Camp NaNoWriMo: Progress is Progress (Week 4 Update)

Hello Writer Bees!

We are coming on the last few days of Camp NaNoWriMo. Hope you all have had a productive time while at camp.

Overall, it was a great experience. Made some serious progress on editing my mystery WIP. I can finally start to see the light at the end of this dark, editing tunnel. Starting to feel like this project will be finished soon. Also, It was lovely connecting with the writing community during Camp NaNoWriMo. Especially during that virtual write-in last week. Hearing everyone talk about their projects and word counts was awesome and inspiring. I’ll be on the lookout for other NaNoWriMo events throughout the year.

During this crazy month, I learned something about the editing process. In editing, you will find tangles. Bits of story that don’t make sense, aren’t working as planned. Fixing them can feel like you are unraveling a knot. For me, I was so fixated on iron out some scenes, I didn’t realize I was making things more complicated that they needed to be. Perfectionist bug? Maybe. Or maybe It’s a pick and choose your battles kind of thing. If you’ve ever felt the same way, ask yourself this. Does this little detail you are fussing over have a significant impact on the story? What is this part’s purpose? When in doubt, take a step back and look at the whole plot. Doing so can bring some clarity to the writing process.

Thank you all for joining me on my Camp NaNoWriMo adventure. Your kind words and support mean the world to me. As a reminder, next month is May of Mystery, when all prompts and post celebrate detective fiction. I’ll be sharing my favorite mystery themed posts from previous years with you. Get ready amateur sleuths, there’s mystery afoot!


How was your Camp NaNoWriMo experience? What progress, big or small, have you made on your creative endeavors? Talk to me in the comments. As always, I love hearing from you.

Write with Heart.

Love,

Lady Jabberwocky

Camp NaNoWriMo: Virtual Write-In + WIP Research (Week 3 Update)

Hello Writer bees!

Hope you and your creative endeavors are doing well. Welcome to week three of Camp NaNoWriMo!

I’ve been burning the candle at both ends lately, so I was looking forward to an upcoming break. Despite a hectic week at my real job, I’ve scheduled some time off this week to write and to relax. Mental health day from work turned into an all-day editing extravaganza. Made a lot of progress on my editing to-do list. Honestly, feeling a little proud of myself. It’s refreshing to spend a day doing what you love, an excellent way to recharge the spirits.

Random sidenote: Anyone else feel like their search history is questionable when writing? If so, you’ll find this funny. Something hilarious happened a few days ago. My partner, Michael, has always been my biggest supporter. Even though he’s not a writer, he likes to check in and offer encouragement. The other day, he asked how editing was going and what I was working on. My answer? “Oh, I researched how to clean blood stains from a crime scene.” The strange search history of a mystery writer. Guess that’s part of writing a murder mystery, things can get dark.

Also, last night, I participated in a write-in event for Camp NaNoWriMo, hosted by Kelley Tai. That was so much fun! I didn’t realize how much I missed hanging out with other writers. We all talked about our current projects and did writing sprints and prompts together. And guide Kelley was a delight. Would definitely join another write-in for NaNoWriMo in the future. Highly recommend joining a write-in if you are feeling stuck in your writing or if want to interact with other writers. The writing community is truly amazing, I’m lucky to a part of it.

That’s my update for week three of Camp NaNoWriMo. Sorry for the short update. It’s been a busy week, but I’ve made serious headway with my WIP. Let’s see if I can keep this ball rolling!


What’s the strangest thing you’ve search for fiction writing purposes? Let me know in the comments!

Write with heart.

Love,

Lady Jabberwocky

Camp NaNoWriMo: Renaming Characters + Writer Breaks (Week 2 Update)

Hello Writer bees!

Hope you all are staying well and staying creative.

It’s been a rough couple of days for me. Remember how in my last Camp NaNoWriMo update, I told you I’m working on keeping a more positive mindset? Maybe I jinxed myself. Maybe the universe heard me, and thought, ‘let’s throw some hardballs.’ Life stress plus work stress equals one stressed lady! Writing this post has been one of my few fleeting breathers this week.  

But, writing and editing my WIP still need to be done. So, I carry on, as best I can. Take breaks when I can. Overwhelmed and overload, I stopped and made myself some fried rice in my cozy sweatpants. My preferred method of decompressing. After that break, I went back to tackling the big editing giant that is my mystery WIP. Breaks are important. Even just taking a rest, or cooking a meal, or watching a movie can do wonders for your mental health. Don’t forget to take care of yourselves, writer bees.

In other news, changes to my characters are happening this week. What’s a sure sign of writer insanity? Naming and renaming characters. Yes, I’ve fallen into that trap, constantly scrolling through first and last names. I can’t help it. I’ve been meaning to change two of my characters names for a while. Embarrassing enough, but one of the suspects has had a temporary last name for years. Yikes. So, I took the opportunity while at Camp NaNoWriMo to look through names and finally making those changes.

How do I go about naming a character? Baby naming websites have come in clutch. Also, if you’re like me and writing historical fiction, the Social Security Administration website is a gift. You can search through the most poplar names of a specific decade. Super helpful!

Anyone else feel like naming a character is a lot of pressure? Or is that just me? I mean, I know people name children and pets, but fictional characters feel different. Picking the right name that fits perfectly with the story and isn’t the name of someone you know is a unique challenge. It’s all in those pesky, tiny details, right? The tedious work of a writer.

That’s it for week two of Camp NaNoWriMo. Nothing exciting writing-wise, I’m afraid. Just renaming characters and ticking off items from my editing to-do list. Hoping to join a NaNoWriMo virtual write-in or event next week. We’ll see what happens, stay tuned!


How do you name characters? And how are your creative endeavors going? Share your progress. Talk to me in the comments. As always, I love to hear from you guys.

Write with heart.

Love,

Lady Jabberwocky

Camp NaNoWriMo: Editing is Hard (Week 1 Update)

Hello Writer Bees!

Welcome to week one of Camp NaNoWriMo! Hope you are all out there creating amazing things.

How’s my WIP coming along? Glad you asked.

In the wise, relatable words of my blogger buddy Jai Lyn, writing is hard. Fact. Here’s another fact I’ve recently learned; editing is also hard.

In my experience, the editing process has its peaks and valleys. There are days when everything I’ve written is awful and it’s a soul-crushing low. The ‘maybe I should give up’ voice creeps in. Other days, chin raised, I face the storm of editing head on and afterwards, feel like some progress was made. A small, fleeting victory.

Honestly, I’ve never had to edit a piece this size before. I think that’s why it’s taken me so long to edit this story. And mysteries are a beast. Lots of fine tuning is involved with this genre. From the subtleties of suspects to leaving behind crumbs of clues. It’s meticulous. It’s difficult. But it’s not impossible.

When I began editing, I tried to fix everything all at once, hopping from scene to scene. With no direct focus, I was taking shots in the dark. My lack of editing experience and ability was showing. Even so, I wasn’t giving up. I could learn and practice and become better at editing. Just had to find a method to the madness that worked for me. One thing that’s helped me tackle a large project is writing a list. A list of items that need to be edited. From the big plot points to the small details. It kept me on track, it gave me a to-do list. Also, it showed me just how close I am to finishing this WIP once and for all. Which is exciting.

Long story short, that’s my Camp NaNoWriMo update. Compiling a to-edit list and knocking each item out one by one. Hey, that’s what works for me. Also, maintaining a positive attitude through the editing process. There are dark moments. I question if the never-ending editing cycle is all worth it. It will be, I have a feeling.


To all my fellow creatives out there who have edited before, how was the editing process for you? Vent in the comments. Consider it is a safe space to scream. If you have any advice on editing, please share with the rest of the class.

Write with heart.

Love,

Lady Jabberwocky

April and May Post Schedule Update (Camp NaNo + MayOfMystery)

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Hello Writer Bees,

Just wanted to give you guys a quick update of what’s to come on the Lady Jabberwocky blog. Here’s the posting schedule for April and May!

April – Camp NaNoWriMo 2023

A surprise last minute entry, I will be joining Camp NaNoWriMo. Every Friday in April will be an update on my never-ending editing adventures. Will I have a finish final draft by the end of April? I hope so. But my real goal is to connect with the writing community. To cheer on and support my fellow writers. Fingers crossed; I’d also like to participate in a NaNoWriMo event. Maybe a virtual write-in. If you are interested in following my editing journey for my mystery WIP, stay tuned!

Are you participating in Camp NaNoWriMo this year? Let me know in the comments!  

May – May of Mystery

A few years ago, I started May of Mystery, a month dedicated to celebrating all things detective fiction and mystery. It’s a month where all my posts and prompts are inspired by mysteries. We tackled everything from detectives to clue hunting to whodunits and more. Recently, so many new readers have found and followed my blog. So, for all the newcomers and longtime writer bees, this May, I’m sharing some of my favorite mystery-themed posts from years past. Stories and articles that hold a special place in my slueth-loving heart. Consider this the May of Mystery: All Stars edition! Hope you enjoy!


Have any plans for your creative projects coming up? Share your progress in the comments. Let’s support one another!

Write with heart.

Love,

Lady Jabberwocky

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The Ultimate NaNoWriMo Survival Guide (Repost)

(Reposting for NaNoWriMo! Best of luck to everyone participating! And if you are curious about my November/December posting plans, read here! – Lady Jabberwocky)

Hello Writer Bees,

Signing up for NaNoWriMo this year? You’re going to need all the help you can get.

This guide will help you survive National Novel Writing Month.

Find the Time 

To reach 50,000 words goal, you’ll need to write about 1,667 words a day. Come up with a plan, find the best time for you to write.  Make that time commitment. Schedule what part of your novel you will work on each day. Decide whether you are a day or night writer. Create a routine and stick to it as best you can. And don’t beat yourself up if you miss a day, it’ll happen to everyone.

Set Up Your Writing Space

Establish your writing space. A place to be organized and creative. A place where you can focus and write and hopefully not be disturbed. Dedicate a work area, with all your research and inspiration materials nearby. Make sure you have all your needed resources close at hand. Whether it’s at home, at the public library, or at the local coffee shop, find your cozy corner of the world.

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Keep Resources Close

This coincides with creating a great work space. Notes, historical sources, journals, character profiles, outlines. Everything.  Keep all research material organized and in reach, in case you need a reference.  Use time in October to gather information and prepare for the writing ahead. Because I’m writing a story set in a specific time period (1920s), I have bookmarked a couple of historical resources, just in case. I also have a book of photos of Brooklyn in the 1920s that I like to glance through for inspiration.

Writers Require Nourishment

Be prepared with all the snacks and beverages you’ll need to get through a month of writing. I’m talking leftover Halloween candy. I’m talking caffeine, and lots of it. I’m talking the comfort food that makes your heart happy. Also, I’ve heard some even meal prep ahead of time. IF you have time, consider prepping meals in advance and leaving them in the freezer. Look, some would suggest eating healthy, and while that is true, sometimes, you need a bag of salty potato chips. And no one will judge you for devouring the entire bag.

Goals and Rewards

Set smaller goals for yourself. 10k, 20k, 30k, etc. And when you reach them, reward yourself. Whether its with your favorite movie or favorite meal, celebrate those little milestones. During National Novel Writing Month, every word counts. So, treat yourself and do something special for you once you reach a certain word count. Whatever makes you happy and relaxed, do that. This will keep you motivated and encourage you to keep going.

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Outline

Whether you are a planner or a pantser, have a general idea for a story. Develop your characters. Establish some kind of plot line, even if its a vague idea. Note the key scenes of the plot. It’s important to have an outline. And remember, use the method that feels right to you. Every writer has their own way of planning a story. Do what works for you.

Have a Support System

We all need someone in our corner, supporting us. Find some writing buddies. Consider attending write-ins and writing events. Find the people in your life you trust, who you can talk openly to. A significant other, a friend, a teacher, a classmate. Have someone to express your worry or doubt or just iron out ideas with. Someone to cheer you on through the absolutely ridiculous journey that is NaNoWriMo.

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Surround yourself with other writers.


What’s a necessity in your NaNoWriMo survival kit? Let me know in the comments!

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

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November + December Posting Schedule Update

Hello Writer Bees,

Hope you all are doing well and staying creative.

Just wanted to give you all a heads up of what’s to come in the next few months. A posting schedule update, if you will.

Will I be participating in NaNoWriMo this year?

Big question. Short answer? No. I’m still putting the final touches on my mystery WIP. And frankly, there’s other things I would like to focus on in November. Sorry, this year, you won’t find weekly NaNoWriMo updates. Although I won’t be a traditional NaNo participant, I’ll be a supportive cheerleader instead. For all those participating in National Novel Writing Month, good luck and have fun! Remember, this lady is always in your corner, cheering you on. If you ever have writing questions, feel free to reach out to me anytime.

Here’s what my November Posting Schedule will be:

  • Mondays: No matter if you are involved in the NaNoWriMo event or not, you’ll find fun writing prompts to do here every Monday. Please know, I read each response and am constantly impressed by the talent out there. Sometimes shout out other bloggers and writers.
  • Tuesdays-Thursdays: When I first started blogging, I had a series called Words for Writers, where I shared inspirational quotes for writers. For the month of November, Words for Writers will be back! Offering some positive writing vibes and quick tips during the week.
  • Fridays: Hey! I have to get in on the fiction fun of NaNoWriMo too. Every Friday, I plan to write a short story or flash fiction. No genre is safe.

Holiday Break

Lately, I’ve been feeling burnout. My work-life balance is broken and in shambles. Time for a mental health break! In December, this blog will be on hiatus. But don’t worry, there will still be Monday prompts and reposts on Fridays. You won’t even know I’m gone. After that, I’ll be back in the new year with new content.

Those are my plans for now anyway. Let’s see if they pan out as I hope.


What are your plans for National Novel Writing Month? Do you have any advice for those participating? Let me know in the comments.

Write with heart.

Love,

Lady Jabberwocky

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15 Ways to Beat Writer’s Block (Repost for Camp NaNoWriMo)

Hello Writer bees!

(With Camp NaNoWriMo starting next week, some may struggle with writer’s block during this writing challenge. Don’t fret! To help with that, I’m reposting these awesome tips for beating the block. Good luck to everyone participating! – Victoria aka Lady Jabberwocky)

Hope you are are staying safe and writing wonderful work. And if you are feeling stuck with your writing, that’s alright too. Sometimes, it can be hard to get the words on the page. Don’t be discouraged. Writer’s block happens to everyone, myself included.

So today, I’m sharing some tips for beating the block and rekindling inspiration once again.

Be honest and ask yourself, “how do I break out of this funk I’m in?” and “What’s stopping me from writing?” Depending on what you need, there are three courses of action to take. Whatever route you choose, find what works for you.

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Push to Writing – the need to shake up you writing habits.

  1. Write in some place other from your usual spot. No need to chain yourself to your desk. Write in a different room of your home. Or outside. A new, quiet place.
  2. Freewriting: Write the first things that comes to mind, whatever it may be. Follow where the words take you. On a time crunch? Take a 5 minute writing sprint and write as fast as you can.
  3. Set deadlines and stick to them. Reach for a daily wordcount goal that’s achievable and works with your schedule. Even if it’s only a 100 words a day. You’ll be 100 words closer to your finished draft.
  4. Try writing exercises and prompts. They can be a fun, well-needed challenge for some writers and can get the brain working. But where can you find prompts? I post a Prompt of the Week every Monday. Check them out!
  5. Use a different writing tool. Instead of a keyboard, switch to paper or sticky notes or colorful markers.

Recharge – The need to step back from your writing endeavors.

  1. Take a break! A real one. Relax. And don’t think about your story. A little separation from your WIP is fine. Sometimes, lightbulb moments happen when you least expect. I speak from experience.
  2. Go for a walk. Alone, with music, or with a dog. Walks are great. Socially distanced walks while wearing masks is even better.
  3. Get cozy and curl up with a good book. Fuzzy socks included. Let your mind unwind and dive into a whole new world.
  4. Drink some coffee/tea/alcoholic beverage of choice. And stuff your face with your favorite food. Writing is hard work. Treat yourself to that tub of ice cream or bag of potato chips. I won’t judge.
  5. Sleep it off, or just lounge around. Rest, physically and mentally. There are times when the best ideas can come right before you fall asleep. Keep a notepad on your nightstand ready, in case you need to jot down ideas.
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Getting motivated and inspired! – the need to get pumped to write again and find inspiration.

  1. Browse through photos; especially images that relate to your story’s genre. Create an aesthetic board featuring images that remind you of your story. If you are writing historical fiction, keep a folder of snapshots from that time period.
  2. Talk it out. Talking to another person, writer or non-writer, about your ideas can get those creative juices flowing. Find someone you feel safe with and who encourages you. Don’t waste your time with people who judge you harshly.
  3. Read some quotes from some famous authors. Gather inspiration from the authors who came before you.
  4. Connect with other writers. The writing community is a fantastic group of creatives. Make friends, chat about WIPs, support each other through those tough times. It’s nice to have someone in your corner, to have that support system.
  5. Be okay with writing trash. Not everything you write will be perfect. And that’s fine, that’s what editing is for. Instead of striving for perfection, strive for the story that future readers can connect with. That’s the real goal, isn’t it?

How do you get through writer’s block? What’s your advice to a writer who is struggling? Let me know if the comments.

Stay safe and keep writing!

— Lady Jabberwocky.

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NaNoWriMo 2021: Week Four Update

Hello Writer Bees!

Hope you all are staying creative and staying safe during National Novel Writing Month.

Sorry for the late post. Between Thanksgiving and holiday shopping and family and friends, it’s been a bit hectic. Could they have planned National Novel Writing Month in any other month? Preferably one with less holidays. Still, us writers rise to the challenge. Hats off to all the fantastic writers out there putting their hearts into their creative endeavors, even in this holiday madness.

So, here’s an interesting thing I discovered while editing this week. This week, I focused on the clues of my murder mystery WIP. Frankly, I worried about being too obvious in the evidence. I want to leave breadcrumbs for readers (and detectives) to find, not loaves of bread. I want the grand finale to be grand and unexpected. Can’t be too easy or too hard to solve this mystery. During this editing process, I’m being mindful of when and how evidence is revealed in the story. I’ve been trimming away the more obvious hints from suspect interviews. That’s been my main focus in this final week of NaNoWriMo.

Maybe, over the weekend, I’ll doing some writing sprints. Maybe some editing sprints too, if that’s a thing. I’m looking forward to working on this story well into December. This experience got me motivated to write and to edit. I really do feel like I’ve made progress on my WIP. Guess that’s the point of NaNoWriMo.

Hope everyone had a happy holiday and a happy National Novel Writing Month. And remember, no matter how many words you wrote this month, no matter what you worked on, celebrate yourself. No matter what, any amount of progress is a success in my book.


How’s your NaNoWriMo journey? Did you complete your goals? Talk to me in the comments.

Stay safe and stay creative.

—Lady Jabberwocky

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