Wednesday, November 30, 2016


I am actually sad that the month is over but also exhausted, so therefore relieved. I am so proud to say that I did not miss one day of writing and now have over 150 pages (double spaced) of a manuscript to work off of. I actually plan to stick it in the freezer for two months before I go to edit it.

I did not read ANYTHING that I wrote for the first time ever. Each day was just a matter of keeping on. Which led to some great momentum. I was able to stay focused on where the story was headed instead of perfecting how to tell it. I have finally embraced the methods that seem to work best for me, which is also such a win in its own right.

I feel like I've reached a different understanding of writing that I have been striving for --> knowing the ending. This was another big one because I had to realistically get my characters there. It gave me momentum and made me think harder about character choices and therefor character identity.

Lastly, NaNoWriMo has given me pacing. Since I had my scene's as a sentence on index cards (with one to four jot notes) ahead of time, I knew that I had a limited amount of scenes that I could use each day. This forced me to draw things out that I normally wouldn't have. To really enhance the detail and give more meaning to why the character was there. I played more with scent and sound and really stretched which helped me be there with my character.

This was a great experience and it was easier this year because 1. This book has been in my brain for a long ass time, 2. I had a plan and the random things floating in my head turned into 'scenes' for the character to get through 3. I didn't let myself fall behind, I planned ahead and wrote more whenever I could to get ahead.

I imagine this process is so different for everyone but I'll keep doing this every year and maybe try a NaNoCamp in April?

Saturday, November 5, 2016

NaNoWriMo - Day 5

So it's day 5 of NaNoWriMo and my scene titles have come in real handy. On a set of large index cards I wrote a heading and then scribbled some notes to jog my memory further. I try to just use one index card a day but sometimes I've used as many as three if the scene ends up being really lame. Then there's the whole blank white space on the back of the index card and when I think up some new scene I jot it down there. 
Index Cards as scene notes
The last time I did an outline like this of only a descriptive sentence as a scene was 4 years ago and it worked SO WELL for me that I can't believe it took me this long to try it out again. Granted I don't know where exactly the story is headed in terms of plot. Had to check some things in the wonderful "Writing Fiction" text book. So phenomenal. I really hated reading it cover to cover but it's an amazing book and now I enjoy it for reference.

Image result for writing fiction a guide to narrative craft
Awesome book for writers

So what have I gotten out of re-reading the chapter on plot:

Story says, "... and then..."

Plot asks, "WHY?"

Feel the cause and effect

So that's mainly what I'm up to. I've also been journaling and doing a couple random flash fiction stories from prompts just to keep things fresh. NaNoWriMo can get really intense so I'm really doing my best to only think about it when I am actually writing it. 

Best of luck!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

NaNoWriMo 2016 - Day 1

This is the first year that I have prepped for NaNoWriMo. I have a book that's been brewing and has taken different shapes in short story and now it is ready/time/I really want get it on paper. I used some tips online and made index cards with possible scenes I've been dreaming up. I'm not the greatest at story progression but at lest I have some scenes to get me started each day. I'm hoping that will really help with my word count.

After talking with someone at my new writing group I also learned that you actually win some things from NaNoWriMo. I guess it's just been a personal journey the last few years of doing National Novel Writing Month, I make my own spreadsheet to track my progress and only once have submitted words to their site. This year I plan to use all that has to offer. I love their NaNoToons and I've even been reading the emails of encouragement they send out. It wasn't that I was against it before I was just worried it would serve as a distraction.

These are my 'Must Haves' for writing these days. That pink piggy timer is invaluable. For me the sweet spot is 45 minutes. I can't get out of the chair until it rings. Not to pee, not to get a glass of water, not to grab a sweater. I have to be in the chair with pen or key board for that time. It gives me the same feeling as a hike, you can't just stop walking every time you're uncomfortable to have a snack or change your layers. It's better when you wait until you reach a certain km or check point. 

The Candle is a newer commitment. I don't usually love scented candles but I couldn't resist the Frost Beard Studio ones. They're not overwhelming, it has a nice scent and someone else described writing with a candle in the room, it feels special? It's comforting and ritualistic for me and I tend to go with what works, and it's working. Makes the space cozier too. 

The keyboard is bluetooth and can hook up to my phone which I have Google Docs on. I find the small screen tedious to read so it helps to keep me focused on what I want to say not what I just did. Editing and rereading are my biggest pulls to slow down my day's word count. I can easily forget that editing is a whole other process and always want to dive in and fix things right away. 

So, there it is, NaNoWriMo begins. I have done my 1670 words for the day and feeling good about tomorrow. All the best if you're working on a novel and if you're a NaNo nerd add me as a buddy - Stagewhisper