What I learned about writing from NaNoWriMo

So, it’s been a little over a week since NaNoWriMo’s end, and I’ve had a little time to relax and digest. I’m happy to report that I did indeed win NaNoWriMo this year (Finally!). Haven’t quite finished my first draft though, so I have something to do over the holidays.

It was hard. Especially with school throwing finals and essays at me. More than once I thought I wasn’t going to make it, but man it feels good. A shout-out to I.K. Lore as well, since she pretty much won in my book =)

I knew that doing this was going to put everything I have learned about writing to the test, and I was certain to learn more throughout the month as well. And I did. What surprised me a little though, was how much I learned about the flaws in my writing. NaNoWriMo essentially pointed out to me where my weaknesses lie.

Of course, I’m sure everyone who has attempted NaNoWriMo knows that the quality of writing produced varies. Mine is most certainly atrocious, but looking back I can see where I struggled most, and where I’ve repeated my mistakes. It gives me something of a guide for where to start when I edit, where to improve first instead of trying to tackle everything at once. I won’t bother going over them here (There are just too many to list!). Maybe in another post, haha.

So there you have it. Despite the insanity that is National Novel Writing Month,  it is such a rewarding experience in so many ways. I encourage all of you reading this post to try it at least once. You won’t regret it, I promise.

- A. R.

Podcasts, anyone?

Thought I would share some of my favourite podcasts, all of which are about writing and the publishing industry:

  • Wordplay - only a few months old, but probably my favourite so far
  • Galactic Suburbia – speculative fiction podcasts from Australia, and also very, very long (but wonderfully enjoyable)
  • Writing Excuses – short and sweet and very interesting

I didn’t think I’d get so into podcasts, but I have. Especially the ones with a more casual, relaxed and conversational style to them. I’m also starving for more, so if you have any good podcasts you can recommend to me (about writing or publishing preferably!), please do!

NaNoWriMo – To Plan or Not to Plan

This year marks my fourth attempt at Nano, and for all previous years I decided to plan my novel before writing. Hasn’t worked for me yet though, as I have yet to make it to the 50k (Can’t seem to turn off that inner editor!). I considered winging it this year, and I even had a potential plot waiting in the wings. I wound up going with a somewhat planned story though. So far so good. I’m considering ‘pantsing’ it next year and I’m curious to hear peoples experiences with the whole plan-no plan debate for nano. Did you plan your story or did you wing it? Maybe both? What worked for you or what didn’t?

Taking the Plunge: NaNoWriMo 2011

As I have already mentioned, this year I am in fact attempting NaNoWriMo for what will be the third or fourth time. I was on the fence for a while for this year’s event. I wanted to finish another story I’ve been working on, which I’ve discussed in an earlier post as well, and I have yet to succeed in making that 50k mark. I thought it might be best to take a breather this year as I certainly didn’t want this November to end in failure too. Obviously I have changed my mind (and I’m not going to lie – when I.K. Lore told me she was participating I was quite easily swayed). At first I was going to go to wing it, as planning obviously didn’t help me in previous years. But, once again, I had a change of heart. This season is certainly a season of heart changing, at least for me. So yes, I am taking the plunge, with a novel I am so unbelievably eager to write I can hardly contain myself. Less than an hour until I begin, so wish me luck~

I love hearing about the experiences of my fellow nanoers, so tell me, are YOU taking the plunge this November?

Website reloaded and some pictures

Hullo, all~

Been absent of late as I have been working hard revamping my website. It wasn’t due for a change, I’d only updated it about a year ago, but it was inefficient and dull, so hopefully the changes I’ve made make the website more inviting and interesting.

I can now be found at: http://vespertinephantasy.atspace.eu

Also, I.K. Lore reminded me to share some of my art, so here it is:

A bust of Lucien Esselnor. A character of mine who is also in the story I am writing with I.K. It’s not complete but I.K. was eager to see it, so here he is~

A masquerade plays a major role in the story, and among our characters, some disguise themselves as waiters or servers at the masquerade. My character, Arika, is one of them, and that’s her face in the corner there.

I’ve also put my current novel-in-progress on a temporary hiatus. It was rather foolish of me to attempt my word count tracking endeavor before NaNoWriMo, which I will be joining in again this year. Hopefully with some success. I’ve changed usernames, and am now participating under the user ‘A R Flynn’. Feel free to add me if you’d like to be writing buddies~

Anyway. Now that the new site is up, I’ll be more active on this blog again.

- A.R.

Week One

Well its been one week since I’ve begun this little project. This week was slow to say the least. Trying to find time to write while going to school and still work on my other projects is no easy task. My writing isn’t helping either. I must be rusty or maybe I haven’t got the  flow going. Everything I write is dull and mechanical. I’ll try writing more often and see if it works itself out. It doesn’t help that my interest in the story is wanning.

Time to work a little harder

- A.R.

Day One

So. My first day. I’ve put up a counter on the side to track my word count. Aiming for around 60 000 words, however if I feel the story has reached its conclusion before that, or needs a few thousand more, that number will be tossed out the proverbial window. I feel a little lost without some sort of guidepost at this point.

I did not spend the entire day writing. Let me begin by saying that. Also, I will not post my word count for today as it was abysmal. Writing today sort of felt like stumbling around in the dark. Disorienting. I spent a good chunk of the day doing my readings for school this week which probably didn’t help much. I think from now on I’ll try and get some writing done before I crack open my books. Thankfully I finished most of my readings today, so the rest of the week is pretty much in the clear and will afford me lots of writing time.

- A.R.

*Just to note – I’m working on a project I’d started a little over a month ago, if you’re wondering why my word count is that high after only one day.

Making a go of it..

This blog has been around almost a year, but in light of the changes and recent developments that have taken place for me, I’ve stored away all of my previous entries. It’s time for a fresh start to match my fresh enthusiasm and motivation. Time to take RE:Faction to the next level. I.K. Lore and I have been working hard these last few months, and with the commencement of my last year of school I think its about time that I thought more about the future, more about what I want to do, and more about RE:Faction.

It’ll be tough, trying to accomplish everything while still surviving through essays and exams but I’m so excited to start seriously dedicating my time to RE:Faction.

I give you fair warning that I am still relatively new to the blogosphere. There are people far more interesting and eloquent than I, and I’m still finding my way for this blog. What I do intend to do is share my knowledge and experiences in what I enjoy most: writing, art, and all things pertaining to such.

These anecdotes are here for your pleasure and enjoyment, and should you take away some valuable information I can honestly say I’d be thrilled. However, I am by no means an expert on anything you may happen to come across on this blog. Please keep in mind that I’m still learning too. I’ve been writing since I was a kid, but only began taking it seriously a few years ago. I’m still an amateur, but an avid learner and a passionate one at that. If guidance and advice are what you’re after, I encourage you to seek many sources. I can’t tell you how many articles I’ve read about plotting a novel, or writer’s block or what have you, but I can tell you that I almost always take something away from the article, regardless of whether or not I’ve read a dozen other ones like it. Everyone in the industry, not just the writers, has something to share, some experience unique to them that may be helpful to others whether they intended it or not.This happens to be one of the reasons I began this blog in the first place.

Of course this applies to pretty much anything, not just writing. Alas, I digress. Hopefully you’ll stick around to take this journey with me, and learn something in the process. I’ll try to blog more often, and hopefully about interesting and intriguing topics. One of the first things I plan to do is blog about my experiences writing a novel, which I plan on beginning/continuing tomorrow. If you’ve seen the recent article on inkpunks.com, A Novel in Ninety Days, the format there is similar to what I plan to do here. Lay out my progress, any problems I’ve had, and the feelings I’m having towards it. I figure it’ll be an interesting way to share my writing experience.

So. That pretty much sums it up. If you managed to get through all of my banter, congratulations~

- A.R.