Nanowrimo 2017 – Week Two (09-15)

Good evening, welcome to week two of Nanowrimo.

Each week of Nanowrimo, I have been giving you updates on my progress, where my inspiration has been coming from, and my plans for the next week.

My plans for next week are; have my 50,000 words already completed. And it’s looking pretty good.

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I’ve been working so hard to keep up with my 2,250 word daily goal. but it’s a steep incline to what I’m used to. I feel so guilty when I don’t reach it, and usually add it to the next day, which usually causes more stress. But hey, I love adding unnecessary stress! I’m still on track to reach 50,000 by the end of this week, and today I should be able to reach 40,000, so I’m thinking about the positives.

Week two has also been the week of doubting myself, I barely slept last night wondering what was the point of even finishing the novel. But, it’s normal and have those anxious thoughts with almost every story I think of and begin; sometimes it kills the novel, sometimes it spurs me on. I’m hoping that this time it will be the latter.

Depending on the scene I’m writing, my music inspiration changes. This week, while also still listening to Stranger Things mashups, I’ve also been listening to a lot of fun, upbeat songs that I like to use during my fight scenes. Because come on, what a duo!

How are you doing? Writing-wise but also in life?

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Nanowrimo 2017 – Week One (01-08)

Happy Nanowrimo writers!

So, we’re on our first update of the month, with one week already passing us by. How’s everyone’s writing going? Are those beginnings gripping? Are your characters introductions sparkling and intriguing? How’s your setting looking? All set up and explained? Your magic system air tight? Your governments villainous and mysterious? Your vampires sharpening their fangs? No?

Well, don’t worry, this is just a first draft.

I have had a pretty incredible first week of Nanowrimo 2017. Not that incredible because I was unwell for most of it, but also very incredible because it meant I was stuck in bed with my laptop, and I managed to write SO MUCH.

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LOOK AT THOSE STATS.

While each year I’ve managed to reach 50,000 words (sometimes just barely), this year is feeling a lot more like a race to the 20th. According to Nanowrimo, I should be completely finished by the 19th which is amazing?? I would love to be finished before my work experience, but I still have no problem with writing just a little bit while I’m away. But if I’m too tired or busy, apathy will set in. So, if I do finish on the 19th, it will be a big relief.

The story won’t be over though, oh no.

This week I’ve also been working with other writers and doing word sprints over on Twitter. So if, in the evenings, you’re ever about for some sprints, just @ me and I’ll probably be up for them! I’m in timezone GMT so the evenings might be mornings for you so keep that in mind when tweeting me! I’m hoping to do a lot more of them because they’ve been helping me get 4-500 words each time. They’re quick, around 15-20 minutes at a time, and it’s great motivation.

Music is a massive inspiration for this year’s WIP, and I do have a playlist for it. But this week, in particular, I’ve been listening to mashups of the Stranger Things theme and pop songs. How it links to my story? Not at all. But it’s working.

 

Also, picture inspiration is usually just anything I come across while scrolling aimlessly on Tumblr. Anything with neon lights at night in somewhere that’s maybe abandoned is kind of perfect. This week it’s this:

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Here’s my introductory blog post on Nano this year, where I talk about my daily goals as well as a little bio about my WIP. Feel free to link me to any posts on your blog about your Nano updates as I’d love to read them, and let me know how you’re doing!

See you next week!

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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).

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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:

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

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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.

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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:

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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!

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Monthly Favourites: May

May, the month where the weather can’t decide what it’s doing…at least here in England. Is it raining so hard you have to sail home from work? Or are you dusting the cobwebs off the BBQ for an all-out Sunday garden party? Whatever the weather, I’ll probably be reading, writing, and on Twitter. This is May.

BOOKS
The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

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This is it. It’s the end of The Raven Cycle. I anticipated this book so much and I was so ready for what was about to come, and I loved every second of it. Maggie Stiefvater’s writing is so poetic and deep that I swear these teenage characters are too intelligent for their own good. The Raven Cycle is a vibrant story with well developed characters and such imaginative scenes that your aesthetic heart will weep. I wrote a review for the last book here.

TELVISION
Eurovision (BBC)

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The older and more engrossed in books and youtube I become, the less television I’ve begun to watch. We don’t even have a TV in our house with channels anymore, just a giant screen to hook Netflix up to. But when it’s that time of year, you’ve gotta bring out the flags, the face paints, and the friends.

Eurovision, for all you Non-Europeans, is an experience. A spectacular whereby each country sends an artist to perform an outrageously cheesy song and aim to win that year’s contest. It’s flamboyant, political, and silly, and each country has it’s own commentator. United Kingdom gets to enjoy the voice of Graham Norton, who persistently gets drunk throughout the competition until he’s basically saying whatever he wants. Just put Eurovision into Youtube and enjoy.

YOUTUBE
Blogilates

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Speaking of Youtube, who here wants to get fitter without feeling awful? I am CONSTANTLY on that on and off again healthy lifestyle and I’m getting sick and tired of being sick and tired. Blogilates, or Cassey, is an entrepreneur and lifestyle expert. Giving accurate and helpful advice as well as fantastic, motivating workouts, Cassey understands that you can’t always afford the gym or have weights just lying around waiting for you. Instead of berating you for not drinking your kale smoothie, she wants you to celebrate your body, and listen to it. Some of these workouts are great for just before work or a boring hour on a Sunday!

MUSIC
The Stone Roses

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You know when you’re about to go to a gig that you’ve been waiting for for so long, that you end up listening to them non-stop as a sort of build up? The Stone Roses have been in my life ever since I was young – thanks to my parents. And this year, they’re releasing a new album and doing a few dates up in Manchester, and GUESS WHO GOT TICKETS? If you haven’t heard of The Stone Roses, they’re a band of five guys from Manchester who became a sensation in the 90’s during the time my parents were in the twenties. They were working class and Northern and everything a frustrated nation embodied. They are my parents’ youth, and I can’t wait to share that with them in a few weeks.

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The Book Theme Meme | Vengeance Road

The past few weeks have been a weird one.

I read a book on a Kindle for the first time, I DNF’d a popular book, and I fell in love with the wild west all over again.

Vengeance Road is a story of a girl wronged by a violent gang of outlaws who’ve murdered her father in cold blood, and now, disguised as a boy, Kate Thompson will travel across the American Frontier to get her revenge.

I’m only about fifty pages in and I’m already in love, not only is the book physically beautiful, but inside the voice is strong and the setting a visual spectacular.

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Recently, I’ve been listening to a lot of Elle King, country and rock’n’roll hero who doesn’t mind singing about rather explicit and sexual topics. With the twang of a banjo, King can take you back to the west no problem; you’re riding your horse, belly full of whisky, following the trail to the nearest goldmine. All her music fits so well for Vengeance Road, including the hit ‘Ex’s & Oh’s’. However, I think a perfect song for travelling along the road of vengeance is ‘Song of Sorrow’, a track about finding yourself after tragedy and loss.

Elle King and Erin Bowman are both talented women honing their craft, and I admire that so much.

The Book Theme Meme is a weekly book meme created by Lila @ The Bookkeeper’s Secrets.

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The Book Theme Meme | The Song of Achilles

The Book Theme Meme was created by Lila over at The Bookeeper’s Secrets, and aims to pair a book with a song or piece of music. How do they relate to each other in your opinion? It can be in any way, shape or form. It might not relate at all, but when you hear a particular song, you think of a particular book or series.

This week is one of my absolute favourites in a genre I rarely delve into, Historical Fiction. I’ve mentioned before why I’m not a huge fan, but mostly the genre just doesn’t grip me as much as I’d like it too. I’ve read some in the past that have been fantastic, but the majority, I just can’t seem to pick up.

But then this beauty came along, and ooh boy.

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller is a retelling of The Iliad by Homer, only our narrator is Patroclus, a boy who is exiled and taken under the wing of another king and another kingdom, where he meets Achilles, a boy destined for greatness. The story follows their journey from childhood to adulthood as they gruel the years in the Trojan War.

Unfortunately, the book was a library book, and so I can’t take pretty pictures with it. And so here’s some fanart by the talented Becca at arianwen44:

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And I’m pairing it with one of my favourite songs on the album Death Of A Bachelor by Panic! At The Disco which is, ironically, a meaningful title in the context of The Song of Achilles.

Golden Days is an absolutely beautiful song. It wasn’t the first song I heard on the album, but it was the first song that I heard in which made me buy the album instantly. And it was around about the time I was reading The Song Of Achilles.

The story and the lyrics just meld together perfectly. Brendon Urie singing of promising a loved one that he’ll make the days they spend together perfect, golden even. He’ll never forget those days, even now, when things aren’t so great. Patroclus often wishes to return back to the time when he and Achilles were kids, roaming free and doing what they wanted. But, what’s important to Patroclus is that he and Achilles are together.

SO. FRICKIN’. BEAUTIFUL.

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