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I know sometimes the holidays can get a bit boring if you are on your own or not seeing many visitors or even just missing doing what you love…….writing!
I have an exercise for the ones that would like to do something creative, this is, as always, a choice so stay calm and just write. Even if you don’t have time to edit, that’s ok as you are writing and that’s what you love to do.
These three photos are the prompts so pick one of them and write something, this can be a story, poem or prose but no more than roughly 2,000 words. If you are a planner of any sort could we see your planning when you read the story to us, this is optional but might give someone a helping hand or ideas of how they could plan a story. Or do you want to try planning? This is a good place to have a go, as I am sure we will have a good Q&A when we read the stories, which will be on the 13th January 2022.
For the illustrator’s, would you combine these photos for a book cover or just use one? Describe how you would go about doing a front cover using these pictures, you will have to make up the genre or title so we know how the cover goes with the story.
Have fun, we look forward to reading some in the new year.
On the 9th December from 6pm, we will be having our end-of-year celebration with a Christmas buffet. Everybody is welcome including partners and if you are thinking about joining the group then pop along and meet us all during a relaxed and friendly evening. There will be a nominal charge per person which Matt is working out from The Hideaway.
The members will each be writing a verse for a Christmas card which we will share during the evening.
Our two anthologies will be for sale, Ghosts By The Sea and Doorways To The Sea also if any members would like to bring a couple of their own books so others can see what they have done and buy them or get the link from yourselves then that would be great.
This will be a good time to get to know others from the group and maybe discuss any ideas for next year.
Our next group meeting is on the 4th November starting at 6pm for people to get a drink, network and eat, then we start the meeting about 6.45
Our topic for the evening is emotions, the task set by Andy will be to write about 100 words transferring from one emotion to another. If you use any books like the one above please bring them along to share with your work.
For those of you that don’t know, NaNoWriMo is a month-long writing challenge that takes place every year in November. The challenge is to write a 50,000-word novel in 30 days, which works out to about 1,666 words a day.
With such an intense daily word count, the idea is that you are solely focusing on getting that crappy first draft down on paper. No rewriting. No editing. Those are things that come later. For now, you just write the story. And, if you’re writing 50,000 words in a month, a lot of those words are going to be crappy. And that is okay. It’s good, even.
Prepare Your Writing Environment
Where will you write? How will you write?
Decide this now, before November gets into full swing, and you’ll be setting yourself up for success.
In the interest of speed, most NaNoers choose to type their manuscripts—there are a few brave souls who write longhand, but not many, the choice is yours and what you feel comfortable doing.
Set up your computer so that you have good ergonomics and aren’t risking carpal tunnel syndrome or other issues from typing so much in a harmful way. Review these great stretches for writers and take the time to use them every hour or so, or when you start and finish a writing session.
Try to find a calm, quiet place to do your writing. If possible, set up a dedicated writing nook so that you can psychologically get into the mindset to focus on your writing whenever you go there. It’ll help you get more done!
Prepare Your People
Prepping to do NaNo the right way isn’t just a matter of getting your space set up—you’ll also need to prepare the people in your life for the challenge you’re about to undertake.
Have a frank discussion with your family, close friends, and maybe even your boss or co-workers about what you’re planning.
Let them know that you may not be available as much as usual, and that you’ll need more advance warning of events and activities that they want you to participate in.
At work, try to plan ahead so that you have extra lead time for crucial projects and don’t drop the ball because you’re busy thinking about and writing your novel. Let your co-workers know that you won’t be joining them for lunch most days, but make plans to stay engaged.
Let your family know they’ll have to take on more for themselves this month—you might not be packing all the lunches, walking the dog, and vacuuming everything every day.
Some NaNoers have found that November is a great time to teach their families to contribute more around the house; by being clear about the need to write and treating NaNo like a job or other key responsibility, they’re able to get other members of the household to contribute more. After November, you can keep up that momentum and use the newfound time to edit your book or write another one! Never feel guilty about writing, use your passion to push ahead and do what you would like to do during November.
Do Your Pre-Writing Work
The timer for NaNoWriMo starts at midnight on November 1—but that doesn’t mean that you can’t prep for it in advance.
A lot of the work of writing a novel actually happens before you write the first word of prose.
That’s not breaking the rules—you’re not cheating by outlining and creating character maps, inspiration boards, etc. before November 1. You just can’t start writing the actual narrative until then.
What kinds of things can you prepare in advance?
Choosing a genre
Brainstorming and mind mapping ideas
Creating a general plot arc
Names, backstory, motivations, archetypes
Setting, time, place, charting any sci-fi or fantastical elements
What are some key scenes that you’ll need to write to get from Point A to Point Z?
You can also work on determining your ideal reader and how you’re going to meet reader expectations during this pre-writing phase, which will help when you’re editing, publishing, and marketing the book later.
Expand characters and explore their goals
Describing your characters might be the most important part of preparing for your month-long writing adventure. As F. Scott Fitzgerald said, “Character is plot, plot is character.” Consider:
What do your characters look like?
What are they curious about?
What do they love? What breaks their heart? What do they want? Why?
What is her core belief about herself?
What is his core belief about others?
What is her key fault?
What or who gets in the way of her getting what she wants?
Set the scene
Here are 5 tips to plan and link individual scenes to create structured story arcs:
Start with what you want your scene to reveal (purpose) …
Decide conflicts or unknowns to plant in your scene. …
Think about who your scene will involve. …
Brainstorm further developments. …
Group scene ideas into larger units.
The average scene should be between 1,000 to 2,000 words.
More than anything in the world, my protagonist wants:
But he/she is afraid of:
And his/her greatest weakness is (is it something like “falling in love too easily” or “crossbows”?):
Physical Antagonist Complete this section if you have a physical antagonist.
More than anything in the world, my antagonist wants (this can be as simple as humiliating the protagonist or something a little more ambitious like world domination):
My antagonist’s “beef” with the protagonist is:
My antagonist is afraid of (long-haired bunnies?):
His/her/its greatest weakness is:
Abstract Antagonist Complete this section if you have an abstract antagonist.
The antagonist in my novel is not a living, breathing being. It is:
If my protagonist does not battle against this antagonist, it will eventually (ruin his or her life or cause death?):
My protagonist is battling against this antagonist by:
Outline your story
Are you a pantser or a plotter or combo platter? If you’re a pantser, you might think plots are the work of the devil, sent to make stories feel wooden and contrived. If you’re a plotter, you may wonder how anyone finishes a book without a detailed TripTik. For those of you doing NaNoWriMo, think about creating a loose outline: what strange and mysterious things will happen as your character seeks his fortune or the secrets of her past? As Ray Bradbury wrote, “Plot is no more than footprints left in the snow after your characters have run by on their way to incredible destinations.”
Set Challenges and Rewards
As you head towards your NaNo goals, you may find yourself slowing down at points, stuck on what comes next or just plain unmotivated to keep writing at such a crazy pace.
How do you get over the hump?
Set challenges and rewards!
Humans are naturally motivated by competition, so make meeting your word count a game.
Try doing a Word Sprint, either on your own or with a friend who’s also doing NaNoWriMo; you can even find sprint partners in the NaNo forums.
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Above all enjoy the month, have fun, meet fellow writers, join Facebook or Twitter groups, pop along to our weekly get-togethers, chill out when not writing, please do not get stressed about your number count as just writing is enough.
The writing group had a very different event last week which proved to be very interesting, there are many forms of spiritualism and we only really touched on a couple. We had the lovely Carly Rose who actually came to our very first meetings and had been writing a book for a few years. After going through some traumatic events she found herself at the point of following her beliefs and also writing a book about healing.
Carly Rose is the podcast host for The White Witch Podcast and an author who lives with the sea at the end of her road in Folkestone, Kent with her daughter Amelie, french bulldog Bowie and witch’s black cat Tarot. As a kid Carly never wanted to be a princess always wanted to be a witch, her mum Leonie is a closet green witch and honours many traditional pagan ways, combined with her grandparents moving from South London to Bodmin in Cornwall with school holidays packed off to stay with trips to Bodmin Moor, famous for its druid stone circles, talk of the fae and Cornish piskies along with the odd visit to the Boscastle Witches Museum all sparked a love for the craft which has never left Carly.
Carly loves aspects of the craft that link to green and hedgewitch practices such as working with native herbs and plants and shamanic rituals. With the podcast and her first book, The White Witch’s Book of Healing, Carly aims through her work to keep some of the old ways very much alive and known of but to demystify how you can integrate some of these practices into your craft and turn to witchcraft to support your spiritual and mental well being. Something that has been so very vital and beneficial within Carly’s own life.
Carly’s first book shines a light on navigating the dark night of the soul, deconstructs shadow work, soul loss and soul retrieval, inner child work and reparenting yourself, shamanic journeying and deciphers working with deities and ancestors within your practice. This book offers up spell work and rituals relating to gods and goddesses, ancestral magick, processing grief, heartbreak, cord-cutting, self-love and confidence, through to bringing in the new using the witches pyramid. Journal and divination prompts are scattered throughout this book to help you work through your deepest of soul wounds.
The White Witches Book of Healing offers nourishing and encouraging support through a blend of nurturing self-care ideas combined with more disciplined processes that can build a foundation for personal self-transformation.
Mary was our second speaker, who talked about how she writes down what she hears from the spirit world. Some of her examples were very clear and precise which gave everyone something to think about.
Since when have you reached out to the sky and asked for help? Why do humans look to the sky for inspiration? I believe that deep in all of us there is a fundamental belief that there is another energy or life beyond our scope of understanding? If only we could access it, our questions might get answered, or some comfort provided. Mary Leadbetter, a practising Medium and Spiritual healer shares some of her channelled writing, which is given to her like dictation. Some of the pieces are philosophical: some are from individuals who relate their earthly life and explain about life in another dimension. If you are in need of comfort, or of some explanation about the world beyond, then this little book could supply some answers.
We also had Anna from Magpie Emporium who bought a small selection of her wares, which I must say were so good. Pick the crystal you would like in a necklace or have a couple on a bracelet. Lots of things for the witches amongst us plus Tarot cards and many many more wonderful gifts, which would make great Christmas presents.
One of our members, Carol Grimes was singing at this event so a few of the group went along to support her.
Vegan food that looked very appetising. There were some poems by Anthony White also stories and films about the work being done. Hopefully they raised some money in their blind bids. A nice evening and something a bit different.
What a brilliant weekend we had at Hythe Live, this is the test run in our very own author tent! We had readings from many authors, you may even spot some famous faces. Our members sold their books also a good amount of networking went on all over the weekend.
There was also a great assortment of stalls to keep everyone happy and I hear the booze tents did really well. There was another stage for the bands to play all day then in the evenings the other marque was opened up for jazz and music nights.
There were writing, poem and fancy dress competitions and one of our youngest members looked great, she comes with her dad to our meetings.
Debby and Matthew did an amazing job of organising all this so it went off without any problems, well done and a huge thank you from all the group.