Camp Nanowrimo July 2018: WEEK ONE!

Hey everyone…

So as you all know I’m participating in this month’s Camp NaNoWriMo! I decided it would be fun to do a sort of “Write With Me” over the course of a week, and I can do this for each week of the month! I think it’ll be exciting to be able to look back on and keep you all updated with where I am with my writing.


Sunday, July 1

11 AM I’m going to start today by doing some blogging and reading, and then get stuck into writing. My goal for the month is 50,000 words and hopefully finish my current WIP!

7 PM I haven’t done a lot of writing today, ugh. My goal was 1500 words so and I’ve only got around 400 words. I’m going to do some sprints with my writing group now to see if that helps.

12 AM Okay, it’s midnight and I can say I’m absolutely delighted that I got to 3,070 words as a total for today! I’m going to bed now but I’m so happy with the progress I’ve made for the first day!


Monday, July 2

2 PM I’ve not done any writing yet today, just watched some more episodes of The Vampire Diaries and worked on a blog post. And I’m going into Dublin now for the day so I won’t get any writing done there. Hopefully I can make it up tonight!

10:30 PM So I’m just after finishing Love Island and am going to participate in some more sprints with my cabin. Hopefully I can get some words down!

12 AM I ended up getting 670 words in total! Not what I was aiming for but it’s better than nothing!


Tuesday, July 3

12:15 PM Right! I’ve spent my morning reading some of Moxie, watching some more of The Vampire Diaries and Skins and working on some blog posts! I’m going to get some lunch now and do a writing sprint or two. Luckily I’m meeting with my writing group so we should get a good few words down! My goal for today is 2000 words, but I would love to catch up and get to 34,500 words of my WIP (I’m currently at 31,500!)

2:50 PM I know I said I would do some writing sprints but that has just not happened…however, my friends are here now and we’ve settled with tea so we’re going to get stuck in now!

11:45 PM So my friends have been gone a while, but I’m super happy with the progress I made! Doing sprints with them REALLY help me so we’re gonna try meet up as often as possible over the course of the next month. I’ve written over 2000 words and just 34k! I’m going to write a little more now but then head to bed so I’ll fill you all in tomorrow morning if anything major happens between now and then!


Wednesday, July 4

11 AM Today I’m heading out in an hour or so to go to Bray for the cliff walk so I won’t be getting any writing done until this evening!

10 PM Okay, I’m literally only home now and I’m absolutely wrecked so I’m hoping to finish Chapter 10 I’m working on and hopefully get around 1000 words written before bed!

11:50 PM I finished chapter 10, as well as writing just under 1000 words, thanks to two sprints! I’m devoting tomorrow to writing anyways so hopefully I can reach 38,000 words!


Thursday, July 5

3 PM This morning I’ve taken it pretty easy. I caught up on last night’s Love Island and Ackley Bridge and read some more of Moxie. I’m at my friend’s now so hopefully we’ll get a lot more writing done!

11 PM Yasss! I’m so happy with the progress I made today. I reached my goal of 2000 words and also hit a total 10,000 out of 50,000 for my Nano! Time for sleep now!


Friday, July 6

3 PM I’ve spent the morning sleeping in and watching the latest Poldark episodes so I’m only sitting down now to start writing. My goal is 2000 words today which will bring my WIP up to 40,000 words! I’m going to do some sprints now with my writing group so hopefully that will help me get some words down!

6PM I got two sprints done and 1000 words written! I took a little break and finished Moxie but now it’s time to get back to writing!

1 AM So I know it’s technically Saturday but I’ve finished writing. I got so much done today! Over 3000 words written and finished Chapter 11 with a devastating end! Hopefully tomorrow’s progress goes just as well! 🙂


Saturday, July 7

10 PM I’m staying over at my friend’s tonight so I didn’t get a lot of writing done today. I got about 200 words written but I don’t mind that much because I am ahead of my goal for today anyways! Hopefully I’ll get lots done tomorrow.


Sunday, July 8

2:30 PM Okay so I’m sitting down now to get some writing done today. Aiming to write 1500 words and bring myself up to 43k in my WIP!

8:30 PM I’m about to have dinner and then sit down to watch Love Island but I think I finished off this week very strongly. In total today I wrote 3,615 words! I reached 17/50k after just Week 1, which is pretty crazy considering that’s nearly halfway there!


 So there’s my first update for Camp NaNo! I hope you guys enjoyed this post! If you did, let me know and I’ll continue it for week two!

Until next time,

Ross!

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Writing Update #5 – Camp NaNoWriMo July 2018

Hey everybody!

I know it’s been a long, long while since my last writing update and I can only blame school/exams for that! But from all of you who’ve seen my latest tweets on Twitter, you’ll probably know that I’m taking part in Camp Nano again! Honestly, April, July and November are some of my favourite months of the year because it’s when Nanowrimo takes place. I think it’s becoming harder and harder for me not to participate in one!

Anyways, I’ve had a little break from writing but now I am back and in full swing. Before Nano started, I just nearly had reached the 30k point. For my goal for the month, yes I’m taking it to an extreme by aiming for 50k. The April and July Nano’s are supposed to be your chance to aim for a lower goal than the standard 50k for November but I’m not going to listen to reason.

The book that I’m working on now is obviously my YA Romance, Our Unfinished Symphony, so I’m hopinh by the end of this month I’ll be able to have written a further 50,000 words and reach 80,000. I’m also hoping I finish the first draft too!

I’m really liking writing this one at the moment. I’m getting more into planning ahead as well… I usually plan religiously for my two fantasy and historical fantasy series, but when I write a contemporary I tend to go with the flow. But for this one, the pacing is just so specific (each chapter is a month and it takes place over nearly 3 years!) that I feel like I’d get stuck if I didn’t know what direction I was going. Of course I already know A and Z, I just now need to iron out how I’m going to get there.

I know this was pretty short guys, and I’m sorry but I am planning something super cool for updating you all on my Camp NaNo progress (for those of you who are interested). You can watch out for that post next Monday!

As well as that, I’ve decided to post the short story I submitted for the #PROUDBook competition tomorrow so I really hope you can give it a read and I’d love to know what you think! 🙂

Until next time,

Ross!

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Hitting “The Wall” and How to Break Through It

Hey everyone!

Most of you will probably find this update bleak and miserable, but I do hope the ones who read it find it helpful and manage to avail of it in some way or other.

As most of you probably know, I’m currently writing a YA contemporary novel titled Our Unfinished Symphony. I recently hit 20k in it and really enjoyed introducing myself with new characters and a new, fresh story. But also recently, I’ve hit the dreaded Wall.

Many writers usually hit The Wall when they’re around halfway (sometimes under, sometimes over) into their WIP. It’s as if all your inspiration and love for your creation has been sucked away and you want nothing more than to toss in the towel and start something new and exciting. And some people do give up, but, for me anyway, it’s something I always try to avoid. I used to give up halfway through story ideas a lot when I was younger and only new to writing (saying that, they have always found a way back to me). But from my own experiences, I really urge not to give up. Keep fighting and keep writing because the sense of achievement and satisfaction that comes with it will be TOTALLY worth it!

It can be super hard to break through The Wall – and it can take only a few days for some or a really long time for others. And I’m the kind of writer who likes to stick to daily and monthly plans so hitting the Wall is never ideal for me (especially with Camp Nano just after starting!). So I thought I’d share with you all some tips that help me to get through it!

  1. Take a break. I don’t mean leave your WIP and go work on something else, because that could lead to you completely forgetting about your original WIP when you get so caught up with the new idea. Just take a break from writing in general. Maybe write a really short story. But if you spend some time apart from your WIP, then an excitement to get back to it will start to build, and it will bring some new, exciting ideas with it.
  2. Get planningUsually when you hit the Wall, it’s because you don’t know how to get from A to B. The excitement of starting something new has worn off and even if you know how it’s going to end, there’s still all this middle that you have to work through. But if you spend a good while doing some major planning and outlining, at least you’ll have an idea of the run of the WIP.
  3. Finally, write in the wrong orderYou don’t always have to write in a chronological order. If you think you’ve hit the Wall because you’re struggling with a certain scene or chapter, then leave it there for the moment and go ahead. Write the concluding paragraph. Write a scene that’s going to slot in at the 60k mark. Even write a fluffy scene between two of your main characters that might not even make the actual draft. And then at least you’re getting words down, hopefully towards the WIP, and the scene you were struggling with will always be there to return to. And who knows? Maybe writing other scenes will help you sort out a resolution or tell you how to finish the scene!

So there you have some of my tips for getting through The Wall. Take a breather, do some planning or go on to other scenes. And maybe these tips won’t be any use to you, but there’s no harm in trying! Hope you enjoyed this update and good luck in all your projects!!

See you next time,

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My Writing Update #6!

Hey guys!

I’m sure by now all of you know that I’m into writing just as much as I am into reading. I love exploring new worlds and characters created by some of my favourite authors, but at the same time I just love coming up with my own.

It’s been a pretty busy start to the year, I won’t lie. I had mock exams at the beginning of February so I spent December and January prepping for those. I saw this coming anyways; I took a break after I finished my last book at the end of November.

But since then, I’ve strayed away from both my historical fiction series AND my fantasy series and decided to take on another YA Contemporary standalone. I really feel like my language differs between these projects and probably because I write my contemporary standalones in first person. I feel they’re a lot more personal to me, I guess?

Anyways. I’m going to talk about my new WIP now and a little also about my submission for the #ProudBook curated by Juno Dawson.

Firstly, my new WIP…a dramatic title & cover reveal perhaps? *Drum Roll please*

OUS

Ahh! I fell in love with the idea of this story as soon as I thought about it.

The “official” blurb: 

When Lewis Hart and Wesley Tekere meet, both aspiring musicians, sparks instantly fly and the pair take this as sign from the universe itself.

But with strict parents and a three-year age gap, Lewis and Wesley have to keep their bond a secret, so they can only communicate through social media.

And with a turbulent ride of ups and downs, Lewis wonders whether they can maintain their relationship solely online––until he gets cast opposite Wes in the school’s modernised version of Grease.

Will their affection for each other get in the way while they rehearse for the musical? Will they be found out? And as the months progress, Lewis starts to see some qualities in Wes seeping through that he’d previously been too infatuated to notice. Will he turn a blind eye or can their toxic, obsessive love be enough to urge Lewis onto the right track?

A breathless, coming-of-age love story for the digital age…

 

It’s different than all my others in a funny way. Before I set pen to paper, or in my case, fingers to keyboard, I decided the time it would take place over (30 months) would equate to the number of chapters. And each chapter’s named after a song. I made a playlist for OUS before I started writing and the order of the songs is exactly how the story goes, through its many ups and downs. Here’s the playlist!

OUS CD BACK (2).png

I recently hit the 10k mark and I’m aiming for this to be around 75k, so there’s still a LOOOOOOONGGGG way to go. And this is surprisingly taking me a lot longer to write than it usually does for novels, so we shall see how it goes. Hopefully I can stick to my bullet journal writing goals calendar thing!

 

My PROUD Book Submission

Even though it ended up being just below 5k, I wrote my story for this really quickly. As well as that, even though I would really love to win and to be able to say one of my stories is helping many other LGBTQ people have pride in themselves, I was grateful for the opportunity and I always love meeting new characters and telling their stories!

A little bit about it without giving too much away: it’s called Then When? and it follows the relationship between Makayla and Jasmine. These two gorgeous seventeen-year-olds have to hide their love for each other from everyone because of their religious Muslim and Christian parents and their bigoted views. Just when they plan to come out together to their families, for better or for worse, a devastating tragedy occurs and both Makayla and Jasmine are unsure whether they’ll ever be the same again…

It’s not submitted just yet, but I’ll be sending it off in a few day’s time. I’m just sending it to some friends of mine to see what they think, hoping I can make it to the best it can be!

So I hope you enjoyed this (rather long) update and I’ll be back with you all soon! 🙂

Ross x

My Writing Update #5 – Nanowrimo!!

Hey everyone!

So for anyone who follows me on twitter, you’ve probably seen that I’ve taken part in Nanowrimo this year – and I can happily say that I wrote 50000 words and won!

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I started the month with 34124 words written of my current WIP at that time – a redraft of one of my books that’s first in my YA fantasy series. First of all, I didn’t think I was actually going to hit 50000 words because I didn’t think my WIP would stretch 50k further. But I kept on writing and my routine was quite crazy. I was always so busy during the weekdays thanks to homework and study so once the weekends came around, I tended not to make any plans and write solidly for most of the Saturdays and Sundays and writing around 6-8k to catch up on my Nano stats. On the day I finished I managed to write a new record of 10000 words in one day!! I was delighted, because it was also the day I finished the book.

That’s pretty much all I’ve got to say! I loved doing Nanowrimo and I should also congratulate everyone who won too – as well as anyone who participated too! Some words are better than no words at all!

This will probably be my last writing update for a while because my mocks are pretty soon so I’ve decided to take a break from my writing until my midterm in February, after my mock exams. So no more (serious) writing for the rest of this year as well as January but I’m proud of how productive I was this year. I managed to write 4 books for 2017 and I’m grateful for every friend and blogger who motivated me along the way.

 

My Writing Update #4 – Writing Advice!

Hello everyoneeeeee.

It’s Sunday, the 22nd of October and I am fairly confident I’m going to hit 20k today.

This is probably being totally cocky, but after being at Deptcon3 last weekend and listening to all the author’s give different pieces of writing advice, I wondered what advice would give if I were on the stage. Now obviously writing is just a loved hobby of mine and I’m nowhere near as established as those authors were, but I’d like to think I would be able to impart a little writing wisdom alone on someone, considering I’ve been doing it since I was 12.

And I think it was a thread on Twitter that I saw that said that there’s no piece of advice that fits all, you know? Like not everything is going to work for everyone. Writing every day only applies to some people. Writing in the morning between 6am and 9am only suits some other people too. For me, I have a couple of pieces of advice.

  1. The first piece I’m definitely going to recommend is one I learned from the amazingly talented V.E. Schwab. Has anyone heard of the Calendar method? I’m going to link her video here where she explains it but basically you get a calendar, and a bunch of stickers. And everyday you set you’re own goal – whether it be 100 words or 500 words or 1000 words. And every time you write that amount of words in a day – you get a sticker! Honestly, I’ve started using it last month and this month and it has motivated me so much! If you want to know more, check out the video here!
  2. Outline as you go. I know loads of people prefer doing an entire outline of the novel before they start, but what I tend to do it have a general idea of where the story is going to go and then dive right in. I always have a notebook where I bullet point every plot point in a chapter and then right that chapter based on my mini outlines.
  3. Cold TurkeyThis is another trick I’ve just learned from Deptcon3 thanks to Meg Grehan. Basically, this is a programme that takes over your computer and you can enter either an amount of words or a length of time and the programme doesn’t allow you to do anything other than write until you reached the word count or write for that long. Sometimes it can be really frustrating when you just want to check Twitter but I definitely think it’s helped!

So I hope these pieces of advice have helped any aspiring authors or poets or anything else in some way, shape or form! As for how I’m doing, that’s a bit of a pickle.

I’m in my final year of school so I’m extremely laden down with work and study for my Big Leaving Cert this June, which means I can barely find time to write. I had planned to finish the project I’m working on now before NanoWrimo ended but that’s just not going to happen now. But maybe that’s okay. Slow and steady wins the race, you know?

What I’m currently writing:

I don’t know how long ago I wrote it but it was the second book I’d wrote. I’m think I recall finishing as my Nanowrimo project of 2015. Anyways, it’s called Through the Puddle and it’s the first book in my YA fantasy series. I’m rewriting the entire thing from scratch so it will be up to standard with my current writing ability. Let’s just say 2015 writer-me was totally focused on writing every sense into every paragraph. Yikes. I’m 18k into it so far and I plan by the end of today to have reached 20k. Fingers crossed.

Also, while on the topic of my fantasy series, I recently made covers for all the (planned) novels in the series. Important to note, I own none of the images I used and the covers are just for fun.

TPOL covers.png

What I’m currently editing:

I basically just finished doing my first edits for a YA Contemporary, Boomerangs Always Come Back and have started to send it out on submission to some agents. I’m really rooting for this one since it’s close to my heart.

And I recently started editing the second novel in my YA Historical Fiction series, The Author Labyrinth. It’s a beauty of 100k and I’m only on chapter 4. I’m aiming to finish it by the end of November but let’s see if I can make that a reality.

Hope you enjoyed this writing update, and hope to be back soon!

 

UPDATE!! It’s 1:21PM and I’ve just reached 20000 words!

 

Writing Update #3 – Breaks Can Be Well Deserved!

Hey everyone! Today has been a day where I’ve been totally focused on updating my blog so I decided I’d squeeze in another writing update.

Before I talk about how my writing’s going at the moment, I want to say some very belated thank yous to a handful of people. Last month, partially thanks to Camp Nanowrimo, I focused on my WIP and managed to finish it in its 100k entirety. But that was a lot due to certain people who helped me get there via sprints and continuous support. My writing squad – Lucy over at Queen of Contemporary and Katherine at The Writing Hideout. Amazingly, they both finished their WIPs too!! And I also have to thank Amy at Pursuit of Wonderland, who helped me at the end of the month to break through the final hurdles! I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to show my appreciation for these three for helping me finish my novel.

Now an update for what I’m currently writing. Some of you already know, but I’ve been staying with my cousins in the UK since the beginning of the month, and since I knew I wasn’t going to get a lot of writing done, I set myself the project of a short in-between-two-books novella with a goal of 15k words. Unfortunately, I have only written 1000 words of that…and they were written before I came over. It seemed very unlikely that I was going to finish so I decided, I worked hella hard this year by starting and finishing three novels and realised that breaks can be well deserved. Sadly this means I’m not going to be finishing the novella, Summer Nights, this month because once I’m home and September comes around, I’m going to be rewriting one of my other novels. I’m not giving up on the novella at all, I just know that breaks are important. For me as well as you. If you’ve been working hard consistently on something then you really should be setting yourself some rest time after a certain point. You don’t want to burn yourself out.

Start a new TV show, read a couple of books, spend some dedicated time around your loved ones. Just as long as you’re doing something that’s not writing because there’s no harm with taking some time off your WIP if you’ve been at it for a while. And who knows? Maybe the time you spend away from it will help you think of some ways to improve it!

Now even though I’m putting Summer Nights on hold for a while, I’ve thought of where it’s going to fit in and I’ve also thought of another novella. (Sometimes I wish my brain would take a break with me too lmao). The events of Summer Nights is going to take place during the two month gap between the last chapter and epilogue of Book 1 in The Quest series. Then its…follow-up, I guess – the other (very romantic) novella which will be titled Winter Days. The cover is below and it will take place between Book 2 and Book 3.

WINTER DAYS.png

So there’s my writing update, probably that’ll last for another while. I hope some of you will have felt better after reading my advice.

But what about you? What are you currently writing? Let me know in the comments below!

 

My Writing Update #2!

Hey everyone! Today I’m going to fill you in a little of how my writing is going. Anyone who knows me knows I adore writing and creating characters and worlds and putting them down onto paper.

So on July 28th, at exactly 2:31am, I finished my sixth novel. The one I had been working on for Camp Nano – The Author Labyrinth. I’m super proud of myself for finishing it. It’s the sequel to a previous book I’ve written (The Lightning Conductor) and I attempted to write it last year as well. I got about 10 or 15 thousand words in and moved onto something else, which was why I really didn’t want to just push it aside again.

But, anyways, I managed to finish it this time! It ended up at a total of 102,579 words! I wrote it in the space of two and a half months so it probably needs a lot of editing!

What I’m currently editingis still my YA contemporary. I’ve finished editing chapters 1-25 so I have 75 to go (*cries*). Besides, I set myself the goal of reaching chapter 25 for the end of the month so I don’t have to worry about it for a while.

For the month of August, I’m going on holidays over to Leeds to stay with my cousins. We’re going to be getting up to lots of activities so I doubt I’ll have much time to read/write/blog (I have posts scheduled), mainly because we’re doing a Doctor Who marathon! So that was all nice, I said I’d take the month of August as a break from writing.

But me being me, I constantly need a project to be putting my creativity towards so I thought – oh, why not write a short novella, Ross, about the events that take place between Books 1 and 2 and centre the story around a m/m romance? So I guess that happened. And it has a title. And… a cover. In all of its glory below:

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Yeah. I’m excited about this, not going to lie. I’m aiming for around 15k. Just a little thing I can work on during the month of August, because as soon as September comes around, I’m moving on to rewriting the second novel I ever finished – the first in my other YA Fantasy series!

So to recap, I’ve wrote 6 novels (in no particular order):

  • YA Contemporary – Boomerangs Always Come Back
  • YA Romance – Life Death, Blonde Brunette
  • YA Urban Fantasy – The Lightning Conductor (TQ, #1)
  • YA Historical Fiction – The Author Labyrinth (TQ, #2)
  • YA Fantasy – Through the Puddle (TPOL, #1)
  • YA Fantasy – Slaves of Hatred (TPOL, #2)

 

I hope you enjoyed my second writing update! I’m sure I’ll be back at the end of August for another instalment. And if anyone of you participated in Camp Nano this July, tell me how you got on in the comments!

Until next time, Ross!

My Writing Update! #1

Hey Guys!!

I don’t really do tags that often, like ‘Top 5 Tuesday’ or ‘Diversity Spotlight Thursday’, but they’re something I’ve always been meaning to get around to. And since it’s Summer, I thought why not start now?

I suppose I’m doing my own tag – though I know there’s loads who do updates about their writing life. Like Alice Oseman dedicating some of her youtube videos to her Book 3 or how LucyTheReader has began to do it over on Youtube too.

There’s not really going to be any order to when these posts are published. I just figured I’d do them whenever I’m in the mood for them or whenever I have something exciting to tell you all. So without further ado, welcome to my first Writing Update!


What I’m Currently Working On!

I’m presuming that this update is going to be a good bit longer than all the others because I have to introduce you to everything I’ve written and everything I’ve worked on. As I type, I’m realising this might actually be too long so I’ll just briefly explain the projects I’m working on now!

What I’m currently writing is the sequel in my YA Fantasy/Historical Fiction series! It’s called The Author Labyrinth and it takes my four main characters on a chase through time to retrieve a ring from the villainous RC. But they arrive again and again in the time of famous authors – from Shakespeare to Agatha Christie to (right now) the Brontes! One of my MC’s, Sophie, is an avid reader and writer so naturally she is delighted. But the other three have to focus on what RC is really up to while Sophie is too caught up in this rare opportunity to meet some of her idols!

I started it in May and worked on it through both May and June. I ended up with 55,000 words. So I decided to continue it for July’s Camp NaNoWriMo. The goal was to have it finished by the 1st of September, but I’ve made really good progress in the last two and a half months that I’m aiming to finish it by the 1st of August. The total word count I’m aiming it for is 100,000 words. I’m currently at 77,588 words and I plan to have 80k by the end of today! Wish me luck!

What I’m currently editing is a book that’s very personal to me, and one that I worked on from January to the end of March. It’s my shortest novel yet (approx 75k). It’s a YA Contemporary that I adored writing. Basically it follows my main character, Callie, on a journey with her two best friends to find her Gran’s old childhood best friend before she’d forced to emigrate to the United States for her Dad’s promotion. Of course, there are some shocking reveals along the way! It’s called Boomerangs Always Come Back and it’s loosely based on my own Nan’s childhood (the best friend in the book has the same name as my Nan’s old best friend!)

So yeah, I’ve left it in the dark for a while but I’ve started editing it today. Hopefully once I’m finished I can redraft it once again at the end of the year and then start querying agents. I am writing my sixth novel, but I think I want Boomerangs to be my book that breaks me into the publishing world. Even if any of my work gets published! Now, before I end this post with an short excerpt from Boomerangs, comment below and tell me about your writing and if you’re participating in Camp Nano! I’d love to know!


“Will you make us a cuppa?”

Gran considers this request. I study her as she makes up her mind.

“Okay, love.”

“And would ya bring us in some of those custard creams?” he [Frank] yells.

Just as Gran gets up to make him a cup of tea, I stuff the last three custard creams into my gob just to spite him.

Gran turns around to face me just after and smiles. It’s a sad one but a familiar one, too.

“A woman’s work is never done,” she decides.