No, not the sound of a siren but the sound of a pen scratching on paper. I’m participating in the annual writing challenge to write 50k words in one month. The challenge suggests that it’s quite possible to write a novel in a month, though that’s not strictly true. [Read more…] about NaNo…NaNo…NaNo
It’s that time of the month again…planning goals for the next four months ahead. November is an easy month, in terms of choosing my goals. But first, lets see how I got on last month *takes a deep breath*
😉 Sketch out two more Wolf Moon sequels – for development as NaNo project #1 – I decided early on in the month only to concentrate on one NaNo project. As usual, I set myself up to fail before I’ve begun. But I have given some thought to the sequel of Wolf Moon, made a third edit following a Beta Read and planning it’s publication.
😎 Revisit snowflake for Rainbow Chronicles – this will be my NaNo project and I’ve spent most of the month getting to know my characters, sketching out the world they occupy and having too many ideas!
😛 Schedule responses to #FantasyWiPOctober – the first time I’ve ever completed one of these Instagram challenges and I’ve met some wonderful people along the way, and increased my followers by 200!
So can you tell what my intended goals for this month are yet? There is just one.
✔ Participate in National Write A Novel in a Month Challenge – my umpteenth year and I don’t think I’ve ever been so prepared. So the idea is to write 50k – or more – within the month. I might also use the Flash NaNo Competition as a bit of inspiration but we’ll see.
Writing isn’t about the end product, not always anyway. If you’ve ever dream of writing but think you can’t do it… I say you can. Dare to dream big. All you need is a pen and paper or laptop, a sprinkling of inspiration and a bucketful of motivation and you’ll do it. I know, because I have. Follow your dreams.
And if you are taking part in NaNo and have registered on their site, let me know your username, or send me a buddy request – I’m ‘The Duchessa’. See you on the other side!
Here are some of the things I’ve come across this month which are helping me on my writerly road. A lot of them are to do with preparation of NaNo – have I mentioned that it starts very soon?
A name generator – I’m building an alternative world so looking for inspiration in all kinds of ways. Rangen will generate details for characters, worlds, names, magic… all sorts of stuff and is also a great source for procrastination. Beware!
A website – and oh so much more. One Stop For Writers is run by the creators of Emotional Thesaurus, which is also a must for your bookshelf! I’ve signed up for a month at 9 dollars to help me deepen my characters and world through their very detailed work space which is very intuitive. They have all sorts of ways to flesh out the three dimensional side which is so important for readers to connect with. One of the best subscriptions I’ve made I reckon.
A map and town generator – I know, I’m into my generators this month! But donjon is great fun and gives you some ideas for place names and characters. More procrastination *sigh* it’s a good job I’m not really into these online fantasy games or you would never see me!
And another generator, each of them gives something different. This one is called Medieval Fantasy Generator. Love the look of the maps, you can change the colours and everything. As a very visual person, this kind of thing really motivates me about my world building.
Let me know any tools or tricks or resources that have helped you in your writing.
I don’t know about you, but my writing can be affected by the seasons, or any other distraction for that matter. Perhaps a large part of it is that my other ‘work’ is as flexible as my writing routine. That can be seen as a dream for some and I know I’m very fortunate but like everything, it can also have its downsides. A couple of weeks ago it looked as if Autumn had really arrived, talk of bonfires and dark evenings. However, for the past few days, the days have been warm, almost Indian summer-like with cold nights that have required us to light the wood burner.
Here are four things that I find useful in keeping my writing on track, whatever the season (or distraction, usually animal related) that may be. And given that NaNoWriMo starts in a couple of weeks, I think these are going to come in handy!
I’ve always set goals, every year for as long as I can remember. And for as long as I can remember, I’ve never reached the end of that year having achieved them. I’m too ambitious, too full of hope that this year will be the one and therefore I set myself up to fail. Following the example set by another writer with the same dilemma, I’ve been setting monthly goals now for the better part of this year. And they work, for whatever reason I’m getting more done than I’ve ever done. Perhaps it’s more time relevant, more in the moment and I can actually see the progress rather than wishing on a star. It’s also helped by the second hack I’ve employed this year.
Focused Project Days
Again, for all my life I’ve considered myself to excel at multi-tasking. That was certainly true for my younger self as a single mum, having a full-time job and completing a degree all at the same time. Nowadays I’m not so good at balancing all those spinning plates. And what’s more, it didn’t work. Not for my writing anyway. Now I split the weekdays into daily focused projects where I concentrate on one thing at a time. It could be a short story I’m polishing for a competition or editing on one WiP or researching a new one. Occasionally I find myself dipping into something I shouldn’t be but a sharp rap on the knuckles does the trick.
Sweating the Small Stuff
Having said I focus on a daily project, I do spend half an hour at the beginning of the day just getting those small niggly things of my list. The things that may seem insignificant, like replying to an email or some housekeeping admin, watering the pots, tickling the kitties… whatever. If I tick them off my list that’s more headroom for writing. And that can be a good thing.
Daily Free Writing Sessions
For the past two months during the hot weather, I’ve set myself a target of daily, Monday to Friday, free writing sessions. The WA Monday Muse often forms one of these but I’ve also used them as preparations or the start of scenes in my current WiP and most definitely for the project the day. I’ve missed one or two days because of one thing or another. But it certainly has helped in me getting to The End.
What works for you?
Last month I started this post in an effort to get off Social Media and back into reading more. I’ve always been a bit of a bookworm but that changed a little when we had to convert to Kindles, just out of practicability. I don’t have the opportunity to pass books on like I did when we lived in Dorset and tiny little casa is being constantly reviewed for clutter. I do still miss the turn of a page and the smell of the paper.
So what have I been reading this month, other than the constant stream of you-know-what? If you follow my personal page on FB you will know what I’m talking about 😉
The Eye of the World #1 by Robert Jordan – I must admit I found this particular book a little hard and actually put it down several times. Jordan was an American author and there are 14 books in the series. He is considered one of the epic writers but for some reason it just wasn’t working for me. Not that it would put me off reading another one of his titles.
The Final Empire: Mistborn 1 by Brandon Sanderson – this is a complex story set in a world’where for a 1000 years the ash has fallen and no flowers have bloomed’. Two half skaa (the slaves in the story) come together after recognizing their skills as ‘Mistborns’ to defeat the Lord Ruler. It’s a fantastic piece of storytelling with a lot of thought gone into the magic systems. The world building is pretty impressive too and I particularly liked the attention to characterisation, Kelsier and Vin came alive on the page.
And, yes, only two books this month, a lot below my normal average but I have been doing a lot of research for my next project… and they were both epic in terms of length. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it 😅
So what have you been reading? I’m always up for recommendations of any kind, so please let me know!
Aarrghh… can’t believe we’re into October already! Though Autumn is my absolutely favourite season and NaNoWriMo is approaching so excited all round! How did I fair in September, I wonder…
😋 3rd Edit of Wolf Moon – yay! And gone to for Beta Reading
😉 Rainbow Warriors review – I’ve done a lot on this and… the story has already changed, but for the better I believe
😥 Partake in a couple of writers challenges – nope, I couldn’t keep up with this. I need to accept my planner affliction and well… get them planned in advance
😁 Daily Writing Prompts Monday to Friday – 18 out of 20 and I did some extra scribbles now and again. This is becoming a habit… think three months and it’s hard wired.
😎 Update my journal ‘First Draft in 30 days’ to market for NaNoWrimo – and it’s a yes… need more work on the marketing side.
So for October – as I’ve mentioned, NaNoWriMo starts in November so a lot of this month will be spent preparing for that…
The Big Stuff
✔ Sketch out two more Wolf Moon sequels – for development as NaNo project #1
✔ Revisit snowflake for Rainbow Chronicles – NaNo project #2
✔ Schedule responses to #FantasyWiPOctober – did I mention I’ve passed 500 followers on Instagram! So chuffed and will be working hard to make new connections… you can follow me here
And it would be nice:
- to pick up my keyboard practice… haven’t done any since April
- to resume my Italian listening skills practice
- to get out on the bikes and make it to a cafe for coffee!
What are you planning to get done this month?