[Ask RPedia] Anxious About My Writing: Help?

Anonymous asked: I know this is normal for writers and that there isn’t a real solution but I’m gonna ask anyway: Any advice on how to stop feeling insecure about what/how I write?

Oh man, this is gonna sound like such an asshole move, but my favorite way to help myself is to write to spite everyone else. Seriously. Write like you hate everyone else in the world. Write like they mean fucking nothing to you. Write because they’re gonna get what you write, and they’re gonna like it, if they know what’s good for them. Write to make that mental editor representing the ‘them’ in your head mad as hell.

It’s always energized me to flippantly declare to myself that if people don’t like something I like, they can go fuck themselves in some fancy new way, because I’m busy writing and I don’t see them getting off their ass! They’re reading anyways ain’t they? Then they god damn don’t have anything better to do than let me shove words, and ideas, and mental pictures into their heads rapidly. Them complaining? Hah, you mean leaving impassioned responses because I hit a nerve. I CONTROL them. 𝕀 𝔸𝕄 𝔸𝕊 𝔸 𝔾𝕆𝔻.

…ahem. There’s other things to think about. I just, really like getting pumped about that concept because getting pumped makes it really awesome. Lemme uh… lemme try talking about … other things… next. Instead of declaring my godhood, wow, that is so ‘famous last words’ material for a character to say.

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Editing after NaNoWriMo

Anonymous asked: How do you approach editing/revision? (Especially for a nanonovel) When I write so quickly, its hard for me to mentally visualize my overall story (even if its mostly written) and then I get overwhelmed because I don’t know how to approach editing it. Any tips?

Actually yeah! That’s a great point. It can be especially difficult after NaNoWriMo because you become so immersed in your novel. It’s hard to take a step back to see the bigger picture. Outlining becomes helpful again. Even if you are not a planner, creating a chapter by chapter outline will be really helpful. Try to plot it on a page and ask yourself how each chapter moves the plot forward. 

Once you have a first full draft, don’t delete anything. Edit in a new document. Editing will feel like rewriting - and let me tell you, it kind of is, but because you have a solid draft completed, you’re not changing the whole thing at once and starting from scratch. You’re reconstructing it to make it better. If one of your edits isn’t working, you can always refer back to the original to start that chapter over. 

You may need to put your novel away for a few weeks (a month is good) and then go through it with a red pen. You can still think about your novel and work on trying to summarize it over those weeks - but don’t actually write it. In fact, write something else. Maybe a short story or two. I can’t handle more than one novel (without having a writing partner) at a time, so short stories are great. 

Once you’ve waited a month, get away for a day and read you novel. Read it the way you’d read a book you didn’t write. Read it with a red pen and mark every time it stops feeling like a novel. No nostalgia allowed. Kill all your darlings or at least circle them in pen. If you like them too much to get rid of them, see why they’re not working. That might be something to play with later and figure out. There may be a way to keep the sentiment but change the words. Don’t edit while you read, just read.
Writing Essentials (with We Need Diverse Books)
Authors Maurene Goo, Brendan Kiely, and Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich are joining us to talk about the writing essentials. How do you build structure for you...

Virtual Writing Retreat Scheduled for Mar 16, 2017

Authors Maurene Goo, Brendan Kiely, and Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich are joining Camp NaNoWriMo to talk about the writing essentials. How do you build structure for your writing into your life? How do you make the most of a writing community? And how do you find meaning in your stories and your storytelling? We’re asking the big questions.

But Pear, where do I even start for NaNoWriMo?

To answer this, you have to know what kind of a writer you are. There are plenty of articles that talk about what it means to be a pantser or a planner, so I’m not going to talk about that unless you want to. I’m going to get a little self-indulgent here, sorry.

Where do you start? With a story of course! 

Know your characters: This is the first half of outlining. Outlining is for getting to know your plot, but your plot will evolve out of your characters. I very nearly always start a story with an image of a character in some sort of situation (or a line of dialogue, but that’s another story). From there, you have to get to know them–who are they, what do they do, what do they want?

Try filling out a character questionnaire. Here are a few to get you started:
Writing a Character: Questionnaire; 50 questions from firstwordsoftheprologue

Pokemon: FYCD; from fuckyeahcharacterdevelopment

This is a Towel: Character Questionnaires; a collection of other questionnaires compiled by writeworld

Outline. I’m not going to go too far into this since there are plenty of posts across Tumblr’s fantastic writers community. One of the top recommended methods for outlining is the Snowflake Method. I’ve never used it, but mostly because the one I was taught in school works amazing for me, so I haven’t experimented with others much. The following method may not be for everyone, but if you’ve tried some others and they haven’t worked out, give this a try.
     The handout I was originally given when I learned this method seven years ago didn’t give it a title, so I just call it the 10-point model.

(1) Point A: Opening - This is the very beginning scene of your novel. Make it good! Start with a bit of action, even if it’s not important to the overall plot arc. Give a sense of your main character and your world using sparse description. Being long-winded in your opening descriptions leaves you no place to go in the future. How can you describe the room later when you’ve already described it down to the specks of dirt in the floorboards in the opening chapter? Just give little tastes–enough for the audience to see the framework while still looking forward to what the location has to offer in details later in the work.

(2, 5, & 6) Event - Something happens! But it doesn’t have to be anything that stymies the characters. These should be developments within your plot or a subplot that are viewed as major. These are steps forward for your character(s).

(3, 4, 7, & 8) Complication - Something else happens! But this is something that sets your character(s) back. Your villain takes a step forward, or something doesn’t go right in your character’s plans, or somebody unexpected steps into the mix, or any number of things.

(4) The Point of No Return - This counts as a complication-type event. This is the straw that breaks the camel’s back, so to speak. It’s the event that defines why the main character is the one who must do the thing, why your main character decides to do the thing, the thing that makes your main character start the journey.

(9) Point X: Climax - Something CRAZY happens! If you’re writing a literary fiction piece, maybe it’s an intense argument. Maybe it’s a fight, or a discovery. Whatever it is, this is the final confrontation (for this book) between your protagonist and your antagonist.

(10) Ending - The great slide down to the last page. This is some sort of event that takes place that wraps up all the loose ends. Maybe it’s a subplot’s resolution or a character’s final acts or a conversation or a peace-making. Wrap up your story with this scene.

Assuming you have the bare bones of an idea, start collecting. Collect everything that reminds you of your story, whether that’s travel photos, or clothing pieces, or character designs, or rocks. I have a tag on this blog for my own story that’s full of just that sort of material. It helps to create a secondary tagging system within that. I have tags for certain characters, tags for countries, tags for clothing, and armor, and animals, and atmosphere, and inspiration, and all kinds of stuff. It works as a kind of virtual cork board for me, though obviously you can print these things off, too, and actually hang them somewhere. People have used Pinterest for this, too, I just happen to use Tumblr. Keeping things like this all in one place can help you when you’re actually writing by giving you things to reference. This way you can get the feel of whatever you’re writing, or keep it consistent if you’re describing something. It’s also great when you’re stuck. Looking at all these things that specifically recall your story can help put you back in the mood or give you inspiration.

Need advice? Looking for further guidance on getting started? Feel free to send me an ask!

anonymous asked:

my significant other is a writer do you have any tips for writers loved ones to help them make sure their writer is taken care of and mused or motivated or things like that so they're comfortable during nano and maybe some help in understanding what to expect?

I’ll leave this open for others to answer as well, but what comes to mind for me is just this:

  1. If you see them writing, don’t bug them!  Even if they’re just staring at a blank screen or just reading over a lot of text on the page, they’re working on it.  But ESPECIALLY if they’re in the process of typing!  It helps if they specifically say “I’m gonna work on writing now,” and if there’s a certain place they go to write or put on their headphones or whatever.. a sort of signal so you can know at a glance they’re trying to write!
  2. Do a little extra on the chores if you can!  Especially if your Wrimo is getting a lot of writing done, they might slack on the housekeeping.  Even if it’s usually their job to do the dishes, wash a few of them so there’s less work for them waiting after they’re done working on writing!
  3. Listen to them if they want to babble about their project.  Now if you’re not super interested, this can get old fast.  I’ve been on both sides of this, heh.  But a lot of times, talking out what you’re working on is all you need to get un-stuck.  Also, they’re excited about their project and want to talk about it with you! :)

anonymous asked:

do you have any tips for nanowrimo, just in general?

Yes. I participated (and completed ☺️) NaNoWriMo two years ago and it was a great experience. But my first tip, and a really important one, I talk about in a post I made last year about repetitive strain injury. Typing 1,666 words a day for a month can be a strain on your hands and back so make sure you’re careful. Anyway, here are some other tips based on my experiences:

  • Try to stick to the daily word count as much as possible, but it isn’t the end of the world if you miss a day. 50,000 words sounds really daunting, and frankly so does 1,666 words a day but it’s manageable. But if you let it build up then it’ll seem even more daunting until you get discouraged. To achieve this…
  • Set a time for writing. This is a good tip for writing in general but especially for something like NaNo or making a deadline. Tell yourself you’re going to write and only write from x-y. Obviously there might be days you can’t fulfil it but try it anyway.
  • Don’t worry about editing. One of the great things I learned from NaNo was how to push through blocks and just let the writing come out without  second guessing myself too much (that word count is great incentive). You’ll have time to edit later. November is for the writing. 
  • Outlines are great, but not set in stone. This sort of goes with the other point but don’t let your outline bog you down. If you get another idea on the spur of the moment, go for it. If you think you’d rather write another scene right now instead the one that follows chronologically in your story, do it, you can always go back later.
  • Go full screen mode. I was going to suggest getting one of those apps that keeps you off of the Internet for sometime but I know that sometimes you need to do a quick Google search for a story point. So instead of completely depriving yourself of the internet at least go full screen on the document so that you can really focus just on the page and not have all the other apps in your dock distracting you. Better yet, I know some versions of Word have something called Focus View that literally just leaves the page on the screen. Try that.
  • Do it for the learning experience. Sometimes, when the day is long and the word count doesn’t seem like it’s moving much, you’ll need some extra incentives to keep going. I learned a lot during NaNo about myself as a writer and just general good work habits. 
  • Talk to someone about your progress. If you happen to have a writing buddy who is also doing NaNo that’s great! You can push each other along and keep your spirits up, plus it can give you a little competitive push. But if you don’t have someone like that, try just talking to a friend or family member so you can tell them about your progress and they can help keep you on track. You can always blog about on your Tumblr too ;)
  • If it sounds too unreasonable, make your own goal. You can start off aiming for that 50,000 but along the way you might find that for one reason or another it just isn’t feasible for you. So instead of giving up all together, try to set your own personal goal, one that you think you can achieve and work towards that. 

Hope those can be of some help. NaNoWriMo is fast approaching and for those of you have are attempting for the first time I get your apprehension, but it’s not as impossible as it sounds. That being said, life happens, so don’t beat yourself up if you can’t meet the deadline. Do your best and try to enjoy the experience! 

nanowrimo asks!
  1. How many times have you participated in nanowrimo before?
  2. What are you working on for nano this year?
  3. Do you do any other kind of ‘massive creative output in a month’ challenges?
  4. What’s your favourite thing about doing nano?
  5. What’s your least favourite thing about doing nano?
  6. What do you tell the non-writer people in your life about what you’re doing in November?
  7. Why did you pick your current project to work on this month?
  8. Tell me about your protagonist!
  9. Tell me about your antagonist!
  10. Are you a plotter or a pantser?
  11. You got ships? Tell me about your ships.
  12. Is there any character who has surprised you so far?
  13. Is there any plot development that has surprised you so for?
  14. Do you make use of the nano forums?
  15. What do you do in order to get unstuck/make word count?
  16. What kind of writing program do you use for nano, and is it different from your normal process?
  17. What is your favourite thing about this particular project you’re working on?
  18. Does your writing style differ during nano, and if so, how?
  19. Do you go to any in-person writer meet ups?
  20. How many times have you cried?
  21. FREE QUESTION ask whatever u want

i made a meme for nanowrimo

1) your characters theme song 2) a song that always makes you think of them 3) a song that would make them think of home 4) a song that would make them dance 5) a song that would make them sing along 6) a song that would make them cry 7) a song that reminds them of their best friend 8) a song about their crew or supporting cast 9) their most favorite song 10) their most guilty pleasure song 11) a song everyone else hates but they love 12) a song that they would sing to someone they love 13) a song by their favorite artist 14) their favorite disney song 15) a song they would want at their wedding or another celebration 16) a song they sing only when they’re alone 17) a song your whole cast would sing together 18) a song that would play after the last page

michiefen  asked:

Hey so this year I'm doing NaNoWriMo, have you ever done it? If so, do you have any tips on how not to get freaked out?

Dear michiefen,

Traditionally, I have been somewhat of an asshole about NaNoWriMo. I began being an asshole about it in 2010, when I tried to use NaNo to write The Scorpio Races, and persisted in being somewhat of an asshole for years. We hissed at each other in the halls. NaNoWriMo stabbed my tires in the Target parking lot. I squeezed pimples into its Starbucks latte. 

But this year I was driving along in my car shortly before it caught fire and I was thinking about NaNoWriMo, and in this blessed and liminal space I realized that my problem with NaNoWriMo was that I was too old. No, not too old. Too world-weary. No. Not too world-weary. It was just — I had spent too many years securely in the saddle to remember what it was like to be unable to even get a foot in the stirrup. I didn’t remember what it was like not knowing if you could actually finish a novel, because I had finished my first novel long, long ago (I was 11 or so. It was terrible. The first chapter was about dogs test-driving a car). I had lots of problems with my writing, but none of them involved the question of whether or not I could hit 50,000 words in a month. The question was not if I could make a word count. It was if I could make that word count story-shaped.

I probably still have that problem.

Anyway, this year, I can recognize that many writers are existing in that stage of still finding their stirrups, even if I will not be joining you in the official NaNoWriMo trenches. And in light of my early writing days, I do have a tip: don’t begin writing until you know one of these two things:

1) your ending*

2) why you’re writing this novel**


*If you’re trying to use NaNoWriMo to get better at writing, I’d recommend trying to write a complete story during the month of NaNo, even if it is less than 50k. I wrote a lot of fiction before I hit college, and the novels that taught me the most are the ones I actually made it to the end of. The one that taught me the least is the one I simply revised eleven times. As I learned from my time at Merry Sisters of Fate, my collaborative short story blog, you learn a lot more about story-making when you have to do all parts of it instead of just lovingly polishing the ugly seams out of something written by a less sophisticated version of yourself.

**Sometimes you don’t know the end of the story because you don’t know how the characters are going to play out and nothing you imagine for them feels true. You need to write it out. In this case, I recommend knowing why you’re writing the story so that you can return to that mission statement again and again as a touchstone. 

After every chapter you write, ask yourself if that chapter has gotten you closer to 1 or 2. And if the answer is no, delete it. Start again the next day. Don’t be afraid to delete it just because you need the wordcount. A really inspired writing session can give you 10-30k words in a night. It’s always better to chase the story than the wordcount. 

And don’t get freaked out. If you don’t make it, you can always post a surly Dear John letter on the internet for the next three or four years. It worked for me.



(I may have posted this already but I don’t think I have.)
Artist - aegisdea here on Tumblr -

So since I am SO SO CLOSE at completing the first draft of this novel I have been working on I thought the cover needed a bit of showing off  (again if I have already done it once)

I have been working on and fine tuning this novel for  YEARS, but only just got into writing the book in Nanowrimo last year because I said to myself it was about time I actually wrote the darn thing, so for Nanowrimo I asked my buddy Drei to make me this beautiful cover of the main character of my book “Corrie” with the green flame (which will be explained in the story)
I LOVE fiction, but there was a few things I wanted to address with this novel, some were just accidents (love interests include white boy, black girl) it seemed natural up until my friend pointed out there were few novels that put them together, and I don’t know tbh but I noticed only  after I had written them and others were done intentionally.
Themes include: Acceptance, Race, Religion, Gender equality and sexual Orientation, all in a mediaeval type fantasy era and setting. The only ones that came into my head I INTENSIONALLY wrote in was about religion and Gender equality, the others kinda happened on their own.

So to conclude I hope I can show this to a publisher sometime in 2015, here is the Bio I made for Nanowrimo for anyone curious about it, thanks for the support guys xxx

“Through the strength of our body we will endure the pain
Through the wisdom of our minds we will seek out the truth
Through the nature of our spirit we will see the void
Through the kindness of our hearts we will heal the world”

Magus have been the source of human magic for generations, the 12 guardians grant their powers to the humans in hopes of protecting the world.
For one boy this could mean life or death.
When his world comes crashing down at the discovery of his abilities, it is then he learns the simple life he has lead has been nothing more than a lie.
Now he wants the truth of his life and will do anything to get it, even if it means giving up everything he has ever held dear to search for it, it drives him right into more trouble, luckily he meets friends along the way to guide him and teach him more than just learning magic.
With his fiery tempered companion can he discover his true origins? or will it destroy him first?

anonymous asked:

Hey so I'm working a novel for NaNoWriMo, and I want my main character to be asexual. I dont plan on making it necessarily about her being ace, and I don't really want that to even be super important to the story, so I don't think I'll ever flat-out mention asexuality. I do want to include a sex scene in which her lack of sexual attraction/libido is apparent-- do you have any suggestions for me, concerning this scene and the novel as a whole? I want to accurately represent the ace community 🙈

No worries. I can give you tons of links on asexual character writing:

Stereotypes to Avoid When Writing Asexual Characters

Character Development Questions

Words and Concepts Used in Asexual Communities

How To Show That A Character Is Asexual

Negative Responses Asexual Characters May Get When Coming Out

Plot Ideas

Potential Sources of Conflict For Asexual Characters

Sex Scenes With Asexual Characters

Stereotypes to Avoid

geek-without-a-social-life  asked:

I'm so embarrassed to ask... But what is nanowrimo?

Don’t be embarrassed! I am a newbie from 2014 and so have excess enthusiasm to share!

It stands for National Novel Writing Month, which is held in November. Participants generally sign up to write 50,000 words in 30 days – or 1667 words a day. It’s not a full novel, but the thinking is if you can go that far on your first draft, and you flex those daily writing muscles, you’ve got enough material and momentum to keep going all the way. There are forums, including where you can get excellent advice or just mingle with other participants. 

There are now separate events, called “camps” in April and July. You set your own goals during the camp events. 

You don’t have to write a novel to participate. Those who don’t proudly wear the label “NaNo Rebels.” 

The forums alone are a great reason to sign up now and either catch up for April camp, wait for July, or wait until November. 

How I Reignited My Love for Writing

Everyone has a different NaNoWriMo experience. We’ve asked some wonderful NaNoWriMo writers to share theirs. Today, Justin Isaacs, NaNoWriMo participant, shares how he rediscovered his passion for writing:

When I was in first grade, I wrote my first story. It wasn’t particularly good. However, that didn’t stop me from using writing as a creative outlet. 

Even at a young age I was fascinated with the macabre. Fueled by R.L. Stine’s Fear Street series, and later, Stephen King, I began my writing career early on with horror stories. (I was sent to the guidance counselor on more than one occasion throughout grade school. They eventually confirmed that I was able to mentally separate fiction from reality, and thankfully allowed me to continue writing unabated.)

I wrote dozens of short stories and novellas throughout grade school. On Halloween, during my sophomore year in high school, my little brother destroyed all of my manuscripts by gluing them to a desk and painting on them. I was absolutely devastated. All of my hard work had been completely eradicated, and so had my passion for writing. I thought I would never write again.

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4 Things I Learned from Writing a Novel in a Month

Everyone has a different NaNoWriMo experience. We’ve asked some wonderful NaNoWriMo writers to share theirs. Today, Lynne Powell Assa, NaNoWriMo participant, shares the four key lessons she learned from her first time participating in NaNoWriMo:

It all started with a friend’s cajoling Facebook post:

What qualifications did I have? Fiction writing is not a skill I developed working 26 years as an engineer. Sure, outside of work my favorite past time was reading, but never did I write creatively. My last short story was written in grade school. So besides being a retired empty nester, I will never know what possessed me to respond, but mid-October I was in!

And here’s what this NaNoWriMo newbie learned about writing and myself.

Planning is helpful, and Pantsing works, too

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