Post Nanowrimo update

Hey guys! Sorry for the delayed post today; it’s been a long week for me.

To start with, I finished Nanowrimo this year. I actually hit my goal early, on day 23! As you can see though, I didn’t hit my 60k Novemember goal…at all.


This is because like the day I finished/day after, I got sick. Crazy sick. I’m still ill, in fact. I’ve been sleeping 12 hours some nights, barely moving, feverish and the works. It’s been a blast.

I’m also late to update because of exciting news! I’ve been volunteering for the SA Writer’s Centre and we had an end of year party last night, and unveiled the new logo and name for Writer’s SA. With 2017 being the 30 year anniversary of the Centre and wanting to be about the greater South Australian writing community, they moved location and have set up some beautiful ideas. I’m so proud of all their hard work! If you’re South Australian like me and not already a member, maybe you should head on over and join already. They also relaunched the site last night and it looks amazing, and I’m so grateful to see their excitement firsthand as they unveiled it.

Now that Nano is out of the way, I’m determined to put extra effort into the content I produce online as well as my actual writing, so I’ll be undertaking a few new developments towards my blog and social media in the upcoming new year. I’m still ironing out the kinks, but I’m pretty excited and hoping it all goes nicely.

Now that we’re in the final stages of 2017, I’m looking forward to making 2018 much more productive.

Happy writing,

Emma-Kate xoxo

I might as well be a trash can

…because all that comes out of me is garbage.

I’m sure we’ve all felt this way many, many a time. I’m sure we’ll all feel that way again.

What I want to address is that this feeling, as consuming and awful and as gross as it is; it’s one we all have. Literally everyone. To be honest, it’s probably good we’re feeling that way, even if it doesn’t feel good. It means we’re questioning ourselves, seeing that we can improve. Which is a little overwhelming.

This feeling can be a lot easier to manage if you break it down. For instance, a) is realising that hey, you’re not too happy with your work. Alright, that means b) is accepting that one, first drafts are just that- first drafts. They are gonna need work, love and effort- and several rewrites. C) would then be implementing that and taking it baby step by baby step.

Unfortunately, some 30k words into Nano, I began to panic a lot. I made some messes with my plot, I (GASP) diverged from my plan, and have left scattered sticky notes all over those notes and my PC, praying I would make sense of it when it came to it. I actually started writing this in the middle of this panic, because I just felt (well, feel, really) so unconfident. What if I wasted all of November writing these words, and they’re all garbage?

Well, I’m coming to terms with accepting something. A lot of those words will be absolute garbage. However, it’s a lot easier to edit or rewrite something if I have something written in the first place. So I’ll be pushing through with it, and hoping I can at least see this draft through to the end.


(I found this on pinterest and thought you guys might appreciate it).

Happy writing,

Emma-Kate xoxo

Ready, steady, write.

Hey guys! For those of you doing Nanowrimo next week, this post is for you. For those of you that aren’t doing Nano; my words of encouragement are still for you, too!

With November fast approaching and the harried last minute notes flying, stress levels (at least in my head!) are super high right now. There is a lot of doubt, a lot of tension. Are my notes sufficient? Is my story outline cohesive? Am I going to get stuck down in the cringey, lackluster first draft? Am I going to win Nanowrimo? Can I fulfill my goals as well as my commitments to everything else in my life?

Stress less guys. Take a deep breath in, and out. It’s going to be OK. We write all the time, right? This isn’t new for us. I know some of you thrive on goals like I do (I live for ticking things off of to do lists or using small goals to tear down a big one).

Here are a few things I’ll be doing this week to prepare, and I hope they’ll help you:

  • Doing a massive tidy up. I’ll still clean a bit during November but it’s easier to work/harder to procrastinate if everything is already taken care of!
  • Having writing tools ready. This year I’ll be using Cold Turkey Writer. It’s a really nifty little program; once you start it up, you can’t use your computer at all until you’ve reached the word or time limit you set. It forces you to write and concentrate (I also work really well with smaller goals as I stated earlier, so I get immense satisfaction watching the progress bar fill!)
  • To tie in with this, I’ve made playlists ready to turn on before I open Cold Turkey so there is no messing around. I found a few pre-made ones that worked really well for Nanowrimo too. This is my main spotify playlist for Nanowrimo, a fantasy reading music playlist some kind soul made that I’m in love with!
  • I’m making a bunch of veggie soup to go in the freezer. Bam, instant easy meal for when I want to write and not think!
  • Making sure I have multiple water bottles topped up in the fridge at the start of each morning so I have plenty of cold water.
  • Food shopping: On top of actually making soup, I’ll be doing a massive shopping trip at the start of the month and buying some freezer meals, some healthy snacks, etc.
  • Reward box: I have a halloween bucket full of candy, so I get a fun sized piece for every 2k words written (my daily goal)

This is pretty much everything I have/am going to be doing to get myself all zoned for Nanowrimo. Other than list some ideas to optimize time, I also want to offer some words of encouragement. It’s OK not to win Nanowrimo. Honestly, taking time for yourself and writing at all means you’ve already won something important. Don’t stress too much about the quality; that’s what rewrites are for. Don’t worry too much either if your story strays from your notes. They tend to do that, just go with the flow and see where it takes you. Don’t let writing detract from important things like sleep, eating, and your overall physical and mental health. Most of all, and I don’t say this lightly- whatever you might be writing, actually enjoy what you’re doing. This is your work, and you deserve to have fun with it.

I can’t wait to see what everyone manages in November, and I wish you all the best of luck.

Happy writing,

Emma-Kate xoxo

Plotober week one!

Week one of plot-tober is halfway done for me, and I’ve done a few things to get ready (emphasis on few). My blog this week is going to be mostly a confirmation that I’ve achieved things/a way to keep myself on track, but I want others to feel like they’ve gotten stuff done too! So grab your notepad, and start scrawling down the things you’ve gotten done on your writing this week.

Things I have accomplished:

  • Naming my land. This was actually super hard. I generally struggle with this because fantasy world names can sound ridiculous, pretentious, over-zealous or just dumb..and I’m good at all of them. I actually picked a name I enjoy that is a nod to one of to my all time favourite character (hopefully just subtle enough).
  • Added an excerpt on Nanowrimo of my novel. This won’t be going towards my word count obviously, as that’s against the rules, but it’s nice to have a small jumping off point.
  • Wrote a small blurb that I’m not overly happy with. Hopefully finishing my synopsis will inspire a better one. Both of these can be found on my nano.
  • Cried a little bit because I’m terrible at finishing anything but great at starting a million different things.
  • Convinced several friends to do Nano with me! Yay! This was great because it’s hard to do alone; it’s easier for me when I feel like I’m competing against them and have to do my best!
  • Went to a pre-nano meetup.
  • Booked in and paid for my first ever write in. I’ll be going to the Burnside Nano write-in with Lauren and I’m super excited. (Link to the event here and Lauren’s new blog can be found here!)
  • I’ll also volunteering at my first writers event tonight, and I hope it goes well!

I’ll be working on The Story of Audrey with the intent on finishing the first full draft before January and plodding along with some short stories and my Nanowrimo outline. I’ll be hopefully finishing a horror short story collection soon, so keep an eye out for that. The Daemon Revelation is taking a break because I got to the end of the first draft, and obviously have hacked it up. So it needs a little time to marinate.

What have you all gotten done this week? Are you doing Nano too? What have you written? What do you want to write? Feel free to tag me or tweet at me and let me know!

Happy writing,

Emma-Kate xoxo

Plot-tober and my guide to getting ready


Hey guys! With Nano approaching fast, and my normal projects stagnating, I’m turning my attention to prep. I’m a severe planning; even if I don’t follow everything exactly, I like to have a clue of where I’m going. Nanowrimo forums are filled to the brim with plotting and resources, but the general consensus is using the month of October to plan your baby. I’m not going to a daily bingo of “do x”, especially when I’ve done a bit of my stuff already, but I’m going to show you the rough plotting guideline I’ve given myself to get stuff done with. If this is at all helpful to you, and I really hope it is, please let me know how you go plotting and planning this way!


Week One, October 1-7th: Plot

For the first week of October, I’m going to tackle the basic plot of my story as a starting block. Some of the aspects I really want to nail down include:

  • Writing a brief synoposis so if anyone asks “what’s your story about?”, instead of me umming and ahhing and saying “well it’s really complicated a lot”, I can grab my synopsis and wave it in their face.
  • Work out the themes my story is representing. Is it about love, friendship, a greater moral victory? Is it a quest? That sort of business.
  • Work out the rough beginning, middle and end. Divide them into three sections, and acknowledge what I want to accomplish in each. What is the climax of my story, and start working out how I’m going to get there. It doesn’t matter if I’m too detailed with this; I’ll be approaching this a bit more after.


Week two, October 8-14th: Characters

I have some notes on my characters already, but I haven’t fleshed them out a lot. This is hard because I am doing a multiple POV story, jumping between chapters, so I need consistency in my characters when swapping over, so I don’t feel like it’s just the same character without switching. So a few of the goals I have for each character, for my own benefit, include:

  • One page backstory for each character. Include trivial notes on their life, beyond basic physical and personality traits. What is their family like, how does that tie into the plot.
  • Work out exactly how important they are in the plot; are they directly affecting things, or are they more of an overarching symptom/side effect of what’s going on
  • Clearly define how they connect to one another. I feel like I’m going to go full Charlie Kelly, red string style with this.
  • Be able to give them each a one or two word motive driving their actions in order to understand how they shape the story.


Week three, October 15-21: World

Oh boy, this is the bit that usually scares me the most. Again, I’m lucky I have a rough world and a map and stuff, but it still needs a lot of work, and I’m dreading this. My world is OK, like I know where the holes are and that they need to be filled, it’s just a matter of…filling them.

  • Magic. I need to know exactly WHAT my magic is, does, it’s limitations, and that sort of stuff. It’s not an all-powerful, OP magic, I based it in as much realism as a fantasy world can get, but I want to make sure there aren’t plot holes in it.
  • Fantasy creatures: I need to do some notes and outlining. I have a few minimal creatures but I need to make sure they aren’t out of place, or ridiculous.
  • Map out my literal cities/villages/kingdoms a bit more.
  • Is religion a thing? Do I want to nod in that sort of direction? I feel like even with the monarchy system, religion of some form is usually the case. Would it revolve around magic, seeing as that’s the fundamental basis of my world?
  • I know what my world looks like, but realistically, how big is it? How long does it take to get from point a to b? I’m a bit touchy about this stuff after the most recent season of Game of Thrones.
  • Is there more to my world than the particular continent I am using? Which hemisphere is it in? On that note, how do seasons work? Gonna have to do some research and read some academic resources.


Week four, October 22-30th: Preparation

So, assuming I did all that stuff during the time I designated, I should have a pretty solid idea of my world, and the plot. The final week and a bit, I’ll be doing the worst bit of all: outlining my chapters. I don’t want to be too “this has to happen here!” with outlining, but I also don’t want to be too vague. I think I’m going to write up chapter outlines for each character individually, and work out what order they go in after one another AFTER the story is written, or I’ll be too stressed trying to balance out POVS and stuff, when really, I just wanna tell my story.


October 31st: REST AND PREP

This is just as important as all the other stuff, resting is important too! I want a fresh mind and a fresh start for Nanowrimo, and with a 2k daily word goal between other things, it’s gonna be tricky. So my to do list for the 31st is:

  • Meal prep! I’ll shop and buy some fresh fruit and stuff for easy lunch and whatever, but I’ll make enough vegetable soup to go in the freezer for a month that I won’t have to stress about actually eating. Fun fact: I forget food exists a lot.
  • Although it’s basically done, add to my nano treat/goal box to keep me motivated and on track. Here’s what it looks like so far:


I have about…35 candy bars in there (one per 2000 words!) and a bath bomb for every 10,000 words finished. I also have scents in there for an oil burner, because I have to have candles going. Ikea had a special, $7 for 200, so I stocked up. I have just over half of those ready to go on my writing desk next to my treats.


  • Playlists. I’m pretty particular about music, I’m pretty sure I’m just going to throw on Swan Lake and the Four Seasons a million times this year, though.
  • Take a bath!
  • and most importantly, have an early, restful night of sleep.


I think that’s just about everything for my nano prep. How are you all going to tackle October and the scary rush for Nano? Are you plotting, or just pantsing? Are you going to eat all your snacks before then, like I’m tempted to? Let me know!

Happy writing,


Emma-Kate xoxo

Nanowrimo and why you should join me

So, I’m jumping the gun a bit early this year, but let’s dive in! Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month) is November 1-30th of every year. The goal is to write 50k within that month. It could be part of a novel, or short stories, or even just musings. There isn’t really any limit. The only real ‘rule’ is those words need to be written in that month, and you have to hit the 50k goal line to win the official Nano. Of course, you can set your own personal goal if you’re not up to it- 1667 words a day is a LOT to get done.

Personally, I’ll be working on a novel idea that 15 year old Emma conjured. While my main goal is to hit the 50k, I aim to get 80-90k done on the book; which would mean an average of 3000 words a day! That’s a very big goal, and I won’t beat myself up if I don’t make it.


I won my first ever nano last year, and sort of got lazy.

There are two kinds of Nanowrimoers; planners and pantsers. Pantsers fly by the edge of their seat, writing on a whim, whatever their heart fancies on the day Nano begins. Planners, on the other hand, usually go all out; outlines, character profile sheets, specific scene plans, you name it! I’m somewhere in the middle; I like to plan, but I know stories are a lot more liquid than we think, and to now go with the flow if it changes mid story. Sometimes it sucks to have a meticulous outline change on you, but what can you do.


The beginnings of my Nano board this year! I put all the main information I need on here- mostly to motivate myself. The rest of my notes go in a binder.

This year, seeing as it’s an older story I had made some notes of and want to tweak a lot, I’m ripping the backstory of this bad boy apart. My bestie/graphic designer/illustrator Adara (shameless plug goes here will be creating a map for me, potentially some creature designs, and a few other bits and pieces that my wallet will allow! Along with that will be some severe research and backstory design.

If you are planning to do Nano, tell me a bit about your story! Are you excited? Have you got a plan? Are you pantsing? I’d love to hear about it- and if you aren’t planning to do Nano, perhaps you should be changing your mind! Feel free to befriend me and work on Nanowrimo with me this November. Click on the Nanowrimo link on my site and add me as a buddy. Let’s support each other to write!


Happy writing,


Emma-Kate xoxo