this is what it looks like to be halfway through NaNoWriMo 2018 as a NaNoRebel

We have officially crossed the halfway mark of NaNoWriMo 2018. A few weeks ago, I proclaimed myself a NaNo Rebel, armed with a set of goals that were customized to my writing needs. I’m here today to give you an update on how that’s been going…

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…now maybe that gif is a little over dramatic, but here’s the thing I’ve learned about writing: No matter how much you plan, you will always have to adapt. Maybe that’s what I’ve learned about life and it has just spilled over into my writing life too.

As I began working on Draft #2 of my novel, I quickly realized that the first half of my book is where most of the work needed to be done. Therefore, I have had to slightly adjust my goals due to things taking longer than originally planned. Even though I’ve had to do that, I haven’t lost hope.

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Things are coming together slowly, but surely. To spread some positivity…here are three things I’m loving about NaNoWriMo 2018:

  1. I’m seeing my novel in a brighter light. Things are clearer and the changes I am making are definitely improving the quality of my plot.
  2. My “accountabilibuddies” (translation: accountability buddies) are keeping me going. Having that support is making all the difference.
  3. I am making more progress than I ever would have made had I not set goals!

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Cheers to the next half of NaNoWriMo and writing goals beyond!

Until next time,

Christine

“how can we get you there without getting you there?”

Happy NaNoWriMo 2018 to you all!
This week’s post is meant to declare my writing goals for the next two months along with talking about a very interesting topic that came up the other day over lunch with my writer friends. Here’s how it happened:
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We gathered among mac & cheese and made vows to be the very best “accountabilibuddies” (translation: accountability buddies) we could be over the course of the next two months. (Yes, we extended our NaNoRebel goals all the way until the end of December) We reviewed what our goals would be and how we hope to achieve them.
With the looming first week deadline fast approaching, inspiration came up, and the idea of sparking the right kind of feeling to sit down and write. This expanded into the topic of travel plans. My good friend leaned over and said, “I should just go there, right? No big deal!” We all laughed together, because while it would be wonderful to hop on a plane and travel to a different country, it’s not always doable.
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So, I posed the question…”How can we get you there without getting you there?”

That is the challenge, right? For many of us, our inspiration comes from far off lands. Even if we are writing about a fantasy world, chances are we gathered inspiration from some real life location. So, what do we do when we can’t abandon the ship of our real life to set sail for unexplored territory? After all, we can’t all be Sasha Alsberg

…even though sometimes I would really like to be! Have you seen her awesome hair? Her color-coded bookshelves?

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Moving on…

So, I got to thinking. What could we do to get there without getting there? In times where I want to feel my setting, I mean really try to FEEL it, I try to turn to the five senses. Maybe all of these aren’t achievable, but here is what I have been mulling over these past few days…

Start with a character if you can. I really like to put myself in the shoes of characters when possible. Then try some of the following:

Taste: What would the people in your setting eat and drink? They’ve come home after a long day and it’s time for dinner. What would be on the table?

Touch: Is it hot where they are? Maybe it’s time for a trip to the sauna… Is it super cold? Well, we have been getting down to the low 30s in NJ lately. Perhaps it’s time for a late night stroll.

Smell: I am a candle addict. Chances are, it doesn’t smell like “Puurfect Pumpkin” in the setting of my book, but somehow it still fuels the inspiration.

Sound: This is one I absolutely swear by. I have soundtracks for every character in my story, along with many soundtracks for different types of scenes. The thing is, there are soundscapes for everything these days. Head on over to youtube and type in “Busy street sound effect.” You’ll get a ton of results. The possibilities are endless. Oh, and don’t forget to crank it up! Immerse yourself! (Forget about the neighbors.)

Sight: This is kind of self-explanatory. This is where we stare at pictures of the places we want to travel to. I like to change my desktop to a certain location that I’m working on. Every time I see it, it reminds me of certain details I’d like to include. I also highly recommend vision boards! Just because you’re not going there today or next week, you might still go some day! Make a beautiful collage of what you want to see when you’re there one day.

I guess we could all chip in on a magic carpet if this doesn’t work…

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…and last but not least…my NaNoRebelRevisionGoals!

November 1-4: Chapters 1-3

November 5-11: Chapters 4-6

November 12-18: Chapters 7-9

November 19-25: Chapters 10-12

 

November 26-December 2: Chapters 13-15

December 3-9: Chapters 16-18

December 10-16: Chapters 19-20

December 17-23: Chapters 21-22

 

Thanks for joining me here today. Tweet me your thoughts @AWritersWay. You can look for a progress update next Thursday!

Until next time,

Christine

 

and a happy CampNaNoWriMo to you

A merry CampNaNoWriMo to you! We have arrived at the Summer edition of the customizable version of November’s National Novel Writing Month, NaNoWriMo, and I couldn’t be happier.

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One of the things I adore about CampNaNoWriMo is that the rules aren’t cut and dry. You don’t need to write 50,000 words in 30 days like NaNoWriMo to win! CampNaNo can be customized to fit with your needs, whether that be page counts, word counts, or hours logged writing.

I have arrived at the last 10,000 words of my novel. Therefore, my CampNaNo goals were easy to decide. At five days in, I have written 4,000 words, so there’s only 6000 words left for me. Of course, that is all approximate because I may end up going over, but it feels good to be well on my way to completing the first draft. I’ve worked so hard to get to this point.

Yesterday, I managed to write on and off for around six hours. I ended up writing over 3,000 words. That was simply because I had uninterrupted time. While I adore #5amwritersclub, it has a time limit. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I am always thinking about how I have one hour until I need to head out to my day job. Having a few days off to dedicate uninterrupted time to writing has been my saving grace. The scenes that I’m currently working on are scenes that need extra attention. They are difficult to walk away from because of how focused I need to be when writing them.

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Don’t get me wrong, writing always requires focus, but there are certain types of intense scenes that benefit from big chunks of immersion. Don’t you agree? The next few days will consist of extra cups of coffee and lots of time in front of my computer screen as I celebrate CampNaNo with many hours of writing. I hope that this month brings you high levels of inspiration and that your CampNaNo experience is extra special.

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Thanks for joining me here today. Tweet me your thoughts @AWritersWay. Remember, you can join me here every Thursday for new posts!

Until next time,

Christine

national novel writing month is right around the corner

Why in the world haven’t I been blogging? Well, I can be quite forgetful…but don’t worry…I’m back! Why, you ask? National Novel Writing Month is just a few days away. My last CampNaNoWriMo attempt didn’t work out so well, but I have a feeling this one will!

So, what have I been up to?

For about two months, I’ve had a regimen of writing five pages a week. However, for the past two weeks I’ve been moving into a new place with my boyfriend.

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Higitus Figitus! It has been a blast! Lots of books to pack and move = less time for writing.

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…but now we are happily settled in our cozy new home and ready to get back to our writing goals.

As you probably know, November is National Novel Writing Month and I am a huge supporter of the NaNoWriMo organization. They’ve provided me with a lot of encouragement over the years and I enjoy the sense of community that seems to come alive on social media during their events.

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Working a full time job and finding time to unwind is hard, but tack on a word count goal of 50,000 words in 30 days and well…that’s super overwhelming for me. I was happy to discover something that I haven’t noticed before while browsing NaNoWriMo.org. It’s called “Goal Tracker” and it allows you to customize your goals!

Drum roll please…

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10,000 words may not seem like a lot to some of you, but I will be more than thrilled if I can manage to add 10,000 new words to my current W.I.P.! As of right now my current word count is at 23,718. Because my overall goal for this W.I.P. is to finish the first draft by February, I’d be happy to break the 30,000 words mark over the next month.

How about you? Are you customizing NaNoWriMo or are you sticking to 50,000 words? Either way, cheers to you! Bring on the coffee and chat with me on Twitter @AWritersWay.

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Until next time,

Christine

set the goals. drink coffee. meet the goals.

Most mornings, when I drag myself to work, I look like this…

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…except I’m not a duck.

With an overwhelming list of things to do during the work day, it can sometimes be difficult to imagine how I could possibly find the time and energy to work on my novel.

Enter coffee.

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I know it sounds so cliche…a writer who drinks a lot of coffee? I’m going to be honest with you. Whenever my friends tell me that they haven’t had any coffee yet, I pretty much yell at them and insult them for being stupid. (I’m kidding though…maybe.)

This month is Camp NaNoWriMo. I’m happy to report that I met my June goals and have been making good progress with my July goals thanks to the oh-so-motivating NaNoWriMo organization. It always adds a little spring to my step when these months come around. Because of my busy work schedule and new second job at ComicOn.com, I set a word count goal of 7,500 words, which is 250 words a day. Seems simple, yes, but I wanted to set a goal that I knew I would hit!

Two jobs and a young adult fantasy W.I.P. = coffee. Are you getting my point? The truth is, whatever works for you is key. I’ve talked about this a lot in some of the workshops I’ve taught. Whether it’s coffee, m&m’s, long nature walks, cat naps…just do it! We are all in this together and I wish you all the luck in meeting your July writing goals.

Don’t forget…it’s Summer and that means iced coffee too.

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Until next time,

Christine

 

 

 

Customizing Camp NaNoWriMo

I’m here to tell you that there’s no better feeling than NaNoWriMo fueled months. I assume most of you probably know about the National Novel Writing Month challenge that takes place every November? The basic gist of it is, you have to write 50,000 words in 30 days. But have you heard of Camp NaNoWriMo?

Camp NaNoWriMo takes place two months out of the year, once in April and once in July. The main difference between NaNoWriMo and Camp NaNoWriMo is that it’s completely customizable. You can choose what kind of project you want to work on: a novel, poetry, a play, etc., and you can also choose between setting a word count goal, page goal, lines, hours, and so on.

Because I find myself in the midst of working on two projects, I’ve decided to set a word count goal with the intention of working on both projects as I have been the past two months. I’ve come up with a very clever title…

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…just kidding. I know “Progress” isn’t all that exciting, but it is the goal!

I’ve gone with a small word count goal of 10,000 words because I will be simultaneously running my second year of “A Dose of Poetry” during the month of April…

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…and I’ll also be working my full time job. I think if I manage to meet this goal I will be beyond thrilled.

Maybe you’re wondering why participating in this type of challenge would be helpful to your writing? If nothing else, the community that comes alive on social media during these times is simply wonderful. It’s a great way to get connected with #amwriting folks all the while making progress with your creative projects!

Okay, who’s with me? Only thirteen days until the fun begins. (Sign up here.) Stock up on coffee! Chat with me on Twitter @AWritersWay.

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Until next time,

Christine

 

 

VICTORY DANCE!

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Guess who finished her screenplay early and is a #CampNaNoWriMoWinner!!? This girl!!! What an awesome experience. Super excited that I wrote a screenplay and I look forward to working on it further for months to come, but it feels SO GOOD to get that first draft down. Thanks to the#NaNoWriMo organization for creating a productive community of encouraging people for all of us writers!

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