NaNoWriMo Update #3

Screen Shot 2018-10-31 at 2.03.54 AMIt’s Day 15 as I write this – the half way mark. November is already half over, and Thanksgiving is next week. I cannot wait for all the food, especially the homemade mash potatoes and the stuffing, both smothered in homemade gravy…I’m already drooling just thinking about it.

Honestly, I could care less about the actual turkey.

Half way done and I’m at 43,364 words.


I honestly don’t know how I’m so far ahead – other than the obvious – I’m writing. I sit at my desk or on the couch, with a cup of coffee or Starbucks next to me, with my one of my two favorite candles burning (Frosted Cranberry / Spiced Apple Toddy from Bath and Body Works) and I write.

Though to be fair, I do spend quite a bit of time on Twitter tweeting about writing…it’s the main reason why I’m always up late getting my words in.

Daily Stats:

I haven’t yet made Day 15’s stat pic, so that will be in next weeks update.

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I did hit a snag this week though, and for two days I didn’t get many words down and the words I did write weren’t good ones. I’m not saying that all my words had been good up until that point, but the ones I was putting on the page were useless filler crap.

So, I ended up making the choice to skip ahead a few scenes. I realized really early on while working on this project that my characters didn’t want to play by the outline I set – this is why I rarely outline (in full) any of my projects. I’ve talked about this before, but I’m a pantser by nature when it comes to writing. I usually have an idea of the beginning, middle and end of whatever story I want to tell, and I maybe have a couple key points or scenes I want to include, but usually I just go wherever the story wants to take me.

Sometimes this means writing a lot of extra words that have to come out at the end. It works for me, even though on some base level it drives me nuts because it’s always easier to add more than take away. My writing method is backwards, what can I say.

As I was saying, my characters very early on started making choices that I hadn’t planned on. This could be because I didn’t really know my characters, didn’t know their voices or how they would react in any given situation. Since I’m now 40k+ into this story, I have a much better sense of who they are, and surprisingly the choices they have made have actually added a lot of twists to the plot and it think it works in favor of the story I want to tell. Granted this is only the first draft and it’s nowhere near perfect, and there are a bunch of inconsistencies, but it that’s okay.

So, I ended up skipping ahead to when my two MCs have started their journey/quest. My choices were to skip ahead a few scenes, or stay stuck, writing useless words in a section of story that needs to be completely overhauled before it makes any sense. The words started flowing almost immediately and my daily word count went from a few hundred a day, back into the thousands. I’ve hit the climax of my book, now it’s all about trying to save the court, get my antagonist to pay.

Strangely enough, my antagonist, villain character has been the easiest and most fun character to write. Her voice has come so naturally – I don’t know what that says about me – and I can clearly picture her in my head. I’m still a little fuzzy on her backstory, but it’s becoming more and more clear as I write her. Again, this all ties back into these characters making their own choices. They are proving to not be the characters I outlined them to be.

I’m excited to keep writing and working on this story, and with the next update I should have hit 50k. My plan is to keep writing until the end of the month even after I reach that mark. I really want to try and get as much of this story down on paper before November is over. My goal is 80-85k total, but I might try and shoot for 70-75k for this first draft, so I have room to add. I definitely don’t want to go too high over the 80-85k because I don’t want to have to spend massive amounts of time getting rid of words.

I could probably keep talking about how writings been going for pages, but I’m going to cut myself off here. This is already proving to be a longer post than I anticipated it being. And just like last week, here are some of the ‘peeks’ I’ve shared on Twitter and Instagram.




How’s your NaNoWriMo progress going? Let me know below!

Book Review: A Curse so Dark and Lonely

A curse so dark and lonelyTitle: A Curse so Dark and Lonely

Author: Brigid Kemmerer

Pub. Date: January 29, 2019

Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Fall in love, break the curse.

It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper Lacy. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s instead somehow sucked into Rhen’s cursed world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom.

A prince? A monster? A curse? Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. But as she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.

This will be a spoiler free review.

Brigid was kind enough to give me an advance copy of her next book – A Curse so Dark and Lonely – a Beauty and the Beast retelling.

I’ve been a fan of Brigid’s for quite a few years now, and I’m so lucky to call her a friend. When I found out that ACSDAL was a Beauty and the Beast retelling, I got really excited. Then there was the cover reveal, and I died. I cannot wait to own a finished copy for my shelves. This book didn’t disappoint – not that I expected it to. Brigid is a phenomenal writer and it’s so easy to get completely immersed and lost in her books. I will forever be a fan, and will forever buy copies of her books.

I loved this book, completely. Which wasn’t a surprise. I knew I would love it, because Brigid has this way of making the characters feel so utterly real that it’s hard for me not to get sucked into their lives, their troubles. I loved that Harper didn’t let her Cerebral Palsy define her, that it didn’t make her any different than anyone else she passed on the street. Sure, dealing with it had made her toughen up to survive, but she didn’t let it stop her. She is fierce, confident and caring, From the moment she enters Emberfall – Rhen’s kingdom, she starts pushing boundaries, breaking down walls like a badass.

I totally would want to be Harper’s friend. She’s loyal and takes no shit from anyone, and calls people out on their own bullshit. She was like a breath of fresh air and she was such a badass.

Prince Rhen – he’s spent too long battling this curse, and he’s ready to give up, until something changes, and this is his last season to break it. Rhen – he needs someone to hug him – for a long time, and I volunteer. He had all but given up, resigned himself to this life he’d been cursed to live, and it weighed on him heavily. I felt for Rhen, for everything he had been going through. His distance made sense, but I loved the side of him that Harper brought out. For so long he only had Grey, and Grey rarely truly challenged him, but Harper did that constantly, and soon his point of view started changing, he had hope again when he thought there was none. It was nice to see this change in him, to see him grow as a character.

As for Grey, I l o v e d him. His character was great, and I also volunteer to give him all the hugs. He and Rhen have been together by themselves for so long that when Harper is brought to Emberfall, Grey gravitated towards her. I loved that they quickly became friends, while Rhen stayed in the corner content on being moody.

Their whole dynamic left me wanting more and more.

I also loved how the romance in the book played out. It didn’t revolve around Harper and Rhen falling in love in the typical Beauty and the Beast fashion. How their relationship builds felt so natural. Brigid has the ability to put to characters together and have them grow closer in a way that doesn’t feel forced or untrue to who they are. They learn and grow together, learning to understand one another, and it’s one of my favorite things about her writing.

Another thing I loved about this book was that all the main characters – the main players, their motivations were explained, they weren’t just good or bad for the sake of being good or bad. Even the “villain” character, her motivations are explained…even if they are a little bit ridiculous (in my opinion) but even that adds to the story.

I cannot wait to see what happens in the second book to A Curse so Dark and Lonely. The ending to book 1 will leave you in desperate need for more! I loved this book so much and have already passed it on to my friend – I need her to read it and give it back, so I can read it again.

If you’re looking for a slow burn Beauty and the Beast romance, with kick ass characters, a curse, the threat of war and blooming friendships – then you’ll want to check this book out when it comes out January 29, 2019! You won’t regret it.

If you’re interested, here are some of my reactions while reading the book –

If you’ve read A Curse so Dark and Lonely – what did you think?

Also, let me know what your favorite kind of fairytale retelling is!

Let me know in the comments!

Book Review: Wicked Saints (Something Dark and Holy #1)

Wicked SaintsTitle: Wicked Saints (Something Dark and Holy #1)

Author: Emily A. Duncan

Pub. Date: April 2, 2019

Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

A girl who can speak to gods must save her people without destroying herself.

A prince in danger must decide who to trust.

A boy with a monstrous secret waits in the wings.

Together, they must assassinate the king and stop the war.

In a centuries-long war where beauty and brutality meet, their three paths entwine in a shadowy world of spilled blood and mysterious saints, where a forbidden romance threatens to tip the scales between dark and light.

This will be a spoiler free review.

I was fortunate enough to win a copy of this 2019 release from Goodreads Giveaway. That was months ago, and I still can’t believe I got the chance to read this fantastic book early.

Gut reaction upon finishing this book:


It’s been a few months since I read Wicked Saints and I can assure you that my reaction remains the same.

Emily A. Duncan created a wonderfully dark world, that has you captivated from the first page. It starts off hot and never slows down. The characters are engaging and don’t give away their secrets too quickly and leave you with wanting to shake them violently and then pull them into a comforting hug. I already know that I’m going to be rereading this closer to its actual release date, and then I’ll probably read the finished copy. I’m not lying when I say that I’m dying inside.

I’m not even sure where to start, but I loved the characters in this book. I loved the fast-paced plot that kept me turning the pages. I was pretty much useless and completely unavailable to my family while I read this on vacation. Much to their disappointment. I didn’t put it down until I flipped the last page over, and then the internal screaming started. The ending – there are no words for the frenzied panic I felt when I got to it. Emily killed me with the ending, and having to wait to find out what happens, I’m still dying and will continue to do so until I can read book 2.

Nadya breaks the molds of clerics, who usually hear the voice of one god who then can grant them a particular power special to them. Nadya, she’s different and can hear the voices of all the gods, and they grant her power whenever she asks.

This puts a big target on her back, and that’s where this story starts. An attack and Nadya goes on the run from a Prince, an enemy and a very, very dangerous blood mage. We are dropped right in the middle of a war While on the run, Nadya comes across a rebel group, who convinces her to help them with their mission – infiltrating the enemy palace.

I found myself torn between who to root for. The book is full of twists and turns and characters doing things that make you question if they are good or bad. They are all morally grey, in my opinion and I loved it, but I’ll leave it up to you to decide who you want to root for – whether it’s Nadya, Malachiasz, or Serefin. Most of which you know not to trust, even though you desperately want to. They are charismatic, and you want to trust them, you want Nadya to trust them, but reason suggests you shouldn’t – she shouldn’t.

I loved the magic system in this book, it felt fresh and new, and didn’t feel like anything I’d read before in any other novel. Actually, everything about this novel felt fresh and new, and I can’t pick out anything on my shelves. Inspired by Russian and Polish history this book is a fast-paced journey that you don’t want to miss when it hits shelves next April!

If you liked Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha Verse, then you’ll definitely want to check out Wicked Saints!

I would suggest that if you’re interested in this book, you check out Emily’s Twitter @glitzandshadows – her teasers at book two, and commentary on people’s reactions to her book are getting me through the long wait for the release of Wicked Saints and book 2. In fact, as I write this my timeline is full of Malachiasz appreciation, and it’s made for a very easy time writing this review.

Are you excited for this book? I plan on reading it again once it comes out! Let me know in the comments!

Cover Reveal: Vortex Visions



I’ve talked about Elise Kova’s Air Awakens Series on this blog before. It’s definitely one of my all time favorite fantasy series. I love Vhalla and Aldrik, and the whole cast of characters. I hold them near and dear to my heart.

It’s kind of crazy that I just happened to stumble across the first book Air Awakens in a promoted book post on Facebook. I initially bought it due to the gorgeous cover, but the story that sat behind that cover left me dying for more. Each book was more intense, more emotional than the last, and I loved every moment, even the sad ones.

Elise is a phenomenal writer. She made me feel all the emotions and left me wanting to scream at the cliffhangers she left me dangling off of. I will scream about these books for forever.

Which makes the news I have to share even more exciting!

I have some information about the Sequel Series, including a cover reveal – which you know based on the title of this post.

So here it is!

Vortex Visions –  Air Awakens: Vortex Chronicles

V. Visions

It’s stunning, and once again Elise has been blessed by the Cover Gods. I’m so excited for this next book, set in the future – a new story, new protagonist, and higher stakes than ever before! I cannot wait to add this book to my shelves alongside the rest of my copies!


A desperate princess, a magical traveler, and a watch that binds them together with the fate of a dying world.

Vi Solaris is the heir to an Empire she’s barely seen. Her parents sacrificed a life with her to quell a rebellion and secure peace with a political alliance. Now, three years past when her wardship should’ve ended, Vi will do anything to be reunited with her family.

The Empire is faltering beneath the burden of political infighting and a deadly plague. Yet, Vi can’t help but wonder if her inability to control her magic is the true reason her parents haven’t brought her home. Suspicion becomes reality when she unleashes powers she’s not supposed to have.

Powers that might well cost her the throne.

As Vi fights to get her magic under control, a mysterious stranger appears from across the world. He holds the keys to unlocking her full potential, but the knowledge has an unspeakable price — some truths, once seen, cannot be ignored.

All eyes are on her and Vi must make the hardest choice of her life: Play by the rules and claim her throne. Or, break them and save the world.

It sounds so amazing, and waiting until its release in February is going to be so hard, but I know it’s going to be fantastic. I cannot wait to meet Vi and go on her journey. I’m sure Elise is going to leave me heartbroken at some point, and in love, and wanting to scream. I always seem to go through the whole range of emotions while reading her books.

Now that I’ve gushed over the cover and the synopsis, here is some other information

  • Pre-Order link:
  • Release date: Feb 4, 2019

  • AIR AWAKENS (Air Awakens, #1) will be on sale from the 11th-26th, so if you haven’t checked out the series yet, you should!
  • You don’t have to have read the Air Awakens Series first! You can start with Vortex Visions!
  • There is a pre-order giveaway. People who pre-order can forward proof of purchase + their full name + their mailing address to ElisePreOrder[at]Gmail[dot]com to get a free signed postcard (while supplies last) and be entered to win a special swag box including a signed hardcover. Open internationally.

I hope you pre-order this book regardless of if you’re a fan of the Air Awakens Series! I know I will be! So, if you’re looking for a new epic fantasy filled with magic and slow-burn romance? VORTEX VISIONS is out Feb 4, 2019. 

If you’re an Elise Kova fan, comment below so we can gush over her books!


NaNoWriMo Weekly Update #2

Screen Shot 2018-10-31 at 2.03.54 AMFor me, NaNo has always been this thing that I do to allow myself the chance to work on shiny new ideas, separate from the WIPs I work on throughout the year. I cannot believe that it is already Day 8 and that I’m already 30,000 words into this WIP.


I see that number and I honestly don’t know where it came from. Usually around Day 8, I’m on target, maybe a little ahead, maybe a little behind, but I’m never this far. I’m so into this world, this story, these characters that almost every day the words just flow. They might start off slow, but then they just pour out of me. Suddenly two, three, four hours pass, and I’ve added thousands of words.

It’s been so long since I’ve written like this – started a story from nothing, and just started putting words on the page. Whenever I do NaNo, I don’t spend my time writing a perfect draft, pretty prose or making sure all my words are carefully chosen. I’m just trying to get a rough fast draft of the story, that I can then go in and edit later. I know, it seems almost like a backwards way of doing things, but if I try to write that perfect draft, choose the right words, write the pretty prose from the get-go, I take forever to get words down. I don’t care if my first draft is a hot mess with the same word repeating twenty times on the same page, because once November is over, I can go back in from the beginning and edit all that stuff out, and make the story, the world really come to life. It’s the process that works for me.

Since I have such a clear image of this world in my head, I’m excited to go back through what I’ve written to edit it, to flesh it out, to make it the high fantasy I want it to be. Right now it’s very rough, very messy, and I haven’t quite figured out all the voices for my characters.

I spent quite a long time plotting out the story for these characters, and shocker, none of them are doing what I planned for them to do. It’s a little frustrating, and I’m not entirely sure how some of the choices they’ve made is going to affect the story in the long run, but the only thing I can do is keep writing and edit later if I have to.

I’ve been doing daily updates over on my Instagram Stories – which I’ll link here.

I’ve been sharing little peeks as well, and on Twitter. A few of them have had pretty good responses and it makes me excited that there are people who would be interested in reading about these two characters.

Here’s a slide show, depicting my progress.

  • What chapters/plot points I managed to get through that day
  • Total word count
  • Daily word count
  • Small commentary about how I was feeling that day.

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I’ve found that posting these little wrap ups over on Instagram is helping me put into perspective what I’ve done, and sometimes I go back and refer to them if I need a quick refresher about what I recently worked on. Rather than having to go pages back through the WIP.

As for the peeks, I’ve tried to pick ones that show off the character, but doesn’t give too much away. img_1800





I’ve posted the peeks in the order I shared them on Instagram and Twitter – I hope you enjoy them!

I was a bit nervous at first, when I posted the first one, because I’ve rarely ever shared my writing with random people, only people I know, but it feels good getting reactions and knowing people have liked what the read. It’s been a tiny ego boost that I didn’t know I needed.

For weeks I was feeling like I wasn’t good enough, that I couldn’t hack it at writing, so I barely did. I felt like there were a million people better than me, and it was discouraging. I rarely touched my keyboard, and when I did, I found myself just staring at my open word document, not really seeing it, refusing to see it. I had lost whatever faith I had in my abilities and was more than happy to get lost in the amazing worlds that others had written.

Then one day, I basically told myself “f*ck it” and I sat down and started editing my SF WIP’s first three chapters. It was like something clicked in my brain, and writing wasn’t so scary, it wasn’t so hard. I remember the moment when that negative mindset of “I’ll never be able to be a published author because my writing is crap” turned off, and possibility set in.

Was this the first time I had felt defeated? No. It wasn’t.

Sometimes I get too much in my head, constantly looking for where I want to be in the future, wishing I was already there, that I forget that as much as I wish I could just snap my fingers and make it reality, I can’t and there is hard work that has to be done to get there. There is no cheating when it comes to writing a book. Susan Dennard said it in one of her Instagram stories, you have to put your butt in the chair and put words on the page. There’s no other way to do it.

I’m happy to say now, that I’m not feeling that way anymore, and the words seem to be flowing, so I’m just going to let them flow…even if they end up being crap. I have a delete button and I’m not afraid to use it.

If you’re participating in NaNoWriMo – how is your progress going? Are you on track, ahead, falling behind? Are your characters writing themselves, or are you meticulously sticking to your plot no matter what?

Would you share peeks into your WIP online? Does it make you nervous?

Let me know in the comments!

NaNoWriMo Weekly Update #1

img_1794I’m still not really sure how it’s already November, but here we are. Halloween was last night and Thanksgiving is right around the corner, with Christmas just behind that, and then it will be 2019. This year has weirdly flown by, but before we get to any of those events, NaNoWriMo started today and I’m off to a really good start! It’s exciting!

But give me two weeks and I’ll probably feel drained, and skipping a day or two or three will become the bane of my existence and I will hate the past me for procrastinating. So I’m going to try to push ahead so if i do skip a day down the road, it won’t (hopefully) cost me so much.

Over on my Instagram – I’ll be posting these daily updates to my Story, and I’ll be adding them to a highlight on my page. I’ll also try and get some shots of me actually working and not spending all my time on Twitter…

But I’m really happy with what I was able to get written today, and I’m actually looking forward to sitting down and write more tomorrow!

(On a brief non-NaNo note – I also finished revising/editing the first three chapters of my SF WIP – they had been giving me a lot of trouble, and I wasn’t ever happy with the results, but now I am, and I was able to get rid of 3,722 words in total from those chapters! I’ve done all the writing today!)

I also just wanted to pop on here real quick as a reminder that I’ll only be uploading on Fridays during November. Most likely I’ll be writing these posts Thursday night, prior to Friday morning’s upload, so with this being the first * tiny * update, the schedule will go like this

Update 1 – will cover Nov. 1 progress / posted on Nov 2

Update 2 – will cover Nov 2 – Nov 8 progress / posted on Nov 9

Update 3 – will cover Nov 9 – Nov 15 progress / posted on Nov 16

Update 4 – will cover Nov 16 – Nov 22 progress / posted on Nov 23

Update 5 – will cover Nov 23 – Nov 29 progress / tbd

I’m not sure yet if I will post Update 5 on Nov 30, or if I’ll post it the following Monday (December 3) as the final Update for all of NaNoWriMo, since that Friday will be the last day of the event. We will see.

**I’m going to schedule this post and do a little bit of reading! I’m finally on Empire of Storms in my Throne of Glass Series re-read, which means I’m one book closer to Kingdom of Ash!


With Halloween was last night, and for the first time in three years I * wasn’t * a Zombie, or trying to be one, yet, apparently the way I did my make up confused a lot of children.

What I was actually trying to go for was a look inspired by this look that Mykie (Glam&Gore) did in one of her Haunted Halloween Series. I’m supposed to look badly sunburned, but apparently I just looked like the walking dead.

You can watch her Haunted Halloween Series  here.

I’ve been watching her channel for a few years now, and wouldn’t know how to do any of this stuff without her tutorials.

Halloween was fun, and now all the decorations are put away, but that just means it’s closer to making my house look like Christmas threw up all over and in it, and I cannot wait!

If you’re doing NaNoWriMo – what genre is your WIP? Let me know down below!

My Plans for NaNoWriMo 2018

Screen Shot 2018-10-31 at 2.03.54 AM.pngI can’t believe that November starts on Thursday – where the hell has the year gone? With November come’s National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. The goal is to write 50,000 words in 30 days – roughly 1,700 words per day…no big deal.

I say that now, but I can guarantee I’ll get some form of writer’s block or get lazy about half way through and then have to struggle to make up counts. I’ve done this for enough years to know this about myself.

I’ve done a post in the past abut all my previous NaNoWriMo projects – all of them 50,000 words or more, and all stories that I loved writing at the time, but looking back, some of them are really bad. So, I’m not going to mention past projects again – even though my 2018 project will be the second draft of my 2016 project.

Screen Shot 2018-10-29 at 5.08.59 PMThis High Fantasy (HF) WIP I’ll be working on is something that has been beating around in my head for a few months now, and I know I need to get in on paper. Surprisingly I have a pretty clear idea of where the story needs to go, and what I need to write in order for things to happen. It’s weird going into NaNoWriMo with a plan, rather than just an idea and winging it. It’s also weird to have a book actually outlined (I’m more of a pantser when it comes to writing).

Screen Shot 2018-10-31 at 2.03.08 AMThe project I’m working on is (for right now) called KINGDOM OF GRACE, and it’s very, very loosely inspired by the Legend of King Arthur – and I mean very loosely. It’s set in a fantastical world that is pretty heavily inspired by my trip to the Isle of Skye, but other than the magic I found in Skye, it has no ties to Scottish history or lore. The world has magic, and only one person can wield it, until it’s stolen from her. The story follows her quest to save the land she grew up in, reclaim her birthright, and how her ancestors who set this all-in motion have impacted her present. It’s not an easy journey, and much and many will be at risk if she can’t reclaim her magic and end the needless fighting corrupting her land.

I’m so excited to work on this second draft of this story, and hopefully when the end of November comes and I read through whatever I’ve written I won’t hate it.

Each year I work on one or two projects, but like with any writer, shiny new ideas are always popping up. When this happens to me, sometimes the only way to move past them is to write some of the story – I usually give myself 10,000 words, and then I’ll set it aside. If the shiny new idea isn’t demanding I write it now, I usually write down the idea, and save it for November – the one month I give myself to work on new shiny ideas.

How I prepare for NaNoWriMo –

img_1631Traditionally I don’t. Usually I have some vague idea of what the story is and what needs to happen and then I write. This year though, I’ve spent hours mapping out and plotting this HF WIP because I didn’t feel I could make it all work if I didn’t have a clear outline of what needed to happen. I’ll be spending the day before November 1, doing some last-minute prepping – downloading some music, printing some inspiration pictures, and making sure my map of my world is exactly how I want it.

While I do have a pretty clear image of the world, the castles, the people, I want to find as many real-world visuals to help keep me motivated.

One other thing I is I either find an image or (in this year’s case) create a cover for my book. I like the way it looks, and it get’s me excited.

Tactics I use to stay motivated –

If I’m on a roll, 1,700 words is pretty easy for me. But there are days where I just don’t have the energy or the motivation to write and those are the days that are tough. Ultimately, I sit down and write. There aren’t really any tactics I use, except for one. I mentioned this in previous posts where I’ve talked about past NaNoWriMo’s – the first year I participated, I ended up with such bad writer’s block, and my usual methods of just getting words on the page even if they suck did NOT work. For two out of the four week I didn’t write, and in the last five days of NaNoWriMo, I wrote 25,000 words, all crap. Doing that sucked and I promised myself that I would never get that behind again.

The one tactic I use is kind of fear based, in the fact that I never want to repeat that first year. Other than that, I don’t really bribe myself for meeting word goals or anything.

What do I do if I’m feeling uninspired or burned out –

I take a break. I go for a walk. I get out of my house. If I’m stuck on a problem and can’t figure it out, starting blindly at the screen isn’t going to help. It just makes me more frustrated. What usually helps me to figure out plot problems is taking a long walk and listening to musicals. I’ll head over to the park near my house and go through various soundtracks. It doesn’t always help, and I don’t always get that “aha!” moment, but it clears my mind enough to come back and look at it fresh.

If that doesn’t work, I might take the day, and make up the word count the next day. This is where you have to be careful – you can procrastinate for days, and suddenly have 10,000 words you have to make up. I try to not take more than maybe two consecutive days off, but sometimes I just need the break. 50,000 words in 30 days is crazy and a lot, and by the end of November I always feel creatively burned out.

I’ll also write long hand, on a giant sheet of paper. I think it’s all the empty space on the paper – it allows me to spread out my thoughts, rather than having them confined in a small notebook. For me, writing long hand really makes me think about what I put on the page – I don’t have a delete button that magically makes it disappear in a moment. It helps focus and center my thoughts.

What about Writer’s Block –

It’s the bane of all writer’s existence. I used to let it stall me, allow me to procrastinate, but now not as much. I can usually push past if I just write.

That sounds simple, and in a sense it is. I figured out a long time ago that it doesn’t have to be the next scene or part in a story. It can literally be anything – for NaNoWriMo, words are words. I have past projects that have scenes from my SF WIP, because in that moment I needed to write that scene. I have a scene in another fantasy project where a character is scared of puppies for an inexplicable reason, because I needed to move onto the next part of the story. It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t make sense, or if it has nothing to do with the project you’re currently working on. Because guess what, you can edit it out later. NaNoWriMo can be stressful enough by itself without trying to figure out every nook and cranny of your story in 30 days.

Hell, put place holders in for areas you haven’t figured out yet.

[Insert character name here]

[city name to come]

[kissing scene]


In another sense, it can be hard, and the advice to “just write” can be annoying. The guy reaction is “if I could write then I wouldn’t have writer’s block” and sometimes just getting words on the page isn’t going to happen no matter what you do. Step Away From The Computer/Notebook. Take a break, eat some food, walk your pet if you have one, do something that isn’t related to the story you’re working on. Just don’t think about it. Maybe it’ll come to you.

You might also be stuck because something in your plot isn’t working, or your MC is acting out of character, or some other element isn’t working. When you have so few days to hit that 50,000-word mark, deleting and going back and rewriting sounds awful. You can do that, and have to make up all those words, or you can just read back through, and try and find out where you’ve hit a snag, and start writing from that moment. Just highlight the words you’ll delete later, that way you know what is and isn’t a part of your story.

Lastly and probably most importantly, have fun with this. Challenge yourself, but don’t let this be a ride or die situation. NaNoWriMo is a way to bring fellow writers together, it allows us to keep each other accountable and encourage each other. It’s an opportunity to write that story that’s been beating around in your head for ever, or work on that project that you’ve already started. It’s a method to get people to sit down and write their stories, whatever they made me, and it’s completely optional.

So again, have fun!

Feel free to add me as a Writing Buddy!

If you’re doing NaNoWriMo this year, what genre is your story? Do you have a title? Are you a plotter or a pantser? Let me know below!