New Years Goals 2019 #AmWriting

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Hello folks! How are you? Once again, I have managed to neglect this blog. There’s been a few more changes this last year personally for me and again, it is my Twitter that I am turning to rather than here.

The world seems to have gone that bit more insane this last year, what with Trump still in the White House (somehow!) and Brexit turning into a bit of a mess shall we say. This time next year, the UK will have left the EU but whether it will be with a bad deal or no deal remains to be seen. The UK has had the Beast from the East and a scorcher of a summer. Both caused trouble, giving us Brits plenty to talk about in relation to our favourite subject: the weather! We’ve had a royal birth, 2 royal weddings, the English became convinced football was coming home and once again had their dreams crushed. The world also lost an icon of pop culture in Stan Lee, a man whose work was loved by millions around the world and probably encouraged some of them to become the creators of the future.

With all that in mind, it feels right that my success and failure in completing my 2018 goals was very much mixed:

1) Write something at least once a week, every week.

Not a complete success on this one but that’s not been a bad thing. My yearly target was 38,000 words and I have written 52,320 words overall. I cleared my target for the year in September despite having missed some weeks and taking a break in the same month. I also succeeded in writing every single day of November, so I could get all the challenge badges for consecutive writing days.

I ended up taking a break because I was experiencing burnout. I suspect it was because I had been working on the Steampunk Dragon Rider WIP, a project had developed quick in a few months and is in a genre I don’t have too much experience in. I needed to step back and recharge my creative energies. I don’t normally do this but I reached out to a writerly friend of mine, @Draebox on Twitter, who gave me some advice and made a video about the question:

I came back from the break stronger. It helped me work out what I needed to do. I will elaborate when I get to goal 4. Like last year, I have been reviewing and occasionally adjusting my targets every 3 months to help me keep writing even when things in RL have got busy needed to take priority. Any adjustments have always been down to enable me to create a buffer should I need it later in the year. This has worked a treat as it took the pressure off me for the last 3 months of the year (very busy ones for me).

Looking ahead to 2019, again I will be keeping this goal. Not because I didn’t succeed but because it works for me.

2) Keep this blog active, somehow.

Yeah, this is a big fat FAIL! I think I know why I have not succeeded on this one for two years straight: it is simply not achievable for me. At least, not right now. Writing and life and other personal stuff means that even taking 10 minutes to write on my blog even once a week with a writing update that I use to do is just not possible for me it seems.

I have started using an app/website called Habitica in recent months that lets you set goals and tick them off as you achieve them. You can set goals to reoccur at certain intervals and I am tempted to put a blogging daily on that is set to occur even just once a month but looking at life and how I have not managed this goal for two years makes me think it would be a waste of time.

With that in mind, I think it is time I retired this goal. It is not possible for me. I will just have to hope that I can at least be doing something on this blog when I have a chance I guess. In time, if life allows me, I will try to return to regular blogging.

3) Read more and finish books

Whilst not a complete success, I have at least been reading comics and some books. Granted I have also had to check GoodReads to see what I have read this year. Mostly comics rather than books but I have at least been reading and I will take it, all things considered. Rather than reading, I have been watching a lot more YouTube videos and gaming more. I have recently started playing Persona 5 and it’s story is incredible. I feel I can learn a lot from it about pacing but I also think I need to be putting the game controller down and reading more.

Going forward into 2019, I think I am going to adjust this one to simply read more.

4) Continue to work on the Dark Witch and Dragon Rider projects.

This one is definitely a success because I have been working on both projects all year, flicking between them. That isn’t to say that there has not been problems or that I haven’t been writing Destiny fan fiction.

I mentioned above about having to take a break due to the work and nature of the Dragon Rider project. The break though served me very well as I realised that I needed to step back from the Dragon Rider project and it made me see what I needed to do on the Dark Witch project (known as the Hallie WIP on Twitter).

The Hallie WIP was in a mess and all over the place because of how it had developed since even January of last year. I had to stop writing and do some planning, replotting and world building. I have also been writing stuff that takes place later on in the timeline for the characters. This helped solidify and understand who these characters were and their eventual place in the world. In turn, I know what I needed to do and how to remould the characters for the very start of their journey. This has helped me when I made a fresh start on the project for November NaNoWriMo. That fresh start has been a slight slog but I know the WIP is stronger and better for it.

As part of the world building when I have not been writing the WIP, I have began learning Welsh. Why? Well, the WIP has lost at least some of it’s Steampunk-ish feel, taken on an Arthurian Legends base and I am using the basic Welsh version of the story to help me. This also led me to realise therefore that the language of magic in the world is Welsh. I know it seems crazy to be learning it purely for a story but I want to make sure everything is right when the characters speak it.

The Hallie WIP has been my main focus for 8 months of the year. The other 4 have been taken up by the Dragon Rider one.

From a plot bunny that bit me and refused to let go of me in November 2017, this one has developed from a barely coherent story, plot and world building into something more solid. It does mean that, like the Hallie WIP, there is some mess and disjointedness but at the same time, this one also feels like it has developed and settled much faster once the work was put into it. I also feel that, unlike the Hallie one which could run on a bit, this one is more finite (and shorter!). With that in mind, I think I do have time to be working on the Steampunk aspect to make sure it is ingrained in the story rather than window dressing. The story I feel could take care of itself (with a bit more planning).

I am therefore keeping this goal obviously and hopefully, both will be much further along this time next year.

My goals for the next year are as follows then:

1) Write Something, once a week, every week.

2) Read more.

3) Continue to work on the Steampunk Dragon Rider WIP and the Hallie/Dark Witch WIP.

How has your 2018 been? Successful? Mixed? Otherwise? Feel free to comment below.

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7 Signs You Have a Dragon Infestation

As a Sleepy Book Dragon, I have to say I don’t see the issue here. I mean, us dragons are amazing, caring creatures and who can resist Toothless when he looks like that!

Legends of Windemere

Toothless Toothless

We’ve all been there.  Minding our own business when we stumble onto a sign that there are dragons nearby.  If we’re lucky, the beast is already gone or simply passing through the area.  Yet there are times where they stick around.  So here’s what to look for to see if you need an exterminator.

  1. You haven’t seen the cat in days.  Sure, Princess Tangerine wanders off from time to time.  This feels different.  Maybe it’s because she hasn’t reacted to you running the can opener over a loudspeaker.  Could even be the that her food bowl is missing . . . along with the floor it was on.
  2. There’s a lot of smoke in and around the house.  You’ve called the fire department, but that hasn’t stopped the problem.  Then again, the truck has been outside for the last few days, so maybe it’s a really big fight where you…

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Camp NaNoWriMo April 2015: Day 16

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Day 16: 14,275 words

Just more description, expanding the islands and the different types of dragons. Also moved time on slightly to show my FMC getting frustrated at different little things about the archipelago. Know when the shine comes off something and you start noticing the annoying things? She’s at that stage.

Just hoping this will keep me writing.

Camp NaNoWriMo April 2015: Day 15

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Day 15: 13,740

Just wrote some description of the island and my FMC contemplating her discovery of the dead dragon.

So not much written but I have contemplated something from No Plot? No Problem! Namely, writing the scenes I want to or the main ones necessary and writing the filler scenes later. I think it would definitely be an idea as I do want to get the bare bones of the story down so if I decide to go back to it later, I can.

I know it’s silly to think like this but I feel like I am cheating a little. The aim of the event of course is to get a full story written or at least down on paper/the screen and that’s what I am doing but I feel I am cheating. I guess it’s because I am trying to write more so the idea of skipping scenes seems, well, wrong, to me.

Am I daft in thinking like this? Can anyone help here?

Camp NaNoWriMo

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Yes, you’ve guessed it, I am doing Camp in April.

My mind decided I was doing it  back in November when I got the idea for the main character really. I’ve been thinking and developing the idea since, especially the plot, as I had pretty much none when I first got the idea. My first inkling on the idea was just the character really. Think Valka from How To Train Your Dragon 2 in the modern-day and you have an idea of what I’m thinking. You can read my current synopsis of my story by visiting my Camp NaNoWriMo Novel Info page.

At least, I have my main character, things I want to happen and, thanks to my search for a novel title, a very basic plot idea and know how it ends. This is how I normally write anyway. As long as I know what needs to happen, the main points, I can usually work from there. This time around however I definitely think I need to be more of a plotter rather than the pantser because the story potentially takes place over 3 years and is a bit more of a mystery thing. It’s for that mystery part I need to work on some of the mythology at least to allow me to plot out the key points for the story.

It also doesn’t help that the planning I have so far is still not fixed. I am even messing with a romance sub plot line to help me, should things go awry and I get stuck. I do have just over a week to go before the event starts so I have the time to at least hammer a bit more plot into place to make sure I can get something written in April.

Are you doing Camp NaNoWriMo in April? Know what you are doing or are you waiting until the last-minute to decide? Are you in a cabin or going solo? Feel free to comment below!

Secrets of the Dragons clip

Time Warner Cable over on YouTube have posted a new clip for the next How To Train Your Dragon film.

This clip has little new material that we haven’t already seen from the trailers but naturally, if you are wanting to go to into the film blind, do not read on or watch the clip!

The new clip sees Valka, Hiccup’s mother, and Hiccup bonding and discovering they are very much a like whilst Cloud Jumper and Toothless act adorably in the snow. Watch it here:

How To Train Your Dragon 2 is due out July 4th here in the UK and June 13th in the US.

How To Train Your Dragon 2 Goodies

No spoilers here!

First off is the release online of one track from the next Dragons film soundtrack. Called ‘Where No One Goes’, the track is by Sigur Rós front man Jónsi. He is the man who did the Sticks and Stones track from the first film. Listen to ‘Where No One Goes’ on SoundCloud by going to Relativity Music Group’s page. Want to listen to Sticks and Stones and watch the official music video? Watch and listen here:

As well as the music from How To Train Your Dragon, Dreamworks have released a maze game to play. Have a go by heading to The Dragon’s Maze. It has three levels of difficulty so get as simple or as tricky as you like!

How To Train your Dragon 2 is due out in the UK on July 4th. Find out more about the film and watch the trailer by visiting the Cineworld website.