With just a week until NaNoWriMo begins, there are a few things I’d like to say! Firstly, good luck to everyone who intends to participate! Starting at all is awesome and I commend you for it! To everyone who is afraid to participate, that’s alright as well! I’ve never done it, and I likely never will. I know my own writing ability enough that I could never complete a novel in such a short time. Even if you’re aiming for writing 40,000 words (the bare minimum to be considered a novel), one would need to write 1,333 words a day. To some, that’s easy! But I myself am a very meticulous, sluggishly paced writer. Breaking 1000 words a day is a miracle to me, so doing so every day would be impossible with my current skill level. But I’m okay with that.

Participating in NaNoWriMo doesn’t make you any more or any less of a writer. Not finishing your work in the given timeline doesn’t make you less of a writer. Hating your work during this time and thinking that you should scrap or rework your ideas doesn’t make you less of a writer. What makes you a writer is your passion for the craft and that you love to tell stories and create worlds.

Now, onto the second part of this post. I imagine that due to this, my inbox may be flooded with a variety of questions asking for my help. Know in advance that I likely cannot and will not address all of these. In addition to just starting work, I personally use November as a month to simply try to write as much as I can, and if I have roughly five to ten asks a day, that could take up a significant number of hours from my week. If I don’t get to your ask, it could be because my inbox is flooded, but it could also be that simply I don’t intent to answer it for a variety of reasons. If you don’t send it anonymously, I’ll do my best to inform you that I won’t be answering so as to not leave you wondering.

Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding. Best of luck to all of you out there on your writing!

To Write in One Genre or Many?

Anonymous asked: “Hi Lizard, do you think writers should only write in one genre? Because i have a lot of stories ideas and most of them are from different genres. I have read other writers say that might confuse the readers. To clarify, I mean that I have some that fall under the speculative fiction umbrella or mysteries or contemporary or even action.”

I don’t think there’s any reason a writer should feel limited to one genre. You write what you want to write. 

Keep reading

It’s Day 2 which means it’s time to focus on your project’s settings

  • Describe three settings that appear regularly in your project in details (character’s apartment, school building, work place, village, etc.) from the point of view of someone who’s been there before and from the POV of a new comer. 
  • What’s the weather like when your project begins? How many seasons will your characters go through? How will it affect them in their daily lives and how will it affect their environment? 

Planning bonus: 

Write five different first sentences for your project. Then five different ending sentences. When you’ll start writing, use those first sentences to push past blank page syndrome, and if you feel yourself falter, remember that the ending is already written, you only have to get there. 

Próximo de Novembro e NaNoWrimo se torna um assunto muito recorrente entre a galera que escreve. E o que raios seria o NaNoWrimo? National Novel Writing Month basicamente é um desafio de escrita, onde a ideia é você escrever 50 mil palavras de uma história durante o mês de Novembro.

Meio assustador quando vê a meta de nada mais e nada menos do que 50 mil palavrinhas, porém não é tão impossível quanto você pensa e também não é uma regra, o importante mesmo em Novembro é você escrever, seja para acabar o mês com 10 mil palavras, ou 100 mil.

E se você ainda não está convencido se participa ou não esse ano, hoje vou listar alguns bons motivos para você ingressar nessa maratona conosco.

1. Criar o hábito de escrever todos os dias.

Acredito que todo mundo que se arrisca no mundo da escrita, principalmente quem caça matériais sobre o assunto pela internet, já deve ter ouvido pelo menos uma vez: é importante criar o habito de escrever todos os dias. Existe um exercício que se você fizer algo seguido por 30/40 dias, muito provavelmente isso vai se tornar um hábito. Então que outra ocasião poderia ser melhor do que o NaNoWrimo para criar um hábito? Um mês inteiro dedicado a escrita, você vai passar 30 dias seguidos se dedicando à uma história, escrevendo um pouco dela por dia. Aproveite Novembro para criar esse hábito e digo isso por experiência própria.

2. Compartilhar o que você sabe e aprender com a experiência dos outros.

Um mês inteiro várias e várias pessoas estarão unidas por um mesmo motivo: todos focados em alcançar os almejados 50k do NaNoWrimo. É uma época em que vários grupos de autores surgem, amigos se unem, vários blogs fazem posts sobre escrita antes e durante o mês de Novembro. É uma época maravilhosa para você aprender várias manhas incríveis e também compartilhas as suas, afinal toda experiência e conhecimento é bem-vindo, não menospreze aquilo que você sabe, compartilhe também. Aproveite a enxurrada de dicas que vão surgir.

3. Escrever toda, ou quase, uma história em um mês.

Qual é! Vai me dizer que você também não é louco para finalizar uma história? Todos sonhamos com o esperado ponto final daquilo que estamos escrevendo. Talvez um mês não seja o suficiente para você escrever toda uma história, ou que 50k não faça nem cosquinhas em todo o enredo que você tenha planejado. Mas pense que já é algo, você vai estar 50 mil palavras mais perto de ver o final da sua obra.

4. Descobrir mais sobre o seu eu escritor.

Um mês de muito trabalho e sofrimento não tem como passar sem aprendizado algum. Eu digo por minha própria experiência, eu nunca sai de um NaNo sem ter tirado pelo menos alguma coisa nova. Sempre aprendi muita coisa sobre a escrita e sobre eu mesma, definitivamente eu não termino o desafio da mesma forma que o comecei, ao final sempre terá uma nova lição a ser aprendida e você pode levá-la consigo pelo resto da vida.


Uma dica preciosa: não fique focado nas 50 mil palavras, ela é apenas uma parte da maratona toda, o principal objetivo aqui é você se dedicar a escrita. Se conseguir bater a meta, parabéns para você, se não conseguir, parabéns também, o que importa é que você tentou, você fez o seu melhor.

Durante o mês de Novembro vamos estar aqui ajudando como pudermos, não deixe de participar por achar que não consegue bater a meta, apenas tente, o mês de Novembro pode te surpreender.

what up it’s the return of ‘any words is winning’

some useless writing tips, as we carreen into NaNoWriMo

  • november is a shitty month to do a writing challenge unless you are a college student or a white man with a wife. ponder that one for a fuckin second
  • that said, ten minutes writing, five minutes resting a la Nanowrimo works pretty good for getting a bunch of words out to edit later.
  • if you need to look something up [[double bracket it]] in the text and keep on with your life
  • [[double brackets]] in general are great for putting shit into that you know will need to be dealt with later or notes about the story itself, which is a writing tip I first learned from Piers Antony and which I suppose justifies his entire shitty oeuvre. I shouldn’t talk, I read a lot of them. I read a lot of Robert Heinlein too, and the takeaway I think I’m going for is “squeeze what you can out of shitty white male writers and ignore them for the rest of your life”
  • highlight shit you know has to be dealt with later and keep writing so there’s a later to deal with it
  • a joke is much funnier if you let the reader do half the work.
  • never apologize, never explain - well, explain a little. but over explaining never works. trust your readers. in my experience they’re much smarter than you are. 
    • if you say things in a straightforward way without explaining that unlike in real life, a hoodorwooflersten is entirely unlike, but not quite, like a horse that acts like a dog, and allow the reader to figure out through context that a hoodorwooflersten barks but you can ride it, things go much much smoother.
  • don’t be ashamed of your old stuff, no matter how shitty. practice makes perfect, and someone probably enjoyed it. respect your past self and them.
  • read a shitton, and think about what you read
  • done is better than perfect. done is better than perfect. done is better than perfect. 
  • writing, like drawing and painting, is an artistic skill made possible by technical training. the mechanics of writing can be learned. maybe you can’t be taught the spark. but you can learn to be ready for it
  • you gotta write a lot of shitty stuff to one or two good stuff. I’m sorry. It’s dumb. I wish it didn’t work like that.
  • There is One True Writing Method, and that is the one that works for you. 
  • If it doesn’t feel good don’t do it
    • not like, bunnies and sparkles good, artistic good. there’s a difference. you can be moaning and bitching but it’s still good. I don’t know how to describe it. you have to chase the high.
  • it works pretty good to have a goal of writing so many words (anywhere from 1 - 1000 is a pretty good ballpark) or time spent wrting per day but if you don’t make it it’s terribly counterproductive to beat yourself up about it
  • unless you are paying the bills by writing, it’s okay to take a break from writing. Go hike. play a video game. if it doesn’t give you joy (sometimes a hard angry joy, to be sure) stop doing it. rest.
NaNoWriMo Prep: How to Write 2000 Words a Day

Originally posted by byaseashore

Two thousand is a big number. Sitting down to write 2000 words can be extremely intimidating, so the first thing you should do is make that number friendlier.

Write 500 words in 4 writing sessions.  

Chop up that big, intimidating number. Start with a goal of 500 words. In one session, with no breaks, write them all. Take a break, then write the next 500. Repeat until you reach at least 2000. 

If you write 650 words in one session, don’t aim for 350 in the next. Let those extra words add up. A few hundred extra words each day will get you to 50k quicker than you could imagine.

I recommend timing your sessions, aiming for 20 minutes each time. The deadline will help you get the words out, With 10 minute breaks between each session, you can reach your 2000 word goal in two hours. Which brings me to the next point: 

Write fast. 

Don’t stop and think about your words. Don’t go back and improve a previous sentence. Save all of your edits for later. Focus on writing as quickly as possible, throwing everything you have at that blank page. This will actually help boost your creativity. Make your brain work so fast, be so focused, that it doesn’t have any space to doubt itself and you’ll be amazed at what you can come up with. 

But don’t worry if you can’t write 500 words in 20 minutes on day one. Writing quickly is a skill and it will take a few days of training. 

Let the words suck.

This is absolutely key if you want a high word count. When you’re writing an entire chapter in a day, you shouldn’t expect the words to be beautiful. You’re not aiming at lyrical prose. You’re mining raw material that you can work into art later.

Letting the words suck can include:

  • Writing [something happens here] in place of a scene.
  • Letting yourself use cliches as shorthand.
  • Dialog that is really exposition.
  • Long descriptions of things that don’t matter.
  • Letting your characters ramble until you discover what it is they actually need to say.

As long as there are 2000 words and they relate to your story, they’re exactly what you need. And if you hate having bad words on a page, once you have your 2000 for a day, you can go back and fix all of it. Take all the time you need. Just reach that word count first. 

Tip: if you do edit at the end of each day, make that a separate document from your official NaNo doc. This way, you can trim scenes, descriptions, and dialog without worrying about its effect on your word count. (If you make a scene/description/sentence longer, feel free to include that in your NaNo doc.) 

Don’t know what to write next?

So you’ve written 1200 words, completed a scene, and you have no idea where the story is going next. Here are some things you can do to get those 800 words in anyway:

  • Go to writeordie.com and FORCE the words out.
  • If that doesn’t work, reread the scene you’ve just written and see if you’re missing some obvious foreshadowing, some clue as to where the story’s headed. (You can also add a few lines to bulk up your wc.)
  • If that fails, take a walk and let the fresh air usher a solution to you.
  • If that fails, skip the next section. Write another scene. Go where the story is waiting for you. Come back to the other scene at a later time.

Helpful tip:

Instead of breaking your writing session into four parts, break it into five. Use your first writing session to sketch out an entire chapter, like an outline, but with bits and pieces of dialog and description. Figure out where you’re headed and a couple of key stops along the way. Knowing what you’re writing towards will make doing the actual, fleshed-out writing much easier and quicker.

You can also do an outline for the next day’s writing after you’ve gotten your 2000 words for the day in. Future you will be extremely pleased.

anonymous asked:

(so I sent this before, but I don't think it send correctly.) I'm writing an IronPanther one shot, and I'm trying to describe T'Challa in a way that isn't fetishizing. Do you have any tips for ways I can describe him that is very appreciative of the way he looks without being hella creepy? What are some dos and don'ts?

Hi!  Thanks for your question :)  It’s very responsible of you to be mindful of this issue.  I’ll try to cover the bases, but I’m not a person of color, so this is only based on reading and research…


Writing Characters of Color: Dos and Don’ts

First things first: I would suggest to anyone writing characters of color that you should follow @writingwithcolor.  It’s my absolute favorite blog on the topic of diverse writing, and includes plenty of resources for most races and cultures.  I’ll probably link you to a couple of their posts in this guide, so keep an eye out!  So here we go…

Do: Make their race clear.

In fact, clearly designate the race of all characters!  Even if a majority of your characters are white, you should state this in their description – otherwise, you’re painting the image that white is Baseline and Normal, while black/brown/beige are Divergent and Strange.  Understand that many readers will assume White Until Proven Otherwise.  This means that if you shy away from stating a character’s color in the fear of offending PoC readers, you’re actually just erasing the character’s race altogether.  (Personal note: obviously your readers will know what color T’Challa is, so this is a point for the future.)

Don’t: Use descriptors that make me hungry.

“Chocolate,” “caramel,” “coffee,” “brown sugar,” “cinnamon,” “honey” – you get the idea.  Anything that could also be used to describe my dessert is probably a terrible idea.  Not only is this not at all how white characters are described, which is unfair, but the reduction of adult, three-dimensional people to grocery items has racially-aggressive roots.  This is where I’m gonna link you to Writing With Color’s guide on how (and how not) to describe characters of color.

Do: Familiarize yourself with the harmful stereotypes.

This means a little research, no matter what race you’re writing.  A lot of the racist mistakes made in literature/fanfiction come from a place of ignorance, sometimes willfully.  People avoid learning the dirty past of racial representation in media, because they’re afraid they’ll subconsciously absorb them.  It’s a weird complex and I advise you, and all writers, to take the time to glance over the most offensive stereotypes for people of color, women, LGBT, trans/nonbinary, autistic, mentally ill, and disabled people.  This will not only keep you from hurting anyone, but it also makes your writing more unpredictable and interesting!  Plus, it makes you not-one-of-those-douchebags-who-write-two-dimensional-exotic-chocolate-brown-mistresses and all that 👍

Don’t: Desexualize your characters.

This is a common mistake that can come from good intentions.  You’re try so hard not to fetishize a character of color and then it reduces them to a non-sexual, non-attractive broom in the corner.  Characters of color – all characters really – god, especially women – should be three-dimensional and fully developed people, who are not sold to readers on their looks and sexual appeal.  BUT this doesn’t mean you should exclude all sexuality in writing.  T’Challa, for example, is a damn handsome man – you can’t possibly write him and ignore how nice he looks!  So don’t be afraid to describe him physically.  You can describe his eyes and his lips and his muscles and we will read happily.  Go ahead and talk about how smooth and warm and rich his skin is.  As long as sexuality is described through a lens of admiration, rather than objectification – and as long as their sexuality exists in accompaniment to their full, developed personality, and not instead of it – then there’s nothing wrong with making a character bangin’ hot.  So do it.  And lastly…

Do: Consider collaborating with a beta-reader.

You said in your previous ask that this was one of your first attempts at writing characters of color, so I’d suggest that if you feel nervous about it, partner up with a beta-reader who has enough experience to keep you in check.  It’s our responsibility as writers (especially for white, privileged writers such as myself) to learn to look at ourselves and assess whether or not we’ve crossed the line.  Having someone beta-read for you will show you the critical thinking process to go through, so eventually, you’ll be able to do it without thinking about it!  Maybe a few people here would be interested in a betaship.


Those are my top Dos and Don’ts, but as always, this is limited to my experience.  Be sure to check out @writingwithcolor and do your research – and remember that no matter how much research you do, you’re bound to make a mistake or two.  If it happens and a reader points it out to you, don’t beat yourself up about it or get defensive.  Just apologize, correct the mistake, and move on.

Thanks again, and good luck :)  Happy writing!


If you need advice on general writing or NaNoWriMo, you should maybe ask me!