Tag Archives: fun

Camp NaNoWriMo

It’s not that I JUST want to be a published author. It’s really not JUST about that. Yes, I think it would be super cool to have my work out there and be published and do book signings or whatever, you know?

But really, my main goal of writing is to just get my writing out there.

I can’t do that if I can’t even finish one draft of one story. Technically it’s the second draft because it’s the rewrite, but I won’t get into that right this moment.

So, as many of you know, I participated in NaNoWriMo this past November and I wrote over 50k words to win. It was a tough month, trust me, and part way through I realized I didn’t want to write my story the way I was writing it, so I knew I’d have to do a rewrite of it eventually.

Well I’ve been trying to rewrite this story in the perspective and tense and everything that I want for the past two months, right? I even set a deadline for myself and everything in my revision plans. I thought it would go over smoothly, but like anything, I’ve hit a bump in the road.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my story and the way it’s turning out now that I’ve switched it up to what I wanted it to be, but I’m just struggling to find the motivation to keep pressing on and write.

Maybe it’s because I hate drafting. Seriously, I hate it with a passion. I don’t outline or do anything because once I write it down I feel that I’m done and that’s the best product I’m going to give. (I know there are other steps and edits and stuff if I ever do get published, but I believe I’ll handle that differently than this initial stuff.)

Well, I want to be able to finish my story and get it out there to the world, to share my creative voice and tell the story I want to tell. But I don’t want to stop there; I want to write as many stories as my brain can come up with. I want to be able to reach for the stars and share in the wonder that words can hold on a page.

And so I think my first step, aside from the obvious finish at least one story, is to find the motivation to finish it.

NaNoWriMo in November was something that was really motivational and challenging, giving me a set date and time in which I needed to finish up to or past 50k words in order to win. I think I need that challenge because I’m otherwise never going to finish it.

Camp-Participant-2015-Twitter-ProfileSo NaNoWriMo doesn’t just happen in November, but they also do Camp NaNoWriMo in April. It’s a more relaxed version of their November one, where you can set your own word limit and write as many words per day as you can to reach that goal. Whether it’s your NaNo draft, your latest story, a comic book, or whatever other creative writing piece you happen to be working on, that’s what Camp NaNoWriMo is all about.

So I think I’m going to participate and continue working on my draft of my November NaNo story.

It’s fun and challenging to reach a word goal in a month, and April will be no different. My goal will still be 50k words, I think, and where I’m already at 10k words, I think I’ll do well, haha!

If you need that extra oomph to write in the upcoming month, I’d definitely check Camp NaNoWriMo out. Sounds fun and a lot less stressful.

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Monthly Writing Challenge – August

Yeah, I know I’ve missed a couple of these, but I still have a little while left before it’s midnight my time (EST)!

It’s the last month of summer break and you have just a few weeks left before school starts. You can already feel the anticipation growing inside of you and you have no idea if it’s dread or excitement. But you don’t focus on that, rather you focus on the fact that you can still make it the best month possible before school starts up again.

What do you do for the first and last weeks of school break? Do you hang out with friends? Go to the beach? Find summer romance?

Respond to the prompt in no less than 150 words and keep it rated PG-13 or under.

Finding Inspiration

Whether you’re writing your first novel or your 100th, inspiration can come and go in the blink of an eye, so you have to be aware of where and when you can find it.

There are many types of places, people, and even objects that can strike up that muse of inspiration when you least expect it. If you’re out on a walk, take a look at the scenery: are there other people around? What about the wildlife? How’s the weather?

Or if you’re at school or work, take a look at who’s around you and create a life for them. It doesn’t have to be true, and it doesn’t even have to take place in this world, but just try it out to get the juices flowing.

Often the easiest place to find inspiration for writing is nature. There are so many things that it can offer, such as the different kinds of flora and fauna, or how certain plants may grow in nature, or how the weather can change, or anything that can be seen. It’s always changing and it’s always an easy way to write a scene for your story. You can place your main character in that setting and see if he/she fits. If so, then great! Keep writing. If not, that’s okay, just try somewhere else.

There’s also a way to find inspiration in destruction. Go to a dump or a recent demolition site, or the site of a recent fire or anything, and look around to see if anything strikes up an idea in your mind. Not all stories have to be focused on the good in the world; sometimes the bad makes an even better story.

You can also find inspiration in mad-made nature. Dams, bridges, skyscrapers, schools, anything made by man can be used as inspiration. Are you writing a tale of cowboys and dastardly fiends? Incorporate trains into your story, or even a steamboat. Have a character that loves doing daring things? Have him jump off of a bridge into a canal.

There are so many options and so many places, people, and things that you can draw inspiration from, all you have to do is try it!

 

Where have you found your greatest inspiration for writing? Let me know in the comments!

Monthly Writing Challenge: May 2014

Welcome to May Day! It’s the beginning of May and we hope that all these April showers will bring some May flowers, but that may not happen anytime soon. Any who, time for the monthly writing challenge!

  1. The theme this month: end of school excitement.
  2. You can reply to the prompt anytime during the month!
  3. Keep your content rated up to PG-13, please!
  4. 100-750 words for the prompt should be good, I think.

Okay, so here’s the prompt:

You’re in a class in high school, and you’re a senior, and the stupid bell won’t ring. You’ve only been staring at it for the past, oh, hour, and you only have another five minutes left before the bell rings. You can feel the anticipation in the classroom as the teacher tries his/her hardest to get the attention of the class, but to no avail. As you continue to stare at the clock you think about all that you plan on doing this summer: from preparing for college or trying to get a job, to hanging with friends at the beach and going on trips, you’ve got it all figured out. Tell me your thoughts and plans for the summer, plus tell me what happens when that bell finally rings.

Leave a comment with your prompt response! Have fun and enjoy!

The Effects of Reading Daily

Reading can take you on a whole new adventure that cuts through the mundane, everyday life you may or may not lead. From Middle-earth to Indiana to Paris to Avalon, reading fiction can bring you to places you might never otherwise see with your own eyes or during your life time.

So what are the effects of reading? Well, a study that was published in December called “Short- and Long-term Effects of a Novel on Connectivity in the Brain,” published in Brain Connectivity, suggests that, according to an article on Psychology Today, that “reading fiction was found to improve the reader’s ability to put themselves in another person’s shoes and flex the imagination in a way that is similar to visualization of muscle memory in sports.”

This is actually pretty neat once you think about it: your brain uses muscle memory for things such as riding a bike, driving a car, using a pencil, and other tasks you can do on a day to day basis. That same muscle can be used to put your imagination on a “joyride” through the eyes of the main character of the story.

But have you thought about reading daily? It can seem like in our busy lives that we barely have time to use the bathroom, let alone read. If you set time for reading ten minutes a day, then you’ll be using that same muscle suggested in the study (the sulcus) to possibly change the way your brain works.

Not only will it effect your brain, but it can also effect your speech and the way you look at your day to day tasks. I have a friend who has been a part of several Shakespeare plays, including “Hamlet,” and she can sometimes be found to be quoting and speaking in Shakespearean lingo. It can be entertaining, but then again, it can be difficult to understand what she’s saying sometimes.

If you read daily, though, you can open new worlds in your mind – and frankly, staying in those worlds is a lot more fun than real life.

Imagine being able to stay in a world where you can be friends with Hazel Grace Lancaster and Augustus Waters from John Green‘s novel, “The Fault in Our Stars.” Though the story has a sad turn of events in it, the characters themselves are quite fun individuals and I know I would personally want to be friends with them.

When a novel is able to grab your attention and pull you in, it can be a thrilling moment and you just want more. I know that when I read something that I enjoy I am easily taken to that world and can relate very easily to the main character, experiencing their emotions, actions, speech, etc. I love that feeling because it’s something that’s out of the mundane and out of the norm.

If you read daily, you can experience that euphoria often and enjoy the world the author conveys in their story. Take the time out of your day to read – just ten to fifteen minutes a day, or longer if you have the time. It can be both rewarding and fun. Just make sure to pick something you know you’ll enjoy or it’ll be all for naught!

Listening to Music While Writing

Have you ever listened to music while you wrote? Did you know that it can effect the way you write or the type of scene you write?

Think about it. If you listen to slow, rhythmic melodies you tend to write in a way that the action is either progressing slowly or there’s some type of romantic or calm scenes, whereas if you listened to fast-paced, dance type of music you’d write an exciting piece of action.

Take a moment to think about what exactly you’re working on in terms of writing. Are you writing an epic historic novel? A sappy love story? A fantastical journey through the ages? How will you write certain scenes in these stories? Are you going to start with slow beats and soft sounds, or go right to the hard, fast, and gritty?

Ready for an exercise? Pull out a pen or pencil and a piece of paper – yes, I want you to actually physically write this down.

Plug in your iPod, turn on the radio, do whatever you have to in order to listen to some form of music. Pick a song that’s slow at first. Let the sounds of the instruments run through your mind and concentrate on how it’s being played. Write down a scene from your current work or just make one up that fits the song. Write until the song is done then pause your music.

Look at what you wrote and see if it matches the tempo of the song you listened to and title it after that song title.

Next, pick a fast song. Pick something with an upbeat rhythm – try a dance song! Write out your scene until the song is done. Do the same as before and review it, also titling it with that song’s title.

Next, pick a harsh song, like a metal song (Metallica, Nine Inch Nails, etc.) and write a scene┬ábased off of that. This scene will probably end up being a lot darker than your previous ones, but that’s okay. Title it in the same way.

You can keep doing this with a multitude of song types, from rap, to pop, to country, to blues, to gospel. It doesn’t matter what kind of genre you listen to, but just know that it can affect how and what you write. So if you’re not ready to write a type of scene where the main characters start spilling their feelings for each other, then skip that song! It can help in the framework of making a scene, so just keep at it and try new things!

 

What kinds of songs did you listen to when you write? Do you find that listening to music while writing helps or hinders you? Let me know in the comments below!

Bring Your Characters to Life

We’ve all heard about cosplaying before and how much of a popular subculture it has become in the last ten years or so. People get very enthusiastic about going to conventions, often called Cons, and dressing up as their favorite character from a TV show, book, movie, etc. The ability to be able to dress up for a few hours (or days, depending) as someone other than yourself is thrilling for some people.

Have you ever thought about cosplaying your own characters, though?

Think about it: you know your own character inside and out, their likes, their dislikes, their favorite toy/movie/season, and you how they look. Why not dress and act like them for a day?

This may sound silly, but if you think about it, this can actually help in your writing process when you are writing a story – especially if you’re in the character development phase.

If you have a dashing young man from England in the 1920s who wears a fedora and pantsuit, then wear a fedora and pantsuit and try to walk, talk, and act like him. If you have an older woman who is run down and beat from her workplace, but loves to go home and cook, try your hand at cooking (just don’t set the place on fire!) by also dressing how she would dress, act as she would, etc.

It can be a fun experience, all you have to do is try it out. If you don’t know exactly what you are going to do, that’s okay. You can be yourself but only act certain ways around the house, at the local cafe, at school, or anywhere you want. Pick one location and “play” how your character would act in that one location.

I think I might even try this for myself and post my findings later on!

Experiment! Don’t be afraid to look like a fool – it’s not really “you” who’s doing it!

If you’ve done this before, or if you are going to do this, let me know what happened!