Loose Ends

Hero’s log,

December 1st 2010,

I’VE WON!

Now to move on to the helpful part of this blog.

How’d you do on NaNoWriMo? Did you get ahead at the end like I did, or did you not get there in time? That’s okay. There’s still more to come. You’re still a winner. How close to did you get? Is there more for you to write? Have you already started editing? You better get on it if you want to make something out of last month. What were your reasons for starting? Was this a ground breaker for you? The last day, I decided that if I couldn’t do this, then I’d give up as a writer. I did over 13000 words, bringing my total over the mark by 441 words. I’m not finished with my first draft, but I did exactly what I went out to do. I have two more scenes planned out before the end. I have the main battle against the antagonist and the conclusion of the entire story.

“Wait! You mean you didn’t write your f.inal battle during the allotted time?”

No. I had to go to sleep early for work, and I had reached the breaking point.

“So are you going to be posting it anywhere?”

Yeah. I’ll be putting the first five chapters up here as soon as I have the chapters sorted out. It’ll also be on my deviantART account. I already have the first chapter up on here, so I’ll put that on dA shortly.

Now just finish your story, and make sure you tie up all loose ends by editing all that you can. I know I will.

Have anymore questions for me? I’ll answer any question you have for me. I don’t care what it is, I’ll give it an honest answer. Q&A Time!

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Crash and Burn

So. It’s that last full week of NaNoWriMo. Are you on top of this, or are you, like me, behind? Are you thinking things like what’s the point, I’ll never get done in time, I can’t write anything good anyway, and I can’t think anymore? You have? WELCOME TO THE WORLD OF LITERATURE!!!

Ask any great writer, and they’ll tell you the same thing. I feel it right now, but I’m slowly getting through things. It’s easiest when you know what you’re getting into, but for those who don’t know, here’s a word of advice. Writing is only for those who can’t stand their ideas being exclusively theirs. Writers don’t just think, “Hmmm. This is a good story that can get me enough money to live off of.” NO! Writers are those crazy people who can’t stand it when their stories aren’t out there. They want to show the world their stories, because they have no choice. If this isn’t you, then you’re going to find writing to be one of the hardest things ever done. Most writers do as well, but they have a strong passion to simply get it out.

Don’t stress though. You’re in NaNo for a reason. You want your story to be out there. That’s a great start, but don’t stop there. Keep on working, and make sure not to forget about editing after your first draft is complete. Now I must go and procrastinate for a while. For those who need a laugh or two, tweet @projectedge and @roshettacuzicar

 

Also, if you ever feel like donating to the “Make sure Hero doesn’t die fund” I would not be mad at all. Paypal=jayarehopkins@gmail.com

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Full on Flavour

It’s week three of NaNoWriMo, and that means but one thing. It’s over halfway done. How’s your book turning out? Are you tired of your characters? Do you want them all to die a horrible death? One of mine is about to do that to be honest, but that was planned out, so it doesn’t count. How can one write a book without wanting everyone in it to just up and die? What’s the point? All the characters are the same. They don’t seem to pick up any endearing traits. What’s wrong with us? How can anyone write when people are all the same? Simple. There’s a recipe for a good character, and I just so happen to know it by heart.

First you take your character and grab an official awesome character flavour packet. They’re cheap I promise. Sprinkle the contents on top of your character. With flavour did you choose? What? Don’t you have awesome character flavour packets? No? Nobody does, but there is a way to give your character flavour. It’s a very simple process.

Here’s what you really do. Take your character and give them a personality that is distinct for them. Have a great hero who’s supposed to defeat the evil king? Why don’t you make him a fool who used to be a loyal follower until he was that the king was evil? That way, he’ll have conflicting emotions when he faces the man he used to idolize. It’s something as simple as that. Give your characters character. Make them different. Don’t give them an easy time. Make them suffer.

Lets take Harry Potter into account. Was Harry perfect? Did he have everything come to him easily? Did all of the girls want to go out with the “Chosen One”? Did Harry get away with anything? No. Harry’s life sucked. He lost people important to him. He didn’t get a girlfriend he liked until book six, and he got in trouble in almost every book. Outside of Hogwarts, Harry’s family hated him. They wanted nothing to do with him or the world that he belonged in. Harry even went to court when he saved his cousin’s life. It’s things like that that make a good character. Harry is a full on flavour character.

Now go think about your own characters. Are they full on flavour characters? If so, that’s great. Keep working on them. If not, then work on them. Try to make them better. Make their lives harder. Make sure that they don’t get everything they want, and for heaven’s sake, don’t make them perfect.

Put your pencils down!

I’m sure you’ve heard that phrase in school before. I know I did. I hated hearing it. I never had my pencil up, but that’s aside from the point. Even with NaNoWriMo, we have a strict time limit of one month to write something that is part of truly devoted field of work. People make a living out of writing, yet many who do NaNoWriMo see it as a chance to simply get their work finished. That is the biggest lie in all of literature. It’s not here so you can finish a book. It’s here for you to get your first draft done with. You have tons of editing to do. It may take you a few months or it may take you a few years like it does for bestselling author John Green.

What’s important is that you don’t put your pencils down. You keep on working and writing until you have a complete book. You’re not here to simply finish your story and see how it goes. You’re here to get your first draft finished so that you can get to work on your second. My first draft is not an amazing work of art. You can see the characters, what they do, what happens to them, how they react, and most of the world around them, but that’s it. You don’t see all of everything, and you won’t until the book is finished. Don’t quit your day job just because you wrote 50,000 words in one month. Your book is NOT going to be the next best seller if you don’t revise and edit it. Even then, there are no promises. You’re taking a shot in the dark just like the rest of us. No writer is better than all the others.

Lets take a look at some well known writers for a moment. Stephanie Meyer is the most talked about author at the moment. Her works are known all across the world, but there are people who hate her stories. I personally think that she could have done so much more with Twilight. I don’t think it’s a good story, but it has a lot of potential. That’s why I was able to read her other story, The Host, which is one of my favourite books. The next author I’d like to talk about is one that I have never read anything for, but I would love to. Maureen Johnson is a writer that I will always support. I follow her on Twitter, and I pay attention to what she does on top of what books of hers that I want to read first. *coughcough*LetItSnow*coughcoughcough* Why do I do this when I haven’t so much as picked up one of her books? Simple. I’ve read how she does things in the outside world. She doesn’t just write about herself or her books all the time. She is exactly like you and me. Maureen is one of the most successful lesser known writers out there. Not a lot of people know about her compared to Meyer, yet I believe she is the better writer, even though I have yet to read anything she’s done.

How is this possible? How can somebody like something they’ve never read more than something that’s popular? Simple. Being a best seller is a hard thing to do, especially in this day an age where fewer and fewer people care about books. Maureen has a style about her that I’m drawn to. I want to see what she can do as a writer. Meyer didn’t get to me like Maureen did. She was popular, and I looked into what she had done. I didn’t like it until I read The Host. I’m still not a Meyer fan, but I will give her credit for making a book that I enjoyed. I don’t enjoy Meyer’s writing style though. Many people do, and that’s great. Meyer needs to be able to keep things up so that she can support herself.

That brings me back to my point. Don’t put your pencils, pens, keyboards, laptops down. Why? You have to keep on going. If you’ve got one good published book, then why don’t you have a second one on the way? I have my one story to work on right now, but it’s part of an entire world. I plan to write in that world for as long as possible. I may break away someday to work with other writers, but that’s not for today. Today, is for making myself a better writing, a day for starting something beautiful. Today is my beginning, and if you’re reading this, then it might be your beginning as well. Now go, pick up your pencil, and write until you have nothing else to write about. My pencil is up. Is yours?