jaycie's writing blog

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FIRST OF ALL, THE BASICS.

  • What is NaNoWriMo? NaNoWriMo - or National Novel Writing Monthis a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing. On November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 PM on November 30. (x)
  • Why should I participate in NaNoWriMo? First and foremost because it’s fun! Maybe you’ve considered writing a novel in the past, but have never gotten around to it, or perhaps you have a fantastic idea or a great character but aren’t quite sure what to do with them. Here’s your chance! Grab it with both hands and hold on tight because this writing ride is a whirlwind.
  • During October and November the official forums come alive with thousands of writers brimming with amazing thoughts and insights, and there is a real sense of creative community. What better chance would you have to vent and brainstorm and cultivate your collection of ideas?
  • NaNoWriMo values enthusiasm, determination, and a deadline, and is for anyone who has ever thought about writing a novel. (x)

So you’ve decided you’re going to do it — you’re going to participate, you’re going to try your very best to write those 50,000 words… what next? How do you prepare for such a challenge? Well, here are some handy tips and links to guide you on your way:

INSPIRATION & BRAINSTORMING.

  • Every novel begins with an idea, even something as simple as a single word. Try jotting down a few. Soon you’ll start to notice common reoccurrences in the types of words you choose.
  • Peruse places like Tumblr, DeviantArt and Pinterest. Find things that catch your eye and save them.
  • Go out into the world, or lose yourself in a fictional one. Take notice of details, quirks, everything that’s layered together to create a rich environment. Pull inspiration from what you see or read and translate it into something all your own.
  • Suzanne Collins was switching back and forth between Survivor and the news when she thought of the Hunger Games, J.K Rowling was on a train when Harry Potter and his story wandered into her head — it’s amazing how inspiration can just pop out of nowhere when given the chance. Let yourself daydream, and ponder and research to your heart’s content.
  • Get a large piece of paper and pretend like you’re in grade five all over again — write your number 1 idea in the center and branch off from it with other thoughts, plot points, characters, details et cetera.
  • Alternatively you could buy a bunch of post-it notes in varying colours and clear a space where you can stick them. Assign a colour for each of the following: plot points, characters, relationships, details, conflicts, resolutions. You could also use coloured card or plain paper + coloured pens/pencils.
  • Spend a day or two focusing solely on your main character. Get to know them. Ask yourself how they would react to certain situations, what they like, what they dislike, why they do or don’t. Give them flaws, quirks, a layered personality.

Here are some handy links that may also help:

SETTLING ON AN IDEA.

Say you’ve just spent ages following the advice above, but now you’ve found yourself with more than one great idea, how do you choose? Ask yourself:

  • What sparks the most excitement?
  • What interests you more?
  • If both your ideas were turned into fully fleshed out novels and you saw them on a shelf in a store, which would you be more likely to want to read?
  • Which one would you be the most upset about not getting the chance to write?

PLOTTING/OUTLINING.

There is no one single, set way to outline your novel. It’s also important to remember that planning is not for everyone; some people like to fly by the seat of their pants and simply go with whatever happens and that’s perfectly okay. But without at least a very basic outline, particularly during NaNoWriMo, you may find yourself incredibly stuck and unsure about a). what happens next or b). how to write yourself out of the situation you’ve found yourself in, which could lead to you falling behind or missing days’ worth of valuable writing time while you try and figure out what to do. How do I go about outlining, you ask? Here are some great links that will help you do so with ease:

RESEARCHING & DETAILS.

So you’ve thought of your idea, you created your characters and have an outline. But you’re writing a novel about elves in a mystical place that doesn’t even exist, or a futuristic world where supernatural creatures and technology have taken over, or perhaps something entirely in the past, and you have no idea how to make it all believable. The NaNoWriMo forums are a fanastic place for your genre and detail needs:

If there isn’t already a thread that pertains to your specific needs don’t be afraid to make one! You should definitely also:

  • Go to the library and source books that contain the knowledge you need. Don’t be afraid to ask a librarian for their help.
  • Use Google, which seems like a rather simple answer but there is so much information out there just waiting to be found.
  • Write down the facts that you discover and need and be sure to jot down how they are relevant to your novel.

PREPARING YOURSELF.

Your novel is one thing, you are another (though certainly the two get tangled together). 

  • Look at what you have planned during November and figure out which days you might find it difficult to find free time due to prior commitments and find a place to slot writing in, even if it means you end up writing during breakfast.
  • Become acquainted with the official forums and spend some time in the nanowrimo tag here on Tumblr. Get to know your fellow writers!
  • Find someone (preferably someone also participating in NaNoWriMo) who you can rant to, share ideas with; someone who you can ask to check in on you and see how you’re going with your writing goal of the day and vice versa.

THINGS TO REMEMBER DURING NANOWRIMO.

  • Avoid the temptation of going back and re-reading and editing your work, this is supposed to be a first draft and first drafts are unavoidably messy.
  • Take care of yourself. Try and eat properly, get some exercise (during NaNoWriMo that walk to the fridge for writer’s fuel totally counts), hang out with your friends and family, enjoy life.
  • Remember that NaNoWriMo is supposed to be fun, don’t pressure yourself too much.
  • If you’re having trouble reaching the daily word count goal, split it into chunks: write 500 words here, 500 there, another 667 at another point in the day.
  • If you find yourself running out of motivation here are some great (if I do say so myself) tips.
  • Read some inspirational quotes to keep you going (or get you started).

A PRE-NANO CHALLENGE.

If you’re not too busy getting inspired, brainstorming, planning or any of that good stuff why not give Inktype’s NaNoWriMo preparation challenge a go? 


5 days ago on 16 Oct, 14 | 5367  notes

Writing Masterpost 

mylifehasbeentakenoverbygayhalp:

Character Help

Dialogue

General Help

Plotting

Prompts and Ideas

Research

Revision

Setting

Sounds to listen to whilst writing

Tools


1 month ago on 26 Aug, 14 | 33809  notes

Casey was lounging on the couch, laughing and talking with Sara, when Hope walked up to them, a grave look on her face.

“Casey, I need to talk to you,” Hope said, perching on the armchair.  “Both of you really, but Case…”

“What’s going on?”  Casey sat up straighter on the couch, looking at her friend carefully.

Hope bit down on her bottom lip.  Sometimes she hated being the dorm leader.  “We just got a call from Dalton.  There’s been a situation.”  She launched into the tale, watching her friend carefully as she told the story of what had happened that night.

When she was finished, Casey was staring at her, eyes wide in disbelief.  “No…I….Hope, is he okay?”  Hope didn’t have to ask who she meant.

“I dunno, Case.  They didn’t give me many details.”

Casey’s eyes filled with tears as she leaned against Sara heavily.  “No…he…he has to be okay.”  She looked back and forth between her friends, and when neither of them were able to reassure her that everything was going to be okay, the normally strong girl broke down into tears, sobbing into Sara’s shoulder as she allowed herself to admit just how much she cared about the boy who broke her heart for the first time in months.

Casey was lounging on the couch, laughing and talking with Sara, when Hope walked up to them, a grave look on her face.

“Casey, I need to talk to you,” Hope said, perching on the armchair.  “Both of you really, but Case…”

“What’s going on?”  Casey sat up straighter on the couch, looking at her friend carefully.

Hope bit down on her bottom lip.  Sometimes she hated being the dorm leader.  “We just got a call from Dalton.  There’s been a situation.”  She launched into the tale, watching her friend carefully as she told the story of what had happened that night.

When she was finished, Casey was staring at her, eyes wide in disbelief.  “No…I….Hope, is he okay?”  Hope didn’t have to ask who she meant.

“I dunno, Case.  They didn’t give me many details.”

Casey’s eyes filled with tears as she leaned against Sara heavily.  “No…he…he has to be okay.”  She looked back and forth between her friends, and when neither of them were able to reassure her that everything was going to be okay, the normally strong girl broke down into tears, sobbing into Sara’s shoulder as she allowed herself to admit just how much she cared about the boy who broke her heart for the first time in months.


2 years ago on 20 Mar, 12 | 2  notes

Casey perched awkwardly on the couch, making sure to not touch Derek as they watched Logan and Hope warily.  Somehow she was sure sitting too close to him right now would just make everything even more tense.

“This can’t keep happening,” Logan said, finally breaking the silence.  “I’ve had a lot of complaints, and Hope is having the same problem.”

“They’re exaggerating,” Derek said automatically.

Logan rolled his eyes.  “Bailey said he could hear you two even over his music last night, Derek.”

A filthy smirk crossed Derek’s face, and he couldn’t stop himself from glancing at Casey, causing her to burst into a fit of giggles.

“This is serious, Casey,” Hope said with a frown.  “Sara said she walked in on the two of you in the kitchen the other night.”  At that, Casey bit down on her bottom lip, trying to stop the stream of giggles.

“It’s just not proper, Case,” Hope continued, her voice sounding softer now that Casey had stopped giggling.  “I know you love him, but —”

She was cut off by Derek’s voice.  “Wait, what?”  Casey blushed as Derek sat up from where he had been lounging beside her, trying to catch her eye.  “Casey?”

“What?” She continued to avoid his gaze.

“Have you been telling your friends you love me?”

She finally looked at him and shrugged.  “Am I not allowed to?”

He reached over and grabbed her hand, squeezing it lightly.  “Not if you don’t tell me first.”

Casey grinned at him, and opened her mouth to say something before being interrupted by Logan.  “How cute. Let’s go back to how you two have to stop having sex on every flat surface you find.”

“Are you going to be less of a prick once Julian gets back, Lo?” Derek asked, still gazing at Casey.

“Fuck you.”

Casey perched awkwardly on the couch, making sure to not touch Derek as they watched Logan and Hope warily.  Somehow she was sure sitting too close to him right now would just make everything even more tense.

“This can’t keep happening,” Logan said, finally breaking the silence.  “I’ve had a lot of complaints, and Hope is having the same problem.”

“They’re exaggerating,” Derek said automatically.

Logan rolled his eyes.  “Bailey said he could hear you two even over his music last night, Derek.”

A filthy smirk crossed Derek’s face, and he couldn’t stop himself from glancing at Casey, causing her to burst into a fit of giggles.

“This is serious, Casey,” Hope said with a frown.  “Sara said she walked in on the two of you in the kitchen the other night.”  At that, Casey bit down on her bottom lip, trying to stop the stream of giggles.

“It’s just not proper, Case,” Hope continued, her voice sounding softer now that Casey had stopped giggling.  “I know you love him, but —”

She was cut off by Derek’s voice.  “Wait, what?”  Casey blushed as Derek sat up from where he had been lounging beside her, trying to catch her eye.  “Casey?”

“What?” She continued to avoid his gaze.

“Have you been telling your friends you love me?”

She finally looked at him and shrugged.  “Am I not allowed to?”

He reached over and grabbed her hand, squeezing it lightly.  “Not if you don’t tell me first.”

Casey grinned at him, and opened her mouth to say something before being interrupted by Logan.  “How cute. Let’s go back to how you two have to stop having sex on every flat surface you find.”

“Are you going to be less of a prick once Julian gets back, Lo?” Derek asked, still gazing at Casey.

“Fuck you.”


2 years ago on 5 Mar, 12 | 9  notes