Preparing for NaNoWriMo! #Preptober

We’re already into the second week of October! For anyone in the writing community, you may know this means you only have about three weeks until NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). Writers brave enough are going to somehow manage to write 50k words in a single month! I’ve never done NaNoWriMo myself because the timing is always terrible, and this year because of final semester craziness I won’t be able to participate again, but I will be taking part in #Preptober. October is the month that is dedicated to preparing to write an entire novel in a month. Tamera Woods, also known as PenPaperPad, is hosting a huge collab of YouTubers where we’ll all be posting videos about what you should be doing to prepare for NaNoWriMo. Some videos have already been posted, so here is the playlist which will have all the videos added to them as they come along:

Along with the 2016 #Preptober playlist:

I’ll be creating a video for #Preptober which will be going out October 23rd, but until then I wanted to cover some basic tips on preparing for NaNoWriMo! You can also catch me on Instagram talking about #Preptober in the last week of October talking about last minute tips before NaNoWriMo goes full swing! And in November I’ll be your writing coach, posting every day on Instagram giving writing tips!

To have the best chance of winning NaNoWriMo here’s what you’re going to want to figure out in the month of October, that way when November comes along, you don’t have to think about the story, you just have to writ it!

  • Choose a Story– Odds are, you’ll have a lot of stories floating around in your head. Find the story that calls to you the most and commit to it. NaNoWriMo is no place for abandoning novels because you get a better idea.
  • Braindump– Any ideas you have for your novel, good or bad, write them down!
  • Narrow Down– those ideas you just jumped? Time to figure out just how good they are. Start playing around with the idea
  • Characterize– Figure out what characters will be in your book. Choose their names, features, odd habits. Spoiler alert: this is the topic I’ll be covering in my #Preptober video later this month!
  • Outline– Now that you have your characters, it’s time to find your story. Let your characters lead the way and allow the story to form.
  • Notebook– Buy a notebook that is small enough to carry with you everywhere. You’ll thank me for this later.
  • Clear Your Schedule– I hope you had no plans for November because you’ll be doing a lot of writing and very little socializing, but it will be worth it, or just imagine the bragging right!

Alright, get to prepping! Who’s participating in NaNoWriMo this year?

 

 

Novel Editing: QUESTION EVERYTHING

I’ve found that I’m pretty good at editing someone else’s stories, but not my own. Of course the solution is to pretend I wasn’t the one who write the story, but that’s easier said than done. The first trick to achieving this is to just let my manuscript sit for a little bit so I actually do forget what I wrote, this way when I do go to edit, it’s with open eyes. When I go to edit I want to look for inconsistencies in the story and simple mistakes.

Now this is where things get a little hard. You have to go through your manuscript line by line editing, and almost make it a game to find as many mistakes as possible. If you don’t find many, go through it again. This is going to be a lot of work, but I promise you it will make you a better writer. The more scribbles you have on your page, the better. This way when you hand your manuscript to your editor or beta reader they won’t have as much to edit And can give you better quality feedback. After all, if you give them a sloppy manuscript, they want to edit for you again.

Organizing for Less Stress

My life is pretty hectic and I also have a tiny OCD problem in the fact that I love to organize things. Like, a lot. I love labels and draws and containers, and I LOVE planners. You guys have seen my Erin Condren planner a few times now, but I also have a permanent planner that I use for my permanent schedule like work, classes, and when I go to the gym (because otherwise I wouldn’t go).

How I organize my Erin Condren planner and time management: https://mandilynn.com/2014/10/10/time-management/

Get your own Erin Condren planner: https://www.erincondren.com/

Get printable weekly planners: http://elizaellis.blogspot.com.au/2016/03/free-printable-irma-weekly-planners.html

Grammar at its Finest- Tense & POV

Time for a grammar lesson! Today we get to talk about all the different types of tenses you can write in!

Past tense– most traditional type of tense in writing

Present tense– seen a lot in the YA genre

Points of View!

1st person– I, me, my; talking about yourself.

2nd person– you; written like a letter, talking to the reader.

3rd person– she, he, they; an outsider’s perspective, the narrator.

Things get really complicated after this but this is how in-depth we’re going today to keep things simple.

I used to write in 1st person present, which is really odd for people to read sometimes because it’s not super common. But a lot of YA novels write like that, so that’s how I started writing in 1st person present. These days I write in 3rd person past. My writing has matured and shifted, and so has the genre I write in. Because I’m beginning to write more complex novels, I can’t tell a story through 1st person point of view.

There’s lot of different ways to tell a story. You just have play around and see which tense and POV fits your style and your story. What tense and POV do you write in?

 

Marketing Your Novel || Self-Publishing

Oh marketing. It is a headache and a half. There’s so much to do, so much to learn! And the market is constantly changing so once you feel like you understand how it works, you have to change your game plan again. So read some good books on marketing to keep your head in the game.

And then there’s the must have’s:

-social media accounts (don’t do all of them, only choose a few!)

-posting on a regular basis

-a website that links back to everything

-cohesive design

I wrote a guest post on marketing on Teen Authors Journal, check it out! http://www.teenauthorsjournal.com/so-you-want-to-sell-your-book/

Books Mentioned:

How to Market a Book by Joanna Penn

Platform (Get Noticed in a Noisy World) by Michael Hyatt

 

Check out another video on marketing!

Ebooks are EVIL!

Ebooks. The essence of all that is evil.

Okay, maybe that is an exaggeration. In truth, ebooks are really great, but they’ll never be as good as a real paperback or hardback book. I love the feel of books in my hands and how they smell. And let’s not forget how you can have your very own library if you collect enough books. My goal in life is to have my own library. But of course ebooks are compact, light, and do give great convenience, but you won’t check me with them too often. $9.99 for a digital copy of a book? No thank you.

 

More Books in the Mail! || BookCase Club Feb. 2017

Now who doesn’t love getting books in the mail? Check out all the boxes available and be sure to use the code Mandi15 at check to receive 15% off your order!
Books Mentioned in this video:
Revolution 19 by Greg Rosenblum
Blonde Ops by Charlotte Bennardo & Natalie Zaman

Sign up for BookCase Club: http://bit.ly/2ljr9R3
Use the code Mandi15 to get 15% off your purchase!

Must Read Love Stories!

Happy Valentine’s Day! Today we’re here to celebrate love, even if it’s fiction love! So cuddle up to your book boyfriend and take read!

Books Mentioned:

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Fallen by Lauren Kate

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Every Day by David Levithan

The Selection by Kiera Cass

Love, Rosie by Cecelia Ahern

I’m a Professional Writer?

Last week your guys heard me talk about my job a little bit and how I do a lot of non-fiction writing for it. In case you didn’t know I work as a marketing and PR intern at a large hospital in Massachusetts. I’ve been able to learn an endless amount of skills from this job, from marketing press releases, to just the ins and outs of working in a corporate world. Some of these skills I’ve even been able to incorporate into my novel marketing (it would be more helpful of course if I had a little more time to implement these skills).

 

Fiction VS. Non-Fiction Writing

Fiction or non-fiction? I’ve done both, but I’m definitely biased when it comes to fiction. I’ve written two novels (hopefully three someday) and although I write non-fiction on a weekly basis for my job, I don’t always enjoy. To me, non-fiction has more rules to follow and it always feels more uptight. I just love the free-flow of fiction and the endless possibilities. So I say fiction is my favorite genre to write in, but what’s yours?