NaNoWriMo Tag!

NaNoWriMo 2018 Facebook Cover

Hello, a tag today! I saw this tag on Natalia Leigh’s youtube channel and thought it was neato, so here we are.

  • How many times have you participated in Nanowrimo?

My profile says every year since 2011, but I definitively remembering participating as early as 2008. I don’t think there’s been a year between now and then that I haven’t participated. So… officially this’ll be 8, but I’m pretty sure it’s more like 11.

  • Are you a pantser or a planner?

My nature is pantser, but that hasn’t worked out for me super well lately, so this year I’m trying to be a planner.

  • What are the titles of the projects that you have attempted/completed for past Nanos?
    • 2008-2010, I don’t remember, because hey, the website didn’t record it.
    • 2011: Terminus
    • 2012: Basil
    • 2013: Animal Research
    • 2014: Gambit
    • 2015: Untitled
    • 2016: Basil (version 2)
    • 2017: Vial of Earth (which… is basically Basil version 3)
    • 2018 Basil (version 3) (…version 4)


  • What are you working on for this year?

While technically it’s the fourth version of Basil, it’s called version 3 because one year I actually came up with a title. It’s a fantasy about a lighthouse keeper and a pirate who is based off my old behavioral stats professor.

  • What is one tip you’d give to someone else participating in Nano?

A good temperature is good. If you’re in a cold room, put on a blanket. Or if you’re in a hot room, run around in your skivvies. Be comfortable before you try to concentrate.

  • What was the inspiration for this novel? Do you remember when inspiration hit?

A song by Sonata Arctica called White Pearl, Black Oceans. I’ve adapted the main character and bits and pieces of the events of the song into my character’s backstory, but at this point the plot has gone so much more beyond that. As for when it hit, back in 2011. It’s been in my head since.

  • Read us the first sentence from your Nano novel last year?

“When the juggler dropped the Earth, everyone felt it. ”

  • What do you plan to do with your manuscript after Nano?

Assuming it’s actually viable, edit it. But it’ll likely just sit on my comp like all the other ones have.

  • Are you prepared for Nano? Are you nervous?

Nervous, no. Prepared? …At the time of writing this (the 18th) no. Hopefully by the time it posts, I will be. Fingers crossed peeps.

I tag Sarah @WindsorWrites! Show me your stuff! Also anyone else who is nanoing and needs distracting from that plot they should be outlining.

Preparing for Nanowrimo

NaNoWriMo 2018 Facebook Cover

Hello! Today I wanna blabber about all the things I’m doing to hopefully prevent my Nanowrimo novel from being a dumpster fire (but let’s be honest, that’s a long shot).

  • Outlining

I’m actually attempting an outline this year. Usually I’m a pantser, and I’ve won three times using that method. Unfortunately, each time, I was rewriting a novel that didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to the year before. And guess what, it still didn’t turn out. So this year I’m rewriting it again but hopefully I’ll like.. y’know.. having an ending.

  • Making a story binder

This kinda goes along with outlining – I’ve decided to keep a physical contraption full of all the stuff I’m doing. It’ll hold my outline, any research stuff I’ve grabbed, character sheets, sticky tabs, yada yada. I actually went out and got a new binder specifically for the occasion, almost like a christening. I’m hoping it’ll have some substance in it by the time Nano begins, and I hope it’ll be nice and chubby by the time Nano is over.

  • Making a survival kit and writing nest

This is a one new for me, and I didn’t realize it was a thing until I starting seeing it floating around on the internet. Basically whatever hovel you set up to write in, you fill with things to basically help you, well, survive. Snacks, socks, blankets, candles, what have you. Anything that’ll make you comfy and help you maintain focus. As of writing this post, my nest is my chair, blanket and side table, and my survival kit snacks haven’t been purchased yet. I have the candle though – pecan something or other.

  • Making a playlist

For scenes I already have in my head, I tend to associate them to songs. So, those songs are going on there. Otherwise, I’ll be adding instrumental music that I feel overall conveys the tones of arcs, chapters, the whole thing, etc. I’ll be listening to almost solely it, at least while writing, in November. At the time of writing this, this is what’s on my current playlist.

And that’s it! Are you doing anything different or in addition to this list? Gimme ideas, peeps.


NaNoWriMo 2018

NaNoWriMo 2018 Facebook Cover

Hello! Today I want to talk about NaNoWriMo!

If you’re unfamiliar, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, where during the month of November, hundreds of thousands of people attempt to write a 50,000 word novel! It started back in 1999, and there were 21 participants. Last year in 2017, there were over 400,000. If you would like to learn more, here is the NaNoWriMo official site, and here is me! Add me if you plan on participating!

I’ve been participating every year since 2008 (Though my user account shows only participation since 2011. I think it’s because my first three years were such utter failures but that’s ok). I can’t skip out now, even if I end up failing, I still need to at least try.

I’ve won NaNoWriMo three out of the seven times shown on my profile, and I plan to (try) to win again this year. After last year’s attempt though, the need for me to change my approach is very dire. Usually, I’m a pantser – I don’t really outline and just take an idea and go by the seat of my pants. The problem with that is, the past five years or so, I’ve been attempting to rewrite a novel idea I first had in 2010. Each year I tell myself that ‘this didn’t come out how you wanted it to last year, so try it again’ and each year I go in with a vague idea of what I want, and then hey, it still doesn’t turn out.

So this year, I do plan on rewriting, but I’m going to do it planner- style. During October, I will be outlining and making character sheets to the best of my abilities. I’m hoping it’ll result in at least a first draft that I will let see the light of day. So wish me luck! I really like this story idea – it’s stuck in my head for nearly a decade now – so I hope I can do it justice this year. All I can tell you really is that it’s about a lighthouse keeper and it’s a fantasy.

There will be one obstacle to my goal: I will be out of town between October 27th and November 3rd, and during those first three NaNo days, I won’t really have the opportunity to write. So I’m going to attempt to do a lot of catch-up on the 4th, and keep even from there. That’s the goal, buuuut from looking at past attempts, I tend to flounder until the last three or four days, and then I churn out 5 or 6k words per day at the very end and hit the goal way closer to midnight than I am comfortable with. So here’s hoping future-me stays motivated.

Also, writing this novel means that this blog will be taking a bit of a hit. Instead of three or four posts per week, I’m going to drop to two: Wednesdays and Saturdays. When NaNoWriMo is over, I’ll be hoping right into Blogmas 2018, so there will be a post every single day in the month of December to make up for it. So I’m ok with it, averaging out.

I think that’s about everything I wanted to say. If you’re in the western Pennsylvania region and plan on participating, let me know! I love participating in write-ins and I don’t mind driving a bit to a public place. Also if you’re participating period, add me on the NaNo site!

Happy writing!

Twas the Night Before Nano

Twas the night before Nano and all through the house,
no creature was writing, not even a mouse.
The outlines were done, all filled out with care
in hopes inspiration soon would be there.

The writers were nestled, all snugs with their pens
while visions of characters danced in their heads.
And my friends with their coffee and I with my tea
had just settled in to see what plot lines could be.

Some of us have already started Nano. :”D For those of you already elbow deep, keep going! Get a good chunk done before sleeping! For me, I have another four and a half hours to go before midnight strikes. And in that time… I will probably not do any prep-work at all, haha. I have an organic chemistry exam Monday morning, so I’ll be studying for that until midnight, when I’ll switch to Nano. Hopefully I’ll hit Sunday’s word goal tonight and then allow myself most of the day tomorrow to keep studying.

I’ve done no outlining, but I have created a few characters and have an idea of what I want to story to be in my head. More accurately, I have an idea of what I don’t want the story to be. I don’t want it to be what it turned into last time I wrote it for Nano. The novel I will be working on this year will be a re-write of my 2012 novel. I won Nano that year, but I disliked what my story turned into.

Anyways, my plans for maintaining a steady writing flow throughout the month while keeping my school work up and reading will be difficult. It’ll probably be my reading that takes the hit. November for me will be a big writing month but I likely won’t get any books read. The price you pay for an education, I suppose.

My novel this year will hopefully sport multiple POVs, something I’ve never written before, but I’m hoping the change in perspectives will keep me interested in writing the thing throughout the month.

As I’ve said before, if you’d like to add me as a writing buddy, you can do so here.

If all goes well, I’ll be posting Nano updates periodically. I’m hoping to do well this year even though I feel I’ll spin out due to school work. I’ve downloaded the free trial of Scrivener to use for the month and I’ve secured some good Nanoing music to listen to. Other than that, just gotta remember to eat and to not drink so much coffee that I die.

So wish me luck, and happy writing. :”D See you all in a month, win or lose.

NaNoWriMo Participation Announcement 2015!

Guys, it’s almost November again, which means get ready for increased coffee intake, numb fingers and word-vomit we slap with a label that says ‘this is writing’. I’m so excited! I’ve been participating in Nanowrimo every year since 2007, but I’ve only won it 2012 and 2013. I’ve noticed a trend – each year I had high school or college, I lost it. The two years I was just working, I won. Last year I returned to college and therefore lost again. This year… still in college. So likely gonna fail, BUT THAT’S NOT GONNA STOP ME. And because I saw Panda’s post about participating, I decided I should make one as well. :”D

For those three of you out there unfamiliar with Nanowrimo, it stands for National Novel Writing Month. Participation is simple in theory, harder in practice (but also way, way funner in practice). During the month of November, from 12:00am on the morning of November 1st until 11:59:59pm on the night of November 30th, you and everyone else participating, will try to write a 50,000 word novel.

Sounds like a lot, right. Well, it is. But it’s so worth it. To achieve this goal, you need to writing an average of 1,667 words a day, every day. And your writing is going to be bad. But that’s the point. The goal of Nanowrimo is to get you to pound out the roughest of a rough draft of a novel. Don’t worry about editing, don’t worry about plot holes – that’s what December is for. You go back and fix all that stuff then, because if you worry about it in November, you won’t get the word count you want. In the meantime, let your creativity flow. That little plot bunny that’s been hopping around in your head? Write it out. Got two or three of them? Combine them.

Before November 1st, you can make outlines and create character profiles, etc etc. You can do everything except actually start writing the thing. Some people do this rigorously. Some people just start writing with no idea in mind and just wait to see what happens. I’ve done both ways in the past and since then I’ve fallen into a happy medium. I know roughly what I want to do, but I usually don’t have fully developed chapters or characters in my head when I begin (though as I write, I add to the character profiles, etc so I can come back later to reference them). It’s super fun 😀

The most important reason I think you should try Nanowrimo though, is the community. The Nanowrimo community is one of the most positive, most supportive, most interactive groups of people I’ve ever come across on the internet. And that includes when considering the community here, which I also think is wonderfully positive. Everyone participating in Nanowrimo is in the same boat as you. They all support each other during this process – you can bounce ideas off each other, bond through common rantings. The Nano site itself has very active forums in which to do this. Also every few days, either people from the site or actual published authors will send you peptalks to your inbox to keep you going! It’s really encouraging. 😀

The community I usually participate in during Nanowrimo though is reddit’s subreddit for the event. It’s pretty nice. The atmosphere, at least on that particular subreddit, is pretty positive and supportive. I find it a good place to vent and ask for ideas and just feel included in the larger picture of hundreds of thousands of people writing a novel.

Anybody who likes to write should try this. Anybody who likes to be challenged should try this.

If you’d like to be my writing buddy, add me here!

I know I go by a different name there – I promise you, it’s me, haha.

I think this year, I’m going to try to re-write the novel I did in 2012, completely from scratch. I like the plot, but I didn’t like where the story went during the first writing. And now that I’ve read a lot more fantasy, I feel like I might be able to improve the wordbuilding a little bit. Hopefully. Well, wish me luck!

Let me know if you’re participating! Ace, I’m looking at you.