Camp Update: How’s it going, Kate?

Hi, reader-peeps.

Galavant- I have a dragon
Yeah, this isn’t HTTYD, but it’s relevant.

Time for a Camp NaNoWriMo update!

Well, this is starting like many of my other NaNo events.

I write for a few days and then realize “This ain’t working”.

I think a lot of different things can contribute to the “This ain’t working”. Sometimes it’s me just being stuck early on. Sometimes I don’t know what I’m doing (yes, I used to be an extreme discovery writer. yes, this is very annoying.). Sometimes, it’s a problem with the story. The story is boring, too complex, it’s somehow in a genre i don’t like, it’s plot driven instead of character driven, etc, etc, etc.

19 Fun facts about HTTYD (gif-fest OC) - Imgur

This time, I think there are a lot of things contributing to “this ain’t working”. Very little of it is the story’s fault.

  1. This is an old story. This was my first NaNoWriMo story, in fact. And this is a story that I can’t let go of. Or rather, it’s characters I can’t let go of. But I think I’m putting too much pressure on myself in writing it. Because I want to get it right. I want it to be a good story.
  2. I’m scared. This was also the first story that ever got a real critique on it. I remember some of that critique. It’s not something I want to relive. I’m scared this story is just as messy as it was at first or that it will be. That it will scream that I haven’t learned as a writer.
  3. On the one hand, I have my mom loving this story to death, like I do, and wanting me to write it. On the other, I have my CP, who I have been lowkey hiding exactly what I’m writing because I feel slightly ashamed/embarrassed that I keep coming back to it instead of finding something new.
  4. This story may be too emotional for me right now. I’m tired. A couple different things are really stressing me out right now. I feel like I am being pursued by a bear, exit stage left, and can’t catch my breath. I’m not sure I want to write this level of emotions right now.
  5. I’m lazy. I see that this story might be hard so I get scared and back off. (Okay, not really. I hope. I’m worried that I actually am doing this.)

A lot of this boils down to “I care too much about what other people think”. And that’s a problem I’m not sure how to fix.

Image result for hiccup how to train your dragon crazy and weird gif

I’m sick of setting stories aside. But this has been part of my normal writing process for years. If I’m not feeling the story, I put it down.

But I wonder just how much of my concern for what other people think has leaked into my writing process. I write every day because I don’t want to look lazy. I see word counts go up, up, up at a rate of 10k a day and I look down at my own word count of 200. I see those people who write 10k do other things besides write and they are happy. I write 200 and feel like it took all day and feel like I am complaining too much or am asking for too much help.

Image result for hiccup how to train your dragon crazy and weird gif

 

When did writing become a “I have to do this” vs. “I want to do this”? When did I stop writing for the joy of writing and start writing to “have written”? When did my world become so fast paced around me and I felt the need to keep up and my stories aren’t keeping up?

Why do I care so much about story structure? I used to be a die-hard pantser and now I freak out if I don’t know what to do next. Like at all.

I don’t know. It’s entirely possible that I’m just freaking out because it’s a good week to do that.

 

I’ll be fine.

This story is not being thrown out. As I said, I can’t let go of it. But it might go on hold for a while longer. Or I might come back today/tomorrow/in a week/a month when things are calmer. Or I may work on it in bursts for the next five years, one scene at a time.

My CP suggested writing short stories for a while. I think I’m going to do that. Use up some plot bunnies. Finish some stories. Not feel like I’m failing someone. I want to get back to a point where writing stories is for fun and I’m not worried what other people think (well, not too worried). I want to write something crazy and weird and not care that it’s crazy and weird.

Image result for galavant dragon gif

 

 

Hopefully your Camp or even just your writing is going better than mine. How is it going, btw? Let me know in the comments!

Kate out.

 

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How to Write Your Dragon Kid

Hello, reader-peeps!

Who knows what happens in April?

Camp NaNoWriMo!

And I am 100% insane for thinking I’m going to write a whole book in a month.

Oh well.

I’m really excited about this book. It’s actually an overhaul of a story very near and dear to me.

I’m not saying a thing about it, though. You know me. I keep my mouth shut about WIPs.

But if I actually get it written in a month, it won’t be long before you hear about it.

Now, as I’ve tried to make it a bit of a tradition for NaNo Events, I like to pick a movie character to channel during my writing (mostly just to use the gifs for posts). I’ve done Elsa and Jack Sparrow. This April, I’ve chosen…

Hiccup.

Not so coincidentally, How to Train Your Dragon is a very apt book/movie for me writing this particular book. Though maybe How to Write Your Dragon Kid would be more accurate.

Haha it shouldn't make me laugh but it's hilarious.

No, I didn’t say anything. 😉

Kate out.

Free Thoughts on The Continental Congress

I’m entirely kidding, by the way. And now I’ve got Farmer Refuted going through my head…

Image result for hamilton farmer refuted samuel seabury gif
Hear ye!

Hi, reader-peeps.

It’s been quiet here for over a week, as I’m sure you’re aware.

Today, I’d like to talk about beginnings. And NaNoWriMo.

The story I wrote for NaNoWriMo 2011 was a lot of beginnings.

It was my first NaNoWriMo.

It was my first urban fantasy.

It was the first thing of mine that really got critiqued.

In a way, this story helped me become friends with two of my best friends.

It was one of the first things of mine that my mom read. Definitely the first “novel”.

This story was going to be a series of five books. It had my first “story playlist”. It eventually led to me writing LASER, a prequel about the MC’s mother.

The Curse Fulfilled was a lot of firsts and beginnings. And I am still very attached to that novel. I get sentimental about it every now and then and wonder if I should check on it and ask if it wants to get coffee and talk sometime and maybe talk about getting a rewrite.

Image result for adele hello from the other side gif

I’m not giving up on Drake, the main character of TCF.

But I don’t think I’m ready to go back. Not yet.

For one thing, I don’t actually know what Drake’s story is. Writing LASER, author fanfic it may be, changed things.

For another, I don’t think I’m quite ready to look at his story and acknowledge what didn’t work so I can figure out what will.

If we include LASER, I’ve been working on Drake for 5 years.

That is a long time. And like I said when I finished LASER and decided not to query with it, I need some distance from it. From Drake and his family and friends and problems.

I am not giving up on Drake. I don’t know when I’m going back, but I am not giving up on him.

On that note, the NaNoWriMo Young Writer’s Program site got a makeover! They’ve been talking about it for YEARS and the site looks awesome and if I weren’t 25 and well out of high school, I would totally make a new account. If you are still in high school or at least under the age of 20, you should go sign up.

Moving on to NaNoWriMo things, this year, I may revert back to high fantasy. At least in world-building terms. I have one idea I’m currently plotting but no promises, as this is the third potential next novel since I finished Magic Teacups a week and a half ago. (Ta-da! There’s the title! 😉 )

No matter what the novel is, I want to try to focus on characters– their emotions and their arcs and what they’re thinking and doing. This is an area that needs some work and I’m going to work on it.

I don’t know that I will aim for 50K. I know it’s possible for me to write 50K in a month, but I also know that it’s not very allowing of time to work through story problems. Plus, my other grandmother is coming (YAY I LOVE GRANDMA) in November (like two weeks) and I want to spend time with her.

One last thing. You know how last year, my NaNoWriMo theme on the blog was kind of Frozen/Elsa? I think I’ve decided on a the “theme” for this year’s NaNo posts…

Image result for jack sparrow gifs

Kate out.

The Editing Diaries–The Beginning of the End

Welcome to my series, The Editing Diaries!

In a nutshell, I’m editing my story LASER and bringing you guys along for the ride. I want you to see how my process for editing novels works (and maybe I’ll figure out my process with you). So, buckle your seatbelts, we’re going on a trip!

~~~~~~~~

Salutations, reader-peeps.

So, nearly all of my beta-readers have LASER in their possession.

Which is exciting. But it has also occurred to me that editing while they have it is somewhat pointless.

.

I can’t fix what mistakes I catch and keep sending them updated drafts. That would be crazy.

So… I’m not editing right now.

Thank God I have other writing projects to work on while I’m not editing. For whatever reason, if I don’t have a writing project at any given time, I go nuts. Can’t focus. Start worrying that my last project was indeed my last project forever (especially when plot bunnies aren’t being compliant).

But I do have two more projects going and I’m looking forward to revealing those sometime within the next couple of months.

Also, I need to start getting a query letter for LASER together.

Which makes me realize just how close to the end of all this that I am.  I mean, once I get beta-feedback and revise and get a query letter together, this stage in LASER‘s life is over. It’ll be time to move on and query and get published, if at all possible.

It’ll be time to move on to something else.

Which… I kind of already have moved on. At least, I have started to.

Again, I really want to reveal my new stuff. But if you’ve been around this blog for long, you will know that I can’t talk about new projects without losing momentum.

Treasure Planet gif. "Zip your howling screamer."
My internal struggle.

Anyway.

So, short post. But an important one, I think.

On another random note, the YAvengers writing blog is recruiting again! They’re looking for more writers to pretend to be Marvel superheroes while they write about writing.

Click to open all the way, side by side of Tom and Chris Evans doing the same scene. gifs

 

So, take a look if you’re interested. Or not. The form is open until July 1st.

Now then…

Let’s go carpe the heck out of this diem.

Sure this movie got kind of overplayed but, seriously. The animation in Frozen was amazing! Especially in the let it go sequence, how the light reflected off the ice and stuff! Epic!

 

Summer!

Hiya, reader-peeps!

Summer is upon us and with that comes summer plans and summer TBRs and plans to go swimming or camping or gardening or start a new novel.

Olaf references Bert’s penguin dance from Mary Poppins when he performs “The Summer Song.”

Hey, Katie. What are your plans for the summer?

So glad you asked!

1. 100-4-100!

In case you don’t know, 100-4-100 is a challenge hosted by Go Teen Writers in  which you write 100 words every day for 100 days. It starts June 1st. You’re allowed to work on one project only (there are exceptions to this rule), with one grace day a week and one grace week for the entire challenge. I’ve done it a few times before and it really does help get through drafts.

tumblr_nk306n7L7o1qdjpm4o1_500.gif (500×280)

2. Vacation Bible School

VBS is always fun. This year, I am working in crafts, where I will be explaining where the stickers go and that paper is not for eating.

3. Editing!

Because LASER is not done yet. I hopefully will be getting it to betas within the next few weeks.

4. Writing!

Editing does not translate well into 100-4-100.

I think I’m going to spend the last few days of May outlining this new novel and trying to figure out what the heck I’m doing with it because I am having a lot of trouble getting it started.

We’re going to do something scary and see how fast we can plot this thing using Cait’s method.

Why is it scary? Because 1. we are resorting to outlining at all, 2. it’s fabulous Cait plotting and while she is fabulous, this is her plotting and it may not work for me (because I am not Cait), 3. we have to keep editing during this, and 4. there are only a few days left in May.

5. Reading

Because we can’t forget this.

I honestly don’t know what exactly I’m going to read this summer. (Any suggestions?)

6. Driver’s License!

Because I don’t have one yet. And I need one. And once I get one, I will have no reason that I can’t go to the library and get  books. Or a job. Or both.

.

7. Ch1Con! 

This will be my first writer’s conference ever and I will also be going with Lily J. one of my bestest friends ever! SO EXCITED!!!

Quiz: Which Frozen Quote Should Be Your Life Motto?8. Secret Project. 

This is a secret for now. So I’m not telling anyone yet.

9.? 

I feel like I’m missing something big, but I’m…

OH.

9. Blogeversary! 

Pokémon Gifs- Remember watching this vid and thinking "Why are they so much cuter when they can talk?"

Spiral-Bound will be two years old in a little more than a week! Not yet sure how we will be celebrating.

10. My Birthday

Which is in August. Not sure yet how we will be celebrating.

So, that’s some of what I am going to do this summer.  What are your summer plans, reader-peeps? And is anyone else going to Ch1Con?

 

Beautiful People– WRITERLY RESOLUTIONS AND GOALS

Oh I haven’t done Beautiful People in FOREVER!

10928109_595959117172101_1450331761_n

This month’s theme is writerly resolutions.

It is the new year, after all.

That happened to me

What were your writing achievements last year?

Well, I won NaNoWriMo. I started editing LASER and got through Draft 2. I queried with picture books and took part in three Twitter Pitch events.

Tell us about your top priority writing project for this year?

LASER. I am in the middle of Draft 3 edits and I would absolutely love to be completely done editing or at least very close by the time summer starts. LASER is my baby and I need to finish it and try to get it published.

List 5 areas you’d like to work the hardest to improve this year.

  1. Less Procrastinating (working on it)
  2. Better Sleep Schedule (this is actually related to writing, though indirectly)
  3. Read More (as Stephen King once said, if you don’t have time to read, you don’t have time to write)
  4. Don’t tell people about my new WIPs! (you’d think I’d have learned this by now…)
  5. I want to continue to write better stories. I want to learn how to manipulate reader-emotions better and I want to learn how to choose the right word and I want to create amazing characters. And I want to enjoy doing it. Because if I don’t enjoy it, then what is the point?

Are you participating in any writing challenges?

New Year’s Short Story Challenge 2016, if we do it. I’m not even sure about NaNoWriMo. If I do NaNo, it will probably be more for motivation and less for 50K.

What’s your critique partner/beta reader situation like and do you have plans to expand this year?

I have two or three critique partners right now. These are my alphas, who read the earliest draft possible in all its hideous glory and will also read the finished product in all of its much-less-hideous glory. They also help me brainstorm from time to time.

As for betas, I have none. I’m debating on whether or not I want to find some. On the one hand, more eyes to help me get all the bugs out. On the other, betas take up more time. And then, which draft do I send them? The completed one or the next readable one? (Any thoughts on betas, guys?)

Do you have plans to read any writer-related books this year? Or are there specific books you want to read for research?

I plan to read Write You Novel from the Middle by James Scott Bell. I believe it involves plotting from the midpoint first. I’ve always had trouble with midpoints, so I thought this would be an interesting read.

Pick one character you want to get to know better, and how are you going to achieve this?

There’s a girl, currently nameless and mostly storyless. Her plot bunny attacked me the other day. I’d like to get to know her, perhaps.

If that plot bunny is not ready to be chased, there is a group of about six characters for the sequel to LASER. I met most of them back in 2011 and 2012. Their story may be the next one to be told.

Do you plan to edit or query, and what’s your plan of attack?

.

Editing is continuing what I’ve been doing and fixing/improving LASER as best as I can and chronicling how I do it here.

As for querying… research potential agents, write query letters and synopses and pitches, panic, compose emails, panic, hit send then feel relief but also excitement to the point of jumping every time my email notification goes off.

Toni Morrison once said, “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”  What are the books that you want to see more of, and what “holes” do you think need filling in the literary world?

This is a difficult question to answer. Because it’s not like there’s an actual thought process for me of “Why are there no books like this? I know! I should write one!”.

I write what I want to write and I’m not trying to fill a “hole” or anything like that. I really just want a good story.

So maybe that’s my answer. There aren’t enough good stories in the world and there never will be. What makes a story good is subjective. The point is, some reader somewhere wants to keep reading good stories, wants to wander the library or bookstore looking for a new favorite, and it is my desire to give them a good story.

What do you hope to have achieved by the end of 2016?

I want LASER finished and I want to query with it and it’d be nice if I could get an agent or a publishing contract… yes, I know I don’t have much control over that.

I want to start a new story and maybe finish the first draft.

That’s really it, but they are large and ambitious goals.

SO! Tell me all about your writing goals! What do you want to achieve by the end of the year? Do you write to fill holes or no? And any thoughts on beta-readers?

Creative Pusheen- and wow this is the one I got!!!
DFTBA!

COMMENCE CELEBRATION!!!

So…

This is my 100th blog post!

 

Just over six months of blogging.

134 followers.

2004 comments (Prize for which ever person or two gives me the 2014th and 2015th comments!)

Views from 26 different countries

Very few unusual search terms.

Most popular post: A Writing Process

It’s been a wonderful 6 months. Thank you so much, all you lovely people who have read, followed, and commented here. Christmas cookies for you all!

This brings me to my next thought.

2015 is just around the metaphorical corner.

The question everyone (except that guy in the corner back there) is wondering: do I have any New Year’s Resolutions?

Okay, so maybe none of you are wondering that. But I’m going to give you the answer anyway.

(As I write this, I haven’t actually thought about it. I’m making this up as I go along.)

First, I’m going to call this something different. I don’t have New Year’s Resolutions. I have New Year’s Goals.

Second, yes, I do have a few. You guys get to hear the writing goals.

1. I’m going to edit LASER and like it. (I’m hopeful about this, actually. The liking to edit part is subject to change after I get feedback, though…)

2. I’m going to finish my new project– a novella (never wrote a novella before… at least not intentionally).

3. I want to give The Curse Fulfilled a complete overhaul. All I know for certain about this baby novel is that it’s about a boy who turns into a dragon. I know his name. I know where his curse came from. I know who his parents are. THAT IS IT. So, at minimum, I want to sort of, kind of outline it. I may not rewrite yet.

4. I am going to figure out how to infuse my writing with emotions. I have some idea of the technique, but it’s the specific emotion per scene that I haven’t done yet (tried a bit in LASER’s first draft, but this is something I think I need to do in edits). I mostly just need practice.

5. I am going to try again to get an agent. This won’t happen until after LASER is edited, since that is what I’ll be querying with.

6. I’d like to get to a point in blogging where I’m at least a couple of posts ahead and can schedule.

7. On the blogging note, I’d also like to figure out how to post gifs again. I think there’s an HTML code and you also have to use the code for the picture of gif (neither of which I know how to get). (This should be a fairly easy one, though. I’m going to ask a friend about this shortly. And if he doesn’t know… I guess I’ll keep asking people.)

That’s really all the specific ones I have for now. I would love to hear about your New Year’s Goals and how Christmas was and all that fun stuff! Tell me in the comments!

DFTBA!

Why Do I Write?

That is an excellent question and I’m not sure I can give a clear answer.
Some people write to share a story. Some people write to touch someone. Some people write to understand. Some write as catharsis. Some people write to tell a story that they would love. Some people write with hopes of fame and fortune.

All these reasons and more inspire men and women and children to put pen to paper.

So… why do I write?

I write because I cannot help it.

I write because it makes me miserable not to.

I write because I enjoy seeing people I created come alive.

I write because my favorite moments are when the story begins to write itself.

I write to distract myself from troubles of life.

I write because I want to one day be rich and famous (yes, yes, there are easier ways to get fame and fortune, but please don’t crush my dreams).

I write because I want to tell someone these stories, but I don’t want to make eye contact (kudos if you get that reference).

I write for the sheer addictive joy of it.

I write because I am afraid. Without writing, I do not know what I would do with my life.

I write for the joy of having a reader yell at me for an awesome plot twist.

I write because I cannot help it.

Ten years of writing has ingrained it into my soul. Without a notebook and a pen, I feel lost.

An Update of Sorts

Greetings, my loyal subjects! I bring an Update from the good kingdom of Sorts.

Okay, that’s enough of that.

So. I have injured my wrist. My right wrist. I’m right-handed. See the problem?

I have no idea what I actually did to aggravate my wrist. All I know is that it has hurt for a week and that I’m wearing a brace.

So. Writing longhand is doable, but not easy. Knitting… it’s aggravating. (The needles are too long and I don’t have shorter ones that I know of.)

Better news, though. In the inability to write more than 100 words longhand (gotta keep up with the Go Teen Writers’ 100-4-100 challenge), I have been dipping my toes lightly in the story that is currently The Curse Fulfilled. Just trying to figure out what I want to do with it.

an accurate depiction of Enjolras 'helping' Marius plan his wedding.  "I think we'll put the flowers over ther-" "I don't care, just make them red."
See? Planning.

And at the moment… all I know is that Drake turns into a dragon. That is literally all I know for certain about the plot.

Also good news: Someone ordered a couple of bunnies from me. I used to knit bunnies and sell them.

I made this one a few years ago.
See how cute!

So I have an order for two bunnies, one yellow, one white. (I’m ignoring the fact I can’t knit for this part of the post. This is still awesome!)

So what awesomeness have you guys been up to?

DFTBA.