The promise of a reward works wonders for generating writing motivation. I make sure to line up a few favorite activities that I can’t partake in until I’ve completed the day’s writing goals. By conditioning yourself this way, you begin to associate writing with a golden carrot. Not to mention, there’s the bonus of riding that writer’s high, and enjoying your favorite pastimes guilt-free!
— 

Steven dos Santos is a Team Member of We Need Diverse Books. Steven is a passionate advocate of LGBT rights and is currently working on the third book in The Torch Keeper series.

Writer’s Care Packages from Camp NaNoWriMo and We Need Diverse Books.

What to Do When You Don't Know What to do With Your Story

When nothing else seems to work, but you need to push on with your writing, what do you do? Here are some things to try…

- Use a prompt. My favorite generator is this dialogue generator because the prompts are inspiring but vague enough to fit most stories! The site has a bunch of other resources and generators as well! It’s a great resource. You could also search my prompt and inspiration tags, as I try to make them applicable to most stories, able to inspire a new story, or flexible so that you can work with them no matter what and get the motivation you need to write something great!

- Sketch a scene, setting, or characters.

- Create a playlist.
For a character, a relationship, a scene, or the novel itself!

- Write ‘fanfiction’ or AUs for your own novel.

- Take a break and work on something new.

- Create a storyboard. With a tackboard on your wall or on Pinterest, create an inspiration board for your novel, the characters, a relationship, a setting, or a scene!

- Skip around in the story and piece everything together later.

How to Motivate Yourself When You Just Don’t Feel Like it

I was feeling particularly unmotivated lately—unwilling to take my own advice, tired from work and cleaning at home, and wanting to use my weekend simply to relax. So, I decided to do Camp NaNoWriMo the night before it started. Now we are on day #2 and I’m hoping I can keep up with my daily goals.

I’m sure a lot of you are in the same boat OR you just want to get back into writing full-force. Here are a few ways to motivate yourself when you’re just not feeling it:

Why did you originally start writing?

Ask yourself what you like about writing a novel. I used to turn to writing as a form of relaxation, so I need to remind myself of that from time to time. It’s exciting to get lost in your own world and it’s good to put other responsibilities aside for an hour or two. Try to rediscover your love of writing or remind yourself why it makes you so happy. Keep it fun!

What are your goals?

I know my goal is to finish this novel by the end of the month (first draft). I try to visualize myself at the end of the month sitting on top of something I can be proud of. I know it will need a lot of work, but I’ll have something I can mess with. I’ll have some fully formed ideas. I try to keep that in mind when I become unmotivated. I want to finish this story and I want to have another novel under my belt. Try to remind yourself of your goals.

You can always move on to something else

If you’re not feeling your story and you’ve been at it for a long time, you don’t have to continue! A lot of people don’t have that option when working on a NaNoWriMo project, but you do have the option to take your story in a new direction. Don’t get stuck on a scene that’s not exciting for you, move on to something else.

Figure out why you’re not excited about your story

Most of the time, I realize that I haven’t fleshed out a scene enough OR I’m just not interested in writing that scene at all. There will be highs and lows in your novel, but you should be excited about almost all of the scenes you write. If you’re not, your readers won’t be either. Pinpoint why a particular scene or character, etc. is not motivating you in any way and try to find a way to fix it. Change the setting or consider cutting a character.

Dream cast your novel

This has helped me immensely with my new project. Before Camp NaNoWriMo started, I casted each character in my head and that’s helped me flesh out a lot of my story so far. It might sound like a silly idea, but it can really help you visualize scenes in a clearer way.

-Kris Noel

You’re watching the clock. The last minute before NaNoWriMo is ticking down. But you’re ready. You’ve planned it out. You know where your story begins and ends. You sort of know the middle. You’re in love with this story, and only twenty seconds are left before you get started.

Ten…nine…eight…

Your document is open.

Seven…six…

You take a last sip of water.

Five…four…

Your fingers hover over the keyboard.

Three…two…one.

BRAIN ERROR WHAT IS WRITING

You freeze. You can’t think of a sentence to write. You forget how writing even works and strongly consider becoming a hermit living off of old cans of tuna.

Take a deep breath. Relax. I’m here today to help you get past the “First Sentence Freeze” - or hopefully prevent it from happening in the first place.

First thing’s first: Don’t sweat it so much. You’re writing the first draft of your story. There will be plenty of time to edit and fix later. You don’t have to show it to anyone before you’re ready. Take a deep breath. Everything is going to be ok. 

Second, don’t put so much stock in your first sentence (yet). Is it important to have a strong opening sentence? Yes. But it’s not important when you’re drafting your story. The draft is the clay that you will form the sculpture that is your story. Don’t worry about the details until you have all the material you need.

Third, jot down ideas for the beginning sentences and what you want to say or mean. This is the best solution I’ve found for getting around First Sentence Freeze. Have an idea of what the first scene is going to look like and where the reader comes into it. The more you know in advance, the easier it will be to get started.

Fourth, once you’re ready to start writing, just write down something. It can be a sentence you’ve had in your head for a long time. It could be a sentence that comes to you on the fly. You can even borrow a sentence from a prompter. But get it down so you can keep going.

Finally, if you really can’t think of anything and you’re getting worried about it, just skip it and come back to it later. For now to get you started, just drop us in the first scene and go from there.

If you have any questions or need help with starting your story, please feel free to drop me a message.

Good luck, my fellow Campers. Happy writing!

~Banette

youtube

Hello, writerly friends!

Welcome back to my weekly writer’s life vlog where I talk about my writing process & offer advice and inspiration. Today I talk about what I’m doing for Camp NaNoWriMo (July 2015) along with a quick-talk on how “Kill Your Darlings” does not mean what you think it means.

► Missed a vlog? Checkout the playlist!

Want more writing advice, writer positivity, and more? Follow me!

YouTube Channel: youtube.com/mistrekirin
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Free Stories: wattpad.com/mkirin

Keep writing, the world needs your story~ ♥︎

(There’s a TL;DR at the end in bullet-point form, so skip to that if you need to)

So, Kindle Unlimited is a program where you pay $10 a month to have unlimited access to any books uploaded through the Kindle Select program. Books in the Kindle Select program are exclusive to Amazon, and therefore can not make money on any other site.

Which was fine when they were paying us well.

Now, though? Now there are worries that Amazon will only be able to pay us half a cent for a page read.

In June, Amazon announced that Kindle Unlimited will be changing for authors. Instead of being paid out of a pot per book sold, we’re to be paid per page read.

This was  made to incentivize novelists, but in the end it fucks over anyone who doesn’t have books with more than 200 pages. How so?

The pot for this month is guaranteed to be at least 11 million. Since we can’t guarantee anything more than that, we have to assume that’s all we’ll get.

Amazon just sent an email out that over 1.9 billion pages were read in June.

Which means each of those pages would have earned 0.005789 cents per page. That’s not enough for authors to live on. 

So, TL;DR:

  • Amazon might be paying authors only half a cent per page read
  • That means only books with over 200 pages will be paid anywhere near the same amount they were before
  • Short story authors, like myself, are going to be completely fucked by this
  • Children’s books authors are being fucked, too. Cookbooks as well.
  • Amazon is refusing to tell us exactly how much money we will make until August 15
  • That’s right, I have no idea if I can afford to feed my family in September (when I get paid for July’s earnings) until August 15

PLEASE EMAIL JEFF BEZOS TO COMPLAIN ABOUT THIS IF YOU CARE ABOUT AUTHORS OR BOOKS AT ALL

How can you email Jeff? It’s really simple! Send an email to jeff@amazon.com.

Tell Jeff that you’re a reader, and you think that half of a cent is an insult to the authors that trusted him with exclusivity. Or, if you don’t want to email, PLEASE, PLEASE REBLOG THIS. SPREAD THIS. 

I AM BEGGING YOU TO REBLOG THIS.

✿ Daily Story Seed ✿

Snakes In The Underbrush
Write about a character who happens to be the leader of a group of survivors in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Explore this character’s point of view as they realize that their youngest companion has been stealing supplies. How does this character react to this? Are they willing to let it slide, or will they cause a scene and destroy group morale? Which matters the most: survival or unity?

Any work you create based off this prompt belongs to you, no sourcing is necessary though it would be really appreciated! And don’t forget to tag maxkirin (or tweet @MistreKirin), so that I can check-out your stories!

Want more writer inspiration, advice, and prompts? Follow my blog: maxkirin.tumblr.com!

Be honest with yourself about finding the space and time for writing in your life. Are you sure you want to wake up a couple hours earlier every day to write? If you find that snooze button just too alluring, then it’s time to find something that will actually work for you.
 
This might mean writing on your breaks during work, sacrificing some TV time, or devoting the last half hour of your day before bed to your draft. If you don’t want to rearrange your schedule for writing every day, find the time where your writing will work for you.
—  Shelby Gibbs, and Camp NaNoWriMo HQ.
In the Midst of Camp NaNoWriMo

It’s currently day 13 of Camp NaNoWriMo—almost two weeks in—and I’ve written about 20,000 words. I might not have hit my goal every day, but I’ve written at least something every day. And that’s enough for me.

Whether you’re working on NaNoWriMo or you’re in the midst of a WIP, motivation can become a serious factor. Some writers get bored with their novel once they get past the initial excitement and then the project eventually falls apart. Here are a few ways to ensure that doesn’t happen:

Revisit Your Outline

Right after you finish your first act is a great time to look over your outline. Your story might have led you in some unexpected directions, so feel free to do a little restructuring. Some writers edit their outline after each day of writing, but that isn’t entirely necessary. Take a look at what needs to change and start brainstorming new ideas. Keep yourself excited about the writing process.

Work out Your Ending

If you don’t yet know your ending, working it out might get you more excited about where your story is going. Connect the dots. Fill in the blanks. Do whatever it takes to get your creative juices flowing. I usually know where my story is going, so I can build up to it and drop hints along the way. This doesn’t work for everyone, but give it a shot if you’re stuck!

Complete an Exciting Scene

Skip ahead if you feel like you’ve been stuck in once place. You don’t have to write in order, so don’t stress about skipping around. Also, try to identify why you’re stuck on a specific scene. If it’s not exciting for you, maybe you need to cut it. Try the same scene from a different angle.

Lead into the Next Day of Writing

If you have writing goals you’re trying to reach, try to keep something exciting for the next day. I usually finish a chapter and then write a few paragraphs of the next chapter to get myself started for the next time I write. This ensures that you have a plan. Some writers stop in the middle of an exciting scene, so they have no problem getting back into it the next day. Remember, this usually only works if you’re writing on a regular basis—or else you might lose momentum.

Good luck!

-Kris Noel

To my dear darlings...

To Osric, who is still haunted by the whispers of war.

To Arthur Flood, who is still trying to find his place in a monochrome society.

To Brother Noah, who I left with a choice between his faith and his need for self preservation. 

To Icarus Fogg, who I left on the doorstep of an ancient mystery. 

To Nathaniel Revett, who I left fractured and searching for inspiration. 

To Doctor Sinclair, who I abandoned during his crisis of moral obligations.

To Philip, Jesse, Howard and Simon, who were cruelly separated and never reunited. 

To Oscar McKenzie, who was trapped in a hive of extremists and tyrants. 

To Professor Edward, who had never glimpsed the hidden world that lied beyond the invitation.

To Quinn, who was abandoned on the cusp of this world. 

To Lux, who never received his salvation.

To Balthazar Vane, who never found out whether it was the world or himself that was going mad. 

To Skye Malowe, who only found a place in my head and never on the page. 

★ Daily Character Question ★

The Right Place & Time
Pick one of your secondary characters:
Write a scene where this character is walking down a dark alley at night and just to happens to stumble upon the person they dislike most. What does this character do when the person starts to… walk closer and closer to them?

Any work you create based off this prompt belongs to you, no sourcing is necessary though it would be really appreciated! And don’t forget to tag maxkirin (or tweet @MistreKirin), so that I can check-out your stories!

Want more writer inspiration, advice, and prompts? Follow my blog: maxkirin.tumblr.com!

Finding yourself at a loss for which scene to write next? I have the solution: pick a genre or style based on your current disposition and go from there.
 
If you’re feeling lovey-dovey, write a romantic scene! Perhaps you’re a little bored with your everyday and want to venture into new worlds? Setting your characters out on a fantasy or adventure should do the trick! Or, write a bit of a comedy to compliment your current sunny mood.
—  Shelby Gibbs, and Camp NaNoWriMo HQ. Happy Camp NaNoWriMo! Need more inspiration and encouragement? Check out all the Camp goings-on in the July 2015 Map to the Month.