Posts Tagged ‘writing tips’

So, life is hectic sometimes, isn’t it? It feels like there are too many things going on to really find time for myself, let alone time to do something like writing. I often times end up going more than a week without blogging, even though I really want to do this daily.

And so, I am on a constant quest to find ways to incorporate writing into my daily life. xD Luckily (???) [I hope Luckily] I get to share the knowledge that I garner on that quest with you guys!

My tidbit of thought today is how it is so important to find your mobility in the world of writing. The simple fact is that the world today is so fast paced that you can’t afford to not have some sort of mobile way to at least jot down your ideas. Some people use pen and paper in the old school style, and some people take notes via phone. I have found a mixture of the two that I am really enjoying. I have a Note8 that I adore, and the stylus allows me to write via hand and store it onto my phone. I allows me to write as I go, including this blog post! I’m also going to get a mini bluetooth keyboard when I can afford one and it will hopefully up the productivity.

If you guys are interested I would love to do a blog post to highlight the positives and negatives of the Note8 as a writing tool. Let me know!

Until then,

Author Amanda Mccormick

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Life and Writing

Hello, everyone! You haven’t heard from me since the end of NaNo (I won with around 112,000 words!), and that’s because I needed a break after all of that writing. Well, that and the fact that my little one has been majorly fussy for the past week. I wanted to go ahead though and let you guys know what the future of this blog was going to be, what with the baby, the new year, and everything else!

No worries! Of course! I’m actually going to try to get back onto a daily posting schedule, while maybe taking the weekends as a “could post, but might just nap” time. I will be featuring weekly “What I’m Reading/Author/Book spotlights” or Book reviews, if I’ve finished the novel. I’ll be doing weekly writing prompts again. I’ll also have up writing tips/writing with kiddos tips, more about books and reading, and my overall thoughts! I’m really excited to dive back into it! I’d also love to hear from you guys!

Have you written a book and you want to be featured on the blog? Just hit me up here, or send me an email – amandaleannemccormick@gmail.com! If you have any blog suggestions or any tips that you’d like for me to discuss, I’d love to hear about it. Part of what I adore so much with this blog is getting to interact with all of you! I can’t wait to dive back in to posting every day!

Until then!

Author Amanda McCormick

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

Camp-2017-Participant-Twitter-Header

So, here we are on the last day of Camp NaNoWriMo… and I’m actually completely unsure of whether or not I’m gonna win. I have around 3000 words to still write, and I could probably get it done…

But, I have other obligations. I have a room to get completely cleaned out so that I can move and get settled before I pop out my little monster ❤ I have to somehow find enough time to still get enough sleep so that I don’t feel ill (which involves me sleeping during the day because I toss and turn at night). I have a million and one things to do… and I know that there’s a chance that I will fail at NaNo (though I will update you guys tomorrow and let you know for sure as to what happened)… but the point is, I don’t feel bad about it.

That’s kind of the beautiful thing about Camp. I don’t take it as seriously as the real NaNo. I don’t think of it as something that I have to win – I set myself a goal, and I do my best to attain it, but I’m always really happy with the results, regardless of whether I got 10,000 or 50,000. Maybe I’m just weird for the fact that I don’t think Camp is as serious as the November NaNo, but that’s kind of how I go along with it.

I’m also pretty pleased with what I managed to do this month, as far as my writing prompts go. I haven’t gotten that much done, but the ones that I did do have inspired me for new novel ideas, which is always amazing (and a little hectic, since I should seriously quit having new novel ideas all of the time – you know, editing one completely would be a much better use of my time xD). Still, I’m happy with the ideas. I’m extremely happy with the fact that I feel creative, even if I don’t have the time to be as creative as I’d like right at this moment.

I’m looking forward, and onward. Onward to a time when I’m going to have my writing space set up in our new house, and it’s going to be in the same room as my baby. I’m not gonna be able to just sit and write for hours on end (obviously, there’s gonna be a little on there), but I am going to be able to concentrate on my writing while my baby is napping in the same room as me.

My mind is certainly flooded with a lot of thoughts right now. As a first time mama, you tend to go in circles in your heads about how things are going to work, how things are going to be, (how labor is gonna be, oh dear), and a million other things. But my mind is also focused and clear on the fact that I want to write – more than that, that I really and truly want to focus on getting a book completely polished and sent off to an agent. It’s not really about making a ton of money (though that would be nice, eh?), it’s about setting an example for the sweet little boy that I’m bringing in the world. It’s about showing him that you can follow dreams, and that you can put your mind to something and get it done.

It’s about a lot of things. And Camp has happily gotten me back into the set of mind that I love writing, and that I can do this writing things even when things are crazy. I might not always get as much done as I wanted to, but I’ll still get a lot done.

Camp, writing, NaNoWriMo… it’s always such a wonderful experience, because it always brings you back to the core of what you really enjoy doing, and it makes you think about it.

I love to think about writing, and I certainly love to think about someday seeing my book on a shelf. This month has given me a taste for how being busy is going to change my writing habits, but it’s a good taste. It’s a taste that is getting me ready for the future… and it’s a future that I’m more than willing to embrace and get ready for. So, yeah, I may not win my Camp adventure (though just writing this blog is pumping me up to do just that, and I really do think that I can!), but I still feel like I’ve won, regardless of what the word count says. I’ve done a good job, and I’m ready to run as close as I can to the finish line with the thoughts and feelings that I have right now. I’m ready to get there, and feel like a winner regardless.

I am wondering though, how has Camp been for all of you? I’d love to hear about how much writing you’ve gotten done, what your stories were about, etc. I’d love to hear about the ups and downs of your camp adventures – just link me to blogs that you wrote about it, or write the blogs and then tag my name in them! Whatever you do, I’d love ot hear about it!

As a side note, now that the month is coming to an end, I should be getting back to the other types of blogs that I was writing before – the writing prompts, tips, currently, tags, etc. I’m excited to get back to those, and I would love to get some feedback before I do to see if there’s anything else that you all would like to see for my posts! I’m always more than happy to please you guys while getting things done, and I’m really excited about my progress and moving forward!

So, I think that about covers everything for the moment. I will have another blog up either this afternoon or tomorrow to let you guys know if I managed to get those last few thousand words that I needed to get in order to actually win at NaNo. Looking forward, it doesn’t seem like that much after all, and I really think that I can do it! I know that you guys can! It’s the last day, just push as far as you can!

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

Tag Thursday

What is today? Today is a Thursday >_> and apparently the day that I decide to get back into my blogging. I’ve feeling great! I’m going to do an update blog after I finish this, but I wanted to get back into this exactly how they’re supposed to be going… so, Tag Thursday it is! I grabbed this tag from Jenna Moreci’s vlog! Enjoy, because here we go!


What kind of writer are you?

I am taking this to mean what genre do I write in? I dabble here and there, though you’ll mostly find me in the young adult area. However, amongst that I’ve done horror, paranormal romance, and high fantasy. I also wrote most of a lesbian sci-fi romance for NaNoWriMo this last year… I pretty much go wherever my muse takes me; it’s my favorite thing, exploring avenues that I haven’t been down yet… because you never know what surprises you’re going to find!

When did you start writing and what made you want to try it?

Shoot, I’ve written for a long time. I’ve always, always loved to read, and even before I was physically putting them down… I was writing entire novels in my head to put myself to sleep, finishing up books the way that I wanted them to end. I wrote my first novel in 6th grade though. I guess what made me want to try it was just the knowledge that there were so many worlds out there that only I could make. I also really, really wanted to make other people happy, the way that books made me happy.

What inspires your stories?

There is no one thing that inspires my stories. Sometimes I just have a dream, and realize that it needs to be a novel. Sometimes, it’s a writing prompt that I see. Sometimes, I go to my husband and I say: I want to write a novel about zombies. Tell me something that would make this interesting… and then he gives me a twist to it, and it turns into a novel. My creativity more than anything else inspires me, and the world around me.

What themes do you explore in your writing?

No particular theme. I feel like those are kind of something that you discover as you’re plotting your story out, isn’t it? I’m not the kind of person who is centric to one theme and one theme only as a driving force. I’m everywhere.

Are you a plotter, pantser, or plantser?

I would consider myself a plantser. I plot, but I don’t plot so heavily that I don’t have wiggle room. I try to leave myself space for discovery while having a clear route from beginning to end – if I just so happen to deviate and see something along the way? Well, all the better, yes?

Where are you in your writing journey?

I… am… in a weird place. I have two novels that I really feel like I could seek publication with if I ever got them properly polished up. I have an amazing support system in my husband and family, and I’m pretty happy with the social media presence that I am very slowly garnering. I don’t know… I’m just on the teetering edge of really going for it, I guess. But being pregnant and wanting to really show my kiddo that you can go for your dreams may be the push that I need.

Have you entered any writing contests, and have you won or lost any?

Uh? Yeah, I’ve entered a few in my lifetime? I’ve won the few that I entered, but it hasn’t been too many? I’m really weirdly private about my writing… which I should get over, since I wanna get published.

Who are your writing heroes?

L.J. Smith and J.K. Rowling. – L.J. because she’s the one who really got me into the genre that I started writing in. Rowling because she was turned down so many times, and look at her now. Honestly, everyone who strives for and acheives their dreams inspire me.

Have you been to a writing conference?

Nope. I should change that.

What are your top three tips for newbie writers?

Ohhh, top three tips, huh? Well, lesse.

  1. Keep writing – that’s the hardest part. It isn’t always going to be good, and it certainly isn’t always going to be easy… but the best thing that you can do is keep writing, whenever you can, because it’s going to make you better, and it’s going to help you to grow as a writer.
  2. Don’t be afraid to take constructive criticism – I’m saying this to every form of artist, from writer to musician to someone who draws. You have to be able to take constructive criticism (not people being a dick, never take that). But when people tell you how you can improve, you need to listen. Never become complacent. Do not stop striving to better yourself. The moment that you think you’re the best you can be is the moment that you will never improve again. The only person you are in competition with is yourself, but you should always try to be a better artist than you were yesterday, and most often than not, constructive criticism and always trying to learn is the way to do that.
  3. Give yourself a break, but only in moderation – Sometimes, things aren’t going to work out the way you think. Sometimes, your book isn’t going to get accepted. Sometimes >_> you get pregnant and are so sick/distracted you can’t write for over two months. It’s okay to give yourself a break, but do it in moderation. Don’t let a necessary break turn into excuses. You know yourself, push yourself as hard as you can without breaking.

And there we have it! That is the Author’s Life For Me Tag! I challenge you all to complete it and link back to me, so I can see your answers!

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

 

Writing Tips and Tricks

Oh, so my tip is going to involve me actually doing what my tip says… that’ll be interesting. Honestly, I thought that this was one of the best ways for me to get back into properly blogging – with a tip, and that tip is something that I’m going to take myself.

When you’ve found yourself falling out of your writing habits, the best thing that you can do is to just Jump Right In. That’s right – feet first. Don’t think about what you need to plan, or what you need to do, or how you need to do it. Just… just do the thing. I’ve been sitting and not working on my blog, and yesterday I should have started posting again… but I was too busy thinking about how it wouldn’t work properly, and an Update Monday after I haven’t been writing wouldn’t flow… this, that, and one excuse after another. The simple fact is, you can’t wait for a perfect moment. You can’t wait for the perfect thing.

You just have to do it.

I was going to wait until I felt a little better, and then I realized that I’m not going to be any more sick sitting here and writing out this blog than I would if I was sitting here and watching youtube videos. It’s just a matter of being determined and realizing that you’re going to have to do what you need to do.

So, yes, this is my tip for you. File away those excuses for another day – if you let yourself drop off of your writing habits, don’t beat yourself up over it. I still managed to get my 1k a day, thankfully, but I haven’t been blogging or writing very creatively lately. Just jumping back into blogging every day seemed so daunting… but you can’t let that fear stop you from doing the things that you want to do. You can’t let yourself get overwhelmed… and you can’t make excuses. If you’re tired, you still have 10 minutes to write… if you’re cold, warm your fingers up and write for 10 minutes. If you haven’t properly written a blog in a month and you’re afraid that you’re going to do a bad job (Yes, self, I’m talking to you) then just do it anyway.

You won’t regret it. It may not be the best thing that you’ve ever cranked out, if you’re just getting back into the habit of it… but it’s going to be a beginning. It’s going to be a start, and the sooner you shift yourself back into your proper habits, the sooner it’s going to be coming smoothly to you again. Think of it that way.

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!

 

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!

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We’re just gonna drop this picture in here, since it isn’t Tuesday or Thursday… but I have a small tip that can apply to NaNo right now as I give you guys a small update. Yesterday, I had a horrible headache. I had a busy day… and I just couldn’t do my other posts for the blog.

I thought about really worrying about it. I thought about forcing myself to do it anyway… but I didn’t. Instead, I made sure that I had my 1k for the day… and I let it go. I knew that I would be able to catch up either today or tomorrow, and I knew that the world wasn’t going to end.

So that’s really my tip for you today, as far as NaNo is concerned – don’t push yourself. There are going to be days where the minimum amount that you need to write is all that you can do. Just do that. Do that and be happy with it, and know that if you need extra, you can always do it the day after. Your health needs to come first.

This si a small little blog, mainly to let you guys know that I’ll be catching up on my blogs (today if I can, tomorrow if I can’t), and you’ll still get a full 31 prompts for Halloween! I figured throwing a little tip in there wouldn’t be such a bad thing!

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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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!

 

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I had to think for a minute about what picture I wanted to use to head this blog up, because I wasn’t completely certain of what it was going to be about… but I think it’s a tip. Or a trick.

Or a way of life.

Who knows.

All that I know is that I’ve been taking a brief break from blogging every day, and I thought about feeling guilty for it… but then I realized that it wouldn’t be fair to myself. I’ve had about two weeks where I haven’t been posting every day like usual. I think that I’ve done a blog for about half of those days?

The fact is – things got extremely busy with me. As I mentioned earlier, we had some new roomies move in. Which means we also had an old roomie moving out. It was crazy, and hectic… and turned out fantastically, because we vibe so perfectly well with our new roomies that it’s wonderful.

They’re actually some of my writing buddies, so it’s pretty fantastic, as far as that’s concerned. We’ve been cleaning, and getting the house into just an almost domestic bliss order. So, it’s been a period of adjustment.

Aside from that, there’s a ton of other stuff going on, and it’s just prevented me from having a completely on-track mind when it comes to being able to write a ton. I haven’t re-done my calendar since I moved into my new writing space (Oh, pics to come in a following blog!), and I need to do that as well. The point of this blog is though… that sometimes, it’s okay to step away from all of the things that you schedule for yourself.

I didn’t do it to stop – and I have full intentions of picking it back up properly. Come October, I’m doing daily horror writing prompts again (if you’d like to submit one and get featured, just comment it or email me at amandaleannemccormick@gmail.com, by the way <3). But for these past two weeks, I’ve let myself slide a little. Sometimes, you have to give yourself some leeway. Sometimes, you have to realize that you make goals with a minimum requirement and a stretch goal for a reason. I’ve hit my 1k every day – I haven’t gone lax on that… but there is nothing wrong with allowing yourself a little time to handle personal things, if you need.

And that’s my advice that I’m giving today – you’re okay with giving yourself a little bit of slide room. That’s why you do a small goal and a bigger goal that you know you can strive towards… so that you can have some days of just hitting that small goal.

That’s pretty okay to do ❤

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

Weekly Writing Update

So, do you remember how I was really afraid last week that I wasn’t going to do very well for my word count for the month? I was kind of in despair, kind of thinking that I was doing a poor job. Well, after this week… I feel like there’s a distinct possibility that I could still break at least 90k this month if I really put forth the effort (and don’t find myself completely lost to the Nuka World DLC that comes out tonight for Fallout.)

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So, there we go, and boom baby. Do you see that 10k day :3 Do you see the subsequent 4 and 6k days? I’m pretty damn pleased with myself, to be quite honest. I didn’t think that I was going to break 60k this month… I honestly was worried about doing well at all… and it was that worry that really sent me propelling forward. It’s just proof to the fact that you can honestly do anything, if you set your mind to it.

If you see that you’re falling behind on something… worrying about it and letting yourself get defeated isn’t the answer. Instead, redouble your efforts, and do the best you can. That’s all that you can ask of yourself… and quite often, you’ll find that doing so gets you more than you ever realized you could achieve.

Heh. Honestly though, you just need to do it. Push forward, give it your all. Give it 100%, and then find that random reserve that you didn’t know that you had and give it that, too. You can accomplish such amazing things, if you simply set your mind to it. You can accomplish anything that you try hard enough to attain.

So, just do it, guys. ❤ I believe in you. Believe in yourself!

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