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  • Hey everyone, here's the pad for the final PlanMo workshop tonight! Event starts in half an hour but feel free to hang out and chat/do the starter exercises.


    Hope to see some of you there :)

    *tags literally everyone who has a journal/I know is planning on NaNo-ing*

    Spoiler! :
    @Konijnje @BlueAfrica @ThemagicalEbonyFox @MJTucker @LadyLizz @DragonNoir @Mea @Steggy @Audy @Kays @DemonGoddess @DFMaolMoire @Holysocks @Hattable

    ExOmelas Thanks to everyone who took part in this. I'll see about running some more WWs tomorrow but probably a good idea to check the discord for that sort of thing.

    Also good luck with NaNo - you're all awesome and I'm certain you can do this. Just message me (and possibly wait til I've finished whatever essay I'm on) if you have any concerns :)

    Oct 30, 2017

  • zaminami
    Oct 29, 2017

    I think I'll just wing it for NaNo >:3 I've been cranking out reviews too much

    ExOmelas Pantsing is a well established tradition :P (improvising from the seat of your pants)
    Oct 29, 2017

    zaminami XD maybe I'll write two novels for NaNo mwuahaha
    Oct 29, 2017

  • Hey guys, sorry I've gone quiet for a bit. Two days filled entirely with debating have almost killed me. But hey, yous are the one doing NaNo, so you know the feeling of doing something ridiculous but somehow also strangely enjoyable ;)

    Challenge 10 - Questions

    If you haven't yet made it to this challenge I suggest you skip to it, because at this stage in the month it could become crucial. Especially if you are a first timer, you are likely to have many questions about how to go about the process of this genuinely enormous undertaking. Also, you should all be incredibly proud of yourselves for even attempting this. Pretty much anyone I've ever spoken to about NaNo who wasn't a writer/was a writer who never NaNo's thinks this is an utterly insane amount of work to put on yourself and seriously couldn't believe I thought this was worth the hassle. So whether you manage to complete NaNo or only get to 10k, know that you should already be proud.

    In case you haven't read ahead, this challenge is pretty simple. It's also not really a challenge. What I want you to do is post on your forum thread any questions you have about your current plan, or about the process of NaNo itself - or even writing itself, since clearly this is a good group to get advice from. Then I want you to go around other people's forums answering as many questions as you want. Also feel free to post questions on the club wall, on your own wall, screw it they can be on my wall if you really want. I want you to clutter this site with NaNo stuff until everyone gets hyyyyyyyyyyyped.

    Look, I know it might seem weird for me to be this involved in NaNo prep but not actually be doing NaNo, but it genuinely makes me happy when I see other people achieving things they maybe never thought they would. NaNo 2012 was my first time ever finishing a project and there was a point in my life where a part of me thought that would literally never happen. There is nobody on this site that I do not believe to be capable of amazing things and I can't wait to help you all through this month.

    Hope this helps (and I have never meant that more),
    Biscuits :)

    p.s. A lot of what tomorrow's workshop will focus on is your questions so the more issues you bring to my attention, the more effectively I'll be able to target what I cover.

  • Hi everyone! It's almost time! I'm not even participating and I'm excited! Gah!

    Final Workshop

    The last workshop of PlanMo will be on

    Monday October 30th 9PM GMT
    (5PM EST because the clocks go back on Sunday for gmt folks)

    It will be a very relaxed workshop where we mostly hang out and talk about any final questions people have. These can be examining people's plans for final plot-holes or questions to more experience NaNo-ers about what the month itself is likely to be like.

    I'm also thinking some sort of Word War practice where I give you a random prompt and you have to write as much as you can on that for fifteen minutes, then the winner is the person who writes the most. This is a standard WW, of course, except for it not being of your story. You're not allowed to start on your story until the month starts, so this is just to get you used to the fast paced writing pressure that you're getting very close to.

    So come on, bring your friends, let's all get ready for the big one -

    Na. No. Wri. Mo.

    Oct 27, 2017

  • Okay so I'm thinking Monday for the workshop. I would start it around 9PM GMT which I think should be 4PM EST, but I don't know conversions for Asia and Oceania/Australasia (apologise for whichever of those is the outdated term).

    I'm very flexible on this though so if anyone has any preferences date/time wise do let me know. Just has to not be saturday evening, but probably does have to be an evening whatever day it is.

    BluesClues That's 5p.m. EST until the clocks change (which isn't until next weekend). If people will be there a couple of hours I could pop in around 6 but definitely not before that. I have my students until 5:45/6p.m. EST.
    Oct 26, 2017

    ExOmelas That's probably the latest I can start at, but if you're only missing an hour that might be okay. I possibly could start it an hour later but since it's more casual and there's no set time for particular activities (any activities I do run will be of the sort that can run multiple times) it's probably not that big a deal
    Oct 27, 2017

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  • ThemagicalEbonyFox
    Oct 25, 2017

    Challenge 7: Plot holes
    Here we go.

    Spoiler! :

    This is not the full plot, I've tried to keep it brief.
    A bloody feather:
    Emmeline is a normal girl, just like everyone else in the village of Stamton. Or so she thought. One day after school, she finds a demon sitting in her room. It turns out she's the long lost daughter of a demon and an angel who fell in love. After they were born, they used their powers to temporarily hide her existence from the rest of Heaven and Hell. However, when Emmeline turned 16, her secret powers awoke and the charm that had been hiding her finally gave way. A demon named Seth and an angel named Annabelle were both sent to take her back to the worlds she came from. However, Emmeline is reluctant to leave Earth, and the two knew that taking her by force would be dangerous.
    Seth vowed to return and convince Emmeline to join him, Annabelle however refused to give up. The next morning, Michael, leader of the angel army, appeared to Emmeline and his elite task force manage to put her to sleep. She spends her next few days imprisoned above Heaven until Seth comes and rescues her. It is then that Seth tells her is backstory and convinces her to come to Hell with him until it is safe for her to return home.
    However, he then hands her over to Satan, who intends to use her power as a weapon that will destroy Heaven and Earth. The process will most likely take Emmeline's life. After realising what he's done Seth teams up with Annabelle and rescues her. The angels ask Annabelle to return Emmeine to heaven, but Annabelle refuses, deciding that her friends are more important to her. Emmeline uses her power to create a barrier separating the three realms. She returns to Earth, along with Annabelle and Seth, and resumes her almost normal life.

    Mea This is cool so far! Something I'm wondering is who her parents are and where they are in all of this - surely they're not dead, since angels and demons can't really die. Will they play any part in the story? What sort of repercussions will they have once Emmeline is discovered?

    This is too short for me to be sure that the holes are actually there, but right now I think you could focus more on Emmeline, Annabelle and Seth's motivations and character arcs - how exactly will they change over the course of the story? Seth realizes what Satan was going to do, but surely this can't be too much of a shock, as Satan is, well, Satan. Surely Seth's done lots of horrible things in the past as a demon. Why change sides now? And how does Emmeline feel about all of this? Why does she want to resume her normal life when she could go be an angel or something?

    Those are just some questions I thought of - I'm sure you've answered some/all of them already and just can't fit the answers here. It's definitely a good plot so far - I'm seeing a lot of things you can dig into and lots of different directions you could go with it!

    Oct 26, 2017

    ThemagicalEbonyFox Thanks for the feedback. I haven't really thought much about Emmeline's parents, so that'd be a good thing to look into.
    Oct 26, 2017

  • Hey guys, posting as me so I'm easy to contact.

    I was wondering if anyone would be interested in another workshop right near the end of October. I think we were going to have another one but unfortunately the mod who was running it had to take a break from YWS for a while. I'm unsure if she managed to run it before she left though so if she did do let me know xD

    Anyway, I was thinking this would be a much more relaxed one. A sort of calm before the storm kind of thing. You would write out everything you wanted to tell people about your novel and leave some questions that other people could come by and offer advice on. Also for anyone new to NaNo-ing I'd try and make sure there were some experienced NaNo-ers there to answer any questions you might have about the process itself.

    It's not a big deal if people don't fancy this, just thought I'd check.

    Biscuits :)

    BluesClues I would love it! As far as I know, we did not get that workshop. I've been thinking about hitting her up on Discord, just to check in.
    Oct 25, 2017

    zaminami Well YEAH
    Oct 25, 2017

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  • Did somebody say procrastination~

    Challenge 9 - Main Character

    I can't remember if there was a reason we left this for near the end or not, but I think this might be an okay place to have it.

    So, by this point, you probably know your main character pretty well. Or well, you should. It's been over three weeks c'mon guys :P Given that, when I say "dig right in" to your main character, I mean it. Write as much as you possibly can even if that's just you writing out in full paragraphs some of the answers to the character questionnaire I got yous to use for the side characters in like challenge 4 or something. You can write about absolute nonsense, but the more you write, the more you get into that character's mindset. And the more into their mindset you are, the easier to know what their reactions to situations would be, how they feel, how to write them with truth.

    Bottom line, I want you to try to write at least 1000 words about your main character. (Word Counter website for anyone who wants one).

    Hope this helps :)

  • Atticus
    Oct 21, 2017

    Submitting my synopsis so people can check for anything that makes no sense:

    Spoiler! :
    Skylar and Myra live in separate villages on the same planet, and life there is wonderful, except for one thing. There is always one threat looming over them, and that is the threat of the Collection. There are rumors of a certain artifact that will be able to defeat them, but no one has gotten any solid evidence of such a thing.

    The Collectors come to their separate villages and collect both Skylar and Myra. They are taken to a prison camp, where they are forced to work for three years, with poor treatment and possible abuse from the guards.

    While they are there, the girls work hard enough to become supervisors of a small group. In their brief interactions with the guards, they find one guard who is willing to be sociable and reveal a few non-important secrets to them for the feeling of power. After a while, the girls are able to coerce bigger secrets out of him.

    In combination with the unapproved rumors that have been circulating and the few tidbits of information from their guard friend, Skylar and Myra overhear a conversation between their superiors that confirms their hope—there is an artifact that can bring the empire to their knees. And it is reachable.

    With this in mind, and the horrible treatment the girls have to endure from the guards, the girls decide to set up a dramatic escape. After they escape narrowly, they are now on the epic chase, the Empire willing to do anything and everything to capture them, and the girls willing to sacrifice everything to find this artifact.

    They land on the appropriate planet and begin to search. With their clues, they find the cave and begin to work on solving the puzzles. About halfway through the first challenge, they hear the Collectors landing. Now, in a race against the Collectors, they make it through the challenges, collect the artifact, and then manage to fly back to their planet with the Collectors on their tails.

    They show the artifact to the town leaders, and give a rallying speech with three main points: 1) the evilness of the Collectors, 2) the combined strength of all the villages, and 3) the power of the artifact. Now, they rush to fight against the collectors and establish a more fair and impartial system.

    Sorry if that got a little long, I tried to keep it concise. My main concerns are clicheness and too much action/plot packed into this. There will most likely be a sequel, but that's not guaranteed, because the problem is technically resolved. Any and all feedback will be welcome!

    ExOmelas Hey, I don't have any classes tomorrow so I'm gonna try and go through any wall posts that I haven't replied to yet. Feel free to bug me towards the afternoon if I haven't done so yet ^.^
    Oct 22, 2017

    Atticus Thanks Biscuits! I won't get home until late in the afternoon for me, but I think we're in different time zones, so we'll just figure something out. I appreciate everything you've been doing for the PlanMo club, it really does help :)
    Oct 23, 2017

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  • Hey everyone! As we enter the final third of PlanMo and the ideas are all coming together, I thought that I would share 5 quotes that can be helpful to keep in mind while writing your first draft:

    1)"We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master."—Ernest Hermingway. This is important to remember because even though some writers might be better than others, we're all just doing our best and trying to express our ideas a little bit better, one word at a time.

    2)“I would advise anyone who aspires to a writing career that before developing his talent he would be wise to develop a thick hide.”
    —Harper Lee, WD. You will have to rip your story apart, or maybe someone else will. Don't get emotionally attached to the words of your first draft, be proud of what you've achieved and get ready to improve it.

    3)“You can fix anything but a blank page.”
    by Nora Roberts. This is so true, and so important when you're writing a first draft! All you have to do is get words on the page. Any words, it doesn't matter how bad they are or how rough, you can fix it later. You just need to have something to work with.

    4)"If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it"-Toni Morrison. Write the book that you would pick up from the shelf. Write a book that will be different and grab your reader's attention and hold it from the first sentence to the last sentence.

    5)"This is how you do it: You sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until it's done. It's that easy, and that hard"- Neil Gainman. We all know just how simple writnig sounds, and how hard it is. You don't have to think of any super-fancy rhetorical devices during your first draft, you don't need a PhD in English, all you have to do is put one word after another. And repeat that process. A couple thousand times.

    Now get out there. Plan the best book that you think exists. Write your favorite book. Write every day of your life, and be open to constructive criticism that will make your book the best it can be. You can do this.

    Mea These are great quotes!
    Oct 21, 2017

    Atticus I'm glad you like 'em! There's another one by Jessica Day George about sandcastles that I really like, but I couldn't find it :/
    Oct 21, 2017

  • I'm currently tabbing a debating competition (essentially running the computer) which means I have a lot of free time today in between rounds. So I figured I'd post about a couple of challenges today and see how hyped I can get yous all as we head towards the last week of PlanMo!

    8 - Key Moment

    This is one of the bits that comes easiest to me, so if anyone wants a hand please do just say. When I write a story, usually a scene imagines itself in my head and I build the rest of my story around that. Who are the characters in it, how did they get there? etc. However, if this is something you haven't necessarily thought about yet, I think it's really important to get it down now.

    So, what is the BIG THING that happens in your story? What characters are in it? Where is it set? What point of the novel does it occur at? What are you trying to get across to the reader in this scene? Are there any random details you want to stick in there for no other reason than they're already in your head? (I once ended up basing a whole character around the fact that when I imagined the climax scene he was wearing knuckledusters xD)

    I think this is a really important thing to plan for a couple of reasons. 1) NaNo is hard. This gives you something to aim at. Extra motivation is always useful. 2) This is the most tense moment in your story; it will help the reader if you are excited to write it, 3) If you figure out the central conflict of that scene now it means you're able to write on that theme the whole way through and not flip-flop between things.

    Seriously though, I have almost nothing to do for about an hour and a half at a time today (with ten minutes of chaos interspersed between these intervals) so if you just want to have a chat about novel stuff in general, I would be extremely happy to help.

    Biscuits :)
    (Linking myself just in case anyone doesn't know who's talking xD)

  • Hello! I’m going to post my plot summary here. :) Any and all feedback would be great!

    Spoiler! :

    Cas is a young king who’s kind and generous, but only in the summer. Some sort of magic links him to the seasons, bringing winter when he’s dangerously mad and summer when he’s in a good mood. When he doesn’t have strong emotions, the seasons continue as normal and change him along with them. The people accept this because both Cas’s lighter and darker nature’s ultimately help the country to prosper and defend itself.

    Evella is a thief who’s deep in debt to the wrong people. They’ve always told her “it would take a king’s crown” to get her out of debt so that’s what she plans on stealing. She signs up for a musical competition to get close to the king. The king invites her to stay and despite her goals, they begin to become friends. Evella has also found a job in the village and the palace keeps her fed and clothed. She thinks that she can hide from her debts there.

    Evella doesn’t believe the legend of Cas and the seasons, but the people are rejoicing over a long summer. Cas has found a friend, and maybe even a fiancé. The people stop preparing for winter, but then there’s an attack lead by the people Evella was in debt to. Cas doesn’t turn cold and nearly dooms his people, and then winter comes on suddenly when he grieves over her loss.

    Evella is gone for a long time, and she has to resort once more to thievery to get back. Summer comes for a brief time when she manages to return to Cas, but winter comes on in full force when she admits to her criminal past. Cas was still healing and couldn’t take all this emotion- he hadn’t felt anything this deeply before. With things going out of control, Evella can’t help but flee the land and go across the ocean; she knows that Cas hates the sea.

    The king sends hunters out after her, because he still loves her. No one seems able to stop him or calm him down; his sister feels powerless and overwhelmed. Evella is eventually found and brought back, and though Cas asks her to marry him, she refuses. She feels like a prisoner in a place where she once felt at home. She and Cas’s sister work together to see if they can bring the two personalities together and end all of the insanity.

    I tried to cut it down some from previous versions, I hope it’s not too long.

    BluesClues Wow, cool. I didn't realize there would be a romance vibe, but that's kind of neat! And I obviously love the fact that he somehow relates to the seasons, and I don't think we necessarily need to know how that works or anything so I don't consider it a plot hole.

    The plot does seem a little all-over-the-place right now. Like...I get the first part, up to the point where the attack by the people Evella was in debt to. At that point, that's where you kind of lose me. It just seems like a lot for one book. Especially since we get: the attack, her being gone, her returning to thievery to get back, hooray she's back, booo she has a criminal past, jk she's leaving again, wait no come back I'm sending people after you, kidnapped because I love you (?), refusal of marriage proposal, "try to end all the insanity."

    Whoa buddy.

    What is the main plot line? Right now I think I'm really just not sure what's the main plot and what falls under "subplots." The last paragraph makes it sound like the relationship between Cas and Evella is the main plot point?

    Oct 19, 2017

    Que Yeah, I pretty much don’t have any solid plot after the attack point, eheh. The rest is just kind of what I originally came up with, and I’m not quite sure what to do with it yet. The main plot really is the relationship between Cas and Evella, just with other stuff in there. (Probably) Maybe I’ll combine it so she just leaves once? When I write it, I’m definitely going to expand on things that happen while she’s gone, so maybe it won’t seem to fast paced or all over. (But I totally agree, it is all over right now haha)
    Oct 19, 2017

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  • Konijnje
    Oct 19, 2017

    Plot Summary for my novel, A Heart for a Heart

    Spoiler! :
    Beginning: Characters are introduced and background is laid out. Wren is introduced as a commoner, Aspasia introduced as a preppy princess. The king’s mental instability will be spoken about throughout the kingdom, as well as the loss of the beautiful Queen Arethusa. Aspasia and Wren meet in the marketplace, though they don’t originally hit it off since they are from different walks of life and have conflicting personality types.

    Middle: Aspasia and Wren meet again, this time outside of the busy marketplace. This time they both take the time to properly conversate, which leads to the start of their friendship. After this, they agree to meet outside of the enchanted forest. The two become unlikely lovers and are willing to do anything to stay together.

    Climax: Wren decides she wants to marry Aspasia, but as the law is to ask for the father’s blessing, this complicates things. She follows Aspasia to the castle and meets the king to ask him for his blessing, but when she does the king is outraged. Furious, he throws things at her and tries to kill her, but Wren escapes before he can do any harm. Aspasia, confused at the noise, speaks with her father. King Lynton decides to have Wren’s heart publicly torn out as punishment for being impure and trying to steal his daughter’s affection. Aspasia begins to weep as she loves Wren, so the king decides to have her heart ripped out as well. The two are scheduled to be publicly executed in two days time, and each lover is to rip out the others heart in front of the entire kingdom to show what happens when one’s heart is impure.

    Ending: Be warned, there are spoilers in this one. Although I'm keeping the ending fairly vague until I actually get to write it, I do have some ideas of how I would like it to potentially end. Because Wren and Aspasia are scheduled to publicly rip out each other's hearts (which will be done with a knife, if this information is in any way useful) the two will be working their hardest to escape. I'm currently torn between two plot endings, one with the two girls escaping into the enchanted woods (which nobody has ever returned from once entering) or have them actually getting ready to stab each other's chest when they suddenly turn the knives on themselves. Both of these endings could end rather gory, but each could also have a decent outcome. For instance, I might have another person stop the execution upon realizing that the king has gone way too far in his craziness, and he'll speak out against it once seeing the girls turn their knives against each other (kinda like in The Hunger Games when Katniss and Peeta are both about to eat to eat the poison berries). Or, in the enchanted woods the two girls could discover that it's actually not that bad. Who knows, they could even discover a world other than the one they grew up in?

    Feedback would be great, especially on the ending part.

    Mea Hmm, so this is a pretty interesting and well-outlined story, but there's one thing I'm not sure of: if you actually have enough plot here for a full novel. Right now, reading the summary, I'm thinking this would be a great short story, maybe 10k words tops. But a novel? There just aren't very many plot complications or any subplots, at least in the summary you've given us here. If you want this to be a full-length novel, you should probably add a few more characters and subplots.

    Your ideas for your ending could all be good, depending on how you set them up and write them. (Though personally I'm partial to happy endings and I want them to escape into the enchanted forest.) The biggest question you'll want to ask yourself is how the ending will complete their character arcs, and if you want to write a tragedy or not. But their character arcs are really important, and even though you talk about them falling in love, you haven't really told us how that's going to change them. They have external barriers to their love, but what do they have to overcome within themselves?

    I hope these questions help! This is a good start, but there's always room to go deeper. :P

    Oct 19, 2017

    BluesClues Mmm I definitely prefer a happily-ever-after/escape to suicide in this case, especially since there has already been talk in the kingdom of the king's instability - the time seems ripe for revolution. Or, you know, at least for some guy to stand up and stop the executions and be like, "Um, guys, this seems like a terrible thing for a king to do to his people."
    Oct 19, 2017

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  • I feel like the more I write about Seth the more I fall in love with him. (For those of you who don't know, Seth is a demon who is one of the many antagonists in my novel. He's my favourite character.)

    ExOmelas I adored him too ^.^
    Oct 18, 2017

  • Let's do this! Plot summary for untitled sci-fi novel (well, trilogy, but I'm just gonna talk about the first novel here):

    Spoiler! :
    Meet Dameon, a 30-year-old ex-FBI agent who is just sliding through life, his only joys in life his mother and his younger brother Sam. Sam is currently studying at Harvard, researching and trying to replicate a series of bizarre happenings involving objects - and people - appearing and disappearing into thin air. Their only clue so far? Clusters of a strange, unstable particle unlike any known to physicists, clinging to the appearing objects.

    One fateful night, Dameon goes to visit Sam and winds up trying to help him with the equipment. Something goes very wrong, and the next thing Dameon knows, he's standing among the ruins of Harvard, but not the Harvard he knows. There's no civilization in sight; only ruins.

    Eventually, he's picked up by a patrol and told what happened to him; reality is actually made up of 32 layers, and he's just fallen to the bottom one. There's no way back. They take him to New Canada, a country cobbled together after a plague (and other things) had wiped out most of the world. The leader? Sam, his brother. Or, well, this dimension's version of Sam. (As it turns out, Sam is too interested for his own good in this dimensions stuff, and his research with it has caused nearly every version of him to accidentally fall down at some point or another.)

    Knowing Dameon's work with the FBI, this Sam asked him to work in New Canada's special forces; a rogue version of Sam and his followers have been causing trouble. Dameon utterly refuses; he swore never to work for a state again.

    Until 3 years later, when his brother - his Sam - falls through, and is abducted by the rogue Sam.

    From here, my plot is less solid. Stuff happens. Dameon's Sam winds up working as a double agent against the rogues. Dameon slowly starts becoming more loyal to New Canada as he works with his team on other things. Plus some subplots involving other members of his team that I'm excited about.

    Until it all falls apart and the rogues are suddenly a much more credible threat; they are working with one of the other countries in this world and planning to take over a large research center (one that studies this dimensional stuff). Sam gets them the details of the plot, but exposes himself. In the end, Dameon is left with a choice: save Sam, or do his duty and stop the rogues.

    He saves Sam. The rogues' plan is partially thwarted, but they're now a much more severe threat. End of book one.

    Yeah, as you can see my middle needs some work. But I'm pretty excited about Dameon's character arc especially.

    Spoiler! :
    thank you so much for getting the ball rolling xD

    I'm really intrigued by there being loads and loads of versions of Sam. To what extent are any of them really Dameon's brother? Or maybe they're more similar than you'd think, like, a continuous current running through?

    I think my question is why did Dameon vow never to work for a state again? Also I'm not sure I understand how saving Sam would be in opposition to stopping the rogues. It seems like the rogues are the threat to Sam, so if you stop them, you save him anyway. Do you know what I mean?

    Oct 18, 2017

    BluesClues "stuff happens" my plot every single time omg

    I have nothing helpful to add at this point, since "stuff happens" is super vague so I can't pick out specific plot holes. I am curious about Biscuits' question, although I can certainly see ways from various other television shows/books/movies that saving Sam might not stop the rogues at all. But I am curious to know if you've thought out how that's the case.

    Oct 18, 2017

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I love her dearly, but I can’t live with her for a day without feeling my whole life is wasting away.
— Miss Kenton, The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro