Saturday, November 26, 2011


I made it to 50,000 words on my first year of NaNoWriMo!  For those of you who are not there, keep plugging away and you'll get there.  I'm still not really done with my novel.  I have about 7 or 8 chapters to go.  I feel great that I made it, but I would feel better if I wasn't sick.

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

46,000+ words in

I have 4,000 words to go, but I'm coming down with a cold and Thanksgiving is tomorrow!!!  I stayed up until 4am and wasn't happy with what I wrote. 

I have no idea how it's going to end.  I have to come up with something dynamic.  Maybe something will come to me while I'm trying to sleep my cold away. 

I have to get up early to cook.  It figures I would get sick the week I decide not to go to the gym.  I was trying to avoid contact with people so I wouldn't get sick!

My characters are teens so I downloaded a bunch of teen pop/love songs yesterday to get in the teen state of mind.  I've found I really like Justin Bieber's songs!  Ha!  Who knew?  What's with all the synthesizers or all that "stuff" in the background these days?  I just want to hear the voice.  All that junk can ruin the song.

The best of luck to my fellow writers.  We're coming up on the finish line!  Have a great Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 21, 2011

NaNoWriMo Week 3

There is a week and a half left on NaNoWriMo and I'm happy to say I'm on schedule.  Very tired, though.  I was up until 4am this morning writing and my eyes are burning.  I get better ideas when no one is awake to interrupt me, but then I'm on a roll and can't stop until I have everything I want down.

The pep talks on NaNoWriMo are great.  They know exactly where I'm at and what I'm feeling.  It's nice to know I'm on the right track and not alone on this journey.

I started a new summary/outline about halfway through my novel because I started to go back and rewrite some sections of my novel which got me confused as to what happened when.  I created bullet points for each chapter so I could quickly refer back to see if events in my timeline made sense.  As I was typing out the key points, I thought of new things to add which I typed out in red so I could go back to the novel and write them in.  I also typed out things I wanted to refer back to later in the novel in red font.

I condensed 2 characters into one and had to go back and change certain elements in the story.  I guess this was supposed to be part of the editing process.  I have been going back and editing here and there when I'm not supposed to and I have to learn to break this habit soon or else I won't get the word count I'm aiming for.  I'm doing better at it as I go along.

The ctrl + F function in MS Word is a great tool to change the names of characters or even change words.  I was able to change the name Brett to Marco using this function and it only took a few seconds.  It saved a lot of time.  I could even bold them or color them if I wanted to, all in one swoop. 

I was in a slump the second week of NNWM, but now I'm back to loving my characters and looking forward to revisiting them every time I sit down to write.

I've been so busy writing that I haven't had time to read except for when I'm blow-drying my hair.  I have a lot of hair.  I'm still reading Stephen King's book On Writing and am loving it.  I never knew he was such a funny guy.  He presents tips on writing in an interesting way.

When it's noisy in the house and someone is watching TV with the images moving in the background behind my computer screen, I've learned to block it out a bit better than before.  Instead of packing up and moving to another room where the area is less comfortable, I learned that if I put my headphones on and listen to instrumental music, everything becomes a buzz and I am able to focus on what I'm writing.  It's not the ideal situation, but it's better than being distracted every few seconds.

So far, I'm glad to be taking on this novel challenge.  I am looking forward to finishing this one and starting on my next novel.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

I just realized yesterday that my character's 3rd love interest who was supposed to be minor has become a major player and my story is better without the 2nd love interest.  My story is going to have to be revamped.  :o(   I'm glad I had this revelation on day 5 instead of later on like day 20.

This means the majority of my detailed outline of over 10,000 words has to be thrown out. (hangs head)

The 2nd love interest will be used for a different book.  Good news is that I have half the outline done for that. (thumbs up)

Now, with the 2nd character gone, I have an ending for my book.  Unless the story takes another turn...

Thursday, November 3, 2011

My Extra 2 Cents For The Day

Not everyone is going to like what we write.  I'm writing for the people who will appreciate my genre and I'm hoping to touch them in some way.

I like to read YA Romance, so that's what I'm writing.  I'm actually more into paranormal topics, but I thought that would be too complicated for my first NaNoWriMo novel.  I need more time on that.  I'm trying to keep it simple so I can finish.  It's too easy to get lost on a complicated plot, then your story will be so messed up you'll have a really hard time getting it back together.

You don't have to be Stieg Larsson at the starting gates.  Take it easy.  Relax.  Have fun with this.

Stephen King Quote

This is a quote I like from Stephen King in his book called On Writing:

"If you write (or paint or dance or sculpt or sing, I suppose), someone will try to make you feel lousy about it, that's all."

I also draw and paint, so I know how true this is.

You're going to have critics.  That's a given.  Just keep writing what you like to read.

NaNoWriMo Day 3

This is the 3rd day of NaNoWriMo and I am getting farther away from my outline.  I wonder how others are faring.

I'm finding that I have less time to write than I was expecting.  I've been writing in the morning and late at night, but this is making me so tired that I tend to fall asleep while I'm writing.  So, I walk around, eat Halloween candy, do push-ups then come back to write, and round and round we go.

Sometimes I wake up in the morning and find I have written the same sentence twice while falling asleep writing the night before.  

I wrote a timeline out for my story which is helping me a lot.  I can see what events will happen in sequence according to the months, seasons and holidays.  It helps to refer back to it when I'm not sure what will happen next, when the days will be shorter or longer, what kind of clothes the characters would be wearing at a given time, or what event or holiday they would be preparing for.

I'm writing on an old laptop that doesn't connect to the internet so that stops me from surfing the web instead of writing.  It helps me stay focused.

Remember all the bad books we read?  We can do better, right?

Monday, October 31, 2011

NaNoWriMo & Fiction word count

NaNoWriMo starts tomorrow.  I don't know if I can hit 50,000 words in one month.  Some days I think I can and other days I can't.  My outline has over 10,000 words.  It may be too detailed.  We'll see if it helps or not.  I've never been much of an outline kind of person, but in this case I feel more comfortable having it.  It's like a security blanket.

In one of the books I read or podcasts I listened to, they talked about NPs and OPs.  By the way you answered the questions,  you were either an NP which is a No-Outline Person or an OP, an Outline Person.  I was in the category of NP.  Ray Bradbury was an NP.

I started a book with no outline, but will have to finish it when NNWM is over and when I'm done with the book I'm working on.  It's probably more liberating without an outline, but scary at the same time.

We all should keep in mind that if we don't hit the 50,000 word mark for our novel there are shorter forms of fiction they can be categorized in that may be better suited for our styles.  The following is a list of word count that I have found for various types of fiction:

Novella = 17,500 - 40,000 words
Novelette = 7,500 - 17,500
Short Story = under 7,500
Flash Fiction = under 1,000

I'm going to shoot for 2,000 words a day instead of 1,667 because I have to account for days I won't be able to write like Thanksgiving.

Friday, October 28, 2011

NaNoWriMo 2011 starts in 4 days.

I found out National Novel Writing Month about a month or two ago and have decided to participate.  This will be my first NaNoWriMo.

I wrote a pretty detailed outline for it and worked on it for a whole month.  Lots of elements in the story have changed since I started writing the outline and now I don't have an ending.  At this point, I'm just going to let the story write itself because even if I have an ending, it's most likely going to change as I write it.

I even went as far as creating bullet points for each chapter which may or may not help.

I have read quite a few books on writing and they all basically say the same thing, but the ones that I liked are: Plot & Structure by James Scott Bell and First Draft in 30 Days by Karen Wiesner.  Karen Wiesner described me to a T in her book.  It was like she was a psychic.

I am currently reading On Writing by Stephen King.  I don't usually read his books, but this is a good one!  He's a really good story-teller!

I'm going to eat a late dinner now and do some writing.  I already worked out today, so I'm justifying my late dinner, but still, it's probably not a good thing.