We're towards the end of NaNoWriMo right now, so this seemed like a fitting post. If you don't know what NaNoWriMo is, obviously you have had your head under a rock. Check it out here. This post comes too late for you to join this year, but maybe it'll convince you to try it next year!
1) If you've never written a novel, this is a good way to get one done. It gives you a specific, focused time in which to write towards your goals. I've not been in this category during NaNo, but a lot of people are, which is cool.
2) If you're a longtime novelist, it gives you time to actually sit down and write. Again, it's a specific, focused time with goals, and that's why I love it so much. I spend so much time on editing my past novels that I don't get to write often. NaNoWriMo is my chance to actually sit down and write a new book.
3) It teaches you to write fast and focused. I've seen lots of articles out there denouncing NaNo for this exact reason, saying that writing fast makes you sloppy, but the fact is writing fast is an important skill for when you build up a career. Deadlines, you know? Also, for people who struggle to actually finish a novel, this gives you the push you might need, for example, to stop editing while you're writing.
4) If you're new, it can introduce you to the writing world. NaNoWriMo has pep talks from authors, boards on which NaNoWriMoers can talk, and similar resources that can teach you, as a newbie, about the writing world. You're welcome.
As an extension of the tour of my bookshelf I did a while back, I'm going to give you a tour of my room. These pictures were taken back in September. Pardon whatever messiness you do see, if you will. Allonsy!
So I did, in fact, win NaNoWriMo on Saturday night with 50k words! Even though I still have to finish #AfterworldStory3 to reach my own personal NaNoGoal, I'm taking this week off, as is my tradition. I'll be getting back on board with the real writing again today.
I want to talk about choosing a genre to write, because a lot of aspiring writers struggle with this. Personally, I knew from the get-go that fantasy was going to be my genre because it's my favorite genre to read, closely followed by science fiction, which is my other main area of writing.
That leads me to my first piece of advice: choose a genre you love to read. It will be more natural to you! You love the genre already, and you know the ins and outs of it, which will help you when it comes to publishing because you'll be aware of the market.
It's also important that the idea comes first. If you've got a good story idea, it will naturally fall into a genre of some kind. Most of my ideas are in the fantasy realm, with some moving into the grey area of speculative fiction and others further into science fiction. It's rare that I sit down and actually say, "I want to write a YA fantasy novel." Rather, the idea appears, it fits a genre, and I write it as such.
Another thing to remember is that, if you slip out of your ideal area, you're likely to feel it. It's important to challenge yourself, of course, but most writers have a general area that they write the best in and therefore remain within. When you push past your own area, there will be a sense that something's off. You'll likely struggle to come up with the proper plot points, and even if you're fine while writing, afterwards you'll look at it and you'll see that it's not right.
I finished #AfterworldStory2 this week only to find that it was way too short. After two days of editing, it's finally at 45K words, rather than 37K, which I can handle much better, so I've moved on to #AfterworldStory3. I am this close to the standard 50K goal which is probably going to happen today between watching Thor: The Dark World and Ender's Game.
For the first time ever, I have been nominated for a blog award by someone I don't know. His name's Craig, and he was one of the other people at WriteOnCon this year. As such, today I'm posting the Sunshine Award!
PrettyBooks ran this a while ago, so I thought I'd give it a go as well. It's an A-Z survey about reading and books that should be fun to do!
Author You've Read the Most Books From
When I was on Goodreads, I discovered that the answer is actually Ann M. Martin, from whom I read over 90 books as a kid. In terms of authors I still read, it's Meg Cabot, at a whopping 29 books read. That surprises me, although it shouldn't. I mean, I have read an awful lot of her stuff!
Best Sequel Ever
Hmm. This is a bit hard. Let's see. Ah. There are so many series out there where I loved a later book more than the first! If we're specifically talking about the second book, there's Point Blank from the Alex Rider series or Catching Fire from The Hunger Games trilogy. It's always a good sign when I like a sequel even more, I think, because it shows the series has real longevity.
I am slowly, in my free time, making my way through the second book in Maggie Stiefvater's Raven Cycle, The Dream Thieves.
Drink of Choice While Reading
The drinkish kind. Lemonade? Chocolate milk? Something like that.
E-books or Paper Books
I will always prefer paper, but e-books are also useful and have their place.
Fictional Character You Would Have Dated in High School
It's November! Yay! I love this month for many reasons. The main one, as you probably can guess, is NaNoWriMo! National Novel Writing Month began yesterday, and thus, writers all over the world are off writing their works. This is the one month of the year I get to spend writing. With all the other novels I have at this point, I spend most the rest of the year editing, but in November, I take a break from all that and set to work on a new, fresh idea.
This year, it's my goal to not just hit 50,000 words, not just finish a novel within the month, but finish one and a half novels in November. These two novels will continue last year's #AfterworldStory into a trilogy. Keep up with my progress on my profile and other social media! Also, if you're a writer, join NaNo yourself! I completely recommend it.
This month also has the release of two movies I'm looking forward to, the next Thor movie and Catching Fire (!!!!). There's also the 50th anniversary special of Doctor Who (!!!!). Oh, and Thanksgiving. This is a loaded month. I am super excited.
So now let's move forward into the humor post you've been waiting for. Thanks for reading!
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