Tag: nanowrimo (Page 1 of 2)

My novel writing process is like making a fancy layer cake  

I’m in the process of writing my umpteenth novel (I’ve no idea how many exist on dead computers or in notebooks probably recycled into toilet paper) but I’m still learning what my process is. I’ve decided my process is like making a real fancy layer cake.

Warning – this blog post is going get a bit hippy-dippy. You have been warned.

I can be a force of nature when I put my mind to something. Get out of my way, people. I can make anything happen through sheer will power and hard work. Until I can’t and I end up banging my forehead against a wall. The universe kicks me in the bum quite often and tells me I can’t force everything. Like creativity and inspiration.

But where’s the cake, you ask? I’ll get to it…

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My Nanowrimo Tip #5

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My Nanowrimo Tip #4

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Nanowrimo – I’m in again

I’m not quite sure how many nanowrimos I’ve done. I first heard of the fun crazy challenge in 2002 or 2003 from a friend in London. I’ve done at least four, I can remember.

My profile is from my days as a closet writer and apparently you can’t change your profile name. So find me under madolescent.

Nanowrimo taught me how to vomit draft.

Now I don’t get writer’s block, I keep on writing and writing. Filling the page with words even though it’s rubbish and sometimes it feels like I’m only typing.

But this way, the words get down and somehow in amongst the rabid typing, the magic happens.

Are you in?

Write on – why I love writing challenges

Tips on writing and quotes from famous writers are everywhere. I think most advice boils down to “sit there and write. Every day.”

But that’s easier than it sounds, it’s like “eat less, move more.” Easy in theory, but a different story when it’s chocolate o’clock. Writing challenges help me with discipline and build my daily writing habit.

I started with Nanowrimo – write a 50,000 word novel in November. This initially helped me to get into the habit of “vomit drafting”, just blurting it all out, writing without the inner critic and getting those words and thoughts down on the page. But a target of 1,667 per day is not sustainable in the long term for me. Nowadays Nanowrimo is not just for November, there are regular challenges throughout the year and for other forms. I’ve written four novels in Nanowrimos.

My current favourite is Monthly Writing Twitter Challenge with a target of 500 words per day or 1 hour editing. This is an achievable target without feeling overwhelming. And over the month, even with the minimum 500 words, I can amass at least 15,000 words. It’s a simple challenge with a great supportive community on Twitter and it was originally inspired by Dr Who! Join us and sign up for March!

The challenges keep me accountable, motivated and give me a sense of achievement.

What are your tips for building writing discipline?

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And in other news…..I win

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4 things learnt from Nanowrimo 2014

It’s almost the half way point of Nanowrimo. Can you hear the constant clatter of fingers on keys and foreheads banging against desks?

Time for a bit of reflection. What have I learnt from Nanowrimo this time round?

  • Writing takes priority. I don’t have time for the community stuff.

I’d like to get to know my fellow Nano-ers, visit the message boards and attend the local events, but I’ve got a full-time job and only a limited time to squeeze in my 1667 words per day. There’s no room left for the community stuff. Sorry.

  • Some days are hardwww.zazzle.com.au

And in other breaking news, the sky is blue and the sea is made of water. Everyone knows it’s hard. Some days, it’s all picnics, unicorns and rainbows. Other days, as I tweeted, it’s like extracting an oddly shaped nobbly object from my arse. The lesson is persistence.

  • Knowing your characters saves time

My Nanowrimo project is book 2 of my Monolith series. So, I already know my main characters and my world inside out. This saves time, I don’t need to stop to think how they react or their motivations. I’m visiting old friends. This feels a bit like cheating, but in a good smug way.

  • If I can write in the midst of a house renovation, I can write anywhere anytime

There’s drilling, sawing and tradesmen all around me. I’m writing from a space at the end of the kitchen counter next to the fridge. If I can write in this mess, I can write anywhere. Headphones are a wonderful device. I don’t need a perfectly decorated writing room with the inspirational view to get my project out.

What have you learnt from your Nanowrimo so far?

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