Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Pitch Wars Mentee Bio

It's that time again..Pitch Wars. Dun dun dun! Which means, it's time to write a hopeful mentee bio...
(Pitch Wars is an awesome contest thing ran by the lovely Brenda Drake, read all about it here!)

(Truthfully, I'm terrible at these things! So for one, I'm including my favorite gifs, maybe that will tell you a little about me?)

My Standard About Me:

Avid reader, music fanatic, aspiring to be published writer who lives in Narnia but spends winters at Hogwarts. (By the way, both Narnia and Hogwarts are located in Northern Nevada =D)

So yeah. I'm Shay (short for Shayla), I'm 20 years old and am currently spending all of my time writing. I probably spend too much time with my cats, and my coffee intake increases every day. I'm a Gryfinpuff, I'm way too dramatic most the time, use too many exclamation points when talking!!!!, a rambler, and fancy myself at least a little bit evil. =)

Oh, also, I can bake really well. Just saying. I'm not trying to bribe anyone but I could share recipes/somehow manage to send you epic cookies if you pick me. =)

Writing History:

I've been writing seriously since I was sixteen. In that time, I've written around 14 novels and not edited nearly enough of them. I've written everything from Middle-Grade Fantasy to Young Adult Contemporary, with some dystopian, some sci-fi, and various other things in there. The only ones I've seriously queried were my first book, which I was naive and it was so not ready. And then a YA Contemporary that I entered in Pitch Wars last year. I had a little interest but didn't end up getting picked. After revising and editing and revising again, I queried it for a bit but, despite some full requests, I didn't get anywhere so I shifted focus to my newest MS, which is a Middle-Grade Magical Realism novel titled The (Sometimes Grand) Adventures Of Ren & Farrah. I first wrote it last July in a rushed nine days I believe, and I wrote it because I wanted to write something fun and magical and explore imagination.

I've recently come to the realization that middle grade is my soul. I love YA and I want to write YA also but MG will always be my favorite. It's what I've wanted to write since I was a middle grade reader and, as much as I love dabbling in other genres, it's the one I keep coming back too.

Random Facts About Me:

- I'm bad at this kind of thing!
- A few of my favorite books are:
        - Alice's Adventures In Wonderland
        - The Percy Jackson series
        - Harry Potter (of course)
        - The Raven Cycle
        - Fablehaven
        - A billion others
- A few of my favorite movies/TV shows:
        - Harry Potter
        - The Hobbit movies!
        - Tangled
        - Big Hero 6
        - The Big Bang Theory
        - Supernatural
- My current obsession is:  The TV show Shadowhunters
- I have thing for dying my hair which is currently purple
- I'm super clumsy
- Magnus Bane is my personal life goals
- To be honest, I nearly broke my toe playing Pokemon GO...
- I'm obsessed with NaNoWriMo

About my novel:
 I'm going to do this in two parts, one: a list of things about my novel and two: a playlist.

Things that The (Sometimes Grand) Adventures Of Ren & Farrah has:

- Adventure that is sometimes grand.
- A pair of sisters who couldn't be more different, but love each other fiercely, even if they don't necessarily believe the same things anymore.
- Ten-year-old Ren, a girl who believes in nothing more than she believes in magic, and who wants nothing more than to save the renaissance faire she lives in.
- Farrah, who's 14 and very...angsty.
- Magic!
- Whimsy!
- A Renaissance faire that's in it's 50th season, which may have ben cursed by an evil wizard?
- Tiny giants and giant imaginations!
- A mysterious trickster...
- ...did I mention the tiny giants and magic?

I obsess over making playlists and this is probably the 5th or 6th version of this one? I tend to redo them for each draft. But anyone who wants an idea of the overall feel of my novels should just look at my playlists. =)

Aaaand, that's it. Good luck to all my fellow hopeful mentees and if any of you happen to read this please feel free to leave me a link to your own bio in the comments so we can become the best of friends! Read the other mentee bios here and I'm going to stop rambling now and leave off with my favorite gif:

Monday, July 18, 2016

Camp NaNo: The Beginning: Update #1

Once again I am failing at blogging...

I've been doing Camp NaNoWriMo this month with the insane goal of writing 200,000 words. That's 4 of a normal NaNo goal of 50k!

SOOOO I had intended to post more this month (so behind on all the things) and at the very least, do a camp update every week well, that failed because of reasons. I have been busier than I had hoped this month so every little bit of time I have has been spent writing! =D

Let's look at week one:

During week 1...

I wrote: 47,644

And drank: LOTS of coffee

Other highlights:

- I started out writing Forgotten Name which I have been so excited about since I got the idea and I LOVED writing this book so much. It was fun, it was one of those that was a little easier to write than others and it needs a lot of work because it's a first draft but I loved writing it so much.

- Starting at Midnight on the 1st I had a great start to camp!

- Sprinting! My amazing cabin has set up a leader board for sprints meaning I'm actually doing word sprints this month and it's SO MUCH FUN.

- Pokemon GO... I'm sure a lot of you know about Pokemon GO by now... Well, I started playing week 1, when it came out and I'm obsessed and it's so much fun and some of my cabin mates are playing too which is awesome. Buuuut, um, this is the reason I first started falling behind on my word count. NOT because I let it distract me from writing (though I did...a little?) but because I um...went Poke-hunting at like midnight and tripped and injured myself???? Yeeeeah, I did. It wasn't anything bad but it kind of hurt and it was gross. I won't go into detail, I'll just say I had to have most my toenail removed. Yeeah. I'm that person. the person who got a minor yet dumb injury playing Pokemon.

Me at the end of week one:

Week two:

Word count: 85.891

Coffee count: Lots!

Other highlights:

- I finished Forgotten Name! Again, LOOOOVED writing this so much. It needs work, I already have a list of things it needs done to it but I love it and it was fun to write.

- Fell behind further because LIFE

- Got a new plot bunny and decided to write that as my second project instead of something I'd already outlined...

- Started my second project, codename: M.I.F. and am in looove with it. It was a little harder to write, difficult to get into which made me fall a little behind because it was taking longer to get my word count met on it, but I love it sooo much.

Week 2, summed up in a gif:

And now for this week:

- I'm about to finish project number 2! It's a very short book! (Update: finished project number 2 and the end is less sad than I thought it was going to be!)

- Reached 100k. What what. I'm halfway there!

- My plans have changed slightly because I want to do Pitch Wars next month, therefore I have to have my main project I've been working on since last July camp, edited again. I wasn't sure I was going to do this because I was waiting for feedback from some CPs but I got the feedback and it was pretty good with just a few little things pointed out that I'm going to be working on fixing now!

- Writer's retreat! So, last November my mom found this thing about people who were renting a castle for a writer's retreat and, while we can't do that, we've decided to work up to that by starting with renting a nice room for four days up at the lake. We live just a few hours from Lake Tahoe so we're going up there for a "writer's retreat" where I shall edit my book and possibly start something new...who knows? Pictures to come!

The end...
What happens when you try to write 200k in one month:

No but seriously, camps been fun so far!

- Shay,
with love from camp =)

What have you been doing this month? Camp? If so, how's it going? If not, what have you been reading?? Any fun summer plans??? =)

Thursday, July 7, 2016

A Novel Idea #3: My First Story

The lovely Sky and Ashley are doing this weekly writing link up, where every week they're going to have different prompts and whatnot to get everyone talking about writing and hopefully feeling motivated. You can see the details here.

This week’s prompt is: Tell us about one of your first stories. When did you start writing it, and why? Do you remember the characters’ names? Are you still writing it? If not, do you think you’ll ever rewrite it? What did you learn while writing it?

My Very First Story:

Sooo, I got my first real idea on October 25th 2010. I know the exact date, I can remember the moment, because I got it when listening to Taylor Swift's Speak Now for the first time, especially the song Long Live. Something about the song just triggered my mind and bam. IDEA.

The notebook I outlined my first idea in!

So my first story was called Dragon Heir (more of a general series name than the title of the first book). It's a middle-grade fantasy adventure novel with dragons. The first in a series. I started actually writing it in 2012, after two years filling a green notebook (pictured above!) with ideas on the world and characters and story.

When I Started Writing It and Why:

I have to give credit to my older brother, because I'd been talking about the book forever. I was 14 when I first got the idea, 16 when I wrote it, and I only wrote it because my family went out to dinner one night (I can't remember what it was for? My birthday? His? Maybe, because it was this expensive place we only go every once in a while) anyway, somehow we got to talking, me and him, about Dragon Hier and it was the first time I REALLY talked about it, more than saying "I'm going to be a writer and I'm going to write a book...with dragons". And in the car on the way home, he basically decided for me that I was actually going to start writing it and so...I did. He didn't really give me any choice, tbh. Pretty much every day after that for a few months, I would write a chapter or so and then he would read it. Before then, it was kind of just this vague concept in my mind. I was going to be a writer and one day I would actually start writing. But my brother is definitely who finally pushed me to actually WRITE.

Character's Names:

Of course, I remember my character names! I still consider the MC my main squeeze (okay, I'm lame, sue me). She was my first character. She's very dear to my heart and no one, no other character, will hold quite the same place in my heart. Her name is Cass, she has a sister named Pan. The other "main characters" (there's a group of eight) are Wesley, Spring, Caiden (who was mostly deleted in the last rewrite?), Eilot, Leaf, and Cori. They were all too perfect and boring in the first draft, I had to do a lot of work before rewriting it to give them real personalities and you know flaws. But I love them all.

Am I Still Writing It?

Yes! I am still am writing it. I just completely rewrote the first in the series for Camp NaNo in April. After 3 years of not touching it? But it was always in the back of my mind. I'm fairly confident that it's a lot better now because I know how to plot and how to world build and how to, you know, actually have a story arc. Honestly, I will never give up on this novel. There's none I love the same way I love this book, it will always be my first dream, my biggest dream, to one day have it perfected and published and it will always have a special place in my heart. ;)

What Did I Learn From Writing This Book? 

I guess the main thing I learned when I first wrote this story was that I really loved writing and it really is what I want to do forever. I also learned that writing is hard and there's a lot more to it than just putting words on paper. Really, everything I've learned from writing I learned from writing the crappiest version of this book. I loved it when I first finished but then I realized a few months after revising it that it wasn't near the book I pictured in my head and that taught me just much work goes into books and how you have to take your time and be willing to rewrite something a million times to make it perfect.

Okay, I'm done rambling. If you're a writer, tell me about your first story!?!? If you're a reader tell me about the first book you really LOVED!?!?