Wednesday, November 29, 2017

I Am A Winner! 50,000 Blasted!

Late yesterday afternoon, I blasted through my last 5,000 words for NaNoWriMo!

I received my certificate and online party from the guys overseas! It felt great to finish the first draft of my book!

Yes... my first draft.

During this month, I've not only finished the draft, I've also put up a cover picture and changed the title - twice!

So, how have you been doing with your NaNoWriMo?

Have you begun seeing the finish line on the horizon? If not, don't worry, you'll get there next year; or over the next few months. 

For this challenge, there are no failures, just people who love to write books - and isn't that the main thing here: too keep us writers on the ball and writing our fingers off?

It sure is! 

After my 3rd attempt at this challenge, I finally go to the 50,00 words with just 2 days to spare. Now... please do let us all know how you went on yours. Until my next post, happy reading and writing! 

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

300 Words From 40,000 Word Mark!

I'm so proud of myself!

After today, I'm only 10,000 words from my target of 50,000 words - then? Then, it'll be a few months of me fleshing out the book and making it really read like I want it to.

So.... how's your book going?

All good?

All bad?

All in-between?

Or... have you given up?

Now, if you've found it's fallen flat, don't worry, look a few posts down and you'll read again that I only got to 19,000 words or so on my first attempt on this write-a-novel-in-a-month thing... and I'm sure it took even the most ardent writer of this great challenge a few attempts to get in and write the 50,000 words in a month - and then to get the word count over 80,000 words (which is a good-sized novel) by March the following year.

Don't be discouraged by not making it through or feeling as though you're ploughing through waist-high mud. We all feel like that sometimes... if you didn't make it this year - there's always next year.

For me? This is the first year I've made it to the 50,000 words; and I will do it again next year! Until my next post, happy reading and writing!

Friday, November 17, 2017

Get In And Do It! Write!

I've been doing really well in NaNoWriMo, and I've had some great encouragement online as well as offline.

However, in my most recent post on here, one of my followers, has asked me about how I go about how I get my book onto the screen - or paper. 

Well, I find it quite easy now... but I never used to. It's something that takes a lot of practice and once you know how to get your mind into working the way you're accustomed to, you'll just sit down and write.

But, there's a few things you need to get in and do before you put any words onto the screen.

Get out a notebook and write down ideas of what you want your book/s to be about. 
What do your characters look like? 
Who are they? 
What are their likes and dislikes?
Are they vegetarian or meat-eaters?
Do they drive a car or a motocycle?
Are they religious?
What are they dressed in?
Do they watch television or read books?

The list goes on... but the best thing to do is to make a dossier of them by doing an interview with them. This sounds really strange, but it works. Sit down at your computer, pull up a fresh page and close your eyes. Imagine your character sitting in front of you and ask them questions (mentally or verbally - your choice) and they will answer. Type out what they say to you and you'll have their character type all up there on the screen. Do this for each character you've got in your book - no matter how big or small-a part they have - and you'll know exactly who your characters are.

Researching a book can take from a few weeks at a library, walking around a city and taking photos to talking to the police about things or going to your State Archives to look up some serious historical documents. In one of my first books, I had to look around another country. I did some big research around my own country first; then I jumped on a plane and took off to England for a 7-week holiday where I went through 24 rolls of 36 exposure film! I went on a proper tour of the UK, Scotland and Wales and got to see and photograph historical homes, castles and waterways all around the place. I even got to get on some great trains too! What a way to do research! 
Now, I've used some of the photos and my travel journal all these years later for a book of mine titled 'The Tour Guide' which I've finished from last year's NaNoWriMo... and it's turned out great!

Yep, research is one of the biggest things you've got to do for your book. If your background in your book and your history in it doesn't gel, your readers will know - and so will you.

Now, when you get into writing you book, there are different ways of doing it.

You can plan it to the tiniest degree; but that often doesn't work out and you'll give up before you even begin. 


You can have a rough plan of what you want to do, throw your main characters into the fray and watch them... see what they're going to do and let them tell the story. Stephen King writes his books this way; and I've learned to write mine this way as well. 

But, I have also found that world-building is a huge thing to get in and do as well. If you haven't built a great world for your characters to exist in, you'll not only lose your story, you'll lose the feel for the book and you'll end up losing your readers.

The very first thing you really need to do with writing a first draft of a book, though, is to get it all out on the screen - what I call 'blurging it out!' - to get the story out of your head and where you need to see it. It doesn't have to be perfect... it just needs to be told. Now, it may take up to 3 months to do this - relax, it's not a race (not like the NaNoWriMo), it's your book, take your time. 
My first serious book took me 15 years to write and was over 180,000 words. But I took 3 years to research it and I had about 12 books of research materials to get it written - and I was working full-time for around 3 years of the time I was writing it... so I had a huge first draft which took so long to get out there. And it's still not published.

Getting in and writing is a lonely task. You have be a person who can put up with being on your own for hours on end and yet know it's going to be all worth it in the end... what you have to do is the same thing you would do if you were going to work every day; because you are. With writing, you show up, you do the hours and you enjoy what you do. 

And this is exactly why I love to write.
I'm not doing it for the money.
I don't do it for the awards I might get.
I'm not a famous, published writer.
I write because I love to entertain and I have something to say.
I write because I have stories in my head, I want to get them out.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Over 25,000 Word Mark!

Over the weekend, I hit the 25,000 word mark of my book! 


This means I'm halfway there to the 50,000 words to my target of 50,000 words. Isn't this great?

I'm totally loving how the book is going too! Every time I open Word, I don't know what I'm going to write, but something happens anyway.

So, how are you going with your NaNoWriMo? 

Is it going well for you? Or are you stuck? 

I hope everything is happening for you in your book... and if you haven't reached the word count I have, don't worry. In my first 2 years, I didn't reach that far either. 

On my first year, I reached around 19,000 words.
On my second year, I reached 23,000 words.

This is my third year, I've reached 25,000 words, and I'm still going... so it gets better with each passing year.

Take your time, don't try to write it all in one hit and write a chapter or two at a time.

I have been writing around 2,000 - 3,000 words a day. Over the weekend just past, I wrote over 6,000 words - but then I felt very burnt out. However, I will be getting in and working on the next 22,000 words on an easier schedule so they'll fly past! Well, until my next post, happy reading and writing.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

How's Your Writing Going?

Are you stuck?
Are you chugging along well?
Are you character having a meeting to get at your last nerve?

Well, I'm letting my characters take the lead and do what is going to happen into their own hands... and my story is taking off on its own tangent. I let my books do this for a good reason - to see how far I can take it; then after it goes too far, I take control again slowly and lead it back along the path I need it to go.

It sounds weird, but it's to flesh out my characters in the way they need to be fleshed out.

In a way, it's kinda like I'm auditioning my characters while I'm writing them into the book... it's to get them comfortable enough to take on their part, then let them jump in feet first into the life I've created for them and - well - allow them to forget that they're not real.

Of course they're not real! I can hear you saying they're not... but in the book, they are.

Now, how is your book going? 
How many words have you knocked over?

Now, it's a first draft, so don't think of this as perfection, think of it as getting it out on the page as fast a you can... edit and perfect it later on.

It's day 11... yesterday, I hit the 19,000 word mark! I'm definitely on a roll!

Until my next post, happy reading and writing!

Sunday, November 5, 2017

The First Four Days

It's the first four days of the National Novel Writing Month and I'm going really well so far.

How are you all going? Are you taking part? 

If so, what is your plot about? Are you taking part in the exercises emailed to you? I'm not taking part in any of those exercises, and I'm doing this from home... as for my plot? Well, it's still forming.

So far, I've written over 6,000 words in just 4 days!

This is great! I set aside a time - anytime - during the day and just write about what my book is about... and I use up my 2 hours or so in almost no time at all! Over that time, I get a lot done. Sometimes, I get writing done, sometimes I get editing done... whatever I get done, it's all good.

Well, until my next post, happy reading and writing.

Friday, November 3, 2017

The First Week!

It's only three days into NaNoWriMo, and I've gotten almost 5,000 words written of my book for this month. And with the rest of the month to go, I've still got 45,000 words to write until the end. 

Now, not all my books are that long, but it's always nice to get them blurted out onto the computer screen and ready for editing for the next year... and I love to create new worlds during this month - and besides, it keeps my brain going making up new stories and characters.

As you can see on the sidebar, I've created another textbox to let you know how far I've come each day... now not every day will be the same big numbers, but I'll be writing every day and trying to get up to 2,000 words or so a day. This will keep me going to my goal of 50,000 words by November 30th. 

And if the book isn't finished? Well, I hope to find that I've bypassed that 50,000 word mark and keep on marching on with it to 80,000 or even 100,000 words to make the book even better than the last one I wrote. 

Wish me luck!

And if you're taking part in this great way of writing a book, I wish you the best of luck in this challenge as well. Until my next post, happy reading - and writing!