Tag Archive | nanowrimo

It’s Novel Writing Time!!!

I read to live and I live to read. That's my circle of life.

“I read to live and I live to read. That’s my circle of life.”

Greetings Fellow BookNerds

First off, I hope everyone had a happy Halloween. I was impressed with some of the costumes I saw this year, although per usual there were many slutty cats and sexy devils wandering about. I’ve always seen Halloween as a chance for me to be a bit different, to push my creativity beyond the typical costumes you see everywhere. My first year of university, I went as the 4th doctor from Dr. Who, and then it was River from Firefly, and then last year it was Anara – also from Firefly – although most people just assumed I was dressed as a Medieval princess. This year, I really got into the online anime series RWBY, and thought to myself that I could definitely pull off the Blake Belladonna look. Sadly only one person got the reference, so I settled for being called a ninja cat ^_^

Ready to fight some Grim!

Ready to fight some Grim!           

With Halloween coming to an end, it is now that time of year is upon us once again; a time to brush the cobwebs off the creative center of our brains and get those fingers typing faster than they ever typed before. That’s right, it’s National Novel Writing Month, and if you’ve had an idea clinging to the back of your mind for what seems like forever, this is a perfect opportunity to finally put that idea into writing. For those of you unfamiliar with the whole idea behind Nanowrimo, it’s basically a self motivating writing competition, the ultimate goal being to complete a 50,000 word story by the end of the month. Participants are encouraged to put aside their usual writing habits, like editing and re-writing everything until it comes out perfect. The point of this competition is just to get the idea down, and to leave all of the nitpicking and detail ironing until after the month is up.

This is my third year competing, and I can honestly say that it is one of the things I look forward to the most every year, right after Halloween and Comiccon. Ever since grade school, I’ve always had stories bouncing around inside my head, struggling to break free from the confines of my skull. The first time I finished writing one of my stories was in grade eight. It was a fantasy novel about a wild white stallion that was captured by poachers, and then rescued by a young girl, who took the horse in, and eventually discovered that the horse was actually a unicorn. I was really into unicorns, dragons and pretty much anything related to magic and fantasy back then, no doubt influenced by my love of Harry Potter. The story itself was only about 50 pages long, but that was the longest thing I had ever written that wasn’t for school, which made me very proud of myself.

There is so much joy to be found in both reading and writing stories, which is why one day I hope I can finish one of my novels and experience the thrill of having others read and critique it, and discuss with their friends the things they both hate and love about it. Until that day comes, I’ll just have to keep writing whenever I can.

That’s all for today. Enjoy the crisp colours of fall, and as always, happy reading!

Cheers,

BookNerd 

Advertisements

It’s Story Time!

nerdfighters rules Hello Fellow BookNerds!

In one of my previous posts (see the Short Stories page), I gave you all a little sneak peek at the story I had been working on during Nanowrimo. Well, although I haven’t gotten through editing the entire first chapter, I decided to let you guys read what I have gotten done thus far. So, without further ado, here is my story…

To Catch A Butterfly

purple-butterfly-wallpaper

Chapter One: Weird First Impressions

   It took a while to draw myself back into the world of the living. Probably would have helped if I hadn’t spent the entire night trying to finish a term paper that I should have been done weeks ago. In my own defence, trying to relate the historical theories of mathematics to the practice of classical music isn’t exactly the kind of topic that gets your pen moving. In the end, I was able to throw together a C+ worthy paper before nodding off.

   Thank God for the new alarm clock my mom had bought me as a supposed ‘early birthday present’, even though it wasn’t for another three months. The incessant beeping woke me up from a disturbing dream involving a giant starfish and the sudden disappearance of my lower limbs. As I brushed the adrenaline induced sweat from my forehead, and gave the snooze button a slap, I made a mental note to avoid any and all bodies of water for a while.

   My jaw dropped so low as I yawned that I probably looked like a snake trying to swallow an egg whole. Rubbing the sleep from my eyes, I glanced blearily at the window. It was still dark, aside from the dull orange glow from the street light across the road. Turning from the window to the clock, I groaned and fell back into my pillow. It was only 6:30 in the morning.

   ‘Pain in the ass,’ I muttered, dropping an arm over my eyes as I tried to fall back to sleep. Unfortunately, my stomach had other plans. When I could no longer tolerate the hunger pangs in my gut, I threw off the covers and opened my eyes to the new day. I couldn’t remember hearing my mom come home last night, so just in case I tried to avoid making too much noise. Fortunately, I had neglected to turn off the hallway lights last night, so I was able to make it to the bathroom without tripping over that damn ironing board again.

   ‘Well, isn’t that a pretty sight,’ I said, looking in the mirror at a face that only a mother could love. My chin was covered in a thick layer of copper stubble, the bags under my eyes made me look like a blood hound, and the holes from my piercings made it look as though a smattering of acne had developed on my face over night. To top it all off, my hair felt the need to defy gravity, and my attempts to flatten it down with my hands proved ineffective. This was a pretty serious situation all right, but after twenty minutes of primping and preening, everything was back into place; my copper-brown hair was a more acceptable level of messy, my chin was as smooth as I could make it with the cheap razors my mom bought me, every piercing was back in its respectable hole, and a good splash of water to the face perked my eyes right up.

   ‘Now there’s a handsome devil.’ Satisfied with the results, I shuffled back to my room and forced the door to my wardrobe open. Not that I really care about being organized, but as I dug through the mountainous piles of wrinkled pants and bunched up shirts, I began to think that maybe a little cleaning up later on wouldn’t hurt. Even in all the clutter, though, I was able to put together an outfit that didn’t look half bad, especially for one such as I who preferred being able to hide in plain sight. It was all so clichéd, from the ripped black jeans to the oversized black t-shirt with the Metallica logo printed on the back, but that’s what all of the guys were wearing so I didn’t mind. I tied a black chocker with my name on it around my neck, adding a touch of individuality to my look, but it still wouldn’t be very noticeable. That suited me perfectly.

   As I looked over my appearance in the mirror, I couldn’t help but notice that everything about me screamed plainness. I had no redeeming physical features, I was by no means attractive, and I’m certain that if I were to stop coming to class, no one would be any the wiser. I tried to think back to a time when I wasn’t so hopelessly average. The first thing to pop into my head was the me of sixth grade, who thought it would be cool to wear extra large sweaters and a pair of black rubber boots to school. No wonder I couldn’t make any friends; they probably all thought I was mentally deranged or something. At the time, I didn’t care; I hated the idea of giving in to societal pressures and conforming to their idea of what was ‘normal’. Once I got to high school, though, my rebellious nature died, along with something else in my life…

   Trying to shake the unpleasant memory from my mind, I closed the door to my wardrobe and left the room. I was accustomed to the sound of my mother making a racket in the kitchen, usually while preparing breakfast, so I found it kind of eerie to be walking down a silent hallway. She must still be at work, then. It had been like this for months now, my mom coming home later and later with every passing day. I’d given up expecting her home on time a long time ago, accepting the fact that my mom would never be the same after what happened a year ago…

   As I reached the end of the hallway, I caught sight of the family portrait in the corner of my eye, the last one we ever took together as a family. It dredged up that unpleasant memory; the day I decided to become no more noticeable than a shadow in the corner of a room. You see, my dad had died almost a year ago, killed in the very plane which he had piloted for twenty five years. Although the case is closed, I couldn’t never accept the reason they had printed in the newspaper. The cops had been convinced that the plane went down due to what they called ‘pilot error’, but I knew that was a load of bull shit. My dad would never let something like that happen, and to think otherwise was absurd.

   I closed my eyes until the portrait was well behind me, and then proceeded to walk down the stairs. I kept hoping that one of these days, I would be able to walk down that hallway without feeling like my insides were being twisted into a knot and then burned from the inside out. When I reached the bottom of the stairs, I turned left towards the kitchen. I contemplated he idea of making a big plate of eggs, crispy bacon, French toast and hash browns… and then remembered that I couldn’t cook worth a damn. So instead, I threw a couple of pop tarts into the toaster and grabbed the jug of orange juice from the fridge.

———-

I hope you have enjoyed my story up to this point. I will continue to post pits and pieces of it as I continue to trudge through the editing process. Any comments or critiques would be gladly accepted and appreciated, so long as they are related to the story. That’s all for today, and as always, happy reading!

Cheers,

BookNerd

It’s Story Time!

Hello All!

I’m not sure if you remember, but last November I participated in the Nanowrimo (National Writing Month) challenge, in which I successfully completed my goal of writing a 50,000 word story. I have only just begun to editing process, which although rewarding, is also incredibly time consuming and requires the kind of attention I just don’t have a lot of right now. Still, I thought I might give you all a little sneak peek at what I’ve finished thus far – and by finished I mean I don’t hate what I’ve written but I might still edit it a few more times – and get some of your feedback. I am not placing you all under any obligation to comment on or critique it, but anything you do write will be accepted with my utmost gratitude.

I should let you know a few things first:

1. This story contains some crude language (and by crude, I mean swearing), so use your own discretion.

2. This is my first time writing a romance themed book, so this story is more or less a learning process for me.

3. I mostly wrote this for fun, but one day I do hope to get it published

Keep all of this in mind while you are reading. This is only the prologue. I may decide to post the first chapter if I can get around to giving it a once over. The only reason I am sharing this is because I believe that every story should be shared with the world. It is through the sharing of our stories that we are able to unlock human empathy and a shared understanding of the human experience, hopefully bringing us all closer together … too cheesy?

Anyway, before I go rambling on for too long, here is the beginning of my fictional tale of love, lose, and butterflies. That’s right, butterflies. Enjoy 🙂

To Catch a Butterfly

 purple-butterfly-wallpaper

It was the same thing every day with those two; sizing each other up on the courtyard, only to wind up sitting in the office looking absolutely pathetic with their swollen faces hidden behind a school issues ice pack. I will admit, I’d witnessed some moments that probably would have shot up the ratings on Jerry Springer, but for the most part it was nothing short of childish. That’s what I used to think, anyway, until something in my life changed, and not necessarily for the better…

       ‘Hey, jackass!’ It was definitely a girl’s voice, no mistaking that, although the punch that she threw was definitely a little more on the masculine side. The guy was practically thrown off his feet from the impact. A hush fell over the crowd as everyone stared, mouths opened, as the school’s strongest quarter back got knocked out by the quietest girl in school.

       I had only been vaguely aware of the girl’s existence, like something glimpsed from the corner of your eye. All I could piece together about the girl was her unique taste in clothing, which consisted of a variety of insect themed jewellery and clothing items, coupled with a curtain of long dark hair that resembled something out of a horror film from the way it hung over her face. Today, she wore a large pair of silver, butterfly earrings and a long purple skirt decorated with dragonflies, which danced about her legs in the gentle breeze. She was the exact opposite of intimidating, aside from having the guys blood smeared across her knuckles. If I hadn’t known any better, although I’m happy to say I did, I would have thought she had been possessed by a demon.

       ‘What the hell was that for, you psycho bitch?’ the guy shouted, both hands gripping his broken, bloody nose. I think his name was Ryan. He was the star player of the school’s football team, and the object of every girls’ desire. He was pretty violent by nature, but I never pegged him as the type who would strike back at a woman. Still, I couldn’t help but feel a pang of unease as I watched them facing off, brawn against bizarre, wondering if this girl knew just what it was she had gotten herself into. And then she spoke, her quiet demeanour shattered once more by her shrieking tone.

        ‘I am so sick of watching your guys act like a couple of immature brats!’ I wouldn’t have been surprised if students on the other side of the school could hear her. Still, it was hard to take her seriously when she dressed like a materialistic mother nature. Her words, however, were enough to warrant a resounding gasp from the crowd. I mean, there must have been something seriously wrong with this girl for her to think she could get away with saying that, even if she were to pull out the gender card.

        Still, as I gazed upon this spectacle, my eyes focused unwaveringly upon the girl as she stood there, bare arms crossed overtop of her flowery shirt, strangely coloured eyes burning like wild fire. In that moment, I experienced an inexplicable urge to find out what her name was.

        That’s pretty much how everything started. My complete life alteration, a diversion away from any resemblance of a normal routine. Everything I had ever believed in was turned upside down and inside out within a single moment, all thanks to this strangely captivating, yet completely mysterious girl.

Successful Completion of Nanowrimo!

NaNoWriMo-20122

It was difficult, and I thought of quitting several times, but one month and 50,000 words later, I accomplished my goal of participating in my first Nanowrimo competition ever and making it all the way to the end.

For those of you unfamiliar with this competition, it’s called the National Novel Writing Month, and it is a brilliant way to write that novel you’ve been putting off for so long. Basically, you have exactly one month, from the first of November to the 30th, to write a 50,000 word story. It’s not the kind of competition where you win a prize or anything. The biggest thing to take away from it is the fact that you now know you are capable of writing 50,000 words in only a month, which is both a huge confidence boost and a great motivator. The quality of the book doesn’t matter during this time; editing can wait until december, after the book is finished. At the end, if you managed to make the deadline, then the website where you verify your novel presents you with a certificate, physical proof that you are a winner.

It really is an amazing experience. There are write-in’s set up where you can join up with others in the competition and write alongside them. For the ones I went to, the people running the write-in made it into a sort of race, where you had to pick a number from a box, and that was how many words you had to write within a set time limit. It really gets you to think on your feet, and to look past the minor details that you would normally obsess on until you became sick of looking at your work.

They hold this competition every year, and it happens all around the world. If you’re interested, and already have come ideas for stories, you can follow this link to find out more about it: Nanowrimo

Without writers, there would be no books, and who would want to live in a world without books?! Don’t let things like word block and time constraints keep you from writing the next epic adventure. Write on!

 

Cheers 🙂

Happy November

It’s cold, the trees are practically naked, everyone is sporting a red flower, and all of the assignments are coming due. Yup, it’s definitely November 🙂 It never seems like there’s anything going on in this month, and it doesn’t help that it comes right before the month that houses the biggest holiday of the year. It was only today that I realized that there is a lot more going this month than what I first assumed, which makes me feel a little happier about it being my birthday month.

First off, we have Remembrance day. For this longest time, all I could think about on that day was having to get up on stage with the choir and sing Flanders Fields, hopefully without noticeably screwing up any of the notes. It wasn’t until later on in grade school that I finally realized that it held a lot more subtext, which explained why so many people were either crying or standing with a look of respect and pride on their faces. Staying in the capital of Canada definitely helps to fully grasp what that day of the year represents, and even I cannot help but feel tears come to my eyes as the bagpipes play and the veterans march along Parliament. It’s a city full of history.
Then, there is Movember. For those of you who don’t know, there is a reason behind all of the guys you know suddenly sprouting ridiculous looking facial hair. It’s meant to raise both funds and awareness about men’s health, more specifically prostate cancer and mental health. To those men who are participating, I wish you good luck, and don’t be afraid to grow one of those big, curly mustaches 🙂 If you’re interested in learning more, here’s a link to the Movember Canada site, which will not only provide you with more information, but will also direct you to where you can register and/or donate to the cause.

Finally, we have one of my most favourite events of all; *drum roll* …. NANOWRIMO! Have you tried to write a story, but then found yourself writing your way into a dead end, or simply didn’t have any kind of motivation or the time to do it? Well,  that’s where nanowrimo can help you out. Basically, you register yourself on their site, you fill out the basic information you have about your story, and then every day you have to write so many words until you reach the main goal of 50 000 words. It’s not really a competition, and the quality of the story doesn’t really matter either. In fact, the whole point is to just finish the story without worrying about any of the grammatical or spelling errors; that’s what you worry about after November is over. Instead of listening to me ramble on about it, here’s the link to the Nanowrimo site, where you can register, send in every part you’re able to finish writing on a daily basis, and hopefully reach the end with a finished novel in your hands. This is my first time participating, but I have heard great things about it from my friends who have done it, and so far I’m enjoying it.

So, that’s November for you. I just want to end this on the note that I have purchased myself a few new novels, but judging by the workload that my calendar keeps reminding me of, I most likely won’t get around to finishing them until December. Of course, sometimes my will power isn’t enough to keep me from prying open the pages of amazing books, especially when they are within arms reach and are simply begging to be read 🙂

Happy November Everyone!