Posted in Creative WRiting

Pack Your Bags! Camp Time!

What’s that? Is that the sound of a bonfire I hear? The awesome smell of toasted Marshmallows?

Is it Camp NaNoWriMo time again already?

Full disclosure, I signed up for camp last time around, and I didn’t get anything done. Between the Pandemic and the fact that my kids are absolutely crazy because they can’t get out and do anything… I just didn’t have time to get anything done. I’m fine with that — it’s just Camp. I save my serious writer pants for November NaNo. Still… I want to participate this month, and I’m really excited to do so.

My plans? I want to finish my draft from November. I got… about… 80% of the way through the novel before I realized that I was probably going to have to add a second perspective into it. However, I want to finish this first draft with the singular perspective before I go back in and work on it.

Yeah, that happens to me a lot. A lot of my first drafts are me writing in the wrong POV, me realizing I need dual perspectives… me realizing this this standalone is yet another trilogy xD But… I am almost finished with this one, so I want to go ahead and get it going, get it finished, and get it printed out.

I think that one of the most satisfying things about finishing a draft is printing it out so you can hold all of those words that you just wrote in your hands. There’s something about it that brings me more satisfaction than I could possibly describe.

How do you guys feel about that? And another question, what are your camp projects? I set a goal of 20,000 words, but I’m sure that I’m going to exceed that to finish things up. I just put it at a generally attainable amount, so that I could get things finished up. I know that my real goal is “Finish the draft”, but they don’t have an option for that.

Tell me about what you’re going to do! Let’s be Camp buddies here, since it seem like most people don’t like the NaNo site anymore! I can’t wait to hear your goals and what you want to write about! Tell me in the comments, or write a blog post and link back to me! I’m going to try to do update blogs all throughout the month! I’d love to see y’all do the same!

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, 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

Posted in Creative WRiting, Writing Tips

Writing Tip – Prepping

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Hey all! Look, I made a new image while I tried to figure out what to blog about today… and it was actually making that image that brought me to a realization of what I wanted to write about.

Sometimes, we just need to distract ourselves for a few minutes. I came to my desktop with the full intentions of immediately pumping out a blog. Instead, I took the time to check my Discord Chat (Click the link if you’d like to join!), I made myself an iced coffee… I chatted with some friends on skype… and then I decided that I wanted to make a new blog header, specifically for tips and tricks.

And then, once I was done, I actually felt like writing. Sometimes, we can’t immediately jump into our projects, as much as we want to. Sometimes, we can’t even do warm up exercises to get ourselves ready to write.

Sometimes, we just have to fool around, knowing that we are going to write, and wait for our brain to catch up to that little fact. I know I sometimes leave my muse upstairs in my bed, and it has to finally kick off the covers and follow me to the computer before I’m ready to get started for the day.

Now, I’m not saying that you should spend all day procrastinating by any means. If you have a set time of when you can write (like, if you only have 30 minutes to an hour allotted for writing time) you should certainly hop to it. But if you spend 5 of those minutes messing around and allowing yourself to mentally work up to the task that you’re about to take on, that’s okay.

If you’re like me, and you have plenty of time… taking 20 minutes to properly acclimate yourself to the task at hand isn’t a bad thing at all. Sometimes, what we need is a chance to prepare, and to charge up… before we charge into a writing battle. The entire time that I was looking at the things I listed above, I was contemplating what I wanted to write about. I narrowed it down from working on a story to doing a blog. From there, I narrowed it down from Flash Fiction to doing something about tips… but I wasn’t sure what. I took the time that I spent messing around to figure myself out, and once I did, I could set to task.

So, don’t feel guilty if it takes you a little bit sometimes before you start writing – it’s not a matter of immediately starting. It’s a matter of starting, and getting those words down. It’s a matter of letting the world that is hiding inside of your mind leak out to the page through your fingertips. You’ve got this. You are an extremely creative being… and sometimes, we extremely creative beings need to tool around on twitter and tumblr for 20 minutes before we start creation.

And there is nothing wrong with that!

So, until next time, you guys! Keep reading and writing, and keep being amazing!
Author Amanda McCormick

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

Posted in Creative WRiting, nano prep, NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, pinterest, Writing Advice, writing prep, Writing Tips, Writing Tricks

NaNo Prep Countdown – 4 Days… Pinteresting…

So, this particular Countdown Tip is something that I have recently decided to try out myself. Much like saving pictures to your desktop for inspiration, the website Pinterest allows you to do just that. Now, I’m not saying that you should spend your entire NaNo time glued to your phone or web browser by any means… but especially in these few days that we have left until NaNo begins, it’s a great way to get yourself hyped and get some visual ideas in your head.

Pin

Above is a picture of My Pinterest, which I just started today ^_^

If you don’t like Pinterest, there are other options. Some people like to create a Tumblr specific to their novel to reblog photos, quotes, etc. Some people go the old fashioned route and actually make a pin board in their room. The point isn’t necessarily how you do it, but the fact that you’re doing it. When you find yourself stuck at 1,000 words, looking at your inspiration board (through whatever venue you chose) could give you that extra push that you need to keep on going.

How I do this is a little funny. I mostly pin faces. I pick what my main characters are going to look like, and then I search the internet far and wide for people with those appearances. I like to have expressions for sad, angry, elated, miserable… because I can look at that and get a bit of an actual feel for how my character is feeling in a particular scene if I’m having trouble. Of course, doing fantasy novels, I also love to pin pictures of potential locations, magical-awesomeness, etc. But that little burst of inspiration does help!

So, I know that Pinterest isn’t for everyone, but think about having some kind of inspiration section for your novel, so when you’re having tough times in that third week of NaNo, you have something to help push you along! NaNo Prep is there to get you through the tough times!

That’s all I have for now. I’ll be doing little posts like this until NaNo begins. I can’t wait. Only 4 more days! Are you ready?

Until next time, keep reading and writing,

Author Amanda McCormick
Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page

Posted in nano prep, NaNoWriMo, natioanl novel writing month, writing prep, Writing Tips, Writing Tricks

NaNo Tip #12 – Sometimes You Disconnect

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So, this blog comes from a very true place. I have had internet access for a day and some change. It’s probably going to happen to you that you find yourself in a situation at some point or another during November that you aren’t going to have your internet. Whether you’re stuck doing family things, your provider goes down, or you have a long trip… it’s probably going to happen.

So, what do you do about it? I can tell you what you don’t do… you don’t give up and choose to not write. You don’t lose potentially thousands of words because you ‘can’t write.’ Here’s a little tough love, guys… that’s bullshit. You can ALWAYS write. How? How, when you don’t have your internet to post, to check forums, etc? How when you’re on a road trip? How if (god forbid) you can’t get to your computer for a day? It’s okay, let me tell you.

  • Do it the old fashioned way and write it out. You might not be able to get your full amount of words, but take notes, write ideas, just keep writing so that when you get back to your computer, you can get your writing out extra fast.
  • If you don’t have internet access for a blog… write offline. I know, that’s weird, but you can do it. Prepare your posts for when you can post! This is for those of you who blog during NaNoWriMo.
  • Get applications on your phone to help! Come on now, we all have smart phones now a days. Do you know what program is a life saver for me? Evernote. (I will blog about Evernote tomorrow). Seriously. You can sync it everywhere, and when you’re out on that super long car trip, you can put your texting skills to the test. It may not be the prettiest 1,667 words you’ve ever written, but they’ll still be there.
  • Alternatively, use a tablet if you have one. They have writing programs. It might not be the fastest you’ve ever done, but you can do it!

I know, it’s a little weird to think of writing without your computer. I hate it. I hated trying to get my blogs ready without internet access, but I did it! On the trip to No Internet Land, I wrote on my phone. When there, I wrote offline, and I worked on my NaNoWriMo plot in a notebook. The point is, we don’t have to be hooked in. There are always options!

Until next time, guys! Keep reading and writing!

Author Amanda McCormick

Posted in NaNoWriMo, nanowrimo prep, National Novel Writing Month, patreon, writing prep, writing prompts, Writing Space, Writing Tips, Writing Tricks

Prepping for NaNo (NaNo Tip #3… I think.)

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So, I’ve been posting a bunch of writing prompts to prep for National Novel Writing Month, but just doing prompts isn’t the only prep that you need. Some of my tips have mentioned a few other things, but I wanted to really think about it and make a list for how I prep for NaNo. This post came about because I asked in my earlier post how you guys plan for NaNoWriMo. I’d still love to hear that, but for now… here is how an Amanda Do.

  • First and foremost, I do prompts. I know, you already know this… but it’s one of the more important things for me. If I haven’t been writing every day, it gets me into a habit. It’s a very important habit!
  • Secondly, I make sure my Scrivener is ready for me. I plot out my novel. I’m not a huuuugeee planner. What I tend to do is use the notecard feature on Scrivener. I will write something like: Chapter One – Introduce main character. Chatper Two – Introduce so and so conflict. Basically 1-2 lines about what I want to see happen during the novel. I don’t even do it for a guideline so much as just to see that I have enough content to get through the novel.
  • Third, I like to make sure that my NaNo room is all amped up. I start talking to people, trying to get the hype going. I have a few steady writer friends who I talk to all year long, but getting fresh excitement in the room is important to me.
  • Fourth, though I won’t do this until closer to the end of the month… I make sure that my writing area is completely clean and organized. I have a writing area all sectioned off… and it’s where I do a lot of my NaNo work. I can’t do that if it’s a mess… oh, I can’t do that at all. Along with this, I fix my calendar, write my word count goals, etc. I like to be able to mark off the days that I finish, how ahead/behind I am, etc.
  • Fifth, I make sure that I’m stocked up on coffee, energy drinks, and discounted Halloween candy. I think that one explains itself >_>
  • Sixth and finally for the moment, I get myself as hyped as possible. I look at my story, I plan out more details for it, I watch NaNoWriMo videos from people like Katytastic. I do everything that I can to get myself going so that I can do what I love to do on that first day…

And what is that, you might ask? First day, as soon a November 1st hits… I like to write. I write all day. I write as hard as I can. I word war, I word crawl, I participate in sprints. I do 1st day 10k. Yeah, that’s right. If I can, I like to get 10k in the first day. It gets you so ahead, and it’s a great goal to go for, even if you only get 5k. Getting ahead is so important!

Anyway, this post is getting a little lengthy, so I’ll end it for now. I’d love to hear how you guys prep! Let me know!

Until next time, keep reading and writing!

Author Amanda Mccormick

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