The 5 Subgenres of Horror Fiction Explained

(Happy holidays everyone! I’m currently on break right now, but please enjoy this repost. See you all in 2023! – Love, Victoria aka Lady Jabberwocky)

Hello Writer Bugs!

Since we are officially in spooky season, I wanted to dedicate a couple posts this month to horror writing. Horror fiction is intended to frighten the audience senseless. A lot of people love a good scare. As a genre, horror can come in a variety of shades of darkness. Today, I’m breaking down the most notable subgenres of horror fiction.


Gothic

See the source image

The gothic horror subgenre is a healthy mix of horror, mystery, death and a little romance. And some would say it’s the true beginning of horror fiction and the jumping off point for other horror subgenres that developed over time. The macabre takes takes center stage in this type of story. Setting plays a key role in gothic horror. The atmosphere must be dark and moody, usually taking place in a castle, religious abbey or haunting estate. The theme of death and love are prevalent in the plot. It’s a dreary, decaying world full of ominous omens and unexplainable events.

Example: The Strange Case of Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

Monster

See the source image

Let’s do the monster mash. A true classic in horror genre. Typically, the plot centers around a character(s) encountering a creature. Creatures of the night are either the result of scientific experiments, born from fantastical means, or simply urban legends come alive. Iconic monsters including – but not limited to – werewolves, vampires, mummies, zombies etc. An argument could be made the even gigantic monsters like Godzilla would be included in this horror subgenre. Sometimes in the narrative, there are underlying themes of duality, an internal conflict between good and evil. It’s an interesting battle to explore within characters. Is the monster really a monster at all?

Example: Dracula by Bram Stoker

Paranormal

See the source image

In the paranormal subgenre, it’s all about the fear of the unknown. Evil spirits, wicked witches and demonic entities wreck havoc and chaos in the lives of mere mortals. Ghosts, demons and haunted houses tend to fall under this category. Exorcisms – whether the holy kind or the high-tech ghostbuster kind – occur in paranormal horror. Similar to the Monster horror subgenre, antagonists can have supernatural abilities and there’s usually a struggle between good and evil. However, paranormal creatures are derived from mythical, other-worldly origins. And let’s be honest, the things that go bump in the night are often what scares us the most.

Example: The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

Killer

A killer is on the loose! For this horror subgenre, the story focuses on a central killer. The main antagonist can be a supernatural entity or a natural born psycho. Whatever their reason, the killer’s sole mission is to annihilate anyone and everyone they deem a target. With elements of a thriller and/or crime plotline blended in, building suspense is crucial in this kind of story. You want the reader to feel like the killer is breathing down their necks and lurking around every corner. Will the killer be brought to justice in the end? That’s entirely up to the writer. In horror, no one is promised a happy ending.

Example: American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis

Psychological

See the source image

Send readers into a living nightmare. Throw rationality out the door and turn the mundane into something terrifying. Characters in psychological horror have either fallen into madness or are trapped in extraordinary situations. Surreal imagery or bizarre visions experienced by the protagonist only add to the insanity. For this horror subgenre, the narrative would benefit from a tight viewpoint, not a multi-narrator piece. A single character’s internal conflict can be just as compelling than an external conflict, if written well. Phobias, paranoia and one’s deepest fears are explored in this type of plot. In psychological horror, there’s not overarching monster or antagonist, the real monster is the human mind itself.

Example: The Shining by Stephen King


Personally, I’m not a fan of excessive gore. However, as a mystery writer, I sometimes must describe a corpse or a crime scene, for the sake of the fictional investigation. A little bit of horror can go a long way in any genre.

What’s your favorite subgenre of horror fiction? And if you are a horror writer yourself, how would you categorize your story? Talk to me in the comments. As always, I love hearing from you.

Stay safe and stay creative.

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

Follow Me on Twitter

(As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.)

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.

See the source image

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.

See the source image

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.

See the source image

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

Follow Me on Twitter

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

Follow Me on Twitter

3 Terrifying Tips on Scaring Your Readers (Repost)

Hello Writer Bugs!

In any kind of fictional story, a little bit of terror can go a long way. But how do you strike fear in the hearts of your readers? Have no fear, I’m here to help! Here are three tips on how to scare your audience senseless.


Setting the Mood

A spooky setting can be a total game changer in a horror story. With this literary element, details are key. Paint a horrifying picture for the audience. No, that does not mean you need copious amounts of blood and guts spilled everywhere. Even the most ordinary places can be transformed into a scary environment. Build an atmosphere that unsettles readers, that only enhances the fear factor of the antagonist. Consider what the weather would be like, or how a room is furnished, or the architecture of a building. Once you provided them with vivid descriptions, let the audience’s imagination handle the rest. Not sure where to start in descriptions? When it doubt, the “it was a dark and stormy night” trick never fails in fiction.

Solid Characters

In horror – or in any genre, really- you can’t skimp on the characters. The audience isn’t going to care about a damsel-in-distress, Mary Sue who happens to tumble into a haunted basement. And if readers don’t care, they won’t keep reading. And they won’t be afraid when that character is put in danger. Simple as that. However, they might care more about a child running around a creepy hotel. Create complex characters and give them real struggles, flaws and life problems that the audience can identify with. The goal is to make readers care and want to protect the main character. To make them feel like they could be standing in that character’s shoes, facing the same horrors. To have them biting their nails until the very end, just to make sure the character survives the ordeal.

Pacing Makes Perfect

Specific phrasing or wording can enhance the scary factor in horror fiction. When you have longer sentences, it slows down the action, thereby torturing readers with the suspense. On the other hand, quick and short sentences can keep readers on their toes and get their hearts racing. Those fast, up-tempo phrasing works best when a character is running away from the monster or is internally spiraling into panic and confusion. If the scene doesn’t feel quite right, try switching up the pacing. This one element can change the entire vibe of a scene.

Last week, I experimented in writing horror. I noticed that using short sentences added to the claustrophobic feeling. I almost made myself panic as I was writing the story. And if it scares the writer, it will most definitely scare the reader.


To my fellow writers out there, how do you go about scaring your audience? Also, with Halloween around the corner, what are you dressing up as for Halloween? Talk to me in the comments.

Stay safe and stay creative.

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

My 2021 NaNoWriMo Plans: A Month of Editing?

Hello Writer Bees!

National Novel Writing Month is almost here! What are my plans for November? Am I going for the 50K word count goal? Spoiler alert; No, No I am not. However, if you want to know my goals for this month, then keep reading to find out.

Meet My Forever Work-In-Progress

If you are a frequent reader of this blog, you probably already know about my WIP. I’ve even shared an excerpt of intro. For the new readers, welcome to my train wreck. Currently, I’m writing a 1920’s murder mystery set in Coney Island, New York. The plot follows Detective Barnaby and his assistant Oscar, the narrator, as they investigate the murder of a sideshow mermaid. It’s been a few years in the making. And it’s what I’ll be working on this month, like every other month.

Mostly Editing

Editing will be my main focus for NaNoWriMo. Smoothing out the rough edges. Reworking scenes. Maybe even rearrange scenes. Adding details and weeding out the unnecessary, when needed. A red pen will be glued to my hand for a month. I’d hope to have a finished piece at the end, if I’m lucky. I say this with hesitancy, but I think I’m heading towards the final drafts on my mystery WIP. Since I’ve been working on it so long, finally finishing sounds surreal. I might try to add 5,000 words to the wordcount, but overall, I’ll be mostly editing and revising my WIP. National Novel Editing Month anyone?

If you’ll be editing your work too, let me know!

The “Crater”

I’m being totally honestly here. Recently, I’ve had some writer’s block. There’s this gap in the story, an empty parking lot lot. A small section between the middle and the ending. It’s the part leading up to the finale. Right now, it’s pretty blank and it’s bothered me to no end. I lovingly call it “the crater”, cause it feels like a big empty hole or a missing puzzle piece. I’ve been struggling with what should fill the space. For NaNoWriMo, I’m going to experiment with my writing and be creative. I’m going to listen to my own writer’s block advice. I’m going to not be hard on myself, because all writers – great and small – get writer’s block.

Support Others

One of my biggest goals in life is to help other writers. During NaNoWriMo, I’m hoping to be more active on Twitter. Giving support to others participating in the event. Cheering them on. Promoting fellow writers and bloggers. Lending a hand to those who need aid in their creative endeavors. Being a shoulder when writing gets tough, because writing can be tough. That’s how I want to celebrate NaNoWriMo. So, if you’re looking for writing advice or positive vibes, I’m right here. I’m not going anyway. The writing community must stick together.


What are your plans for NaNoWriMo? Talk to me in the comments! Good luck to everyone participating.

Stay safe and stay creative.

Write with heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

Follow Me on Twitter

3 Terrifying Tips on Scaring Your Readers

Hello Writer Bugs!

In any kind of fictional story, a little bit of terror can go a long way. But how do you strike fear in the hearts of your readers? Have no fear, I’m here to help! Here are three tips on how to scare your audience senseless.


Setting the Mood

A spooky setting can be a total game changer in a horror story. With this literary element, details are key. Paint a horrifying picture for the audience. No, that does not mean you need copious amounts of blood and guts spilled everywhere. Even the most ordinary places can be transformed into a scary environment. Build an atmosphere that unsettles readers, that only enhances the fear factor of the antagonist. Consider what the weather would be like, or how a room is furnished, or the architecture of a building. Once you provided them with vivid descriptions, let the audience’s imagination handle the rest. Not sure where to start in descriptions? When it doubt, the “it was a dark and stormy night” trick never fails in fiction.

See the source image

Solid Characters

In horror – or in any genre, really- you can’t skimp on the characters. The audience isn’t going to care about a damsel-in-distress, Mary Sue who happens to tumble into a haunted basement. And if readers don’t care, they won’t keep reading. And they won’t be afraid when that character is put in danger. Simple as that. However, they might care more about a child running around a creepy hotel. Create complex characters and give them real struggles, flaws and life problems that the audience can identify with. The goal is to make readers care and want to protect the main character. To make them feel like they could be standing in that character’s shoes, facing the same horrors. To have them biting their nails until the very end, just to make sure the character survives the ordeal.

See the source image

Pacing Makes Perfect

Specific phrasing or wording can enhance the scary factor in horror fiction. When you have longer sentences, it slows down the action, thereby torturing readers with the suspense. On the other hand, quick and short sentences can keep readers on their toes and get their hearts racing. Those fast, up-tempo phrasing works best when a character is running away from the monster or is internally spiraling into panic and confusion. If the scene doesn’t feel quite right, try switching up the pacing. This one element can change the entire vibe of a scene.

Last week, I experimented in writing horror. I noticed that using short sentences added to the claustrophobic feeling. I almost made myself panic as I was writing the story. And if it scares the writer, it will most definitely scare the reader.

See the source image


To my fellow writers out there, how do you go about scaring your audience? Also, with Halloween around the corner, what are you dressing up as for Halloween? Talk to me in the comments.

Stay safe and stay creative.

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

5 Subgenres of Horror Fiction Explained

Hello Writer Bugs!

Since we are officially in spooky season, I wanted to dedicate a couple posts this month to horror writing. Horror fiction is intended to frighten the audience senseless. A lot of people love a good scare. As a genre, horror can come in a variety of shades of darkness. Today, I’m breaking down the most notable subgenres of horror fiction.


Gothic

See the source image

The gothic horror subgenre is a healthy mix of horror, mystery, death and a little romance. And some would say it’s the true beginning of horror fiction and the jumping off point for other horror subgenres that developed over time. The macabre takes takes center stage in this type of story. Setting plays a key role in gothic horror. The atmosphere must be dark and moody, usually taking place in a castle, religious abbey or haunting estate. The theme of death and love are prevalent in the plot. It’s a dreary, decaying world full of ominous omens and unexplainable events.

Example: The Strange Case of Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

Monster

See the source image

Let’s do the monster mash. A true classic in horror genre. Typically, the plot centers around a character(s) encountering a creature. Creatures of the night are either the result of scientific experiments, born from fantastical means, or simply urban legends come alive. Iconic monsters including – but not limited to – werewolves, vampires, mummies, zombies etc. An argument could be made the even gigantic monsters like Godzilla would be included in this horror subgenre. Sometimes in the narrative, there are underlying themes of duality, an internal conflict between good and evil. It’s an interesting battle to explore within characters. Is the monster really a monster at all?

Example: Dracula by Bram Stoker

Paranormal

See the source image

In the paranormal subgenre, it’s all about the fear of the unknown. Evil spirits, wicked witches and demonic entities wreck havoc and chaos in the lives of mere mortals. Ghosts, demons and haunted houses tend to fall under this category. Exorcisms – whether the holy kind or the high-tech ghostbuster kind – occur in paranormal horror. Similar to the Monster horror subgenre, antagonists can have supernatural abilities and there’s usually a struggle between good and evil. However, paranormal creatures are derived from mythical, other-worldly origins. And let’s be honest, the things that go bump in the night are often what scares us the most.

Example: The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

Killer

A killer is on the loose! For this horror subgenre, the story focuses on a central killer. The main antagonist can be a supernatural entity or a natural born psycho. Whatever their reason, the killer’s sole mission is to annihilate anyone and everyone they deem a target. With elements of a thriller and/or crime plotline blended in, building suspense is crucial in this kind of story. You want the reader to feel like the killer is breathing down their necks and lurking around every corner. Will the killer be brought to justice in the end? That’s entirely up to the writer. In horror, no one is promised a happy ending.

Example: American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis

Psychological

See the source image

Send readers into a living nightmare. Throw rationality out the door and turn the mundane into something terrifying. Characters in psychological horror have either fallen into madness or are trapped in extraordinary situations. Surreal imagery or bizarre visions experienced by the protagonist only add to the insanity. For this horror subgenre, the narrative would benefit from a tight viewpoint, not a multi-narrator piece. A single character’s internal conflict can be just as compelling than an external conflict, if written well. Phobias, paranoia and one’s deepest fears are explored in this type of plot. In psychological horror, there’s not overarching monster or antagonist, the real monster is the human mind itself.

Example: The Shining by Stephen King


Personally, I’m not a fan of excessive gore. However, as a mystery writer, I sometimes must describe a corpse or a crime scene, for the sake of the fictional investigation. A little bit of horror can go a long way in any genre.

What’s your favorite subgenre of horror fiction? And if you are a horror writer yourself, how would you categorize your story? Talk to me in the comments. As always, I love hearing from you.

Stay safe and stay creative.

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

Follow Me on Twitter

(As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.)

The Ultimate NaNoWriMo Survival Guide

(With Preptober and Nation Novel Writing Month right around the corner, I’m reposting these tips to help you survive this crazy writing challenge. Stay safe and stay creative, writer bugs! – Victoria aka 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.

See the source image

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.

See the source image

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.

See the source image

Surround yourself with other writers. And hey, feel free to add me as a writing buddy on the NaNoWriMo website. My username is LadyJabberwocky.


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

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

Follow Me on Twitter

(As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.)

NaNoWriMo 20 Questions Tag (2020 Edition)

Hello Writer Bees!

National Novel Writing Month is just days away! I am both wildly excited and incredibly unprepared. Recently, I was asked to do the NaNoWriMo tag by a longtime follower of this blog. Jai Lyn is this lovely writer and blogger who is always leaving me the sweetest comments. I literally dropped everything to do this tag for her and for you guys!

The rules are simple….

  1. Thank the awesome blogger who tagged you!
  2. Link back to the creator of this tag, Sophie @ Sophie’s Corner.
  3. Feel free to use the NaNoWriMo 20 Questions Tag graphics!
  4. Answer the questions.
  5. Tag some friends who are also doing NaNo this year.
  6. And have fun!!!

Thank you to the fabulous Sophie @ Sophie’s Corner for creating this tag. And thanks so much to Jai Lyn for tagging me to participate this year!

Let’s get started, shall we?

Tell me about your NaNoWriMo project this year! Give me a blurb!

The title is ‘The Case of the Drowned Mermaid’.

Coney Island, New York, 1924. When a sideshow mermaid is found drowned in her tank, can private detective G.W. Barnaby and his associate, Oscar Fitzgerald, find her killer? Or will this case be another unsolved murder?

What’s the genre?

It’s a mystery! No, really, my WIP is in the mystery/detective fiction genre. Hopefully, one day, it will become a proper whodunit. While there is a bit of romance and drama thrown in, The Case of the Drowned Mermaid is a good ol’ murder mystery.  

Describe your MC in three words.

Oscar Fitzgerald, my narrator and dapper, young man of the 1920s, is charming, sarcastic and impatient. 

Without spoilers, describe your villain in three words.

Perfectionist. Doting. Manipulative.  

What is your goal? (the traditional 50K? 20K? 5K? or……. 100K?)

I’m aiming for 20,000(ish) words this November. Really, any amount of words will do. My real goal is to break free of writer’s block. If you want to read more about my untraditional NaNo goals, check out my last post.  

Is this your first draft? Second? Third?

Feels like more drafts than I can count. This could be the third or fourth draft. Hard to say. I’ve been working on this project for about 3 years, and it has gone through many evolutions. 

Are you starting a new project (or draft), or continuing an existing one?

Nope, I’m continuing an existing WIP. It’s already about 30,000 words in length. I’m hoping to add to that this November. 

What is your favourite time to write in the day?

I’m a night owl, writing at night is my favorite time to write. Do I get enough sleep? Absolutely not. But I can’t help if I only get inspired around midnight.

See the source image

Where are you going to write?

Probably at home. And probably a bit of sneaky writing at my cubicle. 

Computer or paper?

The majority of my notes are scribbled onto various sticky notes and notebook paper. When it comes to writing the story, I will be typing my WIP on the computer. I admire those who are handwriting their work. I tip my hat to you.

NaNoWriMo is a huge commitment!! How are you going to make time to write?

I honestly have no idea. I’m gonna try my best to make time. Use every free moment to work on this project. Cross your fingers for me.  

Are you going to participate in local or online NaNoWriMo events? (e.g. kick-off parties in your city, write-ins, virtual writing sprints…)

Unfortunately, write-ins are most likely cancelled due to covid. I’m not sure if I’ll participate in a virtual writing event. Don’t think I will, but I am available to be anyone’s buddy on the NaNoWriMo website. 

Do you write from beginning to end or skip around?

Oh, I’ve been skipping around this story for a long time. I always try to juggle too many things at once. That has been a struggle for me in the past. I’m learning how to work on one scene at a time.  

Planner or pantser? (or plantser?)

Little bit of both, so I guess that makes me a plantser. I have a vague outline I’m trying to stick to while giving myself wiggle room to be creative and wander off the path, if I need to. Best of both worlds, right?

What will be your go-to NaNoWriMo snack?

I LOVE snacking while writing. Potato chips, roasted chickpeas, salsa and tortilla chips, dry cereal, popcorn. Basically, any crunchy or salty treat. I won’t say no to a fat slice on banana bread though.

(Can you tell this is my favorite question?) 

Image result for salty snacks crunch gif

Choice of caffeine? (or no caffeine?)

Not much of a caffeine drinker. I know, shocking. A decaf tea is fine for me.

Any rewards for milestone achievements? For finishing NaNoWriMo?

If I reach my goal of 20k, or any significant word count goal, I plan to spoil myself with NaNoWriMo swag. I’ve never set up rewards for myself. I want to this year. Plus, I’ve always wanted a cool NaNo sweater or mug while also supporting this amazing charity.

Share a tip for other NaNo-ers!

With word count goals, don’t be too hard on yourself. NaNoWriMo is meant to motivate writers to write and to encourage creativity. Any amount you write, whether it’s 5 words or 50,000 words, is progress. Celebrate progress.

How are you feeling about NaNoWriMo? (Excited?! Nervous!? Terrified?!)

All of the above. Lately, I’ve been feeling so stuck with my WIP, I’m afraid I’ll still be stuck during NaNoWriMo. On the other hand, I’m determined to work on my WIP and excited to share my experience and connect with other writers.

Share an aesthetic for your NaNoWriMo novel!

See the source image
See the source image

Hope you all enjoyed my answers for this tag. I tag any other NaNoWriMo participants who want to share their project. Shout out again to Jai Lyn. Please go check out their blog, there’s some wonderful content to be found.

To all those attempting NaNoWriMo this year, I wish you the best of luck. Let me know in the comments what you are working on for November. As always, I love to hear for you writer bees.

Stay safe and keep writing!

— Lady Jabberwocky

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My Untraditional NaNoWriMo Plans

Hello Writer bees!

It’s that time of year again. NaNoWriMo season. Can you believe it?

For those of you who don’t know, NaNoWriMo is a non-profit that supports creative writing and educational programs for aspiring writers.  It’s also an event that challenges writers across the country to write 50,000 during the month of November. With National Novel Writing Month fast approaching, this really is a fun opportunity to connect with other writers and share creative projects.

Which leads me to the big question you’re probably wondering:

Am I participating this year?

Short answer? Yes, of course, I wouldn’t miss it! Maybe fourth time is the charm.

Here’s the thing. My goals for this year’s NaNoWriMo are untraditional, to say the least. Some probably won’t be impressed. However, they are the writing goals I’m shooting for nonetheless. And who knows? Maybe they will change during my NaNo adventure.

My NaNoWriMo Goals

  • Write 20,000(ish) by November 30th. Not the usual 50,000. Keep in mind, my WIP is well underway word count wise.
  • Push past writer’s block and self doubt.
  • Write without deleting or editing. This has been a problem for me in Previous NaNoWRiMo trips.

I’ll admit, my WIP has been stuck lately. Writer’s block is intense, as is the writer’s doubt. Feel like I just need to get over this hill to make it to the finish line. I’m using NaNo as a vehicle to get… unstuck. To workshop new ideas and to gain momentum once again. My greatest hope is to have a finished story by the end of it.   

Prepping for NaNoWriMo

Whenever I see other writers preparing for National Novel Writing Month, my heart swells with pride. Seriously, you all are remarkable. The way some of you are prepping inspires me. I only wish to have a morsel of that enthusiasm. Here’s how I’m getting ready for the main event.

  • Straighten out plot outline (again)
  • Create an aesthetic and inspiration board/file.
  • Flushing out characters.
  • Brainstorm possible additional scenes.
  • Organize all these sticky notes! They’re everywhere!

In an effort to share my journey with those interested, I’ll be posting weekly updates on this blog and staying active on Twitter during NaNoWriMo. I look forward to connecting with more fellow writers out there. As always, thank you guys so much for following my writer adventures. Your support means everything.


Are you participating in National Novel Writing Month? How are you prepping? How are you feeling emotionally? What are your writing goals? Talk to me in the comments, I love to hear from you!

Stay safe and keep writing!

Love, Lady Jabberwocky