October Arrives!

October is a pretty busy month for me, but I’m hoping to get back on the schedule I had for myself for this blog with three weekly posts on Monday/Wednesday/Friday.  Since I wasn’t sure what to write about first to kick off the month, I decided to doa  general post about what is coming up.

This month is going to have a couple Halloween/Dia de Muertos themed posts, as well as the normal book reviews, movie reviews, and hopefully at least 2 new Women of History posts. It is also Nano Prep Month, so it might be shorter posts as I focus on doing the prep work for Nano (for those who aren’t familar, visit the Nano Website).  That will be the focus next month, so I’m also going to try and get ahead on posts so that I have them pre-scheduled rather then writing them as I go since I’ll be working (for once) on an original novel next month.

As for the Bookit-reviews, I’ve made the decision to reduce my goal to 30 books.  I think the original goal of 52 is not achievable at this point.  Hopefully I can achieve the new goal.  I’m also starting to write down a list of books I’ve bought and haven’t read yet to start 2019 off (and finish off this year a bit too).  If you have any recommendations for books I should read, please let me know.

Hope you are all having a lovely Fall so far.

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Camp Nano Mid-way Update

The halfway mark for Camp Nano: July 2018 edition has arrived.  Word count wise I’m doing good, with an expected (according to them) end date of the 26th.  However, in actually accomplished projects I’m not doing as well.  I’ve been writing my blog posts which accounts for much of my word count, as well as some shorter stories that have come to mind.  However I had two projects I wanted to complete this month that have yet to be completed.

One is a multi-chapter fanfiction that I’ve been working on several years now (2012) and its starting to get a little ridiculous that I haven’t finished it yet.  Especially as I have several chapters mostly written.    However on the other hand its been one of my more popular works in fanfiction so perhaps the long time working on it paid off.

I also had a project from April where I had 30 songs that I was going to translate into writing prompts.  I have yet to work on this at all.

Mostly I think it’s an issue of time management, which I’m apparently bad at, but also inspiration.  There are some days where just nothing will come out (which ends up being the days I get more work done on my essay series for this blog.

I’m hoping that when I give my end of month update I’ll have a lot better news to share.  I plan on trying to manage my time a little bit better and getting the stories done I wanted to get done.  I also plan on finishing some of the essays that I have that are left incomplete – including one WOH essay that was meant to be posted over a week ago.

I’ll be posting the end-of-Nano post on the 30th.  Not actually the last day (as July has 31 days) but it’s the last posting day for this blog for July.

Writing Resources.

Continuing this month’s theme of writing, Today’s post is a simple list of links relating to writing.  There are hundreds of different writing resources out there available for those who want to look, but here are a few that either I or one of my writing friends have tried and liked.  Feel free to comment with your own suggestions.

National Novel Writing Month

It seems that NANO definately should not be left out of any list of writing resources.  National Novel Writing Month (NanoWriMo or Nano for short) is a yearly event where writers gather together for a month and try to write 50,000 words or a small novella.  Usually at the end are some good coupons and discounts for those who achieve the goal.  It also has forums, pep talks, and other resources to keep you going.

In April and June, Nano holds ‘Camp Nano‘, where writers gather together to write their own made-up goals (I recently edited mine down to 20,000 due to various reasons).  The goals can be less than 50k (like mine) or more (one of my cabinmates is doing 100,000.).  It’s up to the writer.   Like Nano in November, Camp Nano has forums and other resources for writers.

All is free, although they do have an online store to support costs and a charity they run each year.

4TheWords

4Thewords is a writing game.  It helps motivate you to write more.  You fight various monsters by completing word count goals.  I’m actually writing this post on their website.  MOstly because I need to fight a monster and ran out of creative parts of the story I was writing.  I’m fighting a monster right now that asks for 150 words in 11 minutes, which isn’t too hard.  But the monsters vary in amount of time and word count goals, and the developers are constantly trying out new things to add to the game.  There are also forums and areas for people to read other’s works.  Its really fun, but its not for everyone.   This has a free trial and then a monthly fee of around $4 which is paid by buying in-game currency so you can pre-pay for months in advance, or buy a larger package of currently (crystals) for in-game items and subscription.  its up to you.

Hemingway Editor

The Hemingway Editor is a browser based editing software that allows you to write in your browser window and receive statistics on your writing.  It helps alot with repetitiveness or over use of adverbs.  It can also give you a readability statistics.  This is useful for writing all sorts of types – non-fiction and fiction alike.  Its also Free.

Polygon Map Maker

Ok, this isn’t really a writing resource so to speak.  Someone created a way of generating polygons that look like islands and put it up on a website for those of us who feel its fun to create your own world to make our own island shapes to work off of.  Its fun, and it can be used to help you create a map for your fantasy story, a game, or just to waste some time.

750 Words:

750words has a basic goal: To get you to write 750 words per day.  There are badges to be won for the various goals you reach.  They include writing streaks, time of day, amount of words written, and many others.  It also gives you various statistics on your writing. It also saves what you wrote for the day so if you need to look back, you can.  New members to the website are charged $5 in a subscription fee to help cover the costs of upkeep.

Writer: The Internet Typewriter

For those who like the sound of typewriters,  and or are easily distracted by various things when using the computer, Writer might be a good app for you.  It’s free to register and it has a completely back screen to help keep you focused on what you are doing.  It does have a premium account, but I’ve never tried it.

CharaHub

Charahub is an online database for you to use to create and maintain information about your characters.  This is good for artists too. It helps streamline your information to one place.  Especially useful if you have many characters that you might want to bring back and don’t want to forget what you said about them.

The Periodic Table of Storytelling

Really this is just an infographic that helps you remember the elements of writing.  Its useful for remembering, but also learning.

Spring & Camp Nano

Hope everyone is having a fantastic April.  Spring seems to be a little sluggish in waking up and arriving.  I’m writing this while looking out a window at snow.  Had a brilliantly sunny day yesterday, today is snow.   But that is what I get for living in the Northeast.

This month is Camp Nano, so there is going to be some writing posts.  A while back I did a series of essays on starting to write fanfic, so I won’t be redoing those right now.  But there are some other topics suggested to be that I’ll be covering.  It’s mostly to do with fanfic writing,  but some of it has original fiction writing connections too.  These include using triggers, why it’s a bad idea to villianize a character to make your character look good, and its good policy to ship and let ship.

I also have two bookit reviews coming and every Friday remains my Women of History series.

For those of you who don’t know what Camp Nano is, its a month-long writing challenge.  Every November is National Novel Writing month, where in people try to write a 50,000 word story.  It’s not quite a full novel, but it’s getting there and allows you the pleasure of knowing you wrote something.  In April and June they run Camp Nano, where you can work towards any writing goal.  Some use it to help them prepare for Nano, others for finishing up outstanding WIPs they have (I am one of those people).  But it’s basically up to you whether you write 1000 words or 100,000.  You get to set the goal.  My goal this year is started at 30,000 and I want to complete two chapter fics and a series of drabble challenges I haven’t finished yet.  It’s possible to adjust your word count so I may raise it later on.  On the 18th I have planned an update post, so I’ll talk more about my goals for Camp Nano then.

If you feel interested and or want to learn more, you can visit the Camp Nano Website.

Hope you all have a great month, and that spring finally arrives – and sticks around!

Writing Resources

October has become “Nano Prep” month for me for many years.  I’ve been participating since I graduated from high school (which is longer then I remember, surprising myself each time I actually do figure out how long its been).  So I’ve decided to make a post for some of the places I get help in my writing endeavours for anyone participating in Nano.

I’m including various websites and tools, some of which I use frequently, and some of which I have used in the past and no longer do for one reason or another (in the case of one, I forgot my password).

NanoWrimo.Org

We should always start with the Nano page.  The Original NanoWrimo occurs every November, and its goal is 50k in a month.  NanoWrimo.org also offers helpful links, a forum, as well as offline events as well such as write-ins and community meet-ups.  It also does a yearly fundraiser for Libraries in areas that are too poor to fund one.

(there are also some great coupons if you win for writing services and programs).

Writing Sites:

750words.com

This website gives you online space to help keep up sprints, and daily writing.  The goal is to write 750 words daily.  The longer you go, the more points you get.  You get target rewards each time you meet the criteria.  It also gives stats on word usage and tone which can be useful.

4thewords.com

This is another example of a writing habit creator.  In this particular one, its a subscription service, but only four dollars for what accounts for a month.  You can pay by month, or pay ahead if you want to.  However, it is very fun and so far worth it in my opinon.  However, it doesn’t work for everyone, so the month trial should give you some time to find out.

The basics of it is that you are playing a game.  To fight the monsters that come across your path, you write.  Each monster has a word count goal and a time limit.  You can choose which monster you want to fight.  When you complete the battle successfully you get rewards which go towards accomplishing the Quest goals.  Then you can move on to another part of the valley where there are new monsters to fight against.  It also does periodic special runs of events (particularly during Nano events).

Hemingway Editor

THis is a online editing software (although it does have a desktop app) that allows you to check your grammar and writing as you write, helping you improve as you go along.  I like to sometimes copy/paste my writing into it to see what it says and strengthen the weak spots, but you can just get typing in there.  It has some basic formatting features as well, and a readability monitor to tell you if you are writing for the right age level.  (this is especially important if you are writing for kids. ).

Writer

This is for those who don’t need anything to distract them.  All they need is a plan screen.  If you need the least amount of distractions and just want to write, this may be good for you.

CharaHub

This website is designed to help you with your character building, keeping an online character report for you instead of half a dozen tabs or folders on your computer.  I haven’t used this, but I have been told its quite helpful.  (If you have used this, let me know what you think.)  Its been sitting in my “Writing – Tools” bookmark folder for awhile now.

Word Counter

DOn’t have a word counter built into your word processor?  This site is helpful in that it allows you to check your word count.  Also pretty good for challenges where you have a word goal and/or limit.

I have a whole folder for writing resources, but not all of them are useful as broad tools, and I limited mine to what appeared to at least give a free preview of the service.  I have a selection of generators that are sometimes fun to play around with when you have writers block, and there are millions out there that can partition to your chosen topic/genre.  Also, don’t be afraid to use the same resources you may have used in school to write those papers.  Some of them can be quite helpful when writing fiction (and really helpful if you are writing non-fiction).

If you have any websites/tools you would like to suggest, feel free to mention them in the comments.  I’m always open to finding new things.

NanoWrimo: Week One Update

Its that time of year again when I join in with a community of writers for National Novel Writing Month or NanoWrimo or as we usually just shorten it to: Nano.

Nano is a month long event where writers from around the country partispate in an personal effort to write a 50,000 word novella in a month.  I’ve partispated for the most part for the last decade or so.  I don’t always manage to write 50,000 words – life does dedicate some of that – but its fine enough to try.

Not everyone writes the same thing, or gets involved in the same way.  Some people write original fiction, some write fanfic.  Some write a series of short stories, while others write actual novel-length stories. The only goal is to get 50k worth of words, and to get people writing.  Nano also has forums to get involved with, and often local team leaders who develop events where you can go and meet local Nano-ers.

They also have a donation run to create libraries and provide books for those who don’t have access to them.

This year I am working on several stories, trying to get some of my work in progress list done.  I’ve got about 18 there now, and I’m sure that isn’t a complete list.  (I need to review that one of these days).

Alright its been one week (completely, its now 12Am, so HAPPY ELECTION DAY PLEASE VOTE *AHEM*)  My personal results are as follows:

Continue reading

Writing Update

I realised I haven’t talked about my writing lately, so thought an update was in order.  For the last month or so I haven’t had alot of time to write, and when I did get the time, I didn’t seem to be able to write anything that I was happy with.  So nothing really has gotten finished, although I have added greatly to my plot bunny file.

Hopefully this will all change next month.  One of my many goals for July is to be better at time management, and knowing my limits so that when I do need to do something I’m not exhausted by it.  So no more staying up till 2 in the morning because “Just one more chapter”, or trying to get too much done in one day that I feel out of sorts for the next few days.

Hopefully this will include dedicated writing time outside of sprints, and a sucessful Camp Nano.  I completed a 30k word CampNano in April, so I’m going to try for a full Nano this camp, so 50,000.  Like before, my goal is to catch up with drabble prompts I owe, as well as finish some ongoing fanfics that should have been finished eons ago. Starting in August, I plan on doing some serious editing and planning so I can finish my Peresphone original novel and perhaps start its sequel, Isis.

Right now I’m off to a nightly sprint I do with a few friends and trying to write a couple drabble prompts within the 30 minutes.  Its an interesting challenge for those of you who like writing.  Just set aside a set amount of time (some people like to start with 10 minutes and work their way up) and try to just write (no editing, no distractions) for that amount of time.  Its not always possible, especially when you live with other people who need your attention for some reason or another, or like right now when you have a cat who wonders why you aren’t paying attention to them.  (Max is staring at me sorrowfully as he bemoans the lack of attention).