NaNoWriMo Post Day 20

We’re only ten days away from the end of NaNoWriMo! I hope that everyone is being as productive as they can possibly be and at the same time are not beating themselves up if they have somehow fallen behind or gotten stuck. While I know that NaNoWriMo’s purpose is to have you complete a novel (or at least get a good chunk of the novel done), I think that underlying goal of this month long writing event is to get people motivated to write again, or keep them motivated. In my case I hadn’t really felt like writing recently (well before November) and while I have never lost my love of writing so many things had been going on in my personal life that had affected my writing ability and my drive to put the stories storing themselves up in my head down on paper.

This month has rejuvenated me again and now I find myself looking for any opportunity to write. It’s almost like it was when I was younger when I could think of nothing else but writing and I am loving it. I don’t think that I’m going to have an issue with completing the 50,000 words by the end of this month but even if I don’t I have formed the habit of writing everyday again. I have fallen back in love with the patterned routine of sitting down to my desk to write again and if that’s all that I get out of this month it would be more than enough. I hope that all of you are getting as much out of this NaNoWriMo experience this year that I have gotten and I wish you luck in completing the journey! Until next time… #BeCreativelyInspired #BeMotivated

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

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NaNoWriMoPost Day 14

We’re almost halfway there!!! So I hope everyone is having a productive NaNoWriMo experience.   I know that it gets daunting to try and write so many words in what seems like such a short time but the important thing that I have found that doing NaNoWriMo helps with is creating the habitual routine of sitting down in your chair (or floor or couch, wherever you choose to write) and writing every single day.

This is especially helpful for those of us who had found ourselves in a rut or blocked or even just lacking in sheer motivation. It gets us back in the mood to really produce good content again and for me it has reenergized me and gotten me excited, not just about writing the current story that I am working on for NaNoWriMo but it has me excited for creating period, in terms of writing my blog posts, or in terms of thinking of ideas on how to best structure the podcast I will be starting in January of 2020. It even has me thinking (perhaps foolishly) that I might actually want to give writing for television a shot and go for it because I’ve always wanted to write two specific things, novels and television shows, but I’ve just always talked myself out of trying to write for TV because I had convinced myself I wasn’t really good enough to do that (which is crazy given the fact that I can predict an entire show and how it’s going to go in the first two minutes of the show most of the time lol).

Now I won’t be long because I have a story to get back to and hopefully you do too. I just stopped in to check in on you and to let you know that there are going to be videos to help get you through the rest of NaNoWriMo and hopefully to help keep you motivated past that point over on my online magazine, Write 2 Be Magazine, so when you get some time go check out the specific writing videos to help you in your writing journey! I’ll check back again near the end of the stretch and of course my normal blog posts will appear weekly. Until next time… #BeConsistent #BeMotivated

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

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NaNoWriMo Day 5—The Beauty of Writing Sprints

So I discovered something important for my future writing success in these first few days of NaNo! Writing sprints are super effective. I know that writing sprints are nothing new but I was resistant to trying them because that hadn’t been the way I had ever written before and I just thought why can’t I just sit down and write non-stop until the words are done for the day. I mean most days I’ve never had an issue getting words down but I can tend to get stalled a bit at times and then frustration sets in. So I thought that this NaNoWriMo I would give writing sprints a try.

I have been watching a lot of writing videos lately and live streams so I just thought why not. So that’s what I’ve been doing differently this NaNoWriMo and I have been very pleasantly surprised at just how helpful doing these sprints are. They keep me focused, they keep me on track, and they have boosted my creativity. So if you’re looking for something new to try to liven up your writing sessions and maybe your old way of doing your sessions is leaving you stalled a bit, try doing writing sprints. Now you can do them in whatever increments work for you. Some do ten minutes, some do fifteen or even thirty, but I have found that twenty minute sprints seem to work for me. So hopefully you are doing well in your writing so far and you will give writing sprints a try but for now I must go back to write! I’ll include a list of a few AuthorTubers that have some live stream writing sessions with writing sprints so you can give them a try as well.

Brooke Passmore

Kate Cavanaugh

Natalia Leigh

Mandi Lynn

Becca C. Smith

Tamara Woods

Until next time… #BeEncouraged #BeInspired

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

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NaNoWriMo Day 2

Just for those of you who might be wondering what the point of doing this month long writing event because you somehow think that it can’t possibly result in a published book, you are wrong! Just to give you a little boost of encouragement here is a list I came across, of at least 10 books that were written or at least started during NaNoWriMo that have been published. Some of these books have even made it to the New York Time’s Best Seller’s list. There are many more out there and perhaps I’ll do another list in the middle of the month but this is just to give you a little incentive. Now go write something because your book could be next on this list!

1) Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

2) The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

3) The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

4) Don’t Let Me Go by J.H. Trimble

5) Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

6) Persistence of Memory by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

7) Take the Reins by Jessica Burkhart

8) Losing Faith by Denise Jaden

9) The Hungry Season by T. Greenwood

10) Cinder by Marissa Meyer

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

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NaNoWriMo is HERE!!!!

It’s the first day of NaNoWriMo!!!! Yay!!!! Okay perhaps I’m a little overly excited but today I am getting started on a brand new book, the second in my mystery series (the first one is being edited in December). I have been working on the outline for months now, and finalizing it during the course of Preptober. I actually have done tons of research for this book (I may have to do some more research throughout but hey) and it centers around solving a cold case (not a real cold case though). I can not promise to post every day of NaNoWriMo, although that is the goal, but I will post as often as possible with tips, video clips to some Author Tubers with really good writing advice. Also, while I wasn’t able to pull everything together for this year’s NaNoWriMo but for next year I will be creating NaNoWriMo Prep materials and of course materials to also get you through the actual month of the event but more about that in the beginning of next year. Well that’s it for day 1. I’ve got the link for you below for the National Novel Writing Month website so that you can go over and sign up.

https://www.nanowrimo.org/

Happy Writing everyone!!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

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A Preptober Post: Top Ten Writing Video Channels You Should Subscribe To

I have come to incorporate watching writing videos into my daily routine and they have become a great source of motivation and inspiration for me as a writer. Technically the term for them is called Author Tuber videos but I like to refer to them as just writing videos. Now I’m not an author tuber or anything (although I am researching venturing into that avenue) but as a writer I am always looking for ways to gain knowledge in the writing area and honestly it gets me really motivated to write and create things for my brand.

There are quite a few author tubers that have Preptober videos out, equipped with details on the multiple ways to outline your novel, ways to increase your word count during NaNoWriMo, tips on how to stay motivated throughout the month of November, and of course NaNoWriMo survivor guides. Also most, if not all, of the author tubers that I am listing below have live write in sessions where you can join other writers and do writing sprints and other writer things to help get you through the month National Novel Writing Month. So below are my top ten favorite Author Tuber videos for you to check out and hopefully you will love them just as much as I do:

1) Kate Cavanaugh

2) Marissa Mohi

3) Heart Breathings by Sarra Cannon

4) Kristen Martin

5) Natalia Leigh

6) Alexa Dunn

7) bytheBrooke

8) Mari Suggs

9) Tamera Woods

10) The Creative Pen Podcast

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

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Writers and Self-Care (A Preptober Post)

During NaNoWriMo (that’s National Novel Writing Month in case you’ve been living under a rock lol) writers tend to kick it into overdrive and get so lost in their story that they start to forget to do some of the simplest and most basic things. We tend to start to neglect ourselves for the sake of the art. So this NaNoWriMo

1) Don’t forget your hygiene – I know that this sounds obvious, but how many of you writers get so immersed in your story that you look up at the clock and suddenly the whole day could be gone. There are some writers who even get so engulfed in their characters and the story that they forget to eat and just work straight through the day without taking any kind of break. On one hand if you are that writer I almost want to congratulate you because that’s a lot of writing but on the other hand it’s not good to neglect things like showering and brushing your teeth and doing your basic daily maintenance. The story will be there if you step away for a minute.

2) Remember to eat – As I mentioned in the above tip, forgetting to eat is a common thing that people do when they become engrossed in their story. This is not healthy for you or your writing. How clear is your mind in terms of creating story and developing characters if you are not nourishing your body properly?

3) Take a break when you start to feel stalled – There will inevitably come a time that you will find yourself stuck and at some kind of standstill (and if not I would really like to know your secret). You will stare at the page or computer screen and find yourself rereading over the last few lines or scenes that you’ve written and end up in a place where you may not know where to go from there. The urge to press on and try to write anyway is strong and I know that this is what a lot of writers tell you to do, to keep going and work through it. That method does not work all the time and it may not work for everyone and that is when you just need to push your chair away from the desk and computer, get up, and take a break from your project. Go take a walk, go sit in the park and take in your surroundings, sit in a coffee shop or bookstore and listen to your surroundings (and the conversations taking place around you lol). You never know what could jog your creativity back into place!

4) Keep your health in tact – NaNoWriMo is not the time to abandon your healthy habits. If you consistently workout, do not use NaNoWriMo as an excuse to ‘take a break’ from the gym (I speak from experience, trust me). This is not a good idea, in fact it is a terrible idea because if your body is used to feeling a certain way from the continuity of working out then you will only be confusing your brain by the drastic shift. Working out triggers the endorphins in your brain in a way that nothing else can (not even coffee, as much as it pains me to say that) and if anything it will actually help you in your story writing and in achieving your writing goal for the month of November. Now if you have to change your time around then do that!

5) Read – This one is simple. Stephen King has said thousands of times and I’m sure many other writers have said it as well, and it’s because it’s true. You CAN NOT be a good writer if you are not first a good reader. To write well you must read A LOT. When I say read, I don’t just mean the genre that you are writing in either. Read a little of everything. Broaden your scope of the things that you read because if you do it will definitely broaden the scope of your writing. So READ! Enough said.

6) Don’t forget to stay connected – I know it’s kind of against the grain for NaNoWriMo and coming from a person like myself who likes to stay to myself for the most part it will sound strange but don’t distance yourself too much during NaNoWriMo. Writing is a solitary act (although it doesn’t have to be) for sure but remaining connected to people and remaining in tune with the people and things going on around you could also be critical to keeping your writing fresh and interesting.

7) Sleep is important – Lastly, but absolutely one of the most important things on this list, is sleep. If you are sleep-deprived your brain can’t come up with anything usable. That is not to say that you have to get a full eight hours of sleep (but if you can then go for it), I haven’t gotten anything over six hours at any one given time (unless I was sick) since back when I was in high school, but a decent amount of sleep is critical.

Okay so that’s it for today. I hope that all of you are prepping and planning your novels for NaNoWriMo and that when November gets here you don’t forget to take care of yourself. Until next time…Happy Writing!!! #BeMindful #BeCaringtoYourself

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

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To Plan or Not to Plan?

So you’ve got your story idea together right? You’ve started building your characters and molding and shaping their personalities? Now it’s time to decide whether you are a pantser or a planner when it comes to writing your novel. What’s a pantser, you ask? Well that’s when you are fortunate enough to be able to just sit down at the blank screen of your laptop and begin writing with no plot or course of action laid out before you. If you are one of those writers let me please just give you a virtual round of applause because I have tried writing that way before and the amount of time I had to use up to go back and forth to see if I had this detail or that detail just right, or to check the timeline and make sure that I hadn’t made some huge error and it just did not work for me.

I, like a lot of writers, am a planner and I try as much as I can to plan out every detail that I can. In terms of writing my novel I have realized that I have to have an outline. I typically do a short brief outline with just some of the major points of the story and where the plot twists are and the dramatic parts and the whodunit aspects of the story. After I get a general outline together then I take my character sketches and I begin the more detailed, chapter by chapter, plot twist by plot twist, part of outlining.

Now I think there’s a misconception that when people outline they follow the outline to the tee and I have heard a lot of people say that’s what they don’t like about outlining but the outline is just a general road map for you to follow but the story almost never follows the outline down to the letter. In fact I almost never stick directly to the outline but having that outline does help me stay more on track then I would if I were just writing without a blueprint.

Where the outlining process can get a little broad and diverse is in the method in which you choose to outline. I for one like just getting a legal notepad and writing my outline by hand (this and the character sketches are the only things I write by hand). The other methods of outlining that people typically use are creating a storyboard with a bulletin board or you can storyboard in a digital format now with Pintrest or whatever digital format works for you to create a visual idea of your story. Some people choose to do a graphing (or mind mapping) method. There are also programs that will help you outline in a particular digital format such as Scrivener.

Now you don’t have to outline in order to compose a good story for NaNoWriMo. Outlining doesn’t necessarily make your story any worse or better. Like I said in my last post, it’s just a matter of finding and doing what works well for you. I hope that some of this information helps you and the next post I will be giving you a few YouTue channels that I think you should check out that will help you in your Preptober adventures. Until next time… #HappyOutlining

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

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It’s the First Day of Preptober!!

It’s the first day of October and we’re getting into that holiday season but for writers it’s also a special time of year for a whole other reason. This is the month that we as writers use to prepare for the marathon month that November has become called National Novel Writing Month. Realistically if you’re serious about participating in NaNoWriMo then you probably have already formulated the idea for the story that you’re going to work on in November and you may have even began sketching out the characters for your story. If you haven’t, don’t worry, that is what the month of October is here for. There are many aspects to prepping for the NaNoWriMo experience but I’m here to give you some suggestions over the course of this month that will hopefully help you in the many ways they have helped me.

Today I’m going to focus on the first step you really need which is the idea for the story and typically a main character to center the story around. Now there are many different ways to start your planning process. Some people like to think of the way their story is going to end and kind of work their way backwards. I for one have never been able to start at the end but it works for some people. There is also a very small group of writers who like to start with the middle and build the story outwards, usually building up to the end first and then back in the other direction to the beginning. Then there are those strange birds like myself who actually like to take a story idea from the very beginning (sometimes even thinking of the opening scene) through to the middle and work my way to the end in a chronological order.

Now I know plenty of writers who have to have their character first and I will admit that I have had some stories where the character literally spoke to me and told me the story they wanted told but those occasions were rare for me. Most of time the story that needs to be told comes first and then the character presents themselves to me afterwards. After you’ve built the story idea and this is not to be confused with an actual outline) then you want to begin developing your characters. Some create character sketches that give the basic details of those characters and their background and their personalities and some like to go all in and create a character bible of sorts where the spend several pages on each character.

You have to find what works for you because one writer’s method may not be what works for your story. Once you have your story idea built and your character sketches done the next step is creating your outline, but that I will discuss in more detail in the next post. Throughout this Preptober series I will also include tips and specific book suggestions, as well as sharing some YouTube channels with you that can be of some use and help to you. Until the next time… #BePrepared

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

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Are You Ready for National Novel Writing Month?

Are You Ready for National Novel Writing Month

For those of you who have signed up to get lost in the world of words this November (National Novel Writing Month) it is the last night of freedom (in a sense) that you have to not be stressed over whether you met a certain word count requirement for the day.

By now you have hopefully already completed your outline, done your research, gained an intimate knowledge of your characters, and scheduled your time to write to suit your needs and your daily responsibilities. If you’ve gotten all of that checked off your to do list, then you are practically ready to go come November 1st (that’s tomorrow by the way) but if you haven’t prepared then don’t panic.

After you sign up for the challenge of doing NaNoWriMo on the website (this is the website by the way http://www.nanowrimo.org/) there are still a few other things that you can do to be better prepared to go into National Novel Writing Month and I’ve listed a few helpful tips below:

  1. Brainstorm a clear idea for your novel: Hopefully you already know what you want to write about but if not that is the first thing that you need to figure out.
  2. Know the most important details of your novel upfront: You may or may not be a person that likes to outline. If you are an outliner, this is what your next move needs to be. Outline the major points of your novel so that you know where your story is going to start, and where you think it might end up. If you are more of a detailed person then you will want to detail ALL of the major and somewhat minor parts of the novel in this outline. If you are not a person who likes to outline, at the very least you will want to know that major plot points in your story.
  3. Get to know your characters: Some might consider this to be a part of outlining but I see it as being totally separate but just as complex as creating an outline. You have to know who your characters because if you don’t know who your characters are your soon to be readers won’t know who they are either.
  4. Research now rather than later: Do as much research for your novel that you can do before starting your novel. Once you get started writing, you are not going to have the time to really go back and do extensive research so get most of your research out of the way now.
  5. Begin mapping out a workable plan: Come up with a schedule that works for you to write during the month of November. If you are a morning person then you will want to make time available so that you can write in the mornings and get your best work done. Whatever time of day works better for you, you are going to want to maximize to produce your best work. This is also when you will want to let the people around you know that you may not have as much time as you normally do because you will be busy…Writing.
  6. When November 1st comes around, be prepared to start writing and be prepared to be very busy for those thirty days.
  7. One final thing: If you should happen to get stuck or have a bad day and are not able to write, don’t be too hard on yourself. Putting extra pressure on yourself to write only makes it harder for you to produce good solid work.Another important thing to remember for those who have not put tons of preparation into this, you DO NOT have to start your story from the very beginning. If you can’t think of how to start your story off, then begin with chapter two, or three, or why not even start at the end. No matter where you start your story on November 1st, just start! I’ll try to blog during NaNoWriMo and I’ll also be sharing tips and tricks on the Write 2 Be Magazine at www.write2bemagazine.com throughout the entire month of November. I wish all of you well this month and happy NaNoWriMo-ing!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

My Write 2 Be is…

CEO/Writer/Editor

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