Coming Up to the Finishing Line…

*sings joyously* 3 days to go! Or…maybe that isn’t so joyously, in some cases. Are you behind? (As this is a queued post, I am really hoping I’ve finished.)

Even if you’re not doing NaNoWriMo this July, this post still applies to you. Do you have a deadline – perhaps an assignment – and you’re, well, not going to make it?

Listen up, people! I’ve got news for you: you can make it. I don’t care if you have an hour and an essay. You can do it. Wanna know how?

Keep calm. Being stressed isn’t going to help. If anything, it’ll make your hands shake so much you won’t be able to type/pick up a pen. And it’ll frazzle your mind, leaving you lost for ideas.

Think logically. If you’re like me, logic avoids you at every possible moment. You prefer to go from A – Z, then back up to Q before finally returning to B. Maybe, though, this time you have to go A – B – C. Think about what you want to write. If you’re finishing NaNo, how do you want it to end? If you’re writing an essay, what do you want to write about in your introduction? How are you going to link your conclusion back to it?

Time yourself. If you have an hour to do it, set yourself a goal of 45 minutes. People do extremely well under pressure.

Just remember, though:

If you don’t make it, it’s okay. I mean, if it’s an exam, obviously it’s not okay but you will have done your best (and I know people who have got full marks without even finishing their work – me being one). And your best is all that anybody can ask for (I know people say that all the time, but honestly, it’s true). If you don’t make it in NaNoWriMo, it’s not the end of the world. There’s no obligation to stop writing. If you’ve written this month – or any month – that’s still a great achievement. Not everyone can do it, honestly!

So whatever you’ve written this month, well done. You’ve done fabulously, darling. 🙂

And if you hit your NaNoWriMo goal, have a cookie and a pat on the back. Well done, you insane person, you!

Questions, thoughts, comments? Shoot! 😀 

Keep On Writin’

It’s easy – too easy – to look at your manuscript and think, ‘No.’ Especially when you’re trying to fit a ridiculous amount of words into one month in order to defeat this thing called NaNoWriMo (or you just really don’t wanna).

Losing motivation is a terrible thing. When you open up your work, you do anything to procrastinate – even tidying your room… (that’s when you know things are really bad).

All you gotta do is keep on trying. That thing ain’t gonna write itself (however much you beg and plead).

Here’s 3 ways to keep motivated:

  1. Look for an end goal. Be it editing and then querying. Maybe you’re getting it published. Send it to friends and family (or post it online) so you have readers willing you on. Or if none of these things appeal, maybe you can say you’ll treat yourself to a new book, or a day trip. Making the end goal (for example: a word count, finishing this chapter, etc) enticing with an end treat, means you’ll find yourself wanting to write – and therefore you will write – because you want that present at the end!
  2. Make an inspiration box. Look through it when you find your motivation for a story beginning to slip. Maybe it has things that remind you of your characters, or your book, or just little notes from friends and family speeding you on – maybe it’s a box full of rejection letters! Alternatively, you can have a document on your laptop full of pictures etc.
  3. Just write. You’ll force yourself into writing, so you will write – those words will just flow out, eventually. Sure, it’ll be like pushing an elephant uphill whilst they’re digging their toes in and you have an anchor pulling you back to earth, but that’s only at the beginning (promise!). Once you get going, you’ll be fine, and you’ll feel much better for it.

For those Camp-NaNo-ers out there, you have 9 days left (not including today). You can do it, no matter what – I believe in you!

If you really want some more motivation, try listening to this song – Keep on Movin’ (those fingers on the keyboard) and you’ll be fine!

C’est La Vie!

Happy Monday everyone! (Or not so happy as the case may be. I hope you’re happy, though, there’s plenty to smile about in this world: such as kittens, or chips.)

Me 

Guess where I’m going this week?

Betcha have no idea, eh?

Yes, I’m going to France! Paris for a couple of days, then two weeks in a little hamlet. Nice.

However, that means I may not be around as much, so I’m going to schedule posts for the next two weeks (so I am having a day of writing them tomorrow!).

I’m back in two weeks, so I’ll be back to writing the articles on time (or, as the case may be, like with this one, late) soon. 🙂

I’ve also got 5k left to go for Camp NaNoWriMo and two days to do it in. Bring it on, is all I can say!

I WILL complete this camp…I WILL complete this camp…

The Blog

Nope, nothing changing here.

Have a nice week, folks! 🙂

Toast – Extract

I didn’t like the prompt this week, so I didn’t do it.

Instead, have an extract of the script I’m writing for Camp NaNoWriMo 2014! It’s working title is Toast. Here’s the synopsis:

After saying ‘I don’t’ at the alter, James travels 450 miles down South to begin anew, where he gets a job in a secondary school as a temporary art teacher (oh, the joys). There, he meets Max, a history teacher who helps him to finally accept who he is with the help of some misfits in his Advice Breakfast Club: Felix, a boy with a not-so-secret crush on the school’s heartthrob; Halle, who’s struggling to cope with her asexuality; and Leafy, who just absolutely hates her name (wouldn’t you?).

And here’s the extract (w/c: 376). Enjoy! Ps – sorry the formatting’s a bit odd, it’s a script. Continue reading

[OOOHHH!] We’re Halfway There!

Camp NaNo-ers out there! We’re half way there!

Whoop whoop!

However…we’ve just entered the notorious Week Three. And you know what that means, right?

Week Three Blues. 

Dun dun dun!

Typically, week three is when you start to slow down and panic. Maybe you’re not hitting your word count every day, or you’re struggling to figure your way out of that plot hole. That little stats graph you have? It’s starting to level off, and the goal line is looking like a zip-wire from the currently non-existent top.

Of course, there are writers who hit their goal on, like, day one. Those people have bones of steel and a life-time’s supply of coffee in their system. Just remember that it’s ok to fall behind – most people do!

So…what can you do if you do fall behind?

  • Sprint, sprint, sprint, sprint! Sit down at your computer one day and just write. Write like hell. Get those words on the paper, don’t even bother to check if they’re in the same language. Actually, you might want to do that, otherwise revision will be hell.
  • Look up some dares on the NaNoWriMo website – especially the YWP one, where it has a ‘dare’ button, functioning most of the year round (until the site is renovated for the next year). See how many you can incorporate into your work!
  • Word wars! They happen on Twitter most nights, or you can find one in the forums, even your cabin! Why not grab a writing buddy – chances are, they’re suffering Week Three Blues, too!
  • Rebel! Write a short story, article, song, anything to get the juices flowing and that word count soaring.
  • Give up all hope and go and have a nap. I can pretty much guarantee that you’ll wake up and your characters will be banging in your head.
  • Read some articles about it on the Camp NaNoWriMo site. You might find some more inspiration. Alternatively, read my Inspirenza article I published last Friday!

It’s hard to write when you have no motivation. Tell someone about your novel and get them to beat you up until you write. Say that if you don’t, you’ll have to go and do something else you hate, like running or socialising.

Many people find it easier to work under pressure, however; new ideas spring like a broken tap (new clichés, too). You never know, you might sit down and find you’ve written 1000 words in half an hour when you think it’s about 10. Anything is possible!

If you really want some motivation, try the fanmade Achievement Badge, called ‘Week Three Blues‘. I’m aiming to get it – are you?

Listen to the song as well!

Go defeat those Week Three Blues!

Questions, comments, thoughts? Shoot! 😀 

How To Rebel Like a Pro

It’s Camp NaNoWriMo, and that means that, even more than usual, you can rebel.

I’ve rebelled a few times – added in extra writing, done a script when it’s meant to be a novel, done two novelettes instead of one biggy. So… If you wanna rebel, how do you do it well?

  • If you’ve got someone who uses the NaNo website like a Bible, don’t tell them. They’ll probably throw a hissy fit and claim that you’ve never won. Lies, you know; but you don’t want them spreading it around! Only own up after you’ve done it, like, 5 years later (ok, maybe not 5 years, but you get the picture).
  • Make sure any writing you add that isn’t part of your novel was only done during NaNo. Don’t add in an article you’ve unearthed from January, or that short story from year 6.
  • Make sure it is writing. Transcripts of conversations don’t count.
  • Remember that you’re not cheating, just…being inventive. Cheating implies you’re using old writing. You’re not. Don’t worry, you’re not a cheater, and there’s still a place for you in the community!
  • Have fun. I can’t stress this enough. Don’t worry if you’re breaking the rules. Flaunt it, baby!

Don’t be afraid to rebel. It’s a laugh.

Flaunt rebellion!

Sorry for the short post!

Questions, comments, thoughts? Shoot! 😀 

Are you a rebeller? How’s your Camp NaNoWriMo going? Tell me, I’d love to know! 

Choo-Choo!

Are you on the right track, or is your train/story gonna beat you up?

Ouch.

Ouch.

Camp NaNoWriMo has begun, and that means that all over the world, writers are furiously typing away at their computers, probably with demonic expressions and clasping half-empty coffee mugs in their hands (or should that be red, pointy tails?).

When NaNo starts, some people know exactly what they’re doing. These are the organised ones. But, unfortunately, they are few and scattered. This post, my friend, is not for you (although this Camp I am one – I have to be, scripts are hella harder than I thought). But you can read it anyway ’cause it will, no doubt, still apply. This post is for the Pantsers out there (gimme a holla in the back; yes, you with the pretty pink laptop).

First: are you a Pantser? If you’re writing this with no flippin’ clue where you’re going, then yeah, you’re a Pantser. Easy answer, eh?

Pantsers are great, they’re so free and easy. But what happens if you’ve started your book/new Odyssey/script/non-fiction/are editing, and realise, perhaps, that this isn’t quite for you?

  • Give up. This is the easiest one of them all, but it’ll haunt you for the rest of your life; you’ll constantly have nightmares of Thomas the Tank Engine beating you at a fist-fight. Guaranteed.
  • Start anew. This is also easy, but takes time and effort, especially if you’ve already got pretty far. Also, your old characters may haunt you like Thomas. Thomas doesn’t like to be abandoned; especially by Percy.

Ok, I’m going to stop comparing your NaNo story to Thomas the Tank Engine, ’cause, quite frankly, it’s freaking me out. On with the list…

  • Imagine the worst situation you could possibly get your characters into. Then do it. No doubt this’ll stir up something fun that’ll give you juice for the next 10 pages or so.
  • Imagine the best situation you could possible get your characters into, then change it to the worst. 
  • Alright, keep it at the best. I understand everyone isn’t as horrible as me. And good things can give you material, too. Don’t be afraid to be nice to your characters (just only do it occasionally, otherwise there’s no fun in being a writer).
  • Ask someone else for their opinion. I get it, I get it, you don’t wanna share your idea with anyone. So find someone you trust and try it! Maybe a teacher. Parent? Friend? Even the dog can give a good answer if you give them biscuits (bark for yes, eat for no…).
  • Just keep writing and see where you end up. This will probably get you into a spot of writers block, but it is very fun. Don’t be afraid not to try it. You might find something interesting.

If all else fails, make a list of things to do in your novel, pick a few and try them out. You could end up with 5 different stories with the same starting bit, but eh, that’s NaNo, right?

Good luck my fellow Wrimos. You’ll do great! 

Questions, comments, thoughts? Shoot! 😀