Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween / NaNoWriMo kickoff!

I know it's a bit late right now, but Happy Halloween, everybody! Tonight was sure a fun night. I went out with my sister downtown to check out the haunted house. I haven't been to many haunted houses, so it was a pretty memorable experience. In my opinion, it was only scary because the actors lurking around in masks and makeup kept lunging out from the shadows and giving us jump-scares. Oh well. It was still fun.
At home, my younger brother generously split the trick-or-treat candy he'd collected with us, and we happily munched on sweet chocolate goodies while seeing nostalgic Halloween specials on YouTube, particularly the different versions of "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow." This one below (which I've never seen before until today) was my favorite!

But now, let's face it folks...
Tomorrow it will be time to put my writer's hat on for the month. NaNoWriMo has begun!

So here's my first Story War prompt!
Click on the cards to reveal the characters, object and setting I'll be dealing with.

My two characters:
The object they'll be using:
And the story takes place in:
Wish me luck! And hope you all had a fun and safe Halloween this year. ^_~

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

My challenge to you!

Besides reading this blog and giving me feedback by commenting on Blogger or on Facebook, there are a few ways you can make this NaNoWriMo Story War project (and the month of November) even more interesting!

I don't want to be making up these short stories all on my own. So... your mission (should you choose to accept it) is to write your own stories with the same daily 4 Story War cards I will be using! (Again, 2 characters + 1 object + 1 setting)
Now, unlike me, you are in no way required to write a story every single day. If you feel like writing a story with one of my prompts, you can take as much time as you want writing it. Your story doesn't need to have a certain number of words in it either. It can be as short or as long as you want. All you have to do is include those 4 random plot elements, and run with them. If you would like to take this challenge on and go all the way with it, then you can do as I do and write a story that has a minimum of 2000 words within 24 hours.

So, after you've written your story, what do you do with it?

  1. You can keep it to yourself, in your notebook or on your computer, and just be proud that you wrote something.
  2. You can share it privately with me via Facebook message or email it to me at (I promise not to share your stories if you don't want me to).
  3. You can go public and post your whole short story in a comment below the blog post I put my story in, or in a Facebook comment, where everyone else can read it!
I'm excited to see what you guys come up with! If you decide to accept my challenge at some point this November, leave a comment down below or on Facebook. And don't forget, if you want to get regular updates from this blog, you can enter your email address into the sidebar to the right to follow me!

Tomorrow night, after all the Halloween festivities, I'll officially be kicking off my NaNoWriMo Story War project! Stay tuned for the big reveal of my first story prompt!
Relevant links: 
NaNoWriMo Homepage ~
Where you can buy Story War ~

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Official NaNoWriMo Story War Rules

It's only 3 more days until Halloween night, and the very next day will be November 1st. That means my NaNoWriMo Story War project will officially begin very soon!

Here are a few rules I've decided to set myself for my month-long project:
  • Starting on Halloween night (and continuing every November night afterwards), my sister Annette and I will shuffle the Story War cards thoroughly and Annette will choose 4 cards for me; 2 characters, 1 object, 1 setting. (Annette is helping me out a lot with this project, for which I am very grateful. Who knows? Maybe she'll be writing short stories alongside me! ^,^) I'll study the cards, post them to the blog so you know what the new story prompt is, and brainstorm about them while I sleep.
  • The next day, probably sometime in the afternoon, I'll set aside about an hour or two in which to write a complete short story that must include the 4 plot elements chosen the previous night. Once I finish writing, editing and making the story as good as it possibly can be, it will be posted to the blog and I'll share it on my FB Wall. Later that night, the cards I've already used will be set aside, 4 new Story War cards will be chosen, and the cycle will begin again!
  • Story-writing might take 2 hours, maybe it'll take longer, but I'm going to set myself a daily deadline of 10:00pm in which to post my story to the blog. If I fail to meet my deadline (I'll do my best not to fail, but just in case), I'll have to endure some sort of minor punishment. As of right now, I'm not sure what that punishment will be... Maybe you can suggest possible punishments for me in the comment section at the bottom of this post. ^,~
  • For the entire month of November, I'm going to avoid YouTube altogether. Watching YouTube videos, especially from channels I've subscribed to, is one of my favorite pastimes as well as biggest distractions. I'm not going to swear off using the Internet, since I plan on using it for writing/research/sharing purposes, but when it comes to YouTube, I'm going cold turkey! 
Some extra details:
My Story War card deck contains 50 characters, 25 objects, and 25 settings. This allows me to write 25 short stories each containing 2 characters, 1 object and 1 setting. Since there are 30 days in November, this'll let me take a few days off! I'll say every Sunday, plus Thanksgiving (Nov. 28), I can take a break from story-writing. ^,^
So I'm writing 25 short stories in a month. Because I'm aiming to write at least 50,000 words by the end of the month, each story should have a minimum length of 2,000 words. 1,667 words will be enough to satisfy my daily NaNoWriMo count, but since I'll be taking a few days off, I'll have to do my best to make the 2,000 word goal every day.

So those are my Story War rules! Thank you for your support and interest in my ambitious little writing project. ^,^ If you want to share your thoughts, let me know you were here, or just want to say hi, you know what to do. Leave a comment down below, or (if you're a Facebook friend and came to this blog via my link to it) leave a comment/like on the Facebook post that brought you here. Whichever you prefer. Also, if you want to get regular updates, you can use your email address in the sidebar to the right to follow me.

Tomorrow I'll post here again and give you, my readers, a few ways you can participate even more in this project! So stay tuned!
Relevant links: 
NaNoWriMo Homepage ~
Where you can buy Story War ~

Monday, October 21, 2013

I have a great idea...

Hi there, friend. Welcome to my blog. Do you like it? ^_^ It has a very simplistic design, perfect for my purposes.

I'm starting up this brand new blog because of an idea I've had brewing in the back of my head for a few days. I was going to share my idea with everyone on Facebook, but I have a feeling my explanation would get a little too long, and I don't want to bore all of you. So I'm just going to post a link to this blog post on my wall, and let those who are curious enough decide to click over to here, if they want to know what my big idea is.

So, you've made it to my blog. You're probably wondering why I gathered you here today. (Mwah-ha-ha, I sound like a James Bond villain.)

I have a few reasons that all sort of magically came together to inspire this "big idea", and here they are.

First, Writing
Those who know me well know that I am an aspiring author. I used to blog very often up until a couple years ago. (You can see my other blogs in my profile, if you're really that curious.) I've written lots of poems and come up with many ideas for short stories and novels over the years, many of which I've started, but never got around to finishing (though I have at least a handful of stories I've completed that I can be proud of. ^_^) I'm also in a weekly writing group that meets at our local library every Saturday.
Often we do more talking than we do writing, but I still love going and hanging out with my writing friends.

Lately I've had an awful case of writer's block, so my writing dream has been put on the back burner for a long time. But if I tell people I'm a writer, then I should be writing, right? There's really no excuse NOT to write. There shouldn't be any reason I can't take a little time out of every day, like an hour or so, to write something. The problem is, I didn't know what to write about. Until very recently, that is...

Second, NaNoWriMo
If you're an aspiring author, you've probably heard of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). For those who have no idea what I'm talking about, this is basically an annual contest with yourself (and thousands around the globe) to write a 50,000 word novel over the entire month of November. Not saying the novel has to be any good, it just has to have 50,000 words. Editing and polishing come in later. To reach this goal, one has to write an average of 1,667 words every day for 30 days straight. Sounds a little daunting, yes, but if you succeed it gives you great bragging rights in the end. ^_^

I've participated in NaNoWriMo a couple times, once in 2009 and once in 2011. Both times I was not successful and gave up in the middle. Probably because I didn't have a good idea for a novel that I could stick with. Well, it's another year (an odd year, by coincidence!), and this time I DO have a good idea, which I will now explain...

Third, Story War
About a month ago, in September, one of the birthday presents I happened to get was a card game called Story War. It's a little bit like Apples to Apples, except instead of convincing a judge to pick your word in favor of the other words, the object of the game is to use story-telling/debating skills to convince a judge that your character would beat all the other players' characters in a fight. There isn't any limit to your imagination. I've played this game a few times with my brother and sister, and we all love it.

A couple of times, I've actually brought Story War to my weekly writer's group. We came up with a variation of the game where, instead of battling each other, we take 2 character cards, an object card, and a setting card, and write about these things for a few minutes. It's really cool to see how people can take the exact same story elements and come out with completely different tales!

So, I love to write, and I really want to try my hand at NaNoWriMo again. But what can I write about? Well, the other day I got to thinking... What if I wrote a short story every day for 30 days with random Story War cards? It would be so much fun! Yes, it wouldn't exactly be a novel, so I might be cheating a little, but as long as I can come up with 50,000 words in a month, that's good enough for me. ^_^

Last, Sharing with friends
It really feels awesome having a game plan like this, a specific goal for me to attain. The only thing is, I don't just want to write these stories. I want people to read my stories. I want to get others' opinions, get their feedback, criticism and praise. I want an audience. I want to be held accountable for reaching my goal. And hey, I want to see if others would like to get in on the fun!

My first thought was to post my short stories on Facebook every day, so all my friends could see it. But like I said earlier, I don't want to bore or annoy anyone with my long status updates. 1,667 words makes for VERY long posts. (This very post isn't even that long. Pretty close, though.) So I thought it would be cool to keep my stories someplace I could easily share them with people, and so I decided I'd keep them all in a daily blog.

And now here we are! ^_^

Thank you for reading this far. I really appreciate your support. If you want to share your thoughts about this idea, let me know you were here, or just want to say hi, you can leave a comment down below. Or you can leave a comment/like on the Facebook post, whichever you prefer. Oh, and if you want to get regular updates, you can use your email address in the sidebar to the right to follow me. ^,^

Also, for those of you who aren't my friends on Facebook, I welcome you to this blog all the same. Hope you enjoy reading the stories I come out with.

It's only 10 days to NaNoWriMo. I'll try to post again in a few days, so stay tuned!

Hope to see you here in November! ^,~
Relevant links: 
NaNoWriMo Homepage ~
Where you can buy Story War ~