Weekly Writing Wrap-Up: November 21 – 27

Welcome to my Weekly Writing Wrap-Up for this week.

Total Word Count for the Week: 15,640

Top Writing Day: My top writing day was Wednesday with 3,403 words.

What I Worked On: I worked on my NaNoWriMo novel and fanfiction.

The Good News: I won NaNoWriMo!!! YEAH!

The Bad News: I don’t even want to think about editing my novel.

Lesson Learned: I usually take a week long writing break after NaNoWriMo. Usually, by the end of the week, I’m feeling completely uninspired instead of rested. This time, I’m not going to take a break like I usually do. I plan to trying to write 700 words a day and tie up some story ideas that I started and need to finish. My “lesson learned” is kind of ongoing as I try to figure out the best plan for moving forward after finishing NaNoWriMo.

Goal for Next Week:  My goal is to write to write 700 words a day.

Thanks for reading!

~ Kayla

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Weekly Writing Wrap-Up: November 14 – 20

Welcome to my Weekly Writing Wrap-Up for this week.

Total Word Count for the Week: 11,135

Top Writing Day: My top writing day was Tuesday with 2,197 words.

What I Worked On: I worked on my NaNoWriMo novel.

The Good News: I made my goal every day this week, and I wrote a scene I really love!

The Bad News: I’m a little afraid that my story won’t make it to 50,000 words

Lesson Learned: The beginning of my novel went longer than I expected. Now as I near the end of the middle, I’m concerned that I’m running out of plot. I’ve been adding in extra scenes and more details to help expand the story. In doing so, I’m opening up all sorts of new plot threads which is a good thing! So, even though it’s a little nerve wracking thinking I might not have enough story to make it to 50,000 words, it’s also been good because it’s added ideas to my novel that weren’t there before.

Goal for Next Week: My goal is to write 1,667 words a day for NaNoWriMo!

Thanks for reading!

~ Kayla

3 Ways I’ve Kept My Word Count On Track

What’s my biggest fear? Is it heights, clowns, or spiders? During NaNoWriMo nothing is as terrifying as (brace yourself) falling behind on my word count. In order to avoid this frightening experience this year, I’ve been using three techniques to help me keep my word count on track.

1. Word wars

Word wars are when two or more writers agree on a time (anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes typically) and battle each other to see how many words they can write in that amount of time. Whoever gets the higher amount wins! A little friendly competition really helps me to stay on task and focus on writing. It also helps me write more as I push myself to get the top word count.

2. Racing myself for rewards

I’m a very easily distracted writer. A little detail here, a character name there and I’ve wasted an hour on the internet and only written 400 words. That’s why I’ve started timing and rewarding myself. I’ll tell myself to try and write X amount of words in X amount of time, and then I can have a reward, like check my favorite NaNo forum threads, watch a YouTube video, or any other small, fun activity that will motivate me. I’m less distracted because I have both the timer and the reward in mind, and as an added bonus, I’ve found that most times, once I’ve started, I’d rather just keep writing.

3. Stick to my daily goal

A lot of Wrimoers (NaNoWriMo participants) tend to write a whole bunch at the beginning of the month, and then write less as the month goes on and end up getting behind in their word count. I prefer to sit down and write my daily NaNo word count (1,667 words) every day. Instead of getting behind in the middle of the month, I’m right on target the entire time. For me, it’s also nice knowing that as long as I write 1,667 words a day, I will win NaNo. That really keeps me motivated and on schedule.

What are your methods for keeping your word count on track? Let me know in the comments below!

~ Kayla

Weekly Writing Wrap-Up: November 7 – 13

Welcome to my Weekly Writing Wrap-Up for this week.

Total Word Count for the Week: 13,298

Top Writing Day: My top writing day was Saturday with 2,479 words.

What I Worked On: I worked on my NaNoWriMo novel.

The Good News: I made my goal every day this week again!

The Bad News: I’m not loving my story as much as I did in the beginning.

Lesson Learned: I’ve been having a great time on the NaNoWriMo forums. One of my favorite things is word warring. For those who don’t know, a word war is when you see how many words you can write in a set amount of time. I wasn’t able to do them during my previous NaNos, but I finally got a chance to join in this year. They are great for getting my word count up and keeping me motivated. My lesson learned for this week is how helpful a little friendly competition can be!

Goal for Next Week: My goal is to write 1,667 words a day for NaNoWriMo!

Thanks for reading!

~ Kayla

Quote of the Week

This quote is from Agatha Christie, author of Murder on the Orient Express. This quote reminded me of one of the lessons I’ve learned from NaNoWriMo, which is to just keep writing no matter what.

“There was a moment when I changed from an amateur to a professional. I assumed the burden of a profession, which is to write even when you don’t want to, don’t much like what you’re writing, and aren’t writing particularly well.” – Agatha Christie

~ Kayla

Weekly Writing Wrap-Up: October 31 – November 6

Welcome to my Weekly Writing Wrap-Up for this week.

Total Word Count for the Week: 13,277

Top Writing Day: My top writing day was Wednesday with 2,087.

What I Worked On: I worked on my NaNoWriMo novel.

The Good News: I made my goal every day this week! 🙂

The Bad News: I’m impatient to move past the beginning and write the scene where Neve and Taran are kidnapped.

Lesson Learned: I tend to rush my rough draft and have to expand and add scenes in later revisions. However, with this novel I’ve been taking my time and carefully creating the beginning chapters. I’m already over 10,000 words in, and I’m just past the inciting incident which for me is a record! It’s been a continuing lesson learned as I work on stretching my idea past 50,000 words.

Goal for Next Week: My goal is to write 1,667 words a day for NaNoWriMo!

Thanks for reading!

~ Kayla

Character Names – Neve and Taran

The search is over! *celebrates* I’ve finally chosen my NaNoWriMo characters’ names. It was a close call this year because I settled on my female MC’s name two days before NaNo started! Today, I’m sharing these two names. Feel free to use these names, but remember, they were mine first. 😉

Neve is a girl’s name and is pronounced either “Neev” or “Nehv.” I prefer “Nehv” for my character. It is derived from the Gaelic name “Niamh” meaning “bright.” Many baby name sites also give the meaning of Neve as being “snow.” Most people have heard of it because of the Canadian actress Neve Campbell. I first found Neve late one night hunting on nameberry.com one last time. I’d been trying to decide on the perfect name for my character, going back and forth between two different names, but I wasn’t completely happy with either of them. So, I decided to look one last time. That’s when I found Neve. As soon as I saw it, I knew that was her name. My Neve is quiet, shy, and reserved. She tries to hide and keep her distance from everyone so that no one will find out she has been infected by the virus.

Taran is a Gaelic boy’s name. It means “thunder.” It is occasionally seen as a girl’s name, but I’m choosing to use it as a guy’s name.  One famous Taran is a character from Lloyd Alexander’s The Chronicles of Prydain. My Taran isn’t famous yet. 😉 He’s a sweet, friendly guy who wants to be friends with Neve, but she keeps pushing him away, fearing that he will discover her secret.

What do you think of these names? Would you use them for a character? Let me know in the comments below!

~ Kayla

Quote of the Week

This quote comes from Bonnie Friedman, author of Writing Past Dark. I’m five days into NaNoWriMo right now, and it’s about this time when my inner editor starts creeping out from the box where I’ve caged him and starts telling me my idea isn’t good enough or my writing is awful. This quote is a great way to help silence the inner editor, shove him back into his box, and get back to writing!

“Sucessful writers are not the ones who write the best sentences. They are the ones who keep writing. They are the ones who discover what is most important and strangest and most pleasurable in themselves, and keep believing in the value of their work, despite the difficulties.” – Bonnie Friedman

~ Kayla

Weekly Writing Wrap-Up: October 24 – 30

Welcome to my Weekly Writing Wrap-Up for this week.

Total Word Count for the Week: 2,941

Top Writing Day: My top writing day was Sunday with 754 words.

What I Worked On: I worked on editing Snow, writing my novel idea, and fanfiction.

The Good News: I chose my character names and my beginning line for NaNo!

The Bad News: I missed my goal this week by 100 words. 😛

Lesson Learned: My lesson learned for this week is that I never feel ready for NaNo. Even though this is my fourth NaNoWriMo and I’ve chosen all my character names, thought up my beginning line, and planned where the beginning of my story should go, I still don’t feel ready for tomorrow. I thought I’d feel completely ready and prepared, but instead I just feel nervous and excited all at the same time.

Goal for Next Week: My goal is to write 1,667 words a day for NaNoWriMo!

Thanks for reading!

~ Kayla

At NaNoWriMo’s Gate

As Aragorn and the armies of Middle-earth stood facing the evil hordes of Sauron at the Black Gate so we writers stand before the greatest writing challenge of all time. In 32 hours, the battle known as NaNoWriMo will begin. Some of you have been ready to join the fight since December 1st of last year. Others may be standing on the sidelines of the battle not realizing what is about to begin.

In case you’ve never heard about NaNoWriMo, let me explain. NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month which is the slightly insane challenge of writing one 50,000 word novel in one month. Sound crazy? It is! But, it is also lots of fun. You get to connect with other writers in the NaNoWriMo forums and in your local area, enjoy the feeling of making so much progress in so short a time, and of course, write! It’s a great tool for letting your creative juices flow and finally silencing those excuses that keep writers from finishing their drafts. Last year, I completed my first novel thanks to NaNoWriMo, and every NaNo I’ve done since has helped me to grow and improve as a writer.

So what will I be writing about in November? My novel is titled The Future Teller. It’s a dystopian about a girl named Neve who was infected with a virus which gave her the power to see into the future. I’ve had this idea floating around in my head for a few months now and thought NaNo was the perfect time to write about it.

I know NaNoWriMo can sound daunting. I’m nervous, too! That is why, I’ve brought Aragorn in for a little pep talk.

“Hold your ground! Hold your ground! Fellow Wrimoers of Gondor, of Rohan, my brothers! I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me.  A day may come when the courage of writers fails, when we forsake our WIPs and abandon our characters to their fates, but it is not this day.  An hour of doubts and of procrastination, when the age of writing comes crashing down, but it is not this day! This day we write! By all that you hold dear in your draft, I bid you stand, Wrimoers!”

So what are you waiting for? Head on over to http://nanowrimo.org/ and sign up!

Are you joining NaNoWriMo this year? If so, what is your novel about? Comment below and let me know!

Thanks for reading!

~ Kayla