Completing Your Adventure

Greeting, it is I, Thor.


I have been a way for a while and I cannot tell you where I have been. I can tell you that I was with Loki and some strange things have been happening. (rest of paragraph redacted for spoilers)

I am here to encourage you as NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) comes to an end. There is still time if you have not finishing crafting your warrior novel. Every book has a beginning. Writing a book, whether you wrote it in one month or if you dragged in some book baggage that needed written this month, is an important accomplishment. You achieved something. Even if you only wrote eight hundred words, you started something.

There is still time to finish writing your novel. 

Don't give up.

I can honestly say that I have a folder of novels on my computer labeled as "Unfinished/Shelved Novels". Sometimes once I finish them, I realize that they aren't really good. Or I get part way through writing a book and stop. They all end up in the folder. But that's okay. If you don't finish your novel, you tried. Not every idea is meant to be a book. I once had an idea about three faeries taking a road trip to a place that looked exactly like Lothlorien, along with a cliched villain who killed the main faerie's parents, but was her uncle. Yes, that book is shelved. It wasn't good. But I am happy that I wrote it. Every word on the page is an accomplishment.

Someday all of your work will be worth it.

And remember, it's a first draft. First drafts are not meant to be perfect and sparkly. They are full of plot holes, accidental name changes, and some horrible writing. The important part, is that you finish the draft. You can fix the problems in revisions later.

Write.

Write and don't give up on your novel.

Now I seem to have misplaced something important. Darryl is supposed to be procuring a horse for us to ride. (spoilers redacted)

-THOR

And Now The Weather

*rap beat*

Hey.

Listen up, writers of NaNo or just those who are writing and maybe you're stuck and not feeling your story. Whatever you're doing, Vision is here to cheer you on.

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Keep dreaming and reaching for the moon.

Keep plotting because you will get there soon.

Keeping scheming just because you could.

Keeping writing because I know that your story is going to be good.

I can't wait to read this story of from you.

And now that you're encouraged, you've got writing to do. (And me too!)

Vision out.

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NaNoWriMo Is Upon Us!

Greetings, writers!

This is Vision and I have a couple of announcements.

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Firstly, our monthly Twitter Chat will be on Friday, November 11th, starting at 9 PM EST. This will be less of an informative chat and more of a "How's the writing going?" chat.

Secondly. We spoke last month of potentially doing word wars and virtual write-ins through out the month of November. We got a good response from you on Twitter, telling us that you would enjoy both of these activities.

While we have decided to do both of these, we've also made the decision to make this easy and instead of trying to schedule around different things (like other enjoyable word war events and write-ins) and promote and hope for a good turn out, we will open a chatroom.

That's right, we have a chatroom!

We're going to keep this chatroom open 24-7 throughout the whole month. The chatroom is not Premium, so it will only hold 10 people at a time, but if we find ourselves faced with overflow, we'll open a second chat and I'll be there, too.

To ensure that we all enjoy ourselves, there are a few rules.

Rules:
1. Be kind.
2. Please keep discussions at a PG-13 level or lower (preferably lower). We might have younger guests.
3. No swearing.
4. No spam.
5. No spoilers (This does not have to include your own book that you are working on. You may spoil that if you wish. We are willing to help you brainstorm through a tough spot.).

Here is the chatroom.

You are welcome to come whenever it is convenient for you and you can invite friends. I will be there a lot of the day, ready to host word wars and discuss writing as needed.

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We hope you can join us!

Vision out.

You Are a Warrior

I like to think of the Avengers as warriors, instead of soldiers.

Soldiers are noble—they fight for their country, to protect those they love. They have honor, and camaraderie.

The Avengers…we are different. I was not surprised when we fought each other over the Sokovian Accords. Warriors have their own personal reasons for fighting. A sense of responsibility. Of past trauma.

Someone like Steve fights because he cannot help it. He needs a purpose for his strength. Why have abilities if you do not use them to help people?

Stark fights because he feels guilty about his past. Thor fights to protect a realm he cherishes. Each of us has a reason. I can see them all like fault lines in our minds. Are we each broken in a way that makes us strong, or are we on the verge of shattering entirely?

It is a delicate balance.

I think writers are the same kind of people. Warriors. Each writer has a reason. A deep, driving urge that encourages them to put pen to paper, or fingers to the keyboard. When you are a warrior, sometimes you must fight alone. Sometimes you must push on past your fear, past your uncertainties. Sometimes you are very lucky, and someone like Hawkeye tells you to put the past behind you, to fight for the present.

So you step up. You become an Avenger, or sign up for NaNoWriMo. You commit to use these maddening, frustrating abilities in a world that doesn’t make sense. Because you are a warrior.
That is what NaNoWriMo is all about. It gathers up all the lone warriors, driven by individual motivations. Whether you have a detailed outline or absolutely no plan how to defeat the robot horde you helped create—you are a warrior, and telling your story is one of the most important battles you’ve ever faced.


Do not lose heart. It is a big job, and scary. But you control your own fear. And you can win this battle.

~Wanda

Plotting and Planning and Being a Slow Writer

In the grand scheme of Team Iron Man and Team Cap... I'm not sure where I stand. I Follow Mr. Stark and understand his point of view, but Captain Rogers... his point of view is different yet also makes sense.

And yet, this isn't really about teams. This is more of "what do you believe" separated into two groups. I don't like being made to choose when I understand and don't have a problem with either choice.

Thankfully, there's absolutely nothing in writing that is like that. Or is there?

Two teams: Pantsing or Plotting.

I used to say I was a pantser, or one who wrote "by the seat of their pants". I hated outlining. I hated the thought of outlining.

But then I looked back at my notebooks and realized that I did indeed plot. Just not the whole thing before I started. And I felt lost if I didn't know what was going to happen.

I tried plotting a book last summer. An entire book using the J.K. Rowling method. I plotted it and it was beautiful. And then nothing else happened with that outline. I tried writing the story a few times, but never really got going.

Another division that doesn't get talked about a lot in writing: the people who write fast and the people who don't.

A lot of the time, it seems like I am a really slow writer. But I just finished a novel (well, 32K words...) and it took me about two months. Which to some is really fast.

Like with the dilemma between the Avengers, I don't know where I stand.

But may I submit that it doesn't matter?

The point of being a writer is to tell a story in your own unique way with your own process. I am a writer who plans a bit, getting what I need to know of my story, and then writing, making things up and planning more as I go. I write at my own speed with my own length of novel. I do not need to compare myself to other writers, unless I wish to learn from them.

NaNoWriMo is coming up. I have managed to write 50K during November once, last year. And now I have a novel I don't really want to go back and edit. Not entirely, perhaps, because I wrote it all in one month. But I don't want to try writing a novel that fast again for a while.

Instead, I am going to use NaNoWriMo to my advantage, not worrying about how many words I write in a month, but using it as a tool to encourage me to work on whatever story I'm working on.

Good luck in all your writing endeavors, no matter what your process is.

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Vision out.

Write What You Love

Sometimes, I get a little tired of what I’m working on. It feels like all I ever do is write the same stories over and over, just in different formats. As if I’m never producing anything exciting or original to share with the world. Of course, I’m also trying to save the world at the same time...but that’s beside the point.

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We’re already more than a third of the way through October, and many of you may be preparing for NaNoWriMo in November. In fact, preparing for November is the exact reason that I’m writing a shorter post this week - it takes up more time than one would think.

If you’re losing interest in your work, or if you’re unsure what to do, let me ask you this:

What stories do you love?

Is it the exciting stories where every action flows into the next? The suspenseful stories? Stories with complex characters? Ones with bittersweet endings?

Many writers are also avid readers (although it’s not a prerequisite!) and what we enjoy reading tends to affect what we enjoy writing.

So today, I’ve got two tricks of the trade for you to try, tricks that I myself have used more than once. Sadly, they aren’t impressive fighting maneuvers. (I’m still trying to learn those.)

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First, there’s a brainstorming technique.

Make a list of the following:

~ What book clich├ęs frustrate you?
~ What topics do you feel aren’t written about?
~ What were the flaws in a book you didn’t like?
~ What were the virtues of a book you did like?
~ What books would you love to read?
If there’s a book out there you want to read, then write it! It’s as simple as that. Don’t wait for someone else to write it for you.

The second piece of advice that I have to offer is this: Look at your manuscript with the eyes of a fan.

It may sound silly, but I’m my own biggest fan. Of course, I’m my own biggest critic as well. But when I’m losing motivation, when I don’t feel the same love for my work as I normally do, I have to take a step back.

Imagine your favorite fandoms, the way that you react towards the stories you love - and then imagine someone applying that same love to your novel.

Yes, there may be flaws in your plot, uncertainties in your world-building, problems with your character development. But every author's work has that. No one writes a perfect book, not J.R.R. Tolkien or J.K. Rowling or any other famous author.

Your story has merit - and someday, I hope to be one of your fans.

Announcing October Twitter Chat



Hello, readers.

I'm here to announce that this month's Twitter Chat will be on October 22 at 8:30 PM EDT. We will be discussing NaNoWriMo preparations and strategy.

We hope you will join us!

~Vision