The Most Likely Tag: Fun Facts About My Characters

As of late, writer’s block has decided to show up in all its glorious nonexistence, probably because NaNoWriMo was traumatizing and I didn’t want to touch my book for an entire month afterwards. But I recently got tagged by my friend Addie at The Lion’s Pen with the Most Likely Tag, which basically asks questions about my characters and I get to answer them here. I’m a fan of tags that have to do with one’s WIP because it helps me to think about my story and characters in ways I never have. So, onwards.

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Why Taking Breaks from Writing is Important

Taking breaks is important. As mortal Earthlings, moderation with everything is vital; we can’t handle too much of anything. This is why we sleep at night. This is why we take breaks at work. This is why we take school breaks during the summer and Christmas time. And this is also why we should take breaks from creating.

Why Taking Breaks from Writing is Important - Tea with Tumnus

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NaNoWriMo Tips + Fun Facts about my NaNo2018 Novel

It’s that time of year. Halloween is in the past, pumpkins are out, temperatures are dropping, people are hopefully getting their pumpkin-spice-chai-lattes from somewhere other than Starbucks. And writers around the world are halfway through the event in which they challenge themselves to write an entire novel in 30 days.

For many of us, NaNoWriMo is an exciting, challenging time of year, and for good reason. Yet we often dread it too, because what if we didn’t prepare enough? What if we fail to write 1667 words per day? What if we encounter writer’s block, which is a myth but is still apparently a thing? Let me say this: Even if you haven’t prepared at all, winning NaNoWriMo iS POSSIBLE! As I write this post, I am behind on my word count (hooray for productive procrastination). The point is, failing NaNoWriMo can and does happen. It happened to me last year because even though I knew my novel (Netherworld) inside and out, I simply wasn’t committed or motivated or excited to follow through the whole month. (Which is why I’m making up this year.)

For those of you who are struggling with NaNoWriMo right now––and even for those of you are way ahead and are doing just fine (KEEP IT UP!!)––I have some tips that might give you some good ideas about how to persevere through NaNo without giving into the stress. I’ll also be sharing a little bit about my NaNo novel Fiction’s Lie just for kicks!

NaNoWriMo Tips and Fun Facts about my NaNo2018 Novel - Tea with Tumnus

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April WIPjoy: Fun Facts about Fiction’s Lie

WIPjoy is a writing hashtag game organized by Bethany A. Jennings in which for each day of the month, writers across social media answer a question about their WIP. It’s mainly over on Twitter, and usually that’s where I participate, but I was busy that month and wasn’t able to answer questions every day that month. So I decided to wait and make it a blog post: fun facts about my WIP, Fiction’s Lie.

April WIPjoy_ Fun Facts About Fictions Lie - Tea with Tumnus

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3 Writing Exercises with Music

Sometimes you need to take a break from your main writing project. Spending all your writing time on just one project can get overwhelming and you might notice that your coffee fuel starts draining faster the longer and more often you spend working on one particular story. When it comes to my writing for Fiction’s Lie, schoolwork and essay writing has forced it aside. And when push comes to shove, my actual novel writing topples out of the once beautiful picture.

But, putting the school work and non-creative writing aside, it’s important to take breaks. And one of the best ways spending those breaks is working on another writing project. It doesn’t matter what kind of writing that is. It can be a poem, a random scene, experimenting with characters, dialog, action scenes, description, you name it. I call these writing breaks writing exercises because not only do you give you a fresh mind and some time away from your big WIP project, they also strengthen your writing, so that when you come back to your WIP after that break, you’ll feel rejuvenated and armed with some skills or scenes or new ideas to add to your manuscript.

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July #WIPjoy – Netherworld

Bethany Jennings, a wonderful blogger, Christian writer, and homeschool mom (wow! talk about being an inspiration) has this hashtag called #WIpjoy, in which she comes up with a question for each day in whatever month it happens (usually three times a year). The last WIPjoy was in January, and I blog posted about my WIP Fiction’s Lie. This month, however, I’m switching over to Netherworld, because it’s been around way longer than any other story I’ve been working on, and it’s my favorite to think, write, and talk about.

So, without more ado, here are some answers to some favorite WIPjoy questions concerning Netherworld. I did tweet a few of these, but failed majorly to answer them all on Twitter.

July #WIPjoy Netherworld - Tea with Tumnus

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January’s WIPjoy: Snippets & a Sneak Peak of Fiction’s Lie

Look up the hashtag #WIPjoy. It was put together by Bethany Jennings, who’s not only a fantasy writer, but also a Christian and homeschool mom, a lovely person who has inspired me in many different ways. (Check out her blog.) Basically, WIPjoy is answering questions about your WIP, one question per day of a designated month, and it happens about three times a year. There was just recently one in January (which I stopped 1/4 of the way through because I would rather answer them all in a blog post) and the one before that was in September.

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Keep Your Writing Organized with a Bullet Journal

I’m sure we writers hit a spot during our writing career when we feel overwhelmed. We’ve done a great job developing that plot, the foreshadowing and characters, but it’s too much. We can’t keep track, what with all the scattered Word files and notebooks full of unorganized scribbles. Let’s face it:

It’s tough being a writer. It can be depressing, writing about people, who, even though they are fictional, have serious problems. Delving into those problems and developing them, crafting them into a story, can lead to fictional stress (a real thing). It’s like you’re making sure ten different people are all taken care of and happy at the same time. Unorganized and dislocated, all these story tidbits, the tiniest scenes, the snatches of dialog, a character’s arc, etc. etc. all come tumbling down on your poor cluttered mind and distracts you, forcing you to lose your confidence. Your wits. Your sanity. Your nut.

Sound familiar?

For a while, this fit me to a T. When school started, it got worse, and I found the root of the problem was disorganization. I like keeping notes about my writing, but they’re all scattered in one tiny notebook I bring with me everywhere. There are a lot of ways to keep your writing organized; I’ve heard Scrivener is a very popular and handy resource particularly for fiction writers. But I can’t take a laptop everywhere I go. A notebook? Check. And that’s where all my writing ideas go before I log them onto a Word file.

I started researching how to gather up all my ideas into one place (in this case, a single journal) where I could find them easily. Now if that doesn’t sound like heaven to a plotter, I don’t know what does. In my research, I came across a term called “bullet journaling” and I was very happy with the article I found: Bullet Journaling for Fiction Writers

I bought a notebook. I fell in love with it. And I started to bullet journal. (Cue suspenseful music.)

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The Six Question Character Challenge: A Sneak Peak at Netherworld’s Characters

A little while ago, I was tagged by Jeneca, over at the blog Jeneca Writes, with the Six Question Character Challenge. I gladly welcomed the excuse to obsess over my people from my WIP novel, so many thanks to Jeneca. (Go follow her blog, by the way. You know you want to and for good reason.)

The Six-Question Character Challenge A Sneak Peak at Characters from Netherworld - Tea with Tumnus
Background picture via @nicholasbruno Instagram

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