Yes, I am still alive and active in the nerd world! I know I haven't made a post since Christmas and for that I am very sorry! BUT, I must say that I have a very good excuse for being absent. For the past two months I've been working on something that has been taking up most of my time, therefore preventing me from weekly blog posts. I've told some of my Twitter friends already but for those who don't know, I shall make it clear.
I'M WRITING A BOOK!
Yep, that's what I'm going with! This is the part of the post where I'm going to tell a long story about my first novel-writing experience. So sit back and enjoy!
Most of you know about the annual writing program, NaNoWriMo. (For those who don't, it's a yearly event during which writers are pushed to their limits to try and write 50k words of a novel. It's a motivational program that helps writers start get their ideas typed out and just start writing.) I had heard of NaNoWriMo before when bestselling author Marissa Meyer (Lunar Chronicles Series) posted about her experience with the program. That was in 2012, shortly after her first novel was published.
Needless to say, November really crept up on me in 2013 and somehow NaNoWriMo completely slipped my mind until November 4th, when I suddenly started seeing billions of tweets with the #NaNo hashtag.
I totally freaked out because I felt so behind. Then I quickly made an account and wrote 4k words that day. It took me a couple days to catch up, but I was soon back on track. Then something so normal yet terrifying occurred; LIFE HAPPENED.
You think I wrote peacefully everyday until I reached the 50k point, then sat back in a recliner and drank apple juice (because I'm a minor) for the rest of the month? Excuse me for a moment.
I will be the first to admit that I did NOT reach 50k words in November because I am kind of social, so I stupidly packed my November with parties, get togethers, and other social gatherings. So I only got around to writing 28k. Pathetic, I know. From there, everything started going a lot smoother, since there wasn't a deadline. I wrote about a thousand words for a few days and then kind of forgot about writing. Then I took a two week break for Christmas and New Year's because of my crazy busy life. But now I'm on a writing schedule and I'm planning on finishing the first draft of my novel this month!
Anyways, writing my own novel has been totally different than what I expected! Some things that I thought would be hard turn out to be easier, and at the same time, parts that I thought would be easy, have turned out to be a lot more complex than I was expecting.
Before I started writing, I would always look up other author's stories. Mostly to find out how they became an author, and what their style is. As far as outlining, I'd always look at them and inwardly say "Dang, I wish I could be that organized." As it turns out, when I started writing I was also writing down little tidbits in my Notes on my iPod. Just random facts, character traits, and occurrences that will appear in the novel. Then I frustrated myself with my disorganization and put all the notes in order, like a timeline.
As I did that, it suddenly hit me. Hey, this is kind of outlining! So I guess am sort of a planner, but my outline changed CONSTANTLY and it is still changing! The story has been telling itself, all I've had to do is listen to it and write that sucker down!
BUT! There have, of course, been times when I had no idea what would happen next and I felt like giving up. But I never allowed myself to do so because I believe I am capable of anything through God, motivation and a positive attitude!
At first I thought that I was supposed to map out each and every characteristic of every person that appears in my story. But that quickly changed when I started writing! Through time, my characters started to surprise me with the things they said and did. Your characters are their own individuals, so allow them to be themselves! Let them express who they are and surprise you sometimes. Now that I'm over halfway done with my novel, I can pretty much predict what my characters will do. I'm very attached to each one of them (yes, even the antagonists) but I will not hesitate to kill anyone off if the plot demands it!
As a side note, something that's important to me in a great book are powerful quotes. Quotes that give you chills they're so cool, or the kind of quotes that are so mind-blowing and complex that you have no idea what to think anymore like
If there's one thing that I've learned while writing, it's that nothing EVER goes the way you originally plan it. At least, that's what has happened for me so far. You may have better luck! No matter what, you just have to keep writing and know that there's a light at the end of the seemingly endless tunnel of writing and editing (which I haven't gotten to yet).
BTW I am not writing this post talking about how experienced I am in writing! When I say 'experience' I'm talking about what I am currently experiencing! Please feel free to give me any writing tips or blog post critiques!
Thanks for reading! I love you guys!