What If?

Guest bloggers visit my website twice a month on Tuesday and Thursday. If you would like to be part of this, feel free to check out the Be A Guest Blogger page.

This week’s guest post is brought to you by my sister Kris. Thanks, Kris!

Perhaps the most important question for a writer is, “What if?” What if the moon blew up? What if dogs could talk to us? What if we’re all robots?

As writers, our minds are constantly open to all of the potential story ideas around us. What if takes us on journeys far away from our current lives, even though our feet are still on the ground. It gives us a boost in our writing lives, enabling our imaginations to soar to ever-new heights.

What if this character had magic? There are all sorts of new possibilities, both good and bad, open to our story with the help of magic.

What if this took place in a desert landscape instead of a forest? Imagine what the symbolism of surviving in a harsher environment would mean for the character’s development.

Hang on, though…

What if someone already wrote something like this? All the good plots have already been used by the bestsellers. There are no more fresh twists out there.

What if I’m a terrible writer? There is no amount of schooling that can teach one to write like the greats.

What if this story is just a waste of time? There’s little to no money in the job unless you are blessed and practiced with skills on par with the likes of J.K. Rowling and Stephen King.

Unfortunately, there’s also the downside to What if. That question can hinder our minds just as easily as they help us. Writers are notorious for being plagued with self-doubt, for punishing ourselves for not writing the perfect draft the first time. Many of us need to write just as we need to breathe, yet this vicious cycle can leave us feeling haggard and useless and just about ready to throw down the pencil or turn off the computer.

But wait…

What if J.K. Rowling had given up on Harry Potter after those first dozen rejections? What if Stephen King hadn’t started Carrie even after his first novel was rejected?

What if your story changes someone’s world?

So pick up that pencil or turn on that computer. All those “What if?” questions aren’t going to answer themselves. They need your story.

Kristen Poli is a young woman in her mid-twenties who is obsessed with writing, video games, dogs, and chocolate. She’s always up for meeting others who share her obsessions, so feel free to say hello over at her social media.

If you would like to know more about Kris, visit her on her social media:

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Yay, Updates!

I’m Productive…Sort Of….

 

Yesterday, June 19, I actually got a good amount of writing done. Kris and I went to Barnes and Noble to be productive! She wrote a story that she started a while ago and I edited some more of Hunter. I got two and half chapters done…then our friend coincidentally ran into us again. Last time it was no coincidence, but this time it was. So the last hour or so of us being there was spent mingling with an old friend…and drinking half of his Starbucks java chip. 🙂 He wasn’t too happy about that, but I was.

So I got some editing done. Because I have three stories that need to be edited, I don’t want to start anything new. The only exception I’ll make to that Camp NaNo, which is next month. In which case I will have four novels to be edited. I decided that I am not going to start anything new until all (or at least two) of the novels are completely edited and ready to be published! Only while I’m looking for publishers I’ll start something new to pass the time. While I edit, if I get an itch to write, I’ll write FanFiction.

Speaking of FanFiction, that’s the other thing I wrote yesterday. Last night I hand-wrote the prologue and first chapter to my Pokemon parody Yellow. Then I typed it up because I was curious how long it was going to be. I hand-wrote 2,019 words. I was impressed with myself. The reason I’m hand-writing it is because when I go on vacation in July, I’m not going to be able to bring my laptop. I’ll be editing, but I also want to be able to write somethings, too.

As I stated, I edited some more of Hunter yesterday. I always write when I start the novel, when I finish, when I start editing, and when I finish editing. Then I record the number of pages, chapters, and words. Sadly enough, I haven’t kept up with that with all of my novels. I’m going to start keeping up with it again though when I start Camp NaNo next month. Anyway, I started that novel back in August 2011. Old, right? Unfortunately, I never recorded when I finished it. I’m sure it was at least six months later that I finished it or something.

My point is that it was almost two years ago that I started the novel. I was 17 at the time, but turned 18 less than a month later. I started the novel August 2 and my birthday is September 1. I don’t know if it was the age or I didn’t have my cup of coffee that day, or maybe I had just written a lot that day and was getting tired. But when I edited yesterday, I was on page 129 in the middle of chapter eleven, and I read this line:

“I know that that would James pleased.”

I have to say that I completely died laughing when I read that. I have no idea what I was thinking–well, I clearly wasn’t thinking at all. That line is 100% messed up! I’m pretty sure I meant:

“I know that James would be pleased.”

So I changed it to that. I just thought I would share. Hopefully this gave you all a good belly laugh as it did for me.

Back to business: Anyone who is doing Camp NaNo next month, the cabins are being assigned starting today! I just checked and I am already in a cabin. I have to admit that I am pretty shocked with my cabin. I have always been in a cabin with four other people. So, including myself, the total amount of writers in a cabin was five. Sometimes there were only four of us all together. Four or five total, never three or anything like that. Guess how many people now? Including me, there are eight of us. How crazy is that? I wonder why they assigned so many people to one cabin…I’m not complaining, but I just think that it’s a little weird. I didn’t know they put that many people in one cabin together.

I think I said everything I wanted to say. I’m focusing on editing, only to write FanFiction when I get bit by the writing bug. The only exception is Camp NaNo. I can’t wait for Camp! 🙂

Day 25

I Disappeared, Didn’t I…

Hello again! Sorry for vanishing into thin air. Life has been  a little hectic lately. I have a lot of homework since it’s nearing the end of the semester and I’ve been back at work this week because April vacation is over…sad day.

However, I come with good news! My word count for Camp NaNo is 50,198! I won! But I’m going to keep on going, so I didn’t validate it yet. Plus I’m at school right now, so I don’t really want to validate it on the school computer and not my laptop.

For Camp I wrote many things. I started and completed Saving Each Other, I finished Take Over, I started Seeing Things, and I started The Blank Page. You’re probably confused because the last time I posted I was planning on starting and finishing Seeing Things. Well, I was starting to get out of the writing groove and I realized that it was because of that story. After constantly working on Saving Each Other, I realized that I was beginning to get a little sick of the plot and the characters. I need a break from that story. So I decided to write The Blank Page again.

I hope everyone remembers, but I’ll say it again: The Blank Page is a novel about three strangers getting together through a writing website to write with each other and help one another out through the ups and downs of writing a novel. So basically it’s what us writers go through when we’re trying to start a novel, get through the novel, finish the novel, edit it, publish it, etc. I started it, my flash drive broke, so I lost it. So I’m starting it over again.

I have a total of ten single-spaced pages and 5,000 words even for The Blank Page. So things are going pretty well with it so far. I’ve been getting back to writing a lot more since I started it and stopped writing Seeing Things. Maybe I’ll finish Seeing Things when I finish The Blank Page. I have too many novels going on…

So there you have it. I think that’s all the updates I have for right now. I hope to write a lot more of The Blank Page before the end of the month so I can keep updating my word count for Camp NaNo.

I hope all you other Campers are finished or at least very close to it!

2013: 131,977/350,000 Words Written
2013: 1,749/18,250 Pages Read

50,000 Even

I Shall Dance Now!

 

You know how I said that I wanted to make it to 50,000 words on my novel Take Over by April 1st before Camp NaNoWriMo starts? Well, I actually did it! I was at 30,056 or something like that and on Tuesday I wrote 10,070 words and on Wednesday I wrote 9,874 words! I made it to 50,000 words even and I hope to continue until the beginning of April!

The funny thing is that I’m almost almost done with the novel. I had about four more parts left to write and then I think that’s it. So it shouldn’t take me too long to finish. I want to continue writing it until April so I think there is a good chance that I actually can finish the novel before Camp NaNo starts. However, I am not going to push myself. I got lucky with writing about 20,000 words in just two days.

I’m on Spring Break this week, but I still have work. Monday we had a snow storm during the night so I had a snow day at work on Tuesday. That’s why I was able to write so much. It took between four and five hours, but I made it to 10,070 words. I think that has been the most I have ever written in one day. I never posted on here after I accomplished that because when I finished it was about ten o’clock at night and I was exhausted. Not to mention that my wrists were killing me.

On Wednesday, my sister and I went to Barnes and Noble to write for a little bit before I had to go to work at two o’clock. I got up to 48 thousand and something words after being at Barnes and Noble for about three and half hours. So I was determined to make it to that 50k that night when I got home from work because it was just another couple thousand words.

In other news, I figured out what I am going to be writing for Camp NaNo! I’m going to be writing Saving Each Other. Yes, I already wrote that, but it died along with my flash drive. It’s still fairly fresh in my mind so I thought that I could re-write it from memory. The novel kind of sucked anyway, so maybe this will go a little better. I have a ton of novels planned out for this series, but (and I think I already said this when I first wrote the novel) I’m going to condense it all. I have three series for it, each series being five books long. I’m going to turn it into a trilogy and each novel will have all five parts in the one book. So the books will be fairly long, but we’ll just have to wait and see what happens. Hopefully it will all work out in the end.

It’s Friday morning right now and I wrote this post Wednesday night…but I had to modify it because before I could post it because Wednesday night my laptop decided it wasn’t going to talk to the Wi-Fi anymore. So it would be kind of weird to post something on Friday that talked about “yesterday” being Tuesday and “today” being Wednesday.

I have work today (yes, Friday) from 11:00 to 5:00/6:00. Then I have this Family Night thing to go to that’s happening at my cousin’s school. Yipee for me…but it was fun last year, so I’ll try to think positive about it even though I really don’t want to go. In any case, I’m going to try to get some writing done this morning before I have to go to work. I have about two hours. Then maybe later on tonight I can get something done. The only thing is that the Family Night ends between nine and ten at night, so who knows how tired I am going to be by the end of that…especially working six or seven hours with itty bitty children all afternoon.

Wish me luck in finishing a novel in literally a month without it being NaNo! 🙂

 

2013: 65,196/365,000 Words Written
2013: 1,749/18,250 Pages Read

Camp NaNoWriMo

Camp National Novel Writing Month…

 

2013-Participant-Campfire-Facebook-Profile

 

Show of hands–who is participating in Camp NaNo this year? I know that I am and I have to say that I am certainly not prepared for it…

First, I’m a little disappointed that Script Frenzy is no more. I loved that website and I loved participating. Can you do a script for NaNo? Of course, but it’s not really the same. I think they took down Script Frenzy because not a lot of people were joining it…as far as I’m concerned, there were a good amount of people on there. Most of the people on NaNo were on Script Frenzy.

Second, they changed the dates again. The first year I discovered Camp NaNo was 2011 and it was during the months of June and July. For 2012 it was July and August. Now, for 2013, it’s April and July. I’m glad we can all agree on at least July. I’m sure they changed it to April because that’s when Script Frenzy used to be.

Third, my OCD is kicking it. There are 12 months in a year and three sessions of NaNoWriMo. 12 divided by three is four. Each session should be four months a part. November, March, July. End of story. Of course, that would mean I would have to write 50,000 this month, but…whatever. The way they have it now is obnoxious. November to April is five months, April to July is three months, and July to November is three months. Make it even, please!

This poses as an issue. April is less than one month away and I have no idea what to do for it. Not to mention that I am already in the middle of a novel. I know some people are “rebels” and they just add 50,000 words onto whatever novel they are currently writing, but I don’t like to do that. I like to start fresh. So this means that I have to finish Take Over by April because if I start writing something new, I know for a fact that I will never go back to Take Over. And I really need to start finishing things that I start.

So I am going to try to work extra hard for the rest of this month and try to get Take Over finished up. Then I can start planning for April and…I have no idea what novel I am going to write for that. But I guess I can’t really worry about that right now because I have to focus on finishing Take Over. This is a lot to handle; especially since I’m trying to get school organized and such.

By the way, I finished reading Beautiful Creatures. It was a good book–everyone should read it. But while the movie was great, it really didn’t do the book justice. So if you’re one of those people who gets angry when the movie is completely different from the book, I say watch the movie before you read the actual book. That way, you can enjoy the movie for just a little bit. Anyway, that’s 563 pages added to my pages read count!

As you know because I haven’t posted in a couple of days, I have no written in a couple of days. I have been busy and I have been exhausted. I am, however, going to try my absolute best to finish Take Over by April. That gives me a little over three more weeks and I’m already doing pretty well on the story. I think I should be able to do it.

I just have to cut off all ties with life.

 

2013: 41,268/365,000 Words Written
2013: 1,495/18,250 Pages Read