How to Tackle NaNoWriMo: My Advice To You (Day 3 of Countdown) #NaNoWriMo #Writing

Tip 3. SET A DAILY WORD COUNT GOAL!

Setting a daily word count goal is such a helpful thing because it gives you a window or a destination for creative breaks.  If you start NaNoWriMo with the goal of 50,000 words, you run the risk of seeing a never-ending tunnel that just keeps getting longer no matter how fast, hard or far you run. tunnel

Do the math and add on from there. It requires a minimum of 1,666 words typed each day in order to reach 50,000 words by close of November 30th.

I suggest aiming for a higher word count goal for each day but with a cushion for a minimum. If you are already a writer you know that even with set goals, life happens and you may not get to write a single word at all.

WHAT DID I DO?

I scheduled my writing into two sessions a day. In the morning I would write for about 2 to 3 hours with a goal of 2,000 to 3,000 words in that session. And then in the evening, I would write again with a word count goal of 1,500 to 2,000 words.

With roughly 5,000 words written each day, this left me wiggle room for the days where “life” interrupted my flow and meant that I had managed enough words to be closer to 50,000.

Perfect example. The first year I attempted to write a novel in 30 days, I used this model of word count. Things went very well for most of the month but then my neighborhood lost power (as did most of the city due to bad storms. The electricity was out FOR A WEEK!

I had to literally write by candlelight and by hand.

Glad to say that I did make well over novel statues by the end of 30 days and even finished the entire manuscript by close of day 96. But because I had managed to work in 5,000 words a day I had afforded myself that cushion for when life took over.

So if you are keeping up, here are the refreshers with my advice:

TIP 1. Write anything. Let your imagination take control. (Click HERE for full article)

TIP 2. Have a reader who will look over your daily progress with an honest readers eye, and give you feedback. (Click HERE for full article)

TIP 3. Set a daily word count goal that you can manage.

BONUS: Need a creative Springboard? Try this Monday’s Muse Writing Prompt to help get your NaNoWriMo Story going. Click HERE for the opening line! *REMEMBER TO OMIT THE OPENING LINE WORD COUNT FROM YOUR TOTAL WORDCOUNT*

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How to Tackle NaNoWriMo: My Advice To You (Day 2 of Countdown) #NaNoWriMo #Writing

 

FRIENDS ARE THE BEST! INVITE A READER ON YOUR JOURNEY WITH YOU.

Making the big decision to commit to writing a 50,000-word tome in 30 days is a PRETTY BIG decision to make.

togetherNow that you have done that, and have decided to take my advice on just writing whatever comes from your imagination, and flies out of your fingertips like magic sparks, allow me to offer you token number 2 that I learned in my experiences.

TIP 2. Have an honest friend (One who will be straight with you if your plot is not great) support you by reading your daily progress. (This person is not writing, ONLY reading.)

One of the biggest attractions of  NaNoWriMo is the worldwide support system that a writer becomes apart of for 30 days.  I read an article, a few years back, out of Writer’s Digest. That entire edition was dedicated to, you guessed it, NaNoWriMo, and it likened this experience to running a marathon, and how being surrounded by strangers with the same goal helps each runner keep pressing forward.Mag Cover

I believe that is sage, to have that kind of support, HOWEVER, that is not what I mean by having a friend come along with you…obviously, because I said that already, twice.

In the first 2 years (This year I flew solo and paid for it, yikes! I know right?! How selfish of my reader friend to get married and be on her honeymoon and stuff…I digress.) that I participated, I had a friend who I sent my daily progress to.

This helped in several different ways:

  1.  I had an audience who kept an eye on plot points and pointed out mistakes for me if I got off track.  By them pointing out my mistakes, it saved me time in the future with revisions AND it enabled me a quicker movement back on track with the progression of the story.  She also tended to print out the pages and make copy edits all on her own. PRICELESS!
  2. Because they were invested in the story (They kept reading because they liked the plot) they acted as a dog on my heels, nipping when I wasn’t writing fast enough. This is encouraging because their desire to read more was a sign that they were enjoying the story, which meant I wasn’t writing a bunch of crap.  (If they didn’t like it, they said so. Again get an honest friend for the journey, not one who likes everything you do just because.)
  3. Having to send my daily progress gave me a sense of a more immediate goal to work toward. When there is a feeling of expectation, you are more willing to perform without coming up with a ton of excuses and reasons to not follow through.

So if you have time (and you do) find a friend who loves to read, is honest about what they read, and who will give it to you straight as they read.  As Ecclesiastes 4:9 says:

 Two are better than the one, for they enjoy a better reward for their toil.

Enjoy your journey, and as always, happy writing! And if you somehow missed my Token number 1:

TIP 1. Write anything. Let your imagination take control. (Click HERE for full article)

TIP 2. Have a reader who will look over your daily progress with an honest readers eye, and give you feedback. 

BONUS: Need a creative Springboard? Try this Monday’s Muse Writing Prompt to help get your NaNoWriMo Story going. Click HERE for the opening line! *REMEMBER TO OMIT THE OPENING LINE WORD COUNT FROM YOUR TOTAL WORDCOUNT*

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

“3rds”: Creative Writing Prompt #AmWriting #Story #CreativeWritingPrompt

There is nothing like a good writing prompt to help get your muse muscling along. I, for one, enjoy those with a time limit as well as quirky rules to follow.

This one is called “Thirds.”

TIME LIMIT: 20min (This is from the moment you put your pen to the pad or start typing…and yes, we are under an honor system here.)

DESCRIPTION: Music is a big part of our inspiration. We all listen to music. But how much does music shape the art that we go forth to create? Are we conscious of its effects on us, and if so (if you weren’t before) how can we take this knowledge and harness this inspiration to create something fresh and authentic and on purpose?

RULES:

  1. Choose the album that you are currently listening to or listening to the most, and select the 3rd track on the album.
  2. Play the track over 3 times.
  3. Get a hold of the lyrics, go to the 3rd stanza/verse and then select the 3rd line. (If your song does not have such stanza’s then just grab the 3rd line in the verse)
  4. Weave a story or poem of your own around this 3rd verse and see what you come up with within 20min.
  5. Remember to include the Track you are working from via Youtube to your post if possible. If not, just add the title of the song and the band etc.

BONUS ROUND:

*Instead of using music, use a book or poem that you are reading. Select the 3rd chapter and the 3rd line, and weave a story/poem around that line, making it your own.

**I will post my results NEXT WEEK**

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

Monday’s Muse Writing Prompt: June 19th 2017 #Monday’sMuse #AmWriting #CreativeWriting

OPENING LINE (S): “The warmth of his hand against hers warmed her far deeper than the coffee she held, and it was totally unexpected.”

RULES: 

  • Using the above line and the picture provided, (Or a line of your own choosing) create a story (or even a poem) within up to 20 minutes.
  • Once you have finished your super awesome masterpiece, add a link in the comments section of THIS POST to your story for others to read, as well as a link on your page back to this original post for others to follow along and write with as well. In your “tags” section, add the tag “Monday’s Muse.”
  • To get the Above Image follow this LINK

If you do not have a blog of your own, leave me a comment and send me an email to icameforthesoup@gmail.com and I will post your lovely words here on my blog.

(PLEASE KEEP ENTRIES THAT NEED TO BE POSTED ON THIS SITE WITHIN A PG13 RANGE. THANK YOU)

My results will be posted by Friday.

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

Coffee With Character…Or Tea. How to Get to Know Your Fictional Characters: A Creative Writing Exercise #WritingTip #Writing #CreativeWriting

Writing is such a cathartic expression. Be it used to create poetry, something literary, or a piece that is completely outlandish and full of adventure, writing is indeed a breath of fresh air.

As writers, even in the face of an activity so purifying we often times find ourselves locked in a position where our creative muscles have not been trained to go, or rather have no idea how to get where we are trying to go.  This frustration is no different than Yoga.

Original art by Candice Coates
Original art by Candice Coates

Sure, you have got “Downward facing dog” in the bag, but dare your muscles to attempt “Crane pose.” or “Forearm-standing Scorpion,” and you may find yourself stuck in between the attempt and nowhere near where you had hoped to be.

And it all looked to so easy in the beginning.

Original Art by Candice Coates
Original Art by Candice Coates

This writing exercise is all about getting ‘there,’ helping you stretch past the stiffness of your imaginative muscles, especially when it comes to the characters who are the life blood of the writing you may be working on.

In order to get ‘there’ you need to know the folks you are traveling with, right?

Here are some steps to do that.

EXERCISE:

1.Write down the names of the main characters in your book (and even some important supporting characters). Write them on a piece of paper or even on your computer (your choice) in column style.

These are the names of the folks you are inviting over for an intimate meal or even just a good cup of coffee, one character at a time or if you are feeling adventures, invite them all!

2. Consider the likes and dislikes of each Character: what each character likes to eat. What they don’t like. Who prefers olive oil over butter, how do they take their coffee?

3. Write it all down.

4. Now think about how the conversation would go with them.

5. Jot these things down in each column.  Do they tell jokes? Do they like the shakshuka you prepared? Do they even know what shakshuka is?

Bonus: Have fun with it. Treat the characters as you would any guest you were entertaining.

WHAT IS THE REWARD?

The reward of this exercise is to get to know your characters more intimately. The answers that you find out about these individuals are not necessarily tid-bits you would add to beef up your plot, but they are the gems that really get you in the head and heart of the people who are acting out the story. It makes the flow so much more authentic.

It makes the flow so much more authentic. By knowing these little intimate details you will know what things they will and will not tolerate while you work and weave your plot around them.

This information will stretch you from “Downward facing dog” into “Crane pose” without locking your muscles.

Happy Writing!

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

P.S if you don’t know what shakshuka is, follow this LINK! Happy writing and happy eating!

*This exercise was original created August 28, 2014, and has been revised.

Monday’s Muse Writing Prompt: May 16th 2016

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OPENING LINE (S): “The road was still dark though the fog had cleared. Still they hadn’t seen another car for hours.”

RULES: 

  • Using the above line and the picture provided, (Or a line of your own choosing) create a story (or even a poem) within up to 20 minutes.
  • Once you have finished your super awesome masterpiece, add a link in the comments section of this post to your story for others to read, as well as a link on your page back to this original post for others to follow along and write with as well. In your “tags” section, add the tag“Monday’s Muse.”

If you do not have a blog of your own, leave me a comment and send me an email to icameforthesoup@gmail.com and I will post your lovely words here on my blog.

(PLEASE KEEP ENTRIES THAT NEED TO BE POSTED ON THIS BLOG WITHIN A PG13 RANGE. THANK YOU)

My results will be posted by Thursday.

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

Monday’s Muse Writing Prompt: May 9th 2016

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OPENING LINE (S): “He glanced at his watch and choked on a nervous knot. He was already running late and yet he’d still not written a thing. They were just simple words, should have been and yet his mind remained as blank as the page before him.”

RULES: 

  • Using the above line and the picture provided, (Or a line of your own choosing) create a story (or even a poem) within up to 20 minutes.
  • Once you have finished your super awesome masterpiece, add a link in the comments section of this post to your story for others to read, as well as a link on your page back to this original post for others to follow along and write with as well. In your “tags” section, add the tag“Monday’s Muse.”

If you do not have a blog of your own, leave me a comment and send me an email to icameforthesoup@gmail.com and I will post your lovely words here on my blog.

(PLEASE KEEP ENTRIES THAT NEED TO BE POSTED ON THIS BLOG WITHIN A PG13 RANGE. THANK YOU)

My results will be posted by Thursday.

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

Monday’s Muse Writing Prompt: February 8th 2016

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OPENING LINE (S): “I didn’t care what anyone had to say. She deserved it, every icy, pin-pricking sting that hit her face and made her stupid blouse crinkle. I especially enjoyed the way her glasses sat eschew on the bridge of her nose, a nose that was begging me to sock her one.”

RULES: Using the above line and the picture provided, (Or one of your own choosing) create a story (or even a poem) within up to 20 minutes. Once you have finished your super awesome masterpiece, add a link in the comments section of this  post to your story for others to read, as well as a link on your page back to this original post for others to follow along and write with as well. In your “tags” section, add the tag “Monday’s Muse.”

If you do not have a blog of your own, leave me a comment and send me an email to icameforthesoup@gmail.com and I will post your lovely words here on my blog.

(PLEASE KEEP ENTRIES THAT NEED TO BE POSTED ON THIS BLOG WITHIN A PG13 RANGE. THANK YOU)

My results will be posted on Thursday February 11th under the FICTION tab, then the WRITING PROMPTS AND EXERCISES, then MY WRITING PROMPT RESULTS.

Midnight: A Poem #Blogbattle Week 43

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Midnight: A Poem

Starry light past dusk does fall

Beyond the moon’s pure light

To gaze upon the sackcloth sky

We call its name, Midnight

With inky swells of deepest dark

No fear is found in sight

To cast ones dreams of imaginings seen

We sleep upon Midnight

And as the light ebbs through this phase

And warms this hour’s chilled bite

We bid farewell till we meet again

And dance with beloved Midnight

Said in my whisper voice: Happy 2016! (shhhh) This is our first Blogbattle entry of the new year. Word of the Week: MIDNIGHT. Genre:Not Quit Sure. BUT if you'd like to read other entries for this week or even participate (You have until Midnight tonight to do so) follow this LINK to RACHAEL RITCHEY'S BLOG and enjoy!.
blogbattle-award-1

 

Monday’s Muse: Writing Prompt December 14th 2015

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OPENING LINE (S): “ He could see her through the cafe window even from across the street. He took a quick glance at his watch and realized he was just barely on time, but he was going to be late if he stood there any longer. The only problem was he  just couldn’t seem to move his legs.

RULES: Using the above line and the picture provided, (Or one of your own choosing) create a story (or even a poem) within up to 20 minutes. Once you have finished your super awesome masterpiece, add a link in the comments section of this  post to your story for others to read, as well as a link on your page back to this original post for others to follow along and write with as well. In your “tags” section, add the tag “Monday’s Muse.”

If you do not have a blog of your own, leave me a comment and send me an email to icameforthesoup@gmail.com and I will post your lovely words here on my blog.

(PLEASE KEEP ENTRIES THAT NEED TO BE POSTED ON THIS BLOG WITHIN A PG13 RANGE. THANK YOU)

My results will be posted on Thursday December 17th under the FICTION tab, then the WRITING PROMPTS AND EXERCISES, then MY WRITING PROMPT RESULTS.