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.

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!

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 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!

Writing Progress

I devised a writing schedule for myself to get motivated and to focus on my original work while job-hunting. Right now I’m trying to edit the books I’ve already written instead of trying to write anything new or finish other projects. I carved out a block of my day to work on several of these writing projects, switching them up so I don’t hit a block or lose inspiration.

The Planet of Dreams

I’ve been working on the Planet of Dream Series for several years, originally writing in a large notebook during travel, trips to the beach, and whenever I had time to write! I finished it recently, but now have to undertake the process of getting the handwritten version typed up on the computer. Once I have everything typed up, I can go back and make further edits, getting the manuscript ready for publication.

The Day I Howled

I’ve finally begun looking at Howled for some serious editing. Because I was a novice when I began this children’s book, and because the audience is not what I usually write for, I have a lot of work cut out for me! I ended up cutting out a lot of scenes (actually, about three whole chapters!) and made a lot of notes for moving forward. I may have to rewrite about half of the book, keeping in mind the audience I’m aiming for, but it’s on my schedule, among other books to work on.

Conference Paper

For a mythology class during my senior year at Flagler, I wrote a paper on Loki as an anti-hero. My professor and I got to talking, and decided to put together a panel for the PCAS conference! Myself, along with two other students, will present a panel for the upcoming conference in October at New Orleans. I’ve been working on my paper to get it conference ready, adding in elements of the Marvel movies and re-organizing the content for the presentation. It’s a fun experience, since I love the topic, and I may be able to submit for a student award!

Saving You

The third original novel I’m working on for this schedule is something I wrote for High School and reworked during a college class, so I’m not as worried about the editing. Because I added scenes and did some editing for the class, I have a good idea of how this is shaping up and just need to rearrange some scenes to make everything fit. This one will be Young Adult just like the Planet of Dreams Series, so I’m more familiar with the audience.

(I haven’t even looked at the final notes on my play yet, oops!)

How to Write Plot

The last step to planning is to write plot, full of conflict and built on a structure of writing fortitude. The latest Hug Pages article I wrote on the subject deals with all the essentials related to plotting: action, protagonists and antagonists, twists, and more! Before you can write a story, you have to know what you’re writing and the stakes your characters have to face.

Quick Tip: An antagonist doesn’t have to be a villain, and without action a story can go nowhere!

How to Write Setting

The newest Hub Pages article on How to Write a Novel is out! Part of the Planning step is dealing with Setting, which involves dates, times, locations, time periods, historical events, and more! I give details and advice on how to implement setting into your novel and why it’s so important, so check it out!

Quick Tip: Your setting can be a subtle part of the novel depending on how you introduce it; it can also play a large part of your plot!

How to Write Characters

Part of the planning process is to create dynamic, well-rounded characters for your novels. Read about writing effective characters on HubPages and find questionnaires to test the depth of your creations! Characters rely on research, from naming to diversity, in order to appear realistic for readers.

Quick Tip: Don’t be afraid to branch out of your comfort zone when creating characters. Write someone you don’t know and look at the differences (as well as similarities) you may have in common!