NaNoWriMo Update [2016.1]

Here we are again – one year later, maybe even one year wiser. National Novel Writing Month started a week ago and so far, I’ve written 5,724 words (update’s update 7,082 words).

trouble%c2%b2You can see on my NaNo-profile that my NaNo-novel is Trouble² – with a nice cover including two favorite characters from a favorite tv show, Root and Shaw from Person of Interest (no copyright infringement etc. etc.) – which you could, I guess, call a AU fanfiction in progress. But then, there isn’t that much progress. I’m not really writing a novel, or maybe I’m writing several. And a Bechloe fanfiction, and a short story.

This year, I just can’t settle down on one project so I’m pretty much all over the place. And there might yet be a Supergirl fanfic coming along, because I really can’t fight my Sanvers feelings these days. But I guess that’s okay. Considering how little I got done this year, me writing bits and pieces this NaNo fits the theme.

So I’ve given myself the NaNo-rebel badge and am traipsing along through the jungle of stories I’ve got burning in different corners. One corner is still Ghosts of Helltown, as I haven’t finished that. Yeah, I know I promised that one to you for next year, but it’s on hold until I can get my shit together. And who knows if it’s going to get published then… I really messed this up, but I’m still working on it. I guess I have hope, a tiny spark in the darkness so to speak. (And just for the record, it’s a day later from that earlier stuff and I’m on my way to drunk, ’cause the election is officially over – bear with me.)

My Bechloe fanfiction in progress is Six Degrees of Queer – it’s basically Beca finding out sixdegreesofqueershe’s gay for Chloe and her friends trying to support her, mostly. Fanfiction is part of my writing life and Bechloe is still a great inspiration (with the possibility of it getting to be canon in the third movie – YAY! [let’s hope]). Writing fanfiction for WriMo is actually a cool thing because you don’t have to do any preparation other than watch your favorite show or movie – no excuse to not write, is what I’m saying!

I started a short story back in… I forgot. For an anthology that’s already been published. It was about summer love and I called my story Im Sommer – which is German for In Summer. It’s a story about an American girl, Angela, who visits German wine country for summer vacation and meets a German girl, Judith. It’s summer, there’s wine and just a little bit of a language barrier as these young women get their groove on… or something like that. I’m still working on it, or it wouldn’t be on this list. Hopefully, it will be available for free after NaNo… at Christmas, maybe? (I’ll keep you posted.)

The last corner (for now), is Trouble². It’s the story of a bondsperson and a P.I. who have a hard time working together to find a guy named Roy Bunting. They find out that Bunting is in even deeper doo-doo than they thought and that will also get these two women in trouble. Trouble², in fact, ’cause you know… I’m not sure where I’m going with this, maybe nowhere, but I like playing with these two characters in my head and giving them the happy ending they deserved.

Jumping between those stories was my first week of NaNo. How do you get along? Are you a traditionalist  or a rebel like me? Any other NaNo-thoughts? Tell me in the comments.

And just a word about this election: wherever you are, whoever you are, if you’re devastated by the American election results: please take care of yourself. Whatever happens in the time to come, you are important, you are cherished. Stay safe, stay strong, stay united.

Have some colorful hope and Anna Kendrick:

 

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NaNoWriMo Prep [2016]

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Ah, yes, it’s late in September. The temperatures are going down, though we had a rather late summer and we still get the occasional hot day. I’m really hoping for a balmy October, Indian Summer style. It’s also time for thinking about NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month, for those who do not know).

In November, writerlings all over the globe are going to retreat into their chambers, balance their portable devices on their laps and in their hands and write a novel – hopefully. 50,000 words, to be exact, is the aim. The excitement of newbies is already palpable, while repeat offenders are still busy doing other stuff and probably start preparations in the last week of October, just put it in before Halloween.

Well, I’ve started thinking about some projects, that is if I’m able to complete my current project before November (please, please, let me finish it before NaNo!) I’m actually trying to overhaul my writing regimen (if you can call it that) these days, and I’m almost back to book1writing every day, writing about 2,000 words a day. It feels good, but it’s not set in stone, because my mental health is unstable to say the least.

But, I’m still planning, still thinking about possible novels/novellas I’d like to write/finish for NaNo. Will it be the Austenesque love story I started ages ago and would so like to finish? Or maybe 2015’s NaNo attempt at a time traveller novel? Yes? No? Maybe I’ll be writing a thriller about a bondsperson and a P.I. who really need to get a room and solve the mystery around a small-time ciminal. Or what about that thing with the two women who were… ah, never mind. It’s all really vague, but I’m still excited about the concept of NaNo.

What about you? Do you have plans to participate again or for the first time? Are you already outlining your novel, or are you writing by the seat of your pants? Genre? Tell me in the comments. And if you need a writing buddy: Corikane‘s the name.

And if you’ve never come across NaNo, here’s a helpful link: www.Nanowrimo.org

See you there.

NaNoWriMo Update [2015.4]

yousee

NaNo is almost over, and unless I write 20k words tomorrow I have again failed it. I’m not disappointed, though. I’ve doubled last year’s word count and I’m still feeling inspired.

I finished a short story, I finished a novel, and I started a new fun project that will hopefully appear in an anthology next year (if I finish it and the publishers like it, I guess). So, I’ve done some of what I set out to do, and, hey, there’s still tomorrow.

I got more involved this year than last, which is a good thing. I did some NaNo word sprints with fun prompts and I added to my writing buddies, encouraging a few people. It felt good and it helped me too. I felt more cared for, inspired by the spirit of NaNo, you could say.

This year, I have found some platforms that help writers along. There’s NaNo, of course, but I recently discovered some others and I wanted to take the time to point you in their direction, since I like them.

IFightYou have already seen the covers I made; they’re, after all, all over my blog. I made them con Canva.com. It is not necessarily a platform for writers, but book covers are one of the template they offer. You can spend money there, or you can make covers for free. There are several other templates for your everyday life and maybe you check it out. I like the set up and it’s easy to use.

Another page, and one I trusted my latest short story with, is Tablo.io. Like Canva, it’s brought to us from Australia. It’s a platform where you can read stories, put up your own stories for the reading, but you can also publish with them if you think your work has progressed into that realm. They offer plenty of help, you can join groups of hopefuls like yourself, read and write fanfiction. Whatever you like. It’s also easy to use, and pretty to look at (the latter one may not be important to you, but it is to me).

Lastly, a page a reader on fanfic.net recommended (maybe she was working for them, I don’t know or care): Inkitt.com. It has much the same functions as tablo, but it also offers writing contests, not just for original fiction, but also fanfiction. I’ve started revising a story of mine for a fanfiction contest, and it’s a lot of fun to go back. I always get back to fanfiction, because I love it. This site helps to do something I should have done a long time ago: revising my fanfiction. Because I feel I’m better now and those stories should reflect that. Inkitt feel newer than tablo and shepromisedmelovemaybe some things haven’t yet fully developed, but it’s interesting to watch, maybe make some suggestions. And again, it looks pretty.

Maybe you have come across sites you’d like to share with me? I’m always looking for new platforms to spread my words from. Please, tell me in the comments. Also, tell me about your NaNo-experience. Did you win? Did you fail like me?

Remember, that failing at NaNo means you’ve tried what many people are too scared to even try. Writing is hard, but I’m sure you’ll try again. And you will succeed when you’re ready for it. Don’t be discouraged.

NaNoWriMo Update [2015.2]

gale-zombiediaries

I guess a title change was in order, just so I don’t get too confused or confusing by using the same title too often (I might be planning to participate in NaNo years to come). That’s not the only change I made if you’ve seen my Home-page. Yes, it’s English only now, but I will add another page for my German Neuigkeiten.

That, however, has nothing to do with NaNo, I’m just a little more productive these days. But NaNo…it’s still going well, though I had two days of procrastination so far. It had a little to do with finishing Halfway Home. I don’t know what you do when you just finished a novel, but I usually take a couple of days to regroup, decide on a new project, let it all sink in.

This being NaNo, that wasn’t really possible. I had a hard time deciding what to do next. And, yes, I know I made that perfectly good list for the projects I wanted to write, but I’m kinda bad at following simple lists. I needed a new project.

So, because I had such a good time writing about werewolves (you can read Courage here and here now), I wanted to go back to the supernatural. And now I’m doing a zombie story. It’s for a submission call, so there are some directions to follow, but I have a good feeling about Gale: The Zombie Diaries. And, of course, I had to make a cover to go with it (you may have noticed the header looking a little different, I put up some covers of stories written, to be written, maybe never to be written who knows).

Yesterday was half-time NaNo and I reached my 25k words through sprints and some actual continual writing. The great thing about the NaNo sprints (you’re not familiar? it’s a twitter feed with great prompts and timed sprints @NaNoWordSprints) is that they go well with the diary style I’m writing. The prompts are so random and I get to write some additional diary entries using totally unrelated themes. It’s great.

So, NaNo is still a go at my house. How are you doing? Leave me a comment to let me know. Also: you’re awesome. Your writing is worth the effort. Go, writer, go!!!

Another Pep Talk [for Writers]

Hello writer. Hello author. Hello scribe.

Today is Friday, 13th. Let me ask you, are you superstitious?

I am. Not about Friday, 13th, but about Thursday, 12th. Yesterday, I wasn’t aware that it was Thursday, 12th, but today I can say: oh, that’s why. Yeah. Because I couldn’t get it quite right yesterday. The writing thing.

You know those days, don’t you? You know moments like this. You know the time when one sentence drives you up a wall. For whatever reason. Sometimes it’s just not working, other times it’s a reason in your head. Like a superstition:

“I can’t write today, because I woke up facing north.” “I can’t write today, because my favorite pen’s gone missing. No, I don’t care that I write on my computer, I can’t write until I found my pen.” “I can’t write today, because it’s my birthday, and writing on birthdays is especially bad luck.” “I can’t write today…”

Those reasons are in our head, and they’re all bullshit. Like “I can’t write today, because it’s Friday, 13th. I’ll hide under my blanket all day, hoping that nothing heavy falls on my head.” Of course, it’s non-sensical, but think about how many people in your live reference this day as an unlucky one and you’ll get an idea how powerful superstitions can be.

As human beings we make things up in our heads all the time. Not necessarily stories (not everybody is able to do that), but theories, memories, whatever. And especially theories can make us stray from our writing path. “I have this theory that before I can write a novel about Paris in 1786, I have to research everything that happened that year, not just in France, but everywhere. I need to know the name of every person who lived and died in Paris that year, etc. etc. etc.” You’ll never write that novel, friend.

I’m not saying, don’t do research. Research is important, but don’t let your theory of how much research you should do keep you from writing. There’s a difference between accurate and over-prepared. There’s also a difference between being a writer and being a person who maybe one day wants to write a novel, or maybe a short story, or an essay.

You are a writer. You do your chores thinking about fictional characters’ lives. You sit down, tapping away on your computer. You never walk anywhere without a notebook. And if you, by some miracle, are found without paper and pen, you borrow, you buy, (I’m not saying you steal, but maybe you’ve been desperate once or twice, I don’t judge). Because you’re a writer.

And as a writer, you have to be resistent to those voices in your head telling you ten to twenty good reasons every day to not write. To do other things instead. To go out meet friends. To call your mom, telling her you’re gonna visit soon. To quickly go to the grocery store, because you can’t possibly write without some snack, and chocolate, maybe a beer (don’t drink and write, folks). To get a (non-Christian) soy latte from Starbucks. You don’t need it, but you want it. And, goddamn, you’re gonna get it and then you write 3,500 words in one go, unless…and there’s going to be an unless. And if it’s only in your head.

The world does not revolve around your writing. Nobody cares if you write 1,000 words or 2,000, or maybe 7,000 today. So why should you?

Well, because your world revolves around your writing. Because writing is art, is expression, is culture. And human beings can’t live without either of those things. Because someone is gonna read what you’ve written, and even though you may not change that persons life, you’ve given them something unique, and special, something spending time with.

You’re a writer and your text is worth more than all the reasons you can come up with to not write today.

I’m writing [4]

ck.1

Good morning, lovelies. As you can see by the picture above, I’m going a little overboard with the cover-making these days. This one is actually just a template, because it doesn’t fit Halfway Home at all.

That’s what I’m writing at now. I’ve finished my Halloween story Courage at about 15k which is mind-boggling for me. And now I’m at 71k with Halfway Home. Writing works at the moment and I couldn’t be happier. NaNo is giving me an additional push and I think I’ll be finishing Halfway Home at around 75k sometime next week.

It feels a little like magic, you know. Being able to write every day. The day after I’d finished Courage, I was like: meh! Don’t wanna write on a different story now! Wanna wallow in the feel of having finished a story and missing the characters! (Yes, that’s what it feels like.) But then I went on twitter and found NaNoWriMo sprints. And let me just say: these people are doing a hell of a job, giving you prompts to figure into your novel, cheerful, inspiring. So, I did some of those, just to get the feel of Halfway Home again. And it worked.

The next day, I could just work on it as if I’d never left. And it was a sexy love scene, too, and I hate writing those. Yesterday, I wasn’t really feeling it either, but I pushed myself through it. Somehow I’m working and somehow it doesn’t hurt at all.

You might wonder what I’m getting at with this. I’m not really sure myself. I’m using this platform as a writing diary of sorts (not to write every day, but to write about the experience). This is my experience at the moment. It’s the experience of why I love writing so much, because it can give you a feeling like nothing else can.

Having said that, I think I’d really like to thank my writing buddies, the fab peeps of NaNoWriMo, the coaches and sprint instructors, the authors who take the time for a pep talk, everybody involved in getting me going on that platform. I think NaNo is a great experience, and if you’ve never tried it maybe give it a go. It’s only the sixth, you can still jump on the moving train, sign up for Camp NaNoWriMo or wait till next year. (And yes, I’ve earned myself another badge with this paragraph, but I’m also feeling the thankful.)

I hope you’re writing. I hope you’re reading. I hope you love words. And I hope it all for you.

Later, lovelies.

Happy NaNoWriMo 2015

Halfway Home.alt

Ah, November, finally. I love November, unlike a lot of people. I love the first cold days, the rainy days you spent at home with a novel and tea, the chills it gives you. And then there’s NaNoWriMo, and I’ve come to like that a lot too.

Since my prep post in September, some things have happened. Or rather, they didn’t happen. I’ve thought I would have done a lot more writing, finishing some things. But I haven’t. That’s why I’m going to do NaNo a little differently this year.

I will be writing on different projects during NaNo. And yes, one of them will be to finish a novel I’ve been writing on for over a year now – or not writing, however you wanna see it. I found that I would feel better if I finished these other projects before delving into a new one. So, this is kinda bits and pieces-NaNo.

If you’re wondering what I’ll be up to during NaNo:

Project 1: Finishing a dream, an obsession, a nightmare that kept me up for over three years now. I can’t go on with life unless I’m writing this and it’s only roughly 1,500 words I’ll still have to write – in German.

courageProject 2: Courage – After Dark. A short story I had planned to finish for Halloween. I’m a little late, but the story turned out longer than I had anticipated. I’m around 8.000 words now. Not sure, how long it’ll be in the end, but it’s something you’ll be able to read sometime in November, I guess. I’ll keep you updated.

Project 3: Halfway Home. The novel. I’ve started this as a holiday short story for last year, but it got longer and now I’m at 68k words. That’s what happens sometimes, but I’m looking forward to finishing it. I guess another 10k words will do it, hopefully.

Project 4: A short story. I have the idea and title for this one, but don’t wanna go into it too much. It’s still in a dark space of my brain, because I didn’t have the time to think about it much. I want it to be around 7,000 words. We’ll see.

Project 5: Remembering Amy. The idea is very old. It was actually a novel I started in rememberingamyGerman, but now I’ve been rethinking the concept and want to turn it into a short story or novella, depending on how long it will turn out to be. It can’t really be done in the way I envisioned it before – too sentimental, almost soap story-like.

Those are the projects I want to work on. Hopefully, I can finish all of them, or at least most of them. Some of these projects have been haunting me for some time and I actually found it a relief when I decided to schedule them for NaNo. I’ll probably be updating you every Sunday about my progress.

Happy writing to all who participate on NaNoWriMo – and those who don’t too. Virtual pen to paper, lovelies. Let’s go!

NaNoWriMo Prep [2015]

It’s that time of year – NaNoWriMo is just around the corner and writerlings like me prepare to put down 50k words on virtual paper. I wasn’t sure I was going to participate in NaNo this year, but since I didn’t take the chance for MyNoWriMo which I wanted to do in June and I lay awake yesterday morning having an idea, I thought, yeah, well, why not. You can see how excited I am.

Seriously, though, I’m preparing for NaNo with a great idea – epic, comes to mind. It’s a series about our world ending – or maybe not, because there are still a handful of people fighting the inevitable. You can also see how this is something that’s never been done before… I don’t even know where the cynicism is coming from, right now.

The idea is good. It’s not really at a stage of writing down yet, but I hope I’ll be getting there come November. I’m not sure I should tell you more. My first notion was to keep it all secret, write like a madperson, sit brooding over my text at nights and start looking like a sleep-deprived workaholic in the process. While I’m private and sometimes even secretive, this sounded like too much work around the work.

Speaking of work around the work, I just created a cover for the potential novel I’m potentially going to write, which will potentially be a part of a four book series – you know, potentially.

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Like it? I do. It’s called Out of Time – in case you can’t read the title on this small version. You may note that I once again have Time in the title – remember last year’s NaNo-fail Carpe Tempus? Yes, I will again concern myself with time-travel, but it’s going to be a small part of a much larger plot – again, potentially.

So, do tell: how far along are you in your NaNo preparations? Are you a pantser like me? Or have you started planning your new novel since December?

NaNoWriMo – Update [3]

Another NaNo-week. What I find really interesting at this point is that my outlook on the whole endeavor changes. First few days, I was mostly excited and wrote to write. First full week was more thoughtful but mostly fun and games. And now…

I feel that it’s time to think more about the story, to see where it is going. I just thought the other day that it was more important to worry about what happens than the word count. It’s just the way I work. I feel that I’ve come a ways by just hacking away but if I don’t stop and think for a while, the story goes down the drain. I don’t want that.

So, I took a day off yesterday to think what I want to happen, to make some notes, to get back to plotting just a little – not a lot. I like to know what happens, and I hadn’t thought about these things at all before starting this NaNo-venture.

But I did some writing this last week. I’m now at 15.294 words, chapter 9. I’m not really happy with the chapters and haven’t got a grip on how long this will actually be in the end. I need to put a little more headwork into the story, get a better feel for the structure. I haven’t written yet today, maybe I won’t.

You probably think I’m getting lazy, and you would be right, too. And you would be wrong. Sometimes writing is not writing at all, but acquainting oneself with one’s story. And I know NaNo is deliberately about ‘the writing,’ hacking away at words, to do. But if I don’t know my story, I lose interest, and then I might just stop caring. Meaning, I need to know more.

Where am I? Wells and Christine (the woman from the book store) sort through her mother’s library. They find a first edition of Lawrence’s Sons and Lovers and after Christine leaves, Wells finds a couple more. In Wharton’s The Touchstone, she finds a handwritten dedication to her mother, and assumes that it must be a fake. She’s angry and disappointed with her mother. She meets her mother’s friend Martin, and they argue about who Elizabeth really was.

So far. Next up is the reading of Elizabeth’s Last Will and the funeral… and hopefully, Wells will travel through time soon. I’m a little scared about that part, especially when it omes to the time machine, how it works, and, of course, the history. But I’m also excited and eager – writing, you know.

Carpe tempus, lovelies.

NaNoWriMo – Carpe Tempus

I remember the first time I heard about NaNoWriMo (not that I understood what my opposite was talking about). I was telling some friends that I had written a novel-length story in about five weeks in June and one of them, an American, said that June was my WriMo… I didn’t get that and he had to repeat it. As things like this go, I came across this phenomenon quite a lot the months following but never thought of participating.

So, why now? I haven’t done much writing these last two months. It feels like I’m standing outside myself, especially since the year began rather promising. And now I’m at a standstill and need a boost. Hopefully, NaNoWriMo will be just that.

In case you don’t know what NaNoWriMo is (and I can’t imagine that you wouldn’t because I’m usually the last one to come across anything and everything), it’s short for National Novel Writing Month and here’s the official website where you can learn about it and sign up to participate. But in short: November is NaNoWriMo and people across the globe write a novel in one month – the first draft, that is. The official website will help you with advice and word count and other helpfuls, if you want to participate.

I had this idea the other day. The spark was a woman who came home to sort through her mother’s belongings after the older woman’s death. And it somehow led to the thought that the mother was a time traveller and the daughter, who happens to be a writer, discovers that secret – and a time machine in her mother’s basement.

That’s the idea, and now I have a couple of weeks preparation before November, 1st, when it all begins. Of course, that’s far too little time to do everything I have to do. There are some submissions that I’d like to get out of the way before NaNoWriMo starts. I’d like to finish The Affair and something even more pressing (something so bothersome, I’m not gonna tell you about it). And that’s only the writing I’d like to get done before November. Let’s just pretend I could be that disciplined.

By the way, the working title of the piece is Carpe Tempus (Seize time!) – and, yes, it does refer to the time travelling-aspect of the story as well as my own writing. I think it fits.

If you’re participating as well, I would love to hear from you on the official platform (let’s be buddies – I’m not sure what that includes but I’m willing to explore the possibilities). I’m new to this whole thing and awfully excited (as it is with new projects). Let’s do this, then. It’s time to get back into ‘the writing.’

Carpe tempus, lovelies.