It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! No, it’s 2015!

2015This is my last post for 2014! I can’t believe I’ve had this blog for five months already, it feels like so much shorter, I can’t believe how fast the time has gone!

This post is going to be a little different than previous ones and relies partially on feedback from you! There’s going to be some changes coming in the New Year and I want to hear from all of you what you think of them!

1) Sunday posts will remain the same. Just like always, I will be talking about writing, giving tips, and talking about my experience as a writer.

2) Also remaining the same are Monday (Quote of the Week), Tuesday (Prompt of the Week), and Thursday (Poem of the Week) posts. These are things I enjoy doing and you seem to like them as well so I’m going to be keeping those.

3) Wednesday Book Reviews is where things start to change. I will still be reviewing books. I am a writing/book blog and that focus is not going to change. However, I will be adding film reviews on Wednesdays. Book reviews will come every other Wednesday (probably the first and third week of the month) while film reviews come on the second and fourth of the month.

I am doing this for two reasons. First, producing four-five well written and honest book reviews is something I’ve found I’m struggling with a bit. I don’t feel like I really have time to always get out what I want to and produce the material I would like. So I feel that cutting back a bit on the book reviews would take a bit of pressure off me and also help me to write better reviews. The second reason I am doing this is because writing film reviews is something I have wanted to try for a while now. It’s not something I ever really had a lot of practice with. I wrote one in ninth grade on a film I did not enjoy so you can probably imagine how that turned out. I think doing so now would be an interesting experience for me and it’s something I’m looking forward to trying.

4) There are two things I was thinking of adding to this blog. I had both ideas back in July when I first started here and I talked to a couple people and they said both ideas sounded interesting. But at the time I felt I already had a lot of content on my blog and didn’t want it to be overwhelming for myself or for readers right off the bat. But as we approach the New Year it’s something I’m considering more and more.

First thing would be a word, its definition and pronunciation.

Second is a name, its meaning, origin, and pronunciation.

These would either be weekly posts on their own, individual days.

OR

Weekly posts on the end of Sunday post (Word) and Wednesday review (Name).

OR

It could be a monthly thing. Ten words posted on the first Monday of the month (or something along those lines) and the same for ten names.

Or if none of you like this idea then I may keep it off this blog all together and post it on my Twitter, Facebook, and/or Tumblr.

5) This next thing will strictly be a Facebook/Twitter thing as it is a 365 day author challenge I am going to try and do. It’s not so much a challenge challenge as it is a challenge to myself to see if I can do it for 365 days. So if you’re interested in that go check out my Twitter and Facebook to keep updated on those things.

6) Finally! This is a really tentative thing and I haven’t 100% decided on whether or not I’m going to do this. I may be starting a second blog. There are things I would like to talk about that aren’t related to writing or reading. Rather, they’re things I’m really passionate about and would like to talk about them somewhere. Again, this is an iffy thing, but if I decide to do it I will definitely let you know!

I apologize for this post be so long (especially #4) and I highly appreciate any feedback any of you may have for me! Thank you so much to everyone who has followed or liked or commented or read on anything on this blog! It’s so amazing to me that people actually want to read what I post on here so thank you so much!

I hope you all have an amazing holiday season and I will see you in the New Year!

Are there any things you would like to see on this blog? Any topic you want more info on? A book I should read and review? Let me know and I will definitely check it out!

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NaNoWriMo 2014 is Over! Now What?

nanoprep
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?

 

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NaNoWriMo 2014 Week Four

NaNoWriMo 4Tomorrow 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

Excerpt:

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.

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Your Writing Doesn’t Have to be Perfect

It Doesn't Have to be Perfect
So far this month I’ve talked about First Drafts and Writer’s Block. Today’s post is kind of a combination of the two because Writer’s Block can really affect how your first draft comes out. It can also really affect how every draft after the first comes out.

How is often do you write something that you love? How often do you write something on the very next page that you hate? I’m going to assume the answer is pretty often. If you’re writing NaNoWriMo, I’m going to assume the answer is every other page. Like the quote above says, “every page doesn’t have to be a masterpiece.”

Part of NaNo is knowing that it doesn’t need to be perfect. Part of writing a first draft (and a second and a third and possibly even a fourth) is that you will cringe at some of the stuff you’ve written. It’s inevitable.

It is, of course, important that you like what you’ve written and in most cases you will. But there will be certain things that you don’t like, even when the book is 100% done and ready to be put out in the world. So what do you do? How can you accept that there are certain things in your book that you don’t like?

Unfortunately, in some cases, there’s nothing you can do. You just kind of have to accept it. But in some cases that acceptance can actually lead to you liking it. The more you read, over and over and over again, the more you could possibly come to like it. It’s always hard to know for sure what to do when you don’t like something in your book. You may try to change it in a million different ways or have friends and family read it to try and fix it, but at the end of the day there may be nothing you can do. Who knows, maybe the part of your book you like the least will actually be one of the things your readers like the most.

How often do you write things and not like them?

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NaNoWriMo 2014 Week Three

NaNoWriMo

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

Excerpt:

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.

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5 Tips to Overcoming Writer’s Block

Writer's BlockThere will be no post today on account of me coming down with writer’s block-itus. Kidding. Wouldn’t that be nice though?

“Uh, hi professor, I can’t hand in my essay tomorrow, I have writer’s block-itus.”

But, unfortunately, that is not how things work in school. And it’s not how writing a novel or a poem or a short story works either. So, as we begin week three of NaNoWriMo, here are five things you can try to get rid of your writer’s block!

1) Take a Walk. Whether it’s outside or on a treadmill, exercise helps to get your heart beating and your blood pumping. This helps you to de-stress which means when you sit back down to writer you’ll be much more relaxed and able to focus better.

2) Music. For some writers, any noise can be very distracting and they prefer to work in total silence. However, when writer’s block strikes, music can be your best friend. No matter what you’re writer, it’s pretty much a guarantee that there will be some type of music out there to help inspire you.

3) Write Random Scenes. When I say random, I don’t mean scenes that have nothing to do with your story, but rather scenes that you find easier to write. Work on the things that you already have a plan for, or work on that scene that you just thought of, but know it’s going to be brilliant. Work on what you can in the moment and come back to the harder things after.

4) Take a Break. You’ve been writing for ages! Go outside, see a movie, get a coffee, do some laundry, do something! Just take a break. Taking a step back will help you to get some separation from your story. Not only will you be able to get something else done that you may have been putting off, but you’ll have a fresh perspective when you sit back down to write.

5) Have Someone Read it Over. Have someone read what you have so far and then tell you what they think. This will give you a new perspective that you may not have thought of before and will probably give you TONS of new ideas!

So take a step back, have a coffee or have a nap, let someone else read it, go for a walk, listen to some music, or find something totally different that works for you! Writer’s block won’t plague you forever, you just need to find something that works for you to get rid of it.

How do you get rid of writer’s block?

 

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NaNoWriMo 2014 Week Two

NaNoWriMoWeek two is coming to a close and hopefully by this point you are close to the halfway point.

 

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

 

Excerpt:
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.

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