehler
Runner Up: Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography, Neil Patrick Harris
The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories, Marina Keegan
Runner Up: What If?, Randall Munroe
This Star Won’t Go Out: The Life and Words of Esther Grace Earl, Esther Earl, Lori Earl, and Wayne Earl
Runner Up: As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride, Cary Elwes, Joe Layden, Rob Reiner
History and Biography:
The Romanov Sisters: The Lost Lives of the Daughters of Nicholas and Alexandra, Helen Rappaport
Runner Up: Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy: Four Women Undercover in the Civil War, Karen Abbott
#GIRLBOSS, Sophia Amoruso
Runner Up: Think Like a Freak, Steven D. Levitt
Food and Cookbooks:
Make it Ahead: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, Ina Garten
Runner Up: My Paris Kitchen, David Lebovitz
Graphic Novels and Comics:
Serenity: Leaves on the Wind, Zack Whedon, Georges Jeanty, Fabi Moon
Runner Up: Saga, Volume 3, Brian K. Vaughan
Lullabies, Land Leav
Runner Up: Poisoned Apples, Christine Heppermann
Debut Goodreads Authors:
Red Rising, Piece Brown
Runner Up: Cruel Beauty, Rosamund Hodge
Young Adult Fiction:
We Were Liars, E. Lockhard
Runner Up: Isla and the Happily Ever After, Stephanie Perkins
Young Adult Fantasy:
City of Heavenly Fire, Cassandra Clare
Runner Up: Hollow City, Ransom Riggs
Middle Grade and Children’s:
The Blood of Olympus, Rick Riordan
Runner Up: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul, Jeff Kinney
The Pigeon Needs a Bath!, Mo Willems
Runner Up: The Book with No Pictures, B.J. Novak
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,200 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 37 trips to carry that many people.
This is it. The last day of NaNoWriMo. OH MY GOD! WHAT DO WE DO? HOW CAN IT BE OVER ALREADY? AHHHHHHHHH! Okay, now we’ve got that out of our systems, relax. Maybe you reached your word goal, maybe you didn’t. Like I said yesterday, I won’t be hitting 50,000 words, but I’m only a couple hundred away from beating my final count last year.
Maybe you wrote 100,000 words or maybe only 100 words. But that’s okay! That’s better than okay because that’s 100 more words that you may not have written if you hadn’t signed up for NaNo. But now what? You’ve got what you’ve written in front of you, whether it be a full novel, half a novel, or half a chapter. But what do you do with it?
Well, if you haven’t finished writing yet, I’m going to encourage you to continue doing that. Even if you didn’t finish it in 30 days, there’s a novel in you somewhere just waiting to be written.
However, if you have finished writing, I’m going to encourage you to put that novel aside. Wait, what? Put it aside? But there’s so much editing to be done if it’s ever going to be published! Yes, there is a ton of editing to be done before it can be published and I know how hard it can be to put it aside right away. Last year, the only edits my NaNo manuscript received was me going through it and fixing anything Microsoft had underlined in red. After that, it was put in a drawer for several months.
That was hard, it took a lot self-control to not pull it out and start editing every day. But it had to be done. Why? Because by putting the manuscript away and waiting to edit for several months, it allowed me to have a fresh perspective when I returned to it later. It was like I was reading it for the first time, which, in a way, I was. And let me tell you, it wasn’t pretty. The mistakes and the plot holes! I’m crying now at the thought of it. But if I had started editing right after I finished writing, I wouldn’t have noticed those things the same way I did after waiting a while. So put it aside. Put that manuscript in a drawer and wait for as long as you can stand to and then edit.
Sure, look into agents and publishers because it’s fun and it’s good to know who is looking for what. Tell your friends you wrote a book because you did that and it’s pretty amazing! But take you time getting it off the ground. Especially if this is your first novel. You may not have any deadlines other than ones you set for yourself, so relish in that. Relax a bit while you can. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, you wrote a novel! Congratulations! You did it!
*Throws confetti at you in celebration*
How did you do during NaNoWriMo? Doing any last minute writing today? What do you plan to do next?
Tomorrow is the last day of NaNoWriMo and many people have already reached 50,000 words. Like I said last week, I won’t be one of these people, but I’m okay with that. I’m only a little ways away from my personal writing goal to reach more words than I did last year and I intend to complete that this weekend.
This last week has been pretty crazy. I have had some new opportunities arising and they have taken up most of my time, preventing me from being able to do much writing at all. I didn’t post a book review or poem this week and even missed updating my fanfiction. So, while I absolutely love participating in NaNoWriMo, I think it’s probably good for my sanity that it’s almost over. I have so much I have to do and I think this’ll definitely be a bit of a weight (however fun it may be) off my shoulders.
I intend to do what I did last year and complete my novel in the upcoming month, hopefully before Christmas. I found it really refreshing last year to be going into the New Year with a completed first draft and am hoping to do the same this year.
How has your final week gone? Did you reach your word goal?
Current Word Count: 34,266 words
Herro wasn’t sure how long they had been driving, but he was having a serious case of deja vu right about now. He hoped they weren’t bringing him back to that prison. At least if they went somewhere different there was a chance no one would know who he was. If they went back to the prison they would know him and they would want to know more about Katya. They may even do what Katya had said and go looking in that area for more people. Damn her for being right.
NaNoWriMo week three is ending and there is only one week left. Where did the time go?!
It was another slow week and I’m actually a little behind, but I have almost reached my writing goal. I said at the start of week one that, while I would love to reach 50,000 words, what I really wanted was to write more than I did last year. My final word count for last year was 35,870 words. This year, I am already at 33,361 words and firmly believe I will beat my number from last year.
My story has taken some interesting turns and my characters have definitely taken over. It started out as a dystopian fantasy novel and has somehow developed into a dystopian fantasy that deliberately uses clichés and references films and books to essentially make fun of itself. I have no idea how I reached this point with it, but I’m enjoying it.
How is your novel coming so far? Have you reached your word goal?
Current Word Count: 33,361
Herro glanced over when he heard Will’s footsteps. “It’s not working! Come do you magic trick and fix it.”
“It’s not a magic trick and that’s the wrong radio,” Will said flatly. He walked across the room and grabbed the radio that was tucked away in the corner. He turned it on and turned the volume up. “It should already be on the right channel so don’t touch anything.”
“Alright, awesome,” Herro said, staring at the device intently as if willing it to come to life and tell him where he had to go.
I had a pretty slow writing week this week. I spent three days writing the same infuriating chapter and was so happy when it was done. It literally got to the point where I was just writing it to get done and reminding myself with every line that once November was over I could edit and rewrite to my heart’s content. Once I was done I was already past my word count goal so I gave myself a couple days to just breathe and then got back down to it yesterday. I’m hoping to get some serious writing done today.
How has your week two been? Have you met your writing goals for the week?
Current Word Count: 28,941 words
Maverick stopped suddenly, looking over at the door. Seraphina looked too and knew immediately why he had stopped. She could hear voices getting closer and closer.
“Back to bed!” Maverick hissed and the children ran back to their bunks. Maverick clenched his hands the room was thrown back into darkness. Seraphina had just slipped under the blankets when the door opened and two men paused in the doorway.
Week One is over! How are we all doing so far? Have you reached your word count goal for the week? By the end of today you should be at about 13,333. If not, DON’T PANIC! It’s okay. You still have three weeks to catch up.
The first week of NaNo is usually either really exciting or really stressful (or both!). Now, as we’re going into week two, hold onto that excitement and let go of the stress. Whatever you’ve written so far is fantastic, just make sure you keep writing! Don’t give up yet! There’s still three weeks to go!
Good luck to everyone on week two!
Do you have any goals for the week ahead?
Current Word Count: 26,106 words
“Destiny?” Herro scoffed.
“Yeah,” Will nodded, “You know, you saw my video and you were looking for me and then we just happen to be in the woods at the same time. You save me from the bad guys and then find out you actually need my help. Plus, you’re name’s Herro, come on dude, that’s gotta tell you something.”
“Yeah, it tells me my parents had high expectations when I was a kid,” Herro mumbled, not really paying attention.
“No, it tells me that this was destiny. Most people don’t remember the kids that go missing, but you do. And you’re name is Herro…”
Herro turned to face him. “So what?”
“So you’re clearly the hero of this story,” Will said and Herro rolled his eyes.
Happy NaNoWriMo to all my fellow participants! How are you doing so far on Day Two? And to all non-participants or anyone who has no idea what NaNoWriMo is, Happy November Second! How are you on this fine day?
For those who don’t know what NaNoWriMo is, it is National Novel Writing Month. During the month of November, thousands of people participate in this writing challenge to reach 50,000 words in 30 days. For more about NaNoWriMo, you can check out their website here.
I participated in NaNo last year which is when I wrote the first draft of Brave Young Boys. I didn’t reach the goal of 50,000 words, but I did make it to 35,870 which I was really proud of. This year my only real goal is to get high than that. Even if I don’t reach 50,000 words I would like to at least reach 35,871.
In order to reach whatever word goal you have a lot of people set a daily goal. Typically, if you’re trying to reach 50,000 words in 30 days, you need to write at least 1,666 words. However, a lot of people like to set their own word goals, whether it be 2000 per day or 1000 on day one, 2000 on day two, and so on. For me it’s usually just writing as much as I can.
Well, now you know what NaNoWriMo is and a little about the word goal, but why do it? Why subject yourself to the pressure of writing 50,000 words in 30 days? Well first off, it’s fun. It really is. I know it sounds like a lot of work (which it also is), but at the end of the day it’s just fun to sit down and create something. The second reason is that feeling you get at the end. It doesn’t matter how many words you reached whether it be 50,000 or 15,000 or 5,000. You wrote those words. You sat down and wrote them and that feeling of accomplishment is something you will always have. Finally, the third reason is that you may make something out of it. Who knows, you could write the next great novel, the one kids will learn about in school however many years from now. Whatever your reason is for doing NaNoWriMo, just make sure to remember that you like what you’re writing. You may not like certain aspects of it, but make sure you like the story itself because if you don’t then your readers might not either.
I’m going to be posting updates on my currently untitled young adult novel ever Saturday and I’d love to hear from you guys too!
Are you participating in NaNoWriMo this year? What type of novel are you working on? Do you have any word count goals?