Nearly NaNoWriMo Time Again

Looking forward to NaNoWriMo this year. Anyone else planning to enter?

Lit World Interviews

Did you know that Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, Wool by Hugh Howey, and Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, were all begun for one of the annual NaNoWriMo challenges? Anyone who says that NaNo is just a bit of silliness for wannabe writers might want to ponder that a while, and anyone who is finding their writing stuck or slow going right now might want to consider taking up that challenge this year. You can take it as seriously or not seriously as you like. It’s only thirty days, so the world won’t end if you don’t make your word count or if you absolutely hate what you wrote, but if you’re having trouble getting nice chunks of words down towards your WIP, this little challenge should get you going. I see that there is also a twenty percent discount to purchase Scrivener for this year’s players, so if you’ve…

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#Writing Update

3278e-writerWord Count: 3,324 words

Just under 2,000 of those words was in one day. In the story, still exposition, revealing the world, the most popular game for witches and a broomstick lesson but there are three things that have mainly dominated this week’s writing.

The first, looking back, is that my FMC is finding herself being questioned by others and questioning herself why she has chosen and begged for a place at a rival school to her family’s dark magic school. I’m not sure why she is doing that really as she knows why (wants to do something different to her family) but I can’t help feeling it is going to be important, especially after some rethinking and planning of the story and the character’s journey. It’s not a bad feeling. In fact, it is a very good feeling.

The second is the revelation of my MMC’s struggles in his classes. I haven’t really written much with him for a while, mostly because the school is split into boys and girls and I am having a go at using third person limited. The struggles revelation feels as if it is going to be vitally important. I am not sure why but again, it is a good feeling.

Ah, the wonders of pantsing and having an outline that is rather loose in my mind. Especially when that outline is limited to about one years worth in story time of plot. Who knows? It might become a little Malory Towers in its focus.

The third thing that has happened is that my FMC’s potential love interest has revealed that they are gender fluid. To anyone who has never heard of the term, it describes someone who doesn’t feel like their assigned gender all the time. This is different to being transsexual. In this case, the love interest is male. They will have periods of time where they feel male so act male but will also have times where they feel female so will act and be female for that time. I have known this since I started writing the story pretty much however I have been nervous about doing it as it is the first time I have written a character like this. How successful it is so far and will be, I don’t know. All I know is that this is right for the character and will cause conflict between them and their family as well as at school, as it is segregated between male and female with normal expectations of those genders in place and reinforced by lessons such as etiquette. I am looking forward to seeing how this goes.

I have already mentioned some rethinking and replanning has happened. This is resulting from a realisation that I needed to age the characters up so a rethink of the structure of the school and the education system in place in this world became necessary. It took me a while to figure it out yesterday at a write in, where I ended up voicing stuff out loud as well as sketching and drawing things in mid-air to help me visualise it. This is part of the value of having writing friends and going to write in’s and maybe writing groups too. You can say and do things with fewer or no strange looks whatsoever. This restructuring will definitely work better I feel and allow me a bit more room to move when writing character’s actions and dialogue. Perhaps it also explains why my FMC has become so much more introverted than normal.

Aside from all this with my Camp story, I have begun the task of doing some research and planning for November. I suspect my time may become limited so I am trying to get a little ahead to compensate. This research has included the North Pole and the Arctic Circle.

Plans for next week? Write my Camp story, research for November and trying to remember to post my wc’s on Twitter. I keep forgetting!

#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.

July Camp



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.

How to Prep for Camp NaNoWriMo

Camp starts on April 1st. Are you ready?

Amanda N. Butler

Even though I trekked the NaNoWriMo challenge for the very first time last November, I have been participating in Camp NaNoWriMo for three years now. Two events take place each year, and I have participated in five of them. This has resulted in four novellas. There is nothing else like the knowledge that you finished the first draft of a writing project in a month. I’m addicted to the feeling of accomplishment knowing that one more story is out of my system. I also personally use the sessions as writing exercises; I like to see what I can get away with in my writing in terms of experimental eccentricities.

This year, Camp NaNoWriMo’s sessions will take place in April and July. With about five weeks to prepare, I have made a list for the Camper to pack with them on this trip. All the Camper needs is an idea, which…

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#NaNoPrep 11: Seek Your Leader

Creativity In The Box

NaNo Me Who’s got two thumbs and an ML’s halo? This girl!

But, you may be asking, what is an ML? Have you wandered off into code again? Yes, yes I have. I am very tired, please bear with me, it’s nearly November.

National Novel Writing Month wouldn’t run without the dedicated support of a band of volunteers all over the world. Every year the Municipal Liaisons are there, reachable by forum, NaNoMail and email, organising write-ins and other community events, and generally steering their bedraggled ducklings through to 50,000 words. Now, if you haven’t done it, is a really good time to go and find your ML.

On the main site you’ll find a tab called My Region. If you’ve already set your home region you’ll go straight there, and if you haven’t you’ll be prompted to do so. Now you can see your local forum, where (I hope) you’ll find…

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#NaNoPrep 10: Keep the Wheels of Noveling Turning

If you are able to support NaNoWriMo, even just via GoodSearch, go for it!

Creativity In The Box

NaNoWriMo has brought me an incredible amount of joy over the years, and I hope that anyone reading this is about to embark on that journey or is already as fond of it as I am. My friends all do NaNo, and it’s the one time of year when I really allow myself to sit down and write for the sheer love of it. Some days it can seem like a chore, and then I remember that it’s NaNoWriMo and whatever I want to do can go in this novel. When the rainbow space hamsters make sense, you know it’s November.

I really do hope that you’re going to enjoy this coming month as much as I will. But there’s one organisation that makes it all possible, makes sure that there’s someone nearby organising events for you to go to, keeping the website up and running so you can share…

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#NaNoPrep 9: Warn your family

Or better yet, rope them in! Granted, there are only a couple of days before November starts…

Creativity In The Box

Yesterday’s advice was to get outside and get some fresh air, today’s is to spend some time with those you love most. If you’re going to need every second to get your words out, they might feel left out. Now is a good time to warn them of the madness on which you are about to embark, and to make sure you do actually get to see them over the next month. You want their support and encouragement, not their nagging. If you can, negotiate your way through the month in advance. Maybe Wednesday and Sunday are family days, when you don’t get to write but do get to see their lovely faces. Or maybe you’re going to write after dinner, and get the rest of the day with them, or get up early and have the house to yourself without someone asking strange questions.

Now is the best time…

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#NaNoPrep 8: Enjoy the fresh air whilst you can

Also see your loved ones!

Creativity In The Box

NaNoWriMo is coming! Hide! No, wait, the other thing.

If I were on track, this would have been several days ago, and you would have an extra two days to follow my advice. Instead, I’ve been following my advice. In the northern hemisphere the nights are drawing in, the clocks are changing, the leaves are dropping, and the weather is turning towards winter. There’s a bite in the air, although not much of one in England at the moment, and everything smells of autumn.

Now is a good time to get out and enjoy it. If the weather allows, go and sit in your city centre and watch the birds feeding up for winter, the early Christmas shoppers and the confused first years settling into university. Take a tea or coffee to keep you warm and a notebook to keep your notes, because town is full of inspiration. If you’re…

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