Sunday, November 15, 2015

NaNoWriMo Tag

I stole this tag from Emma at "Kittens on Bookshelves" because it just looked like too much fun to resist. And as we are officially at the halfway point for NaNoWriMo, what better time to post it than now?

1. How many times have you done NaNoWriMo?

This is my seventh year! Although this is only my third year with a 50,000-word goal. I've been participating with my family since I was nine, so you'd think I'd become a pro at staying on track with my goal all the time . . . you would be wrong. I still procrastinate horribly whenever I hit a plot hole and can't figure out how to fix it. Then I generally end up writing like a cat on crack on the last day to write the last 5,000 or so words.

I came across this gif forever ago and have been waiting for an excuse to use it . . . you're welcome.

2. How did you first find out about NaNoWriMo?

My mom found out about it from a friend, told me and asked if I'd be interested, and I believe I responded with, "Um, yes?!?!"

3. What was the name of the first novel you attempted with NaNo?

The Adventure That Started With Nuts. It was a chapter book about a squirrel and a chipmunk who were best friends. They traveled all over the country and got into tons of shenanigans. Eventually they ended up accidentally getting trapped on a boat headed to Antarctica. It was was all very dramatic.

4. Give us a 1 sentence summary of what you’re writing this year.
Genderbent, steampunk, Sherlock Holmes story involves one-eyed cats and time traveling train machines.

5. What’s the best writing advice you’ve ever been given?

I think the general piece of advice "write what you love" is the best thing any writer can keep in mind. If you don't enjoy what you're writing, your reader won't either.

6. Did you ever take a year off from NaNo? Why?

Not yet! There may come a year when I will, but I don't see that happening for a while.

7. What's your biggest inspiration when figuring out what to write?

I have ideas to spare (and a notebook full of them to prove it), so the main problem is usually figuring out which one to start with! When I'm actually in the process of writing it, though, music and food are a huge help. A little Taylor Swift or "Doctor Who" scores, chocolate/coffee/tea/Cheez-Its, and I'm good.

8. Read us the first sentence from one of your novels.
First lines are the hardest part of any story for me, but there is one I'm particularly proud of. It's from my 2010 NaNoWriMo story, a middle-grade fantasy that's called Fantasya: A Giant Problem. "There is no 'once upon a time' in this book, because that’s how a fairytale starts, and this is not a fairytale."

9. Why do you love writing?

Because I can create something out of absolutely nothing! With a few taps of the keyboard I can write a story that has the ability to make someone laugh or cry or get inspired to make something of their own. Stories change people for the better, and I love that I get to be a part of that.

How's your NaNoWriMo going? What's your word count looking like right now? What's your story about? Leave a comment!


Dr. Mark said...

I think the best thing about this post might be that I now definitively know what a cat on crack looks like. Thank you.

Boquinha said...

There is so much I love about this post, I don't know where to start. Cheez-its, writing what you love, THAT CAT. For now, I'll keep it to this: I love you.

Rich said...

Man, I've had some sleepless nights wondering what a cat on crack would look like, now I can rest easy. :P Man, now I have to figure out were I can use that gif...

Kathryn Joanne said...

Hi! I am a teenage writer also but my one problem is procrastinating writing my story. I am trying to succeed at NaNoWriMo but I feel really behind and feel like I should give up now. What do you suggest I do?

The Magic Violinist said...

@Dr. Mark You're so welcome. Out of every gif I've seen, that's definitely one of my favorites.

@Boquinha That cat might be my favorite part of the post. xD And I'm definitely not eating Cheez-Its even as I write this comment . . . nope. I love you, too!

@Rich Ha ha, glad to help. :P It's great, isn't it?

@Kathryn Joanne Hi there, Kathryn! :) First of all, thanks so much for stopping by! I love seeing new faces here.

This is a totally normal feeling, especially once you've hit the middle of the month. I always have a "mid-month crisis" during NaNoWriMo (mine was a few days ago). The best thing you can do is:

1. Step away from the computer, take a deep breath, make sure you've eaten and had some water recently. Writing on an empty stomach is never good idea (you'll always get distracted by how hungry you are!).

2. Recognize that this is a huge challenge you're taking on. You're trying to write 50,000 words in one month! That's insane! So whether or not you "win," give yourself a pat on the back for even attempting it.

3. Look up some NaNoWriMo challenges. You can participate in word sprints on Twitter (just look up the @NaNoWordSprints account) or offline with some friends. There's also the "Fifty Headed Hydra" challenge, the "Extreme Harry Potter Crawl" (my new personal favorite:, and many, many more. These really help me when I'm behind.

4. Reward yourself for the "small" victories. Set daily word count goals for yourself and celebrate when you reach it. You can watch something on Netflix, read a chapter of your favorite book, get a piece of chocolate, whatever you want. If you go above and beyond and write 1,000 more words than you need to that day, reward yourself for that, too.

5. Have fun! Writing should be enjoyable. If you're bored by your story, your reader will be, too, and that's no fun for anybody. Whatever is going to excite you about your book again, do that. And remember that you don't have to stick to a specific timeline, either. If you're super pumped to write the ending or that epic first kiss scene between your adorable couple, go ahead and write that. You don't have to wait to get there.

I hope this helps. :) NaNoWriMo can definitely be challenging, but when the thirtieth comes around and you hit your goal, it feels awesome. Best of luck to you and I hope to see you around the blogosphere again soon!