For Writers, NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo Tips (A pantser’s version)

With NaNoWriMo (National Writing Month) right around the I wanted to share some tips to help you make the most of this month. And in true pantser fashion, this doesn’t include making an outline. 🙂

Clear your calendar. Take a look at your calendar and make sure you don’t have any uneccessary activities planned for the month. Can something be moved to next month? Don’t volunteer to host Thanksgiving, but if you have to do so, see who can help you. Kids? Spouse or partner? Delegate as much as you can to other people.

Plan meals ahead of time. Think about what you are going to do for meals. Again, maybe you can delegate this to someone else, or maybe you can do some quick microwavable meals during the week and cook only on the weekends. (This is my plan.)

Gather your supplies. What did you need for a sucessful writing session? Notebooks, pens, candle, snacks, drinks? Figure out what things you need and stock up on them. Some of my neccessities include dark chocolate peanut M&M’s, salt and vinegar chips, Coke, ingredients for homemade mochas, Pentel purple pens, and a notebook. (Yeah, I’m a junk food junkie, I know. 🙂 )

Create a workspace. Determine where you are going to work. Maybe you already have a space, but it might need to be cleared to work. If you don’t have one yet, consider a place where you can work without interruptions, ideally a place where you aren’t doing a lot of other activities.

Think about your story. Even though I don’t have an outline, I do think a lot about my story. This includes creating an aesthetic or mood board, making a playlist, creating a working cover. I also jot down a few notes in my notebook of things I don’t want to forget before I start writing.

And most importantly, do what you can to make this experience fun! I always create a bingo board, and if you missed my previous post with the board and all my other templates, you can check it out here.

What do you do to prepare for NaNoWriMo? Let me know in the comments!

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For Writers, NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo – Should You Do It?

It’s that time of year again – the start of November and National Writing Month or NaNoWriMo. Writers from all around the globe attempt to write a novel or part of a novel equaling 50,000 words. Maybe you’ve tried it before or maybe you’ve only considered it. This will be my seventh year seriously (I attempted to do it a couple years before, but didn’t see it through) doing NaNoWriMo and it is motivating and successful for me. However, I realize it is not for everyone, so I wanted to share why it works so well for me to help you decided if it might work for you.

  1. The Deadline – Many writers dread the deadline, but it is highly motivating for me. I’m a huge procrastinator, so I often need some external motivation to help me get things done.
  2. The Challenge -This kind of goes along with the first thing, I love to win and if I don’t meet the deadline, I don’t win. The drive to win keeps me in the game even when things gets difficult.
  3. The Project – I am a project writer – which basically means I can work hours at a time when in the middle of a project. I don’t always write every day, but I write in large chunks of time when working on a project. Once I’ve finished said project, I need some reset time, and can take up to a couple weeks off from writing.

So, if these things are things you can relate to, you might want to give NaNoWriMo a try. However, if it all seems a little overwhelming, you can also adjust your goal. If you want to start out with a smaller goal like 30k or even 25k, you could also do that.

One thing you do need to have is commitment. If you’re are serious about doing it, wholly commit to it, letting friends and family know you are doing this. Post on social media and even create little rewards for steps along the way. The first couple of years I tried NaNo, I didn’t go in with a firm commitment and I didn’t win or even come close to winning.

If you do decide you want to do NaNo, check out my #nanobingo22 board and other fun templates here.

Let me know in the comments if you have any questions or if you’ve decided to do NaNoWriMo.

For Writers, NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo Bingo

Hey everyone! I’ve created another bingo board for this year’s NaNoWrimo. I’ve already shared it over on my Instagram, but wanted to share here in case anyone missed it, or they aren’t on IG. So here it is:

Feel free to screenshot or print, and share with the tag #nanobingo22. I’ve also created some additional templates to go along with the bingo board. There is a board for each week to share your weekly update, and a board to share your word count for the day and the bingo square you completed.

Are you doing NaNoWriMo this year? Let me know in the comments!

For Writers, NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo Bingo

It’s hard to believe it’s already Novemeber. I think this year has gone by a bit faster, after last year when we weren’t able to go anywhere.

I’ve already started my NaNoWriMo project, but I also wanted to bring back my bingo board. Feel free to share with #nanobingo21.

Are you participating in NaNoWriMo this year? Let me know in the comments.

For Writers

Here Comes NaNoWriMo….Ready or Not!

It’s hard to believe it’s nearly November, and with it comes NaNoWriMo time. I’m pretty excited about NaNo this year, as I’ve had an idea percolating in my brain for the last several weeks. It’s going to be a sequel to my previous WIP, another NaNo novel, The Bloodstained Key. My working title is Never Neverland, and it will be a Peter Pan retelling. Here’s my working cover and playlist:

And here is my fancast and setting inspiration:

Also, I’m bringing back my NaNoWriMo Bingo board, and there are a couple of ways you can get the board this year. You can screenshot/print this one to use:

You can also go to this link: https://www.flippity.net/bi.php?k=1ZWofMRcuWyL5rLoioNYNRy2dsjNjO-rb-1B4nKZLank

It shows a checklist of all the prompts, but when you click on the print tab, it will generate a board to print. If you click on the play online tab, a QR code will pop up that you can scan with your phone’s camera and it will generate a board to your phone. When you tap a square, a bingo chip will cover it. Have fun and share your bingo board progress across social media with #nanobingo20. 🙂

Also, if you looking for a NaNo calendar, my writing friend Camilla Tracy has an awesome one you can download.

Are you participating in NaNoWriMo? What are your favorite tools for NaNo? Let me know in the comments!

For Writers, NaNoWriMo

Camp NaNoWriMo Goal Planning with Downloadble Template

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Hi all, Camp NaNoWriMo starts today! I can’t believe it’s already July.

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I am participating in Camp again, but I realized as I was prepping that I really needed a weekly goal sheet to help me stay on track. Since I’m not writing a novel, but rather making revisions and edits, there are a lot of pieces or small jobs that go along with that: rewriting a chapter, fleshing out some research, rearranging scenes and coming up with a satisfactory timeline, and so on.

To help me keep track of what needs to be done when, I created a weekly goal sheet that helps me outline all that, and I wanted to share it with you all as I know some of you may be doing the same kind of thing for camp.

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I’ve added the Google link to the document here.  For those who would rather print it out here’s a word doc.

What about you? Are you doing Camp NaNo this year? What are your goals and how are you tracking them? Let me know in the comments! 🙂

For Writers, NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo Bingo 2019

 

Hi all! November is almost here, and I’m going to do my NaNoWriMo Bingo again this year. So here is this year’s board. You can share and participate on Twitter and Instagram with #nanobingo19. (My username on Twitter is @charityrau1.)

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If you’d like a printable copy of the bingo board, you can get that here.

My NaNo username is charebear23.. Let me know what your’s is so we can cheer each other on this month! 🙂

Also, if you haven’t heard about NaNoWriMo, or haven’t signed up yet but want to, check out their site here.

#authortoolboxbloghop, For Writers

Creating a Worthy Hero – AuthorToolboxBloghop

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Since NaNoWriMo is nearly here, I thought I’d share some things about creating a worthy hero. If you’re participating in NaNoWriMo, you might want to check out this post a did a couple years ago about prepping for NaNo.

One of the most important things to consider when writing your novel is whether or not your main character is captivating. Does your MC inspire your readers, making them care about him and his journey? Is your MC moving the story forward, or is he being dragged along with it?

One way to answer these questions is to ensure your hero has the things he needs to own his story. According to Save a Cat Writes a Novel by Jessica Brody, The three things every hero must have are: a want, a need, and a flaw. (I did a review of this book in an earlier blog post, you can check it out here.)

1. A Want – This is the thing that your MC most desires. This is the goal he is trying get to throughout the book. Your plot builds when you add obstacles or things that stand in the was of your hero getting what he wants. Sometimes this want can change as you’re writing the novel because the MC’s circumstances change. But your MC must have a want that propels the story forward.

2. A Need – This is the thing that your MC needs, but most likely doesn’t realize it. Sometimes  the need and want can coincide, and some people lump the want and need together, but often your MC will have a need as well. This need will tie into the flaw, as it’s usually a life lesson your MC must learn.

3. A Flaw – This is your MC’s problem. This is part of what is keeping him from reaching his goal. Once he realizes his need, he will be able to overcome this flaw and you’ll have reached your novel’s end. Both the MC’s flaw and his want need to be specific, so that the reader will be able to tell when the flaw has been resolved.

If you want to dig even deeper into these concepts, check out the book Save the Cat Writes a Novel. The book has helped me improve all aspects of my manuscript. And hopefully, this helps everybody whose doing NaNoWriMo this year.

What are your best resources for characterization? Are you participating in NaNoWriMo this year? Let me know in the comments!

NanoBlogandSocialMediaHop2

This post is part of the #authortoolboxbloghop hosted by Raimey Gallant. To check out all the participating blogs, or to join in the fun go here.

NaNoWriMo

Prepping for Camp Nano – Part 2

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Last week I posted my tips for prepping for Camp NaNoWriMo. If you missed that post, you can check it out here.

In that post, I promised to share my calendar/ goals set up, so here it is:

april 2019 camp calendar

Since I’m doing revisions for Camp, I’ve set 7 pages per day as my goal. I’ve designated my check-in goal marks: 25 pages, 50 pages, 100 pages, 150 pages, and 210 pages (completion of goal). I’ve also assigned rewards to each one as I’ve found rewards to add a little extra motivation. 🙂

Camp NaNo actually designed a calendar you can use, which is what I used. You can print your own here.

Good luck to everyone participating! I hope you meet your goals and grow your writing skills. 🙂

#authortoolboxbloghop

Prepping for Camp NaNoWriMo – #authortoolboxbloghop

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I’m going to be participating in Camp NaNoWriMo next month. For those who might not know, Camp NaNo is an extension of NaNoWriMo (where you write a novel in 30 days throughout the month of November).  There are two sessions of Camp Nano, one in April and one in July. You are sorted into virtual cabins with like-minded writers who support you throughout the month. You can sign up and find out all the details here.

The thing I like about Camp Nano is that you can choose to do whatever writing project you would like. Some people work on a series of short works such as poems or short stories, others work on nonfiction pieces, some focus on revising and editing a novel, and still others follow the traditional Nano and write 50k words in a month.

I’ve chosen to do a revision project. I pulled out a manuscript I stored away several years ago and am going to see what I can do with it. It’s a nice chance to step away from my current WIP and focus on another project.

Here are some tips I found helpful. I hope they can help you get ready for Camp NaNo too:

1. Decide on your project. What are you going to do? Is there something you need to finish with an impending deadline? Maybe there’s a piece you’ve set aside that you’d like to reexamine. Or maybe you have a series of shorter pieces you want to complete. This is one of the best parts of Camp NaNo – picking what you want to do!

2. Gather your supplies. For me, this included some research materials, which you may also need if your project requires it. I always have a specific notebook assigned to each project I do so my notes are all contained in one place. Maybe there are some specific resources you might need for guidance. (I’ve included a list of resources at the bottom of this post.) You’ll want to have you planner/calendar for the month handy too (more about this in the next tip). And then there are the obvious things you’ll need – pens, laptop, a favorite writing snack and /or drink, and any other essentials you use when you write.

3. Set up your timeline/calendar. You need to decide on a plan. How many pages, hours, words, ect., are you going to write each day? Make little goals and create a reward system for yourself to help keep you motivated. I start with little rewards like a candy bar or a Starbucks drink, and then build up to larger things like a new mug or book. I usually choose a big prize for completing my final goal at the end of the month, something I’m really excited about that will help motivate me to finish. I’m still working on setting my plan up, but when I finish I’ll share what my calendar looks like.

4. Last but not least – Have Fun! Make this a fun event. If it’s something that will be a lot of stress for you right now, maybe decide to try July’s event instead. If now is the right time for you, don’t put too much pressure on yourself. You want to reach your goals, but also be realistic. Don’t set goals that you will be unlikely to attain. And remember this is something you tailor to you – so you can make it as big or as small a project as you’d like.

These helped me with my plan for Camp Nano and I hope they’ll help you too. I know some people don’t like NaNo because it’s too much pressure, but this is a more relaxed version since you’re picking the project and the goals. So even if you don’t like NaNo, you could still give Camp NaNo a try.

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Resources:

Story Genius by Lisa Cron This is a craft book with tips for creating your novel.

Revision and Self-Editing by James Scott Bell. This is a great resource to help with revisions on your novel.

Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King. This is a great guide on how to self-edit your novel.

No Plot? No Problem by Chris Baty. This book is by one of the creators of NaNoWriMo and is an inspiring and quick read. Very helpful if you’re not sure what you’re going to write about.

NanoBlogandSocialMediaHop2

This post is part of the #authortoolboxbloghop. It’s hosted by Raimey Gallant. For more details and to join in the fun, go here.

What about you? Are you participating in Camp Nano this April? What do you do to prepare? Let me know in the comments!