I didn’t sleep at all so I’m too tired to think of a title

I won NaNoWriMo yesterday! I believe I’m about halfway through the plot of Courageous Hearts, so I hope I can fit in another 20k.

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When I announced that I had won, two of my friends got into this huge fight over who would get the first copy (nevermind that fact that it isn’t quite done). The argument then became about who loved me more and ended in some pretty pathetic insults. I don’t know why I even hang out with those losers. Well, actually, I do.

My cat kind of ate my new earbuds, which is bad. So now I can’t listen to music, which is very bad.

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Also, I painted this thing today. :)

To all the writers who are still racing to meet their wordcount goal: you can do it! The world needs your book, so don’t give up.

Loren

NaNo Update

Hey, guys! Just thought I’d update you on how NaNo is going so far.

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Did you know that pretty much every Twenty One Pilots album makes great novelling music? Because I did.

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MY MOM BOUGHT A BAG OF DARK CHOCOLATE KISSES. THEY’RE ALL FOR ME.

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I have fleshed out my characters (mostly).

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This is a list of the major plot points of my novel. :)

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Navi likes helping me. She sleeps beside me while I write. She also ate my old earbuds, so idk.

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GUESS WHO IS 33% DONE — ON THE SEVENTH DAY.

It might not seem like that much, but it is to me. I haven’t gotten writer’s block yet or anything, which is a big improvement from last year’s NaNoWriMo. ;)

Also, I kind of entered the wrong birth date while registering on the YWP site, so I will not be able to post on the forums till early next year. :P Oops?

Speaking of posting, I probably won’t be very active on either of my blogs this month. Just a warning.

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On a completely random side note, if you right-click a Youtube, you will find “stats for nerds.” Which I think is hilarious.

Loren

NaNoWriMo Prep

NaNoWriMo Banner

With NaNoWriMo 2016 starting in just over a week, now is the time to panic!

Whenever I have a bad day, I just remember that someone cosplayed the wacky waving inflatable tube man.

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Now then. I’ll be making a list of some things you should do before November 1st.

Buy Dark Chocolate

I don’t care if you like dark chocolate or not, it is necessary for your survival. Eat so many pieces of chocolate once you reach your daily wordcount goal — or you could eat while writing, too.

Most Glorious notebooks

I don’t know about you, but having a pretty notebook dedicated solely to my story is really helpful. Once you pick a notebook, carry it with you everywhere! You never know when inspiration will strike.

Plot, plot, plot!

Even if you’re a pantster, it’s nice to have at least a vague idea of where your novel is going. I did a post about how to make a plot board last year — check it out here.

Develop Your Characters

No one wants to read about another Mary Sue. Try to make you characters as lifelike as possible, which means they need flaws, fears, and dreams. Character questionnaires are a great way to make realistic characters. In the Resources section of the new YWP website, you can access the Novelist Workbooks. Pages 12 – 14 of the high school workbook has a nice questionnaire.

Shout it out

Announcing that you’re participating in NaNoWriMo does wonders for your confidence and motivation, especially if you have writer friends that will cheer you on. Make a post about your novel, and give updates throughout the month.

Are you doing NaNoWriMo this year? What is your novel about? And what would you add to this post?

Loren

Beautiful Books

beautiful books

In preparation for NaNoWriMo, Cait from Paper Fury is hosting Beautiful Books. It looked fun to me, so here I am. :) I’m going to be talking about my NaNoWriMo project, which is currently being called Courageous Hearts.

What inspired the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea?

In my co-op class “Making a Difference,” we were supposed to pick a problem in the world and see how we would fix it. I chose mental health and decided to write a novel to raise awareness. I’ve only had the idea for this book for about a week, but I’m very excited to make it a reality.

Describe what your novel is about!

*chokes on spit* Don’t ever ask a writer what their novel is about, please.

Um . . . it’s about two teenagers with mental problems navigating their way through life and helping each other along the way. idk.

What is your book’s aesthetic? Use words or photos or whatever you like!

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I think the feel I’m going for is sad and lonely, yet hopeful.

Introduce us to each of your characters!

Skylar Wolff:

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This is one of the MCs, Skylar Wolff (who suffers from depression). She’s fifteen. She has long chocolate hair, gray eyes, freckles, and usually has circles under her eyes from lack of sleeping. Her hobbies included drumming, hiking, skateboarding, listening to music, and later photography. She can be stubborn, secretive, lazy, and disconnected, but she’s also very accepting of others and inventive. Skylar lives with her mom (Kristie), Dad, (Jeremy), and eleven-year old sister (Leona).

Austin Keats:

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My other MC, Austin Keats, who has social anxiety. He’s sixteen, but had to repeat a grade, so he’s in Skylar’s class. He has auburn-brown hair, hazel eyes, and is really quite tall. Austin enjoys playing guitar and drawing. He’s caring, persistent, and observant, but is also indecisive. He lives with his mom (Emmaline) and Dad (Samuel).

Brisa Rey, Skylar's best friend.:

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The last character I’ll be introducing is Brisa Rey, Skylar’s best friend (who is also fifteen). She’s short, has naturally curly raven hair, and onyx eyes. She likes helping animals, biking, shopping, and babysitting. Brisa is dramatic, enthusiastic, chatty, and sometimes bossy. She lives with her divorced mother (Paulina), two older brothers (Ricardo and Sebastian), and her goldfish Greg.

There are more characters, of course (like the characters’ families, their English teacher Mr. Penguino, etc.), but I haven’t fleshed all of them out yet.

How do you prepare to write? (Outline, research, stocking up on chocolate, howling, etc.?)

I will definitely be stocking up on dark chocolate. I foresee lots of staring at the blinking cursor.

What are you most looking forward to about this novel?

I’m excited about writing a morbid scene, and I would say what it is, but I don’t want to give away the whole plot. ;)

List 3 things about your novel’s setting.

I guess the three main settings are the high school, the skate park, and the lake.

What’s your character’s goal and who (or what) stands in the way?

I think Skylar’s goal is just to survive, and Austin’s goal is to help her overcome her depression. Their mental illnesses are the antagonists.

How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?

Ooh . . .  much emotional change. The severity of Skylar’s depression will change a lot, and I think Austin will be slightly more confident.

What are your book’s themes? How do you want readers to feel when the story is over?

I know it sounds kind of bad, but I’d actually like the readers to be kind of sad when the book is over. I’m hoping that it will connect with them emotionally.

Loren

My NaNoWriMo Project

I’m participating in NaNoWriMo again this year (my username on the YWP site is SecretKeeper001), and I’ve been trying to figure out which story to work on (I’ve got loads of ideas). Today, I picked one: I’m going to be writing a novel about a girl with depression.

Why? You see, in my homeschool co-op, I have a class called MAD — Making a Difference. Our assignment these past two weeks was to choose a problem we’re passionate about and come up with a solution. I chose mental illnesses.

After writing down how mental illnesses are problems (mostly how people treat those with illnesses) comes the hard part: solutions. It had to be something doable. I thought, What am I good at that could make a difference? and came up with writing a novel. Yeah, it is doable.

I don’t know entirely what the novel is going to be about, but at least I have a month to figure things out! I’m going to write it from the POVs of a girl with depression and a boy with social anxiety. One chapter would be told by the girl, the next by the boy, and so forth. The boy will be a stranger at the girl’s school who notices her scars.

I’m really excited to write this novel, because if I get it published, I think it could help lots of people realize that mental illnesses are a real problem.

Also, I need some help with this project. Is there anyone who has depression/social anxiety, and is willing to talk to me about it? In order to write a realistic novel, I need to know more about what it’s like to live with depression/social anxiety. If anyone is willing, email me at happyhouseofag@gmail.com, please.

Loren

Add a WordCount Meter to Your Sidebar

Hey, guys! A couple of people have asked me about the Shadow Bird wordcount widget in my sidebar, so I decided to post a tutorial. Before we get started, I’d like to say thanks to AnonymousA for telling me about the widget in the first place!

NaNoWriMo WordCount Meter

To begin, go to Language is a Virus.

NaNoWriMo WordCount Meter

Once there, go to the address bar. After languageisavirus.com/, add nanowrimo/word-meter.html, and press Enter.

NaNoWriMo WordCount Meter

It will take you to the NaNoWriMo WordCount Meter page.

NaNoWriMo WordCount Meter

Scroll down until you find the “Create Your Own!” form.

NaNoWriMo WordCount Meter

Type in your novel’s information.

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Clicking “Pick a Color for Your Word Meter” will make this screen pop up. Select the color that you want the progress meter to be (choose one that will match or complement your blog’s color scheme).

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Press Calculate and scroll down until your find this area. Copy the code in the box (Ctrl C).

NaNoWriMo WordCount Meter

Go to your blog’s customization screen and select widgets.

NaNoWriMo WordCount Meter

Add a Text widget, paste the code into Content (Ctrl V), and title the widget ________’s WordCount. Remember to press Save & Publish!

NaNoWriMo WordCount MeterThen go to your blog and look in the sidebar for your new wordcount meter!

This would be helpful for anyone wanting to share their (Camp) NaNoWriMo novel’s progress, or just show how much they’ve written for any writing project.

Loren