July Camp NaNoWriMo: First Weekend

CNW_Participant

I started off July’s Camp NaNoWriMo by going to the library for research purposes. Worldbuilding is an important aspect of writing, so it is just as important to do proper research. For Deerstalker, the novel I have been working on all year, I have to do a lot of research due to the specific time period and setting I chose. Not only do they have a large impact on the plot, but it also affects small things, such as food, clothing, and customs.

I picked up books about the culture of the regions I have chosen to incorporate into my novel and the time period it is placed in so I can have a better understanding of the world. While my story contains supernatural elements that are not present in our world, I still want to bring in realistic elements to ground the reader.

I’ve actually had a lot of fun researching the culture and setting over the past few days. I learned a lot about history that I never would have imagined had I not chosen this specific period and region. These snippets of information will serve to enrich the plot, characters, and overall story by adding in details that the reader can relate to. I look forward to learning more about the places and peoples I have chosen for this story! I have already thought of new scenes to add based on the information I found so far, and can’t wait to write them out.

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Camp NaNoWriMo April 2016

November isn’t the only month dedicated to writing. The geniuses behind National Novel Writing Month also put together Camp NaNoWriMo, which takes place several times throughout the year, including April. This “camp” allows writers to work on whatever project they desire, with their own set word count and goals.

For this camp, I’m going to be working on Deerstalker, a novel I started writing recently based on a prompt idea from a good friend and fellow writer. I was involved in a writers’ group which met weekly, where I submitted snippets of the novel to workshop with other writers. I had to take a break to focus on life’s little challenges, but also so I could refine the worldbuilding and continue writing for this novel. My goal is to have something ready to edit and submit to the writers’ group once the month is over.

Deerstalker is a supernatural/horror young adult novel.  The premise is that a village is cursed by the Nightmare, a horrifying creature that takes on a human host. It focuses on the main character of Wendell, a young teen who likes to read and is rather introverted. I will be posting updates on my writing progress throughout the month on this site, as well as on my writing tumblr account. You can easily find Deerstalker-related posts (aesthetic, references, writing updates, etc.) under the #Deerstalker tag.

Deerstalker logo copy CNW_Participant

Creative Callipipper!

I recently finished a freelance eCommerce store and Facebook setup for a friend of mine who creates cute animal-themed sweatshirts! We discussed different eCommerce stores and she decided to use Shopify, which offers a lot of features and is easy to use. I imported products from her Etsy store, edited them, and helped to set everything up. I learned a lot about Shopify during this process and feel comfortable setting up and managing stores with them. Check out the Creative Callipipper store for fun elephant, zebra, giraffe, flamingo, monkey, raccoon, and alligator shirts!

I also set up a Facebook business page to help her market and advertise her products. Shopify has a neat app that allows you to set up a shop on Facebook to sell directly on there or through a link to the Shopify store. The page is still fairly new, but I’m sure there will be lots to come in the future!

I really enjoyed this process and hope to take on more freelance jobs like this one!

Resources for Writers

I’ve taken the time to compile a a list of resources I personally use, have been recommended to use by fellow authors or professors, or have stumbled upon. My latest Hub Pages article talks about books, websites, conferences, and NaNoWriMo, plus many more sources for writers, writing, and the creative process. I’ll be adding suggestions and recommendations as they are given, so check back for more resources! Feel free to contact me with your own resources that are not yet on this list and I’ll add them!

Step Seven: Market

The last step to writing a novel is to market! You’ve published it, but now you have to get readers interested and build up a fanbase. I give tips and details on how to market yourself and your novel in my latest Hub Pages article. Being an author means more than simply writing, editing, and publishing. You have to interact with readers and really know your audience to keep the momentum going!

Quick Tip: Speaking at Conferences and Book Festivals is a great way to meet fellow authors, interact with readers, and network with publishers.

Good News!

I received great news earlier this week: I was offered the job of Copywriter Specialist with Web.com! I was very excited and accepted, so I start my career on Monday. After months of searching, applying, interviewing, and almost losing hope, I can put my Bachelor’s of English degree to good work and start paying off my student debt! The job consists of what I’ve been doing for several years now for both personal and professional work: writing content for business websites. I will be working with a team of fellow writers and editors to build brochure-style websites for professionals and businesses, working on the content pages before the design and coding team works their magic. If all goes well, I plan to stay with this company and build my career for several years.

Have no fear, I’ll still be writing! I am continuing my editing work on finished books, which mostly involves typing out the written version of Last of the Avians (whose title changed once I realized “Avian” is a more efficient term than “Winged Person”). I am also still publishing Hub Pages articles on how to write novels, using my own experience and advice from professional and academic sources. I even plan on writing a “How To Get A Job” aka What College Doesn’t Teach You article outlining what I have learned in these past few months alone (and wish I knew yeas ago!). If there are any other articles you would like to see from me, such as explaining more closely some of the steps (like Self-Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing) or other writing topics, please let me know!

Step Six: Publish

Have you finished writing and editing your novel? If so, it’s time to get it published! Don’t let that beautiful manuscript and all that hard work go to waste, get you novel on the bookshelves! My latest Hub Pages article talks about all the different aspects of publishing and what authors should know when going into this step of the process.

Quick Tip: Avoid vanity presses, they sometimes turn out to be scams and force you to spend more money than necessary!

Step Five: Edit

What some authors consider the hardest part of writing a novel is what comes after writing: editing! In my latest Hub Pages article, I talk about the editing process and the truth about editors. Editing is a very important part of writing, so authors should embrace the inevitable and take the opportunity to receive as much feedback as possible before submitting their manuscript for publication.

Quick Tip: Take a break after finishing your novel before beginning the editing process!

Step Four: Write

The next step to Write a Novel is to actually do some writing! Now that all the planning, research, and outlining is taken care of, you can start digging into your story. In this HubPages article, I give tips on daily writing, formatting, and novel guidelines.

Quick Tip: Start formatting your manuscript while you write, so it’ll be easier to edit and submit for publication once your novel is complete!

Step Three: Research

Research is just as important as writing in the process of creating a novel. In my latest Hub Pages article, I talk about the research methods and sources for authors before they start writing. Writers often research while they write as well, but it’s good to start off with some information to aid in writing. Doing too much research could interrupt the writing process!

Quick Tip: Libraries are your friends; get your hands on some physical books, smell the old pages, instead of relying solely on internet resources.