Monthly #Writing Update: June 2016

I’m planning to enter next month. Are you?

Word Count: 5,487 words

Unless I write any more or do any more planning, I think I can call that my final word count for the month. It hasn’t been the easiest of months as noted in my other updates and, to be fair, it’s been 5,000 words of not much really.

The month started with my FMC getting up, dressed and going to the train station to start at Halowin, with some nervousness and apprehension. Her familiar revealed he is snobbish and possibly has a dark personality to match hers, after referring to her family as worms. Her step/non-dad meanwhile, after having it pointed out that everyone will know who she is before long, told her to keep her head down as he doesn’t want anyone connecting her to his cabal(a band of dark magic users). Naturally, my FMC plans to make herself known, for all the right reasons but obviously, that is asking for trouble. She has also discovered her grandfather’s work partner has a wife and twin sons, one of whom is her love interest. His brother met his when they boarded the train. An argument with another pupil has shown that my FMC has a strong sense of justice when she defended a disabled pupil as well as having an attitude to match.

When you compare that to other month’s, that’s a few hours of story time in a few thousand words. Very little but it does feel right for now. I haven’t written everyday this month and I have spent the last few days planning (unsuccessfully) for next month. It has made me realise though that taking a break and working on a different project for the next month might be what I, and the story, needs: the chance to go back to it with fresh eyes.

As for what I am going to write next month, that’s all up in the air really. As stated above, planning has been unsuccessful. Bitten by two plot bunnies, I tried planning and working one idea into something coherent whilst the other remains illusive as it pertains to another idea that still needs to time to develop I feel before I can really give it a go. Neither I feel is ready to be written or even attempting to and since I need a break from the current story, it left me facing a month of pantsing it. (To those unfamiliar with that term, “pantsing” means going into the month with no plan, no plot, no character, no nothing and just writing).

Me, myself and I also know that is a bad idea as even I need some sort of plan or plot to at least know which story points I need to be working towards to make sure the story is coherent and has a chance of even being bullet pointed later if need be for later reviewing. That might be why my mind today gave me the idea of working on a story that I have done before for NaNoWriMo (November 2012), done some reworking of before but wondering now if maybe I should do the overhaul for Camp next month. I suppose I should just wait for midnight tonight, open a new document and see what I write.

So how was the last month of writing for you? Good? Bad? Discovered something new? If you are entering Camp NaNoWriMo next month, are you a planner ready for the off or a pantser who is just going to sit and write? Perhaps you are like me and have to know certain beats of the story before starting. Let me know down below if you want. I don’t bite! Honest!

Camp NaNoWriMo July 2015: Day 18 & 19

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Day 18: 11,706 words

Day 19: 11,706 words

First things first, I have validated already since I was up just after midnight last night anyway. You have probably already guessed that from the banner. I will still be writing though as a lot of story to be told and I would like to get as much of it down now as possible. Secondly, no writing yesterday because I just couldn’t settle to write, on top of rl stuff happening.

I am discovering more about my story and my characters and have possibly unearthed an interesting mystery about what was supposed to be a support character. My MC’s are not exactly the most definable at the moment but hopefully that will change as I write more.

How are things going for everyone else? Validated or panicking because you are nowhere close to validating? Feel free to comment below.

July Camp

 

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Yes, I am planning to take part and thought I had my idea sorted until today when I had a bit of a wobble.

I was settled to write a science fiction story but I’ve read an article in this month’s Writing Magazine about making criminal characters enticing and likeable so the reader will root for them. This got me thinking about the two thieves characters I like to write sometimes. I have spoken about them before on this blog because I used them for my July 2013 Camp novel. After today, I was really tempted to either rewrite or continue with that story.

I am now thinking that maybe I should put the crime story aside completely to work on later. The reason I am taking that route is because I have looked at previous projects and realised I have been a bit adventurous (for me) in the stories I have tried to write. The reason I wrote them was because they were interesting to me despite outside of my comfort zone. I definitely have learnt a lot from doing it and whilst I haven’t been totally successful with them, I have enjoyed writing them.

As mentioned in other posts, I have had problems with writing, partly out of writers block, as of late since the last session. I just haven’t had a clue what to write. I have had the science fiction idea, revolving around robotics engineers, for a couple of weeks and it’s based on a really old fan fiction about Robot Wars (called Battlebots in the USA). The idea excites me and I want to write it in a new form, especially as I feel I have improved as a writer and matured as a person to really write it. I was a kid writing about adults.

I know a partial issue with it is lack of planning due to not even knowing exactly what’s going to happen in it in its new form and setting. A lack of knowledge of the genre does not help because I am not a big sci-fi reader or watcher aside from Doctor Who, The Big Bang Theory and some Marvel and DC films and TV shows. I do however follow tech and science news because I have an interested so that may help. I have some idea of what’s going to happen from doing some character planning already and from looking at what I had previously written for some idea of the plot but still, there is this big hole in the story I feel from just not knowing what’s going on.

The story feels right though and I feel I need to pursue it to whatever end next month during Camp.

Are you taking part this session? Has anyone else had a wobble on their story idea? Are you fully planned or like me, probably know just enough to at least start? Feel free to comment.

Are Subplots Necessary?

I automatically include sub-plots when writing and inevitably, they are romance sub-plots. Is this just me or does anyone else find themselves doing this?

Into Another World

A subplot is a mini-story woven into your main story. It could involve your main character having two things going on at the same time (such as finding love while solving a mystery) or it can involve secondary characters having their own issues.

Now you don’t absolutely need to include a subplot into your story but there are many good reasons to include one.

  • It adds depth to your story.
  • If the subplot involves secondary characters, it can make them more rounded and complete.
  • It can help build tension. (You can leave your main story line hanging and switch to the subplot to keep your reader wondering what happens.)
  • Subplots can pile on problems for the main character or perhaps distract them from their course.
  • It can reveal information to your main character or to your reader
  • It can set up characters for multi-book series

Incorporating Subplot

Now your subplot…

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Camp NaNoWriMo April 2015: Day 5 & 6

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Word counts first.

Day 5: 3,358 words

Day 6: 6,643 words

As you might have guessed from my day 5 word count, very little got written, about a sentence or two so I didn’t post yesterday. Instead I focused on trying to catch up a bit and ended up discovering a lot about my story, including the nature of the organisation which owns the dragon archipelago. It actually also helped figure out one or two details from earlier in the story that I thought I would need to rewrite in its entirety.

I also had two characters admit they really liked each other. Something I did not expect considering a very lightly planned romance sub plot was going to be for emergency word count only. I do not think I am at that point but either way, it’s happened and not anywhere near what had been planned.

See, this is why I don’t plan stories too much. My characters like running off with their own ideas and I kind of just have to follow to keep up. As long as the main points and main events happen, that’s okay, right?

Know when you have those moments when things just click into place, either for the story, character(s) or both? Yesterday was one of those and it definitely helps as it leads into stuff that potentially could just write itself. Surely a good thing right when I am fairly behind at the moment!

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!