• National Pony Writing Month 2017 Starts Now!

    Welcome one and all to National Pony Writing Month! At 12:00AM today, tens of thousands of people around the world threw themselves into their word processors of choice and embarked on the grand adventure of NaNoWriMo. And for use pony fans, we've got our own version!

    We have over fifty brave souls embarking on this journey with over 2.2 million words set as the collective goal! You can see them all below!

    If you’re still interested in joining, I’m extending the sign-up deadline until November 5, 2017 at 10PM Pacific! To be a part of NaPoWriMo, send an email to [email protected] with the following information: Author Name - Your Goal - Your Story Title. (Example: Novel-Idea - 75K Words - Wavelength Theorems and Chaos Theory)

    Now, let’s hit the fundamentals of NaPoWriMo! I’ve been doing (and winning) NaNoWriMo since 2009—though I’ve only been doing pony words for the last two years—so I’ve got plenty of practice! I’ve learned a lot over the years and today, I’m going to go over my top ten tricks for both NaNoWriMo & NaPoWriMo! You can also find more amazing tips from the true professionals on the Writing Excuses's NaNoWriMo 2017 Primer!

    That being said, remember every writer is different. Find your own way and your own techniques!

    Tip #1: Drop the Distractions: Keep Off the Internet While Writing!

    Nothing kills your productivity more than distractions. And nothing is more distracting than the internet. Shut down all chat programs during writing time. You may be experienced at multitasking, but no matter what, you will always write more efficiently without distractions.

    Turn it all off. Turn on Do Not Disturb for your phone. Shut down Discord. If you can, turn off your wifi on your laptop or yank out your ethernet cable! Resist the siren call of the Web!

    Tip #2: Making a Habit: Dedicate a Specific Time & Place to Write

    This isn’t always practical for people. But if you can, you should do it. For example, you could do it during your lunch break at work (which is what I do). Use White Noise machines (there are websites and apps that offer these for free) to help prevent distractions. Always sit at the same table or in the same chair.

    Many of you won’t be able to do exactly this, but try to find a time and a place you can write consistently!

    Tip #3: Warm Up the Right Way: Read the Last Page or So of What You Wrote Yesterday

    When you come back to a story after a day or so, there’s always a warm-up period. The easiest way is to read the last few pages of what you wrote the day before. Be careful here. Don’t let yourself slip into editing mode. If you see something obvious—like a missing word—go ahead and add it, but that’s it.

    The goal is to get yourself back in the same mental space you were the previous day when you were writing!

    Tip #4: Aim High: Make Your Daily Word Count Goal Higher Than Needed!

    Life happens. Stuff is going to come up this month that might prevent you from writing for a day or two. That’s why you should aim high. It’s going to be hard to get in 1,667 words during Thanksgiving, after all (not that you shouldn’t try).

    Even better, you could win even faster this way!

    Tip #5: Prioritize the Fun: No Games or TV Until the Writing is Done!

    In my experience, it’s much harder to write after watching television or playing a video game (especially if I have to make the choice to stop doing that and go write).

    Build yourself a simple reward system. By making yourself write before doing other “fun” stuff, you have a definitive goal you can use daily. You’ll write faster because you’ve got the reward of relaxing and fun afterward. (And let me just tell you, blowing up something in a game is far more satisfying this way!)

    Tip #6: Write During Downtimes: Use those brief moments in-between to write if you can!

    This is my personal challenge for this year, since I have Scrivener on my MacBook Pro, my iPad and my iPhone. The idea is to use downtime in between things write something quick. Don’t expect a lot out of these sessions, but even 300 words can help you get to your daily goal quicker!

    When I worked at the Apple Store, I used to take my laptop out to the outside and write during my 15 minute breaks. I averaged about 200-400 words. And since I had two breaks, I ended up doing 400-800 words combined. Depending on your goal, that could be half your daily word count!

    Keep an eye for those short downtimes where you’d normally be on Facebook or Discord and make the best of them!

    Tip #7: Write Every Day: Don’t Let Yourself Have Even a Single Day Off!

    This is something I recommend to all authors, NaNo or not. The more time you take off between writing sessions, the harder it is to get back into it. You need to keep up the pressure. It’s like exercise. Over time, it gets far easier to do it every day instead of doing it every other day or just on the weekend. And you’ll have a lot more to show for it!

    Tip #8: Never Stop at the End of a Scene or Chapter:
    Stop When You Have Something Left to Say!

    This is going to sound weird, but it works wonders. Never stop at a scene break or a chapter break. It’s often harder to start again from those halting points. You want to stop writing before you run out of things to say. That way, when you come back to the story, you’ll know immediately what you have to write next.

    I’ve actually taken this to the next level. I don’t ever stop at the end of a paragraph. Or even at the end of a sentence. I stop writing midword. Because no matter what, I’ll always be able to at least finish that word!

    Tip #9: Keep Your Inner Editor Locked Up:
    Shut Up and Write!

    “The first draft is just you telling yourself the story.” — Terry Pratchett

    NaNoWriMo/NaPoWriMo isn’t about getting everything perfect. It’s about getting the words down. You don’t need to make sure every word is just so. You don’t need to get a character’s voice down pat the first time. Keep going. You’re going to have parts you get stuck on. You need to skip past them or leave a placeholder. Don’t let yourself lose momentum.

    Tip #10: Never Compare: Your Only Competition is Yourself!

    Comparing yourself to other participants is a surefire way to get discouraged. Personally, my goals are very high because I’ve been writing for 17 years. With this comes a lot of practice and a lot of mistakes. You never know what’s going on in other people’s lives, either. So don’t ever think just because someone’s doing better than you in word counts that you should stop! This is a race against yourself, no one else!

    Bonus Tip: Read Something!

    Tons of writers forget that reading is as important as writing. You need to keep up a steady stream of good (and well-written) fiction to keep you balanced. Not only that, but you’ll pick up things like grammar, punctuation, storytelling mechanics and more. While we all love MLP Fiction, this month might be a good time to get some “mainstream” fiction novels to read through, so you can see how the professionals do it!

    NaPoWriMo 2017 Participants

    75,000+ Club!
    Munyow - 100K - The Story of D.J. Trechage
    Georg - 100K - Sweetie Belle: Hogwarts Exchange Student
    Novel-Idea - 75K - Wavelength Theorems & Wavelength Timeline Dreamers Arc Stories

    50,000+ Club!
    Monsoon - 65K - Royal Guards: Serve and Protect
    Mystic Thunder - 60-70K - My Little Reclaimer: Friendship Never Dies
    Libertydude - 60K - Multiple Short Stories AveryPony - 60K - The Lost City
    DonutTheBrony - 55K - Hopes and Dreams Fulfilled
    BackroundVoice - 55K - Narrating Dash
    JayMan155 - 50K - The Terrible Tale of Aqua Spark
    Wanderer D - 50K - Sunset after Sunset
    Cinnabar2003 - 50K - A Setting Sun, a Rising Twilight
    PortalJumper - 50K - Alicornae: The Legend of Starlit Sky
    Exhausted Pony Mom - 50K - Untitled Story
    Birdisjell - 50K - Stained Glass
    Tima Scribbles - 50K - Autumn Reflections
    PastCat - 50K - Parrothead in Paradise: A Ponies After People Story
    PhillipFillop - 50K - The Nulliun Convolution
    Impossible Numbers - 50K - Magical Deathmatch cursedchords - 50K - Sun & Moon Act II: A Crown Divided
    Copernicus - 50K - Andromeda
    Drag Orion - 50K - Long Distance Friendship
    Corejo - 50K - Compati
    Dreamy Days - 50K - Light Rewrite Cakestealer - 50K - Friends with a Spy
    XombieSlayr - 50K - The Book of Friendship
    rosebug - 50K - Two Truths and a Lie
    LaWombat - 50K - The Fairy Tale Fiasco
    Miller Minus - 50K - The Barclay's Boy & The Fifth Letter
    Rune Singer - 50K - The Book of Ages Writing Person - 50K - USS Equestria, Victoria and Celestia & The Visit
    Lucas Aldebrandi - 50K - For Ponies Go Places And Do Things & Terminal Secrets
    AnchorsAway - 50K - Passages
    Lorhelei R. - 50K - War Can Use a Little Change
    TaichiKeaton - 50K - Fallen Wrath
    Takarashi282 - 50K - Ballad of the Dawn
    SilverCables & Zetriax (Dyslexic Aardvark) - 50K words - Ovooht
    Fhynne - 50K - Claws and Effect
    RuinQueenofOblivion - 50K - The Lost Children
    Vesper Glaive - 50K - The Edge of Elsewhere
    Czar Yoshi - 50K - The Olden World
    Snackrificial Jam - 50K - Multiple Short Stories
    BlurredTheLines - 50K - Untitled Story AsiagoUnicorn - 50K - Cake Walk Oroboro - 50K - Voyagers

    25,000+ Club!
    Scotty2xG - 45K - Good In A World Gone Bad
    ChappedPenguinLips - 37.5K - Unnamed Tempest Shadow Story
    Brony250 - 35K - The Gift of Hearth's Warming
    Fangren - 30K - Synchrony and Time Goes On: Sunset in Ponyville Gray Suede - 30K - The Fast Food and the Furious
    N3k1dsk1llz - 30K - This Ain't No Rodeo (Working Title)
    Stemis - 30K - Beyond the Sun
    Dash Aradele - 30K - Heartsong and the Unfinished Business
    Budhi Agung - 29.3K - Glorious Ectonia Celestias_Disciple - 25K - A Restless Mind & Mad in a Mad World
    Dashed Rainbows - 25K - Untitled Story

    1,000+ Club!
    Madame Ponka - 20K - Lunaris & The Final Seconds In Eternity
    Grace Seraph of Aegia/SG Command - 20K - Of Friendships and Warships
    Lily Dawn - 20K - With The Face Of A Porcelain Doll
    Blade Trail - 20K - The Reaper
    Nighthawk - 10K - War For Equestria
    Fluttercheer - 10K - The Strange Case of Dinky Hooves' Cutie Mark Curiosity
    Undome Tinwe - 10K - Passions in the Fading Sunlight
    Dream Chaser - 3K - Luna's Apprentice, Spike's Quest