Posted in Creative WRiting

NaNoWriMo Kick Off! <3

"NaNoWriMo 2020 Writer" - Facebook Banner - Design by Tyrell Waiters
I love the banner this year.

 Hey there everyone! How are we doing today? I didn’t do my normal NaNoWriMo kick off day post yesterday because it was a little hectic. I do want to say that I did my normal FirstDay10k! I actually ended up getting 15,000! So I was pretty pleased with my progress. Honestly though, I just love NaNoWriMo. There’s something so fantastic about a huge group of people coming together with the goal of getting words.

Things are a little different for me this year, since I’ve been participating in MilWordy. I’ve been getting such huge numbers for the past 2 months that I’m going to be pushing myself a little harder than I usually would. I’m trying to finish 2 drafts for NaNo. I really think that I’m going to be able to do it, because I did take the time to do some proper prep before the month started on both of them. I have my general plot and my proper beats down, and I think that I’m going to be able to get through them.

And honestly, low-key, there’s a part of me that wants to finish three drafts for the month, but we’re not going to get that crazy quite yet in committing to that. In a perfect world, I will finish the trilogy that I’m working on and the book that I’m writing with my friend. But in a realistic world, I’d love to finish the second book in the trilogy and the book with my friend.

We’ll see how things go.

Anyway, this is my normal check in for the month. I’m going to be trying to post NaNoWriMo updates, tips, tricks, the works as often as I can. I notice that in October I tend to fall off of posting anything that isn’t spoopy writing prompts, and this year I was making them all from scratch on Canva so it was even more of me just posting those. But now that October is over with, I’m back.

And I’m here to give you your first tip!

Find a group to write with! 

Join my Discord Server if you’d like ❤ We have contests, accountability, we’re going to be doing a giveaway for the people who win NaNo, and we’re generally just a really fun group to be around. 

Or, if you would prefer something more intimate, find some groups on facebook, or get a group together on the NaNo website. It’s just really important that you find yourself some accountability buddies for NaNo, since I think that one of the most important and really essential parts to the whole thing is finding your people. 

I know that’s a tip that I give all of the time, but it’s honestly one that I can’t say enough. I really don’t think that my writing progress would be where it is if I hadn’t had my Discord group around for as long as I have in tandem with my husband who really cheers me on every chance that he gets. I’ve met some of the most important people in my life through that group, and I know that I wouldn’t be half as happy or half as productive without them.

So… find your tribe. Come join mine if you want to ❤ Just find your people and stick with them! 

Until next time, y'all!
Keep writing and writing, and keep being awesome!
Author Amanda McCormick
Instagram | Twitter | Facebook PageNaNo Page | Tumblr | Blog Masterpost | My Writing Group |
Posted in Creative WRiting

NaNoWriMo 2019 Tips and Thoughts

I’m just going to keep coming back to this, aren’t I? Of course! I love NaNoWriMo so much, and I really think it’s an amazing thing that more writers need to participate in. So, I’m going to lay out a few more quick tips for everyone.

First, if you’re the person who likes to write with music, make sure to get yourself a playlist laid out. Make it specific to the project that you’re working on this month. If you have a certain set of music that you listen to each and every day, you’re going to associate that music with working, and it’s going to trick your brain into continuing to get into that working mood, even when you start to crash out!

I recommend using SPOTIFY if you can. It’s an easy place to make playlists, select from an enormous amount of songs, and you can also look out for other people’s music to see what’s inspiring them!

Also, even if you aren’t really a plotter… I’d suggest at least writing out a few sentences of what you’re planning on happening — you have some kind of an idea about it 😛 If you do that, pin it up in front of you, it’ll give you motivation for where you go! If you aren’t heavy into plotting, but you still like to do a little plot, do what I do. I write one to two sentences for each chapter with plenty of room for making new things up as I go along! It helps without detracting from me being able to create and make up as I go.

Those are my tips for the day! I hope that you enjoyed them! I’ll have some more up tomorrow!

Until then, keep reading and writing, and keep being awesome!
Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Facebook PageNaNo Page | Tumblr | Blog Masterpost | My Writing Group

Posted in Creative WRiting

NaNoWriMo 2019! Tips and Thoughts!

It’s that time again, guys. That time when a million voices come together screaming in excitement, and then panic… and then exhaustion as we race towards the finish line of 50,000 words written in 30 days.

It sounds insane, I know. I feel insane every year that I say I’m going to do it… but here I am, doing it anyway. And, as usual, I can’t do it like a normal person. I have two projects that I am working on personally, and one project that I’m going to be working on with a friend. In the spirit of actual NaNo, I will not feel like a winner unless I get 50,000 words onto one of those projects by itself. My main project is going to be a lot of fun. I made a cover, if you wanna take a peeksie.

Which is one of my first tips to you guys! You want to make sure that, if you can, you make yourself a cover. I know it’s silly, but it oddly does help. It’s something about seeing an image to your idea ❤ I suggest using Canva, if you wanna slap something together yourself!

It’s not just about a cover though… you really need to get excited about your project. I find that one of the easiest ways to do that is to find someone to be excited with you. Whether it’s a friend, or a local writing group, or getting onto the NaNo forums, you need people to talk to. The first and only time that I lost NaNo was in 2011, when I had NO ONE doing it with me. I probably wrote the 50k, but I was so not into the whole NaNo idea that I just… trickled off of the site.

The next year, I made a Skype group and had a group of random friends to join it… and from there, it’s grown into a fantastic Discord Server. If you want to join CLICK HERE CLICK HERE CLICK HERE and come hang out. The thing is, having people who are just as excited as you, and people who are going through this crazy journey with you really does help a lot. On the server, we run sprints, prompts, crawls, and we’re basically an all year writing server to provide encouragement and so you can snag you up some accountability buddies.

Having an accountability buddy is essential. I let my whole server know what is up and my progress, but I have a close friend who I like to be really accountable to. I’ve lost my buddy before, and it makes writing a lot less fun. If you have someone you trust, love, care about? Snag ’em up. They don’t have to be a writer, but it helps, because you’re getting to provide accountability services for them as well.

I’ll be posting more tips and thoughts over the next few days, as well as writing updates as NaNo goes on! If there’s anything you’d like to see, any subject you’d like for me to touch on, just let me know! Until then!

Keep writing and writing, and keep being awesome!

Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Facebook PageNaNo Page | Tumblr | Blog Masterpost | My Writing Group

Posted in Creative WRiting, NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month

NaNo Tips and Tricks

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I thought that I would go ahead and get another NaNo Tip out there. I know, it’s not Tuesday or Thursday… but NaNoWriMo does start on Tuesday, and I know that people are searching and scouring the internet for tips and tricks to make the experience a bit better for themselves. So, I thought that I would get a few more out there, in order to help people as much a possible!

So, one of the things that I find that really helps me is to check out the internet resources for NaNoWriMo. I know, but I’m not tooting my own horn. I actually really love youtube resources for this. Whenever I find myself in a little bit of a slump, or un-inspired, I love to go to youtube and watch videos of other people who are doing NaNoWriMo. There are a ton of wonderful people who vlog for prep, and vlog during NaNoWriMo… and those videos can be a lifesaver for me.

They kind of help me to get focused, but it’s more than that. Seeing other people who are doing NaNoWriMo directly relates to the other tip that I have of joining the writing community. You can’t directly speak with these people, but it’s a way to feel involved. It’s a way to show you that other people are writing, other people are participating, and quite often other people are having the same struggles and worries that you do. It helps you to realize that you aren’t the only one feeling the way that you do… and honestly, giving yourself an hour to watch youtube videos will also give your mind a chance to recover and rest. Sometimes it’s good just to hit the restart button before you dive back into writing. Watching other people talk about their writing, their planning? It’s a great way to keep yourself in the NaNo mind frame without working yourself. It’s a good break.

If you aren’t a big person on watching youtube videos, there are also a ton of bloggers out there who are also participating in NaNoWriMo. I’m personally going to be posting blogs about it daily, because I think that it’s important to have that as a resource for people. I know that I’m not the only one though. There are a ton of people who blog about NaNo, and they’ll also help you feel like part of the community, and give you something to read and distract yourself while you’re going.

The only thing that I very much recommend you keep in mind while you search out your fellow NaNo-ers is to never compare yourself. You aren’t going to do anyone any favors if you look at someone who has more words than you and you get upset. You aren’t in competition with the world… you’re in competition with yourself, and the most important thing for you to remember is that you’re going to have more words than you started with come December. You’re doing something amazing, and you can’t trivialize that by comparing what you’re doing to what anyone else is doing. So… search for those videos and those blogs, but make sure that you don’t compare yourself to them. Instead of wasting that energy, why don’t you use it to leave them a kind comment instead? Because, whether it feels that way or not, I’m sure that they’re also struggling, and they also need pep talks and help!

But yes, that’s my bit of advice for today. I’m binging on NaNo videos while I work on my last bit of prep, and it’s been a damn exciting thing for me. It’s getting me completely stoked and completely excited. As a side note, remember to also join writing groups if you can! If you don’t have one, there’s a link to my discord in my signature, and you’re more than welcome to join it! We’re super friendly and we have NaNo Specific rooms!

Regardless of how you feel involved, make sure you do! One of the greatest things about NaNoWriMo is the access that it gives you to a wonderful writing community. Monopolize on that!

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!

Posted in Creative WRiting, Nano, nano advice, nano tips, nano tricks, NaNoWriMo, nanowrimo prep, National Novel Writing Month

NaNo Prep, Tips, and Tricks!

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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!

Posted in Creative WRiting, NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month

NaNo Prep, Tips, and Tricks!

header-nano-tipsHey, everyone! I’m here with another Tip for you in preparation for NaNoWriMo! It’s going to be here before we know it, so we’re all doing those last minute searches for everything that we can that will help us to defeat the monster that we’re about to engage! Actually, that was 2 years ago, right? Slaying dragons. This year we’re… blasting off?

Are we defeating aliens?

I don’t know. It doesn’t matter… the point is, we’re so close to NaNo that we’re all scrambling for those last minute tips and tricks that will help us to accomplish our goals.

I’m going to give you some advice that comes from someone who has participated in NaNo multiple times. It’s some of the best advice that I can give:

Plan on getting ahead.

Seriously – the first week, you’re going to be more energized than any other week that you’re doing NaNo. Your story is going to be fresh, you’re going to be extremely hyped… you’re going to be on this cloud of, “Wow, I’m an author, I am writing a book and I’m amazing.”

Come week two, you’re going to be tired, your fingers will hurt… your body will be wondering why there’s so much blood in its caffeine stream. By week three, you’re going to have done that cardinal rule that you shouldn’t do and look at what you wrote. Lamenting will happen, you’ll wonder why you’re even doing this! And then the last expanse of NaNo will get here, and you’ll get re-energized, re-excited. You’ll realize that you’re writing a novel that you’re almost finished with! You’ll charge through that last little bit like a pro… and you’ll finish NaNo with Pride!

But, let’s get back to that first week. That first week is really where you set the stage – you’re going to be tempted to have bad days, more than likely… so the best thing that you can do is prepare to get ahead. Set your goals higher in week one – it doesn’t have to be by much, but setting them to something more than just the 1,667 while you have all of that extra energy and excitement is really a great thing to do.

For myself, I try to have a 10k first day. It sounds extreme, but it honestly isn’t. If you have good friends, or an internet writing group (check on joining my Discord in my signature if you don’t <3), you can do sprints all day. You don’t realize how much you’re writing until you’ve done 5 or 6 sprints, and you’re already well past your word goal for the day and you still have energy.

I, personally, start writing at midnight and try to at least make my wordgoal of 1,667 before I go to bed. That way, when I wake up the next day and start writing, everything is new and fresh, but I’m really adding extra on. If I can manage that 10k first day, it gives me so much wiggle room. It gives me a chance to breath… and a chance during week 2 and 3 blues to have those days where I can’t write as much as I would want to.

Ride that first week energy, and ride it as hard and as far as you can. have 2k days instead of 1,667 days. Hell, have 3k days, or 5k days! Do as much as you can, and know that you’re getting ahead on your novel.

And remember, when you’re having those second and third week blues… you’re doing something amazing. You are creating and entire world with just your mind. You’re doing something that so many people can’t do, and you’re an astounding individual for it. Just keep on keeping on, and know that you can always come to my blog to hear words of encouragement, because I belive in you. I really do. You’ve got this.

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!

Posted in Creative WRiting, NaNoWriMo, nanowrimo prep, nanowrimo tips, nanowrimo trick, National Novel Writing Month

NaNo Preps, Tips, and Tricks!

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It’s time for another tip blog for NaNo, and I do realize that I’m going to end up posting some of the same tips that I posted last year… but that was last year, and this is this year… and honestly, I go through the same prep process with new things added to it every year. So.

For today’s tip, I’m going to tell you something that I know I’ve told you before, but I find it so important that I don’t mind telling you again. The National Novel Writing Month website actually tells you this as well.

Make yourself a cover!

I don’t care if it’s really good, if you go into the Artisan forums and ask someone to make it for you, or if you just go to a free domain photo site and make something in paint. The point is, people who have covers have a might higher percentage of winning than people who don’t. I don’t get the exact science behind it, or the reason… but I really do find it to be true.

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(Above is a cover that I made myself for my novel in 2014)

A Cover, at least for me, means that I have a vision of my project. It means that when I’m looking at it, I can imagine what it will look like when it’s put into an actual novel format. I’m not saying that the cover that you make is going to be the cover that you keep – if you’re pursuing traditional publishing, I’m pretty sure that you won’t even get a say in what that cover is when you first publish. But for now, and for your mind? It’s going to be there for you. You’re going to see it as a book, not just as that thing that you’re trying to throw together in a month as best you can.

For me, I try to always use public domain photos, or something that is free to use. I don’t like using people’s pictures without their permission. The place where I made my covers (yes, you heard me right, plural) for this year is publicdomainpictures.net. Everything there is public domain, so it’s been pretty fun. I wouldn’t, of course, self-publish anything without doing further research… but for the intents and purposes of making a cover that I can use for NaNoWriMo? It’s a great site. There are quite a few places where you can get free to use photos if you do a google search – any one of those is a wonderful place to start, if you’re going to make your cover yourself!

Once you’ve found a picture that you like, it’s extremely easy to take it to a place like Lunapic, or even your own windows programs if you prefer. Add some text, including your name and a title. The great thing about it is this – you don’t have to feel like you’re tied in to the title that you choose. If you decide to change it later, this isn’t a professional cover. This isn’t something that you paid a ton fo money for… this is a cover that you made. This is just something that you did to give your mind a visual of what your book coudl look like.

Nothing is set in stone, except for the fact that you have the determination to turn your story into a novel!

So, that’s all that I have for tips today. If you guys want, i can do a blog on how I made my book covers! I’d love to share. Other than that, keep in mind that NaNo is in about 2 weeks now. Get your outline pounded out, get your prep-prepped! It’s going to be time to go on a pretty rad adventure soon!

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!

Posted in Creative WRiting, NaNoWriMo, nanowrimo prep, nanowrimo tips, nanowrimo trick, National Novel Writing Month

Prep, Tips and NaNo Tricks!

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I want to apologize for missing my post on Tuesday. I had a bit of a busy week, so finishing up my prompts and getting them out was about all that I could handle. That is okay though, because I’m here today!

I figured I’d go ahead and take this one to a list of things that find to be super important to NaNoWriMo being kicked off properly. Of course, this is just my list… but I think it’s a pretty good list!

  • Notebooks – I love notebooks. I definitely need them in my life when I’m doing NaNo (who am I kidding, I need them in my life all of the time.) Even though I do a lot of plotting in Scrivener (I will get to that in a moment), there’s still a part of me that remembers the time before I could carry around a computer everywhere. That part of me wants a notebook. Use it to write ideas, to jot down dialogue that you hear people say throughout the day. As a writer, I guarantee you’re going to need it.
  • Scrivener – This is my personal preference. I really adore this writing program, so much so that I’ve done entire blogs on it before. I’m thinking of doing an update Scrivner blog, actually… because it really does change the way that I write. It gives you an organized place to write, to store your thoughts, and to make sure that you can get your words out come November.
  • Pens, markers, etc – In vein with the whole notebook business, make sure that you have things to write with. I use mine more for sticky notes and writing down my daily word counts after I get the initial notebook planning out of the way… but they’re honestly really important.
  • I know it’s silly, but Snacks. Snacks, and coffee and discounted Halloween candy. Having something to munch on while you’re writing is kind of imperative when you’re going to be so busy writing that you sometimes forget to eat to begin with. At least, that’s how it happens with me a lot.
  • Your outline. I know a lot of people are pantsers, but at least have a general idea of what you’re doing if you can. Just something vague, something that you can at least know what you’re going for. It will make a huge difference, I promise you.
  • A playlist! I know it’s silly, but having a specific playlist for your project can really help. Your mind associates those songs with your novel, and it actually helps you to get into gear and into the mood that you were in when you were writing before. This year, I’m going to try to have chapter playlists, because I think it could be a lot of fun.
  • Maybe most important – your writing group. Your writing buddies… just someone to participate with. Having someone who can hold you accountable, and someone that you can challenge, that you can write with? So important. I really do find a huge difference in my writing from when I had my writing group and when I didn’t. There’s a link to my Discord group in my signature, feel free to drop in and get an idea of what we’re all about. I promise, writing groups do make a huge difference.
  • Your writing space – make sure that you have it ready. If you’re someone who writes on the go, make sure that you have your laptop prepared then. Personally, I made a corner in my living room, and I have my desk prepared. I’m going to be cleaning up a few things for when I invite friends over. Just make sure that wherever you’re going to work, you have it cleaned, you have it ready to go…

So yeah, I might actually make a list v.2 if I think of more things. These are just a few tips and tricks that I know I use personally. I’d love to hear about what you do in order to get ready for NaNoWriMo! If you write a list, tag me in it! Maybe we can all make one big master list of our NaNo prep lists, so that anyone new to NaNo has a great resource!

I will see you guys a little later on in the day for my Horror Writing Prompt reply!

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!

 

Posted in Creative WRiting, nano tips, NaNoWriMo

NaNo Prep and Tips

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Hey, guys! It’s Thursday, so that means that it’s time for me to get another blog going for NaNo Prep and Tips, since November is right around the corner. It’s important for us to get ourselves as ready as we can! This blog will happen every Tuesday and Thursday until NaNo starts, and then I’ll be posting up tips and tricks on how to get through NaNoWriMo as it goes through November!

But, that will be in November. For now, we’re worrying about what prep you can do before National Novel Writing Month begins! Today, I’m going to talk to you about something that I think is pretty important. This is just my opinion, and you should certainly do what works for you… but I think that one of the most important things to writing a novel successfully in a month is to plot.

I know, the pantsers go wild with rabbling. I’m not someone who will negate that as a style of writing… but honestly, you don’t have to plot your entire novel out. You don’t have to take out the mystery of it…

What you can do is a nice little mixture of the two – call it Plantsing. This is how I generally outline my novels, and I find it so important to getting a cohesive novel out by the end of the month. My goal isn’t just to churn out a complete novel at the end of November… it’s to turn out something that I want to keep – something that I don’t have to cut out half of because I was just floundering for words. It’s to turn out a novel that I can edit and potentially publish one day.

So, I plot. I do a very small outline.

Basically, I start writing. I write down my ideas, my characters… that thing that even the pantsers do – get an idea of what you’re writing.

After that, though, I go a step further. I’ll look at what I’ve written, and I’ll go down the page.

1 – Introduce main characters.

2- MC A meets MC B, they go to an ice cream shop and talk about flying whales.

3 – The flying whales come and attack the town.

4 – They have to fight the flying whales.

5 – Chaos and romance ensue.

6 – They follow the flying whales into space by way of making a ship.

7 – Epic final battle.

So, that’s clearly not my plot outline… but it’s an example of what I’m talking about. I don’t really plan the chapter, but I give a sentence or two that is a very small idea of what I want to happen. By doing this, I don’t end up having a completely superfluous chapter about kitten ice cream cones, because clearly, that isn’t important to the novel at all. Basically, you’re just making a map of how to get from beginning to end. You aren’t writing the whole novel, you aren’t completely spoiling the discovery process as a writer…

You’re just giving yourself a skeleton to flesh out, and I find that this is the difference between being able to smoothly write the whole month through and struggling mid-month because you’ve run out of plot by accident.

If you guys are interested, I can do a more in-depth blog on this, but I hope that I’ve covered the subject enough so that you can get a general idea of what I’m talking about. It’s really all about getting a general idea – figuring out where you want to start and where you want to end.

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

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!

 

Posted in Creative WRiting, Nano, nano advice, nano tips, NaNoWriMo, nanowrimo prep, nanowrimo tips, nanowrimo trick

Nano Preps and Tips!

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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