Let’s see what happens.

Hello,

So, after leaving my NaNoWriMo story to stew for over one month, I decided a few weeks ago it was time to finish it. I felt like I needed a break and concentrated on finishing reading my book, Ray Bradbury ‘A Sound of Thunder’. I finished it. It was awesome. So now to finish my WIP.

I wondered whether I should edit some of my WIP before finishing it off. I got over that idea quickly. I have never done that in the past so why now? I instead tried to start without looking back over the last few pages I had written. Big mistake. I wasn’t completely aware of what was going on. Was I at the end of the last battle scene? At the beginning? Almost at the end? Not quite close? What did I need to do? Where did I need to go?

My story notes covered me up until NaNoWriMo finished. So, I went back over the last pages and got my head straight before writing a 7-point plan to follow and lead me to the end of my story. I have really enjoyed writing this story and I’m equally enjoying it coming to the end.

And…Success!

mission complete red round grunge stamp on white

I have finished writing my NaNoWriMo WIP! It does, however, put me on the path of knowing I have to write similar stories for the main characters of another WIP it is linked to (at least 5 more 50,000 words+ stories) but I’ll leave that for future me to deal with. Which leads me to…

I haven’t entered a writing competition in ages. I really want to push forward to enter more competitions and put more focus on trying to get published in some shape or form. I also want to get back to the whole art of entering a competition. Writing the story, editing the story, checking its in line with the competition requirements, editing again, changing the story because I don’t like it, and then changing it back to what it once was on the day before the deadline. And getting a pizza afterwards to celebrate.

But this entry I think will mean a bit more. I’m not sure what has stopped me from entering competitions over the past year or so but 2019 is the year to get back on track. Enter the competition. Let’s see what happens. Post my writing on this blog and on other forums. Let’s see what happens. Try to get published in a real way. Let’s just see what happens.

All the best with your writing.

Goodbye!

 

How Evernote helped me win NaNoWriMo 2018.

Hello again,

Across the four years I’ve completed NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) I’ve always started with the same questions running around my head:

  • Will I be able to write 50,000 words?
  • How do I break up 50,000 words over a month? (It’s 1,667 words per day. I always forget)
  • What plans do I have for November?
  • Nights out? (Well, the day after the night out when the hangover makes me forget all words and typing ability) Nights in?
  • Any guests coming?
  • What am I going to write?
  • Do I have an idea I can use or do I have to come up with something new before November? (This particular question usually comes a few days before the start of November. Every. Single. Time)

 

As I pondered these question’s I realised it mostly comes down to the time I have to complete the task. 30 days. And what hours within those days do I actually have available? When I looked at my previous years, I would write when I got home and on weekends. But I would do none during the day when I was at work. So many hours of not writing. This year, I decided to use that time. But how could I use it? Writing on a notepad? Maybe. Wait…

My phone! An app! But which one?

Evernote! https://evernote.com/

I’ve had the app for years but only really used it for taking down ideas. As the app syncs to the website I knew I could write on it and then transfer this to my manuscript when I got home. I could use my commute to and from work to write towards my daily word count.

Sounds so simple that it annoys me I never came to this conclusion before. With this in mind, I was able to write almost the whole of the daily word count before I got home from work. I could then write more at home at my leisure making the 50,000-word target more manageable. Previous years have found me having to block out full Saturdays or Sundays or both to catch up when I fell behind the target. I hated this aspect of the process. My back would kill me and I wouldn’t be able to do other things I wanted to do at the weekend. Wow…that sounds whiny.

Anyway, Evernote allowed me to catch up on my word count when I fell behind. It also helped me to keep the pressure off when I was behind as I could catch up during the day and not have to spend all evening and night writing.

In conclusion, Evernote was very useful for NaNoWriMo. If you’ve already come to this conclusion, fair enough. If not, I hope it helps in future. Making use of all the writing hours of November will be my motto going forward for NaNoWriMo. Amongst other things.

Hope you are having a nice week so far and have a nice time with what’s left of it.

Goodbye!

November without NaNoWriMo.

Hello,

This year, I decided not to take part in NaNoWriMo 2016 and concentrate on my writing and editing instead.

I was already thinking about a story, a prequel to one I had finished back in March this year, as a way of starting my November. That story concerned giant Rockworms and their adventures after they crash land on Earth.  Actually, that makes it sound like they’re a bunch of happy go lucky scamps looking for their next jaunt. They are a species that has been forced to leave its planet as it collapsed around them. This is all down to their King and his selfish ways. I didn’t consider a prequel to the March Rockworms story until I started to like the Rockworms as much as the humans. I managed to make one to the worms charming. Well, I think I did. Since finishing that tale, I wanted to tell his story and of how they all got to Earth and I wanted to write it quickly. With this in mind, I adopted the ‘Pomodoro’ technique. The idea being that you work for 25 minutes and then rest. I wrote for 25 minutes, keeping my face glued to the screen and barely looking away, each day and managed to finish the story within 2 weeks. It would have been quicker but a few hangovers along the way.

Once that story was finished, I moved onto some editing. Way back in March 2015, I started to write a western. I have always loved watching westerns with The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly being my all-time favorite film. I have been forming a western in my mind for some years whilst listening to different metal music on my travels here and there and walks to work. Different scenes would present themselves and then pop up again and again. Initially, I started to write it without much in the way of notes. This turned out to be a bad idea. I ended up starting well but somehow finding myself writing my hero cowering away from a confrontation with the main villain of the piece and letting his friend do all the talking for him. What kind of hero does that? Not my kind. I’m currently in the process of going back over that story and then finishing it. Taking out any parts that don’t seem to make any sense and that move away from the story I wanted to write.

Unlike most of my past writing, I have been pleasantly surprised at how alright most of it is. I’m happy to keep a lot of it but have found some absolutely random rubbish that really didn’t make any sense at all. The edit is going well so far and I’m quietly confident. Though when I finally post some of it on this blog of mine that may disappear. Fingers crossed.

So, November has consisted of one short story and starting the edit of a story I hope will become one of my favorites. See you next year NaNoWriMo.

I finish this post with a question.

What technique(s), if any, do you use when you sit down to write?

 

 

My Pros and Cons and Tips for NaNoWriMo 2016.

nanowrimo-2016

Hello,

As you can probably tell, this is a NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) 2016 related post. I have taken part in three of the last four having decided to miss one year as choosing to edit instead of writing 50,000 words for 2014. I considered taking part again this year but I managed to consider it far too much and now I have nothing prepared. I will, however, be doing a mixture of editing and writing throughout November as a substitute.

This year, I wanted to provide some (hopefully) helpful information for those of you attempting to write 50,000 words in one month. That number does sound a lot and it did to me when I first tried the challenge in 2012.

When you break down that number across the whole of November, it gets a lot easier to take in. The figure (rounded up as the exact figure is daft) of words to write for each day is 1,667. If you decide to commit to 2,000 words a day, that allows you 5 free days to do whatever you like with. I recall assigning those days for hangovers myself.

I only found writing 2,000 words to be a daunting task when I had no idea where my story was going. For the first 2,000, I planned what I was roughly going to write so I could at least have an idea (it is the first draft after all so I didn’t worry too much about getting it right first time) beforehand. After the first 2,000 were written, I planned the next 2,000 and so on. The plans I made were usually just a few paragraphs or even less as a rough outline. As I got into writing the story I discovered that when I knew where the story was going each plan and 2,000 words became easier.

On some occasions, I managed to write more than 2,000 because I was in the middle of an important scene. It was either a heated discussion between the quarrelling villains of the piece, or the hero’s in some cases. Or some back story or a battle scene (there were quite a few). All of which I could not stop at just the 2,000 because I found myself either in the middle of a sentence or that I wanted to finish at natural point (usually the end of a scene or a chapter) before finishing for the day.

Making sure to write at least some if not all of the 2,000 words a day was crucial to help me calmly reach the target and to not lose my sanity. Some days I managed just shy of the whole 2,000 but made up for it in the days after that. Other times I didn’t come close. Let me show you what I mean through a small scene involving me and my too laid back attitude to the word court in 2012.

Wednesday. “I don’t feel like writing anything tonight. I’ve been working all day and can’t face the laptop anymore” (This equals one day without writing 2,000 words)

Thursday. “I’ll just play one game of Pro Evolution Soccer on my Xbox. Then I’ll start.” (Another 2,000)

Friday. “My head hurts. Too much beer. Cannot write today” (Another 2,000)

“Okay. It’s Saturday. What’s my word count? Including today I’m 8,000 words behind! How can I write so many in one day? It’s the weekend! I’ve used all of my hangover days! HOW!!!”

On that Saturday, I ended up writing 6,000 words and then adding an extra 500 words to the next few days until I had caught up with my target. I kept to my plan for 2013 and 2015 and avoided the above, which made the challenge easier to handle.

The Pros of completing NaNoWriMo 2012, 2013 and 2015 were that I had three partially finished novels that I could work on to finish in future. I have since completed the 2012 novel but found that the 2013 novel will need to be started again (I now hate that it is written in the first person) and the 2015 novel is going to be a lot bigger than I thought and requires further planning. Without NaNoWriMo, I would not have discovered this about two of my stories.

NaNoWriMo also helped me to find discipline whilst writing. Since 2012, I have been able to commit to word counts per day to finish a story as I am able to use the same planning I used for NaNo on all my stories ever since. It allowed me to get down on paper (laptop) tales that have been spinning in my head for years. It is a great feeling to do so and to finish. When you do finish, I suggest buying a t-shirt or something to commemorate the achievement from the official website (http://nanowrimo.org/). It’s your own trophy and it helps to ensure that the fine people who organised the whole thing can continue to do so for years to come.

The Cons of completing NaNoWriMo? In my case they were:

  • My back hurt a little bit more.
  • I lost some sleep.

That’s all I can think of. I lay flat on my carpet after each days writing for about 10 minutes and that helped my back. I slept longer on weekend mornings to catch up on sleep.

I hope that this has helped you in your quest to conquer the NaNoWriMo challenge. Good luck and make sure you have some fun in the process.

Goodbye!

And the Edit goes on La de da de de, la de da de da

Hello

 

So, as I’ve mentioned before I’m editing a story for the month of November and it’s moving along steadily. I have been doing NaNoWriMo for the past two years but I fancied a change.

As the edit has gone on I’ve picked up on a few things that will need researching and looking into in future. I’ve made a note of these things and they just so happen to be very important to the overall story. I’m considering doing an editing month for December more and more. Well, December through to January as December has a couple of birthday’s and Christmas parties that require my attendance. The research will cover my lead characters sister and her involvement in the whole thing and how the searcher general came to find the recipe for immortality. I’m about 2/3 of the way with the immortality back story and about half way with the sister back story. Hopefully by the end of the edit I’ll have a better idea of what I had planned for her.

I have also found that I may or may not have been trying to come up with my own language whilst writing the first draft of my human vs demon yarn, The Searcher’s Want. Some of the sentences, and paragraphs for that matter, just didn’t seem to make any sense. I’m being as ruthless as I can be and have deleted plenty of full sentences but I came across one paragraph and I could not stop frowning. What the hell is that? I found myself going back over the last paragraph or two to see what would make sense. It’s sorted now. Until the next edit anyway.

I also found that I had made one chapter 14 pages long. Now, that isn’t longer than any chapter I’ve ever read or written but when you’re editing a story that averages 8 pages per chapter, it’s a lot. I cut and chopped and changed some things round and it’s all evened out. Though my task is that little bit bigger than before. It’s all part of the fun I suppose. *groan

Anyway, I’m going to get back to it. Have a good week.

 

Cheers

As NaNoWriMo approaches I get ready to dodge it.

Hello

 

As you probably know NaNoWriMo is just around the corner. Now, I would usually take part like I have done for the past two years but this year I’m going to do something different. Instead of writing 50,000 words, I’m going to edit them.

Well, it might turn out to be more than that but I intend to edit much if not all of the novel I started to write during my first NaNoWriMo back in 2012. That story’s first draft was finished the following May and I’ve recently began to edit it as you may know. It then occurred to me that I could get the first edit done by the end of 2014 or even the end of November if I dedicate myself to it like I have done to NaNoWriMo 2012 and 2013.

The rate I’m currently editing my story could be quicker I admit. Sometimes I just want to lounge about and do nothing and that but as I have been lounging about I’ve thought that this edit isn’t going at a bad pace. I’m managing to edit four pages or half a chapter each time I do it. If I did this each day for November, I could come close to, if not completely finish, the first edit. I’m thinking I can easily do it now.

But wait. I know I’ll have to do some research during this time to help flesh out a main part of the plot and to write out the complete back story for a support character whose story directly effects our hero. I could do that in December actually. Wait, looks like I have a plan. Edit for all of November and research and write back story for part of December and probably into January.

Would you look at that? An actual plan I can stick to. It’s a shame that there isn’t a website dedicated to a National Novel Editing Month. Maybe there is but I don’t need to fish it out, I’m committed to this now all on my own.

To those of you attempting NaNoWriMo, good luck and all the best. If it’s your first go, make sure you have a good seating position whilst typing. My back was killing me after I did my first attempt. Worth it though.

Good bye

A competition entry, the start of another sequel and a bit of therapy.

Howdo!

 

Since last time I have focused on two things. Editing a short story I’m going to enter into a short story competition and writing a short story, which could be a novella, that will set up the sequel to another story of mine, my 2012 NaNoWriMo entry about demons and those that hunt them and protect the world, The Searcher’s Want.

The first thing started with me writing a brand new story for a competition. 1000 words about anything I wanted with a deadline of 14.08.2014. As I racked my brain to decide what I could write about, I remembered I had planned ahead. I had already written a fair few short stories for just this kind of situation. So, I found one of them that was 750 words, and started to edit the hell out of it for the competition. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed writing the story I picked, about a man scared to share a secret condition he has with his nearest and dearest in fear of rejection (not from personal experience I might add) and editing it brought it all back. Of course I think it’s awesome, but I shall keep editing until I have all angles covered. I’m also thinking it will be fine practice for when I edit The Town of the Mountain. It’s going well so far and I’ve started to edit it only looking at character with the next part being location as I’ve already finished the grammar and punctuation check. I’ll let you know how it goes.

The second thing was the start of my Searcher’s Want sequel. I did start to write a 1000 word story using characters from my demons and hunters yarn, but I stopped and started all over again without the 1000 word limit. And immediately wanted to plan for a sequel. I’ve written 2000 words so far and thought of new things I’ll have to embellish on at some point before I write the full sequel. It’s shaping up already and I think I have the theme and story line for the whole thing. Which has helped me a lot as, in between all this wonderful writing of mine, my day job is winding me up something rotten. I’d write more about it but I don’t want to waste any more time than I already have. So…

The writing has been a kind of therapy for me and helped me get through the last few days. I also know, more than ever, that I want to AT LEAST write stories for the rest of my life. If they’re only for me, that’s fine. If others like them, cheeky bonus!

Ok. Going to get back to it.

BYE!!