JuNoWriMo Participant Interview A.M. Schultz

Here is the next installment of my JuNoWriMo Participant Inteviews.  Please welcome A.M. Schultz.

Tell me a little about what you are writing for Junowrimo.

I had been toggling ideas for three different WIPs prior to JuNoWriMo. The one I choice to focus primarily on for JuNoWriMo has been a fantasy piece. Choosing Fantasy over the other two has had some advantages, but there is so much world building required that much of my “word count”  has been used to outline characters, nations, etc. I’m not sure I’d have made nearly as much progress without the challenge aspect, though.

Is this your first time doing this type of challenge?

Something this formal, yes. I used to write fiction pieces on weekly deadlines here-and-there, but this is my first time taking a multi-writer challenge of this magnitude.

How has it meet your expectations so far?

It’s been “different,” in the sense that I won’t have 50,000 pages of a manuscript completed at the end, but I will have a much more developed world at my disposal by the time the month is done. I started 7 days into the challenge, and intentionally took on a project that I knew would need tons of polishing either way.

What was your writing schedule like this past week; time of day, # of words per day.

My schedule has been pretty bonkers. I am a full-time student through the year and actually took the Summer off, so I assumed I’d have tons of time to just write. I still hold a full-time job, too, and between setting up a better platform for my website, redoing the graphic work, etc, and then working on book cover graphics, blog posts,  I’ve just had to squeeze writing in when I can.

I carry a pocket Moleskine notebook about with me everywhere, though, and sketch an idea down, expand it in one of my larger notebooks, then type out the ideas later. For the fantasy world, I actually used the PC game “Civilization IV” by Sid Meier to create the map (which crashed on me after about six hours of plotting the world the first time), and it has been incredibly helpful.

All-in-all, JuNoWriMo work and miscellaneous stuff, I’m logging a good 60-70 hours a week, so hopefully this all pans out eventually.

Did you do any planning for Junowrimo?  If so what type of planning and how are your plans working out so far?

I actually found out about JuNoWriMo on the 7th of the month after seeing a few friends on my Twitter feed using the #JuNoWriMo hashtag, so no planning. I was aware of NaNoWriMo, and had told myself I would consider taking that challenge later in the year. If anything, I think I realized that this isn’t the type of challenge you can complete successfully without some type of gameplan.

What is your word count as of June 22th?

I’ve got about 8,500 words, which is WAAAAAY off the mark. But, I have a better idea of where I want the story to go than had I just started writing aimlessly, so I’ll take it. I’m hoping to be sitting around the 15,000 mark by the end of the challenge.

To learn more about AM Schultz, please be sure to visit his site and following him on Twitter.

Website: amschultz.com and Twitter:  @am_sch

JuNoWriMo Participant Interview EM Castellan

Here is another great interview from a talented JuNoWriMo participant EM Castellan.

Tell me a little about what you are writing for Junowrimo.

I am writing a YA dystopian novel which has been at the back of my mind for a while. BLACK ROSES is set on the American continent at the end of the 22d Century. A virus has wiped out most of the world population ten years earlier. The only survivors are Humans (who weren’t affected by the virus) and Immortals (who have survived the virus and been turned into supernatural beings). Immortals rule the country and its capital New Wentworth, while Humans live on the margin. However, a third category of people is caught between them: Keepers have survived the virus but haven’t been turned into Immortals. The ruling class needs them in their new society, making them targets for rebel Humans. Seventeen-year-old Nessa is a Keeper. To her, this Friday is just like any other day. She hasn’t planned that Humans would choose it to stage a rebellion, that her life would suddenly be in danger, or that she would fall in love.

Is this your first time doing this type of challenge?

Yes, it is. I hesitated a while before deciding to join in, for two reasons. First, I spend an average of 62 hours a week at work, which means that I only write between 30 minutes and an hour a day. Second, I am a slow writer: I cannot spill 1000 words onto a page in half an hour. So the prospect of having to write an average of 1667 words a day was quite frightening. But I still decided to do the challenge, as it is a great way to keep motivated and to interact with fellow writers.

How has it meet your expectations so far?

It has met my expectations because I am interacting with fellow writers and keeping motivated (sprints on Twitter are especially good for me!).

What was your writing schedule like this past week; time of day, # of words per day?

I have been writing every single day, in the evening after work. I am very pleased with that. My word count, however, has been lower than the required average of 1667 words a day. As of today my average is 1160 words a day. But I was expecting such a result.

Did you do any planning for Junowrimo?  If so what type of planning and how are your plans working out so far?

I did plan my story before the start of JuNoWriMo. I had a full outline, as well as a good idea of who my characters were going to be. As this is a dystopian novel, I also had a clear design for my world-building beforehand. So far I have been following my outline, which usually how I write.

What is your word count as of June 16th?

16935 words. And counting!

EM Good luck with the rest of the challenge!

For more information on EM Castellan, be sure to visit her at the following links:

Blog: http://emcastellan.com/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/EMCastellan

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/EMCastellan

I – Itinerary

I have a pretty intense itinerary for my trip.  I always create an itinerary in order to make sure that I do everything I need to do.  I am a list maker at heart.  My day isn’t finished until I have marked everything off of my list.

Here is my itinerary:
  • Arrive and check into hotel
  • Ferry ride to Watson’s bay – Lunch fish and chips
  • Dinner – Lord Dudley’s Pub
  • Breakfast at Pancakes on the Rocks (This place looks so good.)
  • Lunch and Golf at The Australian
  • Dinner w/Friends
  • Harbor Bridge Climb
  • Dinner at Rock Poll Bar & Grill
  • Breakfast and Golf At St. Michaels
  • Golf At Camden Lakes
  • Dinner at Sydney Cafe
  • All day tour of Hunter Valley Vineyards
  • Shopping & Spa
  • Leave for home

See, not to packed, right? All reservation have been made and all tickets have been purchased.

But, what if I just threw the itinerary out the window? What would happen if I went with no plan and no arrangements made?   Well, I have an idea what would happen.

Last October, with my family in town, we went to Beijing for a couple of days and once there, everyone suggested that we have to go to Xian to see the Terra Cotta soldiers.  So, I am thinking, great, absolutely.  Just catch the train and spend the day in Xian and come right back to Beijing that night.  Right?  Wrong.

It was a holiday in China that weekend and if I wanted to purchase a train ticket, I would have had to purchase it about 2 months prior.  Or, wait in this line for 4 days.  So, instead of spending the day in Xian, we spend the day in a our hotel in Beijing.  That is what happens when you fail to plan.

Creating an itinerary and following it makes for a exciting, laid back, and relaxing vacation to me.

What about you?  Do you plan your vacations or just go and see what happens?