Some Quick Updates before NaNoWriMo

In a few short hours, (yes hours) NaNoWriMo will begin! Thank goodness the wait is almost over. Before we begin the month long task of writing our next novels or being rebels by continuing on a previous project, I wanted to take a moment and give some news and updates.

First off I want to start with my plan for the month of November. Besides working on my NaNoWriMo project, The Bird that Sings, I will be proactively updating this website with both new content and with updates on how NaNoWriMo is going. This means that for every post that I put up, I will include a record of the current word count and in case some need to see a page number count as well, I will post that up there.

Book Haul…

Secondly, I went to Barnes and Nobel yesterday and picked up some last minute writing guides. The first new book that I’m adding to my arsenal is: Save The Cat! Writes a Novel by Jessica Brody. If anyone is familiar with the Save The Cat! books, they are essentially books written for screen writers or even play writes, and they are one of the books that is a gold standard reference books to have on hand. Well, now we have one for yes novelists. I can’t wait to dive into this book and see if it will be a gold standard or rather a go to book for anything that I need when it comes to my writing.

The other book, that I picked up is: The Writer’s Guide to Wattpad by Benjamin Sobieck. Wattpad, in case you are not familiar is an online storytelling community where 65 plus million users can read and or post entire novels, short stories, fan-fiction, poems and more up. Wattpad is where writers can build up their presence and readership follows before they even get published. Granted, with all of this in mind, I thought that I would read the book, but I almost admit that I’m also leary of posting anything on Wattpad, for there have been a few writers that have post on Facebook writing groups, that they have seen where there work has been either re-published by another author (pirated) or it has been plagiarized. But still I thought that I would read it and see if the book changes my mind about the platform or gives strategies to get around the issues that have been addressed by other authors.

Website Updates…

I want to say a huge thank you, to all of you that have chosen to follow my website. This website now has 112 followers and counting. When I got to the one hundred mark in followers I said that I feel blessed, and I still do. I’m blessed to be able to help writers either continue on their writing journey, or able to help them start on finding their writing path. I’m truly blessed by each and everyone of you for following me.

Thank you, once again. I hope that you are all well rested up before NaNoWriMo begins in a couple of hours.

 

 

 

 

Tips for Engaging to NaNoWriMo

Well, we are one week down on the prep work for NaNoWriMo and discuss some tips that have helped me in the past that you might find helpful as well. The first tip that I would like to share maybe simple and that is to take out a piece of paper and jot down any ideas that I have had for my novel ideas.

I have done this tip a lot, I have done this since I was about nine or ten and have continued to do to this today. The main reason why I do this is so that I can make a list of the ideas that have in mind. This way also I can go back to the list if I ever get stuck. Granted, for The Raven Prophecy, I have made like a hundred or so of these lists. The two times that I have strayed from making the list is with Ravages of Time and The Zodiac Tower.

I can tell you that when it came to Ravages of Time, I so had the story in mind, that I didn’t need to make the list, for I knew what I wanted in the story, who was in the story and where I was going with the story. As for The Zodiac Tower it was similar to Ravages of Time, but only I didn’t have a lot of time to write the story, for it was

written for a class. Now for The Zodiac Tower, I wish that I had more time so that I could make a list of ideas. Here is the beautiful thing with the re-write of The Zodiac Tower, I’m starting to make a list and I’m thinking of doing the same thing with Ravages of Time. The reason for this is since I have written the first drafts, and moving on the to the second drafts there are some things that I want to improve on so that I can make them stronger novels.

My second tip that I have is to get a folder and in that folder I put everything that is for that novel in that folder. The reason may simple but for me I find it helps keep it organized and it doesn’t get mixed up with another story that I might be working on. Also getting stories mixed up is not a good thing either. Now you can put them in one folder if that is what you want, just make sure that you label on the top of your pages which story that page belongs to.

My third tip is to find an image that will inspire you or keep you focused on the project. I find this very helpful when looking at where I want to go with the story that I’m currently working on. Just as an example, with Ravages of Time my focus point was a house. The reason for a house, was the story starts with the house and it ends with the house or more focused on the word home. If you can find a focus image that works for your project, stick with that image, even if the meaning of the image changes, for it will be a focus point.

My fourth tip, which has helped me in the past is to picture if your novel was to be published what would you want the cover to look like. Yes, just draft up a cover so that you have something to hold onto of what a possible goal might be for your novels. I have drafted several covers as you well know for The Raven Prophecy and Ravages of Time. I recently worked on the cover for The Zodiac Tower and my new project for NaNoWriMo, which I will discuss my project in another post.

Granted, I don’t have fancy software like Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop, for what I do have is Microsoft Word, and I think that my covers are turning out quite well. Just as an example, here is the latest cover for The Zodiac Tower:

The Zodiac Tower- Front Cover Design 2-page-001

I love making covers, and each time that I make a cover, I learn something new about the process and what is even possible. But that is something that you can do to with just a little bit of time and patience you can craft covers just as easily.

My last tip for NaNoWriMo is don’t ignore yourself or what you need. If you ignore yourself during the NaNoWriMo then you can’t complete your best work. You can’t focus on the story that you want to write or tell. This is making sure that you are eating, drinking, talking walks, breathing and anything else that you need to make sure that you are being taken care of. Yes, we all know that as writers we tend to eat, drink, sleep, and think primarily on our stories. While that is all good, if we don’t take of us the creators then the story is not going to be written let alone told. So taking care of the creator is key.

These are five tips that have helped me with NaNoWriMo or any writing project that I happen to be working on at least for the first or second drafts.

I hope that you have found these tips to be helpful. I hope that you all of have a lovely writing day.

The answer to what’s stopping us from finishing our Novels

d86be4ce65bf82512775609ba751b966--fairy-silhouette-free-silhouette-cameoThis past week, Mandi Lynn, talked about reasons as to what stop us from finishing our novels. While there are many reasons for not finishing, there are some things that affect us outside of writing. Here is the thing, when we start thinking or rather going down the track of “I want, or rather I could write a novel.” There are at times we don’t release the full commitment that it will take upon us as writers until we are already well down the rabbit hole.

I’m not saying this to get people not to continue on or even start to write that beloved novel that we have within us to tell. But rather, to give those that say that we all have been there, and are thinking that this is also a point in the junction on the track that made us stop working on that novel. So that is the first point of stopping us from writing our novel, in that we fully think that at times that we do not know what is fully involved in writing the novel. This is very true, whether you are going down the track of self-publishing or even traditional publishing. Come on, face it, we start with that single spark of an idea, and then as we go start thinking about getting it published to find out that are hurdles out there that we must cross or encounter along the track.

Mandi Lynn says that one of the hurdles that are stopping us is self-doubt. This is also very true. We put in the doubt that we have taken on too much with our novel. I must admit that at times while writing The Raven Prophecy, yes, I too have thought this. But yet, I squish the self-doubt by saying that if I give up on writing this story, no one else could write or someone else could but would it be as good? Self-doubt is something that we are going deal with many times while we work on writing our novels, that comes even more into focus when you send out query letters for agents, and even when we are looking for beta readers. We start to think that no one will like it, or why did I waste my time when I could have been doing other things. Here is the response that we should look at for the statement above: because we had a drive and a desire that we were going to do it.

Yes, it is that simple and it should be looked at in the eye and told this is my passion, and I want to finish something incredible. I want to edit well, and I want to leave a mark when it is all said and done. Then when we get thousands of rejections, we can honestly say that maybe it was not for them, or maybe even the timing of the query was not right. I mean that doesn’t mean that your novel was terrible or there could be a few mistakes but there is a deep down reason why you have worked hard for this and you want to see it through. Granted, there a few that completely stop working on their novel and never pick it up again. As another youtube author put out there, not finishing the novel is a mistake. I agree in that there was a reason that this idea came to you and not to see it through would be a mistake.

Put it this way, writing should be an escape for us as writers from everything else that is going on in the world. If we allow the outside world to affect our writing them, then what do we have? We have nothing other than a lack of escapism and entertainment for us as writers. Remember, that as writing our single job is to write, and we are not writing then who is doing our job? Another writer, who will take the readers that we want. I know that is a big burden to be put on our shoulders, but it is true. If you don’t finish the novel that you started then you are going to lose the readers that you want to someone else that didn’t give up or stop working on their novel.

I know that this is a lot to process, and there are many reasons why we stop writing, but one important one is support. Sometimes we lack the support that we want from our family and friends. Support I have found is basically you have to give support to someone that is not getting it before you can get it yourself. I know that one is not easy but sometimes that is just what we have to do. I mean there are many Facebook Groups where other writers are seeking support because they are not getting it from their own circle of family and friends. But also part of being in the community of writers is giving back and helping those that may need it most like anything else. Also, think about it this way if you can give support to someone, they will give you the support that you need and you will no longer have that issue stopping you from finishing that novel.

If anything think of all the reasons as to what is stopping you from writing and say how can I improve it to where it will no longer stop me from doing what I started.

 

The nominations are out and how do they impact us as writers

This morning the Oscar nominations where announced, and while most people pay attention to the categories of best supporting actor/actress, best actor/actress, and best picture, it is best to say as writers we should pay attention to the following categories: best original screenplay, best adapted screenplay, and best director. We should pay attention to the following as well as best live action short film, best documentary short subject, and best documentary feature. I’ll even throw in best picture as well as to what should be paying attention to.

Granted, I usually watch the Oscars and at first, it was to see the dresses that the women would wear, and to see which stars got to take home the Academy Awards, but in more recent years I have turned my attention to the writers that are nominated in the categories listed above. As someone once said the best live action short film nominees are usually first timers to making a film, and they usually go one to make the big motion pictures. These directors and writers are storytellers.

As I have mentioned on here before, or maybe I haven’t but I will now, every writer has their own unique background, and each writer chooses what path that they want to be on. But if you want to be a screenwriter, then you should pay attention to the categories of original screenplay and best adapted screenplay. Then see if you can find copies of those screenplays as well as the work that it was adapted on or based on, and study it so that you know what made them great or what you should be including in your screenplays.

I know that not every writer wants to win an academy award, but I say why not? Shouldn’t we dream big with our aspirations as writers? Since every story starts at the desk of a writer, like my own or even your desk. We should dream about winning awards just like actors and actresses do but even take it a step further in that if it was not for writers, actors and actresses would probably not have a job. Sometimes even directors for that matter either depending on who the writer is.

We as writers matter, and we should be paying attention to what our fellow writers, screenwriters, and storytellers are doing.

Here are the nominees for Best Original Screenplay:

“The Big Sick,” Emily V. Gordon & Kumail Nanjiani

“Get Out,” Jordan Peele

“Lady Bird,” Greta Gerwig

“The Shape of Water,” Guillermo del Toro and Vanessa Taylor

“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” Martin McDonagh

Here are the nominees for Best Adapted Screenplay:

“Call Me by Your Name,” James Ivory

“The Disaster Artist,” Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber

“Logan,” Scott Frank & James Mangold and Michael Green

“Molly’s Game,” Aaron Sorkin

“Mudbound,” Virgil Williams and Dee Rees

Here are the nominees for Best Director:

“Dunkirk,” Christopher Nolan

“Get Out,” Jordan Peele

“Lady Bird,” Greta Gerwig

“Phantom Thread,” Paul Thomas Anderson

“The Shape of Water,” Guillermo del Toro

The complete list of nominees can be found at https://www.oscars.org

Anxiety as Writers

Yesterday, I was on Facebook and on my wall came up a post from one of the many writing groups that I am a member of and someone posted up that when she writes it goes well then all of a sudden she gets anxiety and has to take an anti-depressant. She wanted advice on how to deal with anxiety, and I stated that maybe that she need to just let the writing flow naturally and not think about it.

Granted, I have never run across this problem before, but at the same time I have really started thinking about how anxiety could be a problem for writers. I have thought have a couple of different situations such as that need for perfection, the doubt that our writing is not good enough, or that we are not worthy to write, let alone create stories. Any of these could be the reason for facing anxiety. But is there also the worry that every thing has to be perfect?

Yes, there is that need to be perfect. If you really think about it as children we are ingrained with the need to get perfect grades in school, that our work has to be perfect or that we will be judge. Therefore, as artists we seek to have perfection. But art is not perfect, which leads us to the age-old question of what makes art? Is art something that we make? Is art something that others call art? Or is it art because it is art? Each one of these questions will have a yes and no answer. But then that leads us down other paths of as to why is it this way.

Furthermore, when we really think about the struggle with writing, we are always told that authors, and artists a like suffer, that they are depressed and that become drug addicts or alcoholics. However, I would disagree in that not every artist suffers or becomes a drug addict, for there are some that really don’t find the struggle or that they become depressed. But all writers, depressed or not, seek perfection, and we seek approval in what we do with our craft. But when you really start to think about it thinking about getting that much-needed approval down the road could lead to anxiety.

Yes, it is nice to think about the future, but at the same time if your craft is giving you anxiety maybe it is time to think about why that is. It might be hard, but at the same time that anxiety will affect writing and the ability to create, which is what we do not want. We want to create without having the world impacting our craft. I will state that I did deal for years anxiety over tests, and part of that was that I was a bad test taker. I had anxiety some days before I went to work, for there were days that I did not want to go to work. But once I was there, I did not let the anxiety affect my work, for other things did that, but I did the best that I could.

Dealing with anxiety sucks, and anyone that has felt anxiety knows what I am saying is true. There are other things that we can have anxiety over but writing or creating art should not be one of them. However, if you are having anxiety over your craft then it’s time to face the mirror and ask yourself why are you having anxiety over your craft, and what do you need to help you cope with the anxiety. Hint: Chocolate can be very helpful or some treat that makes everything melt away.

I hope that you have a great writing day without anxiety!

 

Our Services

I have added a new page on our website that lists the services that Faerie Rose Press provides to other writers and future writers as well. The reason for starting this list is to help writers since there is so much information out there on writing.

Faerie Rose Press is currently working on our mission to help other writers with their writing and their start with the Writer’s Journey.

Natural Writing

Yesturday, I talked about how writing can be magic and today I want to talk about natural writing. Natural writing is where you write without thinking. You think about it as free writing. When you write naturally, you just write while keeping that pen to the paper, or you just type away. It allows you to write continuously. So much of what we write is what we have planned or we think should happen to our characters or story.

But if you write naturally without trying to interfere, then you can get some amazing things to take place in your story. In away you think of this as also as being a pantser, where you are not plotting out what is going to happen. Rather, you let your story go where it might want to go. This can make editing either fun or hard depending on how your writing session goes when you naturally write.

You still might be paying attention to grammer, spelling, and other writing conventions and that is fine. However, you don’t want to think or intereffere as you write naturally. A great way, or tool, to write naturally on is find a writing prompt and just write. Don’t think about it, just write. You will be amazed what free writing can do for you.

If you write naturally and like what you wrote, then you again created magic. Now, I’m not saying that everything that you write might be magic or natural but you should give it a try. So much of today is about thinking, and having to make this perfect or that pefect. But if you don’t have to do that as much, your writing could be looked at as amazing. When that happens then you can say to yourself, “I did something pretty cool today!”

Writing should be natural, magical, amazing and any other word that you can use to describe your writing. But if you can find that then you will love what you write. However, if you make it to be a chore then you are not going to enjoy it as much. The bigger picture is that you should enjoy what you do and you should love what you write. If you can’t do that everyday then you need to ask yourself, “Why did I want this in the first case?” You can also write about that and get some focus or clarity back in your writing, which as writers is what we want. This is more about focusing on as writers and less about our readers. At some point, yes, we need to think about our readers, but for right now we need to think about what makes us as writers happy.

We as writers should be happy, because if we are not happy as writers then we do not want to write, create or even think naturally as writers.

I hope that you have found this helpful in your day as writers.