• NaNoWriMo 2017

    NaNoWriMo as a Student

    Welcome to Day 13, WriMos! This week, I thought I’d tackle an issue near and dear to my heart: NaNoWriMo as a student. Whether you’re in elementary, high school, college or university, the pressures and demands of school are always an obstacle for writing, particularly during NaNoWriMo. You’ve got school work to do; how can you expect to write 1,667 words on top of the writing you already have to do for school? I’ve participated in NaNoWriMo as a student in the past. In fact, I was working towards a Bachelor of Arts when I had my most successful NaNoWriMo. I wrote 75,000 words in 30 days, and that is still…

  • NaNoWriMo 2017

    NaNoWriMo: Developing an Idea

    Developing an idea. It sounds easy, but it’s one of the biggest decisions a writer can make. Especially when tackling longer projects (50,000 – 120,000 words), you’re committing a huge chunk of time to that project. So, developing that first idea is crucial. You’re going to be spending hundreds of hours with it, after all. So, where the heck do you start? Everyone has a different answer for this, and none of them are wrong. You start wherever that first idea sparks. Whether that’s a character, a plot, a twist, or a scene, write it down. You can always figure out the rest–that initial idea is the gold mine. For…

  • NaNoWriMo 2017

    NaNoWriMo: Plantsing

    NaNoWriMo is almost here! Are you planning or pantsing? Can’t decide? Maybe you should consider plantsing, because that’s totally a thing. Last year we discussed the difference between plotting and pantsing, so if you’re not sure what I’m talking about, that’s a good place to start. Now that we know what plotting and pantsing are, let’s dive into the hybrid: plantsing. Plantsing is a combination of plotting and pantsing, in which a writer can plot some of their novel, and pants the rest. If you’re undecided about whether to plot or pants this year, plantsing might be the perfect compromise. There are advantages and disadvantages to both plotting and pantsing.…

  • NaNoWriMo 2016

    NaNoWriMo: Take a Break

    Well, NaNoWriMo is almost over. We’ve had a spectacular month of writing and editing with internet friends, but the event is coming to an end. So, now what? You have this 50,000 word draft, and now you’re not sure what to do. My suggestion: take a break. Alright, so 50,000 words doesn’t really make a completed first draft of a manuscript (unless you’re writing middle grade). More than likely, by the end of NaNoWriMo, you won’t be done writing that first draft. If this is the case, please ignore this post until you are finished that first draft. You’ve got momentum from the event, and there are likely other writers…

  • NaNoWriMo 2016

    NaNoWriMo: Inspiration and Writing

    In October, I participated in a conversation in the NaNoWriMo forums about inspiration and writing. How can you stay enthusiastic about a project to ensure those 50,000 words get written? When you have to work on the same project every single day, how do you keep motivated? Inspiration and writing sort of go hand-in-hand. Writing (at least in concept stages) needs inspiration. Ideas don’t just spring up out of nowhere, fully formed; they need inspiration to bring them about. However, I’m finding that “lack of inspiration” is a common excuse for why people can’t/won’t meet their word count goals. I’m sorry, but using lack of inspiration as an excuse for…

  • NaNoWriMo 2016

    NaNoWriMo: Breaking Rules

    Alright, we’re a week in! How are you doing with your NaNoWriMo goal? Are you starting to wonder whether your goal should differ from NaNoWriMo’s standard 50,000 words in 30 days? Join the club. Let’s talk about why breaking rules is sometimes imperative for NaNoWriMo. What Are The Rules? I’m sure we all know this by now, but the “rules” of NaNoWriMo are as follows: write 50,000 words in 30 days (or 1,667 words per day). “Winning” writers will have written at least 50,000 words in 30 days, but writers are welcome to attempt more (applauded, even). Breaking Rules: Why Should You? In order to be a participant of NaNoWriMo,…

  • published novels were nanowrimo drafts

    These Published Novels Were NaNoWriMo Drafts

    Alright, so NaNoWriMo 2016 starts tomorrow! Are you ready? Have you plotted all of those major plot points, figured out who your characters are (and what motivates them), and decided what your word count goal is (if it varies from NaNo’s standard 50,000)? NaNoWriMo can seem like such a daunting task, and there is a wealth of articles online that talk about how NaNoWriMo is not a gateway to publishing. I’ve talked at length about why NaNoWriMo novels should not be queried in December on this blog and for YA Highway. However, there are successfully published novels whose drafts started during NaNoWriMo! These published novels were NaNoWriMo drafts: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell During a Kobo…

  • NaNoWriMo 2015

    NaNoWriMo: World-Building

    Okay, so, it’s the last day of NaNoWriMo! You made it, congratulations! Now the real work begins. More than likely, 50,000 words isn’t going to be enough to finish the first draft of your novel. Maybe you’re only halfway through. NaNoWriMo was this freeing experience that allowed you to just jump right in with little planning. To finish that novel, though, it’s time to do some planning work. It’s time to talk world-building. World-Building: Why It’s Important Where does your story take place? Simply sticking a name on a town and relatively being able to relate who lives where is not enough. It doesn’t matter what genre you’re writing in; you’re the…

  • NaNoWriMo 2015

    NaNoWriMo: Finding The Trend

    Okay, Day 9! Have you hit that 15,000 word mark yet? That seems like a lot for just over a week. Don’t worry. If you’re behind, or even starting over, you’ve still got this. Buckle up! This week, I thought I’d talk about trend writing (or finding the trend), and why you shouldn’t do it. Finding the Trend & Writing For It (Why You Shouldn’t) Okay, so here’s the deal. Writing a current trend (when you’re a writer seeking publication) is like chasing the end of a rainbow: a fruitless endeavour. It’s important to reiterate here, as I’m sure any writer who’s serious about publication has quickly found out, that the…

  • NaNoWriMo 2015

    NaNoWriMo: Outlining

    We’re into Day 2 of NaNoWriMo!! So, as we’re still early into the event, let’s talk outlining: if you’re going to be a plotter, where do you start? Plotter or Pantser: Should You Outline? All WriMos know: either you’re a plotter or a pantser. Anyone new to NaNoWriMo is likely wondering, what the heck are plotters and pansters? I’ve written at length about the difference between plotters and pantsers. If you’re not sure what they are, have a look there. Now, should you be plotting your novel this NaNoWriMo? As with every decision concerning your writing process, this is entirely up to you. Will you find an outline constricting or constructive? Will…

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