WRITER’S BLOCK

You know the symptoms. The blank page, the condescendingly flashing cursor bar thing, the itch to open a new tab in Chrome and just check Facebook or something “really quick”. You have… dun dun DUUUNNNNN writer’s block.

As your intrepid ML kitkatt, I know the struggles. Don’t let my word count so far fool you, I have faced (and sometimes beaten) the monster of writer’s block. It is super easy to fall into the trap of writer’s block at any time but a lot of people are even more prone to it during NaNo season.

So, why am I here, writing a terrible blog post for you? Well, here are five of my tips and tricks to beating writer’s block (at least for a little while).

  • Move on – Okay so this one sounds a little condescending but hear me out. If you’re stuck on a scene, it is 10000% okay to just move out. Get out basic details and then move on to another scene you’re super excited to write.

  • Try to get inside your characters’ heads – I’m one of those writers that can have almost full conversations with their characters (they drive me insane). So this one especially helps me. Let them guide you if you’re not sure how they would react in the circumstances you’ve put them in to. If they derail the story, let them. You can fix it later (after November) if you hate.

  • Talk to someone – seriously, I can’t tell you how many times I have babbled to my husband about my story and then get a brilliant idea about what to do next. Don’t have a SO you can harass? Use the forums or the FB group to talk to people! Talk to writer friends!

  • Prompts – “But wait, kitkatt,” you might be saying, “why prompts? Won’t they derail you even more?” And to be honest? Yes. They probably will. (Or not, depending on the prompt) But you know what? It gets you to write more and can spark more ideas in your novel. If it doesn’t end up in the “real” draft of your novel later, who cares? Editing is for December, word count is for November.

  • This is a draft – One of the big things that helps me is knowing that this is a draft. This is the roughest rough draft to ever rough draft it. Whatever you don’t like later, you can purge with the fires of an inner editor scorned. But that doesn’t matter right now. What matters now is translating what you see, hear, experience in your head onto the paper so maybe one day, someone else can experience it too. There is a reason why the NaNo motto is “Don’t get it right, get it written.” We all struggle with this and I know it but somehow, it really makes it easier for me.

Okay, I think that’s enough babbling from me for now. But seriously, writer’s block is just you thinking you can’t do it. And you know what? I don’t believe that. I don’t believe that for a single second. If you are attempting NaNo, you are an awesome, amazing author and need to just keep going.

I hope my tips will help.


<3

So, It Begins…

dun-dun-dun…..

NANOWRIMO has begun. (well, if this post goes up when it’s supposed to, NaNoWriMo began something like 10 hours ago.)

MLHGL pretty much expects to already have the daily word count goal accomplished by this point in time. However, MLHGL is also aiming a lot higher than the daily word count goal for NaNoWriMo this year, so she’s still got a ways to go.

Remember that MLkitkatt will be sending out the regular peptalks from the NaNoWriMo website itself, and to check your emails as well as log into the forums to hang out with fellow writers.

MLHGL also brings you a gift of three extremely useful links, for those of you that haven’t decided what to write or are having some trouble naming things:

Seventh Sanctum – randomly generate all the things! (No seriously, there’s basically a generator for everything here. It’s fantastic.)

Fantasy Name Generators – Not just for fantasy names! They have generators on here for just about anything you need to name. Vulcans? Check. Metals/elements? Check. Amusement parks? Those too!

The Sarcastic Muses – prompts for days! (No, really, they post tons of them)

NaNo2016 – FINAL COUNTDOWN

OH MY GOODNESS FOLKS IT’S FOUR DAYS UNTIL GO TIME!!!

The following post is of things you don’t think about as NaNoWriMo prep. You may be wondering why I went ahead and held off on this post until the last Friday of October. The reason is this: If you’re afraid of what you’re getting into with NaNoWriMo, you’ll do ALL of this first thing in October, and then you’ll end up having to do it again. Which entirely negates the doing of these things in the first place.

You’ll do them out of the great skill known as writer’s procrastination – and TRUST ME, we all have it. But, if you get your actual NaNo prep out of the way early in the month, and then use the last 4 or 5 days to do these tasks, you’ll have taken a short break from NaNo stuff, de-stressed a little bit and you’ll be ready to go with the big task of 1,667 words on day one.

Have you gotten your meals planned for the bulk of the month? And possibly prepped? MLHGL is going to be making a ton of ready to go oatmeals for her to have on hand, and she’s going to be stocked up on easy to fix foods like rice and possibly a couple of things to go into the crock pot for longer periods of meals prepped in advance.

All your laundry done? MLHGL plans to make sure she gets her laundry done as close to NaNoWriMo as possible (probably in the evening or night of the 30th) – that way she doesn’t have to worry about it for a couple of weeks. (Thank everything that’s holy that she has a veritable army of comfy tees and towels and washcloths and undergarments. She has counted once, and can go about three weeks without washing those things….)

Dishes washed? MLHGL is pleased to report that all of her dishes will be loaded into the dishwasher on the night of the 30th (whether they need to be washed or not), washed, pulled out and put away, and then the dishwasher prepped for the next round. (She also lives alone, so the 16 cutlery sets, and like 12 bowls and 8 plates and 8 saucers and the army of drinking cups are all hers to use….)

Floors cleaned? This is a multi step process for MLHGL. She has to vacuum the kitchen before she can mop it. (And vacuum every inch of carpet at least twice.) She has cats, and they (for some odd reason) shed worse than the dogs she’s had in the past.

Pet things situated? Like cleaning the litter box? Pet bedding? New, non-aggravating toy acquired for the dog to play with? (MLHGL is also going to completely switch out her litter box and make sure it’s brand new smelling fresh and clean on the 30th of october.)

Bed Sheets Changed? Trust in your MLHGL, this is a perk you aren’t going to think is a perk until you’ve done it. Change them as close to Nov 1 as you can get away with.

If you have them, children ready to do what they need to, to help keep you sane? (minor housekeeping tasks, minor food prep tasks? Incentives to make them do the things?) I would hope spouses or SO’s might consider being more helpful, without needing incentive.

Index cards listing some IOUs for the folks in your house with you? (suggestions: take out the trash trade off, doing the dishes trade off, going grocery shopping, fixing meals, etc. Back rubs, or distracting children, or outings are also good ones.)

NaNo2016 – Reverse NaNoWriMo

So, last year MLHGL suggested that she was going to try for REVERSE NANO.

Quick update: She failed, and badly.

This year, she wants to try it again (this is how she keeps doing NaNoWriMo, after 5 original years of failure – she started winning and by all that’s holy she intends to maintain an unbroken streak of wins until she just can’t anymore). In case you’ve forgotten what it is (or plan just don’t know), here’s a quick rundown:

REVERSE NANOWRIMO
A method of writing that encompasses writing more words in the beginning of the month, starting with a higher word count and slowly working one’s way down to a required word count of 1 on the last day. It’s sort of a way for the Americans to handle thanksgiving, by building up massive word count early in the month and allowing them to only need shorter and shorter windows for writing thru the holiday that kicks off the major holiday season.

 

One thing to know: You’re going to have to click through the read more link for the collection of daily word counts (someone else math’d it out long ago, and I haven’t seen them online in a couple of years, for which I am sad). This need to click thru the read more link is because well, it’s a BIG list of word counts broken down into 7 day segments.

Read more “NaNo2016 – Reverse NaNoWriMo”

NaNo 2016 – PLOT CHOICES

How Do You Choose a NANO PLOT?
I’m MLHGL, checking in with you to repost the original chat about choosing a NaNoWriMo plot.

For those of you older NaNos, you’ve more than likely already gotten your plot idea. For those of you who are just joining us and have no idea what you want to write about, I’m here to tell you about some of the methods by which both Planners and Pantsers figure out what they’re writing.

First, I want to tell you about a tiny difference that makes a significant amount of information change for every step. Planners and Pantsers, and then Rebels are the three primary NaNoWriMo participant types. Planners plan out every step of their writing process – and generally are working from an outline or a storyboard. Pantsers have two or three forms; but generally are known as the ones who either have no idea what they’re writing until November starts or just know their Main Character. A Rebel is a person who isn’t starting a whole new work for NaNoWriMo – but is either editing, adding to an older WIP, rewriting, etc. Most Rebels fall into the category of being a planner, because they’re already more than halfway there, usually.

But for the Planners who aren’t rebelling and the Pantsers, how do they choose a plot?
Most of the Planners ML_kitkatt and I have spoken to usually indicate that they choose something that they more than likely have made note of earlier. Either a news item, a picture, conversations, something one sees triggers a thought that can expand into an entire story idea. Some planners even write full time throughout the year, and use NaNoWriMo to get plots that they had to shelve throughout the year off the ground. Planners are generally getting ready for NaNoWriMo between one to four months early. Why? Because they’ve determined how long it takes them to get their plot outline written and a character list.

Pantsers fall into two sub-categories really. The first one is a blend of planner and pantser (a plantser)– and they’ll generally start with an idea, or the basis of a plot (which pretty much is more like a one sentence plot start), or a character and go from there. A total pantser doesn’t even bother to do anything except maybe pick a genre in advance of starting writing on Day 1. I myself am more of a plantser. ML_kitkatt generally is a plantser as well, but she may argue with me about it. ( ^__^ )

Check out a few of the WriMos we asked questions of:
AdmiralCarter, Leslie the Inkweaver, WaterSinger, kiryuu-chan, Adoramei, Trilleth, miriania.