Guest Post: Conception – Pulling Ideas out of Thin Air By Nicolette Stephens

I’ve been working on a series of writing exercises, and I’d like to take this opportunity to share the first in the series I’m calling “Quarks”.

Quark (noun: a theoretical subatomic particle.)

In physics, quarks are contemplated as being the building blocks of hadrons. Now, physics doesn’t really have much to do with creative writing, but quark is a great word to describe all the little bits and pieces that go into creating stories. Whether it’s flash fiction, poetry, novels or plays, telling a tale requires certain elements to complete it. Quarks take these elements and explore them in bite-sized chunks that, when put together, help you to understand and build a story from conception to the end.

In this guest post for Coffee n Notes, you’ll find some exercises for finding inspiration from the world around you and crafting stories even when you don’t feel inspired.

When you decide to tell a story, you’re making a decision to translate abstract thoughts into words that others will resonate with. Sometimes this is a fairly simple process, but often, writers find themselves at a loss.

There are many reasons why this happens, but mostly it’s ascribed to a lack of inspiration, fondly named Writer’s Block. There are a lot of different theories on what causes Writer’s Block, and even more, methods to get you out of it.

One of the most popular is that you may have run out of ideas. So in this quark, we’re going to look at where you can find inspiration, which are really just ideas pulled out of thin air.

Where to find inspiration?

Inspiration isn’t a whimsical fairy that strikes whenever she feels like it. Rather, it’s akin to a puppy, which can either be left to run wild and disappear after an interesting scent ignoring all your attempts to recall it or with training and patience, will become a loyal friend, responding faithfully to your commands.

As with puppies though, training inspiration is not a one-time task. It’s a continual process that continues with regular reinforcement.

When you are inspired to create something, whether it’s a piece of writing, art or a school project; it simply means that you’ve had an idea you want to make concrete. Thoughts and ideas are abstract, but when you use them to create something, you turn them into a concrete form that can be appreciated by others.

Good ideas are considered to be as elusive as inspiration, but in general, the only thing lacking in creating an inspired idea is a process that works the majority of the time. Not everyone will think and respond the same way to the same process – if you don’t believe me, just ask people how they interpret emoticons. While some of the expressions are universal, the way people use and interpret them are often very different.

The same holds true with processes designed to inspire ideas for writers. Writing prompts work fairly often, so they’ve become very popular with writers across the board. A Google search on creative writing ideas will give you a host of different resources you can use.

In this quark though, we look at something closer to home. Your immediate environment.

If you look around you at this moment, you are surrounded by objects, places, words, people and emotions.

Exercise 1 – Bits and bobs

In this exercise, I want you to list five of each of the above from your immediate environment as I’ve done in the example below.

Objects: Pencil box, owl statue, oil paints, handkerchief, yoga mat.

Places: Field across the road, shopping mall, neighbor’s driveway, abandoned railway station, lawyer’s office.

Words: Bottle, loquacious, train, noise, birds.

People: Shoppers, young child, train passengers, pedestrian, homeless man.

Emotions: Happiness, fear, curiosity, anger, grief.

You may find that you end up linking several of the categories without meaning to because your mind will automatically form associations between items. That’s okay, use the table and split them up in their categories, or keep them in the same row if you like the association between them.

Words and objects are very similar categories, but whereas objects are commonplace things found in your immediate surroundings, words can be anything you’ve seen, heard or thought about recently.

Wherever possible, try to apply your current environment to the list. Emotions, for example, may not be what you’re currently feeling, but maybe you’ve felt them in the last few days, or it’s something you imagine someone else would have felt when you saw them in a certain situation.

Your turn: List five of each… object, place, words, people, and emotions.

Exercise 2 – What’s the catch?

Ask who, what, where, why, when and how.

The object of this exercise isn’t to ask logical questions that can be answered with the most common response. Rather, it’s designed to engage the creative side of your brain.

So for example, don’t use “who” with the “people” category for your first round of questions.

Below is an example of a question phrased for one item in each category:

Object: Owl Statue.

Question: Where did the statue come from and why is it chipped on the corner?

Place: Lawyer’s office.

Question: Why is the exterior of the building so run down for what seems to be a profitable business, given that the car that’s always parked there is a top of the line BMW?

People: Pedestrian

Question: Where was he going in such a hurry that he didn’t see the car turning the corner before he stepped out into the road?

Word: Loquacious

Question: Who would use a word like that in an everyday situation and what do they do for a living?

Emotion: Curiosity

Question: What is it about curiosity that it seems to be as contagious as yawning?

Some of these questions may end up never being used – I don’t like the one I created about curiosity for instance, so I may try to think of something else to ask that gets me a response I’m excited about, but I will only do that later, when I’ve exhausted the answers to my first questions.

Your turn: Ask a question about each of the items on your list. You can choose one item from each category, or do it for all of them dependent on how much time you have available.

Exercise 3 – Seeking Answers

The third and final exercise is when you start the process of developing your story. Although the answers to the questions you asked in Exercise 2 are kept simple, they form the basis of your plot – the hook you use to reel in an audience.

There are different methods you can use to answer the questions, and it’s a good idea to switch between them regularly when doing these exercises. Sometimes you’ll find one that works really well, and it will become a habit to use that for everything, which may result in writing which follows a predictable pattern for readers. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing – there’s not really a right or wrong in any form of art, writing included – but challenging yourself brings you out of your comfort zone and often inspires you. So don’t be afraid to try new things.

Below, I’ve used the question about the lawyer and a technique called word association to answer it:

Technique: Word Association. We’ve all played games where someone says a word, and you say the first word that pops into your head in response. This is similar, where each word builds on the last to slowly develop a story. When you run out of words, use the words you’ve come up with to piece together the full sentence.

Answer: Lawyer – criminal – defence – failed – arrested – innocent – broke. The lawyer is a criminal defence lawyer who failed to get his client acquitted. The client was actually innocent but went to jail for a crime he didn’t commit. The lawyer is broke which is why his business is falling apart.

Expensive car – gift – client – wife of client – actual criminal – secret. The car is a gift from his client – the wife of the man who was wrongfully convicted. The wife is the true criminal and is sleeping with the lawyer who was a good friend of the couple’s before their affair. He knows her secret and is beginning to reconsider his actions.

Your turn: Choose a technique and answer the questions you asked about your items in Exercise 2.    

This brings us to the end of Quark 1 – Conception. I hope you’ve found it useful and would love to hear all about your experiences working through the exercises.

Why don’t you share an example of your own in the comments below?

Nicolette Stephens Bio

Nicolette Stephens

Dreams and storytelling have always been a part of my life, and as a writer, I know the pitfalls involved in trying to publish. This led to the creation of Chasing Dreams Publishing, where I aim to help other writers share their stories.

There is nothing more exciting than seeing a story unfold on the page, and even more so when it gets published! After years working in the corporate world, I decided it was time to strike out and fulfill my dreams of writing full time.

On a daily basis, I’m inspired by people who chase their dreams (whether or not they’re related to writing), and this inspiration translates to my stories, workshops and writing groups.

Jozi Flash is a product of this inspiration.

About the book

Guest Post, Coffee n' Notes

It’s not quite the Gummi Bears, but it certainly bounces around a lot.

Jozi Flash 2017 combines the talents of ten brilliant authors with one gifted artist, to bring you a collection of 80 flash fiction stories across eight different genres.

From a children’s story about the folly of summoning dragons, to the horrors held in deliciously treacherous ice cream, the authors take you on journeys that weave fantasy and folklore together alongside practical detectives and everyday tragedy.

With stunning artwork prompts by Nico Venter, these South African authors have created an anthology that will leave you breathless.

Goodreads / My Book Review / Chasing Dreams Publishing

As always, thank you so much for reading ❤

GalitLet’s chat on:

Twitter / Instagram / Facebook / Tumblr

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Last Minute NanoWrimo Prep

Hey all, I hope you are all having a good day and if you are participating in NaNoWriMo then here are some quick and easy steps you can do to ensure you will have a better start to your NaNoWriMo experience 😀

If you want to see me last year’s Last Minute Nanowrimo Prep, check it out as I am sure you will find a tip or two help you relax and feel prepared.

This year I am looking at things in a different way and I hope this will help you too 🙂

Last minute organization

If you haven’t done you outline like I’ve suggested in my Nanowrimo prep, you can use this last day to do a fast outline and have a quick know of what you gonna write about. Research only the key things you’ll need in order to keep on writing. you can always go back and do more research.

Put everything you need to do this month in your calendar/planner/bullet journal, that way you will have a better understanding when you can write.

Organize your space where are mostly going to write and if it’s your bed, try to make it nice and tidy every day so that you will have an amazing feeling sitting there and write.

Don’t start at midnight

There are a lot of Nanowrimo addicts that will start as soon as the clock hits 12, don’t! Go to sleep and when you wake up you are fresh and ready to start your writing.

Twitter

Twitter is your friend here (I know… it sounds weird), during Nanowrimo, you will find a lot of people on twitter doing words sprints and this is your time to follow a few of these sprints and a few nice people to connect with. As I wrote in my 4 Nanowrimo Tips last year, using the sprints will help you write faster and more words.

Google Drive

As Twitter, google drive is your best friend, lol. If you put your work on google drive you are automatically synced to everywhere and so you can write from everywhere, even from your phone.

The “Nanowrimo” app

There is a Nanowrimo companion you can find in the app store. You can see in the widgets your daily word count and your overall word count, this keeps you motivated and always thinking about your novel 😀

Be zen about it, hehe

Try journaling while before the madness starts to clear your mind of all the things that are bothering you throughout your day, I will highly recommend to do it even while you are doing Nanowrimo (it helps a lot).

Meditate to calm your inner self. I know how it sounds, lol, but calming yourself down will keep you focused on what you want and even let you figure things out when you’re in a bit of a rut, so keep doing even a 2 minutes meditation every night before sleep, will help you a lot during all this craziness 😀

Stock up

find some yummy healthy and not so healthy, hehe food to stock up when the time will come and lots of coffee/tea, that way you will always have some good crunchy food to each while fighting to write a scene or just in a mini-blackout.

Take a deep breath and embrace the madness and have fun, after all that’s why we are doing it the passion for writing ❤

Are you participating in Nanowrimo this year?

 

As always, thank you so much for reading and don’t forget to add me as a NaNo buddy ❤

GalitLet’s chat on:

Twitter / Instagram / Facebook / Tumblr / Me On NaNoWriMo

Book Review: Jozi Flash 2017 Blog Tour

Hey everyone, this is a way overdue book review and I am sending my apologies to everyone who participated in the book tour and to the authors themselves for my late review. But it’s finally here, hehe, and before I’ll start my review, I have to say that I enjoyed reading these stories very much and I am excited to review this book 😀

I received this book from the lovely Rachel Poli for an honest review and be part of the blog tour. Thank you, Rachel for your kindness and patience and for this lovely book ❤

Author: Ten Authors: Christelle Bloem, Candice Burger, Justin J., Carin Marais, Elliot P. McGee, Nthato Morakabi, Liam Selby, Nicolette Stephens, Nicola Tapson, Kim Wainer.
Pages: 174 Pages
Genre: Flash Fiction
Publication Date: January 31st, 2018
Publisher: Chasing Dreams Publishing

ozi Flash Blog Tour, Book review

Blurb

It’s not quite the Gummi Bears, but it certainly bounces around a lot.

Jozi Flash 2017 combines the talents of ten brilliant authors with one gifted artist, to bring you a collection of 80 flash fiction stories across eight different genres.

From a children’s story about the folly of summoning dragons to the horrors held in deliciously treacherous ice cream, the authors take you on journeys that weave fantasy and folklore together alongside practical detectives and everyday tragedy.

With stunning artwork prompts by Nico Venter, these South African authors have created an anthology that will leave you breathless.

Review
5 Stars

I will not choose a story to review, I will review it as a whole collection 😀 Because each story is a unique story by itself with its own style and genre I want to review this as an entire collection.

Some stories were emotional, while others were fun, cute and even horror. This anthology was beautifully made from the gorgeous cover to the amazing and fun stories. You get immersed immediately into a new world and new characters and you get to read different genres that to my surprise I LOVED IT 😉

The prompts and the illustrations were perfect and everything had a feel of writer’s journal (but in a very good way). Each author did an amazing job with his/her writing, making the short story fly by fast.

Overall, I loved the book, it was short and fun to read and I highly recommend it to everyone who loves to read short stories and fiction. You can even choose the right story for you by your favorite genre or by your current mood.

You can find the book over at:

GoodreadsChasing Dreams Publishing

As always, thank you so much for reading ❤

GalitLet’s chat on:

Patreon / Twitter / Instagram / Facebook / Tumblr

Top 6 TV shows I Watched & Loved This Year

Happy Tuesday everyone ❤

Today is a very cloudy day but is also a hot day (weird) and all I want to do is curled up with a good TV show or a book and not do any of the tasks on my overflowing to-do list, but the work needs to be done 😀 I thought it would be fun if I’ll share with you my top 6 favorite shows I saw this year. Now there’re a lot more shows I watched and loved (like Glow, Supernatural, The Big Bang, Young Sheldon, and many more) but these are my top 6 TV shows.

The Good Place

The Good Place, Coffee n' Notes

This show is funny and weird (in a good way) and it is taking the whole human behaviors, heaven and hell into a higher level, I love it. If you don’t know anything about this show, I highly recommend this one 😀

The Handmaid’s Tale

The Handmaid's Tale, Coffee n' Notes

I think everyone heard of this tv show, it already impacted tons of people all around the globe. This show hits you hard and fast, that sometimes I think this could actually be a reality someday. This show makes you feel everything, and it makes you think a lot of our own little world and how things can change.

Westworld

Westworld, Coffee n' Notes

I loved… LOVED the first season but the second season was good as well, just not as great as the first season for me at least, but I still want to see how things will develop.

Doctor Who

Doctor Who, Coffee n' Notes

I am a huge doctor who fan – HUGE. And I love the new doctor as well, she may not be David Tennant, lol, but she is corky and wired, just like the doctor should be, so I can’t wait to see where this season will continue to.

Stranger Things

Stranger Things, Coffee n' Notes

The 80’s vibes and monsters, what’s not to love? I can’t wait for the season to start.

Marvel’s Jessica Jones

Jessica Jones

I am so hyped for this show, I love the dark story and the action. It’s a show that just had to enter the list.

So these are my top tv shows, in an overflowing list of great tv shows, hope you liked my list and I can’t wait to read what’s in yours 😀

What is your favorite TV show you’ve watched this year?

As always, thank you so much for reading ❤

GalitLet’s chat on:

Patreon / Twitter / Instagram / Facebook / Tumblr / Nanowrimo

19 Before 2019

Hey everyone, I hope you are all having a great weekend ❤

I am feeling tons better and it finally rained here and a lot. It was amazing, our first real rain storm and it felt great. I love the smell of rain and how everything looks so beautiful and crisp after the rain.

We have only 2 and a half month before 2019 and I truly want to do a few more things before the end of the year. I saw this 19 before 2019 circling around the internet and I thought I would give it a try. Now I am sure that most of you know just how much I love a good list (hehe) and so of course, I’ve made myself a list of 19 things I want to finish, do, or continue doing before 2019.

Here are my 19 things I want to do before 2019

  1. Read 10 books 😀
  2. Finish outlining the series, enough with the dilly-dally.
  3. Declutter the entire kitchen (I can’t wait to do this, maybe even this Tuesday) 😉
  4. Declutter the entire closets room (I am so dreading this one).
  5. Start doing yoga (again – daily).
  6. Win Nanowrimo.
  7. Write in December.
  8. Let go of any toxic, unsupportive people in my life (started on this already, it feels amazing).
  9. Blog 3 times a week (already on it) 😀
  10. Journal daily.
  11. Drink more water (2L) I started a monthly challenge to drink 2L of water everyday 🙂
  12. Consum less and create more (I’ve taken a break from my social media for a bit so I can write and edit more).
  13. Meditate every evening before bed (already started on this).
  14. Sleep more (at least 6-8 hours a day).
  15. Once a week, pick a day to pamper yourself and do some self-care (oh how much I need this) ❤
  16. Pick after myself every day and put things where they belong.
  17. Try coloring again or just doodling, I missed it.
  18. Continue learning a language or two (I took a small break but I already continuing learning) 😉
  19. Be a better friend to other and be kinder to myself ❤

Well, this is my very long and a bit weird list, lol. Hope you all got inspired and maybe even make your own list of things you wish to accomplish before 2019.

What would you like to accomplish before 2019 is here?

 

As always, thank you so much for reading ❤

GalitLet’s chat on:

Patreon / Twitter / Instagram / Facebook / Tumblr / Nanowrimo

The Autumn Tag

Hey everyone, I hope you are having a great day, I’m a little sick right now but enjoying the timeout and the rest ❤

I always loved to post tags, they are so fun and always makes me happy seeing how other people answer. So, when I saw this cute tag over at Bournemouth Girl and I knew I have to do it. If you don’t know Lauren or her fun blog, go check her blog and don’t forget to say hello 😀

Grab a cup of coffee/tea and let’s start 🙂

1. What signifies the start of Autumn for you?

As soon as October arrives I know that autumn will follow, hehe. The days are becoming shorter and in the evenings there’s a cold breeze, even if the day was hot.

2. What is your favorite Autumn scent?

To be honest I don’t have any autumn specific candles but I do love the smell of cinnamon and vanilla during this time.

3. What is your favorite Autumn color?

I love greys for clothing in Autumn and this year I going to buy a few grey new clothing items, I can’t wait ❤

4. What is your favorite Autumn drink?

I love flavored coffee and tea and of course hot chocolates (come on… who can resist a yummy hot chocolate?).

5. What T.V. show new or old, are you looking forward to this Autumn?

Hmmm, I don’t have a specific TV show for this season, but I love The Good Place, The Big Bang Theory, Supernatural, and I can’t wait to watch Camping (I am looking forward to seeing it) ❤

6. What is your favorite Autumn fashion trend?

I’m very basic with my clothing. I love jeans with my brown boots and a grey or dark simple t-shirt and a jacket. Something like this 😀

7. What is your favorite Autumn activity?

Cozy evenings at home with my husband with a cup of tea, watching a movie together or a TV show ❤

8. What is your favorite make up look in Autumn weather?

I am not wearing much makeup but if I do it’s in the shades of brown or nudes.

9. What is your favorite Autumnal movie?

Omg, I love You’ve Got Mail and Pride and Prejudice.

10. Best way to spend a rainy day?

Wow. A rainy day at home always means writing, lol ❤ A cozy day inside with my laptop, writing, plotting and maybe watch friends, hehe. However, if my husband is at home than curled up under a blanket together watching something or gaming together 😀

What is your favorite Autumn activity?

As always, thank you so much for reading ❤

GalitLet’s chat on:

Patreon / Twitter / Instagram / Facebook / Tumblr

Author Interview With Thomas Josef

Welcome to Coffee n’ Notes. Today, I’d like to welcome Thomas Josef, author of Incoming! Secrets of a contract warrior in Afghanistan, for an author Interview.

About the author

Author Interview, Coffee n' Notes Thomas Josef is a native of Wisconsin and a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin. In his mid-twenties, he hiked the 2000+ mile epic Appalachian Train from Georgia to Maine and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Tunisia, North Africa. He studied Spanish in Mexico, Guatemala, and Ecuador. With his passion for travel and adventure, he took a military contractor position with a Fortune 500 engineering and construction company to serve the Warfighters of Afghanistan. This is his story of that time and his first book.

Hello, Thomas. Thank you for being here today at Coffee n’ Notes 🙂

Please tell us a little bit about yourself. [This can be a quick blurb of the kinds of books you write, etc.]

 I was born and raised in Wisconsin and I’m a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin. I took a little time off between my sophomore and junior year of college to hike the epic 2000+ mile Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine.

From 1989 to 1991, I served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Tunisia, North Africa as a community service worker helping local farmers manage greenhouses. We were ordered out of the region by decree of the State Department because of the initial Iraq-Kuwait conflict that escalated to the Gulf War.

With my Peace Corps assignment cut short and the US being at the brink of war, I decided to travel to Mexico and Central America where tensions were much more subdued. I learned Spanish in Mexico and Guatemala. When I returned to the states, I endured my career with the State of Texas and continued to reside in Austin.

After nearly ten years of service to the state, I was looking for a change in my career and one that would offer a good compensation package and travel opportunities. I decided to take a military contractor position with a Fortune 500 engineering and construction company to help serve the Warfighters of Afghanistan. During that time I started to write about daily accounts that became the premise of my book.

 Describe your book in 1-2 sentences.

My book is a memoir of true-life unique experiences under extraordinary circumstance. I talk about the everyday life as a military contractor in Afghanistan: the interesting people, libidinous love affairs, and fun events that helped me keep my sanity, perspective, and peace of mind while working in a war zone.

Do you have any writing rituals or habits?

I tend to write on the fly when the mood strikes and I want to share an interesting story or experience.

What is your writing process like?

I write when stories need to be told and I have the time to tell them. When I put the pen to paper – so to speak – I relive the moment with a detailed, step-by-step description of what’s taking place or about to take place. Sometimes I add comment, speculation or a bit of my dry sense of humor.

Where did you get your book idea from?

It’s a memoir and I wanted to share some of my thoughts and feelings of war that are not shared in newspapers or magazines, how I was able to find peace and happiness in a place that reminds us of dark and gloom almost every day, and that it’s more about the journey, not the destination.

What is your favorite place to write?

Because I am task-oriented, I like to write at a desk or table where I can stay focused.

Just for fun … pick your favorite color, animal, and food.

My favorite color is blue. My favorite animal would have to be a dog. And my favorite food is nicely seasoned and grilled ribeye steak with a glass of Argentine Malbec wine!

What is the best advice you’ve been given?

If you want to do something, do it. Don’t wait for anyone to do it with you because you’ll probably still be waiting.

Do you have any advice for an aspiring author?

As a friend and fellow author told me, “Everyone has a story to share; share yours”. I pay that forward to the next aspiring author!

You can find his book Incoming! Secrets of a contract warrior in Afghanistan By Thomas Josef 

Incoming! Secrets of a contract warrior in Afghanistan, Coffee n' Notes

On Amazon / On Goodreads

Thank you so much to Thomas for being here at Coffee n’ Note, I loved having him here and I hope you enjoyed his interview, as much as I did 😀

 As always, thank you so much for reading ❤

GalitLet’s chat on:

Patreon / Twitter / Instagram / Facebook / Tumblr

October Goals & TBR

Hey everyone, I hope you are all having a great start to October ❤

We are already two weeks deep in October and even though I didn’t accomplish much, I still accomplished a few things that were very important to me, however, there are still a few things I want to finish or start, so I thought why not share my October goals with you 😉 and see how I will finish this month.

October = Fall to me and soon winter will come as well (omg how I want winter to come). You can already feel the air cooling down a bit and the days are getting shorter, which for a lot of people I know is not a great thing but for me it’s amazing. It is a sign that winter is closer than ever and maybe, just maybe this heat will soon be over (fingers crossed). Fall for me is cozy blankets, yummy hot drinks, and lots of reading.

I accomplished a small daily routine that helps me get up early in most of the days and even in the evening, I have a routine that let’s be more organized and productive. How amazing is that?

If you want to know more of my new morning and evening routine, let me know in the comments or through my social media and I will post a morning and evening routine for you all to see and maybe it will help you if you are struggling. (wouldn’t mind any tips as well if you want to share) 😀

But for now, let’s start this post with my monthly goals.

My October Goals are:

  1. Re-organizing my summer to fall/winter closet.
  2. Re-organize kitchen cabinets.
  3. Finish outlining the series.
  4. Continue editing (2 chapters at least).
  5. Prepare for NaNoWriMo (oh yeah, this year I am all in).
  6. Finish all my commitments before Nanowrimo.
  7. Read 8 books (OMG, yes… 8 books, hehe) 😀

Books I’m reading this month

I haven’t read much lately, I was in a huge reading slump due to all the stress and this month I want to do 3 reading marathons to kick start my new reading 🙂

The week (14.10-20.10), I want to marathon read Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children Series By Ransom Riggs for the fourth book A Map of Days that just came out (I can’t wait to read it).

Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children Series, Coffee n' Notes

Next week (21.10-27.10) I want to marathon read The Boahim Series By Raven Oak. The first book was amazing ❤

The Boahim Series, Coffee n' Notes

For the last week of October (28.10-30.10) and for Halloween, I want to read 2 more books (why am doing this to myself, lol?)

Toil and Trouble, Coffee n' Notes Shadow of the Fox, Coffee n' Notes

These are my very ambitious goals and huge TBR, but I know if I will push myself I will be able to achieve most of them, and maybe even all 🙂

What are you reading? Any goals you wish to accomplish this month?

As always, thank you so much for reading ❤

GalitLet’s chat on:

Patreon / Twitter / Instagram / Facebook / Tumblr / Nanowrimo

NaNoWriMo Prep: Using October to start writing again

Hey everyone, I hope you are all doing okay ❤

NaNoWriMo is less than a month away and October is the month to start writing again or just give yourself a boost of motivation to continue your on-going project. I am (still) in my editing phase so I will continue on with my own writing project in hopes to finally put a serious dent in my edits.

If you don’t know what NaNoWriMo is, then let me explain it to you… Nanowrimo is National Novel Writing Month that comes every year on November. In this nano month, you will try to write 50K in one month 😀 If you’re gasping of shock right now and thinking that it’s way too hard, then let me tell you that it is hard and it is madness, but that’s the entire fun of this. The point is to write and not think of what your novel will look like (that’s editing for).

Last year and a few years back I wrote a few NaNoWriMo Prep Posts that might spark your creativity and prepare you for what is coming, especially if you are new to Nanowrimo and not so familiar with what is Nanowrimo 😉

Here is my checklist, that helps me stay on track with my writing through Nanowrimo and preparing for it

Know what you gonna write about

Use this month to know what you’re going to write about. Try imagining your world, your characters, the theme of the entire plot. At first, it’s okay to write just a name, a place or a sentence of the plot. The more you write whatever comes to your mind the more good ideas will flow out and spark your Imagination and let it run wild.

Outline

I said this a lot but it’s true, outlining your novel truly helps, especially after the midpoint of your novel. So… Outline your nano novel as much as you can. My outline is about 40 pages and in many times more than 60 pages long (lol, wow… I need help). So do as much outlining as you can this month until you know all the characters, places, plots, and even some subplots 😉

Research

Don’t be lazy and do the work. Research about places, or people.
Listen to some conversation near you, hehe (I know it sounds weird and intrusive but it helps a lot) then, write down some key notes about what stood out in your eyes.
If your book is more on the sci/fi or Fantasy research about that subject, and try to create as many details as you can because when Nanowrimo arrive you will not have any time to do all this and you will have a much easier time writing down almost 2K a day, every day.

Connect

Go now to nano site and connect with other writers. you can find groups in your local area or just add writing buddies to help you be more motivated throughout the month, and do some sprints with them.

Take a break

In the week before nano or even just a couple of days before, take a break and enjoy your freedom, it will be your last chance for some free time for 30 days, hehe 😀

Embrace the madness

Don’t think of how it will turn out, no one has to see it. Enjoy the community and the madness of writing sprints with other writers and race towards your goal of writing 50,000 words a month. Ready to have some fun? 

This what I do every year, and it helps me get on track when I feel stuck or just have fun and write with other writers out there, so I hope it will help you too.

After all, as writers we mostly tend to do our craft alone and once in a year it’s so much fun to just embrace the madness of Nano and enjoy the wonderful community ❤ Btw, I’ve made this for NaNoWriMo last year, to put on my phone and on my Instagram and other social media, feel free to download it and use it 😀

Link to download this cute nano picture here: Nanowrimo Pic 😀 Have fun downloading it and, I hope you’ll enjoy using it.

As always, thank you so much for reading ❤

GalitLet’s chat on:

Patreon / Twitter / Instagram / Facebook / Tumblr / Nanowrimo

Guest Post: Unexpected, Exciting Developments By M. J. Mallon

I am thrilled to say that I have outlined the major events in Book Two in the series – The Curse of Time. So, if you haven’t read The Curse of Time Book One Bloodstone now’s the time to do so!

During this process, I stumbled upon a plot development idea that shocked me. I’d started writing the bare bones of the ending of book two and then POW it hit me. I can’t divulge what my idea is for fear of spoiling it for you, but I can say that it will take the story on an unexpected pathway into a potential book three.

This Kapow aspect of writing excites, empowers and intrigues me.

During the creative process of writing The Curse of Time Book One Bloodstone, I didn’t plot much at all. I wrote from a reservoir of my imagination. I had to restructure a lot, but this meant that TCOT is a highly imaginative concept.

My reviewers have been saying lots of wonderful things about TCOT.

Here are just a couple of review quote snippets:

‘This is a brilliant book for young adults interested in magic, supernatural, paranormal, fantasy and myth. I found it highly readable and the author’s imagination is phenomenal, as is the fluency of her language and the dazzling way she describes the curious events and characters in her story. I loved the idea of Esme, the girl trapped in the mirror.’

S C Skillman, author

‘The curse of time is a beautifully written book. I really enjoyed M.J. Mallon’s style of writing and the beautiful characters she created. Even though aimed at the YA audience I enjoyed it and found myself totally engrossed.

The story is almost dreamlike, very addictive and quirky. I loved all the references to crystals and the magical element. I was keen to find out the mystery linked to Amelina’s Dad’s disappearance and eventual reappearance. This is such a mixing pot of delights, you have gorgeous poetry scattered throughout, a girl stuck in a mirror and a magically enchanted paint set and this is the tip of the iceberg!’ Lisa, Book Addiction UK.

One of my subsidiary characters became far more important. In fact, she became one of my favourite characters.

Let me introduce you to Esme.

Portrait of Esme – Copyright artist Carolina Russo – https://yesterdayafter.com/

Imaginative Developments: Mental Health and Entrapment

  • I had an idea to write about a girl trapped in a mirror and Esme became that girl. I realized she needed to be more interesting and defined. I struggled with this for some time. Then, during the writing process, I had a Eureka moment – I decided to link the mirror girl Esme’s imprisonment to mental health.

Mental Health is a form of entrapment. A person who is suffering from mental health problems isn’t free. They are unable to live life to the full as fear anxiety, depression and mental health issues hold them back. Esme is that person. She is a prisoner in the mirrors of Amelina’s house and she is also imprisoned by her mental health issues. Esme is a victim of a curse but prior to her imprisonment, she had also been stuck in a vicious circle of self-harm.

Esme became the character I longed for – a character with huge potential for truth, hope, and discussion. I now have so many ways to portray her and…

The reader will be able to see her journey throughout the series.

Will Esme recover from her self-harm?

Will she escape the imprisonment of the curse?

Will I be able to help Esme feel good about herself?

Esme’s character will allow an open and frank discussion on the crucially important topic of mental health/self-harm/depression/anxiety which matters so much to me.

Esme also features in book two, with an emphasis on recovery and hope along with all the original cast of book one.

Imaginative Developments: Crystals

  • Wow, I just love them. I have a lovely collection at home. So it’s no surprise that there’s a magical crystal cottage in The Curse of Time. But, this haven of beauty, light, and magic isn’t open to everyone. No way! It’s strictly by invitation only. My main protagonist, fifteen-year-old Amelina Scott is allowed to visit but will Ryder creep in? Wait and see… There will be some amazing developments with regard to the cottage in Book Two. Expect twin doors…

Imaginative Developments: Tattoos and Art

  • Tattoos. This is hysterical. What can you do with tattoos in a fantasy novel? Perhaps you can cover your villain with them. Hey, maybe you can bring those tattoos alive, and link those black tattoos to shadows. Perhaps you can take this further and make them smoking hot! Interesting… Now, how cool is that?

Just imagine what fun I can have with tattoos in future books… Oh my!

(I have a thing about bringing art alive and this is also portrayed in the Creature of The Cottage.)

Portrait of The Creature – copyright artist Carolina Russo – https://yesterdayafter.com/

Imaginative Developments: Clocks and Rollercoasters

There are three wonderful Chronopage clock creations invented by Dr. John C Taylor, OBE http://www.johnctaylor.com/who I had the pleasure of meeting in September 2017.

The magnificent grasshopper lives in King’s Parade in Cambridge, and features in Book One. The midsummer Chronopage showcases a mythological fly and the dragon Chronopage is, of course, a dragon. Look at that pearl on the dragon’s tongue! I can’t wait to write about the mythological fly and the dragon in the next two books in the series.

In the meantime, I have plans for the grasshopper to come alive and get up to a bunch of mischief in Book Two.

Aren’t they stunning?

http://johnctaylor.com

And … there will be an epic rollercoaster in Book Two and some riddles…

If you like fantasy, adore Dr. Who (like I do,) I hope you will give The Curse of Time a try.

Don’t forget to check out Marjorie’s Interview and Book review 😀

As always, thank you so much for reading ❤

GalitLet’s chat on:

Patreon / Twitter / Instagram / Facebook / Tumblr