NaNo 2018 Day 2

Word count: 1270 so far. I’m very tired but I’m going to try to write more.

Project: Havoc’s Moon. Switching over to The Morning Star

Goals achieved/Notes: Goals from yesterday still not accomplished, but hey, I have the whole weekend for that…sure do…Anyway, the goals for today were to make a list of adjectives that describe shifting from human to wolf/werewolf. I got a pretty good list going this morning and it was so tempting to add it to my nano word count but I refrained because I’m going to write those words in the text later and I don’t want to double dip (even though it’s not technically cheating). I also went through some of my notes-I use the notes app on my phone when I wake up in the middle of the night and have a super cool idea but I’m too tired to get up and do anything about it. I have a lot of one liners and single sentence ideas accumulated. Trying to weed through those will help when inspiration is low, I’m sure.

Total word count: 2970 as of 8:19 pm.

Having a day job sucks the life out of you sometimes but you gotta pay the bills so you can keep writing even when you’re tired as fuck.

How’d y’all do today?

KEEP ON KEEPING ON 🙂

NaNo 2018 Day 1

Word count: 1,700 🙂

Holy shit I’ve never met my word count on Day 1!

Project: Havoc’s Moon

Today’s goals: Find new names for characters, give said characters a new backstory, develop more of the society. I did NONE OF THESE. What I did do was build more of a relationship between my protagonist and her “pet.”

I got the bulk of my word count today by listening to one of Nanowrimo’s write ins on YouTube. I don’t like watching them live because I never tune in at the beginning. I am physically and mentally incapable of being punctual for a live stream. So I like watching write ins from the archives.

How’d y’all do?

Keep writing!

Writing Advice #3

I never had imaginary friends growing up.

I had stuffed animals who I imagined were alive but they were grounded in reality and fluffiness. I never made anyone up on my own, the voice in my head was my own and very alone.

Until I decided to do nanowrimo in 2016 and I said I don’t care what I write, I’m going to write 50,000 words of prose and I don’t care what that prose is.

So, as a poet not knowing anything about writing fiction, I began to write and out of my writing came my first imaginary friends.

And the reason why I call them imaginary friends and not just characters is because as I wrote their story they started deviating from my plot and making their own decisions.

I would write a scene and hate it. I would write another scene and hate it too. And then I asked my character point blank: “What the actual fuck is wrong with you? Why aren’t you doing what I want?”

And that character talked back to me. He said, and I quote: “Becasue it’s stupid. I don’t want to do that.”

And that is how Away from my Heart of the Forest Cycle was born. He told me “no.” I asked him what he wanted to do instead. And he told me. So I wrote that. And I liked it a lot better than what I had tried to come up with.

SO the moral of this story is LISTEN TO YOUR CHARACTERS.

If you’re stuck somewhere and slumping around writing, check to see if your characters are working with the scene or not.

Don’t force your characters to do something that they wouldn’t normally do unless you have a really good reason. Because you want your plot to go that way is not a good enough reason.

If your characters want to do something that seems completely crazy to you, let them do it. You can always cut it out later or change it if you don’t like it.

You gave your characters life by writing their stories. Let them live.

You are not losing your mind if your characters talk back to you 🙂

Have a great day and GO WRITE!

My National Novel Writing Month Backstory

Shakespeare class 2005, Lynchburg, Virginia. The girl sitting in front of me was furiously scribbling into a green marbled (graph paper) composition notebook. I asked her what she was writing and she said she was writing a novel. I was totally impressed because I had tried writing a novel by hand in high school and I totally failed.

She went on to say that she was going to finish it at the end of the month because she was writing it for National Novel Writing Month. I had never heard of that before. I wanted in. She said it wasn’t too late for me to start.

Continue reading My National Novel Writing Month Backstory

Writing Advice #2

Writing can be scary.

Or more specifically, writing, or expressing yourself creatively comes with a lot of extra negative thoughts.

(Writing itself can be scary too, do you dare express yourself? Do you want to let everything out that’s been trapped behind the locked door?)

One of the most important life lessons I’ve learned is you need to run towards the things you are afraid of.

Obviously, not burning buildings if you are afraid of fire, but when you want something and you’re afraid to go get it, you need to go get it anyway.

You have your stories and your poems in your brain and you want to EXPRESS them, you want to let them out but then all the BUTs and SELF-DOUBT and REJECTIONS come in and those can really weigh a person down.

Or you think that after you’ve finished your masterpiece, after you’ve poured all of your blood, sweat, and tears onto the page and actually made a thing, the world will look at it and go: that’s awful. Or you’re afraid you won’t get published or you won’t make any money and you’ll either be a starving artist forever or suffer working at a job you hate just so you can get by and write more crap.

Then you have your relationship to your stories and poems, one day you love them and the next day you hate them and you think they’re crap.

Sometimes when I write, memories come up that I don’t want to remember and sometimes writing doesn’t make me feel happy or safe but I still really, really want to do it, I want to finish that project, I want to write more.

But ultimately, even though it’s scary, writing is something you can throw yourself into. Because writing is something you love to do, even if it makes you feel bad sometimes.

If you can find a 9-5 job that does the same thing, a job that fills the hole in your soul, then do that too. But if the only thing that fills that hole is writing, don’t give up just because it doesn’t pay the bills or because you think you aren’t “good” enough.

There’s lots of bad writing out there but I think that there are more unfinished projects in the world than there are bad writers and you shouldn’t care about whether someone else thinks your writing is good or bad, if you think it’s good you need to stick with it and keep going.

If you think your writing is bad then it’s up to you to fix it, and guess what, you CAN fix it because it’s your story and it can be whatever you want it to be.

So don’t let the negative thoughts get you down. Go write.