Tag Archives: Write

Goal Crushing on TAPIF: Novel Edition

Steps to writing a novel:

  1. Come up with an idea
  2. Vomit all over your computer (or your notebook if you prefer to write by hand) until you have a first draft, because that’s exactly what a first draft is, WORD VOMIT

giphy (11)

Now you might be saying: “Wait, Emily, what did you do this month?”

WELL, let me tell you.

There is this thing called National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo that occurs every year in November. It’s a “contest” to write 50,000 words in one month.

So I did it. I wrote more than 50,000 words in a month.

giphy (12).gif

Screen Shot 2017-11-30 at 3.56.04 PM
Here are my stats for the month: as you can see for most of the month I was either slightly behind or right on track. I hit 50,000 on the 27th of November 🙂 

I also “won” NaNoWriMo three years ago when I was studying abroad in Paris. I’ve also done a “camp NaNo,” which is essentially the same thing, making this the 3rd time I’ve completed a “Novel Writing Month.”

What I’ve learned from completing my 3rd NaNoWriMo* (if you’re a stickler this was technically only my 2nd November, but I completed Camp NaNo with the exact same 50,000 word count goal this past July)

  1. The key to attaining any goal is consistency and practice.

I have to admit. This month I didn’t know what half the plot of my novel was. I knew who the characters were (kind of–I only had half of their names picked out) and I knew there were going to be some sort of demons… and that was about it.

AND what kept me going, what kept me from getting “stuck” was to JUST WRITE. Sit down in front of my computer and click keys. Even if that meant I was just musing about my plot and characters or actually moving my characters through the story as long as I was putting words to the page I was making progress.

And that’s it.

Consistency.

You can’t finish a novel if you’re not willing to put in consistent daily work to finish it. –I would know, I have a silly little unfinished novel from middle school sitting in my bedroom at my parent’s house.

You: “So what’d you write about?”

Me: “Um, well, it’s Urban Fantasy, with a female protagonist, demons, and a blood splatter of romance… uh, here have a picture:”

IMG_7224.JPG
This is what we’d call a Novel Aesthetic. Basically a collection of photos I found that I feel describe my characters and my novel. 

You: “Wow that looks so cool!

Me: “Why thank you!

rwppv_s-200x150.gif

You: “When can I read it??

Me: “Uh…

As I said at the beginning. First drafts are WORD VOMIT. The hardest thing in my opinion is writing the first draft. Getting the skeleton of the novel down. Then my writing process is to go back and add layers, add in some more three dimensionality to my characters, give people chemistry, intensify feelings, up the stakes, MAKE SURE THINGS ARE COHERENT. (Because I promise you when I reread this first draft something in it is going to make me, the author, go WTF)

5097d55985136ec473f551beb32d7728877d07c5e764e64201eda25ef220fff1
Same Rumple. I don’t know what I did to my main characters either, I blame it on the wine I drank while writing. 

So EDITING will come in the next several months. (So ask again in a couple of months if you still want to read it)

But moving on.

My work week during TAPIF (Teaching English in France) is 12 hours. So before I said yes to this program I knew I had to have plans for my alllll my other free hours so I wouldn’t waste a year watching Netflix. (So if you’re reading this blog and considering TAPIF, I highly suggest making a solid plan to fill up your free time productively!!)

So my goal has been to fill that with writing.

I’ve written/almost finished two whole novels in my first two months.

I’d say I’m crushing that goal pretty hard. 🙂

(Now back to the grindstone. I’m going to Berlin… tomorrow, so I’ve got some work to do!) Just wanted to give a tiny update to remind everyone I’m alive!

Advertisements

What was Emily doing all November?

Truth? I was in my lovely Parisian apartment… writing.

Writing like a madman... or a novelist.
Writing like a madman… or a novelist.

This past month I participated in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) If you haven’t heard of it, check out the website. It’s basically a personal contest/challenge to write 50,000 words in a month. The organization has been running this “contest” for over a decade and I’ve been wanting to participate for the last several years but never found the time, until now.

My progress through the month
My progress through the month. I hit 50,000 on the 26th!

Of course you might say “Why the heck would she decide to write a novel when she’s living in Paris? That would be such a waste of time!”

Did it take a lot of time? Of course. I usually spent at least 2 hours a night writing, but to call it a waste of time would be wrong.

I wrote a novel in Paris.

200

Writing a novel has always been something I’ve wanted to do and something I have even attempted several times. I have word documents full of story ideas and even a 35,000 word attempt from back in middle school. (For all you non-Americans when I was like 12) So when I say I’ve wanted to write a novel my entire life, I mean it.

And writing a novel in Paris was a bucket list item too tempting to be missed. Paris, the same city where Victor Hugo, Alexandre Dumas, Oscar Wilde, Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein, George Orwell  were all inspired and wrote their timeless masterpieces.

So November 3rd, I sat down, already three days late and started writing. 23 days later I’d broken the goal of 50,000 words and I took a little break.

Then I continued writing slowly and I had reached the last scene of my novel when I had to leave to catch a plane to Prague. I don’t think I’ve ever been more upset to travel.

So. Close.
So. Close. Just one more hour!

 

Prague was absolutely amazing (blog post to come) but as soon as I returned (and had a nice long nap) I sat down to finish the last few scene of my still unnamed work full of vampires, werewolves, witches, and one very strange tattoo.

Is it a masterpiece?

Not in the slightest. It’s a first draft full of mistakes and I spent the entire month ignoring my inner editor and writing down things I will need to go back and change, but only after I finished my first draft.

I spent most of the month in my room as I said earlier, but don’t worry because I still worked in a day trip to Versailles, a comedic play, and the Christmas markets of Paris. So I wasn’t a total shut in.

tumblr_m6bgh5DEv11rziwwco2_500

 

Now I’m going to go write some papers, study for finals and enjoy my last few weeks TEN DAYS in Paris before I head home for Christmas. (And then come back a few weeks later of course)

Now here’s one last obnoxious victory gif:

I WROTE A NOVEL GUYS. AN ACTUAL NOVEL.
I WROTE A NOVEL GUYS. AN ACTUAL NOVEL.

Don’t miss a single blog post of my entire adventure! Please subscribe (click Follow blog via email in the column on the right!) to receive this blog’s updates via email! Also, I love getting feedback so please comment!