Coming in from the cold

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A lull in the storm. Not pictured: Howling, 50mph winds from the bowels of Hades with cutting, razor teeth, and crazy drivers.

My part of Texas is currently experiencing epic blizzard conditions at the moment, and I have to tell you, all that snow?  Entirely unwelcome here.  It can go take a hike in some other state, but it doesn’t look like it’s going to.  So I am going to sit here in my bed, my little dog warming my feet, and pretend Jared Padalecki is going to come in with cups of hot cider and keep me company.

*drools*

Anyway, with the weather and time off for the holiday, I’ve had some more time to write, and I can finally update the blog!  I didn’t forget about it, but the holidays are the worst time for me to do anything here with all the preparations and coming down off my NaNo high.  Now that I’m pretty much snowed in for the next couple days, I will be lining up posts to breathe some life back into the site.  😀

First up, my writing projects:

I am knee deep in work for my NaNo novel, the next Witches of Texas book.  It’s coming along nicely.  I took a break from revising and writing to do some brainstorming and plan out what I want to keep or cut.  The result is cutting a lot of what I wrote during the first part of NaNo, but I’m happy with that.  Most of that was crap and did not jive with the overall story at all.  The writing I produced near the end of November actually had good merit, so I’m parsing that away from the rest and building around it.

I wrote short stories!  Two of them so far.  One takes place within the Witches of Texas universe, the other does not.  I’ll be posting them after another round of editing, so be on the lookout.  I have plans for a couple more shorts; additional news on them when they are underway.

Second up, my NaNo reports:

This NaNo was a great one.  Hands down, I had fun, I learned (and re-learned) some important writing lessons, and I churned out some good material at the end.  Some of the things I learned were:

  • Outlines change.  You can maybe keep 10% of an outline by the time you’re done writing.  And that’s okay.
  • You need to test out all your ideas.  Yes, even the wacky time travel one where they end up babysitting a passel of kids while traveling wagon-train style through the wilderness.  (Yes, I really did write that in November.)
  • Self-discipline is hard, but oh, so worth it.  Turning off the internet greatly aids the process.
  • It takes writing a ton of garbage before you can find your character’s true voice.  Even a character you’ve known and written for a long time.
  • Throwing everything and the kitchen sink at your characters’ heads might feel too over the top, but it keeps the writing interesting and the writer interested in continuing.  Excessiveness can be fixed in editing, but lack of excitement can kill the story before it’s ever finished.

I’ll expand more on those in the coming days.  Suffice to say, this NaNo was productive and educational, and I’m happy with what I wrote.

Now it’s off to make some breakfast and finish editing those short stories.  Doesn’t look like Jared Padalecki will be stopping by anytime soon with that cider.  Ah, well.  A girl can dream.

Cheers!

NaNoWriMo: Day 30

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You can’t see me right now, but I’m smiling sleepily and blowing my nose.  Another NaNoWriMo has come to an end.  I’ve clocked in at 50,642 this year.  The novel is by no means done, which means I’ll be continuing into December to finish my first draft, but I’ll expand more on that later with a proper blog post about the things I learned this NaNo, the challenges I encountered, and why I owe, like, half of my entire word count to Shinedown’s new album.

Until then, I think I’m going to get some much deserved sleep.

Cheers, y’all.

NaNoWriMo Day 13

NaNo day 13

So, you’ve probably noticed I stopped posting after day 6.  This has been that week.  That week comes at different times during every November.  It’s something that cannot be avoided or remedied, only lived through.  Mine started with getting sick, so I wasn’t able to get sufficient word count in.  Then my dog got hurt and I’ve been up most nights with her.  Then we were short staffed at work, and so on and so forth.

That week always happens.  There’s a time where things, inevitably, go wrong all at once and the outside world demands your attention and energy.  I’ve been so exhausted after every day that all I can do is fire off a couple hundred words, queue up Netflix, and eat before trying to sleep.

So, from one NaNo vet, just remember, it’s okay.  Things go wrong.  You fall behind.  You will not always make your word count goal.  That doesn’t mean you should just give up, just cut yourself some slack for being human.

As it stands tonight, I’m about 5,000 words behind.  Not as bad as I feared, because I’ve had some of those weeks in previous years that left me 10, 15, even 20,000 words behind.  Even those were okay in the end.  I worked until I could make them up once the week was over and I could breathe.

And that’s the secret to remember.  Just breathe.  Your story is inside you and is not going away anytime soon.  Breathe.  You can always make up your word count later, just take a look and find some time when it’s calmed down.  Breathe.

November is not the only time you have to write this story.  And winning NaNo is not the stick by which to measure your worth as a writer.

Just breathe.

My week has come to an end.  Friday is here with now until midnight for me to make up what I lack and get on with the story.  My story is going to be just fine, and so am I.  And so are you.

Just breathe.

NaNoWriMo Day 2

 

Nano 3 (1)

Rising action is great, but a sudden bang at the beginning kicks you (and the character) right in the solar plexus and drags you right into the story.  You can explain everything during edits.  So set something on fire.  Blow something up.  Kill someone (or more than one someone).  Crash something.  Make it big, make it unavoidable, make it memorable.

NaNoWriMo is Upon Us!

here comes

Another week down, only fourteen and a half hours until NaNoWriMo starts!

I am so pumped, guys.  My outline is almost done and I am having to restrain myself from starting the story.  I’m excited about what I’m planning to write and about having a map for November to follow. I’ve spent the past two weeks worth of lunch breaks brain storming character arcs and mythology and themes and how many weird monsters and western tropes I can reimagine for this series.  Many documentaries have been watched and quite a few horrible music mixes have been listened to trying to find the perfect story soundtrack.

I am so ready to get this thing written.  I’m hoping my enthusiasm will inspire me to make November 1st a 10,000 word day.

Hey, you gotta shoot for a goal.  Might as well make it a lofty one.

I write year round, but NaNo is and will always be a special time of year because it’s the only time I get that much writing done at once.  I think there’s more creative energy in the air with so many writers and artists participating at this time.  The levels of chaos are higher, and it’s easier to write with complete abandon.  After all, everyone is racing towards the same goal at once.  Writing can be a lonely job, but you’re never truly alone during NaNoWriMo.

I’ve been outlining the next two books in the Witches of Texas series at about 25,000 words each, so by November’s end I hope to have two manuscripts I can start editing in January.  To curb my need to write until it’s time, I’ve been making graphics for the stories, and even made a tentative cover for the second book.  You can check them out here on my Facebook page.

If anyone wants to join me for the crazy awesomeness, there’s still time to sign up for NaNoWriMo and you can friend me here if you want someone to angst with, or to bounce ideas off of, or for encouragement.

Also, because of NaNoWriMo, I won’t be posting any articles until December sometime, but I am going to line up a series of daily prompts and encouragement posts to go out during NaNo.  Be sure to stop by if you need some inspiration.

Adios, peeps, I will see you on the other side of November!