Just Get It Written

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The End Is Near … Celebrate!

The end of April, that is, and by extension, Camp NaNoWriMo. I’m now at the 40K mark. I have less than 10k words to go, with five days left to do it. I need to get some writing done if I’m going to make it. We’re getting down to the wire!

And to all the writers (and even non-writers) out there, don’t you just feel that this song resonates a little too much with you?

Yes? No? Just me then? *hides

 

I was supposed to do this last week but was in holiday mode that I totally forgot (I’m such a flake lol). Winterbayne has been lovely enough to compile a list of Camp participants here and regardless of how everyone’s word count stands at the moment, I’m sure we all have something to be proud of.

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Now on to my Celebrations:

  1. Progress of my Camp NaNo novel. There’s some pretty bad writing and skipping whole scenes going on but if I can crunch it to the finish line, I think I can actually finish the first draft, which for me would be an absolute win because we all know how long it takes for me to finish first drafts.

  2. Got a piece of writing (non-Camp related) done. One down, one more to go. Wish me luck!

  3. The weekend of course! I’ve been feeling under the weather these last few days so looking forward to the time off.

Celebrate The Small Things is a blog hop hosted by VikLit wherein we post our celebrations, big and small, each Friday.

What are you celebrating? And as the month comes to a close, how are you doing with your goals?


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A “Good Friday” to Celebrate the Small Things

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It’s Friday, which means Celebrate The Small Things with our awesome host, VikLit.

My celebrations:

  1. It’s Easter holidays, which means a long weekend (yay!)

  2. It’s also a time of gratitude as we remember what Easter is all about–sacrifice, a new beginning and God’s love for us (I know I don’t think of this often enough!)

  3. I’m now at 25,207 words for Camp NaNoWriMo. Still behind but finally broke my halfway goal.  I may post a snippet of my WIP after April (we’ll see how confident I feel!) but for now, I’m sharing my WIP’s theme song, Ships In The Night.

How’s Easter going for you and what are you celebrating this week? I’ll be hopping around the other blogs after Easter. I hope everyone else is enjoying their holidays.


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Mid-Novel Slump – How Do You Deal With It?

Neil Gaiman

As we reach the halfway mark of Camp NaNoWriMo, some will find themselves hitting the infamous mid-month slump. If you’re on track with your writing goals, you should be halfway through your novel by now. And if you’re behind, well, you’re probably beginning to panic, which brings me to Pep Talks.

Over the course of the month, you get pep talks from famous writers who share their words of wisdom and encourage you on this crazy, wonderful journey you’ve decided to take. What could be better than that?

Camp NaNoWriMo apparently has this feature, too, although on a smaller scale, it would seem, as they’re delivered directly to your inboxes.

It’s the 14th, which means I should have 23,334 words by now. At 20,040 words, I’m still two days behind. A few days ago, I hit my “mid-month slump,” way ahead of schedule. Writing was becoming more and more like pulling teeth. I had to force myself to keep writing, skipping ahead with the scenes, because otherwise I’d not get anything written.

All of us go through this, that moment when you wonder if you should simply give up on this story and move on to the next shiny thing. You begin to wonder whether anyone else but you would care about your novel and your characters. As a matter of fact, you probably want to stab each and every one of your characters by now for being the boring, uncooperative lot that they are.

It is easy to fall into this trap and go through an endless loop of never-finished stories. In these times, we need more than ever to have that cheerleader: someone who’s going to tell you to keep at it, someone who believes in you even when you have lost faith in yourself. Not everyone will have that, unfortunately.

There are way too many amazing pep talks but for today, I want to focus on the one given by Neil Gaiman.

In his pep talk, he sums up the frustration and despair that we go through when writing. We are not unique in this; all writers go through it. The difference is whether we choose to give up or forge on. As much as we’d like to believe, there is no magic formula. It’s all just hard work and we have to be prepared to do it.

As Neil Gaiman put it: One word after another. That’s the only way that novels get written. So keep on keeping on. Write another word and then another.

Which part of your novel do you find hardest to get through–the beginning, middle, or the end? How do you deal with it? And if you’re participating in Camp NaNoWriMo, how is your writing going so far?


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Kicking Off April with Camp NaNoWriMo and IWSG

InsecureWritersSupportGroup2IWSG is a support group for writers and we do our group posting on the first Wednesday of each month. Special thanks to our host Alex J. Cavanaugh and his co-hosts Hart Johnson, Chemist Ken, Candilynn Fite, Terri Rochenski, Clare Dugmore, and Lilica Blake for this awesome blog hop.

April, for me, is Camp NaNoWriMo, wherein I attempt to write a chick lit about two friends who travel to England and the mess they get themselves into when one of them goes missing during the trip.

I have my Camp badge up on the sidebar which links to my Stats page over in Camp. At my current pace, I will finish on July 3, long after Camp NaNo ends on April 30. As you can see, I’m off to a slow start but it’s only the second day so there’s still time yet to get back on track.

I’m also happy to announce that I’ve finished the draft I’ve been talking about for the last two IWSG sessions. Yes, it still needs revisions but it feels good to finally have the story out of my head into actual written words. Thanks to everyone for the support and input!

Whether you’re doing Camp NaNoWriMo, A-Z Challenge, or something else, April promises to be a very busy month in the blogging/writing community.

What are you goals for April? Are you participating in any of the Challenges? How’s your writing going?


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Celebrate The Small Things – Endings and Beginnings

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Celebrate The Small Things is a blog hop wherein we post our celebrations (big and small) every Friday. Thanks to our host VikLit for this awesome hop!

It’s the last Friday of the month (time flies by so fast!) and I’m here to celebrate:

  1. Getting moved successfully. Moving is hard, packing and unpacking, getting used to new surroundings. I definitely miss the old place but such is life. We have to keep moving and things are only new for so long before we get used to them.

  2. I finally finished Draft 2.5 of my novel. Yes, I’m calling it 2.5 because I’ve gone and tinkered with it so much. I’m also announcing my draft as “done” after blogging about it for the last two months. Of course, it’s far for from being actually finished as I face the road of more revisions ahead. For now, I’m setting it aside and will probably come back to it after Camp NaNoWriMo.

  3. Another award! Thanks to CeeLee for the nomination. Watch out for my post sometime soonish!

  4. I reached over 100 blog followers sometime in the last week. Thank you Blogs with < 100 Followers, hosted by the wonderful people at A-Z Challenge, for being there from the start. You guys rock! (And if you haven’t signed up for A-Z yet, it’s not too late to sign up! They’re coming very close to 2000 bloggers).

  5. Four more days till Camp NaNoWriMo. Got some outline done but will probably be pantsing my way for the rest of it. I’ve met some wonderful people in the process of gearing up for it and together, we are taking this one crazy adventure. And that, I think, is one of the best things to celebrate about–the people we meet and the relationships we form along the way.

What are you celebrating this week?


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Camp NaNoWriMo

2014-Participant-Facebook-Cover

This April, I’m going to camp–Camp NaNoWriMo, that is. While I’ve participated in NaNoWriMo before, this is actually the first I’ve heard of Camp NaNoWriMo so I’m curious to try it out. The major difference from what I see is you can write whatever you want (like the Nano Rebels in November) and you get to decide on your word count goal, instead of the 50k that is usual for NaNoWriMo. And since it’s camp, you get assigned to a cabin with 11 other cabin mates.

I’m excited and a bit apprehensive for April to kick in. I’ve currently set my word count goal to the default 50k, but wondering if I should bring it down to something more manageable, like maybe 40k? I’ve won NaNoWriMo before so I know I can do it but I’m also aware of the fact that sometimes, things come up and you can’t hit your target. I expect to get a few days off for Easter, which luckily falls on April this year, so I’m hoping this would at least help me reach my goal.

As for the novel, I decided to go with Chick Lit this time. It’s my first time trying this genre so it’s going to be uncharted territory for me but I’m really excited about the story. Now if only that excitement will translate well into written words…

What are your writing goals for April? Have you tried Camp NaNoWriMo before? What did you think of it? Are you participating this year?


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Celebrating the 80’s

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Time for another post in the Celebrate The Small Things Hop with our awesome host VikLit. Do visit her blog here to learn more about this Blog Hop and celebrate with us!

This week I’m celebrating:

4262 words in my WIP. Yes, I procrastinated–a lot! But I’m really getting down to the wire here. I just need to figure out how to tie up those loose ends…

And if you can’t figure things out or you’d rather put off doing things you should be doing, there’s always something on cable to catch your eye, which brings me to the 80’s, and a movie called 16 Candles.

I’ve never seen the movie before and although I found some parts to be a bit cheesy, I also thought it was cute and just the kind of teen movie that only the 80’s could pull off.

Big hair aside, the 80’s had some great music. New wave, anyone? And those classic John Hughes movies. Pretty in Pink has got to be my favorite and when they started playing If You Leave by OMD during the prom, best song intro ever! Okay, maybe not ever

What do you think of the 80’s? Do you have a favorite movie or song from this era? Do you find yourself nostalgic of the 80’s and these type of movies? What are you celebrating this week?


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(Don’t) Edit While You Write – Relapsing and IWSG

InsecureWritersSupportGroup2

Hi. My name’s Maggie and I love coffee. I also have trouble finishing stories I start.

So remember that six-years-in-the-making novel I was talking about last month? Well, in case you’re wondering, it’s still in the making. I did hit my 70k words and for a while, the outlook seemed positive. There were a few scenes left and my characters weren’t inclined to go off-course, which should make it an easy sprint to the finish line, right? But no. My ever so wonderful inner editor chose that time to kick in and to my detriment, refused to shut up.

This is precisely why I have trouble finishing. I know something’s wrong and I just can’t find it in me to continue. Sure, I can write a bunch of stuff I know won’t make it to the final cut, just to keep the words flowing.  But what’s the point, you cheating word padder? says that nasty inner editor.

So what did I do?

I stopped writing and went back to the start and EDITED.

Yes, I made the big taboo that has always kept me from moving forward. And for a while, it felt good. As I moved stuff around and fixed what had gone wrong, things began to make sense for me and my characters again. I consoled myself with the thought that the next round of edits won’t be so bad because I let the inner editor escape this time. But it doesn’t change the fact that I still haven’t FINISHED. I can go back and keep polishing the whole thing till it shines but what is the point if my story does not have an ending? No one cares about an unfinished novel, no matter how well-written.

March was supposed to be the time when I’m finished with this WIP and let it sit for a bit before I revisit it with fresh eyes. March was also supposed to be the time when I start on a new project. But if I don’t finish this one before moving on, who knows when I will pick it back up again? I can definitely sense the danger of regressing here. And so to my IWSG friends, I say:

Hi. My name’s Maggie and I love coffee. I also have trouble finishing stories I start. But word by word, with your support, I will make it to the finish line…

WIP Progress Report:  71,459 words –> 66,245 words (after inner editor)  –> 73,005 (current)

IWSG is a support group for writers and we do our group posting on the first Wednesday of each month. Check out our host Alex J. Cavanaugh, the Ninja Captain’s post here for more info and to sign up.


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Always Look On The Bright Side and Celebrate

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Ever have those times when nothing just seems to be going your way? How do you deal with it and bring back that bounce in your step?

I, for one, am glad this week is over. Who knows what tomorrow will bring but hey, it’s the weekend and that’s definitely something to celebrate about. Besides finally fixing nasty, annoying plot holes in my WIP that has been plaguing me for ages!

What are you celebrating this week? Pop in on our host Viklit‘s blog to join in and remember to always look on the bright side of life!


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Liebster Award

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First of all, huge thanks to TCC Edwards for nominating me for this award. I generally don’t like the concept of “chain mail,” which according to the official Liebster Award site, is pretty much the kind of award this is but I’m gonna be a Yes! girl and play along.

I’m also opting to go with the rules my nominator used, with the exception of going with the less than 1000 followers from the official rules instead, so I could include some of my nominees that just missed the 200 mark. However, in the spirit of the nature of the award, I have picked fairly new blogs and/or those with not much followers, which leaves me with these rules:

  1. Each nominee should link back to the person who nominated them.

  2. Answer the 10 questions which are given to you by the nominator.

  3. Nominate 5-11 other bloggers for this award who have less than 200 1000 400 followers.

  4. Create 10 questions for your nominees to answer.

  5. Let the nominees know that they have been nominated by going to their blog and notifying them.

The questions I got from TCC:

1. If you could rewrite the end of any movie, what movie would you choose?
A: SPOILER ALERT if you haven’t seen Frozen

Off the top of my head I’d have to say Frozen. I thought the ending was a bit rushed and the whole Anna/Kristoff thing doesn’t work for me. Their connection seemed lacking and it being a Disney film I felt that’s one thing that should’ve made sense at least.

2. What theme do you wish more fiction tackled?
A:
Hope/Hopelessness

3. Have you ever witnessed or been in a natural disaster?
A:
I don’t know if it counts but when I was a kid, a volcano erupted about 150km from where I lived. I remember everything being covered in volcanic ash for days.

4. If you could go to a bar (or coffee shop) with any fictional character, who’d you choose for your drinking buddy?
A:
Gandalf. I’m sure he’s still got some great stories left to tell!

5. What’s a common trope in fiction that really bugs you when you recognize it?
A:
I’m actually OK with tropes, as long as they’re handled well. I think it really depends on the kind of book I’m reading and my expectations based on the genre.

6. Have you ever tried writing something completely out of your comfort zone? (For example, if you never wanted to be a poet, but tried writing poetry anyway.)
A:
I had to write a poem for one of my classes. Needless to say, I sucked. Never tried it since.

7. Was there ever a book you just couldn’t finish? Why not?
A:
There’s quite a few of them actually but no titles come to mind at the moment. If the first few chapters just drag on with not much happening I find myself losing interest and just abandoning the book. So yeah, a book has to get me in those first few chapters or I’m gone.

8. Which author (living or dead) would you most like to meet in person?
A:
Ernest Hemingway

9. What was your least favorite book assigned to you in school or university?
A:
I can’t think of any

10. It’s Halloween and money is no object! What character would you dress up as?
A:
Aerith from Final Fantasy 7

I’m passing on the award to the following people:

  1. A Writer’s Life For Me.

  2. Tara Tyler Talks

  3. fanny barnes thornton

  4. Scribblings

  5. Melissa Maygrove

  6. Writing Off The Edge

  7. Madness of a Modern Day Writer

  8. Carrot Ranch Communications

  9. mckellegeorge

  10. bemuzin

  11. ~~On the Wrong Page~~

My questions for them:

  1. Which fictional character do you most identify with and why?

  2. In another life, what would you be doing, if not writing?

  3. Would you rather have a slow painful death by terminal disease or a quick death by accident?

  4. Your books are a big hit. Would you rather see it as a: (pick one only) movie, TV series, computer game, or a Broadway show? Why?

  5. Admit it, you already have a dream cast in mind. Who are they?

  6. Any part(s) in your manuscript(s) you’ve been embarrassed to let your family/friends read?

  7. Was there ever a book you just couldn’t finish? Why not? (Yup, stole #7 from my nominator. Shame on me.)

  8. What is the one thing you would never, ever let your characters do?

  9. What do you think is the most underrated book/movie?

  10. Do you prefer happy endings or tragic ones? Why?