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#AuthorToolboxBlogHop My 2019 NaNoWriMo Survival Kit

This year I decided to participate in my first-ever NaNoWriMo, which means, in the month of November I will be attempting to write the entire first draft of a brand new novel. Since I consider myself a strong Plotter with a few Pantser tendencies sprinkled in, I decided to take the month of October to prep and plan for this endeavor. If you missed it, check out my Preptober Planning Essentials blog where I shared all of my strategies on plotting for NaNoWriMo.

But throughout all of my novel prep, I would be remiss if I didn't share some of the more practical strategies that I am devising to be sure that I win NaNoWriMo. The following are my survival kit throughout the month of November: - I have always been fascinated by the concept of this writing app. If you've never heard of it, it is essentially a tool for writers to keep you typing without pause. There are settings you can choose to decide how many words you want to write within a set amount of time. If you…

Preptober for NaNoWriMo 2019: Planning Essentials

This is a companion post that I created to share the resources I discussed in my NaNoWriMo Prep Checklist video on my YouTube channel. If you haven't seen the video, I have it embedded below. 

Preptober is finally upon us! Well, maybe not officially, but I couldn't bring myself to wait another day to share all of my planning and resources in preparation for NaNoWriMo 2019.

If you're unaware, NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month, is the one month a year where writers all the over world challenge themselves to complete a finished rough draft of a new novel within 30 days. October, also referred to as Preptober, is the month of preparations before the event, where writers decide their story idea and flesh it out. It's also a great time to get your personal scheduled squared away so you can plan for maximum efficiency throughout November.

This is my first year to participate, outside of Camp NaNoWriMo, and I am beyond excited to let a new spark of an idea come to life…

#AuthorToolBoxBlogHop: How to Prep for Your First Writer's Conference

I recently attended my very first writer's conference and let me tell you, it was a decision years in the making. For so long I had entertained the idea. I'd heard such great stories from other writers about how much there is to learn and all of the great connections one can make. Still, whenever it came time to purchase a ticket, I always held myself back.

If you are anything like me, an introvert with socially anxious tendencies, then the idea of a writer's conference probably sends a chill down your spine. Socializing with a large group of strangers, participating in discussions, and generally putting yourself, not to mention your work, out there can be intimidating.

However, over the years I've found that preparation is an excellent coping strategy for such nerves and will ultimately ensure a much more positive and productive experience. It was through my preparation that I ended up having the BEST time. Talking to agents, participating in sessions, and making some w…

#AuthorToolBoxBlogHop New Favorite Writing Resources - Setting, Word Choice, Revision (oh my!)

Happy June, Writers!

This month has been huge for me in the way of craft. In the midst of my revision, I decided to take some dedicated time to focus on a few of my weaker areas in terms of craft. These were areas I had identified during my read-through or areas in which I simply lacked confidence.

I decided for this month's blog hop to share my list of resources that have been helping me these past couple of months with the hope that they will prove useful to some other writers out there.

#1 Setting

The Rural Setting Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglish (click for Amazon page)

The Urban Setting Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglish (click for Amazon page)
What's so great about them: Written in incredible detail, these two books showcase a vast majority of possible setting locations throughout your novel. It pinpoints the exact sights, smells, sounds, tastes, textures, sources of potential conflict, and more.
Let's say that one of your scenes takes pl…

10 Ways to Create a Badass Protagonist (like Buffy Summers)

When picturing dynamic and powerful protagonists, I don't know about you, but Buffy Summers is always on the top of my list. The invention of creator Joss Whedon and the protagonist of film-turned-television series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Buffy Summersis a cultural icon of my generation.
When I heard that they were adapting Buffy into a rebooted TV series, I was inspired to stroll down memory lane for another character analysis. See the video below for my full summary of the Buffy Summers character arc. Through this analysis, I have pulled out a list of specific writing strategies employed throughout the series that writers can use to enhance their own characters.
Here are the top 10 takeaways from the character arc of Buffy Summers:
1. Even if your hero comes from a supernatural or unusual background, give them motivations and experiences that are universal that the audience can relate to. From breakups, to friendship squabbles, to fitting into her ever-changing identify, Buffy…

(Author Toolbox Blog Hop) The 3-Step Revision Formula: Mystery Solved!

Many, if not most writers probably experience the same sense of dread when they type those two little words at the commencement of their first draft: The End. Uh oh. Time to let those shiny-new-story butterflies die. Now you're in the pit of despair, better known as the revision stage.

When I began writing my first novel, the concept of self-editing was a complete mystery. My research told me that while one author would self-edit seven or eight different times, another author could be done after a second draft. Some would rewrite the entire thing over and over, while others could get by with bits and pieces. Books that I found on revision told me what to edit, but not how many times I could expect to repeat the process. I started to wonder if self-editing was completely subjective.

The first novel I wrote was definitely my experimental phase. I remember thinking back when I wrote my second draft how much better it was, only I had ended up editing out half of my book! The result w…

Camp NaNoWriMo: What it is, how it works, and how to reach your writing goals

I remember July of 2018 quite vividly. I had just started my YouTube channel in the hopes of putting myself "out there" in the writing community and meeting other writers in the process. What was unique about July is that I noticed many of the writers in the "authortube" community posting vlogs of something called Camp NaNoWriMo.

To be honest with you, I had no idea what this was. I had heard of people tossing around the words nano this and nano that. I knew it had something to do with novel writing and these writers online had a genuine enthusiasm for it, so my interest was peaked.

In case you aren't familiar, I'll start with the basics. NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, which happens every year in November. The intention is that writers can push themselves to achieve the goal of writing an entire novel (or, at least, 50,000 words) in just thirty days. People that would otherwise struggle to self-motivate and stay on course can be encourag…