Ten Tips to Win NaNoWriMo

Ok, so this post is kinda weird because I have never won a NaNoWriMo, but I am totally going to win this year, and here are some of the things I’m doing to make sure that happens.

Oh, and if you want to be my buddy, you can add me on the NaNo site, I’m @timetravellersscrunchie

So now, here’s my ten tips to win NaNoWriMo + Nick Miller gifs, because Nick Miller.

 

10. When you can write more, write more

So far I’m killin’ it on my word count, I’m way ahead, which feels awesome. It also feels awesome to know that if I skip a day, or flounder about at any point (which is probably gonna happen), I have some wiggle room. It also feels generally just way less intense knowing that I’m already ahead.

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9. Write whenever, wherever

I was away for the first weekend of NaNo ’18 out in the bush with no internet, but I took my laptop and when I could, I’d write a few words. Even if it was just a few hundred here and there. I wrote 1k words while my nephew was sitting next to me playing Fruit Master.

 

8. Instead of reading, write

OK, so most authors would be like – “you have to read to be a good writer” and while I totally think that’s true, during NaNo it’s all about you and your own story. So instead of going to bed with a book, go to bed with your laptop and bash out a few words. Whenever you would usually be reading, write instead. Just for this month.

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7. Write stuff you know will never be in your book

There are going to be days when you just can’t think of anything to write that you would actually want in your novel. On these days, go ahead and write stuff don’t think is going to make it in. I’ve been re-writing chapters and scenes in different ways, writing huge chunks of backstory and it’s all been useful, even if I know it’s never going to make it into the final edit.

 

6. Rewards

Rewards are everything. I was really struggling to get started today. But I decided that if I wrote my goal number of words I could watch an episode of Chesapeake Shores while eating some vegan choc mint ice-cream. There’s nothing like a little self-bribery to get you into action.

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5. Focus on scenes not the whole book

I write in scenes when I’m writing a first draft. I don’t worry too much about how it’s all going to fit in, I can do that later when I’m editing. NaNoWriMo is all about words on the page and for me personally, it’s bloody time consuming to sit there and agonise over the plot and structure of the whole thing, so I write in chunks, in scenes and then in December I start putting it all together like a jigsaw.

 

4. Don’t worry about the details

My first drafts rarely have any details. There will be basically no metaphors, similes or hair colours mentioned in my NaNo draft this year. Later on when I go back and start editing, that’s when I add that magical layer in. The first draft is for laying the foundation and building some walls, you can decorate the place later.

 

4. All words count

Don’t forget to count all your words! I spent some time writing out my chapters and plot ideas and getting things organised and I totally counted those words and there were lots of them!

 

3. Write even when you know it’s bad

If you are writing thinking OMG this is the worst thing ever written, you are not alone. I think even the best writers on the planet still have those moments. Even if you think it’s trash, push through. It’s great practice and it might get better. There might be some hidden gem that you find later in all that poopy so don’t judge yourself, just keep writing.

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2. Do it daily

Even if you just sit down and write 100 words, writing something every day is a good way to keep momentum going. I don’t know about you, but if I start skipping days it’s all over. I get “behind” and then I think there’s no point and give up. If I write something every day I’m more likely to keep going.

 

1. Be nice to yourself

If you screw up, miss days, hate everything you’ve written and are way behind on your word count, don’t be mean to you. Just signing up for this thing is a big deal, and even if you only write 30,000 words like I did in 2016, or 500 words, you’re still closer to writing a novel than you were last month and that’s pretty freaking cool.

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With NaNoWriMo blessings!

Victoria x

 

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How I went from being a person who didn’t blog for three years to publishing a book

Hey!

It’s been a while since I blogged on here.

In fact, I’m pretty sure that if you are reading this now in 2018 chances are slim that you were here for my last blog post in 2015.

It may seem a little weird that I disappeared from this site for three years and suddenly turned up with a finished self-published novel.

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Mostly what happened is that I started my own business. I got really busy trying to make it work and my fiction writing took a back seat. Actually, it wasn’t in the car most of the time. It was more like I told my writing I was going out for a loaf of bread and didn’t come back for three years.

OK, not entirely true. There were times when I popped in to say hi, picked up some clothes or checked to see how things were going, but I never stuck around.

I tinkered with my novel on and off in those few years.

I talked about it a lot. 

I thought about a million other YA books I wanted to write, I even started one, but knew I couldn’t really commit to a new relationship while Class of 1983 was still waiting for me to come back with that loaf of bread.

Then, at the end of 2017 I lost my dad.

And I decided I didn’t want to not do things I loved anymore.

And I thought about the things that I loved.

And one of those things turned out to be writing stories.

And one of those stories was Class of 1983.

And so I finished it.

If you were expecting me to give you some kind of checklist of simple hacks on how to go from being a terrible blogger to publishing a book in this blog post, you’re probably disappointed by this point.

But the truth is, no one can write your book for you, no one can live your dreams for you and there is no checklist of hacks that you can just tick off to get where you want to go.

So here we are. Three years since my last blog post and one decision to show up for my dreams later and you can now buy my book!

Of course there is a lot more to say than this. I just thought I’d pop in and say hey. Let you know I’m back from the blogging abyss and that I’ll be updating this blog again with more (useful, maybe) info and inspo on writing, self-publishing and showing up for your dreams.

Big Hugs!

V x

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I wrote a novel for all the 80’s dorks, YA lovers, time travel nerds and kids with crushes, but will they ever get to read it?

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I was at a bar the other night and meeting the BF’s new work buddies. I said I was working as an English teacher right now and this one guy was like – Oh cool, you must be into writing. And I was like – yeah, I’ve written a novel, like whatever, it’s not published, it’s just written. It’s not even professionally edited and no one has even read the whole thing. It might as well not even exist really…

But I wrote a novel. I spent like all these years writing a novel. Why? Because I always wanted to write a novel. The journey of it was the thing right? Like what do you do in your spare time? I’m working on this cool YA romance time travel novel actually. Yes. I felt totally awesome when I was writing it. Like I was going somewhere and doing something.

But now it’s finished. OK, like all writers out there I could keep working on it for the next thirty years, but let’s just say it’s as finished as it is going to get with only my own eyes upon it.

So what do I do now? Well, I started working on the sequel but it was kind of like, no one has even read the first book, why am I slaving away on the sequel? And yes, writing the sequel is seriously fun and I love doing it, but I’m also very time limited right now in my life and I have to weigh up how much spending so many hours of my day working out time travel twists against building a decent future for myself. Ideally, I’d like it to be the same thing, but when no one pays attention to your novel, it starts to feel like a waste of time. OK, I don’t really think that or mean it, time spent writing is not a waste of time. But some days it feels like that. If it doesn’t feel like that for you and you happily sit and write at your laptop at 5am every morning even though no one is interested in publishing you, well done. You beat me.

Argh, but I’m so sick of all those stupid fucking quotes about how if you’re a writer you will write every day. I haven’t written for months. That’s the reality of being a writer. You write a novel, you spend a couple months sending it out to agents and publishers and every one of them replies with ‘while we enjoyed reading your submission, unfortunately…’ Bullshit you enjoyed it! Just say you didn’t even read it! Or admit you thought it was crap!

But not necessarily a published one.

…But not necessarily a published one!

Seriously, I don’t want my novel to be on my laptop when I die. I want it to have a life. It’s weird how it actually feels like it is it’s own entity. Like it’s own person. Like it’s not mine any more. The cord is cut and now this novel needs to go out into the world and live. It needs to meet people, make friends, have lovers, make people laugh, cry, piss people off, bore the pants off people and be loved and loathed.

I’m just so shit scared of it not getting published. I’m scared of it getting published by the wrong publisher. I’m scared that the people I wrote it for, all the 80’s dorks and YA lovers, time travel nerds and kids with crushes won’t ever get to read it.

So far I’ve been rejected like I dunno, at least 15 times, that’s not including people who never got back to me. It’s not that many, I know that. But man it gets boring doing this. Refining your stupid cover letters, cutting and pasting the first three, oh no, you only want two? oh you want that as an attached file or pasted into the email? oh shit I forgot to change the agents name.

What are the other options? 1. self publish, 2. upload the whole thing to the internet for free or 3. die with your novel still on your laptop.

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The Almighty Johnsons!

I just finished my Almighty Johnsons marathon and I just had to tell everyone to watch it! The best show I’ve watched in ages. So refreshing to watch something that is first of all – not American, no offence America but you kind of own TV. And the subject matter – a bunch of random guys who just happen to be Norse Gods?! Awesome. So much awesome! It’s on Netflix and wherever else you get your TV from.

Five stars.

Check it out!!

x

Ten reasons to watch Teen Witch – 1989

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I remember loving this movie when I was a kid and so when I found myself with a head cold this week and Clockwork Prince finally finished I headed over to Netflix and typed into the search box – 1980s and when Teen Witch came up I was like yay!!! It’s about a gazillion times better than The Craft or Sabrina the Teenage Witch, or even Bewitched!

Teen Witch blends everything that is cool about magic and the 80’s into 90 minutes, like hello, if you could do magic you wouldn’t really be off fighting the Dark Lord or whatever, you’d totally be using your powers to become the most popular girl in school, don’t even try to deny it! Harry Potter’s got nothing on you Lousie Miller!!

There are so many reasons to check this movie out, but here’s the top ten reasons why you need to see this movie!

 

1. Retro psychics who pretend to be frauds but are actually totally legit but not all that ethical.

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2. Riding bikes in tutus.

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3. Bitchy cheerleaders who do choreographed dance sequences in the locker rooms dressed in leotards.

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4. Dudes that rap and dance like this.:

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5. Putting magic spells on your mates so they can rap and be cool for once in their lives.

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6. The kid brother. This guy was amazing. You have to watch the trailer below to see this kid in action. He’s like a bitter old man in a kid costume.

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7. Stone wash jeans.

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8. Boys who look like Ken dolls and wear muscle tops.

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9. This hairstyle which attracts boys who look like Ken dolls even without magic!

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10. They just don’t do proms like they used to. Remember when everyone used to dance like this?!

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Check out the trailer for all the good bits, or just go watch the movie, you seriously won’t regret it!

 

 

Time Traveller’s Scrunchie gives Teen Witch five stars!

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Inspirational YA time travel novel writing art!

I love searching through Pinterest and Google for inspirational images to get me in the writing zone. I often spend hours (when I should probably be doing something else) Googling 1980’s fashion, adverts and recipes. It’s like chilling out, taking a break, getting inspired and working on your project all at the same time!

Anyway, today I came across an image so freaking cool and SO my novel that I was like – OMG this is perfect! I need it for the cover or something.  Ashton Kutcher of all people (seriously not that sure why I’m following Ashton Kutcher, I mean his movies are OK I guess, but I’m not like in the fandom or anything) posted this article  yesterday about this awesome artist called David Jablow. What he does, amongst other things, is he finds these cool retro kitsch doodle pads…

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And just when you think you’re going to see some badly drawn boobs, he does something like this:

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For those of you who don’t know what the hell this Time Traveller’s Scrunchie thing is, basically I’m writing… no wait, it’s finished! I wrote a YA novel about time travel and the 1980’s and there is actually a calculator watch in it, and later in the triology some of these other things, like the chic from the 70’s make an appearance!

I just freaking love it, and you should totally go check out his website to see all the other amazing things he’s done!

x

The Fault in Our Stars

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Once in a while comes a story so amazing that all I am able to do is just sit in awe of it. When I read, no devoured, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green I couldn’t even think about my own novel, because The Fault in Our Stars is pure genius literature, and my novel is a chip packet in comparison. John Green is seriously a legend and kids and big kids a hundred years from now are still going to be devouring this stuff.

The film actually worked too. I mean how many times do you go to the cinema to see your latest favourite YA turned into a movie only to walk out chatting non stop about the changes they made, how the book was better and that the casting was insane? I walked out of the cinema after watching this movie just feeling emotions and that is the whole point right?!

I long for the day to see my YA time travel 1980’s romance novel on the big screen, which judging from this week’s rejections by literary agents in my inbox isn’t happening any time soon, but it doesn’t make me any less special because the world doesn’t know about me.

Thanks John Green for reminding me of that. ❤

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Teachers (1984)

Another awesome 80’s  movie find… Teachers from 1984. Nick Nolte, Crispin Glover and Morgan Freeman star in this awesome movie about teaching that totally gives Dead Poet’s Society a run for it’s money!

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10 awesome reasons to watch Better Off Dead (1985)!

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Nothing makes me happier than discovering an awesome 80’s movie I haven’t seen yet. And because one of my male lead characters in my time travel YA 1980’s romance novel kind of looks like John Cusack I’ve made a list of  80’s John Cusack films and I’m so slowly working through them.

Better off Dead was such a super nice surprise. It was pretty awesome. From the first few minutes I was giggling like a 1980’s school girl and basically, I loved it and I think you will too!

Here’s 10 reasons you aren’t Better Off Dead – because if you were dead you wouldn’t get to watch this movie… unless you were a ghost and it turns out that ghosts can come over and watch movies with you, but let’s leave that idea for the next YA trilogy.

Reason 1 – Love sick John Cusack.

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Reason 2: Aviators, because the 80’s was so not just about Ray Ban Wayfarers you guys.

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Reason 3 – pouty teenage John Cusack. I mean come on girls… and boys who like boys…

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Reason 4 – 1980’s beauty tips… or should I say cue tips? LOL! 

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Reason 5 – it’s like the only movie ever made where the only way to win a girl’s heart is to ski real good.

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Reason 6 – Burgers in love. ❤

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Reason 7 – French exchange students who don’t quite have it fluent. 

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Reason 8 – Rubber glove drag races.

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Reason 9 – John Cusack wearing a pig nose.

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Reason 10 – The guy who actually owns the Camero John Cusack drove in the movie! (I so need a Camero!)

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Stay tuned to timetravellersscrunchie.com for more reasons to watch every John Cusack 1980’s movie ever made!

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80’s school girl crush swoon!