In April 2017, I embraced NaNoWriMo’s ‘No plot? No problem!’ mindset and decided to write a 15k story in 30 days without planning anything before hand. The only thing I planned before April was the first few lines because I needed to start somewhere.
Going into the challenge, I also wanted to practice one technique: hooks. I’ve read plenty of stories that didn’t have the best writing or storyline, but threw a big hook early on that compelled me to keep reading until the end. I decided to try that out with Camp NaNoWriMo. In every single part/chapter, I made sure I introduced a new question that I hope would make people want to keep on reading to find out more.
Because of that goal, I spent almost the whole of April doing something like this:
When writing the post: Let’s throw a question/new element/twist/hidden secret/cliffhanger at the end so people are compelled to continue reading
After posting: *freaking out* What’s the answer/secret/thing that happens next/history/truth?
For most of the month, I was discovering the story as I wrote. Which was pretty interesting. I didn’t expect all the extra people and family history that turned up in the end.
Another trick I used when I wrote was to start from the character who knew the least information. Most of the time, that was Darius, but throughout the story there’s always someone who knows more than everyone else. That way, I can focus on what’s happening, and in the next chapter, revisit the scene with another viewpoint character, but this time fleshing out the why/who/how and progressing the story. It’s also a great way to add words 😛
The story is still pretty rough, and I’ll need to do a lot of editing, but I wrote a 15k novelette in 30 days! Will I do it again?
Last month, I participated in Camp NaNoWriMo and in the process actually wrote a novelette, which you can check out here, starting from the first part here. It was a pretty interesting experience and I have a newfound respect for those who publish daily ongoing stories. Most importantly, I know I definitely don’t want to to approach NaNoWriMo the way I did last month, if I decide to take up the challenge.
Now that the challenge is over, it’s back to short stories for May. I would also like to write some posts about my adventure writing the Camp NoNoWriMo project, since it was a pretty interesting month for me.
Lets have a great month ahead 🙂
Genre: slice of life
She fiddled with her display for the tenth time in five minutes. Any second now, the convention goers would swarm into their area. If even a tiny fraction of that crowd bought her book, her day, no, her week would be complete.
The hours came and went. People came, but passed her booth completely in favour of her neighbours, who had beautiful illustrations to hook people in. She caught a handful of interested minds, but no one had the time to stop and read the short stories she prepared to show her writing style and her characters. Her neighbours’ popularity continued. She tried very hard not to drop her smile.
Finally, a visitor dropped by.
“Hey. Mind if I read that?” the visitor asked with a wave at her short stories.
“Go for it.”
She held her tongue as the other girl read. Once the visitor was done, she asked, “What do you think?”
“Honestly, I’ve seen better.”
Couldn’t argue with that. But still. Ouch.
“But I love it. How much is your book?”
Minutes later, she made her first sale. She smiled so widely it hurt.
She thought that was it, but an hour later, the girl returned with an armful of papers. It turned out the other girl was an artist. And one of the good ones too. The kind who could live off their art. Even better, the stories she wrote were the kinds the artist loved to draw, and in that one hour, the artist had drawn half a dozen illustrations inspired by her stories.
The artist spread the artwork before her.
“What do you think?”
“Honestly, I’ve seen better.”
She broke into a smile.
“But I love it.”
My sister (and later my friend) pointed out that I’ve been doing a lot of superpower stories recently. So here we go. Variety. Hope you’re happy :p
It’s a new year. Most people would be making their lists of new year resolutions. I’ll probably start on that eventually, but that doesn’t really work for me. I can’t even remember what I put down last year XP
So it’s a brand new year, but I’m still continuing with my usual monthly goals, since I’m more likely to remember something I decided on one month ago than one year ago.
First, a review of last month.
I didn’t really set much of a goal during December, since I had just finished NaNoWriMo the month before. I was both resting from the mad dash to 50k words and getting back into the habit of posting on Logical Dreams. I posted almost every day in December, so December wasn’t super amazing, but it was not bad.
Now, January, the first month of 2017.
Including this post, I would have 270 posts on this blog, which is actually quite a lot for someone who’s visiting the blog for the first time. 161 of those posts are stories, many of which are connected to each other. I haven’t really navigated my blog myself to read through these stories, but I can imagine it gets pretty overwhelming pretty quickly.
So, for January, alongside the usual ‘post something every day’, I want to make some sort of navigation guide to organise these stories better. I’ll also try adding genre and stuff so people can better search for stories according to their mood.
I hope this works.
Happy new year everyone 🙂
Today, I had the whole day to do assignments and clock in some words for NaNoWriMo.
In terms of assignments, I managed to finish one and almost finish the other.
In terms of NaNoWriMo, I managed to write 1798 words, not including the other words I wrote down for other scenes I thought about but haven’t fleshed out into actual sentences.
Switching between the assignment and Melan did help force me to work on both projects, but what really helped me write for Melan was getting the inspiration for a pretty big scene. In the end, tricks and technique help, but there’s no substitute for a real idea.
Conclusion: I was just short on both sides for my goal, but NaNoWriMo went from predicting I’ll finish in 12 December to 10 December, so today was great 🙂
Today’s word count: 1798
Total word count: 12533
For October, I had three goals:
- Post something everyday
- Write a multi-chapter story
- Respond to an award nomination.
Here’s how that went.
- I posted on most days, though some days I was so late it turned into two posts in a day.
- Mission Gone Wrong lasted a lot longer than I expected, and was more fun than I thought it would be.
- The nomination happened so long ago my notification history doesn’t even go back so far T.T
So, 2/3. Good enough for me. Time for the next month.
November, which is also National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). As of this writing, I’m still kinda maybe going to go for it. Reason being that it completely slipped my mind until I saw it a few days ago, and writing 50k in 30 days will be tough when I haven’t planned things out.
But I haven’t tried NaNoWriMo for years, so I’ll give it a shot. No guarantees that I’ll actually hit 50k, but even 10k would be 10k more than if I didn’t try.
What does that mean for Logical Dreams?
I would still like to post regularly, but seeing that I’ll be directing most of my focus to one long project, the posts I make in November would likely be notes on what I’m doing throughout the month, excerpts of what I’ve written, and possibly some older stories I’ve been hoarding. It would be different from the previous months, but hopefully a good different.
On a side note: anyone else participating in NaNoWriMo this year?
My response to the prompt ‘unfinished‘.
The idea sneaked into her dream as a harmless ‘what if’, which soon mutated into ‘where’s and ‘what’s and ‘who’s, strings of scenes connected by plot bunnies that kept jumping down forbidden rabbit holes.
The next morning, eager hands gave the growing idea a body of ink and paper. Messy words ran across the pages as the pen tried its best to keep up with the characters as they navigated the obstacles and plot twists that were the staples of any good story.
Then one scene hit a snag, and all of a sudden, amazing characters were now flat self-inserts in a story filled with plot holes and scenes that were strung together with only the most tenuous connections.
Going back to fix what went wrong only highlighted all the implausible events that were supposed to tie the story together and the character ticks that once were amusing but now just grated on her nerves.
A few more half-hearted attempts, and another unfinished story joined the growing pile in the box.
‘To Catch a Superhero‘ and ‘ Not Him‘ were two short stories I wrote in August in response to a pair of prompts: ‘intentional’ and ‘accidental’. If you haven’t read them, you can follow the links to check them out. They aren’t that long.
For those who know the two stories I mentioned above, you’ll know that it involves people with superpowers. How did ‘intentional’ and ‘accidental’ turn into a story about superheros?
Here’s how. Read the rest of this entry
It’s the end of the month, which means it’s time to reflect on the past month and plan for the next.
In July, I had one goal: fulfil 30 writing prompts.
And I did. You can find the masterlist of all 30 stories here.
When I first set this as my July goal, I wasn’t sure if I could do it. 30 prompts basically meant one post almost everyday. But it’s been a very exciting month. So I’m doing it again.
One of the stories I had a bit of fun with was Dream Come True and Sweet Nightmare. I hadn’t realised at first, but on my list were the prompts ‘dream’ and ‘nightmare’, two words that are related but also considered to be opposites. Both stories started with the thought ‘what if someone’s dream was another person’s nightmare?’.
So for August, I want to tackle another set of prompts (which you can find here). This time, the prompts will come in ‘opposite’ pairs, like create and destroy. And the extra challenge would be taking these opposing words to create two stories that are related to each other, like Dream Come True and Sweet Nightmare.
Thank you to all who took the time to read and like my stories. It would have been a difficult month without your support 🙂
It’s not easy to parody genre clichés. People use clichés because they work. To create something to make fun of clichés requires an intimate knowledge of the genre and a creative mind, while at the same time weaving this ‘take that’s into an enjoyable story.
Ouran High School Host Club (Ouran for short) and Cute High Earth Defense Club Love! (Love! for short) are two series that parodies their genre and still entertains.