NaNoWriMo’20 FINAL Update

I honestly haven’t struggled with NaNo this much since my first year of doing it. This year almost every second I spent writing felt like trying to pull teeth. The words didn’t want to come. It really didn’t help that I had no idea what this story was supposed to be – despite having a pretty good idea of what I wanted the plot to look like. I didn’t know the characters, so writing them was hard. This was also the first year that I did it while work + working so much overtime, so the energy wasn’t there. The last thing I wanted to do after getting off work, was write.

That being said, there were a few moments that I didn’t hate working on this WIP and I even hit a roll and was able to knock out a couple thousand words once or twice. But more often than not, I just didn’t write. I went days not writing, not updating my word count. I started to seriously question if my pride (or stubbornness) at almost needing to hit 50k was worth it, because I was so tired. I wanted to hit 50k, because I love this event and I wanted to hit that “you’ve done NaNo and won ten times” mark. Continue reading “NaNoWriMo’20 FINAL Update”

NaNoWriMo’20 Update #4

Well, I’m still like, 14-15k behind and there are three days left.

The race is on and I honestly have no idea if I’m going to actually finish. I’m going to try like hell to finish, because I would really hate not to, but 14-15K is a lot for 3 days and the inspiration and drive comes and goes.

Mainly it just never shows up.

I did just write like, 2.4k in one sitting, which is the best I’ve done so far, but I still don’t feel a lot of passion for this project. I will say that the more I work on it, the more I like it. So this concept of having no drive to work on it, baffles me.

I’m really chalking it up to just being busy and tired and honestly forgetting how hard drafting is. I’m definitely changing my tune from “I prefer drafting over revising” to “I prefer revising over drafting”. I love the creativity that comes while drafting – don’t get me wrong – but if I’m not super excited for the project or feeling any desire to work on it, drafting is like pulling teeth. It’s exhausting. Trying to wring out words to meet goals…it’s not fun.

Continue reading “NaNoWriMo’20 Update #4”

NaNoWriMo’20 Update #3

How are we already done week three of NaNoWriMo?

I’m so woefully behind, that the next two weekends are going to be me, playing catch up. I don’t know why I thought I could manage to stay on top of daily word goals when my days are spent at work and my evenings are booked solid.

I mean, I know why. I was too stubborn to break my streak.

And I know I’ll make it happen. They might be shit words, but I’ll hit 50k by the end of the month. I legit won’t let myself fail.

Continue reading “NaNoWriMo’20 Update #3”

NaNoWriMo’20 Update #1

This is going to be short and sweet because it’s been a long week and I’m exhausted. I’m going to try really hard, to include more information and a small scene in next week’s update but for now, we’re going bare bones.

Between work, Codigo and blog stuff, I usually don’t get to sit down and write until 10PM. And unfortunately, by that time, I’m thoroughly exhausted and need to take a shower before I pass out. Doing NaNo this year is going to be rougher than I thought, but I’m taking it one day at a time and I’m determined to make it work.

So, I’ve already started my WIP over again. I really didn’t like how I started this WIP and it was making me not want to work on it. I don’t fully hate what I wrote originally, it just feels out of character. Which is ridiculous because I don’t even know who these characters are yet.

Continue reading “NaNoWriMo’20 Update #1”

NaNoWriMo 2020 – Here We Go Again!

NaNo might kill me this year.

Well, NaNo on top of work, and Codigo and blogging…it might kill me this year. But I can’t bring myself not to do it. I always enjoy it and look forward to it each year.

So, I’m going to try. I’m not going to take it too seriously.

Though, knowing me, I’ll force myself to finish it, to get to the 50k mark. I’m too stubborn not to.

Continue reading “NaNoWriMo 2020 – Here We Go Again!”

NaNoWriMo 2019 FINAL Update

Maybe you’re like me and tired of all the writing updates. NaNo kind of consumed my life in November and the book reviews were kind of sparse – I know. So, if you’re here for the book related content and not the writing, know that in December my plans are to read more and post more reviews.

I’m glad NaNoWriMo is over. While I did have fun, between the crappy new site and losing all track of what my story was supposed to be, by the end it was a little tiresome. I ended with a count of 50,334 words, and I’m pretty sure I stopped writing in the middle of a scene. I’ll probably regret that later, but oh well.

Week 1:

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Overall, I will say that I find writing a contemporary romcom incredibly hard. This was my first time writing anything like this (that wasn’t just a short little scene) and being confined within real world rules…it kind of sucked. It could just be that I need practice. I’ve been writing science fiction and fantasy for years, and I create the majority of the rules that happen there, and I have more freedom to make stuff up. I found that in contemporary, you can’t just magic or fate away something that doesn’t make sense.

I also know that I went into this NaNo, this story, woefully unprepared. True, I had an idea – one I was very excited about, but I had no idea how to execute it. None. I had no plot, very few ideas, and I really didn’t know the characters. I knew who I wanted them to be, but as it turns out, they wanted to be entirely different. I know my writing process is to write it wrong before I get it right, but this draft is a legit mess. I honestly can’t remember the last time a wrote a first draft that was this messy.

Week 2:

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I know all my first drafts are messy, but I usually have some semblance of knowing where the story is going to go. I’ve even gone into NaNo before with no prep and not suffered as badly as I did this past week. I also found it really weird that ultimately, I couldn’t connect with my main character Cassie.

Every other main character I’ve written feels like they’re me – or at least a part of me, and I find it really easy to connect with them. The reason I find it so weird is that her life is legit inspired by my life. A bunch of the things that happen to her happened to me (to some degree, remember inspired by). But maybe that’s why it was so hard – maybe that’s why I didn’t feel as creative. I wasn’t making stuff up but pulling from real events. Which led into another headache. With this story being inspired by real events, I had to be careful to not inadvertently put a real family member into this book.

Week 3:

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Not that they would get to read this draft, but I wanted to avoid the potential of pointing fingers and inadvertently calling someone out. Again, being confined to the rules of the real-world kind of sucks. It might be awhile before I dive back into this WIP.

I think it needs to sit in my brain for a bit before I go back to it – which is kind of a shame because I really liked Cassie and Chase. I also think I need to possibly age up my characters to college age – some of them already were, but I found it hard to connect with them due to their ages as well. This doesn’t surprise me since most YA contemporary, I can’t connect with, because I find most teens (in YA) immature and whiny. I think that’s a major reason as to why I tend to steer clear of it.

Week 4:

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This post has kind of turned into a bit of a rambling one, and for that, I apologize. I don’t really know what happened with this NaNo project and this is my attempt at trying to think it through, but any rationalizing that I’m doing here, feels more like a lame excuse than an actual answer. I do want to tell this story, but clearly that time isn’t now. I’m glad that I have 50k written that I can come back to whenever I want to work on it again – and hopefully draft 2 will be leagues better.

Now for a quick overview of the actual event.

I managed to stay on track most days. There was definitely a day or two that I accidentally fell behind and/or forgot to update my account, but then the handy little “update past days” feature revealed itself and that was a life saver. I also input my words a little differently this year. In past years I would only ever update after I hit words, or during. This year – mainly because I hated the site and found it finnicky, I would input my daily goal prior to writing and then meeting that goal – and often surpassing it.

Final:

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I wish this story had come a bit easier, felt a bit more natural. I also wish that my characters would get on board with the romcom aspect of the intended story. they all made it their job to make it anything but that, and just ugh.

Daily Word Count Graph (bar and line):

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Overall, my daily writing was consistent, with a few anomalies. Due to lack of creativity and boredom and probably frustration I wasn’t able to stay ahead, like I usually do. I usually try to stay at least a day ahead, but this year I was lucky if I managed to stay a couple hundred words ahead. There were moments while working on this WIP that felt like pulling teeth. Very rarely did I feel inspired to write or hit a writing roll.

Okay, this post is turning out to be a lot longer than I anticipated, so I’m going to leave you with partial scene between Cassie and Chase – my two favorite characters from this WIP.

Enjoy!

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(If there are typos or tense issues in the scene, I got to a point where I honestly stopped caring and just wanted to get words on the page, so apologies in advance.)

On a final, final note: How did your NaNoWriMo Projects go?

 

NaNoWriMo 2019 Update #4

This is it.

We’re down to the wire.

It’s hard to believe that another NaNo is just about wrapping up. Today’s post isn’t going to be very long – and I’m going to be spending most of the day writing. I wasn’t able to get in as many words yesterday, with it being Thanksgiving and all, so I have a little bit of catching up to do. \. Nothing too major, just about 800 words – no biggie. Hopefully I’ll be able to finish this trash draft tomorrow.

That’s my goal. To get words on the page and just finish this draft.

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I’m sitting around 47000 words, so I’m really not hurting. I tried creating an outline for this story – really, I was procrastinating actually writing, and wanted to fill up some words. So, I created this rough outline, leaving a lot blank. I knew I wanted a cutesy hot tub scene between Cassie and Chase. A scene where they almost kiss, but not quite. I legit wrote that in my outline and then promptly went to write the scene.

And guess what I did.

Well, I should say, guess what the characters did, because I stopped controlling them a long time ago. They’re writing themselves at this point. I’ve been sidelined and I’m just watching.

Image result for kiss gifCassie and Chase kissed.

Sorry, spoiler. But they freaking kissed.

And not only did they kiss – they kissed twice. They weren’t supposed to kiss at all!

I give up lol.

I’ve been writing this book all sorts of out of order, making the draft an absolute mess, but I’ve been hitting writing strides and just going with them. I have to write it all wrong before I can write it right.

My characters are continuing to surprise me. Cassie is super bold now that she’s moving past her sadness and anger. Chase is still goofy, but completely in love with Cassie and it’s adorable. Ryan is actually an absolute ass (completely different than how I intended him to be) and he’s super hard to write. Layne – who I never wanted to like – is being nice to Cassie after making her life a living hell. Not pretend nice, but genuinely nice and friendly and I don’t know what’s happening.

Also, for these four characters being in a house full of people, you never see any of the other occupants – something I need to address and fix in draft 2.

I’m glad that this draft is a mess. I might complain about it and my characters, but I really do have a better sense of what the story is supposed to be, what needs to happen, what I want to happen and who the characters are. I had this pretty idyllic idea in my head of what this book was supposed to be – a cute fluffy romcom – and it still is, but it has some heavier undertones to it. While I like the heavier undertones, I kind of want to try and write it without them – though I have a feeling that doing that is going to be really hard…seeing as how Cassie nearly drowns.

Anyways, I’m going to end this here. I’m exhausted, full of amazing food and maybe a bit too much wine and I’m going to just relax and enjoy the evening. Maybe do a bit of shopping out and about with a friend, and then when I come home, eat some home made apple pie! I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving with lots of good food and plenty of leftovers. And those of you who are still cracking away at NaNo, you go this, we got this. Today and Tomorrow. And then we can take a break! So good luck!

NaNoWriMo 2019 Update #3

Wow, the third week is wrapping up, that’s really hard to believe honestly. I don’t think I’m going to be finishing before Thanksgiving like I have for the last few years. Inspiration is still kind of lacking, but somehow, I’m still cranking out words.

How good those words are…I’m not sure? I’m just going with it. It’s a first draft and it’s bound to be not that good.

A quick rundown of where I’m at.

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I’m currently sitting at roughly 35,100 words, so on track. I was kind of on track plot wise until my characters jumped ahead emotion wise and I’m kind of back to where I was in the beginning. My plot is a mess again. But OH WELL. At this point in the game, I’m just going with it.

Which, kind of leads me into a brief overview of my writing process – well, at least my most common process.

Let’s start with the fact that I don’t outline. At least for the majority of projects I don’t create an outline. I tend to get sucked into them and then I just start writing and going into way to much detail. You might think having a detailed outline is great, for me it makes me not want to write the story, because I feel like I’ve already written it.

So, I don’t outline. I don’t really plot either. I usually have an idea of the beginning, a few key scenes and maybe an ending. Then I just let the characters do whatever they want. This often results in a very mess plot, and a lot of reworking/revising/editing. I kind of have to discover the story, chipping away at it before it becomes clear.

It’s probably not the most convenient way to write, and it’s why it’s taken me years to write my SF WIP. I have so many drafts of my various stories. Never does the story just come to me – and I bet it doesn’t just “come” for other writers as well.

As I work on this NaNo WIP, more of the story becomes clearer the more I write. I get to know the characters this way and by the time I write a more complete and comprehensive draft, I know the story is where it’s supposed to be, and who the characters are supposed to be.

I’m just glad I’m currently on track, but as you’re reading this though, I probably won’t have started today’s writing. I’m going to try and get an early start, since I have a book event/signing I’m going to in the evening. I’m heading to Philly again, so another 3-hour drive! It should be fun, and I’m excited. I’m also excited to see how this WIP might end? My characters are constantly surprising me, and I’m thinking of maybe aging them up? I don’t know yet. But I have a couple key scenes I want to write – it’s how I’m kind of tackling this WIP with the lack of inspiration. I’m writing scenes out of order, which is something I rarely do while drafting. Anything to keep the words flowing. This is pretty much the final stretch of NaNoWriMo 2019 and I refuse to wreck my 8, soon to be 9 year streak. That alone is keeping me writing.

On a final note, good luck to everyone still participating and remember to be kind to yourself and be proud that you got your butt in a chair and wrote words! That’s what matters the most!

 

 

NaNoWriMo 2019 Update #2

If you’re interested, you can check out my NaNo 2019 post and my Update #1 posts to catch up! You can also meet the Sims versions of my MCs here.

I feel like I don’t have that much to share. I’m still writing, still getting words down.

I am starting to feel a little uninspired, and it doesn’t help that my reading slump ended and now all I want to do is read.

I think part of the reason – well, two reasons I guess – I’m feeling uninspired is that we’re at the two-week mark and burnout is happening, AND the story really hasn’t progressed since I’m still trying to redirect the beginning of this book. I’m close to catching up to where I need to be to actually continue the story, so I’m hoping that sparks the inspiration and words will flow.

Even though I’m feeling a bit uninspired, words are still flowing. The plot up until this point is kind of a stagnant mess.

I know it’s a first draft, so I’m being very forgiving, and I know that I went into this book with a very barebones idea inspired by true events and was just going to wing it. I did basically no planning and I think it needed some. I’m traditionally a pantser when it comes to writing, but I’m starting to think that with contemporary I need to have a plan. In contemporary you can’t really have some magic to explain things away. (Okay, I guess you could, but this isn’t that story). This is also my first attempt at contemporary and there are very real rules for the world, and it’s based on real life, basically current day.

I want to tell this story, and I love these characters, but it’s proving hard to stick within the confines of reality. After NaNo is over, I’m going to have to seriously sit down and think about the plot for this book. I’m starting to think that the inciting incident that inspired this story needs to actually happen within in, versus happening to the character before the story starts. I think that will help to add some action that isn’t just characters being angry and sad with each other. Right now, it’s very character driven, and I can write dialogue until my hands bleed and while it might be entertaining, it doesn’t progress the plot.

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I also realized that I haven’t told you all about the redirecting I’m doing to this book. I mentioned it before, but checking out last week’s update, I’ve realized that I didn’t mention it. Probably because I didn’t start doing so until this week.

I basically felt stuck and I knew that this one emotion packed scene was in the wrong place. I knew it needed to happen in the 75-80% mark, and not the 15-20% where it was currently sitting. Because of the wrong placement, I didn’t know how to progress past that point. My entire cast of characters were all sad and angry and not acting like I needed them to (not that they’re acting like I needed them to, but in some ways now it’s better) I tried and tried and it just didn’t work and it started to annoy me. So, I went back to the beginning and started to rework and redirect scenes.

So far, it’s working, but its still very much character driven, and I need more plot to be happening and passing. My characters are on a three-week vacation at the beach and I’m almost 27k into the story and they’re on Day 2…

Know if that bothers you, it very much bothers me.

Again, I know it’s a first draft and just getting words on the page is a good thing. I know this and I keep reminding myself to be forgiving and I know on some level that what I spew out during NaNo isn’t going to be stellar and that this is really my first introduction to these characters. I’m still getting to know them. I can’t say I’m thrilled with this WIP, but I have written a few scenes I’ve really loved. Like this one:

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It’s between Cassie and Chase. Chase has had a crush on Cassie for years, and she has no idea. Most times, Cassie can’t stand Chase, but she’s starting to realize that maybe he isn’t so bad. She’s been a bit flirty, but she is a little confused because her best friend since birth – Ryan is the guy she actually likes, but he has a girlfriend – Layne – who hates Cassie. Layne brings out the worst in Ryan, so Cassie isn’t sure she likes him anymore, and even though Ryan is dating Layne, he’s jealous that Chase and Cassie seem to be getting along…

Basically, they’re all giant messes.

A little context for this scene – Cassie had a bad encounter with Ryan and Layne, so she and Chase go for a walk on the beach at night, the stars are out and you can see part of the Milky Way over the water. They’re swinging their joined hands between them, just enjoying each other’s company.

I just want to add, that I’ve just about thrown proper tense to the wind in this first draft. I keep switching between First/Present and First/Past and I just kind of gave up trying to fix and correct. That’s a second draft headache I can deal with. I’m legit just trying to get words on the page and I haven’t quite decided in what tense I really want to tell this story, so I keep telling myself that this is the best of both worlds and I can test both at the same time.

will regret this active choice that I keep making, so if you see tense errors in any sneak peeks I share, you know why. Sorry if it bothers you, but it just goes with draft 1 craziness.

Okay…so I guess I had a lot to share? I’ve been crap at updating on Instagram Stories with writing updates, I just keep forgetting. So, there’s that. But (shameless plug) I have been updating my Instagram Feed with tons of Autumn/Autumn feeling pictures and current reads and that’s been a fun little past time! You know, doing all the things other than writing words.

I hope all your NaNo-ing is going well, we’re halfway there, only 15 more days! We can do it!


*ALSO as a final note, I’m still highly annoyed at the NaNo site. I’m SO annoyed at the fact that I forgot to update one day (I was a day ahead) and it wrecked my stats and there is no way to go back and edit a past day. Bring that freaking feature back. I will die on this freaking hill. This new site annoys the crap out of me and I’m so tired of it.