Snowflake, Aaron Burden

New year, new you? Just focus.

I don’t like making New Year’s resolutions. Inevitably I keep none of them. I rarely make it even a few months. Weeks, even, sometimes. Yet every year I still think that maybe, just maybe, this year will be the year I keep all of my resolutions.

Thinking on that, I don’t like the word ‘resolution.’ I prefer the idea of goals. And I don’t think that any goals I make for 2016 will be transformative. They might broaden my reading horizons. They might urge me to finish something or try something new for me. They might anticipate things I already know I’ll slack on. But they won’t change me. I don’t mean to sound negative about all of this though I know it’s coming across that way.

The way I see it, each year brings new opportunities. For me, the opportunities I want to take are those that revolve around things I already like doing or things I want to be doing. For instance, I read a lot and love doing it, so I want to make some goals about my reading list. Or goals with cooking or writing, things I already do and love. Another example is exercise. I hate exercising. In New York City, it was so easy because I walked everywhere and up and down steps every day. Now, I’m being a bit hypocritical to my own opinions here because I have actually added an exercise goal to my 2016 list, but it’s one I already know I’ll fail. On the other hand, I know I won’t fail my reading and writing and cooking goals.
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Sunset, Adrianna Calvo

NaNoWriMo: Week Four

Day twenty-two

Word count: 1,255

Went back to Artie’s POV for a little while and still feel like I’m repeating myself. That’s really what’s happening in my journey to 50K – repetition. Of one thing I’m certain: Artie’s voice comes a lot more easily to me than Penelope’s. This is one of the things I was afraid of when I decided to do a dual-POV novel. However, I don’t think it can be told the same way if I just stuck with Artie’s voice.

Day twenty-three

Word count: 1,023

I’m starting to regret attempting a time travel novel. This is HARD. I keep wondering if I need to explain better how time travel works or if I’m already over-explaining it. Or if I need to talk about it at all. I guess I never really stopped and considered what it would mean to write a time travel novel. I also have no idea where to go next. That’s no surprise but it is frustrating.
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Fall Leaves, Luis Llerena

NaNoWriMo: Week Three

Day fifteen

Word count: 2,144

Today I started the second POV in my dual POV novel. I’m a little nervous about being this far in before the POV switches, but it makes sense. Once I got to this point, it was natural to switch over, and thankfully I found Penelope’s voice just as easy as Artie’s. I’m worried, however, that they sound too similar. Hopefully this is something I can fix in my revisions.

I am doing something different with my POVs, too. With Artie, his narration is in present tense because it’s his present. With Penelope’s, forty years earlier, her narration is past tense. It’s not easy jumping from present to past and back again, but I really like this choice I’ve made. Hopefully it works too.

Day sixteen

Word count: 1,464

Everything about this is bad.

That’s the point I’m at today. The writing is bad. The story is bad. The word count is bad. I don’t want to do this. Why did I decide to do this? I want to give up. The revision necessary to make this even just good is already overwhelming me and I’m nowhere near that point. Ugh.
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Window Wet, Rowan Heuvel

NaNoWriMo: Week Two

Day eight

Word count: 1,289

I knew I wasn’t going to make it very far today because I had tickets to the Steelers game, which took up the entire day and exhausted me. I wrote before the game at my parents’ house, but it was a struggle. At least I managed over 1,000 words, which has become my goal any day that I feel like I can’t quite make it to the actual target goal.

Day nine

Word count: 2,490

I had a day off today, a flex day from a Saturday I had to work last month. Though I had the day scheduled a while ago, I ended up having to take care of my car. I was hit a few weeks back and today I had to drop the car off and get a rental car. This was first thing in the morning. For some reason, I was so exhausted afterwards that I spent most of my writing time alternating between nearly falling asleep and writing. However, I still busted through and got more words than usual written. Not quite the doubling of my word count that I wanted, but enough.

Day ten

Word count: 3,490

Well. I have no idea how this happened, but I went on a writing spree. The words just came out and out and it was wonderful. Of course, it helped that I had the worst after work evening ever when my rental car wouldn’t start and I had to wait over 2 hours for the tow truck then had to go all the way to the airport to get a new rental and then the parkway was closed 5 minutes before I got onto it and I had to go home the long way around … well, I wrote a lot during that time period. So that was good.
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Stormy Ocean, Hanna Bergblau

NaNoWriMo: Week One

Pre-game

I had all but decided on doing a Regency romance novel for NaNoWriMo this year. I flipped through my writing notebook for the notes I knew I had about the romance novel idea when I came across a one-line novel idea that struck me as really awesome and super fun. Honestly, I don’t really remember coming up with it in the first place. But once I saw it, I couldn’t get it out of my head, which told me that I probably should focus on it this month and see what happens.

I’m not a planner. Usually when I start a novel, I wing it. I just keep going. If I outline, I find myself stuck more often, as though I’m telling myself subconsciously that I have to follow the outline and can’t stray from it. That’s not true. Of course I don’t have to follow an outline exactly, but try and tell my brain that. But because I couldn’t start writing until November 1, I found myself sketching out some characters and chapter and scene summaries in the days leading up to the day I could start writing.

I feel good about having some things sketched out. My “outline” only goes up to about chapter 6, so after that I’m on my own. But I have a good handle on my characters and everything. Also, in planning, I wrote about half of a query letter. Putting the cart before the horse? Perhaps, but at least it’s a somewhat solid book summary to work with.

Another thing I did, which I’ve never done before, is create a cover for my book. The NaNo website suggests that participants are 60% more likely to finish if they have a cover. I don’t know about that, but I was feeling like doing some design work, I have a new favorite font I wanted to play with, and I found photos I really like, so I created a cover. It really doesn’t actually match up with the novel perfectly, but when do covers ever do that? Anyway, you can see it and follow my progress outside of these updates at my NaNo profile.
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