Camp NaNoWriMo Weeks 2 & 3

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Current word count: 2,852 words

A bit overdue but it is Easter Weekend so I have a little time to catch up.

I wouldn’t have been able to report anything for week 2 in any case as I actually wrote nothing due to real life need to be the priority. That is happening a lot as of late as anyone who follows me on Twitter knows.

In the end though as last Sunday, I ended up writing for quite some time and actually finished my Camp word count! I didn’t even realise until I went to update my word count on the Camp website and the Excel word count sheets I use. That was a nice surprise plus anything I write now goes towards the deficit that has been building this year.

A lot of the words actually came from the fact that I just jumped into a big turning point scene that is very important to the plot and the character as a whole. I have been struggling with this for a while due to the nature of it and how best to reveal everything. I just had to force myself to write it and it actually proved quite fun. It also included a few tidbits about other characters and the backstory that I hadn’t thought or didn’t know about before. Birth certificates, newspaper stories and letters are very good ways of doubling word counts I have discovered!

I have also used something I have noticed that Persona 5 does when you see any dates mentioned. The year is always written out as 20XX, to make the story timeless I guess? Either way, it proved a good way to write out dates and street addresses without having to work them out properly. I’ll either leave them that way or go back maybe and update them later. Either way, it is a good way to mark the passage of time without actually being specific. It also makes me want to have a good gaming session on that game. It is amazing and worth tracking down!

The scene gave me a potentially fun subplot to play with at some point too: the powerful, cruel and evil King of all Demons, suddenly having to pay child support for his 16 year old kid (plus loads of backpay!) This idea is very funny to me for some reason. Curious as to how anyone else feels about it. Feel free to comment on it.

Going forward, I have a few scenes that pretty much write themselves which will add more words and hopefully get me moving forward again. I definitely need it with this draft but I feel this is tighter and better than the previous one so hopefully this will keep being the case.

I hope Camp or whatever you are working on is going well too everyone! For UK folks at least, I hope this long weekend is going to aid you greatly in improving your word counts.

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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.

Monthly #Writing Update: April 2017 #CampNaNoWriMo

Word Count: 4,808

192 words off target but considering how busy I was last month, I don’t mind. This is also going to be a quick update as there is not much to really tell.

Most of it covered my FMC learning a new game. I am still messing with the idea and considering dropping it all together. I am not sure it adds anything to the world but it gave me words at least because of the amount of exposition. Giving up on the game led to me then getting stuck as I had no idea what to write next. I had run out of planning due to me not having thought that far ahead if I am being honest. I started this story with just a concept and planning up to a certain point.

The last week of Camp I was in Cardiff and managed to write a grand total of about 100 words. All of those words were written on the train home and came from me jumping ahead to something that happens later. I added more words on the last day of Camp as I tried to hit 5k but it just didn’t happen. Whether it was laziness, panic or something else, I don’t know. I just didn’t hit target.

This month then is just about keeping going, trying to figure out what to write next in this draft so I can be completing it by the end of the year, per my yearly goals. How is everything for you? Congratulations if you finished Camp and congratulations still if you even wrote a word!

What are everyone planning for this month? Same story or moving on? Any plans to enter July? Don’t be afraid to reply below.

#Writing Update & #NaNoWriMo Prep

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Word Count: 2,790 words

I know I said these posts would become sporadic but I didn’t intend for it to happen so soon! It’s mostly been down to plain laziness with writing in general or me just forgetting about this completely. Starting to play Destiny also doesn’t help.

Not a great deal has happened really. My FMC’s housemates have been introduced (with one taking a particular dislike to her), she’s had her first Etiquette, Deportment and Elocution & Charms lessons and has had another run with the girl who took a dislike to my FMC first.  Majority of the words written were covering the lessons and introducing the teachers. Even so, I feel as though I am making progress and these things are going to help towards character development and the story.

Whilst I have been playing Destiny, I have had a few thoughts about the back story of the world, leading up to the start of the game. This has led me to wanting to attempt to write sci-fi again but using fan fiction to teach me how to write it whilst getting out the story that is in my mind. This is a strength of fan fiction I feel. (I discussed this a few years ago in this post).

So my NaNoWriMo project is changing ever so slightly from pure original fiction to original fiction and a fanfic. There’s a chance this may change obviously. It seems to be traditional that I at least have a wobble in the days and hours leading up to the start of a session. Writing two projects though also gives me a higher chance of winning. My only November win was when I was writing two different stories, though granted they were both original fiction.

Prep therefore for the next few days is continuing with the first project, playing, researching and making sure I read every Grimoire card that I get to help me write the Destiny idea. How’s your writing coming along? Are you doing NaNoWriMo? Having a wobble? Set on an idea? Maybe your planner knee-deep in research, a pantser with the vaguest of ideas or in the middle and are a plantser (half and half).

Let me know below and I will try to be a bit more consistent with these!

 

EDIT 26/10/16: Know that wobble I talked about? Yes, well, I think I am going to start writing the Destiny fan fiction now. I’m rebelling anyway so nothing has really changed there. Just thought I should say something now just in case I fail to another one of these updates between now and whenever.

NaNo Update Day 3

So day 3 saw me break through yesterday’s word count and hit 7,075 words before giving up for the night last night. Not long after, I had the Police arresting a someone just outside my house and the helicopter flying around for about half an hour so maybe it was a good thing I gave up when I did. Doubt I could have got much more done last night after that.

I had some developments in my novel. My main character could be moving out from her parents home sooner than anticipated and it’s possible that the novel could actually deviate from my original basic idea, basic in that I had just an idea of what I want to happen and no ending. This new development could actually lead to a clearer idea of what is going to happen and give me an idea of what the ending is. Hopefully, this will help me write it further.

Today, I realised that my mc only needs one sister. The other is kind of, well, redundant. The remaining one shows what I want to show. So I am already axing one character but she is staying in for now (barely mentioned I suspect) so I can keep the words for my word count. I haven’t started writing yet as I am puppy sitting during the day but hopefully, my word count will continue to grow once I do get on with writing. Providing I don’t get sidetracked again by a Sly 4 walk through again!

 

Camp NaNoWriMo Days 12, 13 & 14

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Okay, I know I haven’t posted for a couple of days but I have been busy with madly trying to catch up my word count (still about a day and bit behind!) and I have had a couple of discoveries along the way. So before I begin, here are my word counts:

Day 12: 17,793 words

Day 13: 19,547 words

Day 14: 21,045 words

So my word counts are going up, just not hitting the daily wc’s. I think that is partly down to the section I have been writing, which has been difficult to figure out (what with the change of location as discussed in my previous post about NaNo) and just generally struggling to write much.

I have also discovered a surprising fact about a minor character, a rather shocking and vicious streak in one of my main characters and am having to fight the urge to go along with a mini sub-plot with my two detective characters.

The surprising fact was revealed during the comedy moment I discussed in the earlier NaNo post. During the infiltration mission with one of my main characters and the two minor ones who are helping him, he and a minor character, who I had always taken for straight, were forced to kiss. The minor character, indirectly, then revealed that he is quite possibly bi and have a crush on the main character he is with! I had never anticipated exploring sexuality in any way in this novel but actually this is an interesting development. It is a possible source for a flash or short story plot.

The shocking and vicious fact comes from my other main character who is incarcerated. She’s revealed that she has the blood of her uncle on her hands after she killed him in revenge of him killing her parents then abusing and putting her on the criminal road she ended up following which led to her current predicament. She was quite graphic with it and it has shocked and reminded me just how dark my brain can be when it comes with ideas, etc. for stories.

I have just started writing the trial and that led to the sub-plot issue. The trial is being manipulated by the incarcerated main characters old gang to try to get revenge on her and the detectives, who are watching, have already got deeply suspicious so one of the detectives has left the public gallery to begin investigating whilst the other is still watching it and is amused, despite her suspicions, by the fact that she seems to be rooting for the very thief she has chased and has finally caught!

If I get stuck, I might follow that sub plot up a bit. Can’t hurt my word count too much can it?

Now, I should get down to writing and catching up my word count and figuring out how, why and what I am going to do about the fact that my academic transcript has arrived and has the wrong birth date on it!

Camp NaNoWriMo: Day 7

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I didn’t do much writing yesterday but I never anticipated doing much. Sunday’s are relaxing days with family for me so I just do however much I can that day. That was the case yesterday so instead I participated in a word war to get as much written as possible and tangled with a plot problem I discovered whilst starting to write a scene which led to the plot point in question.

Again, it has led to me worrying what someone might think looking at my search history. I mean, it’s not everyday someone Google’s for help on how to break into the ICC and building blueprints is it? (Don’t worry, I am not Charlie Howard in disguise!) Finding nothing via Google, I went to my friends and fellow writers for help and that has evolved my original idea enough to solve my plot problem. Certainly, it will help me with the moment of shock I want in it and develop a sub-plot that reared its head unexpectedly whilst writing.

And so starts the second week of NaNo. It’s the week that slumps are expected and just getting as much as possible written is necessary. With my plot issue sorted (for now!), I can get on with writing and move towards the trial that take the once free Black Bird to being a Jail Bird.

Word count: 10,928 words