Monthly #Writing Update and #Pumpkins

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Word Count: 4,085 words

Happy Halloween! I love this time Very much doubt I will be writing anything before midnight now so thought I would do my update. Going to be quick as I think I have covered everything in the rest of my updates through the month, sporadic as they have been.

Again, been writing on and off all month and never exceeding a 1,000 words on any given day. I think an element of being overwhelmed at the amount of description and introduction needed for different aspects of the story threw me off at the start of the month then general apathy for the rest of it. I am really enjoying this story but maybe the fact that there’s been more planning and thinking done than writing says something. It has helped shape the story, the characters and the world that the story takes place in though and made me think about questions I hadn’t considered before.

I am becoming very grateful to myself for allowing me to experiment with jumping around the story if I feel I am able to write a later scene now. It has helped so much with getting stuff written and done that it makes writing that much easier. As for linking up those scenes, that could be another issue all together.

I am really looking forward to doing this story in NaNoWriMo. With the energy, community and challenge of it, I think it could be really beneficial with getting more of this draft written. It’s a chance just to write without really thinking too hard and getting some feedback at least from other writers involved in the challenge.

Getting into Destiny has both hindered and helped this month. I’ve ended up writing a few words of Destiny fan fiction which I will be going back to and think I am going to use the 100 themes challenge to help. That move is inspired by one of my best friends who is doing something similar with a project they are working on. I think I will keep going with this, maybe. Destiny just lends itself to some fan fiction being written.

Plan for next month is obvious really: write! Write as much as I can, don’t go crazy with NaNoWriMo and life and have fun! Anyone NaNo-ing? New story or rebelling like me? Leave your comment below, happy Halloween again and watch these brilliant videos from The Royal Institution:

Monthly #Writing Update

3278e-writerFinal Word Count: 6,465 words

I am quite proud of that total despite not writing for 9 days and it cut some of my deficit.

Most of what I wrote was exposition stuff, description and explaining how the school works. It’s not exactly the most interesting but necessary. I also went off track too by writing a scene from later in the story and a scene that really belongs in a possible sequel. They explore a possible story line that I am still figuring out and don’t want to discuss at the moment as discussed in my last update. I have also been reconsidering certain characters and their portrayal and who they are really. That could be an interesting experience as the changes are things I have never attempted writing before.

This is only an early draft so what’s written now will get rewritten hopefully and some story lines, characters and ideas may get stripped out.

I have also spent the end of last month working on a suggestion from Draebox of having a second project to work on when I hit a block on the first. Currently, that project is looking like it could be my NaNoWriMo/November 2014 and very little progress has happened however I have had a breakthrough on it. The second project may change yet but we will see.

Overall, last month was quite successful and the exposition will help me later. Having a second project could help so what I discuss in these updates could vary. I will try not to make it confusing. Aims for this month? Get as much written as possible to delay any issues that will present themselves over the next two months due to life stuff. I will be incredibly busy so writing will fall to the wayside. It is inevitable but if I can get ahead now, that will help a lot. No plans to take part in NaNoWriMo fully but I will try to enter some words some days.

How was last month for you? Plans for this month? Entering NaNoWriMo in November. Don’t be afraid to comment below.

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!

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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Keep Writing!

The intention of this post really is to get an idea of who is still writing after National Novel Writing Month has finished and to give a little advice. Have people fallen by the wayside? Are they still writing? Are they working on the same story or another one?

Santa might be coming but don’t stop writing! Source: Google Images

It is post-NaNoWriMo and I am still writing the same story and it is still throwing up surprises. I am glad it is as it makes continuing to write it a joy. Let’s face it, once the amazing energy of the month of November has gone and we get ourselves ready for Santa to come, it is very easy to stop and give up. Having a goal to work towards has helped me as I am very goal orientated I have realised in the last few years but for others, it might be something completely different. The love of the story, the characters, the world the story is set in… Any manner of things can keep us writing.

Everyone has heard the advice to write everyday and it is possibly clichéd and overused but hearing it so often can only show that maybe it is good advice to follow. If you stop, it can be difficult to start again. It is a possible reason why people struggle with New Years Resolutions. We do it for a while, stop then pick it up again. The same goes with writing and if you wrote everyday during November, why not continue to write everyday? What about starting a journal or blog of some sort? Dreams, life, books, films; you could chronicle any number of things by sitting down and writing everyday.

If you loved your story from November and didn’t finish, why not keep going with it? If you did, go you! But keep going! Keep writing! If you joined write-in’s during NaNoWriMo, why not arrange more so people can set the guilt monkeys on you? See if your region has regular ones through the year.

In January and February, the NaNoWriMo website will be updated to give editing hints and tips and to get you going. Editing and rewriting is, perhaps, the toughest part of writing any type of story, from the short story to the novelling epics. Get your manuscript ready for then. Get it finished. Put it away to let it breathe. Work on something else then, in January, whilst hung over (or otherwise!), get it out and start reading through.

Just Don’t Stop Writing!

So who’s with me? Who’s writing? Or am I a lone voice shouting to no one in particular?

Top Tip Of The Week

Anyone got any advice on titling? I seriously struggle with it, as my blog may show.

esthernewtonblog

A Tantalising Title!

Some of my students have asked me whether it’s important to give a short story a title. The answer is a huge yes! When a magazine editor/short story judge is faced with a big pile of short stories, one with an eye-catching/intriguing title will instantly have him/her interested in reading your story. Read the following titles and see how they make you want to read the actual story:

  • The Secret Diary of a Serial Killer
  • The Unborn
  • The Hanging
  • In Search of Dinosaurs
  • Screaming Point
  • Not What I Wanted
  • The Final Journey
  • Watching

I’m sure you’re now thinking up plenty of your own. Hopefully they’ll also spark off a story idea!

Have a great weekend. Here’s my Friday funny for you:

Funny-Animal-09

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Ten Writing Competitions 2014

Need something to do this summer? Have a look at these competitions.

Cat Lumb: The Struggle to be a Writer

It’s time to dust off those pens, power up those PC’s and shake yourself off to enter some of the upcoming writing competitions out there! I’ve been focusing far too much on the WIP of late to have entered any recently, so thought I’d share some options with you. Happy writing – and good luck to those who enter: you have to be in it, to win it!

keep-calm-its-competition-time-7Luke Bitmead Bursary
Deadline: 1st August 2014
Entry: Free, completed manuscripts only
Legend Press host this annual prize and are looking for adult fiction novels, over 50,000 words from first-time, unpublished writers who find it difficult (due to financial or personal circumstances) to focus on their writing career. All submissions should be uploaded via the online system and consist of seperate files containing a one-page synopsis, a personal statement and up to fifty pages of the novel. The winner will receive £2,500…

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