Search Results for: nanowrimo

Election and Nanowrimo Update

vote-mcmullin

Hey guys! Just a quick update tonight. Today is the big election day and we can all breathe a sigh of relief when it is all over. I voted weeks ago for independent candidate Evan McMullin. I have lost faith in all politicians but he’s the best person running in this election by a long mile, so he got my vote. What you decide to do with your vote is awesome but I encourage you to get out and vote if at all possible. I know a vote is small in a sea of millions of votes but it’s still something and it is a great example to all around you especially your children. Let them know you care about what happens in this country and will do what small thing you can to make a difference.

I know many of us feel discouraged. I feel discouraged. This election has changed me in ways I don’t know if I will ever get over. I know this blog says I am smiling but when it comes to politics I fear I will forever be a cynical girl. I’ve just seen too many people compromise where they promised they never would.

To use the annoying phrase- it is what it is. We know we are living in the latter days. The signs of the times are all around us and we have the leadership to prove it. Maybe Utah will make a statement with its vote but I won’t be surprised if it doesn’t happen. Regardless, there are good people out there still holding out hope for their children and families. We cannot lose hope even if we acknowledge the human weakness all around us. There is still always great hope as long as Christ is listening and loving all who turn to Him.

So, there you have it.

nanowrimo1

On a lighter note I am doing nanowrimo this year. I must say my heart isn’t really in it but my sister said she was doing it so I decided ‘what the heck. Why not give it a shot’. We are currently on day 8 and I am doing kind of a take on Mansfield Park by Jane Austen. My current wordcount is 17352 which I think is pretty darn good. I have been so busy so it is amazing I have pulled even half that off.

Even if I’m not in love with my book it is still valuable to write every day and I will be glad when I can finish the goal of 50,000 words. I always learn something about myself through thinking about these characters in my nano book.

Are any of you participating in nanowrimo? What are you writing about and how is it going?

Friday Five: Instrumentals and Nanowrimo Update

Hi guys!  I hope you are all having a great start of Fall (or at least that’s what it feels like here in Utah with things getting very crisp and cold this week).  I’ve been busy with NaNoWriMo so that’s why I haven’t posted on this blog this week.  My apologies for that but doing best I can.  My  novel is coming along pretty well.  I am ahead of the game as far as word count which makes me feel good because I don’t know how much I will be able to write this weekend with stuff going on.

wpid-snapchat-100529400831000105.jpgSo far I feel like the book has done a lot of describing things and not quite enough character development so that is something I need to work on but I am able to get my daily word count in and sometimes more which is what is most important to me. I really like the lead character I’ve created and feel a little bad for the mess that is about to happen in her life.  Poor fictional characters and their hard life! 😉

How are you guys doing with NaNoWriMo?  How are your novels coming along?

FRIDAY FIVE

This is Friday so it also means it is time for the Friday Five!  This weeks topic is all about instrumentals and being a movie fan of course I had to include mostly scores as my choices but I love the 5 songs I picked.

What are instrumentals that you like?  What scores from movies are your favorite?  Put in the comments section and if you like the video I would love if you gave it a thumbs up.  Thanks!

NaNoWriMo Tag and My Writing Process

So NaNoWriMo is coming and I feel a little unprepared but am excited!  I filmed this video about NaNoWriMo video today and it included a tag.  In the video I go into my process for writing and has little segments of all 3 of my books (this will be my 4th year doing NaNoWriMo).

Are you doing NaNoWriMo this year?  What are you writing about?  What strategies do you use to finish the challenge?  I would love to discuss it in the comments.  It is going to be a challenge for me this year with everything else I have going on but luckily I am a pretty fast writer so it should be ok.  I will certainly do my best.

If you are doing NaNoWriMo please follow me on the NaNoWriMo website and let’s support each other!

http://nanowrimo.org/participants/smilingldsgirl

Happy writing!!

I Have an Idea for Nanowrimo

nanowrimo2013Hey guys!  Well I am very excited to tell you I finally have an idea for this years Nanowrimo challenge!  This is the National Novel Writing Month and the challenge is to write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November.  This will be my 4th year participating and honestly it kind of crept up on me. The previous years I had an idea ready to go I had been thinking about all year but this year with my job, 2 blogs, and youtube channel I kind of forgot about Nanowrimo.  There was a side of me wondering if I should even try to do it this year, but a friend of mine encouraged me to give it a go so I figured why not!  But I still couldn’t think of a good idea…

Then last week I was watching the show American Greed about ponzi schemes and swindlers and I got the elusive idea.  The show was profiling a man who ran a ponzi scheme and got kind of exposed throwing a lavish party for his daughter on the show My Super Sweet 16 on MTV.  While watching the thought occurred to me ‘what must it be like to be that girl?’.  To go from your father throwing you this insane party with rockstars performing and Mercedes to drive to not long after it aired your father getting arrested and convicted for fraud.  In addition, many people saw her throwing away their money they had invested with her father.  I’m sure there must have been a lot of anger and outraged at the daughter since she was the one the show focused on.  It struck me as an interesting character to write a story about.

Again I asked the question “what must it be like to be that girl?”.  I wonder if she hates her father or maybe she always hated her father and he made her go on the show?  Maybe she just went on the show to spend time with him since he was always at the office?  Maybe she got caught up in it and had a change of heart after seeing the suffering?  Maybe she lost friends. a boyfriend, over the whole thing?  I just feel like there is something to talk about and will make for a good book.

What do you think of this idea for a story?  Do you have any suggestions for the story?  I would love to hear them.  Are you guys doing Nanowrimo? What are you writing about? If any of you are in Utah I would love to a do a write in or meet up.

Last year my book ended up being very intense and it was kind of tough to write but I learned a lot as well.  Hopefully this story is more inspirational but we will see where the words take me!

This is the girl on the Super Sweet 16.

Here’s a little thing about the Dad

 

Nanowrimo Surprise Attack

So friends of the blog will probably be aware 2015 will be my 4th year entering the Nanowrimo challenge.  This is a world-wide challenge to write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November.  I am a very fast writer so typically it hasn’t that big of a challenge; however, I have usually had a clear idea of what I am writing about well in advance of November.  This year it has kind of creeped up on me.   And now I am sitting with under a month to start date with no idea what to write about….Yikes!

I am also a little nervous because with two blogs and a youtube channel it is going to be tough to fit it all in (not too mention a job and other responsibilities!).  I’ve got to finish my animated Oscars series over on my channel before the challenge starts.  I have gotten a little bit behind but should post 2012 this week.  That leaves only 10 films to watch (only…).  Plus, there are new films like Bridge of Spies, Suffragette, Macbeth and Good Dinosaur to see and review in the next 2 months.  How am I going to fit writing a novel into all of this? Much less a novel I have no idea what to write about?

nanowrimoTo my fellow Nanowrimo friends has it caught you by surprise before or do you always have a plan on what you are writing about?   The two best ideas I have come up with so far is to basically take another stab at writing my first book.  It’s been a while and I’m not working in accounting any more so I’m not as personally close to the story as I was when I wrote it in 2012.  It would be entirely new prose but just the same core plot of me quitting my job (it’s kind of a Devil Wears Prada type story).

That sounds kind of boring though writing the same plot and characters over again so I’d like to come up with some fresh take on it.  Unfortunately my mind is just blank on what to do.

The other idea I have is to use all 54 Disney films and have a character go through each of the worlds of the films.  It would be kind of like Once Upon a Time but I would cover movies they don’t like Treasure Planet and Atlantis.  It would basically be fan fiction but who cares if it is fun to write!

nanowrimo1This is kind of new territory for me as I have always been so focused in the past.  Do you have any suggestions for getting the brainstorming creative juices flowing?  I just read The Martian by Andrew Weir and loved it (and the movie) so that’s always inspiring and I am currently reading Dracula by Bram Stoker which is something totally new and different.  I wish I could write a book like Finding Audrey- my other favorite book of the year.

Anyway, I would love any feedback on those ideas or anything I could do to help me think of something else to write about.  Thanks so much!

Are any of you doing the Nanowrimo challenge?  I would love to know and follow you on the Nanowrimo website.  That way we can support one another.  Take care!

Nanowrimo, Christmas Music in November and Other Silly Rules

First I just wanted to announce to all of you I have finished the Nanowrimo challenge.  It was a tougher book for me to write than any of my other 3 and I’m proud of the basic story I was able to develop.  The prose is rough but the story I really like.

1508173_10152619833772239_8048249337604887857_nIt ended up being a story about a woman who has never fallen in love who loses her job which leads her into the path of an ever-growing group of people including a girl who ends up pregnant in a domestic abuse situation.  The more people she allows into her life the more she grows as a person.  It went darker places than I expected and I really enjoyed writing it.

I hope you are all having a blast with your writing and your projects! I look forward to having a bit of my life back after being kind of obsessed with nanowrimo.  I’m that way.  I get focused on one thing and shut other things out.  I would like to change that but it seems to just be part of me, so I work around it.

I’ve been thinking a little bit about the silly rules we set for ourselves that seem important at first but when you really think about it they are kind of dumb.  For example, for a long time I said ‘no Christmas music before Thanksgiving’.  This year I kept turning on Christmas music on the radio and enjoying it and then turning it off because of my rule.  It finally occurred to me ‘why?’.  If it is making me happy than why not listen to Christmas music?

Most people set such a rule because they don’t want to tire of the Christmas music.  Well, I do not tire of things like that.  If it is something I like I like it on listen 1 and listen 1000.  I just don’t grow weary of music, movies, food the way other people do.  Not sure why but it’s true.  So the rule may be helpful for other people but for me it was silly.  It was denying me of joy for no reason but to obey some rule.

It’s made me wonder what other silly rules I have that are unnecessary? Do you have any?

Well, I am exhausted so I will sign out.  Let me know how you are doing on nanowrimo.  Finish strong my friends!

Nanowrimo Update and First Drafts

Hi guys!  I just wanted to give you a little update on how things are going here in Nanowrimo land.  Well, as you can see from this photo I am happily engaged in the project.

rachelMy story ended up taking a darker turn than I expected with my character who has never fallen in love meeting a girl at school who is in an abusive relationship.  It was my first time writing an intense scene like that and it was quite draining!

Even with the intensity I’m really enjoying my story.  It is a combination of About a Boy, Erin Brokovich, 40 Year Old Virgin and a bunch of other stories.  It’s a good mixture of comedy, drama, friendship and family and characters that really aren’t much like me which is new.  Branching out I guess!

Some people question the value in all this writing.  I mean shouldn’t you edit as you go to produce something good?  The surprising answer is No.  We are creating a first draft of your story and stopping can be anti-productive in developing the first version of said story.  That’s what makes Nanowrimo so effective it gets you to get the story out on the paper and then the multiple versions and rewrites that inevitably come with publishing a novel would come next.  That’s the tough part.  The fun part is the power of creation.

Chris Baty the founder of Nanowrimo started it with 20 of his friends who just thought writing would be fun to do together and it grew, and grew to 500,000 worldwide participants in 2014.  He was recently interviewed on NPR and I really enjoyed the whole broadcast and his comments about first drafts.

A Washington Post article says about Baty and the program ”

“We wanted to write novels for the same dumb reasons twentysomethings start bands,” Baty writes on the event’s Web site. “Because we wanted to make noise. Because we didn’t have anything better to do. And because we thought that, as novelists, we would have an easier time getting dates than we did as non-novelists.”

But a funny thing happened on the way to 50,000 words. They discovered the writing process was fun, something they hadn’t expected. It was like watching TV. “You get a bunch of friends together, load up on caffeine and junk food, and stare at a glowing screen for a couple of hours,” Baty writes. “And a story spins itself out in front of you.”

I can really relate to that (except for the date part!) but the excitement of creating something and helping others get involved.  This year I’ve enjoyed encouraging a number of friends in their stories and that is so rewarding.  I keep telling them it’s not about the publishibility or a section being good, it’s just keeping the story going.  I tell them ‘don’t edit.  That’s for December’. What a freeing thing!

wordsSo I’m loving the process and hope you are too.  Let me know how it is going for you.  And Happy writing!!!

 

Nanowrimo Coming Up

nanowrimo1Hey guys!  So Nanowrimo is coming up on Saturday! I have come up with what I think will be a solid concept for my story about a woman who has never fallen in love.  I’m really excited to get writing!

I’m curious for your suggestions about how I can best use the blog while writing? Would you guys like to read little sections?  Would you like if I posted about writing and the process of Nanowrimo?  I only have so much time so I’m not promising anything but I am sure I can pump out a few posts?

I could do different exercises or character sketches to give you an idea of wha tI am writing about (and help me while I’m at it).  Would that be fun for you? Or should I just occasionally post about other things not related to Nanowrimo during November (like Thanksgiving and other events going on).  Maybe you guys don’t have any interest in Nanowrimo and my progress. Let me know!

I’d be curious to know how many of my readers are participating.  Please share.  I’d love to hear about your concepts and genres you will be working in.

Thanks in advance for the support and if anyone is interested in guest posting on either of my blogs I’d love it! Happy Nanowrimo!

Nanowrimo Snowflake Technique

snowflake

STEP 1 ONE SENTENCE SUMMARY

A woman who has never fallen in love finally looses it when watching her twin sister get divorced for the 2nd time and helping her last single best friend plan her wedding.

STEP 2 ONE PARAGRAPH PLOT 

Julie is 40. In fact, she had celebrated the big 40 with her best friend Claire just last Friday.  Today she is standing in front of Claire at ‘Gowns by Tracie’ and looking at her 40 year old face in the mirror beside the most hideous fuchsia number she’d ever seen.  You think being single and bridesmaid as many times as Clair had she would have some mercy on her friend but it seemed more revenge than mercy, and Julie was asked to pay the price.  Sigh…It seemed to be Julie’s role in life cheering on her friends while their lives got interesting and she had the same old, same old. Right now Julie’s sister Lisa was going through her second divorce and she called her at all hours of the day.  Why anyone would call her for advice she would never know.  The truth is she has a secret. Julie is 40 and has never fallen in love.  Never even been kissed.  She hasn’t been twitterpated or excited over a guy.  She hasn’t had her heart broken.  She hasn’t even held hands with a guy.  Why? She has no idea except it seems to be her calling to watch others from the sidelines.

STEP 3 DEVELOP CHARACTERS

Julie- 40 year old woman, never fallen in love, hard worker, perhaps even workaholic, likes control which means romance drives her nuts, practical but also a dreamer.  She has a twin sister who is very demanding, critical and a mess with her life.  Wants to support everyone but having a hard time.

Claire- Julie’s best friend and the last of their group to get married except Julie.  She’s lost in wedding plans as it is finally her dream come true.  She worries about Julie but everything has happened very fast. She’s scared of all the change but feels like she can’t talk to Julie about her worries.

Lisa- Julie’s sister and twin. A mess with relationships.  Can’t keep a job and her kids are a challenge.  Jealous of her sister always having things together. Feels Julie judges her.

Mom and Dad- Supportive parents but tend to forget Julie and give all the attention to their kids with grandkids.

Other siblings?

Boss? Coworkers?

Julie and Claire’s group of married girlfriends

Love interest? New friend like in My Best Friends Wedding she doesn’t end up with anyone.

STEP 4 PLOT SUMMARY

The story will kind of be as if Julie is a pot of water and as the pressure and heat increase Julie will get more stressed until it boils over.  Eventually she will have to reconcile her life and the expectations she had for it.  Meanwhile there will be Claire’s wedding and all that goes into putting that together.  Julie and Lisa have to deal with their envy of each other. Don’t want everything to end with a tidy bow.  Should be still challenges, unknowns but some peace and comfort for the future.

There are other steps but I will wait to do those another day.

So that’s a start.  Would love your thoughts and suggestions.  Cant’ say I will take all of them but I know it will be helpful as I put it all together.

Those are some initial thoughts at least!