#NaNoWriMo November 2015: Days 14-19

Day 14: 10,222 words

Day 15: 10,669 words

Day 16: 10,669 words

Day 17: 12,348 words

Day 18: 12,348 words

Day 19: 12,643 words

Obviously from my word counts, I have had a couple of days where life had to take the priority and I was simply just too tired to even turn on my laptop. I know I am looking at similar state of affairs latest this month. That has led to my decision, not to drop out of NaNoWriMo, but rather to chase a lower target of 25,000 words. It is far more plausible.

In my NaNo then, my FMC has revealed herself to be a mage to her friend with benefits partner, fallen out with him, defended him from some processed preachers, became friends with him again, found out her father has died, talked with her partner which ended up with them in bed, before she travelled back to the island to discover her family are still very hostile to her.

So a fair amount has happened and it does mean I have a funeral scene and the fallout of her father’s death to play with as well as heading into the main plot. I might have written myself into a slight corner however with the romance sub plot. My FMC’s friend with benefits has basically announced it is purely the benefits part that interests him, in so far as romance is concerned. I may need to have a serious rethink about that. The changing of the word target does mean I will have to maybe bullet point at the end of the month as I am still working on the Camp story too. (The two stories do focus on common themes though so it is helpful in a way).

On top of all that, I have changed my FMC’s job, again, for plot reasons. She’s now a research assistant at the university college, perhaps working towards a Masters of Research or PhD. It does mean having to rethink the university college part. I mean, brand new universities would focus on teaching right, rather than research? If anyone could give any help or insight on this point, it would be greatly appreciated.

How’s your NaNoWriMo going? On target? Behind? Word count change? Don’t be afraid to comment 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!

Life Takes Charge

Sorry for not posting much lately! I am not ignoring this blog or abandoning it. Life has got in the away once more. My job search has had to take a priority as well as a few other personal issues, not through my own personal choice, and it has meant certain things have had to suffer, such as this blog and my own personal writing. I am trying to re-address that balance but it may take a little time. I am determined though that NaNoWriMo will not suffer; that it will generate blog posts and, in turn, get this blog active again.

Just because I haven’t been posting does not mean I have run dry on article ideas. I have toyed with the idea of writing a post on the use of schools as settings and plot devices in books, why they are such a common setting at least and why there is not actually that much in the way of having colleges or universities as setting in books or even any focus on teachers as main characters. At least, in my experience, I have not actually come across any book with these elements. Film and TV, yes. Books, no. If you have any insights on any of these issues, I would love to hear from you.

My job search may yet generate blog posts as well as I am contemplating becoming a freelance writer and becoming self-employed. Again, if anyone can offer any help on this front in any shape or form, I would be grateful as it is a scary prospect for me but I think it would suit me to the ground. It is still very early days and life may yet decide that my path leads elsewhere but it is something to at least being having a think about.

I am trying to read where I can too but, as you might have guessed, that has taken a hit too. I recently managed to finally get my hands on the latest Benedict Jacka book, Hidden, so will be trying to read that as fast as I can so I can get a review up here as soon as possible. I am also re-reading Steven Harper’s Writing the Paranormal Novel, partly for help as I edit and rewrite a novel but also to try to get me back in the writing frame of mind so I can get more writing done than I have done.

So sorry again, I am not abandoning the blog and I am aiming to get this blog more active. Thank you guys!

NaNoWriMo Prep

Yes, I have decided to do NaNoWriMo this November. No, I don’t know how successful I am going to be considering I am still job hunting. Yes, I also know it is only September so why am I even thinking that far ahead?!

It’s because this idea for NaNo is something that came to me months ago, around the time of the last Camp session actually. I scribbled it down along with some story I had in my head and just knew instantly that this was the idea I want to do for November. I think I am in with a chance of getting a somewhere near decent word count due to having a fairly clear idea of the basic story, the characters motivations and quests. I also have an idea of the end point.

I am wondering about changing one or two things through from the original idea, including where part of the story takes place. I was originally thinking of it being down South somewhere, like Oxfordshire or Cambridgeshire, since Higher Education does play a part in one of the story lines but I have wondered instead if I should move that section up to Scotland. I’ve started doing some research to help me figure out what to do about that section, as well as keeping a close eye on the Scottish Referendum yesterday. Since they said No, it does remove one of the possible problems I could have had.

Okay, so I am rambling a little now but I am looking forward to NaNo this year. Is anyone else doing National Novel Writing Month this November?  Have you started thinking about what you intend to write yet? Got any thoughts from my ramblings? Don’t be afraid to comment below.

Sorry

Sorry for the lack of posts this week. This one is to apologise, explain why I haven’t been posting and really just me talking other things out to just get them out of my system.

So why haven’t I been posting? Well, I am still job hunting and it seems to me that I am having worse luck last and this week than in previous weeks with my job hunt. I’m not sure if this is just my experience or if others are also having this issue. I am looking to extend my voluntary work with the National Trust to at least give me something to do that will keep me sane and give me extra experience. Might also distract me from constantly looking at post-grad courses I cannot afford to do. A habit that shows itself when I get particularly downhearted by my job search.

So far, the issues I am having with my job hunting are coming out as me being unable and/or struggling to find the motivation to write, edit or rewrite anything. In saying that though, I am thinking and considering editing and rewriting things, including a story to post on here. This might sound weird to some people but the characters have been playing and shouting at me in my head for the past week or so and I just need to get it out of my system I think. That is, if I can finally force myself to do anything as it is only thinking and considering.

In relation to writing, I am finding my thoughts are also starting to turn to Camp NaNoWriMo and the first session in April. I am not sure if I should even be thinking about doing the sessions when I have a job to hunt for and, potentially, could clash with assessment days, etc. related to job hunting. I have however had an idea or actually a thought to play around with which came to mind whilst watching the Harrow series on Sky 1.

It surrounds the idea of house masters, the children of the house master and their schooling. I am still playing with it and trying to figure out what exactly I could do with the idea but I think there might be something in it. If I decide to do camp, this would probably be the story I would do.

So yeah, that’s pretty much what is happening in my head at the moment and why I haven’t been posting lately. Sorry again!

York Literature Festival 2014, 20th-31st January 2014

Next month will see the York Literature Festival take place. Featuring talks and workshops from Germaine Greer, Roger Winston and John Humphrys, there will events for children and adults, readers and writers a like. The festival takes place all over the beautiful historic city and will also feature a performance at York Theatre Royal of Birdsong in commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of World War One. Students from York St John University will also be having a showcase of work.

For those who are good at poetry, there is still time to enter the Poetry Competition which closes at midnight on Friday, 28th February 2014. Find out more information and the rules at http://www.yorkliteraturefestival.co.uk/poetry-competition-2014/.

Booking is essential and some events require paying for tickets. Find out more about the festival at the website: http://www.yorkliteraturefestival.co.uk/ The PDF version of the festival programme can be found here.