Friday, November 27, 2015

November | A Month for Celebration and Firework Gifs

Happy, almost the month of Christmas, Wordlings!
How was NaNo for all of you who participated? How's university for all my fellow students? For everyone who attempted both, I feel you're exhaustion.
Despite the crazy month, November was actually insanely productive for me and even more rewarding. I'm on a writing high right now which I hope to ride all the way into the new year like a majestic horse (or a motorcycle—we'll see how it goes).

Onwards to the summary! 

My Victories 

1) I won NaNoWriMo! Woohoo!

I officially won on the 18th by sprinting and writing 5k in one day which was pretty tough since that was a school day for me; not to mention that the coming Friday I had two midterms and I paper due. It just goes to show though that it's always possible to find a time to write. On the day I finished, I literally wrote every second I got the chance.
Considering this was my first year of NaNo, I'd say that I did pretty darn well :)

2) Remember that secret project I mentioned? Well I completed that too!
I've only been able to tell a few friends about it so far but I assure you, I'll mentioned it next month since that's when it's been presented.
Currently the project is going through a few people for editing and I'll be attending a meeting regarding it's presentation in the next month. I'm beyond blessed to have this opportunity and can't wait to see how it comes together.

3) Guess who bought herself a daily agenda? This girl! I'm using it specifically for the sake of writing so that my blog and my novels don't fall behind. While it may not seem like a victory, for a procrastinator, it totally is! I'm actually putting money into scheduling and that's a pretty big deal ^ ^

Isn't it cute? And it has little spots to write monthly goals! It's perfect. 

4) Probably the biggest victory of all is that I finished the first draft of "Living City" at 95,310 words :D

This is the first full draft I've actually completed so it's a massive accomplishment and is probably the reason I'm on a writing high right now ^ ^

Nerd Stuff

1) I finished watching Red Data Girl. It's not one I'd recommend to people unless they've run out of decent animes to watch. It was a neat concept but I think there was a lot that needed to be explained that wasn't. Unless of course I just wasn't paying attention XD

2) I'm in the process of reading "The Power of Ten" still. NaNo made it difficult for me to read. Hopefully I can catch up on my reading in December when I finish finals.

3) Currently, I'm following "Norigami Aragato", the second season "Norigami". My friend, Kendall and I are watching it together every week and I love it ^ ^ I'm a huge fan of Norigami and my OTP resides in this anime. There's a lot of squealing and hugging and re-watching clips ^ ^

Upcoming Battles

1) After much debate, I've decided that December will be the month to begin working on the first book of my Crec series. Many people have told me that a change of headspace will be good for me while I wait six very long weeks to beginning my macro edit on "Living City".
So I'm in for some plotting and more writing!

I'm genuinely excited to get back to a story. I feel a little like a lost child in Walmart now that I'm not actively working on a project!
I've begun a little bit of plotting and am finding this story already to be more of a challenge. I'm up for it though. 

2) The completion of the secret project with the meetings and such that I mentioned above will be a battle. Not because I don't want to do it but because it's a project that means a lot to me. I don't want to get so caught up in it that I forget it's meaning. 

3) Final exams. I need to start studying for those right about now....
While my course load isn't a large as most people's I know for a fact that the whole writing thing may pose as a distraction to the whole studying notion. Hopefully I can push my novels aside long enough to care about my GPA.

Future Nerd Stuff

1) Finishing "The Fate of Ten" for sure!

2) At the bookstore I work at, Chapters, the staff all got a book for an early Christmas gift. I got Rick Riodan's new book, "The Sword of Summer". Do you know how excited I am to read this thing!? So freakishly excited! I'll definitely be writing a review for it either in late December or early January.

Can we take a moment to admire this amazing cover? Sometimes I just stare at lie XD

While not a lot happened this month, the stuff that did happen turned out to be pretty big and definitely worthy of all the fireworks! I'm beyond excited to take on the next month and then after that, the next year and the year after that and—well let's just start with December for now ;)
Thank you to all my readers and a special thanks to the commenters who make my day :) 
I hope you all had a great month and that you're next month is great too! 

One last set of fireworks just because this month rocked!

What were some of the highlights from your month? Have any goals for next month?

Keep being awesome, Wordlings! 

Friday, November 20, 2015

Beautiful Books | The Process of Writing "Living City"

Hello, Wordlings! It's the second month in Paperfury's blog link-up, Beautiful Books and this time it's all about the process of writing the books was slave over in this crazy month some of us refer to as NaNoWrMo. 
Speaking of which, I've won NaNo! I completed it on the eighteenth and on that same say, I also finished the first draft of the novel at just over 95k. 
This post now seems incredibly fitting since it will kind of be like I'm looking back on my writing process as well as looking forward to what writing the next book will be like. 

So let's get to it. Onwards to the questions! 

Is the book turning out how you thought it would be, or is it defying your expectations? 
As of the completion of the first draft, it's defied my expectations but in the best way possible. I definitely thought it would have a slightly different tone to it and I imagined a lot of the scenes to turn out differently than they did—some scenes just sort of happened, too! It will obviously need some editing but overall, I'm super happy with what I've written.

Super, duper happy. How could I not?
This is my first ever completed draft!

What’s your first sentence (or paragraph)?
My first paragraph is only one sentence but here it is: 

              “Kyla, you’re late.” 

Are you a plotter or a pantser? Have you ever tried both methods and how did it turn out?
I'm kinda a mix between the two so a plantser I suppose. I can't seem to do just one. I've tried just planning and I became stressed and suffocated by my own outline. I need be able to let the story flow. At the same time, whenever I tried just pantsing, my lack planning lead me straight to some pretty big moments of writer's block. The combination gives me direction without holding me back.

What do you reward yourself with after meeting a goal?
Web-camming sessions with my friend, Tori, new music, watching anime with another one of my friends, Kendall, watching some Good Mythical Morning or buying myself a slurpee. Sometimes I'll combine a few :) To reward myself for bigger goals, I might buy myself lunch or a bigger slurpee ;) 

A slurpee my sister brought me as a reward. 

What do you look for in a name? Do you have themes and where do you find your names?
Assuming this question means the name of my characters, I look for ease of pronunciation, if it's similar to any other characters I have in that book, if it fits the time period and genre of the novel and generally if I think it feels right. I don't usually have themes for names but I often gravitate todays 'A's and 'J's for some reason...
I usually find my names just by surfing around the internet. If I like a name, I put it in my document I've called 'Name Bank'. When I need a new name, I'll go through it and see if anything stands out. I think I have about 400 names in there by now. I'll never run out! 

What is your favourite to write: beginning, middle, or end — and why?
I love writing the end. I love bringing things full circle, tiring up lose ends and having my characters ask more questions. There's something incredible about writing the end of a story. 

Kim using her ability
Who’s your current favourite character in your novel?
Kim, my protagonist is still my favourite. It could be a biased answer though since I'm writing from her point of view and have basically spent the last while living inside her head. She's got a clever sense of humour, is a little impatient and is definitely determined. I love her ^ ^ 

What kind of things have you researched for this project, and how do you go about researching? (What’s the weirdest thing you’ve researched?!)
I've researched a lot about the Bermuda Triangle. I've watched documentaries and read articles about people who claim weird things have happened to them around the triangle and about the Atlantis conspiracies. 
Basically my researching is composed of a simple google search which then leads me to more google searches, YouTube videos and pictures. I don't usually write a lot down. Instead, I'll bookmark sources. 
The weirdest thing I've researched for this researched a lot on drug tolerance and overdosing. You may not think so but I'd even say that researching the conspiracy theories was pretty high up on the list. It lead me to learning about a lot of pretty strange stuff.
I also researched what a dead body looks like for one of my writer friends....*coughs* moving on.

Do you write better alone or with others? Do you share your work or prefer to keep it to yourself?
I write best alone. The movement of people around me is distracting. I'm working on it though. I've managed to generate words on the bus to school which is a total plus. 
Ironically though, all my highest word counts come from warring with friends. Then again, those wars are over the internet so maybe that doesn't count. 
I share snippets but I like to keep it to myself. When a draft is finished though, I'll let a few people read it. I won't make the story completely public though until it's published or I've polished it enough for it to be published. 

What are your writing habits? Is there a specific snack you eat? Do you listen to music? What time of day do you write best? Feel free to show us a picture of your writing space!
Music is a must. I listened to a lot of HDSoundi on YouTube and "The Scorch Trials" soundtrack for this novel. As for snacks, I like to eat grape tomatoes and bell peppers will I write. For drinks I for a slurpee if I'm rewarding myself or tea and sometimes Coke if it's early but I still need a caffeine boost. 
Time of day has jumped all over the place. It used to be eight and then it was three in the afternoon and then eleven at night. I think it depends on my current sleep pattern and the wakefulness of my muse XD 

This is my living room where I make my home while writing. Here you can see the remnants of a reward, my journal, my fuzzy blue blanket, my blue English binder from school and my backpack because I'm also trying to balance that right now, and a glass of Coke over ice because it's just one of those times XD
So that's the link up for this month. If you missed last month's post where I talked about "Living City", click here
I'll be doing one of these next month too so make sure you follow me on my Facebook, Bloglovin' or subscribe to me with your blogger account or email so you don't miss it :) 

How's NaNo going for everyone? Do you have a few quirky things about your writing process?

Keep on keeping on, Wordlings! 

Friday, November 13, 2015

The 777 Tag | Excepts From My Novels

This week's post was supposed to be Beautiful Books with with university, I never got around to putting it together. So instead, I'm going a tag! Beautiful Books will be next week :)
I got tagged in this way back in May by my good friend, Tori at Stori Tori's Blog and was recently reminded to do it. With NaNo going, I thought it would be a fitting time to do it.

How it Works

It's easy! All you have to do is go to the seventh page in your work in progress (whether it's editing or writing), scroll to the seventh line and then post the next seven lines. After that, you tag seven bloggers to do the same thing. 

Since I have two works on the go, I'm gonna share an excerpt from both. I wrote this part of "Crec" last year so I'm a little hesitant to share this but why not, right? 
"Living City" is my NaNoWriMo novel that I'm working on currently. So far, so good, everyone! I'm surviving :D 

Onwards to the excerpts! We'll start with "Crec" so that we finish with the better except ;) 


“There.” Piper handed her the loose end of the rope. “Do you want me to thread your grigri too?” 
Masara shook her head and took the rope. She could take it from here. She wouldn't let Piper do everything for her. 
Piper thrust some gloves into Masara’s line of sight. 
Masara pulled them on. “Thanks.”
She tugged at the rope connecting her to the support beam. It would hold her, right?

To learn more about "Crec", head over to the Writing Dimension *points to the top bar*, or check out Masara's Beautiful People 1, Beautiful People 2, Beautiful People 3.

"Living City"

The chilling memory of the crash came rushing back. She gasped, her body lurching. Panic as cold as the water itself gripped her entire being. 
“It’’s okay,” Andrew’s familiar voice breathed heavily. 
A rolling wave lifted them up and dropped them back down. Kim’s stomach sunk. She caught her breath. This would be it, would it? She would drown out here and her body would never be found just like in all those stupid documentaries she watched before the plane ride. 

If you'd like to know more about "Living City" or the characters in them, head over to the Writing Dimension or you can check out Louis's (the antagonist) Beautiful People, Matt's (a main character) character interview or my recent Beautiful Books post. 

As for the 7 bloggers, I always hate being selective about this so instead, anyone reading is welcome to take the challenge! Just comment below and let me know if you're gonna do it cause I'd love to read what you're writing :) 

How's NaNo going for everyone? Any excerpts (7th line or not) that you'd like to share?

See you all next week, Wordlings!

Friday, November 06, 2015

6 'Must Haves' to Survive NaNoWriMo

Alright folks, the month is upon us! NaNoWriMo is only in it's early stages but if you're anything like
me, you're already feeling the effects of marathon writing. In the midst of work, all my classes and the looming assignments before the final exam rush, I've discovered a bunch of things that have been helping me survive the beautiful chaos we writers willingly through ourselves into.

1) Writing Music

An absolute must. I went out and bought myself a $25 iTunes card so I could stock up on some great writing music to motivate myself. If you're on a budget, Youtube has some fabulous playlists for full movie scores or just a big jumble of epic, emotional or wondrous instrumentals.
If you haven't already discovered them, HDSounDI has some of my favourite writing playlists on the internet. Check them out if you're looking for some new tracks!

2) Notebooks and Pencils/Pens

Sometimes I'm in the middle of a scene and suddenly I have an idea to write down. Could be a piece of dialogue, a title for a future chapter or a reason why character X did action Y. Whatever it is, I like to have my notebook and a pencil next to me while I write so I don't miss any of my strokes of genius. For those of you that have scrivener or another writing program, I'd suggest having a file open specifically for your random ideas. Keeping organized during this time is super important.

Three of my favourite writing journals

3) A Writing Buddy

For me this is an absolute must. I'd trade writing music for a buddy during these weeks. Why? Word wars! One of my best friends, Tori, and I can easily get three thousand words in about two hours. It makes NaNo much less daunting to have a buddy to do it with. Plus it's a lot more fun to do with a friend. This is only the first time I've done NaNo but I can't imagine doing it without a buddy. I've already got of 15k words in this first week! I credit that to having a buddy to war with every night.

4) Caffeine

While NaNo has been productive and I don't stay up super late every night, there have been a couple nights were I stay up just a tad past my bedtime trying to push for extra words. Other times I'll use caffeine to boost me when I've had a long day at school or work and haven't started chipping away at my word count. (or still have a long way to go)
For those of you that write in the wee hours of the morning, I suggest green tea; and if you're Canadian, Iced Caps from Timmies.

Three of my favourite writerly mugs :) 

5) A Fuzzy Blanket

I'm not sure why but I can't seem to write well without setting myself up on the couch by the fireplace with my blue fuzzy blanket. I think this says something about getting comfortable before you sit down to write like the wind. If you have a spot in the house or even out of the house that you find helps you to write, I encourage you take advantage of that space. Writing is always easier when you're comfortable or in a creative atmosphere.

6)  Sanity Items

I'm realizing that NaNo has the potential to be consuming and stressful. Somehow I'm managing and it made me wonder as to why that may be. 
The first one is music. Not writing music, just music by artists that I enjoy listening to. Of Monster and Men, Florence and the Machine, and Imagine Dragons are a few groups I listen to when I'm not writing. 
I've found that taking walks when it's nice out is also refreshing. Getting a little fresh air into my system often helps with writers block. 
Friends are great too. I'm making sure that I go for coffee with someone or see a friend outside my own house at least once a week during NaNo. It ensures that my mind isn't only thinking about my writing (or homework for that mater!)
Lastly, when in doubt, watch an episode on Netflix. It's always a great way to just escape the world of writing for forty minutes. After that though, it's back to writing!

How's NaNo going for you? Do you have any survival tips for NaNo? 

Good luck on NaNo, Wordlings! And if you aren't participating, have a great November :)