NaNoWriMo 2019 – The Goal, The Plan, The Anxiety

Hello, hello, writer bees.

NaNoWriMo is right around the corner. And although I’m a bit nervous, I accept this intimidating challenge. I wanted to share with you guys my hopes and my game plan for National Novel Writing Month.

The Goal

Okay. My goal isn’t the traditional 50k in November. Currently, my draft is hovering around 20,000 words. And it’s looking pretty rough. It’s a rough rough draft. So for NaNoWriMo 2019, my word count goal is 40,000 words, making for a total of 60,000 words.

Frankly, my real goal is to write more often. Daily, if possible. Even if it’s just small increments everyday. Unfortunately, my WIP has been simmering on the back burner for too long. I want my humble little draft to take one step closer to becoming a full fledged manuscript. That’s how I want to finish NaNoWriMo this year.

Planning and Prepping

So, considering my goal, I figure that averages about 10,000 words a week. That’s possible, right? The skeleton of the story is there, scenes just need to be bumped up or added. I’m working on an outline as I write this post, but am open to new ideas that come along during the writing process. I guess that makes me a plantser? Half planning, half “winging it”. Hopefully, I can scrape something together before November starts.

Part of my prepping involves looking back at my previous NaNoWriMo experience. Learning from past mistakes. Taking my own advice. I acknowledge my weak points as a writer and I’m trying to push through them. Like writing without editing or deleting scares me. That’s one obstacle I’ve struggled to jump over.

Right now, I’m stressing a bit and waiting for the NaNoWriMo excitement to fully kick in. Imagine that nervous feeling before jumping off the high diving board. That’s how I’m feeling at the moment. What if I run out of ideas and my writing fizzles out? And maybe it’s just me, but it seems like everyone else is having fun prepping with their neat, organized outlines and I’m over here with my ugly baby of a draft. Seriously? However, I’m working on staying optimistic. Perhaps we can polish up this draft, it’s worth a shot.

What’s Happening on Lady Jabberwocky?

Glad you asked! During this November, I will be posting weekly updates on Fridays/Saturdays. That way, you all can follow my NaNoWriMo adventure. I really do want to put in the effort this year. So, I hope you guys come along for the NaNoWriMo ride with me.

Thank you guys for your support and lovely comments. Best of luck to all those participating in National Novel Writing Month.

Lady Jabberwocky

Become a Patron!

Advertisements

Third Times the Charm? – Signing Up for NaNoWriMo Again

Hello writer bees!

Time flies so quickly and it’s already October! And I’ve only just started to think about NaNoWriMo. Geez, I’m behind. Honestly, I wasn’t sure If I should, or even could, participate in NaNoWriMo this year. The last two tries ended in “failure“.

Frankly speaking, I’ve been distant with my WIP as of late. Life and freelancing get so busy and drafts get put on the back burner. I want to change that.

I have to get back in touch with my characters. I want fall in love with the setting again. I want to add more to the story and create something special. That’s my plan for October and NaNoWriMo.

I don’t know what my word count goal for the month of November will be yet. Maybe 30,000? Maybe the big 50,000? The basic skeleton of a plot is mostly done, hovering at around 20,000 words. Perhaps my goal should just be to write everyday, even if it’s a small amount.

Sounds like I’m just convincing myself to commit to NaNoWriMo this year. My boyfriend said “What’s the worse that could happen? You write words?” Thank you, handsome voice of reason. And who knows? Maybe third times the charm.

What do you guys think? What should my word count goal be? How are you guys planning for NaNoWriMo? Would you be interested in my weekly updates during November? Tell me everything in the comments. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

– Lady Jabberwocky

Become a Patron!

The Writers are Weird Tag

Hey Writer Bugs? You know what I haven’t done in awhile? A good ol’ tag.

Found this one on Jane Ridgewood‘s blog. Be sure to check her out!

Let’s jump right in, shall we?


01. Do you have bizarre internet searches? (if so, what’s the weirdest one?)

I mean, my WIP centers around a freakshow, so I’ve researched quite a bit on “circus freaks”, people born with abnormalities and showcased for profit. That’s the very definition of weird. Also, since I’m writing a murder mystery, I’ve had to search stuff about drowned victims and murder investigations during the 1920s. That’s sort of creepy and gorey. Thank goodness for private tabs, am I right?

02. Do you write people you know and dislike into your story as villains or dumb people to kill off?

Noooo, I would never. Well, there was this one time…. But no, I typically don’t use names of people I dislike in my stories. Frankly, I never found satisfaction from purposely killing off characters. That’s just me, though.

03. Does personal hygiene sometimes come second to writing?

Sometimes. Let’s be real here, this lady sometimes looks a tree monster. My greasy hair is always tied in a messy bun. In my defense, I’m a freelance writer that works from home. So I’m basically one of those disheveled hermits that writes all day. Don’t forget to take care of yourselves , writer bugs.

04. Do you go on baby name websites to help you name your characters?

OMG! I thought I was the only one who did that. Actually, those baby name websites are super helpful for naming characters. If I need a name with certain letters or of certain origin, those sites are my go to. It only gets awkward when the pop up window appears, asking if I’d like to track my pregnancy. I’m not pregnant, just searching for names for my fictional babies, that’s all, don’t mind me.

05. Do you have a list of actors and actresses that would play your characters if there was an adaptation made?

Pretty sure I’ve answered this question in my WIP tag. I don’t have an entire cast list in my head, I’m not that meticulous. However, I do think Andrew Garfield would be perfect for the role of Oscar Fitzgerald, the narrator. I always imagine Oscar with a cocky smirk on his face, and that actor fits the bill. Still, it’s strange to think of a film adaptation when I’m still in the drafting process. Wouldn’t want to get ahead of myself.

06. Have you ever stared at a stranger because they look like one of your characters?

No? But sometimes, I stare at strangers and wonder what kind of character they’d be. Ad that’s probably worse. Oh! I just remembered! My detective is an older gentleman with a bad limp and he walks with a cane. When I was riding the subway to college, I would watch elderly men with walking sticks and see how they moved. How they sat down, got up from their seat, and how they teetered around with a cane. It actually helped me work out the detective’s physicality.

07. Do you talk to yourself to help work through scenes? (if so, where do you talk to yourself?)

I tend to write out ideas on sticky notes. That’s just an easy way to unravel my thoughts. Just jotting quick notes down and sticking them up on the wall works for me. Post-it notes are everywhere though.

Also, talking to my boyfriend about my ideas allows me to work out my thoughts out loud. He’s not a writer, but he has an interesting viewpoint on stories and storytelling. Sometimes, you need the perspective of a reader/viewer, and not another writer.

08. While writing, do you make the expressions your characters are making?

Yes and I probably look like a crazy person. Especially when I’m writing a scene of conflict. Like if my characters are angry or upset, my face pinches in a scowl or a frown. Plus, I’m pretty sure I mouth lines of dialogue to myself. That’s when you know you’re really focused and invested in a scene. (Or you’ve completely lost your mind as a writer.)

09. Do you ever practice answering interview questions in case you “make it big?”

Yes, as embarrassing as that is to say. Although, my goal isn’t to “make it big”, it’s to published a book, no matter it’s success. Sometimes I’m nervous talking in front of people, words get jumbled in my mouth. I’m working on it, okay? But yeah, I’ve prepared some eloquent answers if ever I get interviewed by Oprah.

10. Do you have a soundtrack and/or playlists for your book or scenes from your book?

No, don’t think so. Should I have one?


I tag anyone who wants to do this tag.

Thanks for two wonderful years on WordPress, writer bees!

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

Main Character Name Reveal (And Staying Positive)

Hello Writer Bugs!

It was been a rough week for me. Job hunting is difficult. Rejection is disheartening. I’m working on staying positive and strong, and learning how to keep my head above water in tough times. Shout out to my amazing boyfriend for keeping me afloat when I was drowning. I don’t know where I’d be without his unwavering love and support.

On the plus side, I think my main character for my WIP finally has a new name. For those of you who have been following my journey as a fiction writer, you’ll know that I’ve been wanting to change the name of my main character, after 5 years. Since this is a small milestone for me, and a brighter point in my week, I thought I’d share with you guys.

Drumroll please, writer bees! My detective’s new name is…

Graham Ward Barnaby or Private Detective G.W. Barnaby

This may not seem like a big deal to most of you, but to me, this is a well needed change. Personally, I put a lot of thought into character names. They have to look and sound like a given name found in the real world (in the right time period). Now, his name is still subject to change but for now, I think this name suits him well (both as a full name and as initials). I’m happy with the next chapter in my beloved character’s evolution. And who knows? You might see Detective Barnaby is another project of mine. Wink wink.

Thank you guys for always being so sweet and supportive of this little ol’ blog. It means more to me than words can express. You writer bugs keep me going, and keep me writing.

What do you think of his new name? Have you ever made a major change to your main character? Talk to me in the comments, I’d love to hear from you!

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

3 Tips on Creating Likeable Antagonists

Mayday! Mayday!

You’re writing a story, minding your own business, when suddenly, a character you’re creating is taking a nose dive right into unlikable jerk territory. Let’s try to save your character from being total terror.

Whether they be hot tempered, or rude, or just have a nasty attitude,  you have created a character who is nothing but bad qualities. An unpleasant fellow in every regard. Yes, there are antagonists and villains and personified rain clouds, however, is that all they are? Just… the bad guy?

Here are some tips for creating a character we love to hate (and not hate to hate).

Changing Point of View

If your story involves multiple narratives, consider having your jerk character try on the narrator hat for a bit. How do they see the world? Are they really as nasty as they seem? What are their home lives like? Is there a reason for their misbehavior? Take a walk in their shoes. By doing this, it can give the reader insight to that character’s backstory and perspective.

Create Obstacles

Let there a be a struggle that shows another side of their character. The reader will gain a level of empathy for this character if they see them face some kind of hardship. Maybe the character learns from their past mistakes? Or feels guilt about something? Or has to face a real, serious conflict, either internal or external. Give the character a hill to climb over.

Give Them a Redeemable Trait

Anything. There has to be something good. No matter how horrible and cruel someone is, there must be some redeemable quality. Are they charming? Quick witted? Hard working? Show some level of respect or affection towards another? Like animals? (Who doesn’t like puppies?) You catch my drift. Any sort of positive trait to balance out the not so positive traits.


Don’t just have a character who is only recognized by the reader as being a terrible person. Real characters, like real people, need a balance in order to be complex.

Hope this helps some writer out there. In the comments, let me know who your favorite bad guy character you love to hate.

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky.

Crash Course in Ernest Hemingway’s Iceberg Theory

Hello Writer Bees!

Currently, I’m cleaning out my space and getting rid of all my worldly, and worthless, possessions. So, in the spirit of removing unncesary things, let’s talk about the king of minimalism himself: Ernest Hemingway.

Breaking News!

For all the history buffs, this one’s for you. Before he became a famous author, Ernest Hemingway was a journalist for the Toronto Star. In the start of his career as a writer, he wrote reports on current events that featured little interpretation and context. This way of writing transferred into his fiction writing and shaped his signature style we know today.

What is the Iceburg Theory?

In short, the Iceberg Theory is a writing technique coined by Ernest Hemingway. In the words of Hemmingway “declarative sentences and direct representations of the visible world”. It’s about burying themes and meanings underneath the surface of a story. Let the readers uncover those treasures for themselves.

Tips on Minimalist Writing

  • Edit smart. Remove excess fat of exposition.
  • Let dialogue and physical cues speak for themselves.
  • Cover up symbols and themes under short, distant sentences.

Hope you guys learned more about Hemingway and his unique writing style. Perhaps the Iceberg theory will creep into your own writing, just a little bit.

Sorry for my absence last week, writer bugs. A lot is happening on my end. Cross your fingers and toes that things works out well. A hint of good luck would be welcomed. To make up for no post last Friday, you guys might get a second post this weekend. Two for one!

Enjoy the rest of the week everyone!

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

The Story I Secretly Want to Write for this Blog

Hello Writer Bees!

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately. In a previous post, I mentioned about bringing more stories to the table. Which, frankly, is still a goal I’m setting for myself. But, really, I actually do have a particular story in mind.

I’ve been interested in writing a series, a multi part tale. It’d be a mystery story, featuring some characters from my WIP, with a sprinkle of magic. However, that wouldn’t be the only twist. How cool would a choose-your-own-adventure sound? A game where you, my lovely writer bees, can pick which path the detectives take. It’d be like you becoming a detective and solving the case yourself.

This make take some time to plan and organize. I’ve never attempted anything like this before. No harm in trying something new, right? And, if I manage to pull it off, it could be awesome.

I want to hear from you guys. This is me gauging the room. Is a choose your own adventure something you’d be interested in, here on this blog? A mystery where you control how the story goes. Sound like a good idea to you? Let me know what you think, I’d love to hear from you guys!

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky