NaNoWriMo Project

My NaNoWriMo Project

New Moon (working title)

This project is set in the same low fantasy world of The Soul Heart Series. In fact, for readers of Ocean Heart they may recognise the main character, Denny.

This story is a prequel. It’s set in the 90s, back when Denny was a teen herself. It will cover how she became friends with Gwyn, started her Sparkle Cake business, and the highs and lows as a new mum.

Preparation

I feel more prepared now I have created a title, cover, and blurb. Of course these are all just a work in progress, so could change but it helps me feel more focused.

I’ve started writing an outline. I intended for this to be a novella but I already have a sneaky suspicion this could become a full length novel.

I’ve also made a spreadsheet to help me track my word count. If this works successfully, I will look at making a version available to my followers on Ko-Fi.

The Goal

I’m going to aim for the big Five-O (50,000 words). If I don’t make it, I will still have made progress, but if I do, it’d make me so happy.

I’ve been struggling with motivation because Sky Heart is on hold until I can afford the professional services I need to move it forward. I’ve also been bummed out with all the germs (sick kids) ruining September, and fracturing my ankle ruining October.

I really want to get back into the habit of writing again. My ultimate goal for November is this: To write!

Are you doing NaNoWriMo? What’s your project, goal, and how do you prepare?

[kofi]

If you enjoyed this, you will like:

About Ocean Heart

About Sky Heart

About Work In Progress

About Ko-Fi

Camp NaNo April 2021 – Outcome

Here’s my Camp NaNo writers diary for the second half of Camp NaNo.

Thursday, 15 April

I wrote the scene I have been struggling with – the big fight scene. It was 1,422 words. It’s not The End yet as I’ve realised there is one more scene needed to join this to the end that I wrote. But, The End is in sight.

Friday, 16 April

This morning, I had a one-to-one chat with Pagan it was an Author Breakthrough Session. I had no idea what to expect but afterwards I felt more focussed and empowered. I’ll be writing a full blog post on the experience.

My 2y old was in a creative mood today. We did painting, we did slime, and puzzles. My mum popped over and I showed her what I’d done with her Cricut Maker I borrowed. Later, my son helped me at the vets and food shopping.

Tonight, I wrote 812 words and finished my first draft of Sky Heart. The End

The final word count is 76,763 words. Usually during my first self edit this number increases as I discover where I need to add more detail.

Saturday, 17 April

I managed to escape the kids for a writing sprint on Facebook. As Sky Heart is finished, I worked on a novel I may offer as a readers magnet or sell as a prequel.

I also attempted to make a book trailer for Ocean Heart. As it’s my first attempt at this, I’m still not sure.

Sunday, 18 April

Today we went into town to get sandwiches and cake. We then went for a walk in the woodlands and had a picnic. We were so full we saved the cake for home.

I fiddled a little more with the trailer, especially with tweaking the sound affects. It’s very tricky trying to achieve precision on a mobile phone. I’m happy with the outcome. I guess I ought to make Sky Heart one.

Monday, 19 April

Today was meant to be my marketing Monday but Pagan would not been impressed because I didn’t do it. I was really into my secret project and wanted to work on it. I’ll do Marketing tomorrow…

Tuesday, 20 April

I lied. I didn’t do Marketing today either. I had a little anxiety about tomorrow so had an early night with my husband.

Wednesday, 21 April

Tonight was my Live with World Indie Warriors. We had so much fun chatting we were on for 2hs.

Thursday, 22 April

Today was my long work day. After work I chilled out and had some me time. I ran a bath and read The Rookery.

Friday, 23 April

I published Ocean Heart using Ingram Spark for both the paperback and eBook. It never went live on Google Play, or Apple Books. I was busy with my launch so left it. Once Christmas was out the way I queried what happened with IS.

IS confirmed it should be on Apple and would look into what happened. It turned out my files were too big. But, things got busy at work so I left it.

Today has been a busy day working on how to resolve it. I uploaded it to Google Play – this was pretty straight forward and I now have to wait to be approved. But Apple has been a complete nightmare with their iTunes Connect page displaying an error 401.

Saturday, 24 April

I had a busy morning clearing out the garden. It actually looks worse now but it is because I am preparing rubbish that needs to go to the tip.

I played with my kids and didn’t get to write or read. They were excited by treasures I found in the shed like a remote control car & keyboard. I think they ended up there because they are noisy.

iTunes Connect replied to apologise for the current issues and they are working on resolving this as quickly as possible, but there was no indication of how long it’ll take.

In the evening my hubby & I finished watching a film and started the new Shadow & Bone series on Netflix.

Sunday, 25 April

Today, is the day I work on my social media. I write blog posts and prepare my Instagram posts. As the end of the month draws near, I also worked on my newsletter.

I uploaded a free digital download to Ko-Fi for people to use to track their books.

I’d like to do a MerMay Giveaway to celebrate Ocean Heart being 6 months old but my ideas keep getting ruined.

I wanted to create a personalised National Book Token but that’s temporarily unavailable. I wanted to offer Ocean Heart for Free to celebrate it now being on Google Play but it takes 12 days to get approved, and Apples website isn’t loading the page for new authors to join so I’m waiting for tech support to resolve it.

I also thought it’d be nice to donate to an Ocean type charity but don’t have a ton of money and worry people will judge me for it not being enough.

I’m still figuring out what to do for MerMay and time is running out as I want to announce it in my newsletter going out on 30 April!

Monday, 26 April

Today, I read Rookery. Ideally I want to finish it before the end of the month because of the MerMay readathon.

I posted a few pics to Litsy, talking about my writing resource books.

I sold my first signed copy of Ocean Heart from my Ko-Fi shop. 💛

Once the kids were in bed, I still didn’t do any Marketing. Eek – my check in with Pagan will be embarrassing. Instead I had a bath and watched Shadow & Bone.

Tuesday, 27 April

Today was my long day working.

In my lunch break I organised the P&P for my Ko-Fi customer and researched KDP. Apple emailed to encourage me to contact their development team about the issue as the technical team can’t resolve it.

After work, and once the kids were in bed, I signed a copy of Ocean Heart, packaged it up, and set it off to my first Ko-Fi customer.

Wednesday, 28 April

I booked a day off work – yay!

Today, I went into town to get the parcel delivered but I misheard the girl at the desk and paid way more for p&p than I wanted. I was cross, but she’d printed the labels so I just paid it. 🙁

I tried to confirm the amount Google Play paid into my account to verify and prove its my bank account but Google said I’m wrong and to guess again. I’m going to wait and see if they pay another amount in and try again in a few days.

I also looked at creating my Amazon affiliate account for UK/US. And, started developing a webpage disclosing my affiliate accounts.

I also did a lot of work on my newsletter. I add to it throughout the month but it needs pics and tidying up. I only have the related social media posts left to do now.

In the evening, I caught the WIW Live with guest Julia Scott. She’s author of Mirror Souls and a formatter. In fact, she was my formatter.

Thursday, 29 April

Today was my long day at work, and I didn’t sleep well last night. I think I need an early night. That’s if Aria lets me – she’s playing up tonight and refusing to go to bed. Which is odd because she was crying and begging to go to bed before her milk was ready.

I did the finishing touches to my newsletter ready to send tomorrow. Relaxed by reading the Rookery, and then watched some Shadow & Bone.

Friday, 30 April

Today, I sent my newsletter. I hope I’ve made the right choice with my Giveaway.

As you can see I’ve taken a break from writing now Sky Heart is written. But, after this weekend I will start the self editing process.

Discover more about Sky Heart by visiting my Sky Heart page. Sky Heart is book 2 in the Soul Heart series.

Discover more about Ocean Heart by visiting my Ocean Heart page. Ocean Heart is book 1 in the Soul Heart series.

If you enjoyed this you will like:

12 Tips for Self Editing

The Benefits of Having a Formatter

The Process of Publishing: Step 1 – Drafting

My Authorship Breakthrough Session

[kofi]

Camp NaNo April 2021 – Midway Check In

Here’s my Camp NaNo writers diary for the first half of Camp NaNo.

This post contains a few bookshop.org affiliate links.

Weds, 31 March

Camp NaNo Eve I attended the first of World Indie Warriors IG Lives. J D Groom & Cassidy Reyne are the hosts and introduced their own Camp NaNo projects.

WIW are also doing snippet challenge on IG to give people an excuse to share her the projects they are writing.

Each week there is a prompt, and you post a snippet from your WIP on that theme. I’m a rebel and posting on different days. But, I’m determined to do them all within April.

Thurs, 1 April

I caught a Writing Sprint on Facebook hosted by @unstoppableauthors . It helped me make a good start on my goals, achieving 1k words. I’m going to look out for this sprint next week.

The sprint was hosted by Urban Fantasy author H B Lyne and dystopian author Angeline Trevena. Both also have published writing resource books.

Friday, 2 April

Busy day today. I took my son to play in the garden of a friends house. It was really cold and we couldn’t go inside due to the pandemic rules.

My husband found my long lost Kindle. It needs charging but I’m so happy to have it back.

I managed to write 500 words today. I am so close to the end now but took a break as I’m struggling to picture the big fight scene.

I finished reading A Heart of Salt & Silver. Look out for my full review next week. A short version is already on Goodreads, Litsy, and Amazon.

Saturday, 3 April

Spent the evening going through the list of people I follow but don’t follow me back to decide if I want to unfollow them.

#WIWSaturdaySnippet

Sunday, 4 April

I went to Homebase to get paint for some redecorating we’ve been talking about for ages.

Didn’t feel well so I went to bed early. Good news was my Kindle is charged, so I watched The Wilds on Prime.

Monday, 5 April

I cleared out my son’s bedroom and did masking tape. His room was the first we decorated when we moved in. At age 5, he peeled off the animal stickers as he said they were to babyish, and we promoted to redecorate… 2y later, we are doing it.

My son is a bit nervous about not sleeping in his room. He doesn’t like change. But, he’s excited to see his new grown up room tomorrow.

Still not feeling great, so had another early night. I didn’t write but I did a lot of research and practicing a new skill, that I’m hoping to sell one day. I was creative, but not with Sky Heart.

Tuesday, 6 April

Noah loves his new room. #Win

I had work all day today but managed to write 500 words for Sky Heart. I have roughly three major scenes to go but these are big ones and pretty tough. I’ll admit I feel intimidated.

I’ve done some brain storming for the big battle but still can’t see it clear in my head. I can however see the ending, so I may jump ahead to that.

Wednesday, 7 April

I worked more on my secret project. I also worked on prepping images for my IG feed.

This evening I watched the WIW Live with guest author Kara S Weaver. They chatted about editing, the different types, and why it’s important.

Thursday, 8 April

Today has been pretty chilled out other than my phone screen cracking.

I won a free call with Pagan Malcolm, who coaches authors to take their careers to the next level. I’m booked in next week, early Friday morning (although for her, I think it’s late). I’m not sure what to expect – should I get her to help with my battle, public speaking, or my secret project. Whatever we get up to, I’ll probably blog my experience.

I watched the replay of a masterclass I recently attended on how to write a 5 star ending. Then I watched a live author chat from the fantasy writers festival, QuaranCon2021.

Once the kids were in bed, I used an app to animate my characters created in Art Breeder, to sing. Author procrastination at its finest.

Mariah from Ocean Heart on Wombai.ai

Then, I attended a writing chat and Sprint by Unstoppable Authors hosted by H B Lyne and Angelina Trevena, and wrote 478 words.

Friday, 9 April

This was a bad day. First, my 2 year old threw my mobile phone and the screen cracked. I use my mobile for everything but can’t afford to fix it, so I’ll have to carry on and hope it doesn’t get worse.

Then, I received news that my daughter isn’t getting a place at our chosen nursery. She was on a waiting list for morning sessions which fit around my work & childcare availability but they only have afternoon sessions. To accommodate that, I’d have to cut my working hours in half and not only is my employer unlikely to agree to that as it’d make travelling to my appointments within the time very challenging, but I also can’t afford to reduce my hours. I now need to find another nursery or quit my job. There aren’t many nursery’s nearby as most closed permanently during the pandemic for various reasons.

When I’m stressing about a problem I can’t write. I opened my manuscript and stared at the blank page before closing it and trying something creative. I worked on my secret project.

Saturday, 10 April

We decided that I’m no stressed enough, so we painted part if the front room. Every chance my 2y old got, she was “help painting”. It was exhausting keeping her away all day, and the house was freezing as we kept the windows open.

I did not write. My head is not in the right place.

#WIWSnippetSaturday

Sunday, 11 April

So, my 2y old didn’t sleep. She was up at 3am. By 5am I gave up and she attempted to “Help painting.” I’m pretty sure I’m running on empty.

I did make progress on some blog posts and have drafted two Behind the Book posts that I now just need to proofread and schedule. I probably won’t get to this until next weekend.

I also helped my 7y old son to create a cute Woodland scene for school. We borrowed my mum’s Cricut Maker and he created his die cuts in Canva, and I helped him add them to Cricut. I then helped with sticking them down where he told me, while he painted. We spent over two hours on it.

I’m so frustrated. I want to write the fight scene for Sky Heart but it’s not coming to me. I didn’t want to waste my time, so I worked on my secret project.

Monday, 12 April

I’ve found two nurseries that might be able to take Aria. Fingers crossed I can sort this out so I can feel more settled.

I spent most my day playing with Aria, and tidying up. I also completed most of the application form for one of the nurseries.

I accidentally forgot to charge my laptop so it was taking ages to come on even with the charger in. I decided to watch some TV with my hubby.

Tuesday, 13 April

I worked all day today.

Then, in the evening I wrote 192 words. It doesn’t sound like much but I finally had a breakthrough with the difficult scene and can see it now!

Wednesday, 14 April

I worked today, and by the time the kids were in bed, it was already 9pm. I attended the World Indie Warriors IG Live. Today the guest speaker was Michelle Raab, chatting marketing, writing dystopia, and psychology.

Keily from Sky Heart on Wombo.ai

[kofi]

If you enjoyed this, you will like:

Behind the Book: Crown of Conspiracy by Kara S Weaver

Book Review: Crown of Conspiracy by Kara S Weaver

Why I love World Indie Warriors

Where to find the best indie books…

My NaNoWriMo Project

Well… I have not one, not two, but THREE projects for November. And, I still probably won’t make the 50k goal.

That’s not me being a defeatist. I’m not quitting before I start. In fact, despite the odds, I’m still going to try. And, you should too!

November is always a busy month. It’s my son’s & I’s birthdays, and the birthday of lots of other loved ones. On top of that, I’m launching Ocean Heart. There’s a lot going on. Plus, someone always gets ill in November – I’m hoping the social distancing is going to help avoid that this year.

Realistically, November is not the best month for me to write. However, the NaNo challenge encourages me to be more focussed and accountable. Because of this, I write more because I took part. And, I love the community spirit, writing with us.

Project 1 – Sky Heart

This is the main project. Sky Heart is book 2 in The Soul Heart Series. Getting this published will be my 2021 big goal. So, I need to get it written.

Kiely got dumped for Christmas. Heartbroken she makes rash decisions to get over her ex-boyfriend, starting with a blindfold and a mystery kisser.

Kiely’s new wild lifestyle places her in the wrong place at the wrong time. Now she must stay alive, as she’s drawn into an ancient shifter war with werewolves and reapers.

Kiely’s battle to overcome her ex is about to take her to new heights.

Project 2 – Prequel

This will be a short novella. I may give it away as a readers magnet for newsletter signups. It’ll be a Historical Fantasy, but not set a long time ago. It’ll be in the 90s.

Project 3 – Luna

My werewolf villain wants me to tell her story. I’m not sure if it will be written just for me so I know her better or to share her with the world.

Luna’s story is also to be a Historical Fantasy. This will be going back to medieval times. It’s anticipated to be a novella.

What about you?

Are you doing NaNo this year? And, what do you think of my projects?

I usually focus on just one but I’m really feeling all three of these right now and just want my creativity to flow.

I’m planning on attending a few live write ins with World Indie Warriors on Instagram.

[kofi]

If you enjoyed this you will like:

Camp NaNo July 2020

NaNoWriMo 2017 — Ally Aldridge

Now you can PreOrder Ocean Heart!

Behind the Character: Kiely

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 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 11 to 20

I finished day 10 days by editing chapter 4. This update is on how the middle of April has gone (days 11 to 20).

I started off by celebrating how well the first 10 days had gone by watching Contagion with my husband.

Chapter 5 and 6 needed more work than I expected. This slowed my progress and affected my motivation. I got them done but I felt like I was getting nowhere fast.

Then, I literally was getting nowhere. I was so exhausted in the evenings that I wasn’t doing any editing. I read. I attended online writers meets. But, I wasn’t editing. I realised I needed a break and took a night off to watch The Quiet Place with my hubby.

I’ve been using Google Docs and a Trial of Dabble Writer. I really love Dabble writer but can’t use it on my mobile. On the last day of my trial, they released the Dabble Writer App for mobiles. I really liked it and was very tempted to buy it.

I finished day 20 by completing my edits for chapter 7. I’m frustrated with myself as it’s not as far as I’d hoped for.

Here are my responses to World Indie Warriors Instagram photo challenge:

#NationalPetDay – My Cats

I have two cats, Evie and Gracie.

Evie

Evie has the nickname Evie Knievel for all her dangerous antics and vet visits as a kitten. She thought she was the neighbourhood vigilante. Thankfully, she is more chilled now.

Gracie

Gracie looks very elegant, like a Burmese Blue but she’s just a moggy and shows her true colours when she’s fed. Greedie-Gracie-Guzzlechops sings for her super and scoffs it down like a pig, with the snorting noises.

Favourite writer memes

There are so many but I thought it might be fun to make my own up.

Here is my “Aspiring Indie Author” meme, inspired by the ‘What I do…’ memes.

Aspiring Indie Author

When did you decide you wanted to be a writer?

Age 5. As soon as I learned books were written by someone, I knew I wanted to be that someone. My first stories would be classed as fan fiction as they featured characters from Orchard Tree books and were about more magic key adventures.

Plotter/Pantser/Plantser

I think I’m a Plantser. I’m somewhere in the middle.

For a long time I would just pants my way through a novel. Sometimes I’d write a brief outline. But, I was just writing for fun, for me, and it didn’t matter if it was any good.

It wasn’t until I decided I would try and publish that I realised what a mess my manuscript was in. And how much I hate editing. I realised I need to plot more to reduce editing.

I invested in Save The Cat and it showed me how to plot. It’s been a game changer and I now use it before starting a novel. I still write a brief outline and only plot one Act at a time, not the whole novel.

I like the freedom of pantsing too much to plot every detail. In my plotting, I still allow myself some gaps to fill. An element of surprise is the fun part of creating.

MidMonth Check In – How’s It Going

I’ve split the month into thirds. So, on my blog I’m sharing how I got on at the 10 day mark, 20 day mark and 30 day mark. But, I gave a mid month check in on Instagram.

Indie or traditional publishing?

I’ve spent a long time chasing the Traditional route. It appealed because I wanted validation from someone in the industry. I wanted someone to support me with guidance on what to do when and with access to the resources I needed. I wanted publishing and marketing done for me.

But, now, I am pursuing indie publishing.

As a member of World Indie Warriors I am not alone. Many other members have published successfully before me and are willing to share their experience on what worked (or didn’t) and the best resources. I am also doing Pagan Malcom’s Story Seller Academy course which is full of useful information. I now struggle with time to digest it all but I know what I’m doing or who to ask for help.

The biggest hurdle was a change in mindset. The moment I decided I no longer need validation to be good enough because I know I am. With that, I no longer needed permission to publish. I will publish when I want.

As for the marketing… it turns out I really enjoy it. I love talking about my writing and connecting with others. I love sharing book reviews and recommending books. My creative side loves making images to support my content. One day, I’m hoping to make videos too.

It is hard to find the money to invest in myself but when someone says, “What do you want for your birthday?” My answer is money. It goes in my publishing pot. I keep adding to it. It’s not much but little by little it grows. One day, this pot will by my published book(s).

#FactFriday – Tell us something interesting about yourself?

I’m a pretty open person that I’ve probably already shared anything remotely interesting already.

I am a natural redhead. I now love my hair and embrace it as part of my identity but that wasn’t always the case.

Favourite Indie Book?

Campfire stories: Any local myths/legends

My favourite folk story is about the green children of Woolpit, Suffolk. During the 12th Century, a boy and a girl appeared. Nobody knew where they came from and they could not speak a word of English. But, the most bizarre detail was that they had green skin and would only eat green beans.

As they learned to eat different foods they became a more normal colour. They were baptised but sadly the boy died shortly after. The girl learnt to speak English and told of the place she came from called Saint Martin where everyone was green. The girl was called Agnes and married Richard Barre.

I discovered the story because I fell in love with Michael Talbot’s faeries. I’ve collected many. The original three were my favourite and has green skin (but, I only own one of these). When I learned the factory allowed tours, I planned a day out for my mum and boyfriend to come with me. We saw the faeries being made & hand painted & their delicate wings crafted. Afterwards, we visited the local church when I happened upon a leaflet about the Green Children of Woolpit.

My favourite film is Labyrinth. I discovered the artist behind the film was Brian Froud. I bought his books and one of them contains a story about The Green children of Woolpit.

The Green Children are special to me. They inspired two of my favourite artists and filled my heart with wonder.

If you ever switched genres, what would you switch to?

I’ve written most genres but there are some that I’d like to give more attention.

Current plot bunnies include a dark fantasy, an erotic paranormal romance, a contemporary YA, dystopia sci-fi, a children’s chapter book and more picture books.

I like magic, fantasy and sci-fi in stories so I am unlikely to write a novel that is a cosy mystery, crime or a thriller. But, I’d never say never.

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 1 to 10)

Book Review: Save The Cat

Book Review: Crown of Conspiracy by Kara S Weaver

Behind the Book: Sorceress of Truth by J D Groomuh

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