Writing

Advice On Starting A First Draft

Outline

Sketch a timeline of events that will happen. Brainstorm scenes using sticky notes and move them accordingly. Create character sketches beforehand, so you have a better understanding of key players in your novel.

Research

Reading articles, essays, or books might inspire you to write your own. Besides, Google is your best friend.

Write

At some point, that first draft needs to be written. Unfortunately, it won’t write itself. So pick up a pen or open your word processor of choice. Grab an idea and run with it.

Relax

Take a deep breath. You don’t have to get it right the first time. Try to silence your inner editor for now. You can always make a draft better, but you can’t if it doesn’t exist yet.

Writing

What It’s Like To Write A Novel

  • Getting hit by an idea, comparable to getting hit by lightning but 10 times better.
  • Trying to remember said idea because it’s going to make you rich and famous. Hello, New York Times bestseller and blockbuster movie deal with Hollywood.
  • Finding someplace to write down your story idea. A napkin works.
  • Beginning on a high note. Make sure you cherish the honeymoon phase. It doesn’t last long enough.
  • Reaching the halfway point and realizing you still have a long way to go. Don’t quit now. What a shame to let your hard work go to waste.
  • Coming to terms with the fact that your first draft sucks. Happens to the best of us.
  • Wanting to abandon your novel because another idea came along. Perhaps the grass is greener on the other side.
  • Seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. You’re almost done.
  • Writing the last sentence. The two best words you’ll ever type: THE END.
  • Wishing you could sleep for the next 10 years. You can’t. Sorry.
  • Dreading the thought of having to edit your manuscript at some point. You got this.
  • Patting yourself on the back. Go eat a cake or two. You deserve it.
Writing

My Camp NaNoWriMo 2018 Plans

I don’t know how it’s almost April. But it is. And that means many writers start thinking about Camp NaNoWriMo. I’m no exception.

I don’t have everything worked out, but I do know that as of right now, I’m going to handwrite a memoir. How exciting, huh?

I’ve never felt like I had any right to write one. I welcome the challenge though. Bring it on.

Why handwrite? Because I love handwriting more than typing. It’s also easier to write in a notebook when I’m on the bus than to whip out a laptop.

Also, my eyes don’t like staring at screens for long periods of time.

I’m not planning to outline because when do I ever? Never.

I don’t outline articles, essays, or novels. Funny story that isn’t that funny because I’m not hilarious: the one novel I semi-outlined is still unfinished.

I don’t keep track of how many words I write every day. I’m lazy.

I’m not aiming to write 50,000 words in April or 1,667 words a day. I just want to write something. Hopefully, I’ll have some words to work with once it’s all said and done.

That’s all I have. Regardless of what you’re writing or how much you manage to write, I hope you have a great Camp NaNoWriMo. It’s hard work. But it’s fun if you have the right attitude, which I’m sure you do..

Even though I love writing, I don’t want to abandon this blog in April. Finding a balance won’t be easy. What is?

As always, happy writing. Have fun. Enjoy yourself. Write whatever you please.

Writing

A Confession And Reflection

I have a confession to make. I didn't participate in Camp NaNoWriMo this July. Explains the lack of Camp this and Camp that in my blog posts, doesn't it?

I began the month with every intention to write a novel from scratch. Writing 50,000 words wasn't exactly my goal. I just wanted to write a lot of words for a new novel I could potentially publish one day. Perhaps not traditionally but possibly.

Instead, I wrote a bit of everything. Some prose and poems, fiction and nonfiction.

I don't consider July to be a complete failure. After all, I wrote every day.

Even though I didn't manage to complete the first draft of a novel, I did come out of July with some good writing. Pieces I will likely work on further in the future.

I think I needed a month of writing whatever I wanted. Especially since I worked on a novel not that long ago in April. It's like I went straight from April to July, skipping May and June entirely.

Also, I wanted a slight break from everything. From feeling pressured to meet a certain word count, feeling obligated to stick to a singular story, etc.

I like to believe I've spent the past 30 days or so regrouping. I did some soul-searching wherein I ask myself what in the Herminia do I want in this life. And, to be quite honest, I still don't know.

Right now I want to continue writing as long as possible. Wherever I go, whoever I am a year from now or a decade down the road, I hope I'll always remember my humble beginnings.

I cherish the memory of when I first reached for pen and paper, when I finally let my thoughts flow freely. It seemed so easy at the time.

My first ever Camp NaNoWriMo coincided with an attempt at finishing my first novel. I'll spare all of you the boring details. But even now, I can recall a younger Herminia pressing keys with her not so nimble fingers several years ago. She had a blast.

So I owe it to myself to have as much fun as I used to or more every time I voluntarily face the blank page.

Writing

Congratulations On Completing Camp NaNoWriMo

First off, congratulations to everyone who participated in Camp NaNoWriMo.

It’s no easy feat. Celebrate your accomplishment, whatever it is that you accomplished. 

I hope you’re proud. You should be.

It’s important to take time for yourself. To write and create. To work on your art, your craft.

Even if you didn’t write as many words as you wanted to, you’re still a winner. You still won. Because you made yourself a priority.

Maybe one day I’ll get a chance to read your story.

I’d love nothing more.

Writing

Motivation To Get You Through Camp NaNoWriMo

You’re halfway through. You’re 50 percent done.

You can do this.

Don’t give in. Don’t give up.

You’re a writer after all.

You have to persist and persevere.

Keep going.

Stay strong.

Finish your story. Finish what you start.

Think about how good you’ll feel after the fact. 

You’re allowed to slump. You’re allowed to slow down.

But you shouldn’t quit. You shouldn’t abandon the story you’re telling. It’s your story.

Whatever you’re writing, whatever you’re working on, finish it. 

That story won’t write itself.

Sit down and start. Get up when you finish.

Would you ever start telling your friend a story and then stop halfway through? Leave them hanging? Not tell them the ending?

Then why in the world would you do the same with your written stories?

Stop making excuses. And start writing. Start finishing. Just start.

It might be the worst thing you’ve ever written. But it’s still better than everything you’ve never written.

Writing

Writing A Baseball Story

What am I currently working on in April, also known to me as Camp NaNoWriMo?

I’m writing a baseball story. 

My plan is to stick with this idea for the entirety of Camp. As a writer, one problem I have is finishing what I start. The bigger the undertaking, the greater the likelihood I abandon the endeavour partway through. So I’ve committed to working on one idea until April 30th. I want to complete a longer project for once.

It’s so much more than a baseball story, but for the sake of simplicity, I’m calling my current work in progress that. At least until I come up with something better.

Even though I don’t have a daily word count goal, I am trying to fill up pages in a notebook.

Also, I’d be content with writing every day. But I’m happy to report I’m writing more than I usually do.

We’re five days in, and I haven’t given up on this story idea. I haven’t even thought about giving up on it. I’m taking that as a good sign.

Writing

My Camp NaNoWriMo Writing Routine | April 2017

I have a 10 step writing routine that’s been working for me in the month of April. Sometimes I slip and refer to April as Camp NaNoWriMo in front of people who have no idea what it is. Just kidding. I don’t talk to people, especially during this time of the year.

Lucky for you, however, I blog. Mostly so I can write uninterrupted. And I’m about to share my writing process.

  1. Wash hands because germs.
  2. Open notebook because it’s unopened.
  3. Pick up pen because I need something to write with.
  4. Write date because I like keeping track of what day it is.
  5. Write a word because I love words.
  6. Write a sentence because I love sentences even more.
  7. Write a paragraph because I love paragraphs the most.
  8. Repeat steps 5-7 because I can.
  9. Close notebook because it’s satisfying.
  10. Smile because I feel great after having written.

Is your routine as amazing as mine? Probably not. It’s even more amazing, right?