Your WIP in Gifs Tag! (NaNoWriMo 2019 Edition)

For those of you who have followed my blog for a while, you’ve probably seen this tag before! I have previously done it for my project Arcadia (check out the post here) and for my #witchyWIP (which you can check out here) and both times, I just had a ton of fun. Now, I didn’t want to do an official NaNoWriMo announcement, because I don’t know how seriously I am taking it this year, but I figured everything that helps get me motivated is a good thing.

Disclaimer for those who don’t know what NaNoWriMo is: It stands for National Novel Writing Month and is a yearly event that takes place during the month of November. Writers all over the world attempt to write a novel with at least 50K words during the time constraint of that one month. I’ve done it previously, but only succeeded once.

Since you are not supposed to TALK about what your WIP is about, I am not going to for now. I might do a short summary at the end, but will mostly just let you guess?? Let’s do this!

THE RULES

💛 Thank the person who tagged you (no one tagged me this time, but still, thanks Michelle for creating this kind of post!)
💛 Credit the creator of this tag (Michelle!) and link back to this post so she can find out aaaall about your WIPs!
💛 Try to limit the amount of gifs you use per question – I’d say maybe stick to five or less but I’m not the boss of you

THE QUESTIONS

Sum up your WIP in 4 gifs!

(Keep in mind, this is just a regular old Contemporary YA. I wasn’t trying to hint at any sort of scifi connection or so …)

Time to introduce your main characters!

Karoline

Little bean thinks she can do anything!

Lena

There’s some stuff to unpack there. Who is she jealous of? Does it make her literally sick? Stay tuned!

Jack

Maybe that’s not so much Jack, as Karoline’s thoughts about Jack, but whatever.

Marcia

You don’t want to mess with that lady.

How would your main character react in a crisis?

I feel like Karoline would have a hard time asking for help. She’d just try to brave it on her own.

If you were to meet your main characters, how would you react?

This story has some … memoir-esque qualities …

And if you were to meet your antagonist?

It would be civil, but I don’t think we’ll ever be on the same page.

Is there any romance in your WIP? How would you sum it up in gifs?

Actually, despite Karoline crushing on one or two people, there isn’t really a romance. It’s super tame and just not about that.

How do other characters feel about this ship?

How do you want people to react to reading your WIP?

This is the evolution of how I hope everyone will feel about Karoline.

WHAT IS IT ACTUALLY ABOUT?

As much fun as it was to look up those gifs and pick them for this post, I could understand how you might not feel the connection to any of it, since I have told you literally nothing besides it being Contemporary YA so far. Let’s start with a little blurb maybe?

Karoline is ready to see the world! (Or at least she thinks she is.) After mountains of paperwork and considerable support from her friends and family, she is finally about to embark on her exchange semester in the US. But when she arrives, nothing is like she imagined it would be. Yes, every day in High School feels like she jumped right into one of the TV shows that have shaped her youth, but somehow she just can’t seem to make it work with her host family. Will Karoline manage and have to grow up in a foreign country with no support system from back home around?

I am still working on that pitch … but it’s basically what it’s about. This is very heavily influenced by my own experiences, but I threw in more than enough fiction to not make it awkward with real life people. At least I hope so … no one better try to find themselves in this story.

So far, I am not on target for the official NaNoWriMo goal at all, but it’s okay. I will write at my own pace. What do you think about my untitled exchange semester story? Are you interested? Are you participating in NaNoWriMo this year? Let’s chat!

NaNoWriMo Update: Why I Stopped After a Week

Those of you who have followed my blog for a while, know that I occasionally dabble in participating in NaNoWriMo. It’s a yearly event in which all writers out there are challenged to write at least 50K within the span of the month November. It’s a lot of fun, but also very stressful at times. My first year was actually the only year I traditionally “won” NaNoWriMo by completing my RomCom Break Up Buddy. After that I tried to work on Dreamer, Arcadia and now currently the #witchyWIP, but let’s get to that in a bit.

First off, I want to say that I in no way want to discourage anyone from participating in NaNoWriMo. I have made some great friends through it, been to cool meet ups and actually FINISHED writing a book. Those are all things I doubt I would have been able to achieve without the platform that NaNo offers. However, this year I also realised why it doesn’t work for me on the long run anymore and I’d like to go into detail about that a little in this post.

I want to talk to you a bit about process. Every book is different. Even authors with a certain writing routine sometimes face stories that just have different requirements. Sometimes people are pantsers, sometimes planners and sometimes a mix of the two. I usually prefer to just completely take my story as it comes, but again, this doesn’t work for all projects. From experience, however, I know that I cannot sit there and plan out a story, neither in detail nor in a rough outline. My mind wanders and I get terribly bored when I actually write the scenes because I know what is going to happen. When I write, I often feel like a reader, also experiencing and discovering the whole world for the first time with every new word. I don’t know if others feel the same, but the more I know in advance what I am supposed to write, the less fun and the more difficult it is for me to actually transfer it to the page.

So, what does that mean? I am a go-with-the-flow kind of person, which should be perfect for anyone participating in NaNoWriMo, but here is where life throws me a curve-ball: NaNoWriMo is on a tight schedule. Having a certain word goal every day, getting badges and that sweet satisfaction from reaching certain milestones is something I find terribly motivating. I am also a competitive person at heart (at least when the only person I am competing against is myself), so I REALLY want to reach those goals – at whatever price. And all too often that price is a suffering quality of my writing.

NaNo is not meant for creating a perfect first draft. It’s quite the opposite! It’s supposed to help you break free of the chains of an overthinking mind and to just get. things. done. It’s a tool to get a story on paper, not to send it to publishers right after, but rather to have a framework for the amazing tale you can shape out of it once you get to editing. Now, editing is the bane of my existence. I hate it with all my heart, probably for similar reasons I don’t like outlining.

All of the things I have mentioned above lead to a certain realisation. I am not claiming my #witchyWIP is perfect! I know it is not, but the first chapters that I wrote before NaNo started were of a certain quality. I was aware that it needed tidying up, but I didn’t despise the existence of entire chapters. With me getting into a competitive NaNo mindset and really wanting to hit those word count marks, I just wrote and wrote but overall, I wasn’t really happy with the content I put out there (you have to know that I always share my work with a couple people. Let me know if you want to read a writing insights post on sharing your unfinished work!) So, I made the decision to not participate in NaNo for this project anymore. For me personally, there was no joy in getting chapters done if I wasn’t ultimately happy with what they contained. There was simply no point for me and I don’t regret my choice.

So, to all the brave NaNo writers who are still going – I wish you the best of luck! I hope you have a great time during the event, but I am out.

Are you participating in NaNoWriMo this year? How are things going for you? Have you participated before or do you want to in the future? Let’s chat!

Writing Insights #6: NaNoWriMo

nano

It’s been a while since I have posted a Writing Insight, but November is the perfect month to dive into a little bit of NaNoWriMo. It’s the third year I am participating and for those of you who don’t know, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. It’s quite the international venture though, with people from all over the world trying to write 50,000 words for the first draft of their novel in 30 days. Of course you can rebel and edit a previous work, choose your own word count or don’t write a comprehensive story at all. The spirit of the event is to write, no matter how you do it!

When I first tried, I “won” immediately, the second time around I honestly didn’t even try as hard (but I am still proud of getting to 25,000 words) and this year? Well, I am semi-nanowrimo-ing. My current WIP is called Arcadia, as I’ve mentioned several times before, and I don’t just want to rush it. However, I do try to write something every day. (If you haven’t seen it yet, you can read the Prologue + 6 Chapters right here!) So, there’s something that just really makes me want to participate, even when I don’t have the time or brain cells to be full in and here’s why:

  • I know that NaNoWriMo is a pressure of sorts, but it is also a lot of motivation. I am a competitive person, so when I get a task with a specific goal, such as reaching a certain word target each day, I WANT to do it. Also, you can earn badges and I just want to have them aaaaall!
  • If you sign up on the official NaNoWriMo website, you can connect with fellow writers online by adding them as writing buddies (my handle is Kat_Impossible if you want to add me!) BUT you can also come together with people from your region. This isn’t happening everywhere, but many places try to organise kick-off events, write-ins and planning sessions. It’s a fun way to meet new people who have similar interests to you and to find people who will hold you accountable during the month!
  • Whatever you write, know that it is not supposed to be perfect. The whole point of this venture is to get you to creative freedom. Write away, leave all the plotholes in the world in it and at the end of the month, you will have a first rough draft of your story and it’s the most glorious feeling! I am holding back this year, because I am sharing my story as I write it. That’s a scary thing in itself, but I at least try to make sense with it nonetheless. I am not saying that it won’t need a lot of work and time to edit Arcadia in the end, but it might be the tiniest bit easier than it would be if I didn’t care at all.

In the end, there’s no right or wrong way to do NaNoWriMo. I kept this post intentionally short, because I was wondering if you had specific quesitons about that topic? Have you ever participated in NaNoWriMo? Did you like the experience or not? Let’s discuss in the comments!

November 2015 Wrap-Up & December TBR

NovemberWU

Another month has come to a close and what a busy month it has been! I really didn’t have a very ambitious TBR for November at all, but somehow I didn’t even mange to finish that. Either way, here’s what I’ve read during November:

  • How to Be Brave by E. Katherine Kottaras
    I have to say that this book was a bit of a disappointment and actually very predictable. Also, I wasn’t a fan of the depiction of body image issues, especially not with the cover as it can be confusing (depending on whether that girl is supposed to be the MC or not).
  • Landline by Rainbow Rowell
    Rainbow Rowell can do no wrong. I think that is not really news to anyone out there, but it is once again my verdict!
  • This Song Is (Not) For You by Laura Nowlin
    I got to page 7 … I don’t really think that counts.

23368740   21964182

As always, click on the titles above to get to the reviews and on the covers to be redirected to Goodreads!

InOtherNews

I feel like SO much has happened during the past month. I worked at the first ever Vienna Comic Con and it was simply a lot of fun! I got to meet great people and will hopefully stay in contact with many of them. Also, it triggered my urge to draw again, which I definitely consider a good thing as well. I haven’t done that in months!

Another thing I am quite proud of is that I participated in NaNoWriMo again! I find that it is also a thing that brings people closer together, whether it be at the local write-ins or in the virtual world. It surely bonds people together to turn mad at the same time! I didn’t write 50K, but I managed to do half of that and I am really happy with the result.
Also, in case I haven’t said it enough THANK YOU ❤ for all the positive feedback you’ve given me on Dreamer. It is one heck of a scary thing to share your writing, especially when it’s still very raw and not edited all that much, but you were all great. Because I will stop sharing chapters on the blog itself, the offer still stands that I’ll send you a pdf file of the story if you want to continue reading it. (Just contact me via some way listed on the Contact Page!)

Lastly, another THANK YOU is in order, because our little community her on Life and Other Disasters continues to grow. It feels just like yesterday that I had my first follower, yet this month I got to post that there are currently more than 300 people following the blog. You cannot imagine how humble and grateful I am for that! You are the best!

DecTBR

So, I am once again not attempting anything crazy here. I’ll be working at my favourite bookstore chain this month, wrapping the presents for other people. This will take right up until the 24th, which is Christmas here in Austria. I am therefore not sure how much time I really have to read. But I am once again striving for at least 3 or 4 books!

  • This Song Is (Not) For You by Laura Nowlin
    I don’t think I need to explain this again … It was after all on my TBR last month.
  • The Choice by Nicholas Sparks
    This is my 11th Sparks book to be put on my bookshelf. I am often still surprised that I never get tired of his stories, but they simply work for me! The movie will come out next week and I like to read the books with enough time ahead of the movie release to make sure it’s not too fresh in my mind when I see the film. (Watch the Trailer here!)
  • Seven Ways We Lie by Riley Redgate
    Cliques, prejudices … it just seems like a nice High School kind of story. I got approved for the eArc and that’s that.
  • Reborn City by Rami Ungar
    I am a little anxious to read this book to be honest. I consider Rami to be one of my friends and I hate reviewing the work of friends, just HATE IT! But I know that he is great at what he does and I think that I might actually get a lot more reading done this month than I did in November, so I don’t want to keep him waiting forever.

18626414   531350   26240663   20489524

NaNoWriMo 2015 – The End! (+ Dreamer Chapter 8)

It’s debatable whether I deserve this banner or not, but I don’t care. I revised my goal for NaNoWriMo and wanted to achieve 25K and I managed to do exactly that! I am really proud of that achievement, so I am treating myself to the banner above. Also, if you think about it, I posted almost every day on the blog this month (except for last week), so my total words written would have exceeded 50K. If you just look at the novel, I still wrote 55 word pages, 25,097 words and 18 chapters. I’d say that’s pretty decent!

However, my novel (Dreamer) is far from being finished. I feel like I am still in the first third of the story, which makes sense if you think about the word count. I loved writing it though and I will definitely continue to work on it. But for now, I am celebrating! 

I think this will also be the last time that I post a chapter of Dreamer here on the blog. If you want to continue reading it and are willing to give feedback, just shoot me a mail or PM on Twitter (you can find my contact info here) and I’ll send you a pdf file with updates.

Last but not least, I also want to congratulate my fellow Wrimos! Whatever word count you have achieved, you are awesome! I hope you had as much fun writing as I did! If you are willing to share your experiences below, I’d be more than happy to talk about it!

Read More »

NaNoWriMo 2015 – Progress + Chapter 5

dreamer2

So, with being busy and all, I haven’t written anything new in a couple of days. This year everything was just so much busier than I thought it would be that I don’t think I can finish NaNoWriMo with 50K and that is okay. The important thing is that I got back into writing, that I had fun and that I’ll continue to have fun writing, because I am definitely not stopping now!!! I want to finish the first draft of Dreamer this year and I think that’s a manageable goal. So, that’s that for NaNo, I’ll tell you my final word count when we get to it!

Now, you already had the chance to read Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3 and Chapter 4 of Dreamer. I loved reading your reactions and questions and that’s why I’ll continue to share chapters. I hope you’ll share your feedback with me in return!

Read More »