#CampNaNoWriMo July 2016 Analysis

CNW_Participant

Final Word Count: 15,242 words

No win here obviously but 15k is still pretty good.

The vampire/slave story was a rewrite of the very first completely original work I wrote about 8 years ago but I wanted to rewrite it from a new angle I had in my mind. I found it really worked well once I actually got onto that part of the story. I think a bit more work, it could really be something. However, this story seems to have suffered from a problem I have noted before: I spent too much time setting stuff up.

The time spent setting the story up is good I suppose for like my April one where I needed to do more set up. I had to figure out world and plot issues to get it working but for a story like last month’s, when I knew exactly what the story was, it proved very annoying. The werewolf and family stuff is interesting and has a place in the world but was it needed here? No, I don’t think so. It is possibly why I didn’t hit my 20k target. I also spent the equivalent of a week and a bit not writing. I think that’s because I got bored with the story due to the set up stuff.

My thoughts need to turn to how I am going to combat such issues in the future. Admittedly, I am uncertain except to say planning. I think we all know how I am with that now. On the other hand, like last month, planning possibly wasn’t the answer for last month’s issue. I need to figure out WHY I am focusing so much energy and so many words on the beginning of the story. Surely it should be the middle that is the bloated part.

If anyone can offer any insight or help on this, I would be very grateful for it.

Going forward for the next month, I am returning to my April story. During the time I wasn’t writing, I was thinking about that one, which is good because it means my plan to take a break and recharge to continue writing that one has worked. However, I am considering being a little patchy and jumping scenes. I have started writing a scene from the end of the story where my FMC meets her father. It’s a scene I have played with for a while and if it gets me back into the story after my break, maybe it will be good. If it doesn’t work, jumping scenes, so be it. I will go back to being linear but I want to at least try it.

How did the last month go for you? A Camp win or a personal victory? Got a plan for the story or just binning it? It happens and that’s good I think. Sometimes, something is just not good. No matter what happens or did happen, know you are amazing for taking on the challenge.

Happy Yorkshire Day folks!

Advertisements

#SundayBlogShare #CampNaNoWriMo July 2016: Days 7, 8 & 9

CNW_Participant

Word Count: 7,244 words

So only a little behind really for my 25,000 word target. Considering I have been busy in the last couple of days and just about awake enough to actually write at least a few words, I’m happy with my progress.

What’s been happening then? My FMC finally found the confidence to go to the MMC’s house only to be told by his disapproving mum that he had moved out and gone far away for his new job. This proved to be a lie as when she was walking home, a van stopped to reveal that my MMC was actually moving out that day and had seen her walking along the path. He jumped out, kissed, confirmed he had feelings for her as well but couldn’t be with her because he was indeed moving far away and he didn’t want that kind of relationship. He then jumped back in the van and left.

I am now realise what a jerk move that was. Still, possible story for later.

Anyway, my FMC receives the journalism qualification she was working towards and proceeded to register as self-employed and started querying ideas and articles whilst also sending out her final project articles for consideration. In the meanwhile, she’s been writing local reports for the local papers and spending what time she can with her sister and the werewolves, helping the sister get ready for her wedding. It’s whilst talking to her sister and her sister’s future mother in law that my FMC has started wondering why her father has refused to read any of the articles.

The last bit was going to be a plot point or a throwaway line originally but something I saw on TV today has me rethinking it and has given me a delicious possible plot line to follow.

The plan going forward is to write as much as I can, where I can. Life is getting busy again meaning there is a possibility of me dropping my word target depending on how it goes. Could also mean posts become a little intermittent but I will try to keep on top. I am planning to see the new Ghostbusters film too so who knows? That could influence my writing.

How’s your Camp going? Still going strong or having second week wobbles? Don’t be afraid to comment below but please do not post hate about the Ghostbusters film or the fact I am posting the trailer below.

Monthly #Writing Update

d7a3e-writingGranted, it is a leap year and it is a leap day but I thought I would get this update done at least, since I haven’t done one in a while.

Monthly Word Count: 3,123 words

Yearly Total: 10,670 words

This month has been awful due to writer’s block. I have flitted between different stories, spent time thinking, tried to kick-start my writing by nicking one of my possible ideas from my Camp NaNoWriMo list and just generally struggling to write. I do wonder if I was simply too tired to do anything after a big push at the start of the year.

Vast majority of the writing has been with the same characters as last month (the vampire and the shadow mage) so it is possible I will keep going with them once next month rolls around too. They seem to keep me going, even if it is random scrappy bits. It’s words nonetheless.

This month has also reminded me why planning is needed. When I was trying a new story, of course I hadn’t exactly planned it so I couldn’t get very far. The fact I know where the vampire/mage story is going is why that becomes easy to write, when I am inspired.

I suppose my aim for next month is just to get writing and keep going. Target is 5,000 words again but I possibly do need to reconsider that after this month and to account that life will take priority again due to Easter. I am on target for the year but lowering a monthly and the yearly target might not be such a bad idea. I will also be planning for Camp in April, should I finally decide to do it and which story to write or rewrite.

How did your February go? Good? Bad? Got any advice for me? Any and all comments are welcome below.

The Confessions of a Writer

Been tagged to do this by Niina at Northern Chapters so I figured I would give it a go.

d7a3e-writing

Rules of the tag:

  • Please link back to A Little Bookish, A Little Writerly’s post, so that the original rules are always accessible to anyone who is curious and wants to participate!
  • Acknowledge the person who tagged you in your post.
  • Tag your friends and fellow writers – it’s up to you how many!

The Confessions of a Writer Tag was created by Nicolette at A Little Bookish, A Little Writerly. It is a ‘get-to-know’ the writer interview tag, dedicated to spotlighting the creative process, works in progress, and connecting to other writers.


 

When did you first start writing? Was being a writer something you always aspired to be?

I aspired to be many things as a kid from a vet to a nurse to a pop star, all the usual little girl ambitions. I wasn’t exactly the brightest bulb in the pack at the time and had no interest in anything remotely academic. It took a teacher pointing out I was good at writing that something seemed to start to click in my mind. I did start writing but the switch wasn’t fully turned on though until I discovered the Harry Potter series by JK Rowling. After that, everything clicked into place.

What genre do you write?

I gravitate mostly to fantasy and crime with romance sub plots in most of my stories. Family drama, social commentary and thriller also make appearances in a few of my stories, something that didn’t hit me until a tutor pointed it out. I have attempted forays into the science fiction genre but they rarely work out well to be honest.

Can you tell us a little about your current work in progress? When did you start working on this project?

I’m working on my magic school story from July Camp NaNoWriMo. Anyone who follows my blog will know it started just from an idea after a failed sci-fi story and has continued since then. The story revolves around a teen girl, coming from a dark magic family involved in criminality, trying to escape and be different. Not sure what I will do with the story later. We’ll see.

What was your first piece that you can remember writing? What was it about?

The first story I chose to write was a fan fiction based on Flint The Time Detective, about one of the detectives called Merlock Holmes and his daughter. It never was finished and is absolutely awful, with stuff borrowed from the Cardcaptors/Card Captor Sakura, Lord of the Rings and the Malory Towers series to name but a few. It did have the first version of the school my FMC from the above answer attends so it was not all bad really.

What’s the best part about writing?

Creating new things and exploring the world through the written word. One day, I want to explore the world myself, not just through stories.

What’s the worst part about writing?

Hitting a wall in the creation of the first draft then editing and rewriting. Ugh! Necessary but still hate it.

What’s the name of your favourite character and why? (This can be from a book by another author or from your own work. Book crushes are perfectly acceptable here as well).

Oh! I have no idea! I love characters like Hiccup Horrendous Haddock the Third from the How To Train Your Dragon books by Cressida Cowell because he’s not your typical hero, and Hermione Granger, because she was smart and her description is very similar to how I was as a kid. Those sorts of characters appeal to me.

How much time a day/week do you get to write? When is the best time for you to write (morning or night)?

I tend to write in the evening most days because it is the only free time I have available to me in a typical day but I do prefer to write and work on an afternoon. I’ve run my errands, had something to eat and drink, checked the news and e-mail, etc. I can just sit and write (and watch some YouTube and television). It’s a routine that was developed at university and has proven the most productive.

Did you go to college for writing? Or if you haven’t been to college yet, do you plan to?

I did Professional Writing at university (or college as it is in the USA), with the idea that it would set me up not just for writing in general, but was applicable to other jobs too. I’m not working as a writer in any capacity at the moment sadly but I do have ideas and career plans that relate to writing, even just part-time.

What bothers you more: spelling errors, punctuation errors, or grammar errors?

Has to be grammar mainly but the others drive me up the wall too, especially if it is in a document or something that you would expect to be correctly spelt, punctuated, grammar checked and formatted correctly.

What is the best writing advice that anyone has given you?

It’s actually a philosophy quote by Confucius that applies to every part of life: “It does not matter how slowly you go, so long as you do not stop.” In other words, keep writing!

What advice would you give to another writer?

I hate the advice write what you know. You could write about everything you know very easily and quickly and end up stuck. I prefer the advice write not what you know, but what you would like to find out about. Write about the things that you want to find out about. The world is a big place so explore it!

What are your favourite writing sites or blogs that you turn to for help, tips or encouragement?

My friends are usually my first port of call for help but I also follow a lot of Tumblr prompt and advice blogs, such as Write World and Writing Cafe, as well as seasonal picture blogs that have some stunning picture ripe for prompts, Rayne Hall’s Twitter (her books are brilliant too) and love using Seventh Sanctum.

Besides writing, what else do you enjoy doing? What are your hobbies?

Love to read, watch a lot of TV, films and stand up comedy, like Call The Midwife, The Big Bang Theory, How To Train Your Dragon 1 and 2 (I love Toothless!) and comedians like Russell Howard, baking and chatting to friends.

What is the best book you’ve read this year?

This year has to be Lockwood & Co: The Whispering Skull by Jonathan Stroud! Second in the series with a cliffhanger to match the first book, The Screaming Staircase. I am in love with this series!

What is the best movie you’ve seen this year?

Has to be Kingsman: The Secret Service. The church scene! The church scene!

What is your favourite book or series of all time?

It changes but I do default to Chinese Cinderella and the Secret Dragon Society by Adeline Yen Mah. Mah weaves a beautiful story of a girl playing her part in World War 2 in occupied Shanghai with wonderful teachings from Chinese philosophy and culture.

Who is your favourite author?

My all time favourite is JK Rowling as she is also my heroine.

What are your plans for the rest of the year in terms of your writing?

Mostly just to write, as I haven’t been in a place to do so for a while due to life. More focused goals are to hopefully get my second NaNoWriMo win and to keep writing my Camp story.

Where else can we find you online?

Aside from here, my main ones are Tumblr and Twitter but you can also find me on NaNoWriMo.


 

Finished! I am tagging Kit from Where Landsquids Fear To Tread, Lizzie from mylittlebookblog, Diane from Tales from Baggins Bottom and Charles from Legends of Windemere. Anyone who I haven’t tagged but would like to do this, go for it!

#Writing Update

3278e-writerWord Count: 2,802 Words

Only a short update.

This week has been pretty good though all the word count is made up from what my FMC has experienced from only half a day at school so far. I do feel it’s necessary though as it explains who the teachers are for what subjects, shows the beginning of the FMC changing and her possibly gaining a new friend. This exposition is setting up the background to everything else that will happen and helps define her a little more than she has been.

In the background to all of this, my brain has latched onto an idea that could become my November NaNoWriMo project! I am not going to reveal it right now as it could change if another idea decides to take priority and/or my Camp story takes over again and demands I become a rebel this year.

Plans for the next week: keep writing and keep going.

Summertime Madness Book Tag

Quite unexpectedly, I got tagged for this challenge by Amanda N. Butler.

Anyone who knows me will know I am not actually a Summer type of person. Give me rain, Autumn leaves, snow and Winter’s cool embrace! That’s when I am at my happiest! But for now, let’s see how I get on with this challenge:

Show a book with a summery cover.

Have to go with Bloodlust by Alex Duval, the first book in the Vampire Beach series. When Jason Freeman’s family moves to the exclusive DeVere Heights area of Malibu, he finds himself surrounded by the most beautiful people he has ever seen but is there more them than meets the eye? I think this might have been the first teen book I read in high school, during the Twilight/vampire craze and made for a nice change.

Pick a fictional place that would be the perfect destination for a summer holiday.

This has taken some thinking about but I think the place I would go bizarrely is Lockwood & Co.’s haunted Britain. I know it’s not a destination but I would love to explore it and discover what is happening outside of London. We get some idea what is going outside of London during the first book when Lucy talks about her road to joining Lockwood and George.

 

You’re about to go on a flight for your summer holidays but you want to read a book that lasts the whole flight. What novella do you choose?

Probably Hotel Babylon by Imogen Edwards-Jones. This is not exactly a story as such as every story told and all the information, compressed into one person’s 24 hour shift, are all true we are told and only the names of the guilty have been changed. It shines a light on the human condition when we step into a hotel of any sort and any star rating.

You have a case of summertime sadness – what book do you pick to shine a smile on your face?

Had a hard time deciding this one as I have a few books that make me laugh but the one that is always at hand it seems is Texts From Dog by October Jones. Inspired by the Tumblr blog, this book compiles the best-loved “texts” from dog, contemplating everything from bath time to the relationship man and man’s best friend.

You’re sitting at the beach all alone…which fictional character would be your beach babe?

This was a tough one but I think I would go with Henry Fitzroy, the bastard son of King Henry VII, from Tanya Huff’s Vicki Nelson series. Blood Price details one of Vicki’s PI cases where she is investigating a series of murders and comes across Henry, who is investigating to try to protect his vampire secret. Of course that would mean the beach at night but if he appears in the form Kyle Schmid, who played him in the Blood Ties TV adaptation, that’s fine by me!

To match your ice cream, you want an icy cool sidekick! Which fictional sidekick do you pick?

Out of two demon possibilities, I think I would go with Sebastian, Lord Phantomhive’s one Hell of a Butler from the Black Butler series. Tied by contract to little Earl Ciel Phantomhive, the Queen’s Guard Dog, Sebastian is out to help Ciel find the people who killed his parents, burnt down his home and hurt him. Once Ciel has his revenge, Sebastian will devour his soul.

The other demon I considered was Eclipse from Demon Diary.

And I am tagging Legends of Windemere’s Charles YallowitzTales From Baggins Bottom’s Diane Wordsworth and MyLittleBookBlog’s Lizzy Baldwin. Hope you guys don’t mind.

Monthly #Writing Update

Image Source: Insider Monkey/Google Images

I wasn’t able to post on Saturday as planned so figured I might as well wait until today, the last day of the month, to post and do it as a monthly thing. I have started using the Write All Year Excel sheet to track my word counts and other little things so it just feels right to do it like this. The main reason I am not doing it tomorrow is because I have errands to run and it is 1st September, Back to Hogwarts Day, so I suspect I will be distracted and will forget. It does mean that this is not a full monthly update.

Whether or not this will be the only Monthly update or it continues, I don’t know.

Weekly Word Count: 2,963 words

Monthly Word Count (so far): 8,081 words

So I am still shy of my 10k target for this month but either way, that is a lot of words.

I didn’t exactly do all of my aims from last week. The idea story does have some mileage in it but I ended up putting it aside and the plans to completely rewrite the first chapter of my Novella MS in favour of my Camp story. I do want to go back to the idea story with the magical spy character but I suspect it is going to come down to motivation. The Novella MS will just have to stay on my list of things to do.

The Camp story meanwhile, keeps being pushed on and on. I don’t know why I seem so fixated on it. I am just really enjoying writing it. Maybe it is because of the time of year or maybe it’s because the story keeps throwing up new ideas and announcing stuff I was not aware of was included in the story. This might sound weird to a planner but to someone like me, who plans but also allows the characters to take the lead on stuff, it can happen. It is not without its problems though.

There is a definitely Hogwarts feel starting to come to it as the characters announced that there were houses at the school, based on personality. I am not entirely happy with the personality aspect nor how the pupils are divided up between them: observations from staff, Head Boy and Girl and the Prefects who then decide who goes to what house. I am trying to think of a much more magical way for it to happen and no, a Sorting Hat is not an option! I have looked to see how places like Harrow and Eton house their pupils but it came down to complimenting the current cohorts in those houses in terms of skills, academic and sporting.

If anyone has any suggestions that might help, comment below.

Two other things have cropped up that have stopped me writing. One, the look and layout of the school buildings. I have found pictures of a building in New York that I feel is right for the school but also encompasses the equilateral and uniform design of Georgian mansion architecture. I can see it in my head because of those pictures, stuff I did at school and my local area however as I had my characters start exploring the school, I realised I needed to review parts of the design to figure out where everything is, like shared and separate facilities. I might need to do some drawing out of some stuff but for the most part I think it is sorted.

Another thing that cropped up whilst I was having two characters argue was the social structure of the magical society. It is probably going to be along similar lines of class structures within society like upper, middle and lower class at its most basic but not quite. It was a bit silly to think that this wouldn’t come up as a hierarchy of sorts with the schools is already at major play. Another thing is that one of the characters in the argument I suspect is titled so I may need to look up maybe died out titles within aristocracy or perhaps invent new ones. Is that possible?

This month, I definitely did not meet all the aims and goals I set myself but I feel I also succeeded in doing a lot too, including attending my first NaNoWriMo Write In. My local group does them year round so it’s great to be able to jump in without the pressures of NaNoWriMo itself. Hopefully, I am going to be able to attend more now I have actually managed to navigate and get there and back without hiccup. With a new month beginning tomorrow and the run up to Halloween, NaNo and Christmas as well as the events themselves, it could be a very interesting time to say the least for how much or little continues to be written.