Outlining A Novel During Camp NaNoWriMo

This month I’ve been working on a lot of various projects. Camp NaNo is so flexible that some people write novels, short stories, poetry, or even edit their work.

I don’t know if anyone has ever attempted to outline a project during Camp so they could work on the writing part when the month was over. Well, that’s one of the things I’ve been doing and I’ve been having a lot of fun with it.

Outlining A Novel During Camp NaNoWriMo | Creative Writing | Novel Outlines | RachelPoli.com

It’s no secret that I enjoy outlining my novels. I like to be organized and have some sort of idea where the story may go, even though I know the outline isn’t set in stone.

Usually when I outline I summarize how each chapter would go. I make up scenes along the way, some may stay, some won’t. But I end up with a clear beginning and end at the very least. I also have a basic idea of how long the novel may be.

I’m not doing that this time.

I’m outlining Brave, my next Wattpad story. (Take Over was published yesterday, so go check it out!) It’s a fantasy that I attempted writing before. It was originally a Short Story Sunday I decided to expand upon.

I didn’t get far in it because I had a lot of world building to do. So, that’s how I’ve been doing my outline.

I created a list of characters, wrote the basic gist of the plot, and then I got to work on the make-believe stuff. I created the Kingdoms, towns within them, and jobs that the people can have. I haven’t gotten this far yet, but I need to create a list of routes, forests, lakes, and other places that are within the world the characters may come across on their journey.

Dragons are a huge part of the world and I’ve spent a good amount of time creating different species and coming up with their names. I’ve come up with them on my own though some are based off “real” dragons.

Lastly, when that’s all done, I’ll be summarizing the plot points. I don’t want to summarize each chapter like I have done in the past, but I’m going to list the plot points that keep the characters moving forward. What makes them go on the journey, major dangers they face on the way, finding what they’re looking for, then the final battle.

Honestly, that’s pretty much the gist of the story.

I’ve been having a lot of fun with it and I’m looking forward to starting writing it next month.

Have you ever worked on an outline during Camp for your current project or the next one? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Take Over Is Live! [Wattpad]

Happy Monday!

After a busy April of Camp NaNo, blogging, and other projects, I’ve finally published my latest story on Wattpad.

It’s called Take Over and is YA general fiction. It’s not the kind of story I’d typically write, but I had originally written this story for NaNo a few years ago. Like, a long time ago. I can’t even remember.

I liked the idea though and wanted to see it through. I couldn’t see it being published, but I think Wattpad is a good fit for it.

Take Over by Rachel Poli | Wattpad | YA | Fiction | RachelPoli.com

Here’s what the story is about:

Senior year of high school is all about living it up and making the most of your final year before stepping into the real world. For Roxie Smith, she just wants to get through the school year. She doesn’t mind quietly doing her homework and begin prep for college. High school hasn’t been her favorite fun time and she can’t wait for summer to roll around again.

For her friends and Brad, her boyfriend, however, they really want to leave the school with a bang. They want to be a legendary senior class and they want to go down in history for all the classes after them.

Brad comes up with an elaborate plan to take over the school and teachers disguised as the annual senior prank. Roxie knows it’s a bad idea. She knows it’ll get out of hand. Her friends shun her when she decides to take no part in the take over. None of the teachers believe her when she tries to warn them and she has the whole school against her.

Some say senior year is the best. For Roxie, it’s going to be a long one.

I hope it sounds appealing to you and that you’ll give it a try. This has been long in the making and I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.

You can read the story HERE. I plan on updating one chapter every Monday through Friday.

I’d appreciate any reads and feedback. I hope you guys enjoy!

I hope you enjoy the story should you read it! Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Short Story Sunday 209: Little

Short Story: "Little" | Flash Fiction | Creative Writing | RachelPoli.com

            Alan wasn’t sure what to do with it when he first saw it. While he was work, his wife had texted him what he would name a gray tabby cat. Alan had responded that he wouldn’t name the cat anything because it wasn’t his. He didn’t hear from his wife for the rest of the day after that.

Naturally, when Alan was on his way home from work, he a little skeptical and a little nervous about what he was going to go home to. He was hoping that he would make it home and no one else would be there except his wife and maybe some dinner on the table.

So, when he walked through the front door of his house and a small kitten lay at his feet, he had no idea what to do.

Alan craned his neck to look at the small creature. The kitten sat nicely in front of his foot, the animal was probably the same size as Alan’s shoe, if not smaller.

Then the kitten squeaked.

“What in the world was that…?” Alan muttered. Cats were supposed to meow, not squeak.

“Oh, good! You’ve met!”

Alan looked up and noticed his wife poking her head into the living room from the kitchen.

“Hailey, what is this?” Alan asked pointing to the kitten. It squeaked again and Alan looked down at it embarrassed for the poor thing.

“He’s our new addition to the family” Hailey replied. She walked away back into the kitchen.

Alan opened his mouth to reply, but he didn’t want to shout. So he stepped over the cat and as if on cue, he started following Alan. He groaned and picked up the kitten holding him in front of his face.

“If I accidentally step on you, you will get crushed and Hailey will certainly divorce me.”

The kitten squeaked one more time and Alan rolled his eyes. He made it into the kitchen with the cat into his arms. Before he could say anything, Hailey cooed at the two of them.

“Oh, you’re bonding! That’s so nice!”

“No,” Alan said putting the cat back down on the ground, “we are no bonding. Hailey, why did you get a cat? And without talking to me about it first, no less,”

“I knew you’d say no.”

Alan pinched the bridge of his nose. This was why his kids had been so difficult growing up. They took after their mother.

“Now that the kids are all grown up and out of the house and you’re working all day, the house was a little quiet and a little lonely.” Hailey continued. “I thought about getting a dog, but I knew you would make it take it back. I figured a kitten was a good starting point.”

“Starting point…?”

“Yes, once we get used to the kitten then we can get another one. Or maybe a dog. We’ll see how their personalities are.” Hailey explained.

Alan groaned. He sat down at the kitchen table shaking his head. “We can’t have a cat, Hailey…”

“Yes we can, and we do.” She said stiffly. She hadn’t once looked at him. She continued making dinner. It was almost as though she had been preparing for this moment all day. “Besides, I did tell you.”

“You asked what we should name it… That’s not exactly talking to me about whether we should get a cat or not.”

The kitten, sitting right beside Alan’s shoe, squeaked again.

“See?” Alan pointed to it. “You didn’t even get a real cat. I think it’s broken.”

“Oh, Alan,” Hailey scoffed. Now she turned around and glared at him. “Chester’s just a kitten!”

Alan leaned forward. “Chester…?”

“Well, I tried to give you the option of naming him and you wanted no part of it.”

Alan looked down at the cat. They stared into each other’s eyes for a moment before the kitten squeaked again.

“I’d name him Smokey.” He said.

“That’s a bear, dear.” Hailey replied.

Alan narrowed his eyes at his wife behind her back. He stood up and sighed. “Okay, I’ll be upstairs… “

“Dinner’s in five!” Hailey shouted after him.

Alan walked back into the living room and climbed the stairs not realizing Chester was right behind him. When he made it to the top of the stairs, Alan heard the kitten mewing and squeaking. He turned around and noticed Chester attempting to get up the first step, but he was too small.

Alan sighed. He walked back down the stairs. He scooped Chester up in his arms and walked him up the stairs.

“Just don’t let Hailey know I think you’re cute…”

Words: 773

I hope you enjoyed the story! Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Fairest Of All: A Tale Of The Wicked Queen By Serena Valentino [Book Review]

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links I’ll make a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks so much for your support!

Book Review: Fairest of All: A Tale of the Wicked Queen by Serena Valentino | YA | Fairy tale retelling | fantasy | RachelPoli.com

I bought the book.

Summary:

The tale of the young princess and her evil stepmother, the Wicked Queen, is widely known. Despite a few variations from telling to telling, the story remains the same—the Queen was jealous of the girl’s beauty, and this jealousy culminated in the Queen’s attempt on the sweet, naive girl’s life.

Another tale far less often spoken of is the one that explains what caused the Queen to become so contemptuously vile. Still, some have attempted to guess at the reason. Perhaps the Queen’s true nature was that of a wicked hag and her beautiful, regal appearance a disguise used to fool the King. Others claim that the Queen might have hated the girl for her resemblance to the King’s first wife. Mostly, the Queen is painted as a morally abhorrent woman who never loved another being during the course of her miserable life.

In fact, the theories about exactly what cause the Queen’s obsessive vanity and jealous rage are too numerous to catalog. This book recounts a version of the story that has remained untold until now. It is a tragic tale of love and loss, and it contains a bit of magic. It is a tale of the Wicked Queen…

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.com

Similar to the covers of the other books in this series, I love how simple it is and also the surprise on the actual book. The jacket is of the Queen and the cover of the book is her old wicked witch self.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.com

I bought this book along with The Beast Within. I love fairy tale retellings and this series sounded good so I picked it up.

Plot | RachelPoli.com

This plot delves a little deeper into the Queen’s backstory with some twists. A little bit of it stayed true to the Disney tale, but for the most part it was as original as it could be. Honestly, it wasn’t the best twist, in my opinion. Though it did work somewhat and even though it took me a while to get through, it was okay.

The tale can get pretty dark and I think that’s what redeemed it a little more for me. There were actual stakes for the characters, unlike The Beast Within, which was the book I read right before this one.

Characters | RachelPoli.com

The witches have returned and are causing trouble once again. They weren’t bad plot fodder, but they still annoyed me quite a bit.

I found the Queen to be a great character. I actually really enjoyed her and wished she wasn’t such an “evil” Queen. The cards were laid out against her from the start and I was rooting for her along the way.

The other characters, such as the king and even Snow White, weren’t that memorable to me. I was disappointed that the only character I cared for was the Queen.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

The writing didn’t do it for me. I felt it was pretty bland and there wasn’t much emotion put into the scenes, the description, or the characters. While the idea was pretty good, I felt as though this could have gone through another round of edits or two to make the words really come alive.

Overall | RachelPoli.com

This was better than The Beast Within. Of course, I realized this is technically the first book in the series while the Beast one is the second. Since I liked the first more than the second, I’ll be interested in the third book. Yes, I plan on reading the third book just to see how it is. I’m curious. But first, I need a break from these books.

Fairest of All: A Tale of the Wicked Queen by Serena Valentino gets…
Book Review Rating System | 3 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com3 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“I cannot live in fear of losing him, for fear of not living my life at all.” –Serena Valentino, Fairest of All: A Tale of the Wicked Queen

Buy the book:

Amazon

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and if you enjoyed this post, please share it around!

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Time To Write: Dazzle [Creative Writing Prompt]

Last week’s writing prompt was a Set The Scene exercise. Check out some great pieces by fellow writers:

Now check out this week’s prompt:

Time To Write | Creative Writing | Writing Prompt | Dazzle | RachelPoli.com

Write about something dazzling – whether it’s an object, a moment, a piece of clothing, etc.

If you use this prompt, please leave a link to your post in the comments below and I’ll share it next week. Please be sure to link back to my blog so your readers know where you got the prompt!

Happy Writing!

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Writing A Mystery Short Story For Camp NaNoWriMo

I’ve talked about short story writing before and I’ve written plenty of short stories. Of course, I most dapple with flash fiction.

A couple of my short stories have been broken up into 4 or 5 parts for Short Story Sunday on this blog. It’s rare I write a short story straight on that’s longer than 2,000 words.

I’m working on a short story collection that’s made up of mysteries, each one being between 5,000 and 10,000 words long. It’s hard to write a short story, but it’s harder to work a full mystery into it.

Writing A Mystery Short Story for Camp NaNoWriMo | Mystery Writing | Creative Writing | Short Story | RachelPoli.com

I had originally planned to write one or two short stories for this collection a month. It’s been a lot harder than I anticipated it to be and honestly, I’m not sure if I’ll be able to keep up with my original deadline.

I come up with mysteries all the time for my novel series, so why is coming up with mystery shorts so hard?

Part of the reason is that I’m trying out different characters and not just having every single story star George and Lilah. Plus, a lot of my ideas are actually already in the novel series with George and Lilah, so… Yeah.

I want to keep up with it though. I do have a couple ideas I want to try out and I didn’t want to lose my groove so I had decided to try to write a mystery short story during Camp among everything else.

It hasn’t been easy because I’ve been writing different shorts here and there, three of them being handwritten in notebooks. I’m trying to still with the same story, start to finish, this month.

So far it’s been good. I haven’t finished the story yet, but I’m enjoying the new characters who have introduced themselves to me and I’ve done something a little different with this mystery that I have with any other mystery I’ve written.

And yes, I mean I’ve been dipping my toes into the supernatural world.

It’s been fun and I’ll be happy when the story is complete so I can say I’ve finally written a full short story for Perplexed!

Have you ever worked on a short story for a Camp NaNo session? Have you written a mystery short story before? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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WIP Wednesday: April 2018

Happy middle of the month (kind of)! Happy Work in Progress Wednesday!

Work In Progress Wednesday | WIP | Creative Writing | RachelPoli.com

This month has been great so far. Even though I haven’t written in the past week due to being away, I got a lot done the first week of Camp NaNo and I’m sure I’ll get just as much done when I get back to work tomorrow.

As you know, I’m working on a few different projects this month. I’m outlining a new novel/novella, writing a mystery short story, writing various flash fiction, and editing my mystery novel.

Here’s the breakdown of what I did before my vacation:

Day 1: Edited 2 chapters of George Florence equaling to about 9,148 words.
Day 2: Outlined Brave for 2 hours. Wrote 3,123 words in flash fiction.
Day 3: Outlined Brave for 1 hour. Wrote 3,078 words in flash fiction.
Day 4: Outlined Brave for 1 hour. Wrote 3,022 words in flash fiction.
Day 5: Outlined Brave for 1 hour. Wrote 3,101 words in flash fiction.
Day 6: Outlined Brave for 1 hour. Wrote 3,091 words in flash fiction.
Day 7: Edited 3 chapters of George Florence equaling to about 9,994 words.
Day 8: Edited 3 chapters of George Florence equaling to about 7,863 words.
Day 9: Wrote 1,045 words in Perplexed. Wrote 2,021 words in flash fiction.
Day 10: 
Wrote 1,406 words in Perplexed. Wrote 674 words in flash fiction.
Day 11: Wrote 1,023 words in Perplexed.

What have you been working on this month? Are you making great progress? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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