Camp NaNoWriMo ended just two days ago and I’m feelin’ the blues. Cue B.B. King’s “The Thrill is Gone.” I always feel a little down when NaNoWriMo ends–whether in November or April. Writing can sometimes be a lonely task and it’s nice to have that community that NaNo gives you. So here are my tips on how to recover from your post-NaNo blues. Continue reading “Monday Minute: How to Cure Your Post-Camp NaNoWriMo Blues”
Spring is just around the corner–March 20th to be exact. While it’s not technically spring yet, I can feel it in the slowly warming temperatures and see it in the delicate pink blooms on my shamrock. This spring, I also have some blogging favourites.
What stories are your favourites? What novels have stuck with you enough to influence your writing? Continue reading “Wednesday Words of Wisdom: Richard Peck”
Writing and life are not mutually exclusive. Truly living our lives out provides inspiration and wisdom. As Hemingway put it, “In order to write about life you first must live it.” Continue reading “Follow Friday: The Writing Life”
What makes a great and memorable character? Is it their actions, their bravery or their background stories?
I believe it’s a combination of many elements that all come together like a mosaic to form a colorful character that comes to life off the page.
It’s the last day of NaNoWriMo and it’s bitter-sweet. I’m sort of sad because I’ll miss all the craziness and excitement of the month, but I’m also sort of relieved too– because I discovered I’m not the best at getting down 1, 000 + words a day. That is quite a lot of pressure! Instead of focusing solely on the quantity (*cough* the word count) I’m going to talk about quality. Specifically, what NaNoWriMo teaches you and instills in you, whether you consider yourself a writer or not.
My second NaNoWriMo experience was challenging, exciting and crazy. It was a great way to spend my November and I’m glad I did it. Along the way though, I came up with some surprising and enlightening reflections. Here is what NaNoWriMo taught me:
Be Brave: Funny enough, I was writing a supernatural/horror story about college-age students encountering ghosts in a haunted mansion on Halloween. I was getting so creeped out that I would often stop writing. In the same way, you and I can apply this to our writing: we get scared of the ghoulish monsters that taunt us and tell us we can’t do it, when we know we can. We just have to brave it out and write, no matter how good or bad it is on paper.
Forget Inspiration: I didn’t realize how futile relying on inspiration was until I read my NaNoWriMo pep talk from author, Malinda Lo. I prefer to write whenever inspiration hits me, but find myself hating the times when I sit down to write and come up with lacklustre words, feeling as if my story sucks. But after taking in Malinda Lo’s words about inspiration, I learned that if you wait for inspiration to write, you’ll never write and inspiration is a rare occurrence.
Have Fun: NaNoWriMo’s staff, especially those tweeting on @NaNoWordSprints, taught me to not take myself so seriously. I love their silly prompts on @NaNoWordSprints and the way they could put together an engaging pep talk. When you’re feeling silly and wacky, it translates to your novel. I was even able to incorporate some humour (or what I hope was good humour) into my horror story. I have a way of taking my writing VERY seriously, but I realized it’s okay to have some fun with your writing too. At the end of the day, shouldn’t writing be fun and enjoyable too?
Trust Time: Like a fine cheese or wine, your writing only gets better with age. If you continue to write year after year, you learn more and more. I’m a better writer now than I was last year, and more in terms of discipline than anything. NaNoWriMo is the perfect way to hone your writing; not only is there the annual November writing month but Camp NaNoWriMo that takes place in April and July, as well as the “Now What?” months of January and February, which are full of tips for revising, editing and publishing. NaNoWriMo proves in a very short period of time that you can improve. If you can improve in a month, just imagine what one year could do!
These are just a few lessons I took away this year. What was your NaNoWriMo writing experience like? I’d love to hear your stories!
P.S. Check out ProlixMe’s great post about NaNoWriMo 🙂
- NaNoWriMo-ers – Don’t stop writing! (prolixme.wordpress.com)
One of my all-time favourite books is The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. This book is a perfect blend of creative writing and great imagination. I love that the language was straight-forward and simple so the book could easily be read by younger kids as well. All in all, it’s a book that any age group can enjoy and it’s a fairly quick read, which helps in our fast-paced society. But most of all I think that The Hobbit will amaze you, inspire you, make you laugh and make you sit on the edge of your seat. Continue reading “Bookshelf Read: The Hobbit”
For some writers, naming characters is crucial. Of course all characters need a name, but it has to be the perfect name for your character. The one that rings just right; that really gets across the spirit and personality of your character.
The name that you choose for your character is going to affect how your readers perceive them. They might find the name unusual, cool or even typical and plain. Sometimes when you’re skimming over possible character names, you come across ones that remind you of someone you don’t like. Sometimes you really like the name but it doesn’t suit your character. Other times you don’t even know where to start.
Here are some strategies for finding awesome character names. Continue reading “The Naming Ceremony”