Friday, December 21, 2012

Writers Block

picture byAlan Cleaver

Now that NaNo is over my writing has, well, died. Okay, so I guess that's a little dramatic. My writing definitely has not died. What it has done, though, is sat down, crossed its arms, and stuck its tongue out at me.

I have gotten some writing done, don't think I haven't done anything. But I've gone from writing every single day, to writing a little bit here and there has been a huge change. It's a sad one that I am trying to get rid of. I have tried relaxing, reading, playing video games, watching TV, all of the above.


So now I sit here, writing this. (This counts as writing, right?) I think, if I can write a blog post to you people, why can't I wrack my brain to think of something to write in my story? Then it hit me, why I can't keep going, with the help from a NaNo friend actually. I'm so close to the end, and I realized, I'm afraid to finish. This story has been my baby, I've nourished it and cherished it, and now it'll be done.

I know that the book has much more before it is actually complete and ready to be sent out and what not, but the initial writing process is almost done. The first draft I know is complete crap, I mean I forced it out of me so quickly, I know it's not a masterpiece. I'm just sad to see my little ole story growing up! I'm happy that I'm actually doing it also though. It's bittersweet.

I'm sure some of you out there that write understand where I'm coming from! Don't make me sound crazy here all by myself!

Anyway, back to the writers block. I think I'm going to go back to my NaNo style and just force myself through it. Who cares if it's crap, for now. I just need to get out the skeleton of the story now and then later on I can go back and add the rest.

I just need to not let myself get upset if what I write isn't amazing, because I'm 99% sure it won't be.

So trudge though it I shall! Anyone out there have any advice in case this doesn't work?

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Out of the Woodwork!

photo bydonkeyhotey
Out and about I am again! I want to apologize for being gone for so long! (It really hasn't been that long, but it sure does feel like it!) I have just gone through finals week, as I am still in college, and man oh man. It wasn't that bad, but it took a lot of my time.

However, now that that is over, I can get back to writing. Fiona, Adler, and Winnie are all sitting, stuck in the same place they have been for over a week, waiting to move on! The good news is, I am almost done with my first draft.

This is a SCARY thought. While it is exciting to think I will have written my first novel all the way through, it means that I'll have written my first novel all the way through. I'm assuming other writers out there understand where I am coming from.

Once I'm done with the first draft comes revisions! I've heard some people love them and I have heard some people hate them. Let's hope I'm one of the ones that loves it!!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Life After NaNo

Picture of me and Princess Bubblegum
Above is what my life has been since NaNo has ended. I've been writing a little bit, but not nearly as much as I should be! We had a new rule sprung on us that basically told us we had to have all of our stuff ready for the next 'phase' at work. A bunch of blah stuff that you don't care about!

So let's go back to writing. I have been reading Veronica Roth's blog (HERE) lately, and she makes me feel... inadequate I guess is the best word. She's only a few years older than me and yet, she has an agent, publisher, movie deal, and is on her third book to be published. I know I'm young, and she is young for what she has, but still, it makes you feel like you aren't doing as much as you should.

I have tried getting things published in the past, through my school's literary magazine, and just literary magazines I've found through Poets and Writers (Here). The life of a writer is full of rejections, I know that, but damn, they really mean it! One day, I know I will get my first 'yes' and it will be amazing, but until then, what am I doing with my writers career?

Sorry if this depressed you, I don't mean to. This is more of a pondering of life post. I guess what I'm saying is, I need to kick myself into gear.

What do you guys, and gals, do when you need to pick up the memento?

Monday, December 3, 2012

End of a Road, Beginning of Another

Photo by amanky

Even though NaNo is over, and it was a tough road, we have to keep going. We writers need to find a new road to work on, or go back and fill in those over looked potholes!

I'd like to say I would like to apologize for this being late! But on the plus side, NaNo is over for all of you participating! You either achieved word count or not, there is no going back. All of you that tried are winners though, just remember that!

I got my word count, a day early, might I add! ;) Anyway, I promised that I would give an explanation about what my novel is about and an excerpt. So here it goes.

BY THE WAY! This is a rough draft, I have not yet even looked back over it. So if it is terrible, or has lots of punctuation and spelling mistakes, ignore those. This is just for a fun read!

Synopsis: Fiona wants nothing more than to live her life with her sister after her mother died and her father went missing. However, late one night a group of cloaked figures come and kidnap her from their remote cabin home. Fiona, wanting to hold on to the last shred of the family she has, goes on a journey across the wilderness that is left after the War that is plagued with vampires, harpies, mermaids, and things she's never even heard of. As Fiona goes searching for her sister, she starts to learn things about her father that she doesn't want to believe. Along the journey things around her start to happen that she can't explain. As her friends seem to start to turn against her, she has to decide who she will remain loyal with and who she has to leave behind.

            I started to take a step forward, glass crunching under my foot. I stopped as a wolf rounded the corner. I quickly shrank against the wall. “It's a werewolf.” I started breathing heavily, thinking about my encounter with the werewolf I had run into in the forest. “These bullets won't do anything,” I said, starting to panic. Adler stepped out in front of me. “Adler don't!' I hissed, trying to reach out for him.
           He whistled, causing the werewolf to snap its head up to look at him. It growled and bent its front legs, ready to pounce. It jumped at him. I screamed and ran forward right as Adler put up his arm and a loud bang went off. The bullet hit the werewolf right between the eyes. The force of it blew it back a few feet. It immediately shifted back to a human. The boy looked like he could only be fifteen or sixteen.
           I ran over to Adler who was standing with his arm to his side. “How did you know it was a silver bullet?”
          Adler smirked. “Rhett told me.”
          Little tingles ran down my arms. I punched his arm as hard as I could but he didn't flinch. “You couldn't have told me?”
          He shrugged and gave me an innocent looking smile. “I was going to, but I figured, first one, I had to have a little fun with you.”
          I rolled my eyes. “Winnie, come on.” I nodded my head in the direction we had to go. We got to the broken window and I peered out. Some of the buildings were on fire. I didn't understand how at first until I saw some people running around, throwing bottles with flaming rags stuffed into them at buildings.
          “What the hell are they doing?” Adler asked as he looked over my shoulder.
          “They must be with the werewolves. Come on.” I turned the corner and started running in the other direction of the people with the fire.
          “Fi, what if they get Rhett's book store.” I stopped suddenly. I couldn't just leave Rhett to die. I closed my eyes, trying to decide what to do when I found myself turning around and running towards the people with the flaming bottles.
          “Hey! You!” I started screaming and waving my arms, trying to get their attention. They all looked at me once and smiled. They started running towards me and I stopped, feeling the two boys on either side of me. Mid run they jumped and shifted, turning into werewolves. “Adler get ready!” I screamed, holding the hand gun with two hands, aiming it at one of them. “Come on,” I whispered. I needed them to get close enough so I wouldn't miss. There were only three. Hopefully I could take down two, or Adler could.
So that was my excerpt. Let me know what you think about it. What I could change and what not. Any feedback is appreciated!!

I hope all of you writers out there keep up! (And keep up on reading my blog in the upcoming months!)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Set My Sight On You (What to do Post NaNo)

My favorite mug and writing place!
I talked in my last post about NaNo and what not, today's will be similar, but slightly different. As I sat thinking about NaNo and what it has made me into, a writer that actually writes every single, I wondered what I had in store for myself after NaNo is over. I will no longer have a word count to put in. I will no longer HAVE to write every day to meet a goal.

And then two things hit me.

1.My story isn't even close to being completed. I will have a lot of writing left in front of me once NaNo is over just to finish the skeletal outline I have of my story.
2.I need to keep writing every day. Whether or not it's little ramblings, writing is what I love to do. Just because NaNo is over, doesn't mean that I can just stop now and wait for next year.

Let's start with number one. My story is something that I am deeply attached to. It is a story that had been swimming around in my head that I just couldn't seem to get out. So now that NaNo got me to write out the story, I can't imagine just leaving it behind. (This kind of overlaps with two actually.)

No offense what-so-ever to the NaNo-ers this pertains to. This is only how I feel about my story so if this offends you I'm sorry! I read a lot on the forums and have noticed that a lot of NaNo writers are rewritting their stories this year from last year. I personally can't imagine just abandoning the story I have started for next year. I want to nurse it and help it grow to become the story I think it can be. I don't want to forget about my story until next year, it's just not how I want to go about this.

So as I sit here with my cup of pumpkin tea (surprisingly it's black tea, not orange) and I ponder my life and what is to come, I am hopeful. My story will blossom with time, as long as I give it the time it deserves. Who knows, hopefully one day it will get a book deal. I mean, it is the name of my blog after all and if I never make it to Author, it's all been a shame! ;)

P.S. I know I said in my last blog post that I would be talking about my story and what not and putting in an excerpt, but the motivation to post this overcame me. I then thought about it and decided that to end NaNo I will post all that on the 30th.

P.S.S. This is not just a blog for NaNo, in case you haven't read my earlier blog posts. I will be writing still, it just happens that with NaNo happening this month, it is heavily revolving around it. So make sure you keep coming back for more!

The End Is Near

Hello fellow NaNo-ers. The month is winding down, as well as our word count. I am still a little bit behind (about 2 thousand words or so) but I've been pushing myself these last couple days and I have managed to plow through and write a ton. I know it's not a masterpiece, and I know I will have to write more after NaNo to finish the story I want to tell, but I will successfully complete NaNo.

It's weird to think about what I will do after November. I mean, I've been writing every single day trying to achieve this and once it's achieved... well it's done. I have plans of editing it and what not but I won't have the same community that I had during NaNo. If anyone out there reading this knows of any communities or writers, or things like NaNo that go on all year, please let me know so I can join in on the fun!

On a bright note, I ran across a fellow NaNo writer on the Artisans board and found someone to make me a cover.
Cover!!! By This amazing person =]

Sorry if I credited you wrong and you want it a different way, let me know!

Anyway, now that I have a cover to my work, it makes it all feel so much more real. When writing a story I have this idea of what I want it to look like and this cover capture it perfectly. It made me all giddy to see it and I sent it to all of my friends. I just like to think that maybe one day my book will actually be on a shelf out there.

Also, I realized I haven't once talked about what my story is actually about so I'm thinking maybe tomorrow or the next day I will create a post that will basically just talk about my story, the characters, ideas, an excerpt maybe, things like that.

I wanted to give some advice to those out there that think they can't finish, or are having a hard time finishing, but I'm afraid I'm giving advice when I have no room to. I guess all I can say is, don't give up. You can finish, no matter what you think. If you are determined to finish your story, and you want to get it out, then get it out.

Just remember this, don't let any number tell you you've won. All of you out there that have written anything at all have won. You have taken that step that many writers out there can't. You put pen to paper. (Or fingers to keyboard, typewriter if you're really old school.) You're getting your idea out. Also remember, don't be afraid to let your idea be heard. Let your story out.

Friday, November 23, 2012


awesome creativness goes to martha_chapa95

Every NaNo-er (or any variation you go by) must go through the same thing as every other participant (except those crazy over achievers that are done with their 50k within the first week). The dilemma I refer to is that of Thanksgiving (DUN DUN DUNNNNN!).

Now, whether or not you believe in Thanksgiving for any numerous reasons (something I will not get into on this post), a majority of people spend some time doing something on this day. Another problem is, if you're already behind (like me) this can be a major problem.

I spent about four hours at my grandparents house just thinking about how badly I wanted to write, and how badly I needed to write and how I guilty I felt for not bringing my laptop so I could be working on it. But, then I realized something, you have to give yourself some time off.

I know, you may be screaming at your computer screen just reading that, throwing your microwave hot pockets and your Cheeto's at the screen, but hear me out.

Everyone needs a little time off, even if it's just a few hours. A few hours where you just forget NaNo. A few hours where you just ignore it and have fun and bond with others. So my advice to all of those people out there reading this. If you're constantly torturing yourself over NaNo, thinking about it nonstop, only letting yourself feel guilty for not doing it, just forget it.

You hear me. Drop it! Put down that pen. Turn off that computer. Enjoy that hot pocket and Cheeto's that you may or may not have already wasted by throwing at me. Either way, just enjoy the little moments where you can have a free mind. A mind free of NaNo.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Distractions, Distractions (How to overcome!)

Dear people reading my blog, I must confess. I keep falling more and more behind on my NaNo. For those of you who don't know what it is (CLICK HERE). Anyway, I keep running into things that keep sucking away the time for me to do it.

I have real reasons though. I mean, I don't have reasons like having a child (which the NaNo's on the forums talking about getting it done with a toddler I give my props to!), but I am a Resident Assistant at the University I attend (SIUC). I've been trying to stay creative for my job through NaNo, but it's draining me!

Some of the things I make for my job!
My creations (the flash really white washed Peach!) can took me hours a piece, because they're made out of all construction paper. By the time I'm done making these things it's past midnight and I'm 500 words behind for the day! When I'm not making things for bulletin boards I'm out enjoying nature.
Squirrel on campus enjoying nature!
I don't mean to fall behind, but it seems like it happens almost every day. (Then every few days I bang out 1200 extra words.) Anyway, I've come up with some ways for me to enjoy nature and still do my job while writing. I have found that the recommendation on NaNo of doing small spurts for 20 minutes really works well. I usually end my scene in the middle of something so that way I have something to work off when I come back. I also write literally any extra time I have (For example, when my boyfriend is in the bathroom).

So just a couple of ideas:
  1. Small spurts of writing for 20 minutes every hour or so, more if you'd like.
  2. Try to leave off with something for you to jump off with.
  3. Write every extra minute you have!
  4. Have fun with it. If you don't enjoy what you're writing, why would anyone else? (Not really a way to counteract distractions, but still a fundamental rule!)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Buried Alive

Picture by Marshall Astor

Every day I try to stay caught up on my NaNo, yet every day something threatens to distract me. For the past four or five days I have fallen behind in my word count, to the point where I am almost six thousand words behind!

So today, I have been trying to catch up. And let me tell you, it's not an easy task trying to write thousands more words then normal on a given day. Let me back track a little. When I say I have fallen behind, I don't want you to think it's because I'm sitting around watching The Office or Parks and Rec (both shows I love dearly). The reason why I've fallen behind is because I am, alas, a college student.

As a Creative Writing major I am required to take English courses. I'm not sure if you know this, kind readers, but English college courses are chock full of papers. I'm trying to write these papers, stay caught up with reading, and still watch my beloved shows, while staying caught up with my word count.

I'm trying to do the whole, write in sprints of 20 minutes, that is recommended on the official NaNo website. (Here if you have no idea what I'm talking about.) This works for the most part. My 20 minute writing sprint has ended actually which is why I'm currently writing this blog post. After I'm done with this I'll probably attempt another 20 minute stint.

One other problem I'm facing now with my story is, I feel like I'm writing completely off track. I mean there's no problem with writing off track, sometimes it can be fun to not know where your stories are going. Let them run free! The only problem is, when you're trying to write a couple thousand extra words and you won't know where your stories are going you find yourself writing things like, "And then the wombat ate a chicken wing and swung a baseball bat at an aloe vera plant." (Not an actual excerpt from my story, thankfully.)

I guess what I'm trying to say here is... Sometimes writing is difficult, I know this and so do you. But when I finish, and when you finish that Nano/poem/short story/screen play you're working on, you know it will be worth it. The surge of happiness you get when your story is finally done (first draft of course because we'd never dream of submitting an unedited story) is like that of... I don't know... Eating chocolate? Yes, let's go with eating chocolate.

So, people of this blog. How is your NaNo? How have you caught up on your stories you're behind on? How do you catch up to a deadline that is daunting you when life keeps throwing obstacles at you? Tell me your secrets!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Rough Waters

Photo by Clearly Ambiguous

I've run into a problem. A problem pertaining to NaNo. A problem that could comprise everything!

But let me back track a little. As far as my NaNo is going, I'm doing quite well. I'm on page 40 and I'm about 250 words away from hitting 15,000. When I tried NaNo the first time, when I was in high school, the daunting task of 50,000 words made me crash and burn.

And don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that what I'm writing is the next great American novel or anything, but after the month is over I'll have a nice skeleton to put some meat of a story on. I hope to one day be able to edit this story and have it out there for people to read and enjoy, but for the time being, I'll push out what I can.

Anyway, my dilemma. Oh man, it's a doozy. (Is that even a real word?) Whilst sitting in class yesterday the idea for a story popped into my head. This story I believe could be really awesome if I put some time into it and gave it the tender love and care it needed. But then it hit me. I don't have time to write another story. 

I mean, I guess I technically have time for another story. But, I'm already working on this novel and I'm busy editing my short story for my Creative Writing class.

So the question is. What to do. Do I put the story on the back burners and hope to have the same enthusiasm to write it I have now in a month? I know I'll need some time away from this novel come December, and maybe then will be the time to write this story. I think it'll do quite well as a short story.

Either way, comment if you'd like. Tell me what you think. Tell me what you do when faced with a similar dilemma.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Revisions According to Skaggs

I have a professor who is my all time favorite professor of all time. Her name is Alberta Skaggs and she's an amazing mentor when it comes to my writing. She knows when to help me and when to let me fly freely. So today my post is going to be about revisions and just random thoughts on them.

So I sit here listening to Joe Tex and Sufjan Stevens, drinking peppermint tea staring at my short story that she has marked up and down with her quick scrawl of writing. When I first saw it I wasn't sure what to think. I mean there's a ton of writing on it! But we got to talking and she told me what is wrong, surprise surprise, it's not a short list of things. (It's actually one thing I tend to do over and over again.)

In the past I used to think the best part of writing was getting it out, and when I was really young, I assumed everything that came out of me was good enough to end up next to Hemingway and Steinbeck. I have since realized that, hell no I'm not as good as they are!

Now, I absolutely love revising my stories. (I would highly recommend, if you do not, to let someone read them and tell you what's wrong with them, it helps to have a second pair of eyes.) I sit down and I stare at my story, hoping it'll magically get better. Spoiler alert: it never does. I feel like a lot of writers are either in my mind set of when I was younger, everything's perfect I am awesome, or they get done writing and don't want to edit.

Here's my advice to you, from one unpublished writer to another, to be an author, you need revision.

But if you really work on that story, and you give it the time it deserves, it will get better.

Sorry I'm all over the place again today! If you have any questions, comments, concerns, feel free to blow up this page with your thoughts.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

I Put One Foot in Front of the Other One

I know it's two feet, but one has to go before the other! Also, sorry I couldn't think of a better picture!
I'm currently sitting in the conference room of the building that I am a Resident Assistant in trying to get some writing done but I've decided to go ahead and take a break so that I can finally get up my first post on here. Most blogs start out with an opening post about why they are blogging and what not but if you read my header or my about me it's already there.

I love writing. I have for years now and can't remember a time when I wasn't coming up with little stories in my head about what was going on around me, or what I wished was going on around me. Sometimes I've written those stories down, but most of the time they've slipped away from me. I know I'm already a Junior in college (I'm getting old!) but I'm glad that I can finally start to get these words down on paper and out there for people to see.

I'm sorry if this first post doesn't make much sense. I'm feeling kind of all over tonight! But don't worry, my future posts will make more sense.

So let's talk about writing. I'm currently taking place in NaNoWriMo. And for those of you who don't know what that is, it's a challenge for writers to write 50,000 words in November. Guess what, those of you who didn't know what it was, it's only November 6th! That means you can still take place! Click on THIS and you will be taken to their official website where you can meet tons of awesome people. If you want to add me my username is KSavoie. 

Anyway, many writers scoff at NaNo saying it is stupid or it belittles writing but just like Veronica Roth, author of the Divergent series, in her blog (HERE) it's a good tool to get the bare bones of your story out. She even states that on December 1st when your novel is done, you shouldn't send it out. You mull over it, yell at it, cry if need be. NaNo is a tool to outline your story. It's a tool to push writers who normally can't into the world of having a novel. I won't call you an author, because I'm not even an author, authors are published, but you are a writer, we're all writers. If your pencil has hit that paper or your fingers that keyboard, you are a writer. The months after NaNo use to your advantage to polish your work and then you can proudly state I am an author. So if you're like I am, and you need that extra push to get going, join NaNo and get going.

At this point in your writing career, no one it stopping you but yourself.

Anyway, feel free to comment on anything I've discussed. Or comment and let me know what I can improve on in my blog. Share me with your friends. I can be a hoot and a holler sometimes. If you have a blog and would like to guest write on here, or you would like me to guest write on yours, just get in touch and we'll do this. One writer patting another writer's back.

As my character Abigail in my NaNo would say, "We're all humans, we're just trying to help each other out. If we start fighting each other, none of us will survive."