November 01, 2013

1st November - 2013

So, NaNoWriMo begins! Finally. And scary.

Since there're lots of series this season I want to watch, I'm willing to take a break from a few of them, but there are still 3-4-5 ah, I mean- anyway, a couple of them I must follow. But it's nano. So I decided that I can watch an episode every 1k words. If I couldn't write during the day, then I won't watch until I reach the daily wordcount, only on very special, rare occasions (where it might help overcome some plotholes or a writing block). But those will be very rare.
We'll see if it's enough motivation (and the T-shirt and badges and coupons waiting for me at the beginning of December).


October 29, 2013

November, here I coooooome~!

It's that time of the year, again. November. The smell of drying, colourful leaves and new TV series in the air, and the perfect time for a cup of hot cocoa or tea, writing your novel in 30 days.
I won't describe Nano again, if you don't know what I'm talking about, nice to meet you, my name is Tika and you can check out this website.

This hopefully means there'll be more posts for the up-coming few weeks AND some whining about the hard life of a novelist with a 42-hour workweek and whatnot. But I'll try to be interesing, or amusing or something so that you won't feel like you're wasting your time reading my lines.
Ahem. And then, thinking back, I still haven't finished my creative writing course series, have I? (No, I haven't.) So maybe I should make it my goal to finish it this year. Say, I'll write those posts in December and finally, I'll be happy I shared the experience with you and I can procrastinate on something else.
Yeah, that sounds like a plan :)

Oh, right. Here's a brand-new website for the Hungarian region of Nanowrimo: HuNoWriMo. This is in Hungarian, though. But don't worry, if you're in Hungary and would like to connect with us, you can find me here, on my blog or pop in to our English speakers' corner on the regional forum. We'll be happy to see you :)
Or if you're Hungarian and can't find infos, then just click that link, please.

Anyway~ See you in November! I'm off to see the wiz- preparations for the Kick-off! ;)

July 14, 2013

Completion - and guilt (warning: honesty rush)

I have great news! On 28th June, I finished the second volume of Successors of Time! I'm very happy and have resumed revision of the 1st volume, though it's been on and off since then.
When I get home from work, I usually feel exhausted and the last thing I want to do is to pick up the red pen and read through all that I've written 2,5 years ago and fix it. But when I do get to do it, somehow, I feel better. I guess it's one of those obligations that you try to avoid, but can't, and end up enjoying it in the end. Like training.

I think I should try to concentrate on editing and writing every day, at least a little bit. Maybe I can train for November this way? Plus, there're so many stories I've left half-finished and still want to finish and I just don't know how to juggle them. I didn't know how to juggle all those when I was out of job for 1,5 years and now that I've a full-time job, I'm at a loss as how to balance everything. And I feel guilty.
Today, I remembered to log in to a particular google account of mine which I haven't used in... gosh, well, after swimming through endless e-mails, I realised it's been almost 6 months. This is an e-mail address I used to check every couple of hours 'back in the day'. I moved on from those days, but some things -which are still dear to me- remain and... well, if you log in... say, every week to an unused account, you probably get an e-mail or two in a month maybe a review of one of your stories every couple of months and it's nice, but when you remember when you had several of these in only a day 'back then', you can't help feeling sad. Then you also remember that 'back then' you updated these stories several times a week. So, of course you'd get that much feedback after awhile.
And now you feel guilt. And if you get to continue those old stories and update them, you wait in nervous anticipation, an unpleasant feel in the pit of your stomach - would they still like it? Would they leave a short message? Will those be happy that I've updated or angry that I've abandoned them for so long?

I need a plan. Actually, I need several plans and try which one of them works, so I can concentrate on my original stories (their revision and writing), and on finishing my old pieces of fanfics (writing and then I think they'd need at least a mild editing before I'm OK with them - of course I edit before I publish them, but there're usually nasty mistakes that go unnoticed by me, the writer, because, you know, I've written it and know what I wanted to write and sometimes read what I wanted to write, not what I wrote).
And I need a new notebook so that I can keep track of these plans of mine.

So, you see. I want to concentrate on my writing career - which means focusing on my original pieces rather than old fanfics. But I don't like disappointing people, I don't like abandoning projects halfway - I like finishing things I started. Plus, I imagine my old readers want to read my stories. That's why I still get those messages every Blue Moon. Maybe they'd be even interested in the new (original) ones? They certainly deserve to know how my stories will end.

But how the heck do I juggle full-time day job with my originals and fanfics? Or even with just writing? It took me 8 months to write a fragment of what I wrote for NaNoWriMo in a month. 8. frickin'. months.

How do you juggle all these things? It's very hard to find the balance...
(Don't suggest coffee, please, I can't drink it.)

November 23, 2012

To press on

O-o, I haven't written a blog post in November, yet, BUT IT'S NANOWRIMO!
How could I do that...?

It all started with a 4-day weekend for us. November 1st is a national holiday here, and the 2nd was a Friday, which automatically became a day where we don't go to work, but had to do that work on the next Saturday... Don't ask, I don't see the point, either - it's not like anyone else in the EU are working in Saturdays...
I like the UK's and Japan's holiday system better, but this post is not about that, then again I might do a blog post about that, if anyone's interested or I'm bored and want to write and don't know what to write about and... I'm blabbering on, sorry. It's near midnight.
Also, sorry for my grammar. My English becomes worse as the sun goes down :')

So, first weekend, 4 days! My aim was 75k this year, as well as last year and... on the 22nd day of November, I can say it now that it's more realistic to aim for the usual 50k... Anyway, on the first 4 days, I wrote 2,5k each day. Yay! I was very happy!
Then nothing on the following Monday. I struggled to catch up.

My main problem is that nano wordcounter is eating my words and now, after 30k, it eats about 1,5k now... It's a wee bit disheartening, if I may say. I'm writing in Open Office, by the way. And I suspect the problem lies with OO, not the nanobots. But I don't have word on my netbook, so... there we go.
I was really happy on the 20th when I caught up. Now... now I'm playing catching-up again this weekend.

IT IS THE LAST WEEKEND OF NOVEMBER! We must write A LOT. writewritewrite!
And we have a guest for the next three days, staying over, so I need to set a schedule or something, otherwise, that's it for the last weekend.
I don't even know why I'm so obsessed with this, because I'm still looking for a job, so I should have a lot of time to write, right? And it really doesn't matter if it's weekday or not. But still, I'm struggling. I really should've worked more on that outline in the last days of October...

How are you doing in this... well, let's say it: last week of November? omg it's really only 7 days away, it's past midnight now!
As for my american blog readers, how does Thanksgiving affects your writing? In terms of wordcount or themes in your novel?

41 666 is the aim by the end of 25th, according to nano. Let's do 42k! Or even better, 43k! Or if you're not playing catching-up, as opposed to me, aim for 45k! Because after the weekend, you'll only have 5 weekdays!

Warning: this blog post was not proof read. I'll do it tomorrow. Or after nano. Whenever I remember.
Hmm... should've probably posted this in the beginning? Oh, well xD

Oh, and I didn't even mention! We had two write-ins! One we did more talking than writing, but the other was really successful, the 6 of us wrote just short of 10,5k! During... about... 3,5 hours. Yeah, we did some talking this time, as well :)

October 26, 2012

Changing your mind

So, here we are... actually, it was on the 23rd when I changed my mind about what I write for this year's NaNoWriMo.

In my earlier post, I've told you that this time I would write a romcom, which is not a genre I usually write in, and I still like that novel idea, very, very much (though it might be a better script-idea), so I will write it sometime in the future, but now I'm going back to my original plan.

When I started in 2010, I thought it would be a one-book novel. But during November, I realised the story is going to stretch more. Then, over the weeks, months, years... I came to the conclusion that it might be a trilogy. I'm getting more sure every day, actually.
Anyway, when I won in 2010, I planned to continue and write the second book in my next English year*, which meant 2012. Right now. And since I have serious plans for this story, I think it's more efficient to write it now. And in the beginning of October, I've spent a lot of time on the first book and finally finished it (YAY!), so...
It's really close to me, too :) And it's fantasy :D

So, now I have 5 days (and 2 days till the Kick-off in my region!) to come up with an outline for it. Of course, I have some from 2010 (when I thought it would only be a one-book deal), but I need to think up details, because if I aim to 75k this year, then I won't really have time for it during November. I'm afraid I'd still need to do some research, but I'll try to keep it to the minimum and fix things later.

Dear, fellow Wrimos, have you ever changed your mind about what you're writing for NaNoWriMo the last minute? How did it go? :o

*For new readers (or old ones, for that matter, who don't remember, because I've posted about my NaNoWriMo habits so long ago, they forgot about it): every odd year, I write in my native language (Hungarian) and every even year, I write in English. Therefore, for my 4th NaNoWriMo, which is in 2012, I write in English :)

October 15, 2012

Preparation for NaNoWriMo

Oh, yes. It's that time of the year, again. Almost November.

NaNoWriMo is just around the corner! Because I had other obligations (still have, actually), I think I'll only begin my preparation the end of this week. I'll still have about 2 weeks and that's plenty of time.

I already have an idea, BUT it seems I like to make it harder on myself every year.
I'm a fantasy writer. Sometimes, I write sci-fi, too. And there needs to be some adventure and romance along the way, as well.
This year, I'll write a romantic comedy, which is really out of my... ehm... field of practice. I'm a little bit afraid that I'll get bored halfway, but I really like this idea, so... I'll try to stick with it. I'm really excited about the story - I hope my enthusiasm will last for longer :'D
Actually, I've tried to write a romance story, several years ago. I got bored with it. No fantastic elements? No adventure? Pah! I don't think it helped that I had no love interests, either.

But this year, I'm thinking of those romcom movies I like and I want to do something like those. I want to write this novel to be entertaining then it becomes a best-seller then there will and auction for movie rights then everyone will be happy. And I hope people will be able to relate to the main characters ;)

So, how will I prepare? Well, I already have two pieces of paper with notes (these are like post-it notes, without the gluey-surface, so the notes are not that detailed), and I bought a new, little notebook which I'll be taking down notes in. Plus, that thing with the dictaphone 2 years ago really worked. And since I usually take some walks during the day, I might just use it to "take notes" while wandering around the neighbourhood :)
That's all. I need to come up with some scenes in the muddle middle, because -as usual- I have the beginning and the ending. And I have some ideas for the middle, but they aren't many (or I just forget them); that's why I'll be going around with a dictaphone, before writing them down :)

How do you prepare for NaNoWriMo? Do you have a favourite method?

PS.: This year is English year for me!

September 08, 2012

Knowing your habits / nature

There are plenty of posts about sticking to one project till the end, before starting a new. And that you should have perseverance and it will get you nowhere if you just jump around projects, whenever you feel like it. You should do this. You should do that. Because that's how it works for me, so it should work for you, too.

No way. Everyone's different (which is a good thing, otherwise, this planet would be a really boring place to be), with different tempers, with different priorities and with different habits. What works for one, not neccessarily work for another.
It's been a long time since I've ignored all other projects in favour of one and been stuck with it for months. I was 13-14 at the time, the very beginning of discovering the art of writing and with different circumstances.
But during the years, I've changed and developed my writing style, my habits, etc. And I realized my relation to writing is reflected in my other habits. For example, running. At first, I start with a sudden burst of speed, then slow down, almost walking when I'm tired. I don't stop. Then, when I gathered some energy, I put on another burst of speed. Then slow down again. And so on, until I get to the goalline. Meanwhile, giving myself mental pep-talks.
I've noticed the same in my writing habits: some days, I write tons of words. Other days, I only write a few, or nothing, at all (I mean, related to my writing-projects - I don't count e-mails and replies and such in this). Then I write tons, again. I've been working to try to go at a steady pace, but it's just not in my nature. And if it's against one's nature, it's bound not to work as effectively as the other method, which might not be the most 'effective' in the eyes of others, but it is true to one's nature, and so, easier to adapt.

And recently, I've realized, this unfrequent habit of mine can also be found in what I write. Oh, don't get me wrong; I usually stay in the same genre, as I've learnt it early that if I write something outside of that, it just makes me suffer. I mean, it's hard for me to stick to one project and ignore all other ideas I had in my head, until I finish the current one.
I've tried. I've done NaNoWriMo thrice so far, and that's when I've picked up the habit of sketching down other ideas that may come to me during November and put it in a folder, together with other ideas, for later and that helped on concentrating my NaNovel.
BUT. The last few months (since I've started ROW80 in January) made me realize that I still can't just shrug off my habit of working on several piece at the same time. And I jump around from project to project when I reach a certain amount of words in one. I don't know why, but it isn't necessarily a bad thing, because when I do finish my WIP, I'll finish with another soon and maybe a third one, too.
So unpredictable habits can have a positive side-effect.

With this, I kindly thank you November and let it be the only month I focus on one project for more than 50k words at once. In the rest of the year, I'll just stick to my own writing habits :)

PS.: I've started this post in the middle of June and finished it today. Brilliant representation of my writing habits, no? :'D

Do you try to stick to the 'guidelines' other people think is the 'best way'? (Whether it be writing or anything else.) Or do you enjoy it more when you just do your own thing? What are your experiences?

May 01, 2012


As for the last 2 weeks (that's when I last wrote about ROW80, right?), I've met my goals - I wrote more than 6k per week. Last week, I became a bit impatient and wanted to pick up the pace, but I realized shortly that I'm starting to do what I do during November: write, write, write and sometimes scenes doesn't have a point or characters are thinking too much and the plot just isn't progressing.
So now, I'm thinking about taking a week off. This week is promising to be very... unpredictable and a hectic, and I do need some structure to my novel. I need to get back to my earlier notes, and make new ones and plan out scenes and pick up the pace (not the wordcount as I wanted last week, but to... you know, actually let the story progress).
Then, after a week of thinking, I'll come back on 7th May with more ideas and a structure to my plot. So that I can make it better, because now I seriously feel that I'd need to cut a whole lot out when I start revising. I won't rush myself, even though there's some pressure (from family and society). Writing is more than a hobby for me and this seems to be uncomprehensible for my immediate environment. Ah, it's difficult.

Anyway, time to put batteries in my dictaphone, again! The weather is so nice, I really should take a walk and plot!