Happy Halloween/NaNoWriMo Eve! This is kind of last minute, but I thought I would share five of my favorite NaNoWriMo bullet journal spreads.
*If you are unfamiliar with the bullet journal system, click here for a video that will explain it better than I can.
Unfortunately I can’t show you pretty pictures like most of the bullet journalers on Instagram because all of my spreads are in braille, and the vast majority of you couldn’t read them. However, I will do my best to describe the spreads well enough for you to actually understand what I’m talking about… 🙂
The Monthly Spread:
This is basically a staple of all bullet journals, not just writing ones. I don’t typically use the monthly spread when I’m planning for a normal month, but I do during November. This is so that I can easily see what weeks are going to be insanely busy and what weeks are going to be basically free. If I’m going to have a crazy week, I make sure to cover for it in the week prior.
The Word Count Tracker:
This is a table consisting of three columns: day, word count, and damage control. Along the left-hand side, I list the 30 days of November. In the word count column, I write the word count I achieved for that particular day. In the damage control column, I write the number of words that I need to write the next day in order to fix any damage I did the day before.
The recommended word count per day to win NaNoWriMo is 1667. Although it is possible to win NaNoWriMo by not writing on the week days and doing nothing but writing on the weekends, (I have done this), it is MUCH easier if you stick to a daily goal of somewhere around 1667 words per day. Hence the word count tracker!
The daily spread:
For me, this spread is literally just a todo list. Basically, these pages consist of checklists of everything I have to do before I can write. Without these pages, I would get completely sucked into NaNoWriMo, and important things like homework and algebra tests would be forgotten.
The Inspiration Spread:
This page consists of a list of things that inspire me to write my novel. The majority of WriMos, (including myself), tend to get sick of whatever they’re working on half way through the month and move onto a shiny new idea. This is bad, because you will never finish anything if you don’t stick with something. Also, if you were excited enough about an idea to decide to do it for NaNo, it’s probably pretty good, and you should probably stick with it! My inspiration pages usually consist of things like…
◦I love my characters!
◦My plot is super exciting!
◦These characters have a story to tell, and it’s my job to put it on paper.
◦The world needs my novel!!!!
The playlist Spread:
Most of you probably know by now that I make a playlist for everything I start. I can’t rite in silence, and if I’m going to listen to music while writing, it should totally be stuff that pertains to my story! Putting the playlist on shuffle and listening to a few songs is usually enough to get me in the writing zone, but sometimes I need a little extra help to get into the mindset to write certain scenes. So… I list all of the super important scenes that may be tough to write and associate each of them with a song so that I can listen to that song in order to get in the mindset to write that scene.
Greetings, writers! We are entering the third week of Camp NaNoWriMo, and this is usually when I start losing my writing inspiration. So… Here are five tips for finding the inspiration to finish that first draft!
- Remember why you originally wanted to tell this story. Make a list of everything that originally made you want to write it, and stick it somewhere where you’ll see it often. Mine is at the very front of the notebook where I keep the info for my Shaman Novel.
- Listen to your writing playlist. If you don’t have a playlist for your project, consider making one! If music isn’t your style, check out some writers on youTube or read some writing related blog posts like this one. Sometimes listening to other writers talk about being excited to write their stories can inspire you to write your own! You can check out this post for some awesome writers on youTube.
- Do some word sprints. Word sprints are where you set a timer for a certain amount of time and try to write as many words as possible in that time frame. If you don’t want to sprint alone, you can follow @NaNoWordSprints on twitter and write with lots of other people!
- Ponder this question: What is your main character’s current social media status? This does two things. First, it allows you to think about your character in a context other than your story which allows you to understand them better by thinking about how they interact with their friends. Second, it makes you think about what they’re doing. Maybe they’re reacting to what happened in the last scene on Twitter. If that’s the case, then you should probably write their reaction next.
- When all else fails, start what-ifing! Read the last scene you wrote, and then write “what if… insert plot event here“, until you know what you need to write next. This can be super painful if you’ve outlined every single detail, but sometimes that outline just needs to fly out the window for a while. Yeah… This can cause a mess when it comes to editing the thing, but it also makes a better story in my experience!
Writing Up Wednesday is a writing link-up created by Lizzy @ The Bent Bookworm. This week’s topic is “The craft of writing,” or more specifically, “How do you learn the craft of writing?”
I honestly don’t make a conscious effort to study the writing craft unless I need to research a specific aspect of it for my story. I don’t plan to take professional writing classes, and I usually don’t go out of my way to read writerly text books. Studying the craft is just something that comes naturally to me through reading a wide range of books, writing book reviews, and connecting with other writers via blogging, youTube, and Twitter. I feel like this is more beneficial than making a conscious effort to study the craft because it allows me to take the advice I like and discard the rest without being boxed in by “professional” rules. Also, by filling my social media feeds with writerly stuff, I can actually justify opening Twitter and youTube! 😉
Here’s a quick list of some people that I’ve learned from:
My Favorite Writerly youTubers
■The Y.A. Word Nerds
■Coffee Reading Writing
Awesome Writerly Bloggers
■A Writer’s Path
■National Novel Writing Month
■Better Novel Project
Camp NaNoWriMo is here!!!!! If you have no idea what that is, head on over to campnanowrimo.org to learn more! If you’re looking for some last minute advice before you start your journey, stick around!
- Make sure that your Camp NaNoWriMo goal is actually achievable! If you set a goal that you’ll never reach due to your schedule in April, you’ll probably give up half way through and end up regretting it later. However, if you set a goal that pushes you a bit but makes sense with your schedule, you might surprise yourself and exceed it! Also, you can now choose to set your goal in pages or hours instead of just words, so there’s really nothing stopping you from setting your goal however you want! My goal is currently 150 hours of editing for my Shaman Novel. That seems pretty small when you do the math and convert it to days, but I know that the last two months of school are going to be a whirlwind of semester projects, therefore I made sure to set my goal according to what I thought I could accomplish. I should definitely be able to hit that, and I can always raise it if I realize I’m going to blow it out of the water.
- Organize your outline! Trust me… It is NOT fun to sit down on April 1st and go, “I have no idea where anything is in this Scrivener project!” Even if you don’t use complicated Scrivener templates to organize your projects, make sure that you know the location of all of the information that is necessary for you to write your story!
- Decide how you plan to back up your project. You really do NOT want to loose any of your precious writing due to a technological failure or a lost notebook! Personally, I dump all of my Scrivener projects into a Scrivener folder in Dropbox, which backs up everything to the cloud and syncs everything to the Scrivener IOS app. Also, don’t just trust the cloud to keep everything safe for you! Put those precious writing files on a flash drive, an SD card, an external hard drive… whatever you’ve got!
- Schedule stuff around your chosen writing time. You need to plan your writing time just like you’d plan anything else because if you don’t, it might not happen! You should either pick a time each day and dedicate it specifically for writing, or pick a day or two out of each week and write like the wind on those days!
- Be active on Twitter and in your Camp NaNo cabins! Some of you are probably going, “Being active on Twitter is NOT conducive to a good writing session!” But it is if you follow the right people! Go to the @NaNoWordSprints page! Do NOT scroll through your timeline! Do NOT check your notifications! You WILL get writing done because lots of other people will be on that page writing with you!
Hello, writerly people! I have not blogged in quite a while because… school/life happened. But today I bring you a Writing Up Wednesday Post!
Writing Up Wednesday is a weekly writing meme created by Lizzy @ The Bent Bookworm! This week’s topic is “Word Count Woes!”
If you’re a serious writer, you probably know that word counts are pretty important. Sometimes the word count of your manuscript can make or brake a publishing opportunity! Because of this some writers obsess over the suggested word count guidelines and stick to them religiously, and some writers tend to ignore it entirely. Personally, I am somewhat in the middle.
I like to make sure I stay kind of in the range of the suggested word count for my genre, but I do not let that number define every single move I make. I do set word count goals before I ever start writing, but I don’t force myself to stick to them. Now… The process I use to determine my prewriting word goal gets kinda nerdy, so be prepared!
I like to loosely mold my writing projects around the four act structure, so I try to pick a word count goal that is sort of close to the suggested range for my genre and is also easily divisible by four! Doing this makes it super easy to figure out how long each chunk of the four act structure needs to be, which gives me a few big milestones to hit!
To give you an example, the prewriting word goal for my “Shaman Novel” was 100000 words. That meant that every 25000 words, I needed to start transitioning to the next act. That being said, I exceeded that goal, and that’s totally fine because the story just wasn’t over at 100000 words! The current word count is 142397 words, but that is still subject to change! I am revising this novel for Camp NaNoWriMo, so I’m sure I’ll add some scenes and chop out some others! I expect the final count to round out somewhere around 150000 words, but that number isn’t set in stone either. My end goal is to tell a good story that feels complete, and I’m not going to let a number of words interfere with that as long as it isn’t completely unreasonable for the genre.