Word Count: 104,688.
Today is it. We have come to a bitter sweet close on our little NaNoWriMo journey, but not the end of our novel-writing adventure! I’m going to keep blogging regularly with my thoughts and advice about writing. I might keep going every weekday (hopefully), but I’m not completely sure yet, so I’ll let you know soon.
Also, I still have some work to do on the plans for the beta-reading of this book, so it may be a week or so before I can get a sign up sheet out there with some information. I do know that it will be some time in 2016… probably March. But keep an eye out for that!
Anyway, I didn’t finish my novel. I think it’s going to take me at least another five or ten thousand words… maybe fifteen. I know I’ll end up cutting that down a bit in editing, but I need to the room to write out the ending for now.
Thank you to everyone who asked me questions on here and on twitter! So without further interruption, here are my answers!
“How did you get into writing? I loved your book, Looking for Lily.”
First, thank you!
I’ve always loved to write. I even have little books that I wrote from when I was five, fully illustrated and everything. I had tried to sit down and write a book for a while, but never had a good idea. Then about two years ago I go the idea for Deception, which I decided not to published until I go back and write the next books in the trilogy… who knows when I’ll do that.
During the following school year, about a year and a half after I started writing seriously, I had an assignment to write a ten page short story. It kind of spiraled out of control… I learned a lot about the publishing world through writing Looking for Lily and publishing it.
But I still write for fun. Not just novels. I keep journals of short stories and poetry to keep my ideas flowing. I like the idea of writing for only myself and not just for my readers.
Plus, if I’m ever out of ideas, they are a great place to search for something to use in a story.
“Do you ever have a writer’s block? How do you push through it?”
Writer’s block, to me, isn’t as real as it feels to us writers. I think it’s more of a state of mind, or when you’re filled with distractions. When you are fresh out of inspiration to write. But yes, I’ve been there. It feels like there’s a block that keeps your words from coming out.
You’ve just got to get past the block, push through it. I’ve always done that, even if the writing I get out is bad. I can always edit and rewrite later. It’s not about getting the best writing down. It’s about getting the block out of your head.
Maybe reward yourself, or even just block out the distractions by going somewhere where distractions can’t find you. Shut off Netflix. Shut off the internet, the television. Get away from those books that are calling to you. Go and write in the back of a closet. Closets have no distractions. Unless you like string at the wall more than writing.
Which, let’s face it, we’ve all done at some point. That’s a symptom of writer’s block.
The other thing that works for me is to take a SHORT break. Sometimes we can get a little burnt out and tired of writing the same story. Take a day to get some distance, and remember why you wanted to write in the first place. The next day, go back to work!
“What kind of research did you do for your current book?”
Holding My Breath takes place in a state that I don’t live in, but visit frequently enough to know what it’s like and a lot about it. I did a lot of research on the setting, like printing out maps and taking notes on how the setting itself impacts the plot.
I also did a lot of research on the stages of grief and post traumatic stress disorder. Many of my characters have had tough experiences that makes this relevant, and since I haven’t been through anything as morbid as what I’m putting them through, I felt like I needed to research it a bit.
And research doesn’t just extend to google, I’ve been finding out. You can talk to people who have experience in what you are writing out, see their take on the matter. Go to the place your story is set in. Or even put yourself through some of the experiences to better understand what your characters are going through. And by that, I mean exploring abandoned places that your character explores in the book, or try doing something that they would do to be able to get in their heads.
For example, there is a theater in Virginia that is all broken and abandoned, completely dangerous to go into. The ceiling has caved in and the ticket window is completely fogged over. I put something very similar in my story, so I went and poked around a bit…
“What types of books are you favorite to write?”
I don’t think I’ve actually found my favorite yet, because I’m still exploring all of the different genres. So far I’ve written some crime, some contemporary, some science fiction, some dystopian… And a lot more. I guess I have written a lot of different genres.
I don’t have a favorite just yet, though. I guess I like to write all of them because I like to read all of them. My bookshelf stretches anywhere from Contemporary Romance to Aliens taking over the earth.
One thing that I do love to do in all of them, though, is to write books that have that terror aspect in them. Or even the ones that just have a lot of emotion in them at all.
I guess all books have emotion in them, but I love creating that emotion from nothing. I guess that’s a given, when you’re the one writing the story.
I want all of my readers to cry >:)
I’m just kidding. I love you guys.
I also like coming up with the plot lines and I love, LOVE, coming up with the backstories. Backstories are awesome.
“Who are your favorite authors?”
Currently I’m reading a lot of books that are young adult, since that’s what my NaNoWriMo novel was. So it makes since that right now, my favorites seem to be Lauren Oliver, Cassandra Clare, Jennifer Lynn Barnes, and of course John Green. (DFTBA)
“You mentioned before that you had 3 different endings for your book. Have you decided on the ending yet and if so, how did you decide?”
I have decided the ending… even if I haven’t written it yet. And I did have three to choose from. I didn’t know which way to go at first, but I knew I had to choose something soon because I was leading up to it.
There were several reasons I couldn’t figure it out. And then I realized that each of the versions were just the same ending, but with different details. Like this character does this because of something different in each one. I found that lot of the details in different versions seemed to fit together like puzzle pieces and with a little help, could put together the picture in my head. I ended up sort of molding them all together and found one, huge, super-ending.
Again, thank you for asking questions, and I hope to see all of you writing for NaNoWriMo next year too! My final challenge for the writers out there is to try to reach your word count goal before the first of December! You have five hours left!
And if you’ve already reached your word count goal, then just step back and relax. That’s what I’m going to do. You’ve just written a huge chunk, if not all, of your first draft! Do you know how amazing that is?
And if you didn’t finish your story, don’t sweat it. You still did great! I didn’t finish my story, and I’m still taking a break. I was going to try and finish it really fast yesterday and today, but then I realized that if I do that then I won’t feel as accomplished. The writing won’t be as good.
I think it’s funny that I type that and then just happen to see that the fortune cooking message that is pinned to my bulletin board says the exact same thing… coincidences like that never seem to happen in reality.
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Thank you for reading, and don’t stop writing!