What is #Preptober ?

Preptober

A popular event in November is NaNoWriMo. During the month if November participants of the event take on the challenge to write 50k words.

So, what’s this go today with what preptober is?

Writing 50k words is a big task. As a result, people started preparing during October for NaNoWriMo in November. And, this activity got the name #Preptober.

NaNoWriMo Project

Sky Heart is book 2 in The Soul Heart series. It was almost finished but I struggle with endings. In April, I tried to write the ending (for Camp NaNo) but when I revisited the manuscript… it was awful.

For NaNo, I’m going to start over. I’m going to re-plot, develop my characters more deeply, focus on my world building, and organise my research.

What I’ve done so far…

Got Dabble

Dabble is online writing software. I love Dabble and I went to buy it, but found out there was a trial for NaNo. What’s more, my dabble manuscript will auto update my NaNo word count. How awesome is that?

And, Dabble now is mobile friendly. I’ve saved the site as an icon on my mobile so I can write on my phone. Yay!

Character Development

To work on improving my skills, I treated myself to two new books.

10 STEPS TO HERO by Sacha Black

CREATING COMPELLING CHARACTERS FROM THE INSIDE OUT by L.M. Lilly

View this post on Instagram

How’s your #preptober going? I’m doing the #wiwpreptober challenge but most evenings been so tired I’ve gone straight to bed and done no prepping. But it’s important to listen to your body and relax when you need to. 💛 Day 4: Plotter/Pantser: I’m somewhere in the middle #plantser . I have a vague plan but mostly make it up as I go. I’m more of of pantser but #savethecat has helped me improve my plotting and it’s something I want to improve as I think it’ll speed up finishing my novels. Yesterday, my new books arrived (top of the pile). I’m focussing on improving my character development. The one with no text on the spine is Rayne Hall’s The Word Loss Diet. Have you read any of these? 💛 Day 5: #worldteachersday My favourite teacher was Mr Macy, my English teacher. He gave me extra notebooks for my story writing – the way to a writers heart. Another top teacher was my primary school teacher who taught me what an author is and set my dream in motion. She was either called Miss Fancy of Miss Twinkle – I’ll have to ask my mum. 💛 Day 6: Setting? Book 2, Sky Heart, will start off in my home town Felixstowe but mostly set in the Isle of Skye (Scotland), and a short stopover in Birmingham. The images are from Unsplash by artist Massimiliano Morosinotto (@therawhunter ). 💛 #writingbooks #writingresources #writingtools #theemotionthesaurus #pocketguidetopublishing #thewordlossdiet #takeoffyourpants #theelementsofstyle #creatingcompellingcharacters #10stepstohero #raynehall #sashablack #inspirational #inspirationalteachers #authordreams #setting #writinggoals #isleofsky #isleofskyescotland #skyheart #writingyafiction #yafantasyseries #thesoulheartseries #plotter #pantser

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Book Bible Workshop

To help get all my story development organised, I attended a free workshop provided by World Indie Warriors and delivered by author J D Groom (who I’m a big fan of). If you’re a WIW member you can catch the replay via their website.

Doing #WIWPreptober

On Instagram World Indie Warriors are doing a photo challenge to keep writers motivated preparing for NaNo, and it’s an opportunity to get to know others better. I don’t take part everyday but here are my posts so far:

View this post on Instagram

How’s your #preptober going? I’m doing the #wiwpreptober challenge but most evenings been so tired I’ve gone straight to bed and done no prepping. But it’s important to listen to your body and relax when you need to. 💛 Day 4: Plotter/Pantser: I’m somewhere in the middle #plantser . I have a vague plan but mostly make it up as I go. I’m more of of pantser but #savethecat has helped me improve my plotting and it’s something I want to improve as I think it’ll speed up finishing my novels. Yesterday, my new books arrived (top of the pile). I’m focussing on improving my character development. The one with no text on the spine is Rayne Hall’s The Word Loss Diet. Have you read any of these? 💛 Day 5: #worldteachersday My favourite teacher was Mr Macy, my English teacher. He gave me extra notebooks for my story writing – the way to a writers heart. Another top teacher was my primary school teacher who taught me what an author is and set my dream in motion. She was either called Miss Fancy of Miss Twinkle – I’ll have to ask my mum. 💛 Day 6: Setting? Book 2, Sky Heart, will start off in my home town Felixstowe but mostly set in the Isle of Skye (Scotland), and a short stopover in Birmingham. The images are from Unsplash by artist Massimiliano Morosinotto (@therawhunter ). 💛 #writingbooks #writingresources #writingtools #theemotionthesaurus #pocketguidetopublishing #thewordlossdiet #takeoffyourpants #theelementsofstyle #creatingcompellingcharacters #10stepstohero #raynehall #sashablack #inspirational #inspirationalteachers #authordreams #setting #writinggoals #isleofsky #isleofskyescotland #skyheart #writingyafiction #yafantasyseries #thesoulheartseries #plotter #pantser

A post shared by Author Ally Aldridge (@redfae) on

October Blog Posts

All my blog posts for October are written, with pics and scheduled.

What I still need to do…

Plot Outline

I want to re-outline my story using Save The Cat. I’ve learnt a lot working on book 1 and want to use this to improve book 2.

BuJu

I’d love to get into bullet journalling. I’ll try and create a reward page to track my progress during the event.

October Newsletter

I need to write this. It’ll go out end of the month and I’m hoping it will contain details of my Preorder Giveaway.

November Blog Posts & Instagram

I’d like to have most of these written before I start NaNo so they don’t interrupt my progress. But, I’ll likely post on how I’m getting on and that can’t be written ahead of time.

If you enjoyed this, you will like:

Camp NaNo July 2020

NaNoWriMo 2017 — Ally Aldridge

Soul Heart Readers – Street Team

Books

Camp NaNo July 2020

I’m taking part! Or, so I say…

I’m doing the challenge with World IndieWarriors and set my goals as follows:

  1. Write the ending of Sky Heart (book 2) – estimated 20k words
  2. Finish reading my two current reads (Agent Undone by Cassidy Reyne, and Sea Witch by Sarah Henning)
  3. Complete Storyseller Academy course

About Sky Heart

Slow Start

1 July

I’ve barely started! So, at the end of June I was sending Ocean Heart (book 1) to my editor but fear struck. It was ready a week early but I kept reading it through, checking it, worrying whether it is good enough. When I was still doing this is July, I realised what I was doing and hit send… at almost midnight.

2 July

So, I started a day late. When I looked at chapter 24 of Sky Heart (book 2) I couldn’t remember what was going on. It dawned on me that it’s been too long, I need to reread it all to get my hear back in the story. I may not get to write this month 😢.

3 July

I was introduced to a website called Art Breeder. OMG this website is addictive! At first my ‘breeds’ were not quite right but the more I played the better I got.

Top row – Mariah, Jace; Bottom row – Murray, Kiely

4 July

Today, I’ve been working on blog posts and reading (a little). Blog posts weren’t part of my NaNo goal but reading was. Finally started on Camp NaNo 😂.

Reflecting

I think if it wasn’t Camp NaNo, I would have taken a break this month to reflect on finishing Ocean Heart.

I’m nervous about what is next and still have a lot to learn and publishing it is my annual priority goal.

You’ll notice I’ll be more laid back about my goals this month. As always, any progress is good but I’m more interested in the social aspect of the challenge.

It’s a great way to connect with other writers. If I can encourage another creative towards achieving their goals, that’s still a win. And once I’ve rejuvenated I’ll come back stronger.

If you enjoyed this, you will enjoy:

Author Q and A – Ally Aldridge

Writing Progress: May

Camp NaNo Progress

12 tips for self editing

Camp NaNo Progress

This is an update is on how day 21 to 30 has gone.

It hasn’t been great. I wasted two evenings watching Extraction, another watching Last Kingdom and baking breakfast muffins.

On top of that I had some connection issues with Virgin Media (and I use Google Docs), and one evening I even forgot to charge my laptop so it was dead.

And, when I have gotten down to writing, I’ve procrastinated. Working from home on my laptop during the day, then editing on my laptop in the evening has felt never ending and it’s taken its toll.

Carry on reading to discover how my Camp NaNo April 2020 ended. I promise it wasn’t pointless.

#CampNaNoWIW

I am in the World Indie Warriors cabin (now called groups). On Instagram they’ve set a photo challenge:

I haven’t had time to keep up on IG but my team spirit won’t let me let it go. So, I decided to post my pics every 10 days on my blog.

#SnippetTuesday

Favourite part of the writing process

My favourite part is definitely the creating. I love coming up with story ideas and characters.

#Worldbook Day – Shelfie time!

Best writing advice you’ve ever been given

Successful authors are writers that never gave up.

Publishing is not easy and I easily could have quit my dream long ago.

A lot of time has been spent on my manuscripts, on creating queries, synopsis, blurbs and pitches. Only to be rejected. I’ve developed a thick skin and learned to use feedback to help me grow rather than take it personally.

Sometimes the task feels too big, never ending. I’ve made mistakes. I’ve learnt from my mistakes. I wrestle with my self doubt and imposter syndrome. And, I’m becoming a stronger writer all the time.

I will publish. I know I will. I’m never going to quit.

Campfire audience: who do you write for?

Me. Initially, I write for myself, for fun. This is super important as novel writing is a marathon. Can you imagine spending that long working on something you don’t even like?

My target audience is anyone that enjoys YA Contemporary Fantasy. I’d especially like teen girls to enjoy it and be able to relate to my MC, despite her being a mermaid.

What do you do when you are not writing?

I work at a college but most of my free time is spent with my kids. I wanted to be a mum for a long time. They’re hard work and wear me out but I love them so much.

We love by the sea, nearby woodland walks and lots of farms within driving distance. When this lockdown is over, I will be taking my kids out to enjoy the great outdoors.

Favourite out of genre book

My favourite GCSE book was An Inspector Calls by J. B. Priestly. It’s a period play. I wouldn’t choose to read it but had to and ended up loving it.

It was about how a family had caused a woman’s death. Independently their actions were small but collectively they had a massive impact on her life. I also enjoyed the twist at the end.

#TeaserTuesday

Cliffhangers: yay or nay?

Last day of camp – how did you do?

Jodie taught me how adjust my goal to make it more realistic. I lowered it to editing 25k words.

I started day 21 with my editing up to chapter 7. I finish Camp Nano on day 30 by editing chapter 10. That’s a total of 27,403 words edited this month. That makes me a winner!

It definitely could have gone better but I have developed a realistic editing goal. May, I’ll try to edit another 15 chapters, and June, I’ll edit the final 12. That’s rough 30k words a month.

Yesterday, I started Furlough for 3 weeks. Hopefully this will help my motivation as I won’t be staring at my laptop all day and it’ll alleviates some pressure so I won’t be as tired.

I would love to see your answers to the above. Let me know if you are taking part on IG or posting somewhere else.

If you enjoyed this post you will like:

Camp NaNo Progress (days 11 to 20)

Camp NaNo Progress (days 1 to 10)

My Books

My To Be Read Pile

Camp NaNo Progress (days 1 to 10)

This is an update on how the first 10 days have gone.

I wanted to start April having already completed my read through. Unfortunately that didn’t happen. So, I spent the first few days getting it done.

Monday, 6 April, I was able to start my editing. Using the feedback from my Developmental Editor. I have managed to edit 4 chapters (about 9k words). The biggest changes have included:

  • A new scene added to chapter 2
  • Kya O’Malley is now Kiely O’Neil
  • Murray O’Malley is now Murray O’Neil
  • A scene in chapter 4 has been completely rewritten

I am in the World Indie Warriors cabin (now called groups) on NaNoWriMo. On Instagram they’ve set a photo challenge:

I haven’t had time to keep up on IG but my team spirit won’t let me let it go. So, I decided to post my pics every 10 days on my blog.

Camp Goals / Tell us about your WIP

Both of these are covered in my blog post titled Are you doing Camp NaNo?

Camp Buddies

What will you do to celebrate?

It feels hard to think about celebrating during a lockdown. I can’t go anywhere and I’m only buying necessities.

It will be something simple like watching a film with my husband and maybe ordering a take away if we are still able to.

Camp Music

I find music distracting whilst writing/editing. The other day I was feeling tired after work and was procrastinating. I clicked on an IG live video by @aquabunart. She was playing her harp. It was really relaxing and helped me get focussed on what I needed to do.

I think I find music useful to get me in the right headspace but not during the task. I also enjoy music whilst plotting or coming up with ideas and have come up with story ideas whilst listening to the radio.

Who inspires you?

Hundreds of authors have inspired me but here are the most notable:

Orchard Tree Books: Yes, they publish children’s first readers. The magic key stories inspired my first stories and awoke my desire to be an author at the age of 5.

Rachel Vincent’s shifter series. I loved the world she built and I wanted to create something similar but my own.

More inspirational people are my granny and grandma. My granny was tenacious and never let anything stop her doing what she needed to. And, my grandma had a big heart and was the first person to believe in my writing.

Camp Fuel

Mmm tea ☕️

One Line

He danced in the sunlight whilst I lurked in the shadows.

Favourite genre/trope

I love YA fiction, Paranormal Romance, Contemporary Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, High Fantasy, Low Sci-Fi, Dystopia, Contemporary Romance, Erotica, Chick Lit, and Children’s Fiction (especially picture books).

I mainly blog and write YA Fantasy. But I also dabble in poetry. And, I’ve drafted a picture book. One day I may also write horror, dystopia and erotica.

Your ideal writing space

I have a Pinterest board with images of my dream space. I’d share it but my boards are so messy they need a spring clean.

I don’t have a dedicated space but I’d like one.

The desk would be a bureau that I could fold away all my mess inside so when I return it is ready. It would have a pin board with inspirational quotes and book plans. A shelf to keep my favourite notebooks and resource books. A draw to hide away my stash of pens and pots for my frequently used. The desk will be large enough to spread out all my papers. Ideally, this space would be in a lodge with beautiful views of a meadow, forest or beach.

I would love to see your answers to the above. Let me know if you are taking part on IG or posting somewhere else.

If you enjoyed this post you will like:

NaNoWriMo Diary – Week 4 (November 2019)

Writing Progress: March

The Plot Bunny Vault

Creating a Catchy Novel Title

How was NaNoWriMo 2019

The new NaNoWriMo website

For the November 2019 NaNoWriMo there was a new revamped website.  I am going to start with how I got on using it and how it affected my NaNoWriMo experience.

Wrimo Buddies

All the old information had transferred over except connections.  I sent invites out to those I remembered and added some new ones I made via other social media sites.  If you would like to add me, I am Redfae on NaNoWriMo.  

Forums

I still feel the social side of the NaNoWriMo site isn’t really working for me.  I can’t figure out the forums but I didn’t have much time to explore them.  Maybe they will get easier to navigate as the site develops.

Stats

OMG!  I love the Stats.  I used to have to create spreadsheets to record where I was with my word count and calculate if I am on or off track and how many words I need to do to keep up but the new website does this for you and can tell you cool facts like when and where you like to write.

I found it really motivating to see my overall progress  It helped to visually see when I was falling below the line and knew I needed to step up the pace.

NaNoWriMo Stat Overall Progress

You can choose between a bar of line chart.  In the above chart you can see my overall progress.  I started off ahead of target but after an unfortunate week and a spell of not writing, I struggled to stay on track and then fell behind target.  The rest of my NaNo progress is trying to get back on track.  On a positive note, you can see that I didn’t give up and the line does keep going up even if it’s not as steep as I needed.

NaNoWriMo Stat Daily Word Count

The last few days I really pushed myself to catch up and managed to write 6k on the final day!  That was my best daily word count all month. This bar chart really highlights the days I skipped.  Those days were detrimental to me reaching 50k, but sometimes I need to take a break for my own well being and I didn’t want to burnout.

Here are links to my weekly writers diary for you to learn more about how my NaNo weeks went (click on the picture):

copy of copy of nanowrimo nov 2019

copy of copy of nanowrimo nov 2019copy of copy of nanowrimo nov 2019copy of copy of nanowrimo nov 2019

Here are the last final two days of my writers diary:

Fri, 29 Nov

I dropped Noah off at school.  I then needed to call the doctor about Aria’s shoulder making an odd popping sound (they booked me in for a call back).  I had to call Very because they had sent me my order twice and charged me twice – no thank you.   Once that was done, I decided to take Aria to a local playgroup as she missed out last week.  I kept my phone on so I could hear if it rang.

When I was about to leave the playgroup I saw I had a text from the doctor’s surgery to say they had tried to call but there was no answer and I needed to call if I still wanted to be called.  It was odd because there was no missed call on my phone. I rang to get put back on the waiting list.  Although Aria isn’t in any pain, I want her to be seen as she is always doing crazy stuff all the time and I worry she may have hurt herself and just not let us know.

Finally, I got a call back and had to accept an appointment when Aria usually naps.  I dreaded I was in for a grizzly afternoon but she wasn’t too bad at the doctors.  In fact, being sleepy probably helped as she wasn’t tearing up the place.  The nurse that saw her wasn’t concerned about Aria’s shoulder and said to keep an eye on it. If Aria appears to be in pain then take her straight back otherwise hopefully it will go on its own (I’m to keep an eye on it for 1 to 2 months).

I then did school pick up and as Noah was trying really hard to be good, I took him to a local sports club that he has been banned from (by us) for four weeks.  Noah got so excited at the class that he was bouncing off the walls, crazy, embarrassing, very naughty.  Needless to say, the ban is back.

We got home and had dinner.  Then I got on the PC and forced myself to write although I was still quite upset about earlier and feeling a little put out that I am so far behind and unlikely to make 50k.  I am now aiming for 40k.  I did pretty well and ended the night at 39k.  I feel motivated that I can meet my new goal tomorrow.

Sat, 30 Nov

My husband let me have a lay in which I used to write an impressive 2k, on my mobile phone, in bed.  It made me feel great knowing I have achieved over 40k today when I thought it would be impossible as I have a very busy day planned.  One appointment cancelled, giving me a little more breathing space.

My husband took Noah to get his hair cut.  Then, I took both children for a Christmas photo shoot.  I booked it because I really struggle to get nice pictures of them.  They are both full of energy and struggle to stay still.

Sadly, Noah was still in his silly mood.  He was photo-bombing Aria’s pictures and running in-front of the light and casting shadows.  He was messing around with the props and climbing all over the furniture and trying to touch the very expensive camera.  The photographer polite and patient with him but I am not hopeful that we managed to get any pictures – I now have to wait and see.  Once out, I asked Noah why he did it.  He was ‘excited’ and he wanted more pictures.

Aria was no angel either.  She didn’t want to stay on the set or sit still – this is the reason my pictures of her are a blur or she’s half out the shot. I really felt like giving up and then I saw a cute picture of her on my phone that I took on holiday.  I posted it to Instagram and it shared to Facebook.  One of my friends commented “She’s gorgeous but she would look even prettier without the dummy x”.  It broke my heart.  I thought it was a cute picture and I was being judged for allowing my baby a soother.  People are always judging parents and I was at breaking point. I wanted to send her the study on Sudden Infant Cot Death that showed dummy use reduced cot death by 90%.  Yeah she might not look pretty with it, but she’s happy, she’s safe, she’s sleepy and I have a photo of her.  But, I didn’t fight back.  I was exhausted, feeling like a terrible mother and I just cried.

My husband gave me a prep talk and helped me feel better about myself.  They are both going through tricky stages. Noah will learn to control his energy.  Aria is just running everywhere and climbing everything because she’s discovered she can and the novelty will wear off – hopefully, soon before she hurts herself.

I got on the PC straight away and decided to write to see how close to 50k I could get.  I finished at 45,062 words.  It might not be 50k but I a damn proud of myself.

World Indie Warriors Live

Another massive achievement for me was going live on Facebook.  I did on the World Indie Warrior Facebook group and hosted a live write in. It was lots of fun and really motivating.

I don’t know about you but Monday are meh.  But, getting online and chatting with other writers reminded me that I am not alone. I am part of team.  This indie community is so supportive and we cheered each other on.  We shared what we were working on and I read out samples of their projects that they share with me (including some very steamy scenes).

If you want to be party of this group, head over to their Facebook group, World Indie Warriors Members to get involved.

Diamond in the Sky

As I completed chapters during NaNoWriMo, I posted them to Wattpad.  You can read them here in my novel Diamond in the Sky.  I warn you it is a real first draft!

I’m really pleased with the progress I have made and can see me finishing this novel.  NaNoWriMo estimates it will be finished by 5 December but it needs to be more than 50k to be done.

I am going to continue writing it whilst Jewel of the Sea is getting edited.  That’s right!  I paid for an editor for my birthday and I am taking those first steps to publish my debut novel.  Wish me luck.

Book cover for Diamond in the Sky by Ally Aldridge.

I created this cover in Canva using an image from Unsplash.

If you enjoyed this you may also like:

NaNoWriMo Diary – Week 1 (November 2019)

NaNoWriMo Diary – Week 2 (November 2019)

NaNoWriMo Diary – Week 3 (November 2019)

NaNoWriMo Diary – Week 4 (November 2019)

Reflecting on Camp NaNo July 2019

My Books


@Redfae

 

NaNoWriMo Diary – Week 4 (November 2019)

Fri, 22 Nov

Another busy Friday. At drop off I chatted to the mums who are organising Noah’s joint party (it’s there kids birthday too and our kids are all friends). We got nattering about what was left to do and who was doing what. Luckily, I didn’t get asked with anything -yay!

I was then late for play group and in desperate need of cat food. So, I decided to do a Sainsbury click & collect order so I didn’t have to traipse around the store – I really don’t enjoy shopping. I also needed a gift for a party Noah was attending after school and added it to my order. I was feeling super savvy as I sat back and enjoyed the rest of my morning.

Then Aria came with me to an afternoon work Christmas meal. I couldn’t make the evening one, nor could some of my colleagues so we decided to have our own mini get together. We went to Shelly’s which is a student run service restaurant. It enables the students to get valuable experience alongside their qualification. The students handled Aria amazingly. She was a terrible rude customer, pointing and shouting nonsense words. They played catch with her cracker that she kept tossing and demanding back. They cleared up her mess as she nibbled food, then threw it on the floor. They did it all with a smile and kept my little diva happy. Aria embarrassed me as expected but the students really impressed me.

Aria fell asleep in the car and I had a few minutes to pack a change of clothes for Noah before the school run. I picked Noah up and we went to collect my order from Sainsbury’s. When we arrived I was told the phone lines were down and they couldn’t process my payment. We waited 20 minutes before I had to go to get Noah to his friends party. My fabulous plan quickly unravelled. I had to apologise for not having a gift but hopefully bring it at pick up. Luckily when I returned to the store the problem was solved and the guy who greeted me couldn’t apologise more.

I then rushed home to let my husbands best friend in. Then I was back out to collect Noah.

I wasn’t able to use the computer so I wrote on my mobile, writing over 2k.

Sat, 23 Nov

Today has been busy. I tried to return a baby sling to the sling cafe but it’s closed so I have tried to find out where to return it now. Instead, I headed into town and delivered a bag of clothes to H&M to receive £5. They were all things I couldn’t sell I.e stained or odd socks. They break the fibres down and use them to make new clothes for their conscious collection. It’s the first time I did it and loved how simple & rewarding it was.

The afternoon flew by and before I knew it it was time for Noah’s party. It was lovely to see all the children playing together – we really didn’t have to do much. Plus people wanted to play with Aria so I got to sit down – such luxury. I was grateful to Chloe & Helen, the two mums that shared hosting the party. They really are a blessing in my life.

We got home late with the kids (past their bedtime). By the time they were tucked up I didn’t feel like writing and broke my writing streak. I was disappointed in myself later. I should have written something, even of if it was only a sentence.

Sun, 24 Nov

Today, we had family visiting. We hurried around to get out and see them (met up at my mum’s home). There is something wholesome and lovely about being with people you’ve known and loved your whole life. We got Aria home for her nap and then I spent time talking to my husband. NaNoWriMo has left him feeling a little neglected. We also got on the computer together to do a little Christmas shopping.

We had a lovely day but the time flew by and when I finally got the kids to bed and was able to sit at the PC, I didn’t feel like writing. Oh no, I was ready to procrastinate! First I browsed online shopping sites making wish lists I never intend to buy. Then when I open my word document, I had to stop to get a snack, then a drink, then another snack. I was chatting on social media. Until, I realised what I was doing and stopped myself. I managed 1k before bed. I needed a lot more!

Mon, 25 Nov

Today flew by. I ran around after a tiny whirlwind trying to keep the house in order. When Aria finally napped I had too much to do that I didn’t have time to write.

After school, my family cane over to visit and Noah made them his first ever mug of tea (with supervision).

I had trouble getting Aria to sleep but once she they both went to sleep, I jumped online to host my live write-in on World Indie Warriors Facebook group. We did two 10 minute sprints and it got me in the mood to write. One of my friends sent me a steamy extract from her novel which was rather distracting but I still managed to write 1.5k.

Tue, 26 Nov

Today was my long day at work and everyone is talking about getting ready for Christmas and I am not ready.

Once the kids were in bed I spent the evening browsing online and deciding what to buy.

I write zero words. Boo!

Wed, 27 Nov

Today is my short work day, but I get no lunch break and as soon as I finish it is a mad rush to get the kids.

Today is my mum’s birthday so we popped over after school pick up to see her.

I didn’t get to write until the kids were in bed. I made sure I did.

Thurs, 28 Nov

Today, was my long day at work. It was an odd day. I saw a student I hadn’t expected, and I didn’t see the student I planned to see. I had a bizarre lunch but managed to write 500 words.

I was glad to get home and see my family. Once the kids were in bed, I relaxed in the bath. My husband was surprised to find me in the tub and not writing. I explained I am not going to make 50k. He gave me a mini prep talk. I got on the PC and ended up with 1.5k.

Week one total

To be on track I need to have reached 46,666 so I am behind.

Finishing the second week my grand total is: 36,567 words.

I’m 14k behind with only 2 days left. Although it is possible to write 7k a day it is unrealistic for me. I have a really busy weekend coming up so I will only get to write in the evenings. I’m going to push for 40k though. Wish me luck…

 

Check back next Thursday to see my progress.

If you liked this, then you will enjoy:

NaNoWriMo Diary – Week 1 (November 2019)

NaNoWriMo Diary – Week 2 (November 2019)

NaNoWriMo Diary – Week 3 (November 2019)

Write 50k words in 30 days


Click my link tree to discover more ways to connect with me.@Redfae

 

 

NaNoWriMo Diary – Week 3 (November 2019)

Fri, 15 Nov

Today was a non-pupil day meaning Noah was off school, so I had to energetic children to entertain. I decided to also take my niece and nephew out as their mum does a lot for our kids. With a full car of kids, I took them to a soft play centre to wear them out. The older kids were great and helped keep the little ones busy but I was constantly on the go.

When we got home, Aria napped and I used the time to support Noah with his homework and make important calls.

My husband needs the PC tonight so I am using the time to update my blog on my mobile and read a book.

Sat, 16 Nov

I’m very conscious of the fact that I need to catch up. When my husband took the kids out for a walk I jumped at the chance to get on the PC achieving almost 2k before lunch.

I really enjoyed what I wrote. Chapter 13 overlaps the epic battle from Jewel of the Sea at the end of the book. Where Mariah was unleashing her powers, Kya is at her lowest point. It was fun to write such a powerful scene from such a hopeless perspective and feel anyone that has read Jewel of the Sea will notice the stark contrast making the chapter very different between the books.

Aria was a little difficult to get to sleep and wanted extra cuddles. We think she’s having a growth spurt or teething as she’s extra hungry too but I finally got on the PC and added another 2k.

Sun, 17 Nov

We’ve had a very chilled out day today but this afternoon we discovered Aria has a rash on her body. We think it might be a heat rash so we stripped her off to cool her down.

I also spent a lot of my writing time chasing authors for their bios, profile pics, book photos and blurbs, etc. Back in October, I volunteered to create the World Indie Warriors catalogue to help promote their books to potential customers. I asked for details before NaNoWriMo started so I could finish it before this started but it didn’t happen. I’m really enjoying the creativeness and playing in Canva. It reinforces the feeling I would love to work in graphic design but I have no idea how to get into it.

Mon, 18 Nov

The rash hasn’t gone. So the first job of the day was to get her an appointment. I had to wait for a call back from the GP to decide if they will see her. It left me in limbo, watching my phone, waiting for the call but when they rang they offered 3:50pm. I knew this would be a rush with the school run so we hurried straight there and arrived with only a minute to spare. In my haste, as I leaned into the car to get the changing bag, I caught Aria’s forehead on the corner of the door. At first I thought it was nothing and gave her a kiss as we ran to get checked in. Then Noah needed a wee so i got him to the toilet. Whilst we waited for him I noticed the massive bruise swelling up before my eyes. By the time we got called in, it looked terrible. The GP was lovely and checked her over and gave me advice for head injuries (just in case) although he felt it wasn’t as bad as it looked. Then he checked out her rash (the reason for the visit). It turned out to be an allergic reaction. He gave us a prescription for that – a non-drowsy one because of her bump. Then I explained how she won’t take her chocolate laxative as she doesn’t like the taste so he did her a prescription for the plain which she we tried as soon as we got home and she loves it – yay.

After all that drama, we decided on a McDonalds for dinner. I know its not healthy but… happiness.

Once the kids were in bed, I jumped on World Indie Warriors Facebook page to host my live write-in. We had a great productive social and some people shared some steamy snippets with us. It got me back into my writing.

Tue, 19 Nov

We had a very exciting morning with Noah loosing his first tooth. He went through a kaleidoscope of emotions before becoming excited about the tooth fairy coming.

This then made us late and we were in a mad rush to get Noah to breakfast club and myself to work on time. When i arrived at work, I discovered I had forgot my purse and my stationery. I found a stray pen and my accounts debt showed me how to create a pre-pay card & got my husband to send me his card details so I could buy food.

With no money to spend at lunch, I was focussed on writing and got over 500 words written.

Bedtime was lots of fun with Noah telling his teddies to protect his tooth and only let the tooth fairy take it. Noah was eager to go to bed and agreed to put his tooth in a dish at the foot of his bed as daddy was worried it might get lost under his pillow.

My first job tonight was to email Jewel of the Sea to my editor. Then, I added another 2k to Jewel of the Sea before bed.

Wed, 20 Nov

The tooth excitement continued this morning with Noah waking us up to announce the tooth fairy has been.

Today was my short day at work with no lunch break so I didn’t get to write. I was then in a mad rush to pick up Aria, then Noah.

Noah’s school had a book fair so we had to check it out. I got 7 books for £10 and a percentage from the book sales will go to the school to buy books for the children! Win win!

Aria was in a dangerous mood climbing everything. She seems to be collecting a daily bump or scrape. I’ll be pleased when this stage is over but I fear this daredevil will only get more adventurous – eek!

I couldn’t relax until the kids were in bed. I wasn’t feeling my story tonight but I tried. I tried to encourage myself with chocolate but once the chocolate was eaten I decided to call it a night. I had almost achieved 1.5k so that’s not too bad going.

I ended my day going to bed and enjoy Crown of Conspiracy by Kara A Weaver.

Thurs, 21 Nov

It was my long day at work but I managed to write in my lunch break. After work I was tired and unmotivated to write. In total I wrote 2k. I wanted to write more but the words were not coming.

Week one total

To be on track I need to have reached 35000 so I am behind target. No surprises there.

Finishing the second week my grand total is: 27,471

I’m 8k behind but feely oddly hopeful i can still do this. I somehow need to write 2.5 to 3k per day which isn’t impossible. I’m still pleased that I’m writing and pushing through the tricky parts of the novel.

Check back next Thursday to see my progress.

If you liked this, then you will enjoy:

NaNoWriMo Diary – Week 1 (November 2019)

NaNoWriMo Diary – Week 2 (November 2019)

NaNoWriMo Preparations

Book Review: Envy by J D Groom


Click my link tree to discover more ways to connect with me.@Redfae

 

NaNoWriMo Diary – Week 2 (November 2019)

Fri, 8 Nov

I had the worst nights sleep. Aria was up every hour – maybe she’s having a growth spurt. We had to wash & sterilise her bottles in the middle of the night as we ran out. We heard Evie have two seizures. And, I had a killer headache, borderline migraine.

In the morning, Rob was going to take Noah to school so I could have a little lay in but it’s hard to sleep with all the noise of people rushing around so I got up. Sadly Evie had a seizure while Noah ate his breakfast. It was the first time he has seen it.l, although we told him she is poorly, it really upset him. Afterwards he claimed he was poorly with a tummy ache and begged to stay home and watch Evie. I let the school know what happened as I couldn’t be sure if he was ill or expressing his sadness, either way he wasn’t going to be any good for class.

I had wanted Noah out the way as we needed to pack for our holiday and help my mum with how to care for Evie and give her medicine. We managed to get it down in time and Noah appeared much better now he had cheered up – phew (he’s usually ill in November).

We arrived at Forest Holidays. Unpacked, ordered pizza, got the kids to bed – Noah was a little tricky to get to sleep as he found the new sounds disturbing. Once they went to sleep my hubby and I enjoyed the hot tub.

Sat, 9 Nov

We woke up after a brilliant nights sleep and our first breast at our lodge.

We headed to the Forest Retreat and got details of the “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt!” trail. Noah read the map and lead us through the forest. He answered the questions, wrote down the answers and read us the field facts. I was very proud of him. We then returned to the Forest Retreat to claim our prize – a copy of the book that inspired the trail. We then stayed for lunch.

Aria was tired and fed, making her a happy content baby that agreed to go down for her nap. Once asleep, we let Noah check out the hot tub. He loved it. He was ready to get out just as the timer went off for 20minutes which is the max allowed for safety.

Afterwards, I tried to get on my laptop to write but it decided to do an update! Why does this always happen when you have limited time? Once done, I managed almost 500 words before Aria woke.

We had a chilled out afternoon watching Incredibles 2. We had dinner, put the kids to bed and then I spent time with my husband. I was then tired and read Crown of Conspiracy by Kara S Weaver before bed.

Sun, 10 Nov

Both kids slept like angels. I gave them breakfast but Aria was in a naughty mood and made so much mess. While I cleaned the dinning room & kitchen, she headed off to the bathroom to throw toilet paper everywhere and empty the bin. She brought me a dirty nappy she had opened to alert me to the next disaster.

We went for a walk before lunch where Aria threw away her hat – no idea where it is. We had lunch, she slept, Noah and I took advantage of the hot tub.

Now, I’m trying to write but do you think my laptop will turn on? It’s been charging all night and now… playing dead. I’m going to have to write on my mobile. Grrr!

Later, we watched a film, had dinner, put the kids to bed and enjoyed our last night here together.

Mon, 11 Nov

I didn’t want to leave the forest but it was time to travel home. Mum gave us an update on the cats and Evie had a bloody paws. It looked like she’d broken her back claws during a seizure. I rang the vet and as she wasn’t in pain and the blood was dry, we agreed to keep her home as bringing her in could cause more distress. The meds seem to be working.

We unpacked, I did laundry and prepared for work. I knew Ofsted were in so I wanted to double check my plan for the day except… where was my diary. I was in a blind panic, cursing myself for unpacking my handbag to use it for a day at the spa. It took me a full hour to figure out where it was. It was then dinner time, putting the kids to bed and then… going live.

Yes, tonight I finally did it. I logged onto World Indie Warriors Facebook group and did a live write-in. We chatted about our projects and writing and did three writing sprints. Once finished I was excited about my novel again and super proud of myself for braving the camera.

Tue, 12 Nov

Today was my long day at work. It felt even longer with Ofsted in as many people were tense, making sure their lessons were perfect. I think everyone did well and I’m silently confident.

Tonight I added over 1k to my word count. I would have liked to have done better but my neck is in pain (I think I slept on it funny).

Wed, 13 Nov

Today was my short day at work. It doesn’t mean I get more free time. As soon as I’m home I’m busy with the kids. Tonight, Rob & I we’re busy wrapping presents for Noah’s birthday. By the time always done I had no time to write.

Thurs, 14 Nov

Today, is Noah’s birthday but I had an early start at work so he only had time for one card and present before breakfast Club.

I expected to be visited by Ofsted today as they have not yet seen me or any of my learners but they didn’t. Although, lots of my colleagues were visited. Today was my last day of work for the week so I will find out how we scored next week. However during my lunch break I wrote a few words and emailed them to myself.

I finished work late so when I got home it was dinner time. Noah waited for me before unwrapping his presents and having cake before bed.

I’m conscious that I am falling behind so I made sure I write tonight. Adding almost 2k to my total.

Week one total

Finishing the second week my grand total is: 14,783

To be on track I need to have reached 23,333 so I am behind.

I’m 9k behind so it is doubtful I will catch up in time to make 50k but the important thing is the progress I have made and will continue to make. I’m not giving up and even if I need a few more months, I will finish this novel.

Check back next Thursday to see my progress.

If you liked this, then you will enjoy:

NaNoWriMo Diary – Week 1 (November 2019)

Goals: Progress Since June 2019

How I edited my novel – 12 tips for self editing

Book Review: You stole my heart… Do I have to take your name?


Click my link tree to discover more ways to connect with me.@Redfae

 

Write 50k words in 30 days

Are you doing NaNo? NaNoWriMo in November is the big annual challenge to write 50k words in just 30 days.

I’ve done it a few times before but never won but that doesn’t deter me. My feeling is that as long as I take part, I am still making progress towards my goal. If you want to be buddies on NaNo, I am Redfae (add me and when I log on, I’ll add you back).

The Project

I’ve spent most of September and October plotting Diamond in the Sky ready for NaNoWriMo. I’ve been plotting using Save the Cat. I still have some work to do to develop my B Story characters but I think I am ready enough for 1 November.

Diamond in the Sky is a spin off novel from Jewel of the Sea, following Kya’s life spiral out of control after getting dumped.

Get involved

Writing can be a rather solitary experience but together with some other members of World Indie Warriors, we shall be hosting live write-ins.

I shall be doing lives every Monday in November at 9pm on Instagram. These will be a chance to chat about how our writing projects are going and get motivated for the week ahead. Even if you aren’t doing NaNo, feel free to join in the chats and cheer everyone on.

On Monday, 21 October, I did my first ever Instagram live with Jodie Groom. I was really nervous so she offered to join me online as a test run to figure things out before November and support me.

To see the live from last Monday you will need to be a member of World Indie Warriors Closed Facebook Group. It’s easy to join. Just click the join button on Facebook.

If Monday’s aren’t for you then you’ll be hyped to hear there will be other write-ins during the week. Check out the schedule to discover other days and times to join WIW online.  Some members will be doing adhoc write-ins.

 

Click My Link Tree
To Connect On Social Media
Click My Link Tree
To Connect On Social Media

Reflecting on Camp NaNo July 2019

July has been a challenging month for my writing goals. For Camp NaNo I decided to make a start on book 2, Diamond in the Sky but it has been full of distractions! I’m hoping August will be more productive for my writing.

Distraction 1: Course Work

I needed to finish my coursework for the Working Together Community Course. I must admit I had been putting off the assignments to work on my writing and as the deadline to submit approached I had to prioritise it and get it done. I have really enjoyed volunteering and everyone at the school has been lovely. On my last day, I got a card from the teachers and signed by all the children and chocolates.

Distraction 2: Blog

I didn’t make any progress on my Camp NaNo project until day 7 and I quickly realised that I needed to do some more planning. Not only that but my blog was also in need of some attention. I need to write up about all the fun I had at Felixstowe Book Festival. I then spent the next few evenings prepping some posts.

After a little plotting and scheduling, I was ready to write and decided to sign up to Mandi Lynn’s #10kWritingChallenge. I knew there was no chance I could write 10k in one day with my other commitments but I knew if I aimed high, I would achieve something great. I wrote 2,792 new words for Diamond in the Sky. I was back on track for my Camp NaNo goal.

Turns out Mandi Lynn didn’t make 10k either. She vlogged about her struggles and celebrated the words she did achieve. She encourages people to sign up to next months 10k challenge and win a pin.

Distraction 3: Important dates

The end of July and start of August have some important dates for me.

Husband distractions: It is my husband’s birthday month. I needed to sort out his gift and I wanted to take him out somewhere child free. I arranged for his sister to babysit. I also got Aria to print her feet in his card and Noah to write a personal message.

Valerie Patisserie

Also, last month, my hubby got a little neglected as the end of Jewel of the Sea got closer, so I promised to watch Stranger Things with him – which was awesome.

Noah distractions: My son was finishing his first year of school (Reception class).

I think it is nice for kids to make their teacher a card or gift so I had to come up with an idea and organise the craft.

We got to go to Noah’s first sports day. I also decided to arrange a night out with the playground mums and get the ball rolling on some summer play dates.

Aria’s distractions: Aria’s first birthday is at the start of August. I have been busy arranging her cake smash and splash and worked with the photographer to create a very personal experience (more coming soon).

I’ve also been planning her parties. Yes! That was ‘party’ as a plural. She is a very lucky girl.

Distraction 4: Pitching

SFFpip was this month. It was my first time taking part in this Twitter pitch event and I got a like by a publisher! Naturally, I have then had to research them to decided if the feeling is mutual.

If writing up about Felixstowe Book Festival was my distraction at the start of the month, then YALC was my distraction at the end. The closer the date got, the more excited I became. I went to bed early the night before and barely slept a wink. I can’t believe it, I pitched to two agents – one of them I have stalked on Twitter for years – and they both asked me to send them Jewel of the Sea – Aghhh!

Now, my distraction is trying to write the perfect query letter. As I have mentioned in previous posts, I’m pretty sure my letter stinks and is why I get rejected. I feel like an excited puppy chasing my own tail and equally terrified that when I bite, I am going to get hurt. I need to conquer my fear and be brave.

Conclusion

I was in two minds whether or not to do Camp NaNo as I knew I had a lot on already this month.

With a grand total of 9,886 words, I think it is pretty impressive what I achieved despite all the distractions. If I hadn’t given it a go, I may not have written anything this month.

I also feel the challenge has kept me in touch with my novel so when things calm down in a few weeks, I can dive straight back in.

How did your July writing goals go? Did you do Camp Nano?

If you liked this post, you may enjoy:

My plans for the third quarter

Felixstowe Book Festival – The Publishing Industry

#PitMad June 2019 Summary

YALC Prep

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