Getting Yourself to Write

Hey Reader,

This is a problem that I have temporarily outgrown. Temporarily, because I’m sure it will come back to me eventually. Writer’s block is a crippling thing to a writer, and it is one of the hardest things in the writing process.

I’m not going to talk much about writer’s block today. But What I’m talking about is similar. Have you ever wanted to write, but you just look at all the other things you could be doing instead? Did you head towards reading or watching movies instead? Or did you just think that you’ll do it tomorrow?

The problem here is that if you think that you’re going to do something later, then odds are that you aren’t going to do it to its full potential. Or you might not do it at all. Not to mention that you are just adding things to hang over your head and cause stress until you get them out of your way.

Continue reading Getting Yourself to Write

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Reading

Hey Reader,

I have a week before my paper copy of my new book gets to me through the mail, so I’ve decided something. In order to be a good writer, you kind of need to read. Not necessarily, of course. There are some exceptions that prove the rule, but when it comes down to it, most of the best writers are avid readers.

I love to read. Like, whenever someone asks me what I’m doing for my birthday or what I want for Christmas, I just say books.

So I’ve decided that until my book comes in the mail for editing, I’m going to read as much as I possible can. Not just because my need to read is killing me after not reading at all for NaNoWriMo, but also because I need to get distance from my work before I edit it. That way I can better recognize what is good or bad or just needs to be fixed. I’m sure if I tried to edit it now I would think it is all fine and dandy.

Also, reading is a great way to pass the time I have on my hands since I’m not rewriting yet…

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Poetry

Hey Reader,

I’m in a writing club at my school, and in today’s meeting, we talked about poetry.

I know, I know. You novelists out there are probably groaning at the idea of putting so many ideas into so little words. Or you might respect poetry, but think that you don’t write it.

Personally, I’ve always loved poetry. Not just poems that are in textbooks or in three or four stanzas. Also slam poetry and things like that. I’ve always taken thousands of words to write out a story that I’m thinking, but there is something about the complexity behind a poem. In a “less is more,” kind of way.

Here’s what I realized today, and I hope this helps you in your writing too.

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The Last Words

Final word count for first draft: Over 116,000

Hey Reader,

Yeah, that’s right. I finished my first draft yesterday. I don’t know how I did that with my other books… I think it’s the one thing in writing that is almost too hard to do. Not just because it feels like you’re saying goodbye to your book but also because you want to get it just right.

The last words of a book should be powerful… you know? They should mean something, leave your reader at a cliff hanger, or maybe even give them closure. The last words are literally the thing that you’ve been working towards the entire time.

I wrote about ten thousand words yesterday, and by the end of it I was kind of burnt out. And then I realized that I was actually going to finish, and that in itself is enough to get any writer past the finish line.

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Day 30

Word Count: 104,688.

Hey Reader,

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!

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Day 27

Word Count: 100,093

Hey Reader,

I’m not done yet. I’m nowhere near done. But I got to my word count goal! I did it! I wrote one hundred thousand words in thirty days. So this is going to be a pretty short post, I guess. (Disclaimer: It isn’t. I got into it.)

So here’s something that helped me: I was having trouble getting into the story itself. For example, I had to write a really emotional chapter and it was really hard at first. It was taking place at night and I was writing it in the middle of the day, first of all. And I was writing in a completely sound state of mind, where my character is having a mental break down. Also, I was writing in a pretty spacious room, where my character was feeling trapped by everything around her.

I also didn’t really know where the scene was going to lead…

Continue reading Day 27

Day 26

Word Count: Hopefully 95,000 by the end of the day.

Hey Reader,

So today we are going to change gears a little bit. I’m going to talk a little about what we’re all going to do after we finish writing our novels. To be honest, I’m writing this right now because I don’t feel like writing  my book. I’m at that little lull before everything starts happening, and I need to charge up so I can power through that later.

I wonder how many of you are already done with your NaNoWriMo novels, because typically it doesn’t take all thirty days for someone to finish. I finished on day nine, and then I started slowing down on my way to 100k.

If you have finished your book, Congrats! That’s amazing! You did it! Now think about that book you just wrote. That book is your baby. You suffered through long nights of no sleep and early morning coffee highs to get it finished. You sacrificed your TV time for it. Now think about where you want to take it.

Continue reading Day 26

Day 25

Word Count: 91,126

Hey Reader,

I’m so close to 100,000 words, but I’m still pretty far from the ending! I found a problem with something that helped me jump start my word count, though. When I first started NaNoWriMo, I was thinking of my book as sort of a jigsaw puzzle. Get all of the little pieces together so that I could get the whole picture, or in this case, the whole story.

So I started to get hyped about the story by going through and writing a bunch of the backstories, the emotional climaxes, the big moments or the ones that I just really liked. And then I started piecing them together.

This is great, of course, because it got me to 50,000 words in only nine days, but I might not do that next year. Here’s why:

Continue reading Day 25

Day 24

Word Count: 86k I think.

Hey Reader,

So I have five days of thanksgiving break to finish my first draft, plus Monday if I really need it. That’s not a lot of time. I know I can probably get those 14000 words in there, but the problem is that I don’t know if my story will get finished in only 100k…

I know that if it goes too far over I will probably getting rid of a lot of it in editing, but still, it’s crazy. The last book I wrote was sci-fi dystopian, so it made sense that it was 120,000 words. And my NaNoWriMo novel is actually really good, or at least until I get into editing and release that inner editor. So for now, I’m going to give myself the room to get to the end.

AND I DON’T KNOW HOW IT ENDS.

There are three possible endings to the book, and it is a stand-alone novel so I didn’t have to figure that out before I planned out my other books or whatever. The point is, I have no idea which path I’m going to take, and the bigger problem is that they are all so completely different.

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Day 23

Word Count: Irrelevant. (still 82k)

Hey Reader,

Sorry I’m posting this so late, but I’ve been studying. You know, because I’m still in school. Speaking of, I have something to share with you!

So when I was back in middle school (oh, the days), I had to do this project with the Hero’s Journey Archetype. This is an awesome tool to use in your writing, and I wrote and entire chapter about it in my old posts… Chapter 4 of A Writer’s Dilemma, I think. Anyway, that little ten page assignment wasn’t enough for me so I ended up turning in a 68 paged novella… later to be published as Looking For Lily.

The point is, I’ve been volunteering at my old middle school and helping people out with the assignment that I did oh-so-long ago. When everyone was done with their finished story, we all had this thing that my teacher, dear Mrs. Hamm, called the “Coffee House”.

We all brought in food and drank hot chocolate and had a whole day of sharing our works. We got feedback and got to hear others’ stories. It was great and a really eye opening experience. Especially since there are so many writers out there who aren’t taking advantage of their gifts.

Continue reading Day 23