Archive for November, 2015

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Sorry about the sparse blog posts. I’ve been recovering from a very deep and awesome writing coma. I’ve come out the other side of it, and I can say that I feel triumphant in NaNoWriMo! At 94,321 words, my first draft of RipTide is complete. Tomorrow, I’ll have pictures of the pretty, printed out version of it.

I have to say, winning NaNo this year was very nice. As I mentioned in earlier posts, it’s been a very healing process for me. Usually, writing is work – fun work sometimes, but still work. This year, for the first time, it was just about my emotions and letting it out. I don’t know if that’s gonna be conducive for as good of a first draft as usual, but we will see. The point is, I finished it! After I give it a break, I’ll go back to editing it. I need some decent critique partners. x.x I just don’t know where to look for those.

For the people who are still working on their novel – if you’re almost there or behind… you’re amazing. You’re doing something that no one else can do. Look around you, at the first ten people you see (unless you’re at a write in >_< don’t be cheeky), how many of those people can say they wrote 10,000, 20,000, 30,000 or 50,000 words? Probably not very many of them if any. You’re amazing ‚̧ You’re doing a wonderful job. Keep it up. Even if you think you can’t win, there’s still a chance that you can. I had a 15k day first day! You can always do it! And even if you don’t, just the act of writing as you have is an astounding accomplishment. We’re all winners.

Past NaNo, I wanted to give some projections of what my blog is going to look like. I’m still going to try to write every day. I’m going to keep spreadsheets of how I do each month, so I can reflect on if there are high points of writing for me (other than November, when I turn into a monster). I plan on doing Daily Prompts on here, and Weekly Writing Updates – I’m not sure what day I’ll schedule that for. Maybe Monday, or Sunday. I’m not sure. I also want to still try to crank out writing advice as much as possible – I really appreciate all of the positive comments and thanks that I get for that. You’re all amazing, I’m just telling you things from my own, personal experience.

So! I’ll talk to you all soon. I need to get to working on my next project today if I can. ūüėČ Tell you more about that on Tuesday when NaNo is over!

 

Until then, keep reading and writing!

Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page

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Oh, my. That’s right – I almost rage quit NaNo. I mean, I’ve already won… so I suppose that what I almost rage quit on was finishing my novel this month. The reason might seem silly to you, but it wasn’t to me.

I only wrote 5k words today. I agonized over the first half of those words. The scene was hard to write, the chapter was worse. It was a deeply emotional journey for my characters, and therefore it was hard on me. I save my document, come upstairs, pop open my laptop…

And find that my Scivener word count has gone from 85000 words to 83000 words.

I know, it’s only 2,000 words. It’s maybe an hour of writing for me, tops… except that it wasn’t. It was hours of agonizing, and pumping out a scene that I wasn’t even pleased with. But it was there.

And then it wasn’t.

I have lost more than this before, in terms of writing. I’ve lost over 20k words before. I don’t know what it was about today, but I nearly lost my shit. I think this novel is just something different to me, and even my bad scenes are precious.

Thankfully, Scrivener is amazing. Though the words were lost within the document, I could go into the actually file, sort through the individual Microsoft Word Compilations of my writing. On document 94, I found my 2,000 words. I put them back into my novel, and I damn well saved in about 12 places.

I guess the lesson of this blog is back it up, back it up… cause your daddy taught you good. Honestly though, don’t risk your work! Always do backups!

 

Until next time,

Author Amanda McCormick

 

I am going to be writing this blog as I write tonight, that way I can update you all with what I’m doing. I’m doing another crawl! This one is the Genre’s Crawl! I’m going to publish it after I complete it (which means that I need to complete it tonight if I expect to get a blog up, lol!) So! I hope that you all can enjoy the progress! Feel free to do it yourself, and link me your results! I’d love to see how you do!

You’re walking down an empty hallway lined with mysterious doors. ¬†One of the doors leads out. ¬†The rest… who knows? ¬†Only one thing to do.

You open the door labelled¬†non-fiction.¬† Your father is waiting inside. ¬†And he’s disappointed in you.

  • If you want to earn back his respect, write 200 words in five minutes, using the word “discipline” at least once.
  • If you don’t¬†care what he thinks, write 200 words at your own pace. ¬†You can write about whatever you want, but you’re out of the will now. – I got 201 words for this challenge. Because who needs to be in a will anyway!

With a promise to visit next Christmas, you escape back into the hallway.  Next, you open the door marked fantasy.

A glorious dragon awaits you inside.  Her scales glitter and her eyes burn.  She takes a deep breath, ready to engulf you in fire.

  • If you fight, do a 20 minute word sprint. ¬†
    • If you write more than 500 words, you win, the dragon is vanquished, and you make a necklace out of one claw to wear proudly around your neck. ¬†People now know you as “The Dragonslayer”. ¬†I managed to get 1,621 words in this sprint! I’m a Dragon slayer, girl ‚̧
    • If you write fewer than 500 words, you are now missing an arm.
  • If you try to talk it out, write 20 lines of dialogue. ¬†The dragon eventually agrees to let you leave unscathed. ¬†You have no idea whether that’s because she likes you or because you’ve bored her.

The next door is marked horror, and it fills you with a sense of foreboding.  Against your better judgment, you enter.

You are now in a graveyard. ¬†It’s eerily silent and still. ¬†Your eyes are drawn to a nearby grave adorned with sad stone angels. ¬†You read the name. ¬†It’s yours.

  • If you try to run from your fate, do a five minute sprint.
  • If you try to dig up the grave, you’re insane. ¬†Do a fifty-headed hyra challenge. ¬†
    • If you fail, you find your body, remember your death, and come to grips with the fact that you’re¬†a ghost now. ¬†You can now pass through solid objects
    • If you somehow succeed, you find the grave empty and sigh in relief. –¬† I got 517 words on this! Awe yeah.

Still shivering from the frights you witnessed in the last room, you opt for the door marked picture books¬†next. ¬†It can’t be too bad in there, right?

You enter a two-dimensional world.  You are now a cartoon version of yourself, with stylized hair and a costume reflecting your personality.

  • If you yell “cool!” and prance off to explore the vivid landscape, write a descriptive scene.
  • If you hate being so simplified and focus on trying to get your third dimension back, then add an unexpected layer to one of your characters. – I found this very interesting. I did a 524 word scene to add on to one of my characters that I didn’t think would have a presence.

You leave the room still whistling the cheery tune you heard playing on repeat inside.  The next room is marked historical.

As you pass into the room, your clothing transforms into the regal armor of a Spartan. ¬†Your incredibly muscular general approaches you. ¬†“Are you ready to fight!?” he screams into your face.

  • “Yes!” ¬†Write 1,000 words.
  • “No!” ¬†Write 500 words. ¬†Your general is infuriated.
  • “I’m actually missing an arm from earlier…” ¬†Delete 200 words somewhere in your novel and re-write them.

And then computer issues ended my venture in writing. I am going to cross the 80k threshold today for my word count, so that’s amazing. I’ll publish this up and update you all again tomorrow! Until then!

 

Author Amanda McCormick

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So, the reason that I didn’t blog yesterday was because I ended up getting to 10k for the day. My novel RipTide is well over 70k words now, and my overall word count is 76,432 words.

Honestly, I’m really proud of how all of my friends are handling NaNo as well! Gau is doing an amazing job, as well as all of my writing group friends.

Speaking of my writing group, that’s how I managed to get 10,000 words written yesterday. We picked a crawl off of the NaNoWriMo forums, and we did the entire thing in one sitting. It was long, exhausting… and totally worth it. Everyone managed to get so many words!

I really do recommend checking out the forums, and getting yourself a writing group if you’re stuck! If you ever need someone to chat with, you can always hit me up on skype: ego.dominustuus

I’m always willing to chit chat with fellow writers!

Anyway, I need to get words today. I have about 7 chapters left of RipTide, and then I’ll be finished! I can’t wait!

Until next time,

Author Amanda McCormick

 

I woke up this morning to find the weather cold – o’course, I live in California… so¬†my cold is 50 degrees. Still, cold for me. I decided that I was going to get a lot of writing done today… so I wanted some hot chocolate to start my morning out right.

So, my NaNo tip for today? How to make hot chocolate with no hot chocolate mix!

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Heh, this is NaNo related, right? So. If you (like me) didn’t have any hot chocolate mix, but you have cocoa powder and some sugar, you’re in luck! It’s really basic, how to manage this. Just remember that cocoa powder is bitter as all get out. So, for every spoon of powder that goes in to your mix, you do two spoons of sugar. Once you mix it all up in your steamy warm mug, add a tsp of vanilla and a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar. It’s delicious ‚̧ Trust me!

NaNo wise, my current word count is at 61,279 words total. I’m really happy with how I’m progressing along, even though there have been quite¬†a few unexpected chapters. I’ll update more on that later. For now, I’m going to drink my hot chocolate and start trying to chug on with my words! I’ll do another update this afternoon for you all!

Until then! Keep writing guys, we’re almost there!

Author Amanda McCormick

So, you’ve made it halfway through the month of NaNo. You should be doing a victory dance!

For just a second, I want you to forget your wordcount. Even if you’re behind, you’ve done something amazing. You’ve written words, you’re bringing your story to life! Do a happy dance.

Now, back to me. The month is far from over. We still have half of it left! However, we’re on the downward climb! I know that things are going to get hard in these next two weeks. And I know that you’re going to want to give up… but just remember, you’re amazing. You are doing something that only a handful of people attempt – you’re writing a novel in a month. You’re creating (and potentially destroying, all of you post-apocalyptic writers!) an entire world, an entire universe in a month. You should really give yourself credit just for that alone.

These last two weeks are honestly the harder part of NaNo. That original shiney-ness of the novel is gone, and now we’re just plowing through to get to the end. I know, I understand. But, you can’t give up! You’re halfway there! Even if you’re¬† behind on your wordcount, now is the time to set forth and get ahead again! Do some sprints, or wordwars! Do some crawls! If you need someone to sprint or war with, just message me on twitter @EgoDominusTuus, and I promise I’ll do everything that I can to help you out! Visit the NaNo forums! There are always people writing!

Right now is the point where we are tempted to read back on our novels – don’t do that. You’re making a skeleton for what will be an amazing novel. You’re doing it in a month. Don’t judge yourself. Don’t worry that it isn’t good enough. Don’t worry that you need to change, or edit, or scrap it. Don’t do any of that. Just keep on writing! You’ve got this. Don’t stop now, and don’t look back!

The point is, don’t give up! Even if you’re in a candy coma (who am I kidding, there’s always room for more candy!). You’re half way there! Don’t stop halfway through the race. I believe in you!

Until next time, keep writing guys! You’ve got this!

Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page

So, my friend showed me this cool little chart. It’s a really nice spreadsheet that he made, and he allowed me to use. It’s helping me to keep up with how much I’m writing each day, and how much I have written on my novel that I’m focusing on first – RipTide. I’m going to screen shot, but if you want any help with it, please head over to HIS PAGE and ask him. He’s cool and stuff.

Coolness

So, this chart lets me see that my word total for NaNo thus far is 52,080 words. However, only 47,000ish of those are on RipTide. I can track my progress for each day, how many words my chapters are, etc.

Whether you do this in a notebook, or on a cool spreadsheet like this, I think that getting an idea of how much you work everyday is a great idea. I’m honestly thinking about keeping this and doing it every month. At the end of the month, I’ll post the chart so that you guys can judge me for how much I have or have not written. How cool would it be to have a spreadsheet for the entire year?

I think it’d be cool.

Anyway, tomorrow I’m going to post another motivational blog, since we’re on the 15th day, the hump day, the downward slope of NaNo month! ‚̧ I can’t wait to see how you guys are doing! Let me know your wordcounts!

Until then, keep on writing!

Author Amanda McCormick

First, I need to do a little victory dance, because last night at 10:30pm I crossed the 50,000 word threshold and won NaNoWriMo!

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So, I know that a lot of people feel like you hit that 50,000 words… and boom, you’re done! Honestly, that’s never been the case for me. My first year I really participated in NaNo, I wrote 100k words in that month. I wanted to write a novel, not just 50,000 words of it. The year after, I wrote 50,000 words and didn’t finish the novel – that novel is still unfinished. So, I have no plans of stopping now. National Novel Writing Month means that I will write the entire novel this month!

I’m writing this blog to say to you all, keep going with your novels <3! Don’t stop! You’re doing an amazing job, and you’re nearly to the end! Don’t quit until you get to type ‘the end’ on your pages! I believe in you!

Until next time,

Author Amanda McCormick

Okay, so I didn’t finish when I wanted to before, but I have exactly 6,896 words left, so I think that I can manage it today.

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How are you all doing for NaNo? I’ve really found it to be a completely different experience this year. With my mother passing away, there is a completely different drive for me this year… it’s almost like I’m rushing to the end of the novel, because I want to send her off with it. I know it sounds odd, but it’s how I feel. Writing this is really helping me to get through what would have probably otherwise been an impossible situation to deal with. I was so afraid when it happened, that I wasn’t going to be able to get any writing done.

I’m glad to find that it’s the opposite.

Today’s actual count is 20,004. You guys are at the point where you need to break that 20k goal, and let me tell you… it’s always a fun doozey to break! I know that week one has trickled away, and we’re nearing the end of week two. I know that the shiny new novel power is starting to wear off. I know, for some of you, you haven’t even started, or you’re behind. Guess what though, guys? You can still do this. If you started right now, you still only have to write 2,600 words and some change today. I know that seems like a lot, but it really isn’t. If you get ahead, it will make that number go down. If you’re behind, you can always catch up.¬†You can do this.

The novel inside of you is something that no one else can give this world. Even if it’s the same story that’s been told, no one can tell it like you. No one can give it the emotion and experience that you can. You have an entire world living inside of you,¬† begging to be let out. You owe it to that world and this one, and most importantly, you owe it to yourself to do it.

Writing a novel is truly a labor of love. You’re putting your heart and soul into this piece, and sometimes… sometimes it gets a little exhausting, but just think about the end result. Thing about how you are going to feel when you cross the end of the month, 50k words richer, and able to say I did it. You can do that. I know you can. And if you ever think that you can’t, pop by here, and I’ll remind you.

You are an amazing human being. Not everyone can sit down and bring a world to life. Not everyone can really call themselves a writer and mean it. You have the fate of a world that has never been brought into existence in your hands, and you’re sculpting it. That’s impressive.

So, if you feel like giving up… remember, don’t. You’ve got this. You are amazing. You are a writer. You are going to win!

Until next time, keep reading and writing!

Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page

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So, when I said that I was going to update you early in the morning… I really meant that I was going to go and hang out at a friends house, buy Fallout 4, get some play in… and then take a huge nap. Only after these things, am I here to update. I am, however, pleased with my update. I didn’t win NaNo like I had intended, but I wrote well over 7k yesterday, bringing my wordcount total to 41,057 words. This means that I have less than 10,000 words left before I win NaNo. Of course, this doesn’t mean that I’m going to stop writing. I’m not even finished with my first novel. What it DOES mean… is that I can play Fallout 4 without feeling guilty because I should be writing all day long. So, I’m expecting to win within the next day or two, and I’ll have a big victory post about that… and then, I’m going to keep going.

We can’t stop our¬† novels, just because NaNo is over. We can’t put it in a closet and forget about it. We have to strive forward, to finish what we have started!

Until then, keep writing!

Author Amanda McCormick