Preptober 2021 | 5 tips to develop your characters

Some writers begin their novel planning with a plot; some begin with a character. Either way, the protagonists, antagonists, side characters, and even the background ones are all crucial to your novel and knowing your characters can make or break a readable, engaging story.

I made a mistake when I began writing my last novel: I didn’t get to know my protagonist like a friend. I knew who she was, her background, and her motives, but I didn’t actually know her. I ended up having to pause in my writing and develop her characterisation, because otherwise she simply felt too flat.

Continue reading “Preptober 2021 | 5 tips to develop your characters”

Preptober 2021 | How to brainstorm an idea for your book!

Hand, Write, Pen, Notebook, Journal, Planner, Writing
via pixabay

I once read an article that said if you have to spend X amount of hours on a book, you should include the thinking time within that time. Obviously, there comes a point where you really do have to start writing or else there’s no point saying “I want to write a book,” but I think this is a worthwhile consideration. With my previous novel, I spent hours upon hours brainstorming and thinking and daydreaming without writing a single word – and my novel was definitely stronger for it.

Technically, therefore, I feel that NaNoWriMo has already begun. The moment you commit to writing that book, you are taking part in the event itself. From that very first brainstorm, whether its in the notes app of your phone, scribbled on the back of a napkin, or carefully inked into a brand new notebook, you have taken those first steps to be a writer.

Continue reading “Preptober 2021 | How to brainstorm an idea for your book!”

Preptober 2021 | Why You Should Sign up to NaNoWriMo!

NaNoWrimo 2021 - Facebook Banner - Design by Andrea Floren

All the way back in October 2012, I heard about this thing called “NaNoWriMo”. Aside from the fact I wasn’t entirely sure how to pronounce it (I say “rye”), I was intrigued.

NaNoWriMo turned out to stand for “National Novel Writing Month”, and had already been going for over a decade. The aim of the game is to write a novel – or 50,000 words of one – in just one month.

I signed up.

Continue reading “Preptober 2021 | Why You Should Sign up to NaNoWriMo!”

The Good And Bad Novel Lists

I am planning my NaNoWriMo novel (*screams*) and I am using the lovely book called No Plot? No Problem! by Chris Baty (aka NaNoWriMo founder). In it, Chris suggests listing two lists: the Good Novel List and Bad Novel List (or, as he calls it, Magna Carter I and Magna Carter II). On these lists, you’re meant to put things on them that you like/don’t like in a novel. Continue reading “The Good And Bad Novel Lists”

Horsey Horsey

Hey guys!

So, although I haven’t finished my novel – the original fiction one, not the Teen Wolf one – I thought I would tell you guys about it.

This is the summary I put on my NaNoWriMo profile:

When a terrified-looking horse runs into her school at the end of the day, Izzy doesn’t hesitate in using her instincts to catch him. And when an equally terrified-looking owner follows, saying she’s gonna send him to the knackers yard, Izzy just has to step in. She is given two weeks: two weeks to get an abused horse to trust again; two weeks to get placed in the regional one-day-event; two weeks to get over her own fear of being in the saddle after her mum’s devastating accident. 

Whaddya think? I know it’s gonna take helluvalot of editing before it’s ready to be shown to the world (hehe) but yeah. :3

[Pst: anyone got an idea for a title?]

Anyone here do NaNoWriMo? What was your novel about? Have you finished the novel? Did you reach your word count?

Oh, and I probably won’t post everyday from now on. Maybe every other or something? 🙂

Thanks for sticking with me, guys, and my crazy posts.

All this for a book. I think it was worth it.
All this for a book.
I think it was worth it.

Well Hi Newbie, Apparently I’m Your Writer

You know how it is; you’re just sat there, not thinking about anything, or perhaps you’re writing so furiously your fingers feel like they’re on fire. And then – BOOM! – a new character strolls into your head. Their name, much of their background, the place in the story – or perhaps their own story – is fully formed in your mind. And what can you do, but great them kindly, offer them a cup of tea/coffee/Butterbeer and say they can sit down.

Many writers say their story writes itself, and I know all too well how true that is. This time last year, I was doing NaNoWriMo as well, and I remember my character, Rosen, being far too headstrong, and a bit annoying really, running off where she wasn’t supposed to and crying over her father and brother who may have, er, died prematurely. So what can you do?

Help them along. When your characters write you into a plot hole, take a deep breath, give yourself a few slaps around the face with a large trout (Scouts who did JOTI-JOTA should get that) and get those motherfuckers out of there. You’re like their guardian, they’re angel who helps them with all troubles. Sure, you may cry when you kill their beloved goldfish and they are upset for days, but you are there for your characters, much like your best friends.

What makes a character is their background; why are they like the way they are? Their personality, characteristics. Your character relies on you to make sure your readers know that, and you don’t just let them karate-kick their way out of plot holes, before telling your reader that they’ve been doing martial arts from birth. Or they call their parents ‘mum’ and ‘dad’ 5 chapters before you remember to point out that they’re fostered (..unless that’s the story, of course).

Most of all, when your characters get you into trouble (maybe you’ve been staying up under the sheets to write and your parents have caught you, tut tut, or maybe you’ve just written yourself into an awful plot hole), whatever you do – DON’T QUIT ON THEM! Your characters need you, their creator, their author. Love your characters like yourself – because they’re all a reflection of who we really want to be. Believe in your characters, and that’ll reflect in your work. Make them real and readers will emphasize, cry when they do, make them believe they’re their best friends – but, most of all, it’ll make them remember you.

Sorry the advice in there is a little messed around, and I don’t even know if it’s useful. But I kinda hope it is. Good luck to you; and to your poor character! 😉

NaBloPoMo Index

Stressing Out

Sorry that I seem to be going a little bit more personal in these posts at the moment, but I am really stressing out at the moment, and, also breaking my cussing ban, it is absolutely shit.

Seriously, exams, NaNoWriMo and NaBloPoMo at the moment is really breaking me.

But if I don’t write, I get more stressed than ever, and can hardly function.

But if I don’t revise, I get stressed about my exams, and can hardly function.

Unfortunately for me, my parents don’t take my writing seriously and think it’s just a waste of time, and I shouldn’t do it – they ban me from writing after 9:30, when I’m at my best.

So I have a question for the writers out there: do your friends, family, even people over the internet take you seriously, or not? If not, do you wish they would? If yes, any tips on helping to get mine to take me seriously?!

And to make matters worse, I am seriously behind on NaNoWriMo. STRESSING. OUT. SO. FRICKIN’. MUCH.

NaBloPoMo Index

Ps I’ll go back to doing actual posts ASAP.

Why Are Titles So Hard, Dammit

As much as I like titles – when they come to me – I’m finding them pretty much impossible to think up at the moment.

I mean, how hard can it be to think up a title, right?

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

Wrong.

I’ve been trying for, ooh, just over a month to come up with a title for my original fiction horse story. I thought it would be easy – turns out I was wrong. And don’t even get me started on my Teen Wolf one, jesus.

So… What makes a good title?

  • Catchy – something that sticks in your mind. For example, Peter Pan.
  • Hints at the plot – for example, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is about Sirius Black – the Prisoner of Azkaban.
  • Something people like, or makes it memorable – eg The Fault in Our Stars
  • And if it’s shortened, it doesn’t make something weird or rude. For example – the initials don’t spell something like FUCK, or it doesn’t mean something else – eg Flight for Freedom (made up title) would go to FF – fanfiction.net, a well known fanfiction site.

Dammit I hate titles. The list I have at the moment… Well, they are all, admittedly, good titles (yeah, I asked people for help), but none of them really fit the stories I’m writing.

How do you do titles? Do they come to you easily, or are they a last-minute job?

– Hannah 😀

Oh, and my NaNoWriMo word count, which I will update at the end of the day so this will disappear later, currently stands at 1386. 🙂

NaBloPoMo Index

NOW What Have I Gone And Done…

So. The big day is finally here: Day 1 of NaNoWriMo.

I haven’t finished for the day yet, and I’ll edit this later and add my final word count at the bottom, but so far I’m on 806. Considering my word count goal of each day is 662 (as I’m doing the YWP at a 20,000 goal due to exams), I think I’m doing pretty well, no matter how much I hate how I’ve written what I’m writing. Hopefully, my writing will get better, but, as always, I have my other fanfiction to fall upon if I need to. If, however, I actually enjoy writing this one (shock, horror!) then I know I’ll still have a chance to write my Teen Wolf one – BECAUSE THAT WILL GET DONE, WHETHER I LIKE IT OR NOT.

Anyway, what the title means: I have now joined up to NaBloPoMo, oh yes. (‘Oh dear’, more like.) National Blog Posting Month – post a post every day for the month of November.

I really don’t know how I’m going to do all this, plus exams, but you never know – maybe, by some miracle – it’ll happen. And hopefully it won’t be a load of crap.

Let’s hope it does [happen, I mean, not be a load of crap, but I’m sure you knew that. You didn’t? Rude.], otherwise you’ll have a really grumpy and annoyed blogger on your hands – and believe me, that is something you do not want.

So yes. And it didn’t even take me that long to write those 806 words!

On to the next hundred…

– Hannah 🙂

NaBloPoMo Index

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Edit: Yeah… I didn’t write any more. So end word count for day 1 = 806. 🙂

How On Earth Do You Pronounce THAT?!

Names are the weirdest things, aren’t they?

I mean, it’s like, “So, I’m going to call you this jumble of weird sounds for the rest of your life.”

But what’s worse is when they are ‘odd’ names. And even worse than that, is when you have no idea how to pronounce them. And, if it’s in a book, you have no one to correct you when you mess up badly every single time.

For example, for NaNo, in one of the stories I’m writing (my Teen Wolf fic) my main character (well, one of them – my other main character is Peter Hale who is one of Teen Wolf’s, and I’m really getting off track, sorry) is called Quinn Saharé Flax. 

“What on earth is that middle name?!” I hear you ask. In answer: I don’t know, I just added the accent on the e to make it sound like I wanted it to. My friend is called Quinn and it is one of my favourite names, so don’t you dare put that one down…

I remember before I moved house, I had never heard the name ‘Amelia’ – when I moved down and heard it, I thought it was one of the weirdest names ever. Not gonna lie.

And then you get names like ‘Hannah’ (my name, so clearly the best!) that are palindromes – they read the same back to front. Or acronym names, like my friends – his spells ‘JET’ when his initials are stuck together.

I love names, and I love choosing them. It’s so special.

How do you choose your character’s names? Is it a chore, or a joy? Or do you just pick a random name and hope that it works (that’s always a good way, I guess…)?

Cheerio,

– Hannah