9/3/16

Capture the Heart of your Story

WHO’S DOING NANOWRIMO?

I AM I AM I AM.

I AM VERY EXCITED.

LIKE.

INSANELY EXCITED.

Ehem. *tries to regain some semblance of composure*

I am totally going to plan a fun, interactive inspiration post thing to get all your lovely creative brains working on the stories that you’re planning and pumped for nano. Send alllllll da plot bunnies hopping because I am just totally amazing like that.

But today, I’m going to talk about capturing your story’s heart so you don’t lose hope and love for it. So I need to calm down. Get serious. Right. Ehem. Let’s give this a go.

(look at me, being all artsy and taking my own photo)

Right now, I am taking a break from editing (I took off all of August and will start back the second week in September). I have plenty to do while I’m not writing, but I have been planning The King’s Vow, the sequel to my WIP which I plan to write for NaNoWriMo (*screams quietly*).

I don’t know about you guys, but planning is one of my favorite parts. I bet you can guess why.

Butterflies.

When you’re planning your book, there are already a few potential problems but nothing’s set in stone (or paper - heh. heh.) yet. The problems that you’re fairly certain will arise haven’t done so yet, and you have this blissful freedom of not worrying about it.

A big Thing that can help you after you start writing/have written that project that was so beautiful in your head, is by recalling what the butterfly looked like. What it made you feel. Before, you know. You brutally slaughtered it.

I haven’t had a nice, good list post in a while. So here’s a list for you.




1) Remember the essence of your story.


Capture the essence of your idea before you try to wrangle the whole thing. Capture those beautiful, intriguing words/phrases that make your story what it is.

This is similar to the idea I mentioned in my love your book again post a while back. You can make a list or you can even write a journal entry of what this story means to you and what you want it to become. Write that down before you lose it in the technicality and messiness of the writing/editing process. It’s never too late to find it again, but it’s a lot easier if you do it before you even start.



2) Remember the potential you saw in it.

What first sparked the idea? Write it down. What made you start writing it when you did? Write it down. What pieces brought together the heart of your main character? Write it down. Write it all down.

Another reason writing all this down is so important, is that when you’re deep in the thick of the second draft (*cough cough* I feel yah pain, by the way. *dies*) and your characters/plot/ideas/etc., are giving you issues, it is so helpful to look back and see what it was at the beginning. Even if you can’t keep any of it, you’ll be able to see just how far you and this story have come, and that is so rewarding.



3) Remember why you started writing it

These points are all fairly similar, I know. But I want to stress each of these.

The essence of your story. The beginnings of your plot, main characters, themes, etc.

What made you choose them? What made you go that way? There are soooo many ways you can take a story. So many paths you can follow. So many different butterflies to try to catch. What drew your eye to these particular ones?

If you can put it into words, write it down. And if you can’t be coherent, that’s okay. Write down what little you can. Trust me: when you’re struggling to remember why you are writing this story in the first place, looking back and seeing what your mindset was before the craziness of writing and edits happened will help you restore your perspective. You can look at it again almost as you did before, when it was still a floating, fluttering, beautiful little butterfly in the garden of your beautiful mind.



These are hard questions, I know. But they are so worth asking. When writing, we want our hearts to be in it. The right mindset is the key to putting your heart into your story again.

And don’t stress! If you’ve already written your story and are reading this thinking, IT’S TOO LATE FOR ME WAHHHHHHHH, then you shut your trap right now.

It is never too late.

It is never too late to capture the heart of your story. Just think back and do your best to remember.

Why? Why are you writing this? What story is demanding to be told?

Find it. Find it so you can remember to love your story, and remember why.

And then write.




Next week I have a very special surprise for you. The first ever guest post on Stan!!! (You'll never guess who it is.) I don't know her topic yet, but I'm sure it will be inspiring and enlightening and you will love it and her.

Meanwhile, pray for me that I don't DIE because I'm going to be competing in the Bible Bowl, a massive event that still scares me. 

Are you doing nanowrimo this November? Do you know what you're going to write for it? Have you started planning it? What are some of your favorite things about the story your planning, or your WIP? 

<3 

37 comments:

  1. I think I'm going to write my last book in my Superhero series, but I could like change legit the night before, so AHHHH IDK IDK IDK! BUT I DO LOVE THE PANICK OF OCTOBER PLANNING!

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    1. Oooooh a superhero series would be sooo much fun! I've always loved writing characters with special powers and stuff! I'm still not sure if magic will play a roll in my series (at least, with my MCs) but I'm hoping it can cause IT IS SO FUN! How long is your series? Do you have any of them edited yet/ready for betas? *cough cough* just wondering out of curiosity, of course. ;D

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    2. xD I have two novels, one written, and two like shorter stories.
      *coughs back* YES I ACTUALLY DO! SORT OF! The third one which I'm posting on Wattpad is...being posted on Wattpad. xD But I'm editing Superheroes, the first one, and if you want to you can totally beta/alpha it before it goes on Wattpad after Iris! If that's what you were coughing about. If not...just ignore that part...

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    3. Yes, hehe, that's what I was coughing about! XP Why did you post your third one on Wattpad but not your first one ...? And that would be so fun! Are you going to ask for betas on your blog?

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    4. Because I wasn't totally sure that I wanted to do the first one...but the third one can be a standalone and it's shorter, like twenty thousand words. I'm probably not going to ask for betas like officially, but I was actually looking for another alpha/beta reader while I edit. Do you do google docs? If so, just like email me through my blog contact form and I'll invite you!

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    5. Oooh yassss! I will email you! (I'm not sure how much time I can commit right now, but I would love to read your work as soon as I am able!)

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  2. Oh, oh, Hannah, THIS POST! (I know I say that about every one of your posts, but seriously, HOW DO YOU HAVE SO MUCH WISDOM??)

    And YES, I will be doing NaNoWriMo! :D I'm so excited, and I've been plotting a lot. I probably won't reach the goal, since I'm going to be SO. BUSY. but I will try, and at least I'll get lots of words written!

    I did Camp NaNo last July, which was my first NaNo activity. But I have kind of a long story about that. (I'm going to rant about it anyway so you have some background.)

    The story I tried to write for Camp wasn't a story of my heart. I didn't love it (to be honest, I didn't even LIKE it all that much), but I wanted to write it because I felt like I didn't want to ruin the story idea that I loved... I wanted to write that one when I had more experience.

    Long story short, that was a big mistake. I should've written something from my heart - not something I wanted to get out of the way for the sake of experience.

    But yeah, I've learned my lesson now. :) And as I've been plotting and planning for NaNo, I feel so much freer than I did when I was plotting for Camp. And that's because I'm going to be writing a story I love. I can't wait to see where it goes! :D

    (there are more details I could rant about, but I'm sure you don't want more. xD)

    Also... THE KING'S VOW! *freaks out* *fangirls* Ugh, I want to read The Thief's Conspiracy SO. MUCH. *squeals and wriggles* One day, I'm gonna be a beta-reader for that. SO MUCH AMAZING. o.o

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    1. Ooooooh. OooOOhhhhHhhh. *hugs comment* I feel this. ACK. That is such a tempting thing to do! In fact, that's kind of what my cousin and I did. We had an idea for a trilogy to write together, but the idea was just /so/ cool, you see. We wanted to make sure we could write a book together. So we decided to do an 'experimental project' first. A short book, you know. Just one book. Maybe 50k. Really small. Nothing serious, just to figure out how to do it.

      Haha. Aha.

      Fortunately, we both fell in love with the story (which ended at 136k and now has half a sequel in drafting, and a third book in planning). But we tried to cheat and 'figure it out' first. I'm so glad you're planning something you love! It is so important to love your story because you go through soooo much together.

      And *whispers* I hope to open TC to beta readers sometime in Spring of next yearrrr! Not completely sure on that, but that's my hope! I'M SO EXCITED!

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  3. I'M DOING NANOWRIMO. *hugs you for writing this post* THIS IS SO EPIC AND PERFECT AND WISE AND GAH.

    Planning is definitely one of my favorite things, and BUTTERFLIES. Basically admiring our gorgeous butterflies before we...uh...slaughter them...
    (do you realize how insane that last part sounded to anyonw who isn't a writer)

    XD

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    1. YASSSSSSSSSSSSS NANOWRIMO-ERS UNITE *high fives* I AM SO PUMPED FOR THIS, DUDE. LIKE. AHHH. Hehehe I know right? Writers can get away with saying so many things. Like, "I killed a man today," and "I just overthrew a kingdom," or "I just broke into a bank and stole $100K" are all reasonable things for us to say XP

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    2. One of the best things about being a writer. XD

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    3. IKR? You get the shock value for every conversation! XP

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  4. HANNAH. How does you have all the story smarts? XD This was an epic post, I loved it so much! Your blog is seriously one of my favorites *nods*. AND I'M DOING NANOWRIMO *dies*. Do you have an account yet? Because I'm so friending you :D.

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    1. Ahwww you're so sweet! And yes, I do! At least, I think I do ... cause I did it last year so yeah, I should! Ummmm ... hold on. *runs to check* I can't seem to find the website for the November nano, but my username is bookishlywormish9 !

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    2. Here's the Nov. website (http://nanowrimo.org/) - and I added you as a writing buddy XD. Love your username, by the way!

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    3. Yayyyy! I added you back! <3 And thank you! I remember thinking of it one day like, ohhh i'm a bookish worm. And then that became my default username XP

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  5. I am still on the fence about Nano, I am plotting right now so we will see. Great post!

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    1. You should totally do it! And if it turns out you can't, at least you tried! (and hopefully got a few words out of it, and every word matters) <3

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  6. I'M ATTEMPTING NANO BUT IDK IF I CAN DO IT. XD I'm writing a Prince and the Pauper retelling I think. Idk how anything works though so I have to figure these things out. xD

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    1. OOO a Prince and the Pauper retelling! That sounds awesome! *thumbs up*

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    2. AHHHHHHHHHFDGFDHGRDHTRDFGFJHGTDTRD DUDE THAT SOUNDS SO COOOOOOL. ehem. *eyebrows* when will you be ready for betas (on other projects, i mean)? Cause like ... I WANNA READ SOME OF YAH STUFF, MAN

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  7. YES NANO BUDDIES. WE SHALL WAR.

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    1. YASSSSSSSSSSSS. ALL DA WARSSSS. *can't wait to beta HNA*

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  8. I HAVE NEVER DONE THE ACTUAL NANOWRIMO BEFORE I ALWAYS CHICKEN OUT

    no more like November is seriously THE BUSIEST MONTH OF THE YEAR FOR ME. I mean, 2,500 words ATLEAST a day--on TOP of school AND LIFE? how shall I do it? *freaks* Plus, like, I'm one of those poor people that digs into the closet for book ideas and clings to one I am blessed with. gah. *allll the frustration*

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    1. AHHH ARE YOU DOING IT THIS YEAR? It sounds reallyyyyy hard but if you dedicate your nights to writing (I didn't watch a single movie or TV show all month) you can get it done! Find you pace, too, and work with that! I can write 2k in an hour if I'm going strong, so I knew that I only /needed/ a little over an hour of writing. I usually spent about three or four though, and I ended up hitting 50k within the third week.

      FIND YOUR PACE! You can do it!!!

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  9. I love this post <3 Because really we do need to remember why we love our novels as it can be easy to forget sometimes.

    ALSO YAS WELCOME TO THE NANOWRIMO-DOING CLUB? GROUP? NO IDEA BUT I AM DOING IT AGAIN THIS YEAR TOO YAY. *flailing* sadly I'm editing for it though but whatever xD

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    1. You're EDITING for NaNoWriMo? Wow you're brave :D.

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    2. YASSSS NANOWRIMO CLUB *high fives* WE MUST DO ALLLLL DA WARS. <3

      BUT DUDE WHY ARE YOU EDITING. THAT'S INSAAAAANE AHSJFHWEALKJHFAEWCEAS. *hides under rock because WHAT*

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  10. YIKE YOU'RE MOTIVATING ME TO KEEP WRITING THIS IS SCARY

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    1. YASSSSS WRITE ALL DA WORDS, MOTHER <3 <3 <3

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  11. Wow! This post was so right on time for me!XD I JUST started planning and thinking for my NaNo story last night! I have an idea and have started fleshing it out, so....that's fun!XD I can't wait for NaNo to get here! It's my first time!;)
    I totally agree with looking back on your original idea. My spark (or butterfly) was simply being really interested with the idea of people with huge wings, plus having a tortured villain who is much more gray than anything else. Then my idea came to me!:D
    Awesome post! I loved reading it!
    -Emma-

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    1. Ahhhh I'm so excited for you! Nanowrimo is soooo much fun! I did it for my first time last year and I wrote faster than I ever knew I could! AND I LOVE THE SOUND OF YOUR IDEA. LIKE. O.O WOW.

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    2. Thank you so much! I'm really excited, but really scared, too! But I'm gonna still try! LOL! Awww, thanks again!! I'm really eager to get writing... Why, why must November be so far away?;)
      -Emma-

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    3. Ikr? Part of me is like, COME FASTER, NANO, and then part of me is like, WAIT STAY BACK I NEED TO PLAN THIS MORE BECAUSE I ACTUALLY DON'T KNOW WHAT I'M DOING. *siiiiigh* the struggle is real XP

      BUT DO NOT FEAR! VANQUISH THE FEARFUL WRITER WITH YOUR EPIC WRITER FIST.

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  12. I know I'm late to the party, but I just had to say: this was excellent post! Seriously, I'm going to be saving it, and exploring these questions regarding a story idea I've just had. So, thank you! xx

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    1. Awww you're so sweet! I'm so happy you liked them! <3 I've found them to be very helpful in the long run

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  13. *scribbles down tips* *gulps* I hope I have time...

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