Tag Archives: Building skill

NaNoWriMo was here – 2015 After Action Report

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You fail only if you stop writing.”

– Ray Bradbury

To me, this is the key to have a successful NaNoWriMo. Finishing the 50.000 words in one month, like I mentioned in my previous post, is less important than not to give up on your writing and to keep building the skill.. NaNoWriMo 2015 is over, so thank you for playing if you did. If you didn’t, then join us next year. It’ll be fun. I super promise.

In any case, this year has been quite a learning experience. For one, the world has been annoyingly distracting with work drama, life drama and terrorist drama around the world. But it has also been a productive November. Although I didn’t make it to 50.000 words on my story this year, but I did get a lot further than I thought. 28.000+ somewhat intelligible words have been added to my novel, not counting character bios, world notes, questions, outline and miscellaneous research, which is far beyond what I expected. I also learned that statistics are useless, if you’re not consistent with you counting and writing. I write in Word, Google Docs + Google Keep, in Scrivener and in a notebook. If I can give you one piece of tangible advice, DON’T DO THAT. Pick a tool and use it. That way you won’t get surprised on word count.

I also came up with a new creative project for the blog: a weekly series that I’ll start the first week of January, and also have fun titles for several books in potentia. And jokes, I wrote a lot of bad jokes. So all in all, I’m very positive and looking forward to write more.

And should you need another famous quote on writing, then:

There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”

– Ernest Hemingway

So back to bleeding daily. But what do you think? Was my November wasted or worth it?
Did you do NaNoWriMo and finish? (if so, well done!). Let me know!

And for the last time is 2015… The NaNoWriMo song.

NaNoWriMo is here – I got distracted

That’s life isn’t it. You set a goal, make a plan to get there, get your hopes up, then NaNoWriMo kicks off, and you immediately get distracted, the plan gets shot down, you adapt, you improvise, get distracted again, make small concessions to your goal, adapt some more, realize that it’s harder than you remembered, make bigger concessions, sob in misery and despair, wipe away your tears, and then suddenly it’s day two. Or five. Or ten. Or as it turns out; day twenty-two.

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Current word count

And I’m in fact behind on my word count. And that’s okay. And if you’re behind, that’s okay too. It would be nice to be able to say that I wrote a novel in a month and be looked at with awe, get showered with compliments, beer and sandwiches, but in reality that’s not the case. And that’s okay. This is the main point of this post: it’s okay to fail at NaNoWriMo.

Because what we’re building is a writing skill, with writing habits and a trust in our ability to put pretty words on a page and/or screen. We can worry about deadlines when we have actual paying jobs as writers.

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Not representative of actual cast. Clearly.

So if you’re like me, take stock and make a sensible plan for the rest of November, and then focus on solidifying that skill past November. Currently I have 17.000(ish) words down, a solid outline for act one and two with notes on act three, a list of named characters with their internal relationships mapped out, and nine writing days to go. My goal for this last period is to exceed 25.000 words, which means I need to put out 600 words a day. It’s manageable and will give me that nifty badge on my profile.

And then the work goes on. You keep working on your habit, your skill, and soon you’ll have a novel done. Or you’ll kill it and start something else. Or stop because you hate it. And all of those are OK.

But what do you think? Did I waste my November? Let me know.

And now… The NaNoWriMo song.

Enter the Sucker Punch!

I wrote a fight (no relation to this cinematic travesty). It was a good fight; a highly stylised action sequence, gorgeously executed in prose, our protagonist cutting through swathes of cookie cutter henchmen with the grace of Summer Glau and the efficiency of Germans.

It was masterful. It was epic.It was fraking boring. Continue reading Enter the Sucker Punch!

Writing Challenges

keep-calm-and-continue-writing-39I recently incorporated a Daily Writing Challenge to boost my creativity and daily output. And yes, I apologize for the lack of posts since Christmas, but personal issues, travel and reevaluating the direction of my life kinda took up a lot of time and energy, so the blog went on the back burner for a while. That while ended today.The concept of a Daily Writing challenge is to try and work with as many aspects of the written word as possible, to gain insight into different perspectives,prose, genre and sub genres, types of narratives, with the purpose of building skill, understanding and enhancing the creative juices. Continue reading Writing Challenges