Asking “What If?” To Find Novel Ideas

Finding ideas for novels isn’t always as easy as it sounds. Yes, ideas are everywhere as long as you keep your eyes and ears open. However, are they good enough to be novel ideas?

Fiction is a genre of made-up stories. Unfortunately, animals can’t talk and dragons aren’t real. Still, there’s some truth to each and every fiction piece out there.

This can be a real-life location that’s the setting of the novel or it can be something as simple as researching sword fighting and going to war in the book.

In my opinion, ideas come in all shapes and sizes throughout the day. It’s just a matter of turning those ideas into stories with one simple question:

What if?

Mystery Month | Asking "What If?" To Find Ideas

“What if” makes you think about what could happen in an alternate universe (a.k.a. your book). “What if” makes you ponder what may possibly be. And most of this can happen through people-watching.

For example…

A young man and young woman are walking through the park. They sit down at a bench and chit-chat.

  • What if they’re brother and sister? Maybe they live in different houses with their partners and children and they’re catching up with each other.
  • What if they’re boyfriend and girlfriend? Maybe they’re talking about moving in together. Maybe an argument in unfolding.
  • What if they’re just friends? Maybe they’re two high school friends home on break from their respective colleges and they’re catching up.

Now ask: What if this happens…? This will create conflict and tension in your story adding more depth and a new direction to go in.

  • A brother and sister are catching up when one of them gets an urgent call from their mother. Something is wrong, they have to leave right away.
  • A boyfriend and girlfriend are discussing plans to move in together when an ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend happens to walk by. And they decide to stop and chat with them for whatever reason. Maybe they say something their ex- doesn’t want their current partner to know.
  • Two friends are talking about their first semester of college when they realize they dated the same person the summer before going away.

It’s fun to go out and make-up stories based on what the strangers around you are doing. So, how does this imply to mystery writing?

You’re sitting in a coffee shop and there’s a man (or woman) sitting at the table opposite of you.

  • He’s sitting alone with nothing but a cup of coffee in his hand
  • He’s alone with a cup of a coffee and his laptop open and turned on
  • He’s alone with two cups of coffee

What if…

  • As he’s drinking his coffee, he gets a phone call? Little did you know he’s a detective and he just got a call about a new case or new evidence for a case.
  • With his laptop, he’s looking up news articles and trying to find evidence for a case. Maybe he’s a detective trying to figure things out or maybe he’s a civilian whose friend went missing and he’s trying to find them on his own.
  • Sipping on one coffee, he has the other in front of the second chair at the table. He’s waiting to meet someone. Maybe they come and it’s a fellow officer or maybe it’s a witness. Maybe this person has more to do with the case than the detective thought, or maybe not at all,
  • OR, he sips his own coffee constantly checking the time. After a while, he takes the second cup and either drinks it himself and leaves with it

When it comes to ideas and “what if” scenarios, anything is possible.

How many stories have you come up with by asking “what if” to real life situations? Let me know in the comments below.

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What Can I Do For You?

what can I do

Everything I do on this blog, I do for you guys.

I know the majority of my followers are writers and readers alike, so I post writing prompts to give you guys ideas. I write book reviews because who doesn’t enjoy reading? Seriously though, I also accept books from authors to help them out and get recognized for their hard work.

I also have guest bloggers on my site to promote other readers, writers, and bloggers alike. And what better way to help each other out than to promote and showcase each other? Plus, you all have different ideas and know things I don’t. You guys can teach my followers something I can’t. You guys teach me in the process.

I have plenty of other ideas to help you guys out as well as promote you guys for what you do. I’m not going to mention them now only because I don’t know when these ideas will be able to happen. Just know that I’m always thinking of you guys.

I have three specific days a week (Sunday, Thursday, and Friday) that I devote my time to working on my blog(s).

But I think of this blog every single day. I write down notes and ideas every day even if it’s not a “blogging day” for me.

I’m always coming up with new ideas, thinking of ways to improve my posts whether it’s the way I write them, the kinds of images I use, etc. I’m always trying to better my content and come up with new things that you guys want to see.

I post on here once a day, every day. That’s a lot of content to come up with.

I have my regular features on my blog. Short Story Sunday on Sundays, book reviews on Saturdays, and writing prompts on Fridays. But Monday through Thursday is a free-for-all in terms of content.

If you’ve been following me for a long time, you know all this stuff.

So–to finally get to my point–I need your help.

Instead of my trying to come up with new content ideas day-in and day-out, I need a huge favor from all of you.

In the comments, if you would be so kind to answer the following questions:

1. What do you enjoy most about my blog?
2. What kind of content would you like to see more of?

I have plenty of ideas to last me a lifetime, but I thought what better way to create meaningful content for you guys if I don’t ask you guys what you want?

Only you know what you enjoy reading about. Only you know what you want to learn more about.

Do you want more information on genre-specific writing? Need more grammar help posts? Are you interested in where I am on my writing projects?

If you have a specific post idea, I’d be glad to do it. Or try to do it, anyway.

Unfortunately, I can’t guarantee all of your ideas will happen and if it does, it might take a while. But I still appreciate your input.

I want to know what I’m doing “right” on this blog and I want to know why my followers keep coming back for more.

I’m not an expert in writing or reading or blogging or anything that I talk about on here. But I do my best. I speak from experience, I conduct research.

So I hope you’ll help me out with this little “survey,” I guess you can call it. I want to make sure I’m creating the best content for my readers!

Thanks, guys! I really appreciate it.

Inspiration Station: 6 Ways to Find Ideas

Inspiration Station 6 ways to find ideas

“Where do you get your ideas from?”

I get asked that question frequently from friends, other bloggers, and more. I never have a specific answer for them because my ideas come from everywhere and from everything.

I tell them, as long as you keep your eyes and mind open, you can find ideas all around you.

1. Movies and TV shows.

Most people watch TV in their down time–after work, after dinner, right before bed. Movies and TV shows tell stories. They have a plot, they have characters. Movies can be inspiring and spark new ideas. For me, I always get an itch to write something great whenever I watch Harry Potter.

2. Read a book.

This is pretty straight forward. Whenever I read a great book, I’m always motivating to come up with an idea that’s just as great.

3. People.

When you go out for a walk, go to the grocery store, or just stand in line at the coffee shop, watch the people around you. Observe how they look and act. You can probably come up with a story to fit those people. Just be sure not to judge a book by its cover too much.

4. Real life.

Did something hysterical happen to you and your friends that would only happen in a sitcom? Maybe something terrible happened that you’re still trying to get over. Write about it. Come up with a new ending. Twist and turn the events and make it your own.

5. Create new characters.

Base characters off of yourself, members of your family, some of your friends. Use real life people as guidelines to create a new character. Then see what kind of situations that character can handle in a story.

6. Hopes and dreams.

Do you want to have superpowers and save the world? Maybe you want to travel the world, but don’t have the money. Maybe you wish there were more hours in the day. Create stories based on what you want. We can’t extend the days longer than 24-hours, but in a fictional world one day might be 48-hours long. Think of all the possibilities if each day equaled two.

There are ideas all around us. You just need to get creative and let your imagination run wild with it.

How do you come up with your ideas?

What Do You Do With An Idea by Kobi Yamada

What Do You Do With An Idea
Photo taken from Amazon.

I went to Barnes and Noble the other day and came across this children’s book, What Do You Do With An Idea? by Kobi Yamada.

I thought it was newly published, but later found out that it came out in February of 2014. So you may have already heard of this lovely story.

Kris and I read through the book together and it melted my heart.

It’s about a child who comes up with an idea and doesn’t know what it is or understands what to do with it.

The child says that he keeps it to himself because he’s afraid of what other people might think. Yet, the idea stays with him and won’t go away.

The idea looks like an egg and it’s the only object on the page that is colored. Everything else is black and white. The idea grows with the child as he gets older constantly following him around.

It isn’t until the child finds some confidence in himself and in the idea that the rest of the illustrations are filled with color showing what a wonderful thing an idea is.

This book has such a powerful message that I believe everyone needs to learn. As a preschool teacher and babysitter of various ages, it’s important to encourage our children to be creative, speak their opinions, and do what they believe is right.

As a writer, it’s important to roll with the ideas we think of and be creative with our thoughts. Writing is a risky business and not everyone may not like your ideas, but there will be people out there who will love your ideas and support you and your ideas.

A new year is going to begin soon. Next year will be all about you. Spread those ideas around, do what makes you happy, do what you believe is right.

Some ideas may not work out, but that’s okay. The worst kind of failure is not trying at all.

Outlining: Tips And Ideas

To outline or not to outline… that is the question.

Last week I wrote a post called, “Why Outline?” The title is pretty self-explanatory. Why should you outline your novel? I gave a list of a few (good) reasons, but ultimately the choice is yours whether you want to outline your novel or not. It’s no big deal if you decide not to.

However, if you do decide to outline your novel here are a few interesting ways to do so (if you don’t already have a particular way to outline).

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The Snowflake Method: Show of hands: who has heard of this before? I have, but have I ever used it? No. I had to do a bit of research for this one because I didn’t really know what it’s about. Basically, it’s a 10-step process on how to organize your writing. You start from a small summary of the novel and go from there. The last step is to begin your first draft.

Now I know it seems like a lot of steps just to go from idea to first draft, but the idea behind it is to start small and take baby steps in organizing your mind and thoughts.

This is to ensure you don’t miss anything while you write the story. All the scenes will be laid out for you, all the characters will be unique and have a certain purpose, and (hopefully) there will be no plot holes.

Does this mean you won’t have to do any editing when the first draft is done? Of course not.

That would be too easy.

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The Skeletal Outline: You know that pyramid thing you learn in elementary/middle school? Well, some people actually put that to good use when they write their novels.

They use this pyramid (plot diagram, according to the picture) to summarize each part. Each part being the exposition, the rising action, the climax, the falling action, and the resolution. By summarizing, you write certain scenes you want, describe what the characters are going to do and what’s going to happen to them, etc.

Some people use bullet points to highlight key concepts in each part. Personally, I think the bullet points would be easier. Then again, it wouldn’t be as detailed… unless you use a lot of bullet points.

Like the Snowflake Method, I do not use this method. To be honest, I don’t even think of my novels in terms of exposition, rising/falling action, climax, resolution, what have you. I just kind of go with the flow and write the scenes in order as they would go.

However, if I had to choose between these two methods, I think I would go for the skeletal outline. I enjoy making lists and the pyramid seems to do just that. Then again, I’m sure you could modify each method to make a unique one that works specifically for you.

20150124_151016Chapter Summary: This is how I used to outline. Way back when I wrote fan fiction. 11 years ago. Wow.

Anyway, I have no idea if anyone has ever outlined like this before, but it worked for me way back when. I don’t use that way now, but I still think it’s a decent way to outline your novel.

All I did was summarize each chapter. It’s that simple. As you can see from the picture, it ultimately looks like a block of letters (especially with my handwriting). The highlighted parts show a new chapter. Everything written after each highlight is a summary of that chapter.

I explain what scenes are going to be in the chapter, sometimes I add in some dialogue I would like some characters to say… I even have notes that say things such as: “foreshadowing… yay!” You know, so I remember how to write my plot so readers can figure out the foreshadowing, symbolism, and all that fun stuff. I especially make those notes when I realize I foreshadowed without meaning to. It’s like your subconscious is smarter than you.

There you have it. Three different ways to outline your novel, plus more (if you click on the links below). Two I’ve never used and one I used to use all the time. Everyone works differently and at their own pace. So the outlines listed above may or may not work for you; especially if outlining isn’t even your thing. However, it never hurts to try.

As stated before (many times, actually) I use my own method I made up. Well, I thought I made it up, but I have seen it floating around on the Internet. It’d be pretty cool if I had my own method, though. It’s different, but similar to the chapter summary I used to do.

But more on that tomorrow.

Further Reading:

The Snowflake Method for Designing a Novel
8 Ways to Outline a Novel
7 Steps to Creating a Flexible Outline for Any Story

Goodbye 2014!

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I feel like I wrote Goodbye, 2013! just yesterday. I blinked and now the end of 2014 is here and 2015 is right around the corner. Time sure does fly.

Last year, I decided to go through all my blog posts for 2013 and highlight them in one post in an attempt to recap and say goodbye to 2013. I am going to do that again to say goodbye to 2014.

Let’s see what happened in 2014…

January:
-I went over my New Year’s resolutions
-I continued to write Detective Florence and completed it
-I came up with the Short Story Sunday feature on my blog
-I started writing Inspiration Station
-I had a schedule of writing 5,000 words a day and changed it to writing 5,000 words Monday-Thursday, editing Friday-Saturday, and relaxing on Sunday
-I discovered the Reading Bingo and challenged myself to it
-It was Kris’s birthday

February:
-I decided to write only 1,000 words a day when school started
-I completed two Reading Bingo squares by reading Coming Clean and The Hobbit
-I continued to post my Short Story Sunday throughout the month

March:
-I planned on editing more than writing to help prepare for April’s Camp NaNoWriMo
-I completed another Reading Bingo square by reading I, Robot
-I was nominated for the Liebster Award

April:
-Camp NaNoWriMo started and I wrote Diary of A Killer
-I discovered the website Noisli
-I was nominated for the Beautiful Blogger Award and the Howler Award
-Easter happened plus I was busy with work and school… I got behind on Camp NaNoWriMo
-I got 1,000 followers on Spilled Ink

May:
-I lost Camp NaNoWriMo
-I discussed what “Success” is
-I joined Critique Circle
-It was Spilled Ink’s two-year anniversary

June:

–Edited Detective Florence in preparation of Camp NaNo

July:

–Camp NaNo: wrote Detective Florence 2
Trying to balance life, writing, work, school, etc.
–I accidentally saved over my Camp NaNo novel (150 pages and 44k words) with my Short Story Sunday with five days left of Camp NaNo
–I wrote 50k in five days to beat Camp NaNo

August:

–I beat Camp NaNo in, more or less, five days
–I updated my Reading Bingo with many novels
–I discussed how my English degree is basically in nothing
–I got a new job
–Lucky Seven Challenge with Detective Florence 2
–I currently had 15 WIPs… yikes.
–I came up with a writing schedule for the rest of the year
–I went to Disney and discovered the “Writer’s Stop” store and met Peter Pan
–Reality checked back in after vacation with school starting, work, Sunday school, etc.
–I wanted to enter some contests, but missed the deadlines

September:

–I turned 21
–School started with a few creative writing classes
–Cookie the Beagle joined the family
–I tried to come up with a routine to balance homework, writing, etc.
–I discuss why I became a teacher, go to school, became a teacher/director or the Sunday school, write, etc.
–I updated everything in my life with my sister’s wedding coming up as well as November NaNo.

October:

–I decided to edit Take Over and plan to write Far Away for NaNo
–I started editing Take Over which I noticed I’ve grown as a writer in the past year or so
–I watched “Authors Anonymous” and the screenwriter contacted me. It also inspired a new potential story idea
–I watched a NaNo video on Blurb
–I decided to give myself a reward of one dollar for every 1,000 words I write for NaNo
–I changed my mind again and decided to write short stories for NaNo

November:

–I bought a new fish named Nano
–NaNoWriMo started and I wrote Short Story Collection and came up with new ideas for novels
–I did my best in balancing homework with NaNo
–I planned on finishing NaNo by Thanksgiving and did it
–I came up with a new novel idea called Fire and Ice
–I won NaNo
–Thanksgiving happened and I made a list of all I’m thankful for
–I compared NaNo 2013 to this year’s NaNo
–I edited while on vacation and discussed how that’s the best time to write

December:

–I came up with a plan for my Detective Florence series
–I finished typing the second draft of Detective Florence
–I wrapped up yet another semester of my Bachelor’s degree and made it out alive and with good grades
–I hand edited the first draft of Detective Florence 2
–I changed the title of my blog, bought the domain name from WordPress, and made some slight layout changes

So much has happened in one year. Some good, some bad, but I think it was mostly good. I’m happy to be where I am right now. I have a wonderful job, I’m going to school, and I’m on my way with my writing. There’s nothing for me to complain about.

Here’s to another great year in 2015!

NaNo 2013 Vs. NaNo 2014

I won NaNo two days ago on the 26th. I completed NaNo in 17 days last year. Just looking at the dates alone it seems as though last year was easier. But was it really?

Last year l wrote Detective Florence and l loved it. Half of it was outlined and planned. When l ran out of outlines, l outlined as l wrote keeping track of everything for my edits later. For a first draft, the novel was pretty well done (if l do say so myself).

This year l wrote a Short Story Collection. This was because l was unsure what to write. I thought about doing short stories to come up with new novel ideas and just try different varieties of characters, genres, etc. It didn’t go as well as l thought it would. A few days into NaNo l wanted to continue writing my Detective Florence series, but l needed to do some edits first and the next novel wasn’t outlined yet. With that series, l feel it better to have it outlined before writing.

Point #1: l wasn’t as enthusiastic about my story idea this year as l was last year.
Conclusion: last year was easier for NaNo.

Last year l was working at the private preschool because it didn’t close until December. I was a lead teacher position and l worked 10am-6pm. Some days l got out earlier, some days l stayed a bit later prepping. Sometimes l took things home with me to work on.

This year l have a new job. I’m an aide so l don’t have any “teacher responsibilities” like staying late, going in early, or taking things home with me. Plus, l work 8am-2:30pm. So l’m home earlier and l’m working less hours in the day.

Point #2: I was working less this year and had less responsibilities.
Conclusion: this year was easier for NaNo.

Last year l was working on my bachelor’s degree. I was taking five full-time online classes. Five is a lot; especially when you’re basically teaching yourself (and some of your teachers aren’t that good at their job…).

This year l am still working on my bachelor’s degree and again l took five full-time online classes. However, one of the classes was accelerated so it ended November 8. For the majority of the month, l only had four classes.

Point #3: school was less work this year.
Conclusion: this year was easier for NaNo.

But wait! There’s more…

Last year, even though l had five classes, l barely had any homework.

This year, even though l technically had four classes, l had a ton of homework. It was hard to balance homework, life, writing, work, etc.

New conclusion: last year was easier for NaNo.

Do you see how much has changed in one year? Some things got easier, some got harder. I don’t know which year was easier for me, but l won both years and that’s all that matters.

I wonder what NaNo 2015 will bring? Where will l be one year from now?

Yesterday

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The only form of writing I did yesterday was post on my blog. I wanted to write more than that, but of course I didn’t. I could have edited a bit, but I didn’t. No, yesterday I went back and forth between playing Mario Kart 8 and binge watching Pretty Little Liars. My Wii U was certainly tired by the end of the night. I didn’t go to bed until 12:30 a.m.

I kept complaining to Kris that I wanted to write, but I wasn’t sure what to write. I don’t even think it was that I didn’t know what to write, I just had too many ideas that I wasn’t sure where I was supposed to start.

When I lost my flash drive about a year and a half ago I lost so many novels. Some finished, but the majority of them were only halfway done. I accepted my fate and decided to make the best of it. I told myself I was going to finish everything I started so I wouldn’t have so many unfinished manuscripts. It worked for a little while and then I got back into my usual groove of not finishing what I start. I am, after all, a Virgo.

So, I was flipping through all my novels yesterday trying to figure out which one to work on, despite the fact that I now have six novels that need to be edited. However, I was in the mood to write yesterday, not edit.

I tried to figure out what to work on and discovered that I have 15 works in progress at the moment. Yes, 15. Where did all those novels come from?

I have a list of story ideas and I think the amount of novels on the list is roughly about 90. It’s a lot. Will they all get written eventually? I don’t know… I all ready went through the list a few weeks ago and knocked off some ideas because I couldn’t remember them. I did keep the titles and I wonder if that was why they were on the list to begin with; they were just decent title ideas. Of course, the new list–with 90 novels on it–are all legitimate plots that I remember and have many ideas for.

Needless to say, 15 out of 90 isn’t bad, I don’t think. If I had 50 out of 90 started, but not finished I think I would be concerned. Maybe I’m just making excuses for my lack of focus.

Either way, I think it’s time that I start getting something done every day and not just during the NaNo months. Whether it’s editing, writing, or a little bit of both.

Lost And (Hopefully) Found

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Does anyone remember when my flash drive died about a year and a half or so ago? I lost just about everything. All my manuscripts and ideas. There were a few novels I didn’t lose because they were all ready printed out, but I lost about 85% of my writing. Yeah, that was not a fun time…and I’m sure you’re wondering why I’m bringing that up again.

So…Camp NaNoWriMo ends in about three days. I have been writing my novel Detective Florence (Book 2). I wrote a little over 3k words yesterday bringing my to about 44k. After that, I decided to write my Short Story Sunday because it was getting late in the day and it needed to be done.

Well, I have been working so much on Detective Florence that I have been in the habit of clicking on that document when I hit the “save” button. So when I was working on my Short Story Sunday and I hit save…

Yes, I saved over my entire 150-page-44k-words-so-close-to-being-completed-for-Camp-NaNo-and-the-entire-story-line manuscript. The worst part of it is that I did not do this once, but three times. Yes, three. When my flash drive died, I had no back-ups so I got Dropbox and fairly recently got Google Drive. Every time I work on something–writing, homework, anything–I save it to all three. Therefore, when I did my Short Story Sunday, I saved it to…all three.

However, I have overcome the initial shock and sadness of this tragedy. I have been taking notes and writing the scenes as I write them on sticky notes so I have all the ideas. Plus, the story wasn’t going where I originally wanted it to go. So today I moved around some sticky notes, got rid of a few, and added new ones. The story (hopefully) will make much better sense.

Kris was good enough to get back the very first draft from when I saved it the first time, so she got me back the first 5,012 words of my story. This means I have about 45k left to write in order to validate for NaNo. With five days left (including yesterday and today), I decided I’m going to rewrite the entire novel. That’s about 10,000 words a day.

Since I all ready had the 5k I just needed to write 5k yesterday and then 10k for the rest of the month. Except I was too discouraged yesterday so I decided to start fresh today.

It took me from 8 in the morning until a little after 7 tonight, but I wrote 15,029 words. My novel is now back up to 20,041 words. I can only hope I can keep up this pace for the next three days (seriously, pray for me!).

A Great Day

A Writer Needs To Keep Busy…

I did very well today! I had the entire day to stay home and just write. I wanted to get a lot of editing done on Hunter. Honestly, I didn’t get much done on that, but I was still very productive.

I started off with Hunter. I said I had an epiphany with that novel and decided to outline each chapter on individual index cards so I can play around with the chapters to re-order them. Some chapters just might have to be completely re-written. But we’ll keep it easy for now.

I added a prologue to Hunter which was great because it added some background to the marriage of Cat’s (the protagonist) parents. Her mother is dead, but the prologue shows just how much Christina and Charles were not on the same page most of the time. Plus, there’s a part in the novel where a mutant has a message for Cat and I don’t think I ever explained it…yeah. So the prologue kind of added some insight to that, as well. It’ll force me to write that message in some where. So the prologue is actually helpful. I did not add it just because I felt like making the story longer.

I then outlined chapters one, two, and three. I have the entire novel edited on a hard copy, but I’m in the middle of re-typing it all up with the new edits. I add new edits that I didn’t put on the hard copy as I type it up because it’s as though I’m going through the novel a second time. So once I finish typing a new chapter, I’ll write the outline for it. So I was going to try to outline at least up to chapter four, but…I only typed up two pages of chapter four. Oh, well.

As I was going through this, I kept getting  a lot a new ideas for the sequel, Hunted. So I decided to start writing that even though I told myself I was going to wait until Hunter was completely edited. I wrote the prologue and chapter one. I’m on page 20 with 5,775 words. I think that’s an excellent start so far.

Tomorrow I plan on at least getting through chapter four on Hunter and maybe write chapter two for Hunted. Of course, I had a large mocha frap from Starbucks to help me get through today. So we’ll see how productive I am tomorrow.

Busy-ness

This, That, And The Other…

 

Well, it has been almost (ish) a month since I have posted on here. I remember that my last post I mentioned that I was going to write all weekend (because we had that blizzard) and that I would post again right after the weekend. That went well, didn’t it?

Actually, it did. I wrote during the weekend. I didn’t write as much as I wanted to do and I certainly didn’t write as much as I had the time for, but something is better than nothing, right?  I have been writing off and on since then. I’m working on a new novel. Yes, another new novel. I’m not working on The Blank Page anymore. Since I lost my flash drive, I haven’t really been encouraged to write anything that I had already started.

This novel is called Take Over. I thought of the idea while I was at work and then forgot about it. Then while I was in the shower a couple of days later, I thought of it again and couldn’t stop thinking about it. I came up with ideas and characters and everything. It was a fun shower.

I’ll post the summary to this novel at a later time, but the basic of it is that a group of high school students plan take over the school. Not in a mean, bad way, but only because they’re seniors and they want to leave the school as “legends.” They don’t mean anything bad by it, but it soon gets a little out of hand and it’s a riot…teachers versus students. This is what I have been writing lately and it’s coming along quite nicely. I’ll get into more details about the characters and such later, as well.

I decided to switch up my New Year’s Resolution a bit. I decided that I’m going to try to write at least 1,000 words a day. So I should have about 365,000 words by the end of the year. So by the end of February I should have about 59,000 or something like that. Since I wrote a lot of The Blank Page, I’m going to include that word count because I did write it during 2013. So that, (plus what I have for Take Over so far) equals to 27,802 words. A bit behind, yes, but I think I can do it because I don’t usually end up writing just 1,000 words at a time.

I have 12,663 words for Take Over and 21 pages. Hopefully it keeps up going at the rate it’s going. 😉

 

2013: 27,802/365,000 Words Written
2013: 932/18,250 Pages Read

Sad News

I haven’t updated this in a while with very good reasons…

1. Everyone knows that we switched from Verizon to Comcast, correct? Well, the internet still refuses to work. It’s getting pretty annoying. I can’t use my laptop at all. I can’t use it to work on my websites, I can’t use it to update this, and I can’t use it for school. My dad is bringing my laptop to a guy to completely clean it out because it had a virus on it a year or so ago. All the other laptops work (sometimes), so we’re wondering if my laptop still has some bits of the virus on it and that’s why it refuses to work. So I’m going to be out of a laptop for a little while…well, I already have been out of a laptop.

I’m using the school computer right now so–I hate to say this–it’s a good thing that I go to school five days a week. I need to get absolutely everything done at school. It’s such a pain, though. The only thing I can use my own laptop for it for writing on Word. Which brings me to the worst part of this post as well as the other reason as to why I haven’t updated in so long…

2. My flash drive broke. My sister tried to fix it and the computer guy my dad knows tried to fix it. It’s completely dead. The guy said he could fix it, but the software would cost 800 dollars. He said he could ship it to Brazil so it would be cheaper, but…I said no. That’s too much. My uncle is going to try to fix it, but I really have my doubts that it will work. We’ll have to see, but I’m pretty sure it’s gone.

It really upset and discouraged me. All of my novels were on there. I didn’t have any other back-ups to the novels because my computer had gotten the virus. Along with school work, Sunday school stuff, and website stuff, this is everything I lost:

  • Hunter — I printed it out to edit it, so worse comes to worst, I’ll just have to type it up again.
  • Hunted — The sequel to Hunter…I was half way through it and now it’s gone.
  • Diary of a Lover — I printed this out to edit it, too, so again I can just type it up again.
  • Saving Each Other — My 2012 NaNo that I finished last December…100% gone. I had no back-ups and none of it was printed out…I have to start from scratch all over again.
  • The Blank Page — It wasn’t finished, but as you all know, I have been working hard on this one a lot. Now I have to start completely over again.
  • Asking Bobby & Ashley’s Day at the Aquarium — Both of these are printed out, so they’re safe.
  • Fast Friends — Didn’t get too far in this one, but at least it was better than nothing…now it is nothing.
  • Echo — I was almost done with this one…gone.
  • Last Friday — I wrote this in a notebook and I had one more chapter left. Typing it up took me a really long time and now I’m going to have to do it again…at least it’s not completely gone.
  • The Others — My very first NaNo and the only one I every won. I never finished the novel, but I only had one or two more chapters left…another one gone.
  • Far Away — A love story I started, re-started, and re-started again…I got pretty far with it and now that’s gone, too.
  • Diary of a Killer — Didn’t get too far, but I really liked where it was going.
  • A Job to get Done — I loved this one. I was over 50 pages into it…gone.
  • Pyro — The origin story of my muse…the one and only character who speaks to me while I write. He popped into my head long before I even decided to make him a character in a story. I have no idea where he came from, but now I have to write his story all over again.
  • The Battle of Cooper’s Place — A script I wrote for Script Frenzy…it was my first one and I won. It sucked, but now it’s gone.
  • Halfway to Heaven — Another script I wrote. I loved this script. I was going to turn it into a novel, too…now I have to re-write that whole thing.
  • Four Fathers — A TV show I based off of a Ninja Turtles FanFiction I wrote. It was coming along pretty well.
  • All of my FanFiction stories…which was somewhere in the 100s, so I can’t even list them all to you.

And there you have it. 18 stories lost…there were more, but they were only a page or so in so they weren’t really important because they were small prompts and such.

I cried. I’ll admit that. I was thinking of everything that I lost, all that time and imagination I spent on those stories…and they’re all gone. I have to say that it was a real eye-opener for me, though. That saying is really true…”you never know what you have until it’s gone.”

So I decided that not only am I going to keep up with writing more, I’m going to focus more on finishing everything that I start. Looking at that list, I had a ton of ideas and characters roaming around in my head. So I think it’s time to jot down small ideas instead of switching completely over to a new novel. I have a new novel in the works at the moment and since I’m in the mood to write it, I think I’m going to start off with that one. I still have a lot of planning to do for it, but that’s alright. In the meantime, I can start editing some novels…well, just Hunter and Diary of a Lover since those are the only novels I have left at the moment.

But now I think about it, I have a ton of novels that are started in notebooks…I should really go through my notebooks, huh?

Anyway, let this be a lesson learned for all of you! I have no idea how my flash drive broke, but I had two (well, now one). I should have put everything on both. I’ll keep that in mind for next time. So I’ll try to writing again as soon as possible, but I kind of need to wait until I get my laptop back. I think my dad is going to call Comcast, too…even though everyone else’s work, they still go on the fritz sometimes. Hopefully this will be the end.

Relaxation

I Got Nothing Done Today…

 

Well, I have been on a roll writing for at least one hour every day. However, I didn’t write at all today. But I did say that I was going to try to post on here every day, so here I am. I have no news, but I am posting!

The reason as to why I didn’t write today was because I was busy with my websites. For example, Stars Vs. Gems, Gaia Ranch, and Spilled Ink. Spilled Ink is a writing website that my sister and I are working on together. We already have one up right now, but we completely re-did the whole website. So that’s why I didn’t give you the link because it’s not open yet. However, we  are planning on opening it on Columbus Day…maybe sooner. I’ll explain more about the website when it opens.

Once I finished working on our websites for the day, I thought about getting some writing done, but when I looked at the time I realized that I wasn’t going to have enough time. Although, now that I think about it, I could have written a little bit. Getting a little something done is better than nothing. But oh, well. What’s done is done.

I had a very busy day today because of church. Everyone knows that I’m the co-director of the Sunday school, correct? Well, today the Bishop came for a visit. Plus the Sunday school were performing something in the middle of the service. Also, we had a luncheon for the ladies who run the Thrift Shop to say thank you for everything they do for the church. Usually, I’m at church from 9:30 to 12:00. Today, because of the Bishop’s schedule, the service was 2 to 3. But because of the thing the Sunday School did in the service, we needed to practice it. So we told everyone to come at one, which meant that I was there before one. Then after the service, we had the luncheon and, well…I was at church today from 12:45 to 6:00. It wasn’t a bad time, but I just didn’t want to be there for that amount of time as well as it being smack in the middle of the day.

Anyway, when I got home, I was starving (there wasn’t any food I liked at the luncheon) so my sister and I got Panera and we’ve been watching TV ever since. I’ve been too tired to do anything else. Although, I think I might go plan out the novel a little bit.

The Blank Page has three novels in it and I thought that I should plan those out. Not fully, but just enough so that when I have my characters writing them, they all make sense. So I may do that, but as far as actual writing goes…I’m not going to be boosting my word count tonight.

Speaking of planning out the novels, though, I found this really cool app on my iPod. It’s called “A Novel Idea.” It breaks everything down. You can click on “novels” and will ask you the title, setting, theme, tone, POV, premise, plot, and group. The group is something you make up. You can group certain things together. For example, when I plugged in The Blank Page, I put it under the Writers Group group. The other sections are “scenes,” “characters,” “locations,” and “ideas.” It’s very detailed and organized. I added The Blank Page as a novel and added Dominic, Justin, and Adair as characters. Then it allowed me to attach the novel to each character. It also allowed me to give Dominic, Adair, and Justin relations to each other. It really keeps you organized. I think I may use this to plan out the three novels that aren’t real. Then I might know enough information about them so Dominic, Justin, and Adair can write them efficiently in The Blank Page.

If you like to write and have an iPod, iPhone, iPad, or anything along those lines, then you should download this app. It’s really useful and it was free. I highly recommend it.

2013: 11,010 Words

Day 19

28334/50000 Words

Well, it’s official. I am behind in NaNo. I have to say that I knew this day was going to come eventually. It was kind of too good to be true that I was doing so well in the beginning.
The thing is, there are four more weeks of school left. With Thanksgiving right around the corner, this week is only three days, so technically there are only three full weeks left and then there’s finals. Naturally, because the end of the semester is within sight, all my professors decide to dump a load on us students. I have a project in science that is due December 3. Because of NaNo, I already started it and I have to say that it is really easy and it’s not time consuming at all. I just have to fix it up a bit and then put it all together on the poster. I have one more written assignment to do for that class and then I’m done with science (the project is my final). Math…I’m never going to be done with math, let’s be honest. However, I did do the homework that she assigned so I don’t have any math homework until Wednesday. Health, I have a training to do for a quiz grade, but the website won’t work. That’s going to be interesting to tell my teacher especially since she’s get mad pretty easily. Teaching, I just have one more paper to write and my online class…that class takes up no time at all.

So I explain all of this to you and it seems like I don’t have that much because I have most of it done or started already. However, it’s actually a lot more than it sounds, which is a sad thing. Anyway, I’m trying to get all of this done and out of the way so that I can finally start focusing on my NaNo again. I may just bring my laptop or something when I go away this weekend so that I can work on it bit by bit. There’s wi-fi there now, so I may be able to write and even update my NaNo stats.

I think my other problem is this: I never finished the outline in October. The last time I wrote my NaNo (nine days ago…wow) I had finished the outline. Now that I have nothing to follow, even though I still have ideas, I think I’m scaring myself away. I can freelance, but I know that it’s going to turn out terrible. Which isn’t a bad thing–it just means that I’m going to have a little extra editing to do later. But the fact that it’s going so well now, I’m afraid that I’m going to mess it all up.

My other problem, I think, is because I may be getting bored with it. I have noticed a pattern with myself: I start something and never finish it. I come up with ideas and ideas and ideas and I never do anything with them. Before NaNo even started, my sister and I were going to write together. I whipped out my list of novels and looked them over. I didn’t feel like writing anything. I wanted to come up with something new. But I really didn’t because I knew that I should start working on something on the list. Or, I should finish something that I had already started. I’m pretty sure I have at least ten novels that are already started. It’s a problem. They should have a support group for something like this.

Just the other day, I came up with a new idea, which is why I think I might be getting bored with Saving Each Other. I told my sister the other day that I haven’t written anything in a while and that it was really bumming me out. So what did I do? I turned on the TV.

I am determined to finish NaNo this year. I am determined to finish the entire novel. I am determined to actually edit it fairly soon so that I can maybe get something finally published. But with school and work and Thanksgiving around the corner (especially since I’m going away), it’s going to be tough. I have to admit that I am a little discouraged, but I am really hoping that I push past this feeling and just get the dumb novel done.

Please wish me luck and Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope you all have a good one and I hope all your NaNo novels are going much better than mine! 🙂