Archive for the ‘nano advice’ Category

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Did you guys think I’d disappeared completely? I wouldn’t really blame you… I’ve been gone for a while, after all. The fact is, being pregnant and trying your hardest to move all in the same month of doing NaNo is hard. It’s made worse by the fact that I found out I’m pretty anemic (ergo, why I’m sleeping all of the time).

I have fallen behind.

And… I’m not going to let it freak me out. So, I’m saying the same thing to all of you who have fallen behind and decided to give up. ❤ Don’t do that! Falling behind doesn’t mean automatic failure.

Yeah, things are gonna be a little harder, and you’re gonna have to play catchup. You’re going to go through a few difficult days if you decide to do it all at once, OR you’re gonna have to slightly up your wordcount and spread it out through the rest of the month. NaNo is only half over, guys ❤ you can certainly still do this.

I keep thinking about the fact that my husband told me that I really needed to do Camp, because I’d be disappointed in myself if I didn’t. I keep thinking about the fact that I certainly won’t be able to do Camp in July, as I’m gonna be having a baby in July and even I’m not that crazy.

I keep thinking about the fact that he’s right, and there’s no reason to give up on myself. Even if I end up only getting half of what I planned to get, that’s still more than what I started out with. When you’re writing, when you’re creating, and when you’re trying? You never really lose!

So, keep your chin up, guys. We’re half through, and I know that you can keep on keeping on, even if it seems impossible right now!

That’s all for now though ❤ I’m actually gonna go and get a few words written, so I can start playing the catchup game. Since I have ridiculous insomnia, maybe I can put it to my favor and get further along than I previously though. Of course, I have no idea what I’m going to be writing about… but that’s the fun of writing prompts, now isn’t it?

Okay, away!

So, until next time! Keep read and writing, and keep being the awesome people that you are!

Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page | Tumblr | Blog Masterpost | My Writing Group
Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

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So, here we go with Camp NaNo (she said, posting her day 1 report a day late. But, alas… that’s just how it goes sometimes. The good new is, I cranked out my words. I set my goal pretty small – 15,000 words for the month. I’m sure I’ll pass it up (I hope I will), but I figured that would be good… since I’m pregnant and in the process of moving before the end of April.

I’m still super excited to try!

I did make a decision about what I wanted to do for Camp though – I was really willy nilly about how I wanted to tackle it. At first, I thought I’d do rewrites on my novel Cerulean Darkness… and then I thought, “No, I don’t want to rush rewrites and end up having to completely rewrite the rewrites… maybe I’ll just finish my novel Limbo during NaNo!”

And then I thought… “But, I don’t really want to rush through that, either. I’d rather have something that I don’t have to rewrite 100% after I’m done with it.”

So, I sat and I wondered for a minute what I wanted to do… and then I realized that it didn’t have to be so complicated. It’s CAMP, damn it. You’re supposed to have fun at Camp, and I have full intentions of having fun with what I’m writing. I’m using this as a platform to get me back into the habit of daily writing, and I’m not going to make it something that stresses me out so that I don’t want to do it.

So, I decided on 30 writing prompts, one for each day. I’ll probably be posting some of them up here for you guys, and I’ll certainly post some of the prompts up (from day 3 on, since I’m not gonna be able to today) so that anyone who is struggling with how to get your words for camp can follow along! The point is to get yourself writing, and the point is to hit your goal! So, I think that’s what we need to do, and I think that we all need to just have a lot of fun doing it! I know that I, for one, am actually excited about the prospect of getting things started. I’m not even going to sweat it if I don’t finish the prompt – I’ll hit the word count that I can hit for the day, and I’ll leave it. If nothing else, I’m going to have the beginnings to 30 pretty rad stories, and I’m super fine with that.

I’d love to hear how Camp is going for you guys, with day 2 closing out. I’m at right around 1000 words so far, 500 a day. I’m happy with it. I’m really satisfied.

Let me know what your projects are, or if you wanna follow along with the writing prompts every day! Regardless, I can’t wait to hear about it!

So, until next time! Keep read and writing, and keep being the awesome people that you are!

Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page | Tumblr | Blog Masterpost | My Writing Group
Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

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Hey, everyone! It’s Thursday, Friday, because yesterday my 4thewords app ate all of my words on this blog (my fault, not the sites) and that means that it’s time for another tips and tricks Blog for NaNoWriMo! Is everyone excited? It’s less than a week away now, and I’m honestly starting to get extremely antsy for it. As usual, I have a thousand ideas racing around in my head, and I’ve been tempted to completely throw out what I thought I was going to work on to plot something all new. That’s actually where my tip is going to come from today.

Follow your muse.

No, I’m not talking about only writing when your muse feels like it, because she’s in a flowing white gown and the lighting is just right, and the moonlight is poetic enough that maybe, maybe, if you ply her with chocolate and sweets and coffee she’ll come out so you can play.

I don’t believe in letting the muse be quite so in control, to be quite honest. So, before I dive into the tip that I actually meant to give you, I guess I’m going to give you another one. You can’t only write when you feel like it – especially for NaNo.

You’re working on a novel – you’re working on something that’s clearly important to you. Your writing is clearly important to you. If someone really loves sports and wants to excel, they practice. Even when they don’t want to. If someone really loves music and they want to excel, they practice. Even when they don’t want to. 

If you really love writing, you should practice. Even when you don’t want to.

Are you getting where I’m going with this? I’m not saying that you have to write all of the time – I’m just saying that if it is something that is important to you… it’s probably something that you should put effort into practicing. And if it’s something that you want to do professionally? It’s really, really something that you should put a daily effort into. Yeah, the professionals don’t have to write all day every day… but you know what? They had to practice to get to where they are. They had to figure out how to hone and perfect their craft, and they’re still learning as they go.

So, that’s my little piece of advice that I actually didn’t mean to give in this blog. Treat your writing with the same respect as you would anything else that you want to get good at – yeah, it is something that is based on your creativity; take your muse hostage though. Tie that bitch up and stuff it into the closet, and only feed it after it has given you what you want, mkay?

In all seriousness, don’t wait around for some magical being to strike you with creativity. Don’t only write when you feel like it. Write even when you don’t – write when you don’t think that you can write. Eventually, even though it seems like it was hard at first, it will become a habit, and it will become something that you can do, even on those terrible days when you don’t feel like it. You’ll do it because you can, because you practiced, and because writing every day is something that is a part of you.

Okay… I’ve completely derailed from the actual reason that I was writing this blog. You know how I just told you to put your muse in a hostage situation…? Well… uh… you do still need to follow it though. What I mean by that is that you should pay attention to what your brain is interested in, and what you want to do for your writing project. I’ve had a lot of people in my writing group this year who have already talked to or approached the subject of the fact that they aren’t sure what they want to write this year. They had an idea that they developed at the beginning of October.

The problem with coming up with an idea at the beginning of October when you’re a creative person is that your brain has a lot of trouble settling on just that one idea. So you plot, you plan, you get pictures, you make playlists… and you find that you still have two weeks until NaNo begins and a million ideas kind of nagging at the back of your mind.

Yeah, I actually had that happen to me last year. I had my novel idea all set out – RipTide was going to be about post-apocalyptic mermaid things. (Yeah, bad explanation, but the explanation isn’t what this blog is actually about.)

Half way through doing my 31 Horror Prompts for October, I came up with this story about a boy whose mother sold her soul, and his soul, in order to get pregnant and be able to keep a baby. The whole fate of Heaven and Hell rested on his shoulders, and I wrote this really awesome scene about an angel who didn’t look anything less than a monster.

Oopse. I didn’t mean it – I really didn’t… but somehow, that one scene that was only a few thousand words ended up starting a novel idea that I couldn’t shake. I couldn’t stop myself from wanting to write it. I couldn’t stop my mind from developing a plot… so, instead of freaking out, instead of spending all of November wishing that I’d worked on Angelblade instead of RipTide… I made a decision.

I worked on both.

Sometimes, you  have to follow your muse. I’ve told this to everyone who has asked me advice on this particular subject.

What do I do if I have two projects that I really want to work on?

Work on both. I promise, your mind will usually sort things out for you. I did about 15,000 words on Angelblade, and about 80,000 on RipTide. My mind figured out what project it really wanted to focus on… but by not putting myself into a box and only letting myself go the conventional route of one book, I didn’t have regrets, and I didn’t stop RipTide half way through November because I was so frustrated with the fact that I didn’t just write Angelblade instead.

So, yeah, that’s my NaNo Tip for you today – listen to your muse, and follow it… but don’t let it dictate when you write. Your muse is there to give you ideas, and it’s there to gentle urge you along… but you are a writer, and you don’t need your muse to write. You can do it just fine all on your own.

With NaNo only a few short days away, I hope that everyone is prepared! I’m probably going to do daily update/tip blogs come November, and then in December, we will get back to our regularly scheduled blogging program. I’m really glad that you guys are enjoying these tips and tricks, and if there’s anything that you wanted me to talk about, just leave it in the comments below. I promise, I’ll do my best to help you through whatever it is that you need help with.

So, until… not next tip. There won’t be another Tips in October. Guys… NaNo starts this coming Tuesday. So, the next NaNo blog you get from me will be my Day One Update.

That’s pretty damn exciting.

Until next time guys!!! Keep reading and writing, and keep being absolutely awesome!
Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page | Tumblr | Blog Masterpost | My Writing Group
Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

My Discord Group (click to join) is starting to rev up for NaNoWriMo! If you want some help with plotting and a group to stay steady with after, feel free to click and join!

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It’s the time of year again, where I’m off to give you guys tips for a successful NaNoWriMo. I guess I’m going to start with the one tip that I find to be the most helpful. You may have heard these tips and tricks from me before, but they’re making a comeback in October for the purpose of NaNo Preparation!

Find a Writing Group.

Seriously. The only year that I didn’t win NaNo (2012), I didn’t have a writing group. I’d heard about it from someone on youtube. I thought it would be fun. I signed up – I didn’t have any friends who were participating. I wrote for the first day, completely forgot about it, and just went on about my life.

The thing is, a writing group and writing friends will hold you accountable. It’s not just that accountability that you need though. The excitement and air in a writing group really makes the difference between you going through those first week blues and stopping… and having an entire group of people who are experiencing the same thing as you are, but htey keep cheering you on. It’s the atmosphere, it’s the sense of community.

It’s honestly what I think NaNoWriMo is all about.


My Discord Group (click to join) is starting to rev up for NaNoWriMo! If you want some help with plotting and a group to stay steady with after, feel free to click and join!


I’m actually going to give out the link to my Discord writing group on here. I’ve had the group going since 2013, and I’ve won NaNo Every year since then. It’s just something that can honestly really help.

If you aren’t into the chat room scene, I really implore you to go and visit the NaNoWriMo Forums. There are so many helpful, friendly people there.

With a group, you can run sprints, you can challenge each other – you can share in your excitement and your days of defeat… and you can know that you aren’t on this crazy journey alone. There is always another person online at the very second that you’re feeling your emotions… and they’re feeling them, too. The best thing that you can do for yourself is to seek those people out – be a part of the writing community.

Trust me, you’ll thank me for it!

More tips to come every Tuesday and Thursday of October!

Until next time guys!!! Keep reading and writing, and keep being absolutely awesome!
Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page | Tumblr | Blog Masterpost | My Writing Group
Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

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Goodness, so here we are. We’re just a little past 1/3rd of the way through Camp NaNo, and I know that right about now is when the don’t wannas hit with a fierce force for quite a few people. We’ve been writing steadily for 12 days now, doing our hardest to get to our word counts… and we really just want a break.

I guess this can apply to all writing, because anything that we do consistently for so long can begin to wear and tear on us. I’ll work on writing tips for year around later – for now, I’m going to try to give you some NaNo tips to help you through the rest of this journey.

First and foremost, remember that Camp NaNoWriMo is not the actual NaNo event. You don’t have to write 50,000 words in a month. In fact, you don’t even have to write 25,000 words in a month. Your goal can be much smaller, and much more manageable if you so choose.

Building on that, in a few days, we will be half way through the month. When we hit that point, I really do implore you to look over your goal. Are you very ahead? Are you very behind? The beautiful thing about Camp is that you have the capability or adjusting that goal one way or another. So, if it looks like you’re going to finish early? Tack a few more thousand words on there! If it looks like you aren’t going to hit your goal? There is honestly no shame in taking it down a notch. NaNo actually encourages you to reevaluate your monthly goal, in order to make sure that it is manageable and you can win. So, push yourself, but make sure that you can hit that finish line.

And, as another tip – if the project that you are working on is really, really being uncooperative… I’m going to tell you something. It’s Camp. Switch projects. I know that some people are using camp as a way to finish a project, but if you’ve gone 12 days without the ability to work on it… I think that it’s safe to say you can tuck it away and do it later. Switch projects, experiment. Have fun, because that’s what Camp is all about.

Of course, I’m going to stick with my normal bits of advice that I always give – get involved in the community. Whether it’s your cabin, or you go play on the forums, or you find a skype group to join. Find people who will run sprints and crawls and get excited about writing with you!

Also, make sure to reward yourself when you do well, and sometimes make sure to reward yourself when you don’t – if you’re having a particularly hard day and the words aren’t coming so easily? Grab some candy, watch some TV. Take a break and then come back to your writing (that same day, guys. Not next week). You’ve got this, guys. Just keep moving forward.

That’s really all that I have for today. Just make sure that you keep pushing forward, and make sure that you realize that Camp is here for fun, and to help you win. Evaluate the situation, adjust accordingly, and you are a winner no matter what… because, at the end of the month, you have more words than you started with. You are creating a world from your mind, and that’s pretty amazing, if you ask me.

 

Until next time guys, keep reading and writing, and keep being awesome!
Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page | Tumblr | Blog Masterpost
Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

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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. 😉 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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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

 

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So, I was trying to hold off on making this post until I could ask the person who made my cover for my NaNo Novel this year for permission to post here. However, they aren’t getting back to me, so I’m going to go ahead and to this post. Don’t be surprised if another one pops up with the picture though, because I really like it.

Anyway, when you’re on the NaNo site, they give you the option to add a novel cover to your profile. They even tell you that you’re more likely to complete your 50k race with a cover. I can honestly say that there is probably some truth to that. I know for a fact that if I get a good cover and then use it for my computer background, or even at the top of my document… I don’t know, it makes me feel more official, and more like my novel is really going to amount to something.

I know that not everyone feels like they can make their own cover… but you’re wrong. There are programs out there that help you to do it.

  • Canva can help you to have really nice looking covers, and it’s pretty much a click and drag kind of program. There’s no difficulty to it, and as long as you use the free images, you’re able to download your cover for free.
  • If you’re feeling a little creative yourself, you can always make your own cover using Free Stock Photos, which gives you creative liberty to make whatever you want.
  • If you don’t think that you can make your own cover, you can always go to the NaNo Artisans section of the NaNoWriMo forums. There are dozens of people there more than willing to make covers for your novel. They’re talented and very pleasant to work with!
  • Talk to your friends. You’d be surprised as to how many of them are artistically inclined. If they know what they’re doing, making you a cover photo will only take them a few minutes, and then you’ll get to feel official.

The most important thing in this process is to make sure that you have the rights to use your cover photo content! Free stock images are the way to go with this! However, whatever you choose to do, just make sure that you have fun with it and it gives you a sense of accomplishment. I know that seeing my cover for my novel last year made me feel very nice and official. I created it with free stock images and a little bit of photoshop! I will leave you with an image of my novel cover from last year and good wishes for your NaNo endeavors.

Until next time, keep reading and writing!

Author Amanda McCormick
Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page

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Me: Before you leave, I want you to have a basic plot outline ready.

Gauness: You’re evil.

Me: Am I evil, or helpful.

Gauness: We’re going to go with evil.

So, my friend Gau (go on, click his name above) came over to my house today. We are doing NaNoWriMo boot camp, and he needed my help to get himself into gear. He should be here for about three hours, and he knows what he wants his basic story idea to be. That’s why I gave him the task of outlining.

It doesn’t have to be a deep outline. It doesn’t have to have all of the points… but a basic outline.

It’s okay to be ‘evil’. It’s okay to push yourself to limits that you didn’t think you could attain. I’m doing a day one 10k. And since I’m doing 2 novels, I honestly might push it up to a day 1 20k. That’s right. I’m going to push myself… and that’s okay.

NaNoWriMo is about pushing your limits and doing something that you didn’t even realize you could do. It’s about writing a novel in a month… do you understand how crazy that is? You’re giving birth to your creative baby in a month! It’s okay to set higher goals for yourself than you thought possible. You’re reaching for the moon, and no matter what you do… you’re going to land amongst the stars.

You’ve got this. You push for it. You’re an author… we’re all crazy anyway.

Until next time, keep reading and writing!

Author Amanda McCormick