Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Tips for NaNoWriMo - Having fun with it

I admit it. I may have heard that during the course of the month you don't feel all that great. 

Late nights, harsh deadlines, lack of sleep... what could be worse?

But you need to remember that it is all for a good cause. Is it your dream to be a writer? Good. Get used to it. Even with the blog I have trouble keeping up with things. And NaNo on top of all of that? 

I don't mind. It has pretty much been my dream to have a book published before I was even ten years old. I just didn't realise it until a few months ago. 

You always have me to help you along the way. My NaNo username is BookFangirling, so you can add me as a buddy if you want. But you need to remember to have fun with NaNo, because if you don't then I guarantee your story will not come easily.

Take a walk. Eat some chocolate. See as much of your outside friends as possible. Don't confine yourself to your room for the whole month, because that will just make things harder. You want the inspiration? Go out and get it. 

Your novel will not just be handed to you on a plate by your brain. Take breaks after a long spurt of writing, and perhaps do things you don't do on a daily basis. 

Since I have never done NaNo, I am very new to this too. But these are all the tips I can give to you for being so inexperienced, and I hope it helps a bit.

There's only one more thing to do... WRITE!

Have a great start tomorrow, and see you on the other side (hopefully with a completed novel.)

The Book Critic x

Tips for NaNoWriMo - Getting the privacy you need

This is a post aimed more at young adults, because sometimes we can never get the privacy we need to complete a task.

Seriously. I love my parents so much, but because I spend a lot of time on my laptop they check up on me every half an hour. I know they only do it because they care, but what do they think is going to happen? Am I suddenly just not going to be there one time they look in?

And sometimes I am in the middle of writing a really important post or sending an email to an author, and they walk straight in. 


For NaNo, it is extra important that you get the maximum amount of writing time you can, in peace. If it is going to be disturbing to have people walk in on you, tell them NO. 

Just explain that you are writing your novel and you need a little bit of time alone with your characters. Really, I'm sure your characters find it just as disturbing as you do. 

It's not bad to tell your parents that. Have you ever  walked in on your parents working and they got annoyed? This is the same thing.

So basically, don't feel bad about it. You are a writer and you need time away from people to work to the best of your ability. 

There will be one more NaNo post coming up. Keep reading!

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Tips for NaNoWriMo - Keep calm and carry on writing

I know I am going to have this exact problem halfway through the month, and apparently it is normal for any person doing NaNo. So, I thought I would write this post now and it will give future me a chance to carry on writing... even when I get to the point in which I physically feel like I can't write any more.

Don't feel like you have to scrape the bottom of the barrel for your ideas. Seriously; I know what NaNo says about literary abandon and everything, but you need to have something to work on in December. 

I actually know of people who do what this woman (or her cat?) has done in the picture. She has written the same sentence over and over and over and over and over again.

See? It's annoying.

And just think. You would be making life harder for yourself when you get to December. Write something worthwhile.

I have also heard of these 'wonderful' times when you just look at your manuscript and think:

Ahh, self-doubt. I am going to say this once and only once.

STEP UP. You thought it was a great idea to begin with, so you are seeing this through to the end or you will have me to answer to. If you have no faith in yourself, neither will the publisher. Not happy with it? Make it better. You have the controls and NaNo is about finding your inner dragon-tamer. 


One more thing.

Whenever you have those short spurts of inspiration, ohmygod use them. Always carry a notepad around and scribble them in. It will come in so handy when you are running low on ideas. It is pretty simple to forget ideas shortly after you have had them, so store them safely for when you get home.

This is the face I pull when I have those moments:

More tips coming soon, my little dragon-tamers. 

Monday, 29 October 2012

Tips for NaNoWriMo - Hitting the word target (Continued)

I understand that a lot of the novels you are writing for NaNo are not all serious. 

So, you have the potential for a bit of fun, yes?

In my last post I talked to you a bit about dares. Here are some more:

1. I lost the game!

Ugh. I hate that game and love it at the same time. Pretend your characters are having a normal conversation, and then one shouts 'DAMN IT - I LOST THE GAME!'. The other characters can then get into an argument with the first one about making them lose the game. You word count will shoot up! 

2. Don't think about penguins.

This method is kind of like the first one. All you can probably think about now is penguins, and the object of the game is to not think about penguins. This, in effect, makes you think about penguins more. Make your characters go through this annoying time, they will thank you for it in the end. 

3. Oops! The wrong abandoned building...

Picture the scene. Your characters have just spent ages searching for the address of an abandoned building and they have to go in it - facing probable death. But then, disaster strikes! It is the wrong abandoned building and they have to start all over again. Your words will multiply with this idea!

4. Social Network Addiction.

We have all been there. Let's face it... we are all THERE. So why not one of your characters? This  could be a main storyline or a little extra; this is also a good topic for an argument!

5. Get down Mr President!

This is basically what this dare is - a great idea for a scene!

6. Parodying your English teacher!

There are two types of teachers - really cool (like my English teacher) or really uncool (like most of my other teachers). And since this is a book, which relies on the English language... why not include your English teacher? This is perhaps one of the trickiest dares to do - you already have your inspiration but if your English teacher happens to read it in the future it could be disastrous! 

Tips for NaNoWriMo - Hitting the word target

Hitting a word target for something is difficult, even without the added pressure of doing it within a month. But how do we get past those difficulties?


I'm being serious. Have you ever had a writing session like this?

Give yourself some NaNo dares! These are real things. For example, if you are having dialogue trouble, make one of your characters hard-of-hearing. Then they have to say 'what?' or 'excuse me? Say that again' whenever someone talks to them.You may not realise it but your word count will shoot up.

Other dares include:
  • Having a parrot in your story (great for repeating lines!)
  • Writing a breakdown of the chapter before you begin it (even if you don't exactly know what is going to happen)
Another thing I would suggest you do is go on Youtube and watch videos. Like, a lot of videos. No matter how weird they are, they will give you quick bursts of inspiration. The weirder or funnier (although they tend to fall in the same category) the better.

And it may sound crazy, but do you know one of the best things of all? FANFICTION. 

Sites like are great for people's fanfictions. You can just type in your favourite show or movie, and I guarantee that if they are popular enough they will have many people writing about them.

If you read a cute or really intense fanfiction, the inspiration from others can help your emotions come out. Then you can get to writing that best-seller. 

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Tips for NaNoWriMo - Finding the time


If you are anything like me, you will be facing the same problems. There is so much school work to be done, as well as having your relaxation time.

So, how are you going to fit NaNo in around all of the other important things?

Here are my tips:

1. Spend less time on social networking sites.

I know what you are all like! You never actually use these sites for their main function anyway... to be social. And I'm not criticising, because I do exactly the same thing. You don't need to cut out every single one, but even not logging on to Facebook will save you valuable time. You can then use this time for writing. Anyway, won't it be nice to get away from all of the 'Lyk 4 likeee' and the people you know for a month?

(Above: the people you know in real life when posting status'. Ignore Dan's face though.)

2. Don't stop for coffee/tea breaks.

This is an important one. From the time you save making caffeine drinks, you won't need them to keep you up later. Think of it this way: less breaks = more sleep. It's a win win situation.


3. Switch your phone off while you are writing.

We have our phones with us practically 24/7 nowadays. So, for an hour a day, why not give it a break? I was going to suggest that you switch your whole internet off, but I sometimes use it for inspiration and facts for my writing. 

This is like a halfway step. You are not going completely without technology, but you don't exactly need to text people or BBM them for advice on writing a novel.

I know. Your phone will miss you too.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Tips for NaNoWriMo - Writing Buddies

I know what you're thinking... what the heck are writing buddies?
Well, they're definitely not people you consult about your writing.
As such.
They are imaginary animals, and each writing buddy has a special job to do. For example, you can have Dialogue birds who help you with your character's speech, and Hellhounds to guard your story from any harm that might cross it's path.
I don't have one of each, but I do have special little friends of my own. These are some of the other buddies you can have, but they're mine! You can't have the same buddies as someone else:
My writing buddies: 
Plot Cat - Gordo 
Anti-distraction Demon - Tumtum 
Fiction Fairy - Blossom

Gordo is a vampire cat, who sinks his teeth into any plot idea you give him. He lives off the blood of bad plots and turns them into good ones. He is a cheeky cat who will wake you up in the middle of the night if he gets a good idea, and he is as loyal as any pet could be. He won't leave you until you are no longer in need of his services. Watch out though - he doesn't get on with real life cats!
My anti-distraction demon is called TumTum, and he takes giant emerald and ruby dragon form. He is named after my ultimate distraction, Tumblr. His size makes it easy for him to block the door to my bedroom so that while writing I can't get out, until I have completed at least my daily word count. Anyone who enters my room while in author-mode will have fire breathed in their face, and the same goes for if I use 140 characters for a tweet instead of my novel. He eats fandoms if he sees them.
Blossom is my fiction fairy. She only helps me out in November because she knows Christmas is soon afterwards. A generally lazy fairy, she is always content and goes everywhere with me... only to sleep perched on my shoulder or in my bag when we are out and about. I don't see her much, but when I do she is either dancing, sleeping, or raiding my word-count fridge.
The funny thing is, these buddies can really help you while taking part in NaNoWriMo. Now that I have them, they are going to make things easier for me. Although, I will be talking to them aloud during the month, so my family may think I'm crazy.
If you decide to create your own, you won't even have to worry about keeping up with their characters. Seriously, once you have thought of them you will automatically visualise them. It won't be like creating another story on top of the one you want to write for NaNo. This is the beautiful thing about this method.

I will be giving you a few more tips before NaNo starts, just in case any of you are actually going to participate. It is my first year too, but I have studied it well enough to know that it is completable and we will have lots of other people to help us.

If you want to add me as a human buddy, my name is BookFangirling. 

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

My trip to The Beatrix Potter Museum - Part 2

Hello! On the the second part of my trip to the magical land that is The Beatrix Potter Museum. 

When we first were directed outside, I didn't think anything of the little garden they had built outside of the museum. I thought it was just for the kids - school could maybe go there and help to grow the vegetables.

But then I had a thought...


Mr McGregor's Garden!

Here are my photos of the lovely experience:

(And yes, that is my shoe down there!)

Then we went back inside, and the other half of the museum was revealed:

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

My trip to The Beatrix Potter Museum - Part 1

First of all, I'm really sorry I didn't get a post up yesterday. I was staying at a campsite with my family and what they failed to tell me was that we were staying in the heart of the Lake District.

When my mum told me we were going away, the first thing I said was:
"Is there wifi?"
And she replied:
"Of course."

And when I got there I realised that we were in the land of hills and rubbish internet signal. So, now that you have had to wait, I am going to give you two posts today. I should be revising for maths, but I did that when I was without Tumblr.

While we were in The Lakes, my parents decided to make it a kind of 'Literature Themed' weekend away. I guess after me explaining to them that I am writing a novel they wanted to learn more about the writing world.

Probably SO not what they were thinking, but they're stuck with a stubborn daughter who wants to do writing for a living.

It was weird, because the subject of jobs kept creeping up in the conversations. My parents support me fully with this choice, but I can't help noticing that they insist I stick to being something 'normal' like a doctor or a policewoman. Little do they know that I am thinking of getting a doctorate, but not actually doing any doctoring whatsoever. 

To kick start the themed weekend, we went to The Beatrix Potter Museum. Apparently I went there when I was much younger, but I had been wanting to go again and get the full experience. 

It's pretty much a whole little tour of Potter's stories. You are first directed into this room where it shows you a short video of Beatrix's life - there wasn't much that I didn't already know as I have watched the film 'Miss Potter' countless times and have been obsessed with the books (and her life)   for as long as I can remember. As you walk along the actual museum-y part, there are many nooks and crannies with the famous mice inside of them, and a lot of the museum is dedicated to one story in particular... The Tale of Peter Rabbit.

I took some pictures while I was there - This was only part of the inside Museum, and I will tell you about the rest in my next post.:

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Reading Music - Greyson Chance

Greyson Michael Chance is one of my favourite singers, probably of all time because my music taste 'back in the day' was pretty shocking.

He sings inspiring songs. I first heard of him when I watched 'So Random' and he sang 'Waiting outside the lines' which I instantly fell in love with.

His songs continue to inspire me and I hope that one day he comes to England so I can meet him.

He has a really beautiful voice and his songs inspire me when I'm writing. The emotions he sings about help me to put those same emotions in the characters and helps to make the story sound more realistic.

Here is 'Waiting outside the lines':

And another one, because I love his voice so much. He got discovered partly because of his version of Paparazzi by Lady Gaga in a school talent show. His voice just makes you stop and think:

Not many singers have that kind of potential anymore. I would recommend you listen to this quietly in the background while reading because it may emphasize the emotions of each character. That way, you will have a more enjoyable reading session.

Just a thought,
The Book Critic x

Friday, 19 October 2012

Teen Read Week - blog tour! (second post)

 Another Teen Read Week post!

It's late again, but I actually have a really good excuse. I couldn't schedule it, because I only do that in emergencies. And I was helping out with our Brownies (girl guiding thing) tonight so a post was out of the question earlier.

I want to talk to you about the importance of reading. Teens: to be able to read and enjoy it at the same time can help you in life. 

Ask anyone -  when you get to that certain age (this sounds like 'the talk', but I am not even going into that) it is even more important to get reading than when you were younger. 

If that's possible. Not really, but you know what I mean.

When you are in the lower grades at school (or years for my fellow British folk) everything is just kind of parroted back to you. You never have to do any revision when you are young so there isn't that independent reading thing you are required to do now.

Revision books are basically my lifeline. A few of my teachers are... well... pretty bad at their job. So when it comes to revision, I sometimes have to teach myself from scratch. These revision books I have, CGP revision books, are just fabulous. Has anyone else heard of them before? They are really helpful and at the end of every page there is a joke relating to the topic. For instance:

"Your mum has lost her trousers, but I have her genes." (Science)

Despite the ultimate CHEESE factor, I couldn't have done as well in my exams without them. Reading them is a really enjoyable experience and if you can be bothered (which you should be) then I advise you to get one and start reading. The really help.

If you don't like reading for fun, then try these revision books. At least you would be putting the time in with reading but you would be learning something valuable at the same time.

Another tip? Get off Facebook too. 

Come one.

I know you hate it anyway.

Here is the rest of the schedule for today!

Friday, Oct. 19
8:00— Inklined
4:00- The Book Critic 

Monday, 15 October 2012

Teen Read Week - BLOG TOUR

I was supposed to have this up earlier, but I simply couldn't have got it done any sooner.

It's the Teen Read Week Blog Tour! This lovely blog called INKLINED has started a blog tour and we are going to participate in it all week. This is the schedule for today:

4:00- The Book Critic
Remember, all posting is in EDT.

I'm supposed to talk about anything book related, but since I already do that anyway I thought I would just link to the other blogs who are taking part and let you have a look at those. 

I will be posting again during the week and will have a special post lined up (hopefully) especially for Teen Read Week.

Have a great day, and read lots!
The Book Critic x

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Rating System - have you voted for the icon yet?

Yesterday, I gave you a chance to vote for my book rating system. I didn't want to go with the usual stars, because they're overused and boring, so these are your choices:

  1. Badgers
  2. Cups of Tea
  3. Scrabble Pieces
And I found pictures for them, to make you choice a bit easier:

Have fun with voting, and leave you comments below telling me which one you think I should pick!

Friday, 12 October 2012

Liberian Girl - is it bad I thought the song was 'Librarian Girl'?


I am blogging live from a different house, where I am babysitting a couple of kids from in my road. Only I'm not minding babies, because they are 12 and 10, but I am just minding them until twelve o'clock. 


So, I still have my laptop with me (aka my pride and joy) and searching Tumblr I read that Mayim Bialik was in the video for Michel Jackson's 'Liberian Girl'. They didn't even realise it until today, and so decided to tell the whole of Tumblr.

Thank you so much.

I wanted to check this out for myself, so looked it up on Youtube.

And they were totally right.

In the bottom right hand corner... that's a young Mayim, PRE BLOSSOM

She is about to jump off a bench... normal.

I almost wasn't going to tell you (because to most of you this is irrelevant information) but  to my this was a big deal and I was fangirling a bit when I saw her. Also, the song is really good anyway, so I could sing along while fangirling.

Which is really hard!

Anyway, on to the matter at hand.

Happy birthday Josh Hutcherson!

A more serious post tomorrow, hopefully.

The Book Critic x

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

NaNoWriMo - What is it?

NaNoWriMo is the shortest pronounceable way of writing National Novel Writing Month. It takes place throughout the whole of November and lots of people take part in it each year.

The aim of it is this: you have 30 days to write 50,000 words or more. During this month, you can contact other NaNo's (people taking part) and read different forums about getting your novel written. For example, for the genre of your manuscript, there is a special categorized group where you can discuss things. 

You don't have to write a best-seller within this month - it is more about getting your words out on paper. After November, you can really begin to finalize your work. 

You don't have to use the month for a serious novel! It is also great for writing that Fanfiction you have been stuck on, or a project for school. You don't have to spend the whole month on it either; the 'winning' counter starts on the 25th so if you have written 50,000 words by that time you can stop and receive your certificate.

I'm doing it for my novel, because I really want to get it done. I have all of the ideas, but I can never have the time to get them all written down! It is my first year doing it, so I have no idea what it is like. If someone has done it, can you give me any tips? It would be appreciated!

Are you doing it? Or after reading this, are you thinking about applying for it? I want to know!

The Book Critic x