NaNoWriMo: Writer’s Block and The Walkabout

For those of you writers who are writing novels for NaNoWriMo, you probably have already started writing your novel.  You may even be in the thick of it.  But for those less fortunate of us, we may already be stricken with the forbidden Writer’s Block (of doom!)

This can be one of the most challenging aspects of writing – particularly when writing on a deadline!

Sometimes to me it seems as though the closer the deadline is, the harder it is to actually write on command.  Even if you say to yourself – just write!  ….sometimes you then stare at the screen and gape.  An hour later, you may say to yourself…. What just happened?

Getting back in the groove can sometimes be difficult, and seem to be impossible.

I’ve written before about this, but I’ll go into more detail now, of how I get around this.  I’ll call it The Walkabout. Continue reading

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Supporting Character Profile: Haven

No story is complete without some great supporting characters.  This week I’ll introduce you to one of the most critical supporting characters in Aurora’s journey – Haven.

When Aurora first travels to the Den, the headquarters of the International Space Agency on the space station The Magellan, she is an outsider walking into a tight-knit group of young cadets.  Alone and isolated, the only one who approaches her with kindness is Haven.

Right from the moment he sees her, he decides that he wants to be friends with this brave, strong girl.  He walks up to her in a crowded room, extending a hand of friendship.

Haven grew up in the Den, and had been piloting spaceships since he was a child.  He is the best pilot in their class, hands down.  His family is powerful in the military – his two aunts both holding high ranks.

Haven and Santiago

Haven and Santiago

Haven is playful, joyful, and make friends wherever he goes.  There’s a group of people that hang out with him, and Haven effortlessly folds Aurora into this group.

Aurora is lucky to have a friend like him, in a place where she feels ostracized.  He never makes her feel unwanted or unwelcome.  He is always ready to support her, to teach her, but also to learn from her.

Stay tuned for more posts this week about NaNoWriMo, as well as another character profile.

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NaNoWriMo – Polishing

To keep in mind as you’re writing, there are some steps you’ll want to take when you’re finished your first draft.  If you’ve just written a fabulous novel for NaNoWriMo, and you want to turn it into something marketable, then you probably have a lot of work to do before your task is done.  Here are some of the steps I like to go through.

First Read-Through

Before doing any editing, I give it a first read-through.  Sometimes even a second.

Then I put the book away.  I might flag a few chapters while I’m reading, but I don’t edit them right away.

The reason is, you can get too caught up in the details before the structure is sound.

Continue reading

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Character Profile: Austin

It’s time for another sneak peek from my upcoming science fiction novel!

You already had a chance to gain some insights into the main character, Aurora.  To recap: Aurora grows up on a space station called The Magellan.  When she is a child, her sister is taken away and never heard from again.  Aurora is determined to find her again.

Aurora’s family is from the Science Academy.  Generally, most families from the Academy tended to stay in the Academy, and study one of the many different disciplines around science and technology, agriculture, and more.

However there is another main vocation on the Magellan – the Military.  Everything related to space travel is linked to the military, such as ship-building and maintenance, piloting, structural engineering.  Also, there are certain records and top secret documents that are only available from within the Military district.

As such, Aurora decides that she needs to go to the Military district in order to track the whereabouts of her sister Gaia.

When she arrives there, Aurora is an outcast.  As one of the very few that has made the transfer from Academy to Military, she is singled out and ostracized.

Austin is one of Aurora’s trainers in hand-to-hand combat.  He is ruthless, and well-known for being one of the strongest, meanest military officers there are.  When it comes to Aurora, though, he treats her with respect, admiration.

Austin Character Profile image

Character Profile image – Austin

He likes how hard of a worker she is.  She doesn’t let anyone get in her way, when it comes to achieving her goals.

Austin is attracted to her like a moth to a flame.  He singles her out, and gives her the extra training she needs to catch up to her classmates.

But Austin is in special forces.  He disappears from the Magellan, on secret missions that he can’t tell anyone about.  And Aurora can’t jeopardize her mission for the sake of their friendship.  Can she?

Find out… when the book comes out!

Stay tuned.  This week I’ll be releasing some more writing tips for those of you that are writing novels for NaNoWriMo.  For those of you just following for the book, then there’ll be another character revealed!

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NaNoWriMo: Plot Structure

In preparation for NaNoWriMo, here are some more ideas to help you develop your story.  Now that you understand your inspiration, your character’s motivation, and your environment, it’s time to put some careful thought into the plot itself.

The Plot – In Acts

This won’t be the first time you hear of splitting up your plot into acts.  I do this very loosely, and it just flows out naturally when writing.  I just break it up simply so that I can keep in mind where I’m going when I’m writing.

Going back to the character’s motivation, what is your character’s goal?

Presumably, your character is going on a personal journey to achieve this goal.  They will meet with some resistance, something that they’ll need to overcome. Continue reading

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NaNoWriMo: Environment

As we gear up for NaNoWriMo, I’m putting some thoughts together of how I conceive of a story.  Hopefully these ideas will generate some inspiration for you as you go through your writing process.


Before digging too deep into plot, I also like to think of the environment the story will be told in.  Although the core idea of your plot will not change based on environment, the setting is the key to delivering context.

I will bow to those who decide that they want to develop plot before environment.  However I caution you that if you’re going to do it that way – sketch out a rough plot first, don’t go too far with it.  If you go too far with the plot first, then you may limit the environments that the plot would work in. Continue reading

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NaNoWriMo: Character Motivation

NaNoWriMo is fast approaching!  As we get closer to November, I’m sharing some of my insights about how I conceive and write my stories and novels.

Hopefully you’ll gain some insights by learning a bit from my process.

Character Motivation

Now that you’ve thought about what inspires you, as an author, it’s time to start thinking about your characters.  Some authors go to plot first, then fill in the characters later.  My personal preference is to really conceive of strong characters first, because I believe that with a strong enough character, you can throw your characters into any plot and just sit back and watch the plot unfold.

For me, my characters almost write the stories themselves. Continue reading

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