Thursday, October 27, 2016

First Time NaNoWriMo: Prepping

With NaNoWriMo around the bend in four or five days, I thought I'd tell those of you who are doing it for the first time, how you should prep yourself for it.

I'm guessing you're at the end of your own personal prepping but here are a few things I do that have helped for many NaNoWriMo tries and this time as well.

1. Use the Story Outline Template

2. Look up images in Google Images that represent or loosely represent the many places you want to write about. It's good to get a visual on it.

3. Make folders and sort the pics in them.
Example: Village, Mystic Creatures, Main Character Sketch, the Main Square

4. Do a few doodles of your characters but don't push yourself to come up with the perfect look. You can always come up with the details later while you write.

5. Leave it alone but keep contemplating on it. Don't think too deeply about it until you actually need to write it.

6. Work on other projects to get a boost for your writing momentum. Writing for a whole month after having not written for weeks can be hard on you because you might end up suffering from Writer'sblockitis and get nowhere, ending up just wasting your time. To not waste your time, write little stories, even one-page short stories to keep that writing momentum. Another thing you can do is read books that inspire you or watch movies that inspire you.


Saturday, October 1, 2016

Care for my MC! Care for him, I say!

What is going on with me and my novel? Well, first, I'd like to say that I finished reading the "Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children" series and realized one thing at the end of the books, I cared about what was going to happen to the MC. Will he be okay? What about him and Emma? What will happen with them?

And as it so often happens with me since I started seriously writing my novel, many of the books that I read teach me something.

For instance, Peculiar Children books taught me that in order for a book to be read worthy, there are many things it has to have and one of them is an MC that the reader will care about.

Now, I recently read another book called "Skinned" and if you want to know what cliche looks like in its most natural form, you should read it. It's about a popular girl who lost everything after an accident and is now just a mind in a body and then she runs away from home after losing yet everything else including her family's love. It's a series but you can kind of tell that sooner or later they will start opposing the government. If you read it, you'll know what I'm talking about.

This book showed me how not to write an MC. I couldn't connect to her. She lost her popularity; that was how the book starts. The reader is taken through what her life used to be because she keeps remembering it and having flashbacks and wishing again that she was the center of attention and how everyone looked up to her and all that jazz.

But I just couldn't really feel sorry for her.

Typically, the popular girl in books is mean so...that was stuck in my head and it didn't seem like she was any different. I didn't even feel sorry for her when her boyfriend left her (spoiler). I was more like, well, she kind of deserved it! And when she started to fall in love maybe with this geek guy who is all timid but fascinated in her (robot kind of thing) and then they kiss but because she's just mind and not body, she doesn't know what to do with her lips and stuff and has to think about it, I was like,

"Oh yeah here you just throw in the romance for the sake of it. She's just gonna end up joining that weird group that enjoys their immortal lives by having fun to the extreme and for some strange reason she refuses to join them in the beginning and she is pathetically trying to get her popular life back..."

Sorry, that book just really wasn't doing any amazing ish for me :/ I don't read many bad books but the blurb made it SOUND interesting...

Let's get back on track. I didn't care about her so I didn't care what she did or what happened to her or if she contributed to the story at all.

Jacob, the MC in Peculiar Children, I cared about. What was going to happen to him?

What of my own story? My MC, Belome, I thought about him. He was supposed to be like a cowardly failure who is self-conscious of his weight yet manages to joke about it sometimes. He has friends and is genuinely a friendly guy but he can't speak up for himself. He doesn't have much confidence either.

Yet from the first chapter I have him as this semi-confident guy who gets to dance with the girl he likes and even gets to show off his own dancing skills.

Throughout the story we are suppose to see him develop into a guy who can stand up for himself and say things and maybe even save the day. Well, MAYBE.

But it wasn't believable and it wasn't dramatic enough. I had to make him miserable.

I'm not saying EVERY SINGLE MC in the world of books should be miserable so we can like them more but it is true how people seem to be nicer or feel sympathy for someone who is humble or who doesn't have much confidence.

To sum up, I had to make my MC a failure, a coward, a timid guy, unable to really stand up for himself, and one that generally tries to avoid being the center of attention when there are a whole bunch of people around him. That way the reader can feel "Oh yay! :D " when he does things out of his comfort zone driven by his genuine care for others, love for his family, kindness to friends...and then little by little he is SUPPOSED to start standing up for himself.

Yes, this is the way it should be. We have to see the change in him. I need to make sure that his confidence toward the end of the story makes sense. This is where I am, guys. Wish me luck :/ I'm trying to finish it before NaNoWriMo because I have an epic story in mind.