Wednesday, November 30, 2011

11/30/2011 Writing Wednesday!

Hello and welcome! November is almost over and for those of you still working on NanoWriMo it is the last day to get to 50,000 words. I wish you all the best of luck on this! If you are like me though, and even at 50,000 you are still not finished with the actual story, keep it up! Try to get at least a little something done every day, just remember you don't need to do the 1667 word count, but any progress is good progress!

I have stated before how much I like the idea of having a daily word quota, it helps give you a goal, and a rather simple one that each time you complete it, you feel proud of yourself and before you know it your story will be ready for editing. Now as for what that quota should be, that all depends on the time you have during the day. With my own projects, I have to balance it is with a weird work schedule and other such life things, so I do my best to get at least 1000 done (or close to it) before I go to work, or get to 10:30, whichever comes first.

It's not exactly a word quota, but it is an attempt to get something done every day, and with my own project only at the half way point, there is still a lot more than needs to be done. I would like to say it would be done by January, but we'll see. With Nano being almost over, it's time to think about how to finish the projects, either with more writing, or editing. Yes getting 50,000 words done in one month is an incredibly accomplishment, what's important now is making sure you don't immediately drop the momentum and look away from your work.

When you were working on Nano, what did you find that worked in order to get you to that goal, and whatever that was, keep it up! Obviously it works, admittedly you may not be able to dedicate your life to a high daily word quota, but what's important now is to take that working method, if necessary maybe pull it back just a little so you can make sure you can still make progress but also enjoy that life thing everyone's talking about so much. It can happen, trust me, just no matter what don't just stop writing because you just got to 50,000.

Thanks for stopping by again! Friday will have another posting of a book you can find on smashwords. I will do my best to get it up at a reasonable time, I have an appointment that morning, and we'll see how well I'll be able to see after that happens. There will be a posting though, that I can promise. Until then, have a good couple days and keep up your writing!

Monday, November 28, 2011

11/28/2011 Magnificent Monday

Welcome back everyone! I hope you all had a good long weekend (if you celebrated Thanksgiving here in the US) and that it was full of good times and lots of food. My NanoWriMo work was finished on Wednesday, so that means I am good to go on my normal schedule. Getting to 50,000 was tough when only able to do just over 2100 words a day, but I made it and I am happy for it!

I had heard about setting a daily word quota, which is something I highly recommend for someone wanting to write, but finding it hard to find motivation/time, but I had to impose a word limit on myself, and that was difficult. All through my school-life when it came to having to write a paper/story/essay/whatever I could always reach the minimum number of words needed for it, but had absolutely no problem writing more. So when it came to this year's NanoWriMo I needed to make sure that I paced myself appropriately so as not to cause more damage than last year had already done, and after some thinking and rough estimation, I decided that roughly 2000 words a day should be fine, and even then it ended up being more.

I am proud of myself though, I learned (somewhat) how to pace myself, and even though I finished really close to my self-imposed deadline, I still made it. It helped me see that I can still get things done even if I'm only adding about 3 1/2 pages a day (depending on font size and spacing and whether or not that part if full of description or dialog) and that was incredibly helpful. I think that is something that's important for any writer to come to accept, it's not a big deal if you don't write like the wind and get as much done as quickly as you can, it's more important that you actually get it finished. If it takes you one month or 3, or even a whole year, that's perfectly fine, the important part is that you completed your work and want to share it with the world.

I'm glad everything is back to normal though. I hope to see you all back here Wednesday! Also, I recommend seeing the new Muppets movie, it was positively delightful and made me remember why I liked them so much as a kid. "The Light Rises" is also still 50% off until Christmas with coupon code: UQ59B to help with your e-book shopping needs!

Friday, November 25, 2011

11/25/2011 Fantastic Friday

Hello and welcome back to my more normal routine! Nano has been completed, though the story is not, but at least now I can get back to taking care of things on my own schedule and not some crazy one. With that being said, let's get back to business shall we?

Today we are looking at "Agents of Light & Shade" by S.L. Pineda. It follows the story of an ex-superhero who's looking to capture the glory they once had, and a former super-villain who's fresh out of prison and just wants to have a quiet normal life.

It takes place on the world known as Auda, and I really enjoy the fact it takes two tropes that people are familiar with and kind of turns them upside down. I love stories about people who try and make their lives better and things end up going a bit differently than they had intended. In this case you have a superhero who is trying to bring back the spark they once had in order to save themselves from monotony and insanity. You also have a former super-villain that sees what they have done in the past and just want to move away from it. I can easily see this being the first in a series.

"Agents of Light & Shade" is available currently on smashwords, and will likely soon be in the premium catalog. It is $2.99 and with the holidays and all, is an inexpensive gift to give anyone with an e-reader.

Thanks for stopping by and putting up with my lack of anything for the last 20 or so days. Doing Nano again was lots of fun and I was able to make a pretty significant amount of progress on my prequel. I also hope everyone had a good holiday so those who celebrated, and for those doing holiday shopping, "The Light Rises" is still 50% off with coupon code: UQ59B until Christmas. I'll see everyone on Monday, have a good weekend!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

11/23/2011 Writing Wednesday - NaNoWriMo Edition!

Hello! Yes it still says 'Nano' edition up top because I'm not sure what magician worked out their 'you'll be done by ___ day' thing on their site, but if my average word count is 2200 and they say I'll be done on the 22nd with 3800 words to go, they are not correct. I will however, be done today, so yay almost celebration times!

I thought I would talk about characters a bit more today. I was talking to my boyfriend about his own story, and he said he needed to develop the characters more before he could dive into it a bit more. I thought about this and realized that each character, whether they're main characters or secondary/support characters should deserve a full background story. If they have a name, and are even a shred important to the story, you should at least know where they're coming from, that way you know their personality, their drive, their motivation for helping/hindering the party of protagonists, everything.

I think I said it before that I feel that my time being a table-top gamer has helped me with this greatly. The characters that I have made have all needed backgrounds in order to be played correctly, during party creation the players all need to know if they're going to be good/evil and why their characters have chosen that path. It's the same for writing, and as I said, it goes for every character. From the normal person who has been given super powers, to the all-powerful one that no one can determine for certain if they're descended from a God or are one. It's backstory that really makes the character, take Superman for instance; he's nigh-invulnerable, does pretty much everything ever and always wins even after being killed. This is a character no one would care about if it weren't for the fact he was raised by the Kents (spoiler alert?) in Smallville, KS and learned the importance of humanity.

Long story short please gives your characters backgrounds, it makes them so much more interesting and helps readers get attached to them. It's the reason why if you choose to kill off someone incredibly important to the main character, or hell, the main character, you get the reactions that you do. It's the reason why the 'big reveal/twist' is so important, because those are the scenes people are going to be talking about for decades to come.

Thanks for stopping by! I'll be back Friday after stuffing myself with delicious turkey. Happy Thanksgiving to all of you who celebrate! I'm thankful to all of you who have made this blog a success and have helped it get over 500 hits. I'll see you all then!

Monday, November 21, 2011

11/21/2011 Magnificent Monday - NanoWriMo Edition!

Greetings all and welcome back! I hope your weekend was spent well and if you're in the states, looking forward to having a few extra days off later this week. I love short weeks, they're always so nice. Though this year I'm doing a little more in the cooking area than I normally do, it will be an interesting experience. I just hope the food I'm making that isn't just a dessert comes out well.

Nano is almost done, and I'm somewhat convinced their website is lying to me. In the corner there is a little calculator that says 'at this pace you will be done by X day' and it keeps telling me I'll be done by the 22nd, however I still have just over 5000 words to go, and with an average of 2200 words a day, that isn't going to have me be finished by tomorrow. I'm not good at math though, so I could be wrong, it just doesn't work out in my head.

I have had a lot of fun this year though. I have discovered that I can, in fact, pace myself, and still not only get work done, but have somewhat of a life along with it. Sure there are times when I want to write more, faster, but I know it is for the best, and it is overcoming that compulsion to do more than I should that tells me that I truly can do this a bit slower than I have in the past and still make a deadline. I don't think the story will be finished by the time I get to 50,000 words, but this has been a wonderful addition and hopefully I'll be able to continue at a similar pace until it is finished.

Hopefully by Wednesday I will actually be done with Nano so things can go back to a little normal here. Friday is still on for a normal book promotional post, so look out for that! In the meantime, thanks for stopping by and have a good Monday!

Friday, November 18, 2011

11/18/2011 Fantastic Friday - NanoWriMo Edition!

Welcome back and happy Friday! I hope everyone has had a productive and at least interesting week. Nano is past the half-way point, and according to the site I'm still on track to be done on Tuesday (though I don't know where they get their math from, but whatever) so next Friday should be good to be back to normal.

I have come to realize that the novel, while having 50,000 words added to it, will not, in fact, be finished once I reach that point. I'm not sure if that counts as a success or victory, but I'm going to count it as something! Hopefully I will be able to finish the story shortly there after so that I can pretend it doesn't exist for a while, then dive into editing when I can look at the tiny words I've printed again.

The problem I've been having is that I'm afraid it's jumping around too much, I'm trying to put in the significant things that were in "The Light Rises" and I'm sure it's fine, but as I'm writing it I'm afraid certain things will end up being cut in editing, or shortened, or whatever. I think the re-read will help, but who knows right now. I have been told everything is flowing nicely though, so I am taking that to heart and pushing forward. I love things being internally consistent, continuity is probably one of my favorite things next to stuff making sense. Your readers will appreciate you too if you make sure that all the 'rules' of your world are followed in every story you write that's in the same one, or if things are different that you clearly explain why. I get to that at some point (a story and a half from now) so that'll be interesting to see how that goes over.

I thank you all for stopping by again during my time writing for NanoWriMo. I hope you're all having as much fun with it as I am. As always, feel free to post, comment, and contact me. Also, remember, purchase "The Light Rises" now until Christmas and get it 50% off with coupon code UQ59B.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

11/16/2011 Writing Wednesday - NanoWriMo Edition!

Greetings all and welcome back! Though I am still fending off the remainder of my cold, I am more focused and remember I have this blog thing to do. I also think I may have fixed my ctrl key so...that'll at least stop some of the rage I've been feeling when trying to copy/paste things throughout the day.

So far on my quest to complete Nano before Thanksgiving, I have done a lot of writing, currently I'm up to ~32,000 words, I consider this a victory, but I know there are others that struggle with getting to the based 1667 a day. Whenever I tell my mother how far I am, she is convinced that all I'm doing is writing the same word repeatedly, then reminds me it's 'quality of quantity' I try explaining to her that's what editing is for, and that the point of the month is to write as much as possible in the time given, but that doesn't work, then it dawned on me: that could be why some people get caught up in the word count.

I understand wanting to do quality work, and I'm not saying mine isn't, or that anyone else who participates in Nano doesn't write quality work, however as I tell my mother, that isn't the point of the month. The idea is that you vomit words and plot onto paper/digital page and then once you're finished go back and fix any issues during editing month. If you don't have a name for something just yet, that's ok put it in little brackets like this: and go back later and figure out a name. If you know you want to put something between two scenes, but you're stuck on what it is, but already know what's happening after, put some **** there and hop over to the next scene, then come back later. Whatever it is, don't let it hold you back from accomplishing your goal, no one writes a book and has the first draft done so sparkly perfect it's ready for publishing.

Thanks again everyone for stopping by. As a reminder, I have a holiday coupon going for "The Light Rises", use the code UQ59B and get 50% off until Christmas! Keep up the Nano progress, I should be done by next Tuesday if everything keeps up, so hopefully next Friday's post will be back to normal. Until then, have a good day!

Monday, November 14, 2011

11/14/2011 Magnificent Monday - addition

Also! Before I forget again, to celebrate the coming of the holiday season, I have a special coupon for my followers! Just head over to the page for "The Light Rises" and enter in this coupon code: UQ59B, good until Christmas, and get 50% off!

It's a big thank-you to all my friends and followers who have helped support me while I work! It can also be used as a gift for someone else if you think they'd like it!

11/14/2011 Magnificent Monday - NanoWriMo Edition!

Welcome back, and I apologize for today's delay. I took the day off from work and in my cold-caused confusion I actually didn't remember about anything I was supposed to do today until I was half-way up my apartment stairs after returning from getting food. Hopefully I'll be able to make it up to you all in some way or another.

Nano goes well, as I hope it does for those of you participating. Currently my word count total is 28,544, I should be at 30,000 by tonight. I'm excited because it means only 20,000 more words to go and I'm only on day 14. I know there were some people that were going at it like the wind, which I would love to do, so yay for all of us probably-finishing-early people! I haven't had nearly the issues with writer's block as I thought I would, which has helped, though I also generally have bouts of doing my actual job to help me think between writing sprints.

The only issue I'm having right now isn't so much writing related, it's more that guy I live with gave me his cold, so concentration is a strange thing. I'm not usually sick, so when I do end up catching something, it ends to kick my ass a lot, so I am loading up on medicine right away. The last actual cold I had turned into a sinus infection (I think...I didn't have insurance at the time,'s really just an assumption) that didn't clear up for months, so I'm super afraid it'll happen again.

At least being at home today gives me plenty of time to write, though hopefully not too much time, remember I'm trying really hard to avoid destroying my wrist like I did last year (word of advice, just because it's a snow day, does not mean that someone with tendonitis should write 13 pages non-stop during that day. It's super not worth it!) For now though, I'm going to write a little, watch some Futurama with commentary on, then see if I can write a little more. I'll see everyone on Wednesday, thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

11/12/2011 Surprising Saturday - NanoWriMo Edition!

Terribly sorry about the lack of posting yesterday. As I'm sure any of you can guess, I happen to like cats, and my mom called me Thursday and told me the one that we had rescued, and I'd help raise from the tiniest kitten I've ever seen (who then became the biggest cat I've ever seen) has cancer. They said there's nothing they can do for him, as it's wrapped around his throat, and that they told my mom to keep him comfortable and happy for the no more than 6 months he likely has left. This came as very sudden and upsetting news because Odin is 8, and this was the last thing we thought we would have to worry about with him. It's not feline leukemia though, which is at least good, because it means the other cat at her house is safe, but still, that was why I couldn't concentrate to do the post yesterday.

Today though I am getting my car worked out and decided I'd do my best to get this and some of my writing done for the day. Things are going well so far with Nano, I'm decently about the daily quota still, ending yesterday at 24,000 words. I wish I were actually at the halfway point, but I suppose I'll just have to take care of that today! There's also a lot of talk of 'inclement weather' and 'snow' at work, which I'm hoping doesn't happen until I'm finished, because that was my downfall last year, and I can't guarantee it won't be that way again if given a whole day to stay at home, wrapped in blankets and cats with a laptop in front of me.

All in all, I appreciate your patience with my lack of book posting and also the delay. Nano is taking up a lot of mine time and I just haven't had time between work and this to do much book searching. I hope everyone is having as much success with it as I am and I look forward to posting on Monday. I hope you all have a good weekend!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

11/09/2011 Writing Wednesday - NaNoWriMo Edition!

Hi all and welcome back. Nano's been going on for a full week now and let me tell it has been productive! I think I've finally figured out this pacing thing, and roughly 2000 words a day seems to be the comfort-zone. Currently my word totally is 17,773, which is ahead of where I should be, so I'm still good to be done before Thanksgiving. I hope everyone else is having just as much fun and productivity!

Today I wanted to elaborate more on what I mentioned on Monday regarding outlines. As I said before, these are extremely helpful, especially if you're working on something from the ground up. They can assist with world/universe creation and can also help to make sure you are leaving out some kind of glaring plot hole. There are many ways to make one, the type I find most helpful is one that is similar to a timeline, that way I know the order of events, and also possible days/months/years to go along with it to make sure certain things get referenced at the right time.

For the most part, my outlines are in my head, which I'm guessing is commonplace, though there are many people that work a bit more visually and need to have it in front of them. There is an image of Tolkien's wall that is just covered with notes, images, and the like for his outline to make sure nothing got mixed up and everything was consistent. That's the other reason I like them, outlines keep everything consistent and help make sure you keep the continuity strong, which when it comes to writing, are probably two of my favorite things! If there are gaps in your plot, it is going to throw the reader off, and either make them confusion, angry, or both.

So my suggestion would be to try it out, especially if you're new to the game, it will save you a lot of heartache, especially if you get stuck. If you use an outline to remind you of what's supposed to happen next, it will make those bouts of writer's block few and far between (hopefully) so that you can get your project completed.

I appreciate everyone stopping by again, I will try my best to get something up for Friday, but I have been finding I have a distinct lack of time due to Nano. I hope to see you all then, and as always, any questions, discussion, and so forth, feel free to post below, I'd love to hear from you!

Monday, November 7, 2011

11/7/2011 Magnificent Monday - NaNoWriMo Edition!

Hello all! I hope you all had a good weekend! Mine was full of write-y goodness and gaming, I managed to get both Friday and Saturday's word counts posted before midnight, and Sunday's went relatively fine, so as of right now the running total is 13,099 words. I realize I could have written one more word to make it an even 13,100, but generally when I go in trying to add 'one more word' it turns into adding 'lots and lots of other words', and while I'm trying to be ahead of the game, I also am working on my pacing, so yeah, 13,099.

My boyfriend/roommate is trying to write for the month as well, and though it's not working out for him as swimmingly as it is for me, it's partially because his methods are drastically different from my own. I find it interesting, mostly since it's something I can watch while I work on my story. He is very structured, so even if he has the story in his head, in order to make sure things work out the way he intends them, he is going to work out an out-line.

Now I love the idea of outlines, and I think all writers use them, it's just different how everyone executes them. Mine are, for the most part, in my head, the only time I really put them on digital paper is if I'm working with a particular time frame in the story itself. For example something big and plot related will be happening in 3 days, I need to keep track of what day they're on and things that need to happen before that day 3 point. This works for me because I'm not great with numbers, but the overall plot is already in my head so I don't generally need an outline/timeline of all of the events. Jason on the other hand does need an outline for his plot, so he can make sure all of the events line up the way they're supposed to. So, the way I see it, if you think you need one, try it out, they are incredibly helpful either way, and can also help clear up some cases of writer's block.

For now though, it is time for me to get cracking at today's daily quota. I'm hoping to break 15,000 today. According to my dashboard info on the Nano site, if I keep up my at least 2100 words a day, I'll be done by the 22nd. That exceeds my goal of finishing before Thanksgiving, so let's up I manage to keep it up! Again, for anyone who is working on Nano and wishes to post their word quota, methods, questions, etc please feel free to post below! For the meantime, have a good day!

Friday, November 4, 2011

11/04/2011 Fantastic Friday - NanoWriMo Edition

Today is one of those days when I am happy my internal clock is amazing. Woke up late to discover I hadn't set my alarm, so even if I wanted to do a book review today there wouldn't be time at all to a) find one, b) read it, and then c) post about it. I'm terribly sorry about this, and with Nano still going strong, finding time is difficult.

I'm at 6,444 words as of last night, which has put my happily above the word quota I should be at. I will be doing today's writing later on during my lunch and after work. I should be at 10,000 after tomorrow. This time of year is always so busy, but it feels so satisfying once I'm done. Then the editing happens, oh the mountain of editing!

Someone purchased "The Light Rises" the other day, and if you didn't see my shout out on twitter, I'm going to repeat it here just to be safe: Thank you mysterious person who bought my book! You made my day! Hugs to you! I seriously nearly cheered like a little girl over in the department I was working in when I got the e-mail notification. Luckily I was able to stop myself because everyone already thinks I'm strange, but I did it when I got back to my normal work area. That was nice.

Again, I thank you all for your understanding about why there isn't a review today. Hopefully once everything gets in full swing and I can stand not to go crazy about Nano for one day I can get it done. Until then I will see everyone on Monday! Have fun!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

11/02/2011 Writing Wednesday - NaNoWriMo Edition!

Hello all! I hope you're all having a great week, and if you are working on Nano like I am, that your progress is going well. I haven't started today's work yet, though I will shortly, but so far I'm at 2,137 words! I always try to be ahead of the quota, in my desperate attempts to be done by Thanksgiving, so yeah, awesome!

One of the things that has been brought up to me in the past is that people think it's hard to write so much, so fast, and keep all the ideas coherent. Normally my answer is 'well, making it make sense is what editing's for.' but it's not just that. Writing a novel is hard work, as I've said before, and having 30 days to motivate someone into actually sitting down and doing it is great! The hardest part is actually finding the time to do it.

Of course there may be other limitations you need to overcome, writer's block is a huge problem when trying to do a certain amount of words every single day. Normally what I do is put a bunch of *** between the two paragraphs, if it's just filler I'm trying to work out, and then I come back to it later. There's also the aforementioned time issue, things are going to be neglected, so hopefully your loved ones know that, just make sure you still eat, breathe, bathe, and feed your pets (if you have them.) You may also have physical limitations, which I personally struggle with, I never know how much I can actually write before the horrible wrist-hurty starts. Don't even get me started on the dreaded computer malfunction. This is a terrible thing and I don't want to think about it (again, some more)

So once you get through all these issues, or figure out how to work around them, you can get started on your work. Write like the wind and hope your hands don't fall off! At least that's my hope. Remember to pace yourself, and that Nano isn't some competition, there's no real prize (though that would be neat...) except the satisfaction of actually finishing a piece of work. It is a wonderful feeling and makes everything worth it.

I'll see you all on Friday, as I said before, I will try to feature a novel, but I make no promises with Nano going on! Happy writing to all, and if you're participating, like I said before, feel free to post your progress and such!