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NaNoWriMo Wrap Up

So November was National Novel Writing Month and I knew that it was going to be a tough one. I debated not taking part at all but I also knew I had to give it a shot. 

I enjoy NaNoWriMo because of the challenge is provides. I like the idea of trying to get to this final goal along with so many other people. I also really like watching my number climb higher and closer to my goal. I have since found that it is something I can do on Scrivener which is nice to know.

I also knew though that this NaNo was not going to be super successful for me. I think one of the main things I found out throughout November was that I don’t have to write 1,000 words every day to make progress on a project. I can write 100 or 500 and still be moving forward with a story. You don’t have to be writing day in and day out to be a writer and you don’t have to force something just to get words on a page. (At least for me as a writer with a  full time job).

I also learned how to manage my time better over this challenge. I can come home from work and get some words down before dinner. It will be even better when I move this month and have an actual room for my office. I am very excited to have a space dedicated to my writing and my writing only. 

In the end I only ended writing 17,859 words. I didn’t even crack the 25,000 goal I had set for myself, but I did find passion and drive for this story. I am excited for it. I am intrigued where it can go. I wrote it in pieces and at this point I am just going to continue to let it tell itself and then take those pieces and see what I can make of it. 

I don’t know when the novel will be done or where it will go but the NaNoWriMo gave me a push and ultimately that is all I needed. 

How did your NaNo month go?

November Wrap-Up

November was a super busy month for me. It was my birthday month and I turned 30! We had one of our biggest events at work, a Poetry SLAM for 350 of our kids. I also began finalizing all the paperwork for my house. And then it was Thanksgiving and NaNoWriMo.  Needless to say life was busy and thus I did not have much time to read or write blog posts.

I read 3 books this month, though technically I read 2 and finished 1. I am at 50 books for the year, which is 10 books over my goal which is great. I am hoping to get at least 3 more books read before the end of the year!

I also only was able to get 5 blog posts out this month. Now December is going to be pretty busy as well, with actually moving and getting what I need for the house so I wouldn’t expect my post schedule to go back to its normal rate until January. 

As for NaNoWriMo, I only got abbot 14,000 words written. Though I do love what I wrote. I am eager to continue with the story. I will go into more detail about NaNo in a future post.

Books I read:
The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy – Mackenzie Lee – This was a fun sequel to the last book. While the plot itself isn’t super exciting the characters are great. I would love more from this world.

Lethal White – Robert Galbraith – I really enjoyed the development of Strike and Robin’s characters in this book. The mystery was hard to follow at times but still enjoyable.

Discover the Destroyer – K.A. Applegate – This re-read is still going well. I am starting to see the true nature of David’s character. 

Blog Posts:
The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy – K.A. Applegate- Review
Down the TBR Hole #11
NaNoWriMo Update 
The Crimes of Grindelwald (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them #2) – Movie Review
Lethal White – Robert Galbraith – Review

Movies Watched:

Crimes of Gindelwald – I enjoyed this movie but I do see the issues with it. I liked all the backstory because I am a Harry Potter nerd. I do think though it isn’t a movie that those who don’t know much about Harry Potter. I am eager to see the other movies though and see how this whole story progresses.

Princess Switch  – I saw this on Netflix and I will say it was pretty cliche. It wasn’t anything super exciting or different. It was alright but not one I will rewatch anytime soon. 

How was your month? Which books did you read? Did you see any good movies? What are your favorite holiday movies?

 

NaNoWriMo Update

I thought it was time to give a quick update on how my NaNoWriMo attempt is going.  I said in my original post that I didn’t think I was going to get very far and that I would be surprised at anything I wrote. I also said it was more about getting something down on paper.

Well I will have to say that is very much still true. I think I am at about 8,000 words, which is not good for the challenge on Day 17. I started out the first week strong. I wrote every day going beyond the necessary word count.

Then life crept up and I lost control of it. My big work event happened on the 15th which went well but took a ton of my energy throughout the week or so leading up to it. Then I found a house that I am super excited to buy but that is a long and tedious process. Much of my free time as been dedicated to finding the right papers, making appointments to sign papers and setting up inspections.

I actually thought this weekend that I was going to do a lot of catching up but I work up Friday feeling like I am getting sick. This morning it was worse. I do plan on spending much of my time on my couch this weekend so we will see if I feel well enough to dive into the story. 

That being said I am excited about the progress  I have made on this story. I did something very different than I normally do when writing. Instead of trying to write the story in linear fashion I have been writing the scenes that keep coming to me. I have been getting a lot of the scenes that would end up in the middle of the book and instead of just making notes about them and waiting until I get to those points I have been writing those scenes. I have a feeling this book may end up like a jigsaw puzzle that needs to be put in order but that doesn’t sound too bad. Actually sounds a bit of fun.

I will be writing a wrap up post near the end of the month on this saga. I hope to get at least 25,000 words done by the end of the month, which may be possible now that work has slowed down and I am at the waiting point for the loan on the house.

Are you doing NaNoWriMo? How are you doing? Any surprises that you are particularly pleased about?


NaNoWriMo Attempt

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It is almost that time of year again, National Novel Writing Month. It is a challenge to write a full novel in a month, or at least 50,000 words of a novel, in the month of November. The idea is to use the month to put yourself into overdrive and get out that first draft.

I have done NaNoWriMo since 2012. In that time I have only ‘won” twice. I tend to get stuck in the middle of the novel and fizzle out. I do enjoy the challenge though and this year the challenge is going to be much bigger than usual for me.

While I do plan on participating I know that my odds of even coming close to winning this year are very slim. Not only do I have a major work even, a Poetry SLAM for 26 teams with 400 kids that I am primarily in charge of planning, it is also my birthday month (I am turning 30), Thanksgiving and I have also decided to buy a house.

So the fact that I am going to add “write a whole novel in 30 days” to my list of a thousand things to do is a huge hurdle to jump. While I know that my odds of getting close to 50,000 words in the month are low, I do want to use this time to get as much down as possible. I like the challenge. I love the shared feeling of pushing towards a goal.

I do want to try to go to a few write ins though not sure when I’ll make time for that. NaNoWriMo for me this year is a more of a challenge to prove to myself that I can make time to write. I know my life is much busier than it has been in the past but that does not mean my writing has to suffer. I can make this work and I plan on showing myself that in November.

I also am going to try something else. Instead of handwriting everything I am going to try typing and see where that gets me. I will probably still handwrite pieces of it because I just love to handwrite when I write but because of time I may do most of it directly in typing in order to get closer. We will see if that gets me anywhere close to the story I have in mind.

If you are doing NaNoWriMo be sure to add me as a friend and maybe that will help me stay on track better! My name is on the site is Shmibby.

Are you doing NaNoWriMo?

NaNoWriMo 2017

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It is that time of year again! NaNoWriMo is right around the corner and this year is going to be a serious challenge for me. For those of you who have no idea what NaNoWriMo means, it stands for National Novel Writing Month. It is a challenge to write a 50,000 word novel in a month in November.

I have been doing NaNoWriMo since 2012. I have only “won” twice, in 2014 and 2015. I have written a number of draft for novels though none have quite gotten past the initial draft stage. I use NaNo as a time to get as much of the idea onto paper as I can. Sometimes the stories just get stuck and I have to place them to the side until I can determine if they have anything to them.

Winning NaNo is difficult. You start off full of determination but as the month wears on you realize that writing a novel in a month is not easy. Many people get stuck in the middle and have no idea how to move forward. You get that beginning moving and when you hit the middle everything comes to a screaming halt.

Or you set up a schedule and in the end figure out that it just will not work for every day. One you miss that first day of words you find yourself trying to catch up and sometimes it just seems nearly impossible. The two times I have “won” I have been working until the last day. The years I have not won is because I get behind and can’t close that gap.

I love doing NaNo because I love the challenge. It pushes me to get as much of my novel done as I can. I need to get as many words down as I can throughout the month. I also make it more of a challenge for myself because of the fact that I hand write everything then type it up. Sometimes I think that makes it that much harder for myself.

This year will be my biggest challenge because I currently work two jobs and finding time to write has been difficult. I want to use November to see how I can better use my time. I know that “winning” this year may not be in the cards. I have two major work events in the middle of the month and then there is Thanksgiving and a shopping day with my brother. So I know there will be at least 4 days where I will get almost no writing done. But I want to see what I can do.

The best part of NaNo is that there is no real way to lose, unless you never start I guess. As long you get something written and get that work moving then it is worth the time. You may not get 50,000 words done but getting any words one the paper is what counts. Novels don’t get written by thinking about the story, they have to become physical for anyone to read them. NaNo helps give that push in order for you to get started. Once you have something on paper you have something work with.

This year I am going to be working on the novel I have been working on for two years now. It is about a world where alternate universe are kept in books and timelines, every choice made results is a new life and new world. Callie is in charge of keeping everything in order but once The Voices threaten her life and sanity she runs, leaving things to deteriorate. A group of people whose lives begin to devolve because of her choice must find her and put life right again.

I love the idea and have been struggling with particulars of it. Some pieces don’t fit and I have had trouble explain other aspects. Recently I rethought a huge portion of the story, got rid of a useless character and I now think I have it in a position where it can really roll. I am going to use NaNo to push this story as far as I can and see where I end up.

Who else is taking on this challenge in November? If you need a writing buddy find me on the site, my username is Shmibby. I would love to have some virtual writing friends to work on this with.

Good Luck to all those doing NaNoWriMo this year!

NaNoWriMo is Right Around the Corner!

nanowrimo_2016_webbanner_participantI first came across NaNoWriMo when a friend on Facebook posted about it. I read her post and thought the concept sounded interesting. Spend the month of November writing a novel? Why not give it a shot and see what I could do.

That first NaNoWriMo I did in 2012 was a major flop. I had serious trouble finding time to write and lost the story about half way through. I was disappointed that I didn’t succeed but I still loved the idea. 2013 rolled around and I decided to try again. Again I failed at the challenge.

So for 2014 I decided to try something a bit different. I went from being a pantser to a plotter, well a half-plotter, and this was the first time I succeeded. It felt awesome to have written so much in such a short amount of time. But what I wrote was pretty useless. It was all over the place and I didn’t even actually finish the story. I had written  basic outline that allowed me to finish the challenge but not detailed enough to become anything real.

Last year was the first time I attempted the challenge, won and wrote something that I believed had potential. I wrote the first draft of the novel I am working on right now. I am currently on the second draft of it but I am in love with my story. 2015 NaNoWriMo was the  first time I found myself falling in love with what I had written during that month.

So for this year I am yet again taking up the challenge. During the month of November I will be writing the sequel to my current novel. I am hoping the by getting a rough draft of the sequel written it will help me connect to my characters better. I am also hoping to make sure that any long running plot lines are hinted at or at least known about while I finish writing the second draft of the first novel. I am hoping the challenge this year will get me closer to my characters and spark some serious work for the first one.

1280px-Stipula_fountain_penThis year I am also hoping to get more involved with the community aspect of NaNoWriMo. I am usually very solitary when I write. Mostly because I am always worried about saying the wrong thing or doing something that would make me look dumb in the forums. But I really need to begin building a community in the writing world and I think this would be a good first step into doing that. I plan on becoming involved in the message boards and even seeing if there are any write-ins being held in my area.

My name for NaNoWriMo is Shmibby, if you are participating be sure to connect and we can become writing buddies!

I am excited to see what comes from next month! Good luck to everyone who is taking part! Now, time for me to head back to outlining!

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