Wednesday, October 30, 2013

10/30/2013 Writing Wednesday!

Welcome back everyone and happy almost-Halloween! I'm sure you all remember just how much I enjoy the holiday and the fact I actually get to dress up this year makes it extra special awesome! I managed to get my department to hold a costume contest, since people were allowed to dressed up anyway, in order to help motivate participation. This is going to be so fun! I seriously doubt this is why you're here though...anyway, I'll get to that then!

So right the start of NaNoWriMo just two (TWO!) days away, I wanted to make sure that everyone is prepared mentally and physically. Hopefully the mentally preparedness is pretty much done, with the exception of the 'Day 1 Panic' that I assume happens to everyone that's not a robot. That leaves the physical one that we need to focus on, and as with every year, I really can't stress enough how important this is. Listen to your body, because if you are doing too much it will tell you and if you don't pay attention you will seriously regret it.

I'm sure that I sound preachy about all this, and if that's the case I really do apologize. I know I've made no secret that I have tendonitis in both my wrists, the left is worse than the right since I'm left handed, and having that for over ten years has taught me that I really do need to pay attention to when it's time to take a break. NaNoWriMo is a time when this is extremely important because there is a word quota that will be in the forefront of everyone's mind and the stress of getting to that is going to be seen as a stronger motivator than the weird kind of tingling or scratching pain in the center of your wrist.

The thing that I have found works the best is breaking up your writing time throughout the day. Do some 400 - 500 words in the morning, then something at lunch, and then a little when I get home, and all of this of course depends on my schedule for the day. I might be able to do half in the morning, half at lunch, and then take the rest of the night off to rest. As fun as it is to finish early, the key is that if you do have something that forces you to limit the amount of time you write, to work within those limits. Pushing yourself too much is only going to cause damage and make things worse in the long-run. Remember the other year when I had to take a month off because I couldn't do anything? Yeah that was because I did too much and had to be on medicine to get things to calm themselves down. I was so bored. So if you say that you're going to do some 2000 words a day so you can finish early, then that's awesome, do that, but don't sit there next Thursday and say that you want to do 3600 instead because you feel like it. (You'd be done on the 25th if you did 2000 words/day anyway, so that's awesome!)

I mentioned last year that your hands are not the only potential victims of NaNoWriMo, and this is very true. Your back is also at risk, especially if you are using a laptop to write at. A lot of times you don't realize how much you're slouching over when you're using one, at least not until it's too late. One way to help with this is to get one of those nifty little lap desk things. I got one and it is surprisingly helpful. It only changes things by a few inches, but those few inches really do count.

The long and short of all is that you need to be careful. If your body is telling you something in the form of pain that means it's time to take a break. It doesn't need to be a long or permanent one, but just a break, even if it's for an hour or so to get food (oh, also don't forget to eat, that is also very important) it will be a good thing for your body. Do some stretches for your back when it starts feeling stiff, and while applying the science of advil to your hands and back is useful, all that does is do some temporary relief, so if that is needed maybe do something else that doesn't require you to sit hunched over and typing or holding something awkwardly for a while. NaNoWriMo is supposed to be fun, not damaging. Let's all get to 50,000 words together, at our own pace.

Thanks everyone for stopping by, remember, no post on Friday as I will be in the throws of the Friday's Day 1 Panic that I mentioned before. I'll be back on Monday though with an update. I'd love to keep a tally of everyone who's participating and where they're at. Let's see if we can all get to 50,000 words by the 30th! I for one was pleased to discover that Thanksgiving was on the 28th, yay more time for me! Happy Halloween, happy writing, and happy NaNoWriMo!

Monday, October 28, 2013

10/28/2013 Magnificent Monday!

Hello everyone and welcome back. I hope the weekend saw you all well. As always I wish it had been longer, especially with how busy things are going to be toward the end of this one, but I suppose I can't have everything that I want. With Halloween, a potluck, and the first day of NaNoWriMo I am currently feeling a little intimidated by what Wednesday through Friday is going to bring me. I say Wednesday since that will involve a lot of prep for Thursday in it. Anyway that is totally not what you're all here for today.

While getting myself mentally prepped for NaNoWriMo, I am also still working on getting things edited. With the transposing of 'Daughter of the Shackled King' done, I have been working on doing the first draft edits of that story. There are about as many so far as I had anticipated, mostly because I found when writing something by hand I would become impatient and would skip over a lot of details, so going back over everything gives me a chance to fix that. I have added on 2 1/2 pages overall already to the total page count, which does make me happy. I want to have it be at around 150 by the time I'm done.

It's really weird seeing something that is so close to being a finished product being so much shorter than the other two. 'The Light Rises' (which is still on sale until Wednesday with coupon CN49P by the way) ended up being 211 I think, and currently 'Rending the Seal' is at 248, though that may change after the beta-reader is done with it. Knowing that something else is about 100 pages less than that but is still a finished product in the same series just seems odd to me, especially when you look at a book series like Harry Potter where there later books became murder weapons, it makes me wonder if I did or am doing something wrong.

For this week though, all thoughts and whatnot will be on NaNoWriMo! With Friday being November 1st that is a great day to get things ready to go. Again, I do apologize there won't be a review that day, but I want to get as much of a jump on things as I can, especially with November being as holiday and event-riddled as it is. Though the nice thing this year is that Thanksgiving is the last Thursday of the month, so that does add an extra week onto my potential time. As nice as that is however, that doesn't mean that I don't still have family events, appointments, work, and craft fairs to battle against. Do any of you have any strategies you will be implementing this year, or have ones that have worked in the past? If you want to share them feel free, I'm sure everyone would appreciate hearing them.

For now I will take my leave though. I will be back on Wednesday in full 'Holy crap two more days!!' panic mode. I hope the start of the week is nice to all of you and again if anyone has any tips, suggestions, fond memories, or even emotional outbursts feel free to post them below. I'm sure someone would be able to help or start a discussion with you. Have a great few days!

Friday, October 25, 2013

10/25/2013 Fantastic Friday!

Hello everyone and welcome back! I hope the week has been nice to all of you. Going to Rifftrax last night was super fun, and I am now debating whether or not I'll be going to the next one. They will be showing what I believe is the absolutely worst movie of all time, 'Santa Claus Conquers the Martians' and I cannot begin to tell you all how much I hate that movie. I saw them riff it on MST3K several years ago and that barely made it watchable. I'm sure you're not here for that though, so I'll talk about something else.

Today I bring you 'Revolution' by Kyra Dune. It mostly follows a man who is tasks with performing the grisly task of an assassination and what goes through his mind in the process. The world is broken, at last to them, and this is the only way to start things on a better path.

Now in this story there is a topic that I am not a fan of, but because I didn't want to make anyone miss out, similar to last week, I decided to still do a review of this story. I won't go into detail because that would be a little spoiler-ish, but the purpose of these reviews is not to punish the author for writing about something that makes me frown. They are to help them get their voices out. Not to mention it all happened at the end, so I was already invested at that point. I just wanted to do a little bit of a disclaimer there.

Eric is the one that has been given the job of the assassin, and his beautiful partner Robin is the voice that the people of their cause listen to. The plan right now is to show the world where the problems lie, even if that means the president is in the way. Her speech is finished, now it's Eric's turn to keep an eye on the secret service, the president, and the rest of the spectators, for the revolution is in his hands and if he doesn't pull the trigger nothing will ever change.

'Revolution' is available on Smashwords for free, so please check it out and let Kyra know what you think about her story. I'm sure she'd appreciate it very much.

I also wanted to give a bit of a heads up/announcement, with NaNoWriMo starting next Friday, I don't want to promise there will be review posts on the Fridays in November, as I will also be needing to keep up on my word quota. For my giving myself a pacing schedule is incredibly important, because it will limit the damage that I am potentially doing to my wrists. I'm not saying that for certain there won't be, I just don't want there to be the expectation they will be there. The other posts should be fine, since I tend to have more time during the mornings to get them done. You're understanding is appreciated!

For now, I hope you all have a great weekend. I work tomorrow, which does make me sad, but I'll make it through. I'll be back on Monday and don't forget, 'The Light Rises' is 50% off until the 31st with coupon CN49P! You're almost out of time, so please tell everyone about it! Thanks so much and have a great day!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

10/23/2013 Writing Wednesday!

Greetings everyone and welcome back. I hope your week is going well so far. We're at the halfway point, which means just a little bit more until the weekend. I have to work on Saturday, so it's only part of a weekend, but the rest of you might not and that's awesome! We are also just over a week until October is over, which means, yes, it's time for NaNoWriMo prep!

Now I'm sure you were all expecting my post on pacing, like last year, but I decided to hold that one off until next week. There's still time left, and I want to make sure it's fresh in everyone's mind before the 1st. Last week we took a quick look at anti-heroes and how to make them work, which I thought was kind of fun. Today I wanted to look a bit at planning overall, especially with NaNoWriMo coming up next week, it's especially important to remember your outlining steps and whatnot.

The whole goal behind National Novel Writing Month is to write a full story in the 30 days of November and get it to at least 50,000 words. Now there are some ways to work within that, and some people do, but if you are starting from scratch, adding the idea that you need to write a first sentence along with the stress of the word and day quota is a little intimidating for a lot of people. It's really interesting watching the national word count sky rocket the first week and then start evening out by the second as well. The reason that happens is that a lot of people don't do all of the planning they think they need before they start. Let's try to avoid that this year.

I'm sure I talked about it last year too, but outlining for NaNoWriMo is ridiculously important. With so much going on, it's imperative that you know the path your story is going to take and the only way to do that is to take notes, plan, and maybe even give yourself a little cheat sheet. I understand there are some people that can do most of that in their heads, and everyone's reference page is going to be different, but the important thing is that you have one to go to when you get stuck.

Also, before the freak out happens, keep in mind you are going to hit a point during NaNoWriMo where you are going to get stuck. It will happen, it happens to all of us, and it happens no matter how well or how much you plan. Things don't always go the way you want them to when you're writing, and sometimes you get a new idea in the middle of writing something, which throws a wrench into your plan. Before you panic just remember to calm down, look at everything rationally and if needed take a break for an hour or so to re-work your ideas together. If you panic and freak out all it's going to do is delay you more and cause a higher probability that you won't finish. You will go through all the stage of panic and your brain will instantly become too tired to want to finish everything as words no longer make sense, but that's why you take a moment to look away from the page and do something else (but not for too long) so that when you come back you are able to jump right back into it. Always remember how important it is to come back.

The other thing that helps is to give yourself a schedule. This partially will come up with the annual pacing post next week, but the brain loves repetition and habit, so make sure to put your NaNoWriMo times at a point where you realistically have time to do what you need to do without too much stress on yourself. If this means breaking out your writing times, then that is perfectly fine. Also, remember that the average number of works you're looking at doing, if you plan on writing from the 1st to the 30th, is 1667. That's about two to two and a half pages a day, if you're using Times New Roman and size 12 font. When you think about it, that isn't that bad, and if you're breaking up when you're writing to help your brain or your personal schedule demands it, don't think of that number as insurmountable, think about it as only a couple pages and that will help. It's kind of like how people don't like seeing something that costs $1.00, but $0.99 is ok.

I really hope this is helping, remember, NaNoWriMo is all about challenging yourself and having fun. If you go to their site, you will find a lot of community stuff going on during the month like Write-Ins and get-togethers locally. They are a great way to find people who are doing the same thing as you, and there's always a point where you can ask others about what you're doing or any potential issues you're having. You'd be surprised to know how many others are doing the same thing you are, and maybe their methods will help you along as well.

For now I will take my leave. I will be back on Friday for the normal review. If you could, please tell people that 'The Light Rises' is 50% off until the 31st using coupon CN49P at Smashwords. I would really appreciate it. A big boost in the last week would be super fun! Have a great rest of your week and I'll see you all Friday!

Monday, October 21, 2013

10/21/2013 Magnificent Monday!

Greetings everyone and happy Monday. I'm glad you could all make it here today. I am currently trying to figure out how I'm going to push myself through work on however much sleep I ended up getting. So far the cat trying to convince me to go back to bed is the best argument for what I should do that I've heard. He seems to know what he's talking about.

The main draw this week is that on Thursday I get to see a Rifftrax Live event. They're going to be showing the original 'Night of the Living Dead' which while a groundbreaking movie for its genre, when compared to everything that's been made now, well....yeah. It's bound to be fun though and I'm really look forward to it. Let's hope I can keep myself functional until then.

I have been editing the first actual draft of 'Daughter of the Shackled King' and there have been points where I've wondering what was happening to me while I was transposing it. Some of the words that were typed don't even make sense. I'm really happy I'm catching them now, but at the same time it just makes me curious and also a little concerned about how my brain works to see so many mistakes there. It is a nice thing to pass the time with while waiting for November 1st though; it's not a very wrist-intensive thing to do, which means that I can actually take a little bit of a break.

Also I keep thinking about how busy November's going to actually be. I mean, one of the nice things was when I discovered that Thanksgiving is actually the last Thursday of the month this year, which means that my goal to finish before that day just had a whole week added to it. I also have a craft fair right in the middle I need to prepare for, and I'm sure the closer I get to that day the more nervous about it I'm going to become. I will have more than just those cards to sell this time, so it's going to be a real test of my customer service, social, and sales skills. I really just hope I made some extra spending money for the holidays.

That does ask who is all going to be participating in NaNoWriMo this year? I'd love to hear from anyone that's going to be doing it. We can all keep a word tally and such to keep everyone motivated. It's a really fun event to partake in, and getting to the 50,000 words mark is a very satisfying moment. Do you know what you're going to be writing yet for it, if you are participating? Feel free to answer below, I'd love to start a discussion about it.

Thanks everyone for stopping by today. Hopefully I will wake up more before I get to work, or at least halfway through it. I will be back on Wednesday and if there's a specific topic you'd be interested in seeing me cover feel free to drop me a line. For now I hope you all have a great start to your week and have a good day!

Friday, October 18, 2013

10/18/2013 Fantastic Friday!

Hello everyone and welcome back! I made it through the week, yay! I hope the week has been nice to all of you and that you are about to be thanked for all your hard work by given a weekend to relax. That's what I plan to do at least and hopefully get rid of this cough for good in the process. Let's get to the real reason you're here though, shall we?

Today I bring you 'The Crow That Reaps' by TFB (Tyler Brown). It's the story of a man that is so bogged down by depression and stress that he starts having dreams that the birds of death are after him. Wanting to face the fears head on, he ventures out into the wilderness and reclaims the life he was starting to lose.

I picked this story because the concept intrigued me. Now there is a lot of talk about hunting and trapping, which I personally am not a fan of, but I didn't want to let that be the reason why I didn't pick a story, since I know there are a lot of people in the world that don't have a problem with hunting. I didn't see that as being fair to any potential readers here or of this story. The main character is nameless, I assume in an attempt to help the reader identify with them more in their quest to put the darkness behind them. There is also a lot of how the character's grandfather prepared them to eventually face down their own death by going out against nature, which was interesting as well.

Something I did want to bring up is that this story does need to be edited a bit more. It's not that it's difficult to follow or anything, no that's not it at all, which is why I still posted it here. It's more that there were spelling and grammar errors that I caught. I wanted to give everyone a heads up before they started reading and potentially became frustrated. I know there are people like that in the world. Keep in mind that didn't take away from the story, at least in my opinion, because frankly there are a lot of people who are thinking there isn't much more to life than stress, bills, and pain, and while this story isn't a cure-all for those things, it does a good job of showing there was more to living, at least for the main character, and they found a reason to go on.

'The Crow That Reaps' is available on Smashwords for free, so please feel free to take a look. I'm sure the author would appreciate the boost that was given to them.

Thanks again everyone for stopping by today. I hope that you have a happy and fun weekend. If you'd like something else to read, since today's story was short, 'The Light Rises' is still on sale until the end of October. Just use coupon code CN49P at Smashwords to get it for 50% off! I hope that gets your through the weekend and just as excited for the prequel as I am! Have a great weekend and I'll be back Monday!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

10/16/2013 Writing Wednesday!

Hello everyone and welcome back! So sorry for the delay, I don't remember if I said anything, but Monday was a holiday and my morning was spent sleeping in and playing Pokemon X (I needed to get my Sylveon, I have no regrets) so I'm sorry for any confusion. I'm more able to think straight now, which is a good sign. Now if I could only get rid of this lingering cough we'd be fully in business.

So something I wanted to talk about today is the use of an 'anti-hero' as your main character. These are your Punishers, your Dr. House's, your Dexters, or your guy from Breaking Bad (I think I'm one of like...4 people in the world that didn't watch that show) and in the end they might not actually end up being good people, but you still root for them because there are a lot of people that are worse than they are. This is a risky game you play using them as your protagonist and a TON of people are doing it right now, so I thought it would be a good thing to talk about, especially with NaNoWriMo right around the corner.

So generally the world of the anti-hero is going to be a bit darker than the one of your standard 'good guy' mostly because you need to show why they are the person you need to be cheering on. I think my mother said it best when trying to justify why the character Dexter was the 'good guy' and it was 'He only kills bad people!' Of course my answer was that 'that doesn't make it ok!' but that's not the point. The point is that Dexter is the good guy, even if he murders people, because the people he's removing are absolutely awful and shouldn't exist. You want the Punisher to win because awful people made him the way he is and they are still worse than him. There are still the instances of the antagonist and protagonist, they're just sliding down that scale toward the morally gray and really bad more than shining example of good.

Another version of this is House. He's an anti-hero because he's a jerk, a super big jerk to everyone, but he has a charm that makes you laugh, also everyone that tries to stop him is wrong. Always wrong. He's also a force that causes the other people around him to develop a conscience and act as the good person to House's constantly being a jerk. I'm sure you're all expecting me to bring up Tony Stark (using the movies as reference, as it is an easier continuity to use than all of the hundreds of comics) but I'm not, mostly because while he has an ego and is an ass at times, Tony Stark does want to do good and learns over the course of the movies he's in. House is always a jerk, and didn't actually do something nice until the end of the series, and even then it's still kind of jerkish because he was a medical genius who left the practice to ride off into the sunset with his (admittedly cancer battling friend) but still that's literally what he did.

A good anti-hero causes the people around them to be better than they are, while still making you root for them. It's really weird that this is becoming more of a popular thing to do, but the way you need to look at your anti-hero when you're writing is that they are a kind of antagonist. Not the "bad guy" mind you, because as stated before there are going to be people FAR worse than they are that give them motivation to react, but they are going to be someone that causes another character(s) to step up and start being better as a result of what the anti-hero is doing. There is always a character that looks better while standing next to the anti-hero. Dr. Wilson next to Dr. House always looks like the stronger moral character because Dr. Wilson wasn't a dick. I heard everyone loved Jesse in Breaking Bad and that he did things that weren't completely as awful as Brian Cranston's character (again I didn't watch that show). Niles goes through more character growth and is a much better person than his brother Frasier if for no other reason his psychiatry practice doesn't immediately break doctor/patient confidentiality in concept. I'm sure you get my point by now.

Just remember when you're writing a story with the anti-hero as the lead that there needs to be a lot of justifiable motives for them. Maybe they were made bitter by years of the world punching them in the neck, or there's a revenge thing because awful/terrible/evil people did unspeakable things to someone and then killed them, or maybe they moved back home after spending almost every day in a bar in Boston and realized those years there being wasted all the time were wasted and the world has moved on without them. (I've...been watching Frasier) Either way there needs to be motive and it needs to be something the audience can watch and say 'yeah that makes sense, go be awesome!' and if they can't then you have a problem.

Thanks everyone for stopping by again. If you have anything to add about anti-heroes or anything we talked about today, please feel free to bring it up. I'd love to see what you guys do when you're working with an anti-hero, or even a protagonist that has to deal with one. Also, if you're curious, I can go into my whole theory about how Frasier's the antagonist and Niles is the protagonist in that show. Either way, I appreciate the visit, and don't forget 'The Light Rises' is 50% off until the end of October when you use coupon CN49P at Smashwords. I'll be back on Friday, pending more disasters, so I'll see you all then!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

10/09/2013 Writing Wednesday!

Hello everyone. I will say in advance that I am sick, so anything that doesn't make a whole lot of sense, that'll be why. I haven't been sick in years (all of my medicine was expired) so this is kicking me in the back really hard, and I'm currently just trying to push myself forward because if I don't go into work today, someone is getting their car repossessed.

So with the idea that the post today is going to be likely short, what I wanted to bring up was something that was mentioned in the webcomic Penny-Arcade on Monday. It was talking about some advice that author John Scalzi gave Jerry (Tycho) which was simply 'you write short to write long'. This is so incredibly true, and I really cannot stress enough how much it is. It's impossible to jump in and immediately write something that's 150 pages long (unless you're a robot) especially when you're just starting out.

Before I got into my whirlwind of editing I used to write short things all the time. They are fantastic ways to develop characters or concepts before putting them into the bigger picture. It gives you a way to work out how their brain will work in certain situations even if you don't plan on that happening in anything you write for them in the future. What doing that does is give you a full picture of who they are and also what the world is like. I'd recommend doing this for everyone at least a few times to get an idea of how the process is on a smaller scale.

I would go into more detail, but concentrating is so hard right now. I've had a few more skips in posts than I would like though, so I didn't want to disappoint. With the hope that I will be at least at 85% on Friday, I will be back at that point to write up my review. Again, I appreciate your patience with me and I apologize there wasn't more, mostly because this topic is incredibly important. I'll try to write more on it next week when I'm better. Have a great rest of the week.

Monday, October 7, 2013

10/07/2013 Magnificent Monday!

Hello everyone. I hope the weekend was nice to everyone. I wanted to give an explanation as to why there wasn't a post on Friday. That was because Thursday night we had to put one of my cats down. He had been sick for a long time, and now he's comfortable and not suffering anymore. I had hoped beyond hope that there would be some miracle cure to make him better, but the reality punches to the face convinced me otherwise. We got home from the vet close to midnight and when I woke up in the morning I didn't have the mental strength to put up a review. I appreciate everyone's understanding, but please be assured that right now I'm focusing on solidifying his memory (they're going to give me his ashes in a pretty little box in a couple weeks and I'm going to put up his show ribbons with them) and also getting things back to a normal state, so this week should go on a it generally does.

I know I keep saying that I'm almost done transposing 'Daughter of the Shackled King' and it's true, it really is. I would have be finished last week but other obvious stuff happened. It might actually be done today, definitely between today and tomorrow, but maybe today! It's really hard to tell how long anything is going to take when I'm transposing stuff mostly because it's like how big optical illusion. My handwriting is larger than size 12 font, and the pages in the notebooks I use are smaller than the normal 8 x 11 that you get in a Word document, so when I look at my notebook and get excited because I've gotten through several pages, in my computer I've only added about a page and a half or so. To give a better example, in my handwritten pages, I have about...I think it was 210 (off the top of my head) pages long, however the typed version MIGHT get to 140. That is madness causing.

Now granted I know it's going to get longer in the draft 1 edits because let's face it, handwriting is irritating. Not in the way that I won't ever do it again (I do get bored at work and sometimes I just don't know what to draw) but more that when you're typing something you generally have some kind of time to go over details and everything and do these elaborate pieces of exposition. However when I physically write something I get impatient, especially when there's a scene in my head I really want to get to, and some details are glossed over. So those will get filled out more when I go to start from the beginning. Also the likely glaring typos or other such errors that come from looking at one thing and typing in another. No idea how many pages it'll add, all I know is that it will be longer.

One more thing before I go! We made it to over 8000 page views! That is a wonderful and ridiculous number. As a token of my thanks, I am offering a gift of 'The Light Rises' for 50% off! This is only until October 31st, so let everyone know right away! Just go to Smashwords at the link to the book provided above, and put in coupon code CN49P at check out to get the discount. Thanks again for putting up with me for these few years and for all of the success!

Thanks also for your patience. I'll be back on Wednesday with my normal post and likely an update on my transposition progress. I hope you all have a great start to your week and that things go well for all of you. Until then!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

10/02/2013 Writing Wednesday!

Hello everyone and welcome back. I hope your weekend saw you all well. Even though I had Monday off, I still would have preferred at least a couple more days off. If for no other reason just to get some more peace of mind with the cat. He's still not considered 'stable' and even with the pills that are suppose to stimulate his appetite he didn't want to eat last night and was sick this morning. I know it'll take baby steps but I really wish he'd get back to normal.

With October now officially here, all eyes are now turning to November. There's a lot of different ways people approach NaNoWriMo, and I thought that given the amount of time left, it would be good to bring up today. Now obviously there are going to be things people do differently and/or things I just plain left out. If there's anything specific or special you do to get ready for NaNoWriMo feel free to post about it below! What's your plan? Do you let yourself have one? Do you participate and why or why not? I'd love to hear all about it!

Now one thing I've heard of people doing, and keep in mind I am not this person, mostly because I don't think I physically can be, is that they sit down on November first and are done within the first week, some people even within the same day. Again, I cannot do this even if I wanted to and had the time/motivation to do so. There is a reason it can be done though, and that's because those are the people (generally speaking) that plan out everything months in advance and schedule each and every detail out so that when they sit down on November 1st they know each and every word that is going onto their page. They are also robots, but that's a different thing.

I'm not saying I don't plan, or that no one else does. If you want to get the word quota completely done you need some kind of plan before you jump in and expect everything to work. Outlining is incredibly helpful for NaNoWriMo, since it gives you an idea of what you're dealing with before starting and you will have enough time to work out all the details as you go. Honestly this is closer to what I do, since I have a series I'm working on and NaNoWriMo is my main area for writing it, I know what happens in the stories, and being able to work on them for that month gives me a chance to get everything out. I might not know each and every detail or piece of dialogue going into it, but by the time I get through I do. The benefit for the previous method and this one is there are very few places you're going to be hit in the face with writers block. Though if it does happen during NaNoWriMo, remember it's important to mark that place on the page and move forward; if you get stuck for too long you're going to find yourself falling behind.

Another method, and I don't think I could do this honestly, is sitting down and just doing everything as a piece of 'flash fiction'. For those who aren't familiar with that term, it's when you sit down with no idea what's going to happen and let everything just sort of...happen. There's no plan, no outline, just a genre (and sometimes not even that) and your imagination. I'm not someone who could use this method to work in November. I've done it for considerably shorter things, but not for NaNoWriMo. There are people who can though, and I find that impressive. Flash Fiction is a form that usually ends up with a product that is entertaining and fun to read for both the author and the reader, since you get to go back and see exactly what happened. It's also the type of writing that, at least I think it would, takes a lot of the pressure off. You're sitting down and basically doing what you want at the pace you want, so the only real pressure you have is the word quota.

Again, what methods do you use? This applies not just for NaNoWriMo too, but any form of writing you do. Is there something specific to you that helps get the creative juices flowing? I really would like to get some discussions started here and I thought those questions might be a good bunch. Especially because for the ones today there really aren't any wrong answers. Don't be shy, I'd love to hear it and you might help someone else who's stuck!

Thanks everyone again for stopping by. As a way to celebrate 'Rending the Seal' going to beta-read/edit, here is the link to 'The Light Rises' so you can all get the series started. My hope is that the prequel will be ready to see the world early 2014. I apologize for the gap between the two, but hopefully the other books will come out sooner than these  two did. I'll be back on Friday though and I look forward to seeing everyone here! Have a great rest of the week!