Why I Failed NaNoWriMo, but I’m Ready for Next Year.


I’m going to be real honest for a minute.

Before I started National Novel Writing Month, I had an idea for a story. A detective and his assistant, solving mysteries in the 1920s. In the summer, the concept and plot were strong and clear in my mind, I just wasn’t motivated enough, I guess. But when Autumn rolled around, that picture became a little fuzzy. I didn’t feel like I had the connection to the time period and to these characters that I wanted to once November started. It was like we were once roommates, living together and then, they became the neighbors down the street. An unexplained distance came between me and this story idea.

I tried my best, give me credit for that. I wrote about 10,000 words this November, which is an accomplishment, in some regard. I’m grateful for my experience with NaNoWriMo, it got me back into writing, regularly, without stopping to edit. It pushed me to be a better writer and to write more frequently. And I think that’s what I needed at this point in my life.

But It also made me realize, I might need to go back to the drawing board with this story idea. It made me question, is this the best story for my two main characters? Should I change the case my characters are investigating? Should I write something completely different?  Should I add a little fantasy element into this mystery?

If I do justice to these characters, they can be something special. I have to believe that.

Yes, I understand fictional characters are fictional. As writers, the characters we create can be more than that to us and we feel obligated to tell their tale and tell it right.

Going back to the drawing board and figuring things out is not a bad thing. Sometimes you have to step back and look at the big picture.

There’s another reason why I had to quit NaNoWriMo. (Possibly a good reason)

I got an internship. Now, for those of you who have read previous posts and know a bit about my life, you know it hasn’t been easy for me to find a job in the field I just earned a diploma for. I won’t sugar coat, it’s been tough. After hearing rejection after rejection (even got rejected by Barnes and Noble during the holiday season. Seriously?), I eventually heard a yes. It’s currently an unpaid internship, writing for a blog that focuses on everything Disney. It’s definitely made me unusually busy this November (After a couple uneventful months). Something is something, and I intend to learn a lot and gain some valuable experience. My task is to write 5 articles per week, with an average of 600 words each. That’s about 3,000 words a week, if my math is correct. I want to do a good job on this, it’s the perfectionist in me. And technically, I will have something published with my name on it. So, I’m okay with focusing on this internship for a while until I feel comfortable balancing article writing with fiction writing and my own personal blog writing.

I’m definitely gonna try NaNoWriMo next year. It really was a good experience, even if I didn’t “win”.  I still kinda won, sorta. NaNo gave me the push of motivation I needed.  So this rookie ain’t out yet, next year, I’m aiming for the world series  (I’ve been making a lot of baseball references to NaNo, haven’t I? Should I be concerned?).

I want all you aspiring writers to keep on writing, even if you feel stuck at the drawing board or things don’t fall into place quite so easily. Never forget how magical storytelling is.

Write With Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky.

Help! What Book Should I Read Next?

Hello everyone!

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving.

Unfortunately, I’ve been sick most of this week. Yeah, it’s been pretty crumby. Today, I sunk so deep into the cozy corner of my sofa, I watched a Hallmark Christmas Movie, while feeling absolutely gross. But I had a very nice Thanksgiving. My family and my boyfriend’s family all got together. His mom is a wonderful cook and made a fantastic turkey and rice and stuffing, the works.

I haven’t been reading much lately, except for the occasional Sherlock Holmes or F Scott Fitzgerald story. I need a new book to read, plain and simple. Most of these books I’ve bought at thrift stores or on sale. Because i’m frugal (The boyfriend says i’m cheap.) These book are in the ‘I will read you eventually’ pile. We all have one of those, right? I could really use your opinions guys, what book should I read next?

In no particular order, here’s a list of just some of the books on my shelf waiting to be dusted off…..

  • Bryant and May on the Loose by Christopher Fowler
  • Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal
  • The Book Thief by Zusak
  • My Korean Deli by Ben Ryder
  • Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis
  • Alex and Eliza by Melissa de la Cruz
  • Fallen Beauty by Erika Robuck
I’m not sure what exactly I’m in the mood to read, I just need a good story I can really sink my teeth into, you know? Let me know what book you think I should read next. Or if there’s one that should be added to the list. Can’t wait to hear your suggestions. I’m counting on you, peeps!

Write With Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky.

Check out this video on writing descriptions.


Hello everyone,

It’s been a roller coaster of a week. The Good stuff? Possible internship opening and fun weekend trip with my boyfriend coming up. The not so good stuff? My dad had a bit of a health scare (he’s fine now) and there’s a leaky pipe (which is not fine) and another closed door job wise.
All these happenings, and writers block, have led to an unproductive week of writing. My attempt at NaNoWriMo is slightly derailing, unfortunately, but I’m still gonna try and keep writing, whether I reach my goal or not.

In a previous post, I mentioned my difficulty writing about the appearance of characters and the setting. Just thought I’d share this video about writing descriptions I found. It’s really helpful, at least, I thought so. Made me think about writing descriptions and my choice of adjectives and how I paint the picture.

Just watching it made the phrases “ghost quiet” and “stewed cherry” get stuck in my brain. And really did change my thinking when it comes to writing descriptions.

Hope you find this video helpful too. I want to know what you guys are working on, so let me know in the comments.

Write with heart,
Lady Jabberwocky


NaNoWriMo Day 8: Notes to self. Room to improve.

It’s day 8 of National Novel Writing Month. Had a good writing session today, broke 8,000 words. Yes, I know I’m behind word count wise, but this horse is still in the race. Since this is the first NaNo I’ve participated in, I’ve found things about my writing style that have room for improvement, and may make the journey to the end of the month a lot smoother. Because there have been some bumps in the road so far. So…

Here’s me critiquing myself (the title of my biography in 50 years.)

Note to self.

formalfickleherring-max-1mbStop trying to edit and be perfect – Now is not the time! I’m trying to get to 50,000 words here. I’m trying to hold myself back from deleting things that bother me for just being plain terrible. Trying really hard, but sometimes there are just garage sentences that nag at your brain to remove them. Holding out until December. (December will be a freaking slaughter of words, won’t it?)

Focus on one scene at a time – I have this problem that always seems to get me frazzled. I plant the seeds of all these different scenes, and then I end up confused and overwhelmed in a jungle.  Instead of jumping around and writing a bunch of bits for a bunch of different parts, I should tune in to one scene and only focus on that one part at a time.

tumblr_nscgzpygmq1uc78xbo1_250Write more descriptions – For some reason, dialogue always comes first when i’m writing. It’s like the bones of a scene for me. I’m pushing myself to work on describing the setting and characters more vividly. An image should be painted in color, not black and white.

Sometimes you gotta ask yourself, how can I be better at my craft, or whatever I’m trying to excel in? It’s not about listening to the voice in your head that says “Man, this story is a dumpster fire.”, it’s critiquing yourself in a way that you improve. Well, that’s what i’m working on in order to (barely) survive November. What are you guys working on in your writing? And how is NaNoWriMo treating you? Well, I hope. Look forward to hearing from you all.


Write with heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

NaNoWriMo Day 5: Slowly but surely.

Hello everyone,

It’s day 5 of NaNoWriMo. I’ve got about 5,000ish words down so far. It’s not the average word count, but that’s okay. Slowly but surely.

It’s a slow start, I’ll admit.

But I’m committed to writing something every day. Even if it’s 100 words or 1000 words. Even if I haven’t written as much as everyone else.

And I’m determined to at least try to achieve the 50,000 word goal.

Don’t be discouraged, fellow writers, if you feel like you’re falling behind or you’re not dishing out words fast enough or somebody else seems miles ahead of you. Focus on whatever your goal is and freaking  hit it with your best shot.

I’m gonna be here, swinging for the fences as I attempt to reach 50,000 words by the end of the month. Knowing how I am, I’ll probably end up writing like 10,000 words on the last day.

How is National Novel Writing month treating you guys? I’d love to hear all about your experience so far.

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

NaNoWriMo: Day 1 Jitters

Not gonna lie, starting felt like dipping a toe into a cold, public pool. Or like the first day of school after a long summer.

Takes a minute to get into the rhythm of things, but it’ll happen. I’m determined to make writing a routine this month, that’s one goal.

Fueled by leftover Halloween gummy bears, I wrote about 1000 words. Not bad, not bad. The ball will eventually get rolling, just gotta find a steady pace.

Wanna be buddies? Find me at LadyJabberwocky on the NaNo website. (I’m assuming that’s how it works)

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky