NANOWRIMO WEEK FOUR (WRAP-UP)

Wow.

So, I did it. I wrote 50,000 words in the 30 days. But, let’s be honest, it was not as fun as it usually is.

nano4

The last two Nanos have been fantastic. Completely original and organic plots that I managed to fit in a whole 50,000 words. And, while I have no plans to edit/try to publish these stories, I seemed to have had a lot more fun writing them, as well as getting excited about them. On reflection, this is not the case with this year’s Nanowrimo.

Why? You may ask. Well, there are a lot of factors that I’ve thought about that may contribute to this, but the most jarring one is this; I am not the same person I was during the last two Nanos.

While I’m struggling with concentration, stress, and focus, it does not mean that I’m going to give this story up. Not only was I writing in a genre that I’ve never written in before (High Fantasy), I also had a plot that didn’t necessarily have a middle or an end. I had started to make a plan, but then November started and I just had to go and write.

It began easy; I had this beautiful idea of having a LGBT romance set in a Russian/Nordic inspired land with outlawed magic and mad Princes. I could picture all the settings, the way people spoke, and certain scenes I was excited to write. But, without a framework to base this on, without a linear plan of events, after about 20,000 words, I hit a wall. Writing scenes became bothersome and reaching my daily word count felt like a chore.

It doesn’t make writing easier when you become obsessed with a show that updates with clips in real time. But we won’t talk about SKAM in another post.

I’m glad I took part in this year’s Nanowrimo; it really pushed me as a writer at a low point in my life. I’m glad I found at least some solace in writing and thinking about the story that I wanted to create (at least at the beginning) and I definitely have plans to get it written completely and, hopefully, published.

How did everyone else’s Nano go? I love reading about other people’s experiences!

Nanowrimo Week One | Nanowrimo Week Two | Nanowrimo Week Three

GoodreadsInstagram | Twitter | Tumblr

 

Advertisements

NANOWRIMO WEEK THREE 14/11-20/11

Welcome to Nanowrimo Week THREE, where the end is near and your crying just got more dramatic. I haven’t picked a book up in so long because I just can’t stop thinking about this novel I’m writing. I’ve day dreamed about it, had actual dreams about it, and often forgotten that the plot I’m thinking of isn’t a plot from a novel I’m reading, but a novel I’m writing, and that’s exciting!

However, my stats are not:

nano3

My WIP will be nowhere near finished when I reach 50,000. Because it’s a high fantasy, it is a part of a genre that is known for being long, and that’s exactly what it’s coming to. No big action-y stuff is happening, and you’re still only getting to know the characters, and I’m already at 34,000!

As you can tell by the super intimidating graph that has been spurring me on this whole time, I hit a bump in the road this weekend when I left the house for a day or two. Crazy, I know. Friday morning, I was able to write 600 words and was then off to a Panic! At The Disco concert. I didn’t get back home to my laptop until Saturday afternoon, when I was then whisked off to the cinema to see Doctor Strange. My novel suffered (and I did too in regards to the amount of hours sleep I got).

I hope to get to at least 35,000 by the end of today, and maybe even push it to 36,000 if I can.

Music Inspiration:

Picture Inspiration:

733d9447fa031eb994cde69534800160

GoodreadsInstagram | Twitter | Tumblr

NANOWRIMO WEEK TWO (7/11-13/11)

Hello, welcome to Nanowrimo week two, and the worst week of 2016.

Yes, this week has a nation divided between love and hate, and hey, it isn’t even a nation that I live in. But, considering American news is broadcast everywhere (although it is not vice versa), I am fully aware of what is going on across the Atlantic and have nothing but sympathy for the people who are already suffering, and hope you can continue to march on in protest.

So while this week has been bloody awful, I’ve actually been making great progress with my novel, and am now two days ahead of my daily goals. Woohoo! (I mean, I haven’t written anything yet today, but come 9PM I’m writing until I go to sleep).

nano2

This is due, in part, to my two day departure from social media on Wednesday and Thursday, where I’ve found that horrific news incredibly affects my mental health. I had a very similar reaction to Brexit, and even worse so, considering it was news from my actual country, and was forced to come off social media for a while. It’s a strange feeling, because you empathise with the people on Twitter who are talking about it (and also don’t want come across as ignorant and blase about everything), but you also have to remember that social media is still MEDIA, and things are still misconstrued, exaggerated, and fear mongering. Sometimes, you have to put yourself first. So, I removed the app from my phone’s homepage, deleted the shortcut from Chrome, and turned my phone’s wifi off, so I wasn’t even tempted. This really helped writing wise, and I am even debating having a weekly ‘wifi shutdown’ for a day or two, because even if there isn’t some awful news happening, it’s still quite a healthy practice.

One of the things I’m slowly reaching is the middle section, which has always been my enemy. There’s a lot of talking, a lot of moving from room to room just to have more conversations. I have some sub plots running through the main plot too, but I am worried that the main plot is going to be lost. I think, once November is over, I’ll get to writing a story plan, because this middle bit really needs revising!

And now, for distractions! So, while the US elections put me in a downward spiral of anxiety and depression, anime is what brought me out of it, but also made sure I did not get those words down.

Yep, you read that correctly; anime. More specifically, a new show about professional ice skating, called Yuri on Ice. I’m not really known for living that anime life, but YOI is so hilarious and cosy, that I binged watched the whole six episodes that are currently out, drinking a hot chocolate under the covers. Thankfully, there aren’t seasons and seasons to watch and I have to wait for one episode a week, because can you imagine what that graph would look like if I have six seasons to get through? They would be non existent.

Music Inspiration (With thanks to the Trainspotting 2 trailer):

Picture Inspiration:

d39f68b0a722e995b7d1aab191e03fec

How is that middle section treatin’ ya? Let me know in the comments how Nanowrimo is going (or not going) for you!

GoodreadsInstagram | Twitter | Tumblr

 

 

NANOWRIMO 2016 – WEEK ONE

I can’t believe a week of Nanowrimo has already passed.

And since this is the first November in a long time where I’ve had lots and lots of free time, I wanted to set an even harder challenge than usual and aim to reach 50,000 words a few days before November 30th.

So far, we’re looking good.

nanostats1

The first few days of writing your novel are, for me, the best days. I’m so excited to unravel a story that I don’t want to stop. I know the basic premise but I haven’t figured out each and every scene, so one will just come to me and I’ll think “Right! Get it on the page!” I’ve only recently delved into the world of novel planning and so far I really enjoy it. I began one for Royal Blood, but then suddenly November 1st arrived and I was spending too much time on the plan and not enough on the actual story.

At the moment, I’m just letting a million thoughts enter my brain, a lot of ‘What if THIS happened’ moments and then just letting it happen because hey, it’s just a first draft!

So Thursday 3rd November was the most productive writing day. The previous day I’d been in Oxford all day, and so needed to play catch up. However, I got so in the zone that I managed to beat Friday’s goal as well! I’m currently one day ahead, and working towards the next day’s goal each day, which is a pace I’d like to keep.

Of course, every week there are distractions, and this week was the reality television show Dance Moms. I used to be into the show so much a few years ago, but I stopped watching when I couldn’t binge watch because I’d watched them all (and because I’d discovered The Real Housewives of Orange County), but now I’m back down the rabbit hole and it’s awful. It eats up writing time, and so I’m trying to use it as a reward rather than as a thing that could physically minimize MS Word.

I’ve been letting music and Pinterest inspire me the most, as usual, and so;

WEEK ONE’S MUSIC INSPIRATION:

WEEK ONE’S PINTEREST INSPIRATION:

b87f1393624f36ca64e289f27ab3e925

If you want to know more about my novel, I wrote a little summary in my Nanowrimo intro post. How is your novel going? Do you find having a deadline works for you? Good luck and see you in week two!

GoodreadsInstagram | Twitter | Tumblr

NANOWRIMO 2016 IS A GO!

Welcome to November.

November, for many writers, is a time to get that story rolling around your brain onto the page. It turns out, deadlines are a great way for me to actually get shit done, and so every year I try my hand at National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), a competition that gets you to write 50,000 words in one month, with the reward being the first draft of a novel that YOU wrote.

I plan on chronicling my four weeks of writing with a little mini series where I wrap up the week. Kind of like my ‘Road to Publishing’ series, but on steroids. In this post, I just wanted to share the plot of my novel this year, as well as links and things where I talk about writing and where you can connect with me!

So far, my novel has the working title Royal Blood, which I wouldn’t mind keeping anyway. I don’t have a fancy, clean, worked out summary, so here’s a little ramble of ideas;

Set in a kingdom where winter dominates, a king is slowly dying. His two children, Marika and Gabriel Noskov, will never be ready for the throne. Gabriel, a soft-hearted, weak, and timid prince, prefers friendship with the servants and keeping his power of persuasion to himself. Marika, his younger sister, is soulless and uncaring, enjoying the presence of no one and reveling in the myth that she is a monster.

When other kingdoms hear of Gabriel Noskov’s inevitable rise to the throne, three princesses arrive to court with the determination to become his wife and Queen of Kamarov. But the positions of power are shifting, when Gabriel recognizes the power he holds, and Marika discovers her heart in one of the princesses.

Feel free to add me on Nanowrimo, and I’ll be tweeting a lot about writing and Nano-goodness over on Twitter. Happy writing!

GoodreadsInstagram | Twitter | Tumblr

RTP #3: Crippling Self-Doubt (A Light Post)

Welcome to the post-change up blog, where, if you haven’t read this post, I’ve been making a few changes in regards to my life. It seems the changes this season aren’t stopping, and while I’m changing my schedule, how I manage my time, and the way I look after myself, I am also changing something so huge that it may affect my whole damn career (if it ever gets that far):

My WIP! shock.gif

Since I began kneading a story into shape when I was around fourteen, I have been entirely focused on this WIP which, for the sake of not getting confused, we will call it Sci-Fi WIP. Sci-Fi has taken up so much of my time and thought that it has become this very well rounded novel with 100,000 words and has been critiqued by many beta readers. It was part of my dissertation, as well as having gone through bouts and bouts of edits. I even got to the point of researching agents.

parttwo

But that’s where it hit me.

I’m a writer who doesn’t necessarily like to stick to just one genre. I find myself pulled to multiple genres that I’d love to write. But it also means that I’ve sensed a pattern when it comes to debut authors and even authors who churn out books; they keep to their genre. It may be personal preference, but there are crime authors, high fantasy authors, contemporary authors, romance authors etc. Authors do not generally branch out, and if they do, they’re already fairly high profile or it’s only a gentle nudge into a different direction.

A part of me is scared. If I manage to get my Sci-Fi WIP published, are the publishers/my agent going to turn around and say “What more sci-fis have you got for us?” Because here is the thing; I have 0. Big fat fucking zero. This is the only sci-fi story I have ever written, because most recently, I have found my genre to be contemporary. Yes, contemporary with a little darkness, with a little magical realism, but contemporary no less.

I had to have a long hard think: if I had to, what would be the genre I would be able to write for the rest of my life? And I had my answer.

In a perfect world, I would be known as Hollie Wilson, author. But I understand that people write to their strengths as well as for the demand of their audience. If I’m going to get a debut out there, it can’t be a sci-fi, because I’ll feel the pressure to write more sci-fi, of which I know I can’t.

But contemporary? Well, I may have some stuff on the back burner constantly when it comes to it.

And so now, I am working on a new WIP, which we’ll call Church WIP. I have 10,000 words of garbage, and I’m excited to actually show you my writing journey.

GoodreadsInstagram | Twitter | Tumblr

 

 

RTP #2: The E Word

Funnily enough, I do a lot of editing.

I write a blog, as you know…you’re reading it, and I am constantly proof-reading and checking to make sure every single blog post makes sense. Back at uni, I used to edit and proof-read my essays, stories I wrote for assignments, as well as being the best friend in the world and editing other people’s dissertations.

I charged in chocolate back then.

I also got into the editing game on Wattpad, where I exchanged proof-reads for views. While this sounds nice, it actually took up so much time and I got nothing in return. Turns out, a lot of people don’t know what grammar or correct English is and also don’t follow up on their promises.

But it’s editing this novel that has got me seriously questioning my own abilities as a writer and amateur editor. This manuscript will be the first thing an agent sees of your work. It is basically a CV; it shows what you are capable of and how talented you are and you have to boast and big yourself up by making sure every single sentence, every word in that story is relevant and supposed to be in there.

So it’s not just grammar and spelling and correct sentence structure. It’s not just about competency, it’s also about making major changes and finding inconsistencies about large themes in your story. I have scrapped big chunks of scenes in this WIP because I’ve read it over and physically wanted to shield myself from the cringe. Some things just don’t work, and despite how much you enjoyed writing it and thinking it up, sometimes it’s gotta go.

#2 Making sacrifices is hard, but it’s gotta be done.

You may love that one character, that one scene, that one line of dialogue, but when you’re polishing that manuscript, you can’t afford to have things in there that don’t need to be. I like to write quite a bit and then come back to it with fresh eyes and it really puts stuff into perspective; lines that I laughed at while writing aren’t so funny anymore, a character isn’t relatable anymore, just annoying.

I have so much information about my world in my head that it’s hard to come back to the novel without already knowing so much about it. I don’t notice plot holes or things unexplained because “duh, everyone knows that.” But oh, no they don’t.

Enter beta readers, the simultaneously most scary and exciting beings you’ll meet on your publishing journey. Beta readers, I have found, are so necessary when getting your manuscript perfect. I’d never planned to recruit any until I realised everyone did and it’s just SO IMPORTANT. I’ve been loving the feedback I’ve been getting, mainly because they’re asking questions about things I never thought to ask, to wonder, that people might even think. One beta gave me a huge list of things she didn’t understand, and honestly it was a life saver. I couldn’t imagine not giving my manuscript to beta readers, but instead to agents, and missing my chance because no one had the foggiest as to what was going on.

I think that’s it for today. If you’re editing, I salute you. This is bit is definitely harder than writing the actual thing.

GoodreadsInstagram | Twitter | Tumblr