Monthly #Writing Update

3278e-writerWord Count: 1,852 words

Monthly Word Count (so far): 9,728 words

I am aiming to hit 10k tonight before Camp starts tomorrow. I might have hit that target this weekend had my laptop not died on Friday and resurrected itself on Monday. No, I have no idea how it managed to do that either. All I do know is that it made me rethink my Camp idea.

Before my laptop failed on me, my MMC has been released from prison and has visited my FMC, explaining his part in the story and has announced he is going to help my FMC with her housing problem (she’s been evicted from her flat). It wasn’t much but it pushed the story on. It is a story I have enjoyed writing this month, even if it has been a bumpy ride of sorts with it. I know where that story needs to go and I will have to go back to it at some point. I just hope I actually do.

As for this week at least, I ended up having a wobble over my NaNoWriMo story whilst my laptop was down. I had planned something heavily inspired by Tom Clancy’s The Division, as I have previously discussed. Last week, I asked if I should have a second story due to writing outside of my genre once more, trying to learn my lesson from Camp July 2015. That second story also happened to be the magic school from the same Camp session. I had harboured thoughts of going back and rewriting it but I had no idea when.

Without any access to my files and struggling to write, I started to rethink my story. I started wondering how excited I truly am about The Division story. I do like the idea but that’s all it is I suspect: an idea that I need to work and hone more before I can truly write it. I know this sounds like the muse has left sort of problem and it is in a way. I also know though when to trust my instincts. This is one such occasion.

Of course this left me with no story for a short time as I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go back to my July 2015 story. Again, instinct kicked in and told me that I should go back so my Camp story is now a rewrite. It sometimes really pays to listen to your instinct.

I know I seem to be rambling about this but I think it’s important that I do write this down and share my experience, perhaps maybe help others if possible. I know it has helped me because I feel I am able to think about this with a lot more clarity that I had done.

How has your writing been going this week and this month? Entering Camp next month? Had any wobbles or do you know what you are doing for definite? Whatever your plans for April, good luck and happy writing!

#Writing Update

Word Count: 1,271 words

Not a lot written so just a quick update really. This past week has been a little crazy.

It has mostly been the characters discussing how things would have changed between themselves and their families before heading home for their half term holidays. My FMC also seems to be developing anxiety or, at least, having a burst of it. Considering her family, it wouldn’t be surprising if she had anxiety. Anyway, she seems to be anxious about how they perceive her and in turn, how she perceives them and is she being snobbish?

Still, its words and it’s pushing me on. I am not going to get this done before November but NaNoWriMo will be a good break from it.

#Writing Update

3278e-writer

Word count: 1,334 words

Apologies for the lack of updates. Life had to take priority and naturally that has had an impact on my word count.

I’ve been up against a wall a little, trying to figure out where to go next. This means I’ve had my FMC and her love interest talking a lot about different stuff, mainly what has happened at school, including extracurricular activities. I do suspect that her love interest might be making an attempt at becoming the MMC in this.

I think I might have hit a turning point though, thinking about Halloween and the sorting of my characters. I have decided to essentially do something very similar to or maybe even pretty much copy the All Seeing Eye from Weirdsister College, the sequel to the Worst Witch TV series, for the ceremony. I have only a vague idea and that’s why I say copy. It’s not original or good but to get on with the story, I think it is going to be a necessity. I have also accepted that I am not going to have this story anywhere close to a finish one come NaNoWriMo.

As well as thinking about the story, naturally my attentions have turned to November, especially with the site wipe and relaunch this month. I have my idea and the characters are developing but the story is not fully clear. I do have 21 days or so left so I should be okay, should be.

Plans for this next week is just to try to catch up with my word count, especially as I have raised my target to 25k in preparation and in readiness for next month. I just hope I will be okay.

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!

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.

#Writing Update

Firstly, sorry about the lateness of this. I was going to do it on Saturday but life had to take priority. Secondly, forgive the hashtag in the title. I am experimenting with Twitter still.

Image Source: GoodSearch Images

Word count for last week was 2,319 words. I was intending to rewrite the first chapter of my novella that I wrote a while ago but in the end though, all those words ended up coming out of my Camp story and an idea that was demanding to be written.

It is so frustrating to me that I haven’t managed to sit down and do the rewrite, especially as I might have worked out how to get past the block I’ve had with it. The first chapter has been and, still is, the part I just cannot get past and rewritten because of the nature of it being a lot of exposition, without there being too much obvious exposition. Perhaps it is my subconscious telling me I need to work on the new idea for the first chapter in relation to the rest of the story that is preventing me from writing it. In other words, planning! This is something which many of you may know is not exactly my strong suit outside of “basic idea and outline but may change.”

The idea that wouldn’t leave me alone, which contributed to the word count too, is just a mission for my magical spy character from my August 2012 Camp NaNoWriMo novel and her best friend who I think might become something more to her after all. It’s a little thing that could come to nothing but at least it is out of my system and may allow me to learn more about the characters. It is set in the same world as my novella so may actually be why my brain has offered up the idea, to reintroduce me to the world since the spy character is the original character that spawned the whole idea  That cannot be a bad thing, surely?

The Camp story is hitting a stride again after the train journey. When my FMC gets among more students, it might help. The fact that there is still more exposition should add words rapidly as well as giving me elements to play with for  later in the story. I’m wondering though when to have my FMC’s big secret come out? I know how she gets back into the good books with her classmates but that I feel is contingent on the secret reveal. How long can her secret be hidden realistically within a closed school environment? I know how rapid a secret can get out and around a classroom from experience but keeping secrets, well, that is not exactly territory I know about. Can anyone help? I would be very grateful for any advice offered.

All of this is not necessarily bad as I am at least writing but at the same time, it gets me no closer to getting my novella to the stage I feel I can be sending it out. It’s annoying and yet fun which makes this a sort-of problem but not entirely. Does that make sense? I suppose not.

So what are my intentions at least for this week? One of them is to try and finished the idea story that has plagued me, with the aim of just getting it out of my system as stated above. My other aim is to keep going with my Camp story. I think I also need to make time to sit down and go through the novella MS, mark out the story as is then look to previous drafts to see what I need to put back in perhaps before looking to see how the new opening would affect everything else that happens.

So those are my intentions for this week. I will just have to see how many actually come to fruition. I am still reading the latest Alex Verus book, Veiled, by Benedict Jacka and I have read the latest issue in Ben Aaronovitch’s Rivers of London comic, Body Work. Both of which are big influences on the original idea for the novella and I know they influence all of my work in some form so it may help to keep me writing.

Pushing On, Keeping Going

Image Source: GoodSearch Images

As you might have guessed from the title and the last post, I am carrying on with my Camp NaNoWriMo. I’m not writing a lot each day it must be said, partly because I have been exploring Twitter and Windows 10. You probably know the feeling. Pretty, shiny new things! Must be explored!

I am very goal orientated in life, as well as writing as I have noted on this blog before and I knew I would need to find a way to keep me going with this story. That’s why I attempted to join Write All Year but it didn’t work for some reason. No e-mail confirmation, nothing. No idea what happened there but I was able to get to the Productivity Goodies page and downloaded the annual word count tracker despite it being eight months into this year and that is already having an impact, just like the word count tracker excel spreadsheet I found on the NaNoWriMo forums.

Maybe it’s the sight of seeing bar chart and pie graphs as well as being able to see an overview of the whole year that is inspiring. Maybe. All I know is that it works for me and whilst it works, I will use it to help me.

I did manage to 1,036 words written overall last night, focusing on the start of the FMC’s journey to school with the MMC and also having the characters talk about apparent pupil numbers on this, the first part of the journey to school before starting to talk about sports. When I got to that point, I was too tired to continue writing and instead starting figuring out a potential magical sport for the school to play along with some other possible sports clubs. I think it’s safe to say JK Rowling did such a good job at creating Quidditch that it made it difficult for my tired brain to come up with anything to do with broomsticks without potential copying Quidditch in some form.

I think I am onto something though so we will see.

Thoughts from today whilst pottering around doing various things included concerns about characterisation and plot. I think my FMC has opened up too early and I need to reinstate her frostiness which leads to plot. She’s frosty in fear of being discovered to be relate to her dark magic family but once she is discovered, everyone starts isolating her, forcing her to become warmer and potentially have to go against her family even more to show she is a good person to her fellow pupils. Also thinking maybe my current MMC might need to abandon her (not sure I like the character any more to be honest) but maybe a new one or two appear, backing her up for some reason. Maybe she defends them from bullies or some such.

Of course, all this is just thinking and I am just going to let my characters and the story guide the writing. I find it’s the best method for me sometimes when writing the first draft.

Are you continuing with your Camp novel? Are you revising or working on something else? How do you keep yourself going and accountable? Feel free to comment below.

Camp NaNoWriMo July 2015: Days 29-31

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Day 29: 15,746 words

Day 30: 15,746 words

Day 31: 15746 words

Please note that the above word counts are minus the words I managed to hand write after upgrading my laptop to Windows 10 and ending up with a non-functioning mouse/trackpad.

So main thing that happened was my FMC was bundled into the car and they set off to the train station. Nothing major and very little as I was preparing for the Windows 10 upgrade. I am definitely going to try to keep writing this story as I am interested to see where I go with it. Whether I succeed in that, we shall see.

Well done everyone however much you wrote! You are amazing!

Camp NaNoWriMo July 2015: Day 22-24

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Day 22: 12,514 words

Day 23: 12,592 words

Day 24: 13,306 words

Obviously, as you can tell from the word counts, I only managed to sit down and get any writing done yesterday. That’s partly due to being tired from life in general but also a little writer’s block as I was unsure where to go next. Getting out seems to be the answer when I have writer’s block as at least twice now this month I have got out of the house for a bit then came home just able to write.

What has actually happened in the story is that my FMC has been thinking how her life is going to be potential so very different to her family due to going to a different school, wanting to maybe follow in her grandfather’s footsteps and wondering how much contact there was between her parents and her grandparents. She’s now decided, on one of her last days at home before going to school, she is going to go into town and see how things are for her former classmates. Admittedly, it’s to try to give me word count more than is of any plot importance at the moment. May change.