Monday, 30 November 2015

NaNo Pep Talk 2015 (Post #5)

Now many people compare NaNoWriMo to climbing a mountain or running a marathon and that’s great but I’ve never done either of those things and I’m sure a lot of people haven’t either. So I thought it would make a lot more sense if the journey of NaNo was turned into a story. Now that’s something we can all get on board with.

“Mighty warrior! Where have you been? No, no, no. No excuses. Planning, what’s that? No. The Kingdom’s in danger! Don’t ask questions! Just go!”

You manage to catch yourself as the irritating wizard pushes you out the door. A world of light and colour and possibility is stretched out in front of you but you have no idea where to go. There are various paths you could wander down or you could make your own. You think about it for a moment, tapping your fingers on the hilt of your sword, and make your choice.

Though the journey seems perilous at first, the day is actually quite bright. You’re making good time, enjoying the walk as you make your way deeper and deeper into the forest. A shiver runs up your spine and you rub your arms for warmth as you continue on and on. You can’t remember when this feeling took hold of you but its immense grip is unyielding. Now the trees are getting thicker and thicker and you can’t see the glory of the Kingdom no matter which way you turn. You keep treading your path but it feels more ridiculous each minute. What were you thinking setting out on this journey? You thought you were prepared, but now you’re in the forest, stuck and lost, you’re not so sure.

Giving up seems pretty good right now. There’s a little sheltered area by that tree you could curl up in. The morning would come and you would make your way back. But no. Having to face the irritating wizard with failure is more than you can stomach, so you stumble on ahead.
Goblins giggle from out of sight, winding your nerves tighter and tighter. They enjoy mocking you and dancing along the path in front of you. They’re waiting for you to pay attention to them. Waiting for you to change your mind. You do not.

The fatigue is starting to tear you down now. You’re not sure where you’re going or if you’re going to get there. You just stagger through the forest trying not to trip and when you do fall, you dust yourself off and get straight back up, though you’re not sure why.
You want to cry when a huge ogre shows its head, roaring louder than any sound you’ve ever heard. You discover two options, fight the ogre or sneak around it. With your brain just about working, you make your choice.

Just when you start to see the Kingdom in the distance and feel a pull in your heart so strong you want to drop to your knees, a dragon appears. Its enormous frame and thick tail overwhelms you but you have no choice. There’s no way around this one and no turning back now. The Kingdom is just there. Only a short walk away. You can’t give up now. You’re so close.
Yelling with a passion you thought had long since abandoned you, you fight the gigantic beast. Over and over again you are almost defeated but you manage to dodge and slice your way to victory.
You are unsteady on your feet as you limp to the Kingdom, wondering if it was all worth it. But what’s that? In the distance?


Thousands of people flood through the gates and throw you up into the air, carrying you inside. The colours and sounds of happiness and freedom envelop you and you have a moment to celebrate before you collapse into the sleep you so deserve.

You did it.

You’re a true hero.

I believe in you, mighty warrior. I await here with a feast just for you. If you listen hard, you might just hear me cheering. 

First Blogged on Movellas

Read my NaNo Pep Talk from 2014

Read my How To Survive NaNoWriMo blog 

Want to be NaNo buddies? Me too! I'll add everyone. NaNo is more fun with friends. 
Molly Looby
Author / Editor in Chief at Molten Publishing / Freelance Editor / Writing Coach / Reviewer / Blogger / Wrimo / Movellian / ZA Ready

Visit me on Facebook / Twitter LinkedIn / Movellas NaNoWriMo

Monday, 23 November 2015

NaNoWriMo 2015 Post #4

Week Three

Day Fifteen - 2,010 words, 0 cups of tea - I feel the tears coming. More to come tomorrow!

Day Sixteen - 3,427 words, 2 cups of tea - Sobbed my heart out!

Day Seventeen - 2,428 words, 2 cups of tea 

Day Eighteen - 2,029 words, 1 cup of tea 

Day Nineteen - 2,634 words, 2 cups of tea - Writing by hand is wonderful for a day. Not so much to type up though!

Day Twenty - 2,500 words, 4 cups of tea 

Day Twenty-One - 2,049 words, 1 cup of tea - Tomorrow I shall reach 50,000 words!

Week Three reminded me of what NaNo is all about. I had to juggle the real world as well as the Zombie Armageddon and week three, though I usually find it to be the easiest week, taught me to keep on fighting! I will stop for nothing until this novel is complete!

Molly Looby
Author / Editor in Chief at Molten Publishing / Freelance Editor / Writing Coach / Reviewer / Blogger / Wrimo / Movellian / ZA Ready

Visit me on Facebook / Twitter LinkedIn / Movellas NaNoWriMo

Monday, 16 November 2015

NaNoWriMo 2015 Post #3

Week Two

Day Eight - 2,211 words, 1 cup of tea - Awesome, awesome, awesome!

Day Nine - 3,051 words, 3 cups of tea - Back on target!

Day Ten - 4,088 words, 4 cups of tea - Loving every second! Ahead of target now!

Day Eleven - 2,617 words, 2 cups of tea - Cracked 20k!

Day Twelve - 3,694 words, 3 cups of tea - Noticing how my tea intake is starting to affect my word count . . . Half way there!

Day Thirteen - 2,860 words, 4 cups of tea.

Day Fourteen - 2,937 words, 0 cups of tea.

Week two was steady and tough towards the end but every day I write it gets easier to sit down and write. I find I have to sit with my word document open for less time each day to get the words out and that's a magnificent feeling. Although I'm 30k in and not half way done . . . who knows how long this draft of ZA is going to be? I'm excited to find out!

Molly Looby
Author / Editor in Chief at Molten Publishing / Freelance Editor / Writing Coach / Reviewer / Blogger / Wrimo / Movellian / ZA Ready

Visit me on Facebook / Twitter LinkedIn / Movellas NaNoWriMo

Monday, 9 November 2015

NaNoWriMo 2015 Post #2

Week One

Day One - 5,094 words, 6 cups of tea - Why am I even writing? It shouldn't be this hard! Every sentence is a struggle. I should've picked that other project. This is the worst idea ever. I should just stop now. This novel is awful. I'm wasting my time.

Day Two - 3,011 words, 3 cups of tea - Why should misery be the price of a huge word count? It shouldn't. Writing is my passion. NaNoWriMo is my friend. Why am I acting as though it's my enemy? I need to slow down. Forget 5K. Forget Insanity for Imprint. I'm out of love with writing and that is just not an option.

Day Three - 1,000 words, 1 cup of tea - Why should I write a book I hate? Time to mix it up!

Day Four - 62 words, 3 cups of tea - I'll be ready to rock and roll tomorrow!

Day Five - 2,967 words, 4 cups of tea - Yes! Gosh how I've missed ZA!

Day Six - 4,046 words, 3 cups of tea - Actually scaring myself with this draft. That's never happened before.

Day Seven - 2,773 words, 4 cups of tea - It is crazy how easy it feels to be writing ZA again. So happy!

Week one has been a roller coaster. Day one was the first time since I started tapping away at the keyboard at age fourteen that I've been out of love with writing and that terrified me more than any spider or zombie ever could. This NaNoWriMo I've already learnt something that's invaluable. A love of writing is far greater than any word count number. The mighty Rogue and I made a truce for our sanity and our novels.

But the race is far from over.

I decided to scrap Imprint. The characters weren't working for me. The universe wasn't working for me. It was making me miserable and that's not what NaNo's about.

So it's time to welcome back the zombie armageddon as I am now re-writing my first ever NaNo novel, ZA.

Molly Looby
Author / Editor in Chief at Molten Publishing / Freelance Editor / Writing Coach / Reviewer / Blogger / Wrimo / Movellian / ZA Ready

Visit me on Facebook / Twitter LinkedIn / Movellas NaNoWriMo

Monday, 2 November 2015

How to Survive NaNoWriMo (Post #1)

Hey! @[Molly Looby] here, NaNoWriMo survivor and – dare I say – extraordinaire?

I’ve taken part in NaNo four times so far but more importantly, I’ve won four times. Now, I can’t tell you how to win – that’s down to you – but I can help you survive and have a fantastic November.
First of all: put your butt in that chair and write. I know this sounds stupid but this is basic NaNo etiquette. It doesn’t matter if your words are full of typos. It doesn’t matter if they’re not in order. It doesn’t even matter if the story isn’t working or isn’t making sense.

Just. Write. The. Words.

I know this is hard, especially if you’re plagued by your inner editor, but this is how to survive. If you sit in the chair and turn off your internet connection, at some point you will start writing. What takes down most Wrimos? Falling behind. Whatever is happening, you must do your words. Think of it as life homework that’s due in tomorrow. (This is not an excuse not to do your actual homework!)

Putting yourself in that chair and forcing the words out, even if it’s painful, is a must I’m afraid.

Survival step two: have fun. Get excited! I’m being serious. I have so much fun during NaNo and it’s the main reason I do it. It’s great to do something this crazy once a year. It reminds you that you’re human and there are thousands of people out there as crazy and passionate as you are. Write through laughter. Write through tears. Write through caffeine buzzes and fatigue. NaNoWriMo is all about the fun. You’ll get pep talks and emails throughout the month spurring you on and making you laugh and giving you the encouragement you need to do step one: put butt in chair.

If you make it fun, you’ll keep coming back day after day and that’s half the battle.

My third tip is to live and breathe your story. Now, don’t laugh, but I do some weird stuff when I’m in the middle of a novel. I like to pretend I am my protagonist. No laughing! It honestly is a lifesaver. Whenever you’re not writing it’s great to do this. If you’re waiting for a bus, think about what your protagonist would do while waiting for a bus. Would they chat to the people around them? Would they disappear under a hood and pretend they were somewhere else? This allows you to truly know your protagonist inside and out and once you know that, the whole writing thing is so much easier. And sometimes plot points wander into your head while you’re doing this too because what if something dramatic happened while they were waiting for a bus?

If you live and breathe your story, you’ll feel the need to get the words out no matter what.

My las tip is a sort of extra. It’s something I discovered last year that helped me complete NaNo in record time. (This and a particularly intense word war situation). I covered up my word count. I know, that sounds too easy, right? But honestly, it’s incredible. I would just sit and write and write and write. By the end of the day/writing session, I’d always written way more than I would with my total uncovered. I realised last year that I had become obsessed with my word count and exhausted as soon as I reached my target for the day. By covering up my word count, I wrote so much more because I was terrified of not reaching my target. It is the most satisfying thing to rip off the post-it-note and discover that you’ve written over 4,000 words! Honestly, I felt like I had a superpower.

To me, these steps are all you really need. Character outlines or no character outlines. Plot ideas or no plot ideas. As long as you put your butt in the chair, have fun, and live and breathe your story, you’re in for a great chance of lasting till day 30.

It’s not all about winning, it’s about battling the NaNo demons until you pass out and achieving what you never thought you could.

See you at the finish line, I’ll be the one cheering and hugging everyone. 

First Blogged on Movellas.

Read my NaNo Pep Talk from 2014!

Want to be NaNo buddies? Me too! I'll add everyone. NaNo is more fun with friends. 
Molly Looby
Author / Editor in Chief at Molten Publishing / Freelance Editor / Writing Coach / Reviewer / Blogger / Wrimo / Movellian / ZA Ready

Visit me on Facebook / Twitter LinkedIn / Movellas NaNoWriMo