Charlotte K Stewart

Writer, Reader, Knitter, Artist


Writing – General

My Nano Novel Has a Name and a Cover

I made a title for my nano project. I am calling it Hold the Dressing. And, I used a free site to fashion my own photographed image into a basic book cover. It was easy and fast, which is what I needed. I might change the title, eventually. And, the cover is nothing special that I am firmly attached to. However, having these steps marked off my to-do list, and having the visual evidence that I created these things will assist me in meeting my goal for this year. I will get my 50,000 words before November 30th. And, I will finish the story, no matter the date. No matter the total word count. I will FINISH my draft. That will be a first for me, as far as nano is concerned. That, afterall, is the true purpose of NaNoWriMo. It isn’t just about cramming 50,000 words inside of a 30-day time frame. That is the beginning, not the end. I view the main goal as building a daily habit, a routine, of writing. I already have that going on. I’ve been doing that for more than two solid years, with my main WIP. Nano, for me, will help me to focus on more than one WIP, simultaneously. One of which will get finished. One will be a start-to-finish, cover-t0-cover, First Draft. Something I can edit and, perhaps, get the guts up to try and put out into the world somewhere other than on a no-cost website. Not sure on that one, just yet. It’s in my head, though. I want people to love the stories I write half as much as I do. That would be something.

It all starts with a name, and with a cover. Tangible piecess that will come together to decorate my work and make my project feel real.

So Much for Today

Today was terrible. I barely slept. I kept the TV on all night, which was a mistake. I can’t sleep with it on. I was waiting to see what Hurricane Matthew did, though. I have family and friends in its path. I worried and watched, until I could not stay awake any longer. I kept waking up, checking the Weather Channel, and dozing off again. When I woke sometime after daylight, my head hurt worse than it had, again. I loaded up on Excedrin Migraine and burrowed back into my nest.

Sometime in the afternoon, I emerged. I had to pretend to be productive, for a few hours. I made some food, I wrote a few e-mails, and I laid around, aching and miserable.

I wrote this entry, I attended a live webinar, I did a load of laundry. That is about all I did today.

Tomorrow, I should have the place to myself. I will read tonight before going to sleep. I will write more tomorrow, and work on my big WIP. I also will set up Scrivener for my nano project, creating character cards and a chapter outline to help when November 1 arrives.

This is Becoming a Habit

I’m writing every day. I’m reading every day. I’m blogging every day (though the date may look off, it’s only a few minutes after Midnight – I count it as a day if it’s on the night of the corresponding/previous daytime). I would say I’m making progress.

I still feel quite sick, but hopefully tomorrow I will have energy and focus to delve deeper into a topic here. Fingers crossed.

I shared the Ninja Writers facebook group with my best friend tonight, after asking if she wanted to check it out. I hope it benefits her, too. It’s been helping me grow in my confidence.


Today I Fell Short

I wanted to write today. I wanted to finish the chapter I’m working on of my ongoing WIP fanfic, plus add to character sketches I’m doing ahead of Nano. Well, I got nothing done. Nothing fun or creative, anyway.

I did manage to get out of bed and go to my doctor’s appointment, but that feels like all I did.

I’m going to write for an hour before I read one short chapter, then it will be bedtime. Another appointment, and other things to steal my writing energy, tomorrow.

Better blog posts later in the week, I hope…

Planning My NaNoWriMo Project

Every year at this time, I begin to get a combined anxiety and excitement. November 1-30 is what legions of writers around the globe know as National Novel Writing Month, aka NaNoWriMo. Or, for people who’ve done it multiple times, simply “Nano.”

It’s a time of creating something new. Whether it’s a completely new story or idea, a new set of characters, or adding new twists to an existing work-in-progress (WIP), this is a time to set forth with a goal of creating, in essence, enough words to (almost) constitute a novel. 50,000 words, 30 days. No problem, right? Well…

It can be daunting to think of sitting down and completing this word count inside of 30 days, in general. Especially, if you have not done it before. I have attempted it several times. I’ve “won” a few times, too. I have built myself a habit of writing every day, in some fashion. Consequently, achieving the word count (WC) is not too tough on me, if it’s the only thing I have to do in November. Of course, as for most people, life does not stop for one task for the span of an entire month. There are real life matters that clamor for attention, as well.

While I don’t have children, I have family members who need my attention or assistance. I need to do laundry, deal with errands and meals, and get to appointments. If it was *only* writing for 30 days, 24/7, sure, NO problemo! However, this is not the case for me.

I must MAKE the time to sit and write each day. I have to make it a priority. I enjoy writing, so that is not a problem. It’s the other noise of life that creeps in and threatens that creative zone. This last part is true of my life, in general, not solely for November. Then, you add in things like holidays and other interests one might have. You get the idea.

In anticipation of what awaits for me in November, and the goal I would like to achieve (for ME, not for anyone else), I begin my thinking and planning for Nano in September. I have waited until the last minute in the past. Especially the first year I attempted Nano. I had not heard of it until that particular year. And, when did I hear about it? You guessed it: on Day One, November 1st. I sat down and began typing, but I did not win that first year.

The next year, I vowed that I would at least make a basic outline prior to November 1st. I think I wrote down a one-sentence plot summary, and a name for my Main Character (MC). I did win that year.

The past few years, when I’ve attempted and won Nano, my formula has been variable. I’ve won each time I’ve signed onto the website and made myself accountable.

This year, I have planned a character sketch for my MC, her name is Catalina Rivera. I have an idea of the basic setting of the story’s beginning.I have a year, a time-frame, a city and her home in mind. I have the primary antagonist, the major conflict or incident that will occur, and a few possible resolutions in mind.

I hope having these aspects nailed down, just over a month out from the start of Nano month, will help me win this year’s attempt. I’ll let you know, after November!

Catalina has two black cats, based on the one pictured. Their names are Ebony and Onyx.



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