Tier Ranking Series that I’ve Finished

Tier ranking posts and Youtube videos have been circulating around for awhile now, so I thought I would give it a shot at ranking all the series that I’ve finished. Tier ranking is where you take a certain category, like series you’ve finished, and rank them into different levels. I first saw tier-ranking books on Hannah at Clockwork Reads channel (see here), although tier-ranking has been popular on various social media sites before this video.

Disclaimer: Protect Your Privacy

Just as a note, I watched Peyton Reads video (see here) where she tier-ranked books by Sarah J. Maas and she gave some advice that I thought was worth sharing. While reading some fine print of tier ranking websites when in the process of creating an account, which makes you connect the website to your Twitter, she saw some questionable permissions, like blocking people that follow you or changing your Twitter settings. This is a little bit of a red flag, as Peyton noted, that they could go into your account and mess with settings completely unrelated to the purpose of the website.

While Peyton made a different Twitter to use to make an account, I just decided to make my own tier-ranking system using a document on my computer. If you want to participate in this trend, but think those permissions are a little fishy, I would recommend opting for the strategy that Peyton Reads used or making your own system using a program on your computer.

The Series

With those disclaimers out of the way, let’s move onto the ranking! After I scoured my read list on Goodreads, I discovered that I finished the following series:

What counts as a series?

I used the following criteria to determine whether or not I finished a series:

  • It can be a “typical” series or a companion series. A typical series may follow the same character or the same group of characters for all of the books in the series. Also, I will count companion series, where the books may follow a different character than in the first book, but also includes characters from the first book. I only counted companion series that were listed as series on Goodreads. In all, I have 26 different series that I will be sorting into my tiers.
  • It can be an ongoing series. This means, it is a series where I have read all of the current books in the main series. However, additional books may be added later on by the author. For example, the main series in A Court of Thorns and Roses is finished, but several books following different characters will be added on in the future. This means that when this series appears on the list, it only applies to the main trilogy that has currently been released.
  • It can be a duology. I’m not sure if duologies technically count as series. However, I haven’t read enough duologies to rank them aside from series, so they will be counted in this list.

How will I rank the series?

There are six tiers that I will use to rank the series that I’ve finished. Here’s my criteria for each tier:

  • All-Time Favorites: I thought about these books for a long time after reading them. I probably recommended these books to everyone I know and was crushed when they didn’t love them as much as I did.
  • Like, but not Love: These series were enjoyable or well-written, but there is just something that holds me back from making them an all-time favorite.
  • Fun, While it Lasted: These series may not be the most well written, however, I had a great time reading them. I may not pick up and reread them in the near future, but I will always have fond memories of these books.
  • Average: I don’t have strong feelings for this series either way. There are probably aspects that I really love about this series and others that I don’t really like (but don’t hate) either.
  • Why?: Maybe I liked the first book in this series, but it went downhill from there. As I continued this series, I kept asking, “Why?” in my head after certain plot points.
  • Did I Really Read This?: This is a series that I read. Whether it was a long time ago or it just didn’t capture my attention, there is little that I remember about this series outside the synopsis.

The Rankings

  • The Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Eulberg (Fun While It Lasted)

I read The Lonely Hearts Club way back in high school. I read the first book in this series so many times that the spine looked dreadful and I could practically recite several sections. That being said, the second book was only okay. While I enjoyed reading about the same characters, it just wasn’t the same experience as the first book. Overall the books in this series were fun, especially for when I was in high school.

The Lonely Hearts Club follows Penny Lane Bloom who creates a pact with a few other girls in her grade to not date after her boyfriend cheats on her.

  • The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot (Average)

There are so many books in this series and many of them are average. While I love The Princess Diaries movies, the book don’t have the same charm. These books were easy to read back then, but I found some of the books unnecessary. Also, the last book which was released years after the original, was only okay.

The Princess Diaries follows Mia Thermopolis, a geeky girl who discovers that she is the heir to Genovia.

  • 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson (Did I Really Read This?)

I read this duology WAY back in high school. While I remember a few minor details, I can’t remember much of the story besides what is on the synopsis. I remember that these books were okay, but obviously that wasn’t enough for me to remember them.

13 Little Blue Envelopes follows Ginny who follows envelopes placed around Europe by her aunt who recently passed away.

  • The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkowski (All-Time Favorites)

I was so invested in this series when I read it near the beginning of my book blog. I wasn’t a huge fan of fantasy books at the time, so it was a big deal that I committed to this series and finished. To this day, I think the final book, The Winner’s Crime has some of the best war strategy that I’ve seen included in a young adult series.

The Winner’s Curse follows Kestrel, the daughter of a general, who is given two options: marry or join the army. Kestrel’s musical aspirations strikes a bond between her and a slave who plans to overthrow Kestrel’s father.

  • Divergent by Veronica Roth (Why?)

I actually loved the first Divergent book when I read it shortly after I finished The Hunger Games. The series, however, went downhill quickly for me in the second book. Insurgent was slow and confusing for me. And don’t even get me started on Allegiant. I found myself constantly asking, “Why?” to everything that was happening in the second and third books because they made no sense to me.

Divergent follows Tris Prior who must leave her family and choose one of the five factions in her world, each that abides by a different ideology.

  • Fraternize by Rachel Van Dyken (Did I Really Read This?)

This is a two book companion series that I picked up as a Kindle Daily deal. I could tell you that it centered around cheerleaders and football players but not much else. I do remember that I found these books only to be average.

Fraternize, the first book in the series, follows Emerson who finally made a professional cheerleading squad and is the only plus-size cheerleader on the team.

  • The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang (Fun While it Lasted)

The Kiss Quotient is a companion series by Helen Hoang. For me, the first book was only average, but I really enjoyed the second book, The Bride Test. These books are definitely fun contemporary adult books, so it fits best in the fun while it lasted tier.

The Kiss Quotient was pitched as a gender-swapped Pretty Woman and also features a main character with autism. There is also a character with autism in The Bride Test and both are extremely well done as this is an own voices story.

  • Letters to the List by Brigid Kemmerer (Like, but not Love)

I was surprised by how much I enjoyed Letters to the Lost because I usually steer clear of drama-heavy contemporaries. I especially loved the second book in this companion series, More Than We Can Tell, which has Rev who is an incredibly well fleshed out character. While I do like this series, it is not one of my all-time favorites.

Letters to the Lost follows Juliet after someone responds to a letter that she left at her mother’s grace.

  • Love, Life, and the List by Kasie West (Why?)

I actually loved Love, Life, and the List… I just wish it was a stand alone rather than the first book in a contemporary series. I use series loosely with the books in “series” because they have less and less of a connection as the series goes on and I think each book would have been much stronger as a stand alone. This goes in the “Why?” tier because “Why are we forcing so many contemporary companion novels in young adult and adult fiction?”

While each book in this companion series has a vastly different plot, Love, Life, and the List follows Abby who creates a list of experiences that she wants to have in order to give her art more heart along with her best friend, Cooper, who she not-so-secretly loves.

  • Wires and Nerve by Marissa Meyer (Why?)
  • Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (Like, but not Love)

When I read Six of Crows, I really enjoyed it. The books in this duology have many twists and turns as well as my favorite trope, a ragtag teams of sort of heroes. While I liked this book, I can’t say that I became as invested in it as some of my all-time favorites.

Six of Crows follows a group of six outcasts who try to pull off a large heist in a fantasy world.

  • When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon (Average)

The When Dimple Met Rishi series has been hit or miss for me. I really liked There’s something About Sweetie, but I found When Dimple Met Rishi average, and wasn’t as into 10 Things I Hate About Pinky. While I like the concepts of Sandhya Menon’s books, the execution isn’t always there for me.

When Dimple Met Rishi companions follows three Indian-American teens either in the same friend group or family. When Dimple Met Rishi follows Dimple who goes to a coding camp where she meets Rishi, who her parents want her to marry. There’s Something About Sweetie follows Sweetie, an athletic girl who faces scrutiny from her mother because she is plus-size. 10 Things I Hate About Pinky follows Pinky, an outspoken teenager who tries to please her parents by fake-dating a guy that she can’t stand.

  • The Folk of the Air by Holly Black (All-Time Favorites)

This is a series that I find myself constantly recommending to other people. The writing style in this book is amazing and each time I read a book in this series, I couldn’t put it down. If you like faeries, this is definitely a series that you need to check out.

The Folk of the Air series follows Jude, a human forced to live in a world of faeries after her parents are murdered. Although Jude despises the faeries, and the power that they hold over her, she will do anything to gain power in their courts.

  • Shelby Holmes by Elizabeth Eulberg (Average)

Shelby Holmes is a middle grade mystery series. While both books are solid in terms of writing style and character development, sometimes the mystery aspect of the stories frustrated me, for either being too repetitive or being too difficult to solve based on the information given.

Shelby Holmes follows John Watson after her moves into a new neighborhood where he befriends aspiring sleuth Shelby Holmes and they solve mysteries together.

  • Love & Gelato (Average)

Like with many of the other series in this round, the Love & Gelato companion series is average. While I love the descriptions of scenery in these books, I’m always looking for a little more in terms of plot. Additionally, I don’t think these books even need to be a companion series.

Love & Gelato and Love & Luck follow two different girls (one who goes to Italy, the other to Ireland) and discover more about their families and themselves.

  • The Selection by Kiera Cass (Fun While It Lasted)

The Selection seems to be one of those series that a lot of people admit isn’t technically well-written, but it is still very fun to read. As someone who is a fan of the Bachelor franchise, this book was basically made for me because it has all of the ridiculous drama of the show with a loose dystopian element.

The Selection follows America Singer, a poor girl who is selected to compete for the prince’s heart. This book is currently in development to become a Netflix series.

  • Hundred Oaks by Miranda Kenneally (Average)

The Hundred Oaks series is hit-or-miss for me. While there are some books in this series that I absolutely love and other that I don’t like at all. As a result, that balances out to be average. Overall, these books are apart of fun and easy companion series to read.

The Hundred Oaks series follows students who live in the Hundred Oaks area, often times involved with a competitive sport. For example, Catching Jordan follows Jordan, the female quarterback for her school’s football team who must compete for her spot when a male quarterback moves into town.

  • The Superlatives by Jennifer Echols (Why?)

I bought The Superlatives series on a whim at Half Prince books because you could get the whole companion series for around $6. Unfortunately for me, these books were not my cup of tea, with the exception of the last book, Most Likely to Succeed, which was only average for me. Overall, this book series is riddled with unlikeable characters doing many, many unlikeable things. That is why it ended in my “Why?” category–many times while reading these books, I was asking myself that question about what was going on.

The Superlatives follows the dramatic aftermath when school superlatives are released for the senior class at a high school.

  • A Court of Thorns and Roses (All-Time Favorites)

If I read these books again, I’m not sure if I would love them as much as the first time around because I would probably look at them a little more critically. That being said, when I read this series for the first time, I was completely invested even in the most ridiculous parts (which there are many). I have a lot of nostalgia for this series which is why it made it’s way to to my all-time favorites.

A Court of Thorns and Roses follows Feyre Archeron, who kills a faerie disguised as a wolf. She is forced to go live in the faerie kingdom with the faerie’s master where dark secrets threaten to emerge.

  • Lewis Creek by Michelle Smith (Did I Really Read This?)
  • The Hunger Games (All-Time Favorites)

For The Hunger Games, I will just be referring to the original trilogy. Of course, this series is an all-time favorite. I don’t think I ever have been or will be invested in a trilogy like I was invested in The Hunger Games. Some people loved Twilight, some people loved Harry Potter, but I was always a Hunger Games girl. Was the last book not that great? Yes. But will I always have nostalgia for this series? Absolutely.

The Hunger Games follows Katniss Everdeen who volunteers to take her sister’s place in a televised fight-to-the-death.

  • To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han (Like, but not Love)

I love To All the Boy I’ve Loved Before, but I didn’t get an invested in this series as I did my all-time favorites. However, I did like this book enough to visit the sandwich shop mentioned in the third book when I went on vacation to Williamsburg a few years ago!

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before follows Lara Jean, who writes a love letter for each boy she has a crush on, after the letters are mailed out.

  • Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins (Fun While it Lasted)

The Anna and the French Kiss companion series is definitely a fun while it lasted series. Looking back, a lot of people see how problematic some of these stories were. However, when I was the same age as the characters in these books, I was completely hooked on this series, specifically with Lola and the Boy Next Door.

Anna and the French Kiss, the first book in this companion series, follows Anna who is shipped off to a boarding school in France.

  • Summer by Jenny Han (Fun While It Lasted)

The Summer trilogy is another fun while it lasted series. This series reads like a CW show. It has ridiculous drama and all the tropes that you hoped for at the time it was released. That being said, it’s a fun and easy series to speed through during summertime.

The Summer series by Jenny Han follows Belly during her summers at a beach house where she finds herself caught in a love triangle between two brothers that she grew up with.

  • The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer (All-Time Favorites)

Like with the other series in my all-time favorites, I couldn’t stop thinking about this series after I read it and I recommended it everyone that I knew. I still love the characters in this series and I know if I read these books again, I would love them just as much.

The Lunar Chronicles follows Cinder, who is volunteered by her stepmother to take part in trials to solve a deadly plague. However, when Cinder starts to interact with the country’s prince, she uncovers some dark secrets about her past.

  • Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins (Why?)

It is so sad for me to place Rebel Belle in this category. But, I found myself asking “Why?” to a lot of the story after the first book. The first book in this series was strong for me, but it quickly went downhill. The last book was the worst, containing little plot, and the plot it did was riddled with tropes and plot twists that I don’t like.

Rebel Belle follows Harper, a Southern belle, who accidentally becomes a Paladin and must protect her worst enemy.

How would you rank series that you’ve read?

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Extreme Makeover: Blog Edition (Part Two)

Last week, I detailed my first renovations to my blog in five years! This week, I will continue to document my progress in revamping my blog to make it look more modern. To see how I created my own digital art and restructured my home page, see part one.

Today, I will focus on the pages in the primary menu of my blog: About Me, Contact Me, Review Master List, and my Review Policy.

The About Me Page

My old About Me Page

My initial About Me page was… lacking, to put it nicely. There was basically just a sentence that welcomed people to my blog and listed my social media.

My new About Me page

I still think My About Me page could be a little more detailed, but it is greatly improved from its original state. Like with my homepage, I swapped my picture for a more recent image. Next, I wrote a short paragraph to introduce myself, as well as some fun bookish facts about me. Unlike on my original page, I listed my social media, but made it more compact by using the social media images block in the WordPress editor.

The Contact Me Page

My old Contact Me page

My original contact me page was very similar to my About Me page as it contained little information. It was also boring and bland. On this page, I only listed my social media as I had a form on my review policy page. This wasn’t great because if a publisher wanted to contact me by email, but they only looked at my Contact Me page, they wouldn’t have access to a form that contacted me by email.

My new Contact Me page

To revamp this page, I wanted to keep my social media links, but I changed it to the social media block to look a little more cleaner and compact. However, I also added a Google Form to this page because if people want to contact me through email to review a book, then they would most likely look at this page, not my review policy.

To spruce up this page, I added a graphic that I created on a mix of Procreate and Canva. I also added additional questions to my form to make responses easier to sort. Finally, I put my social media at the bottom, but in a more compact way than the original by using the social media block in the WordPress editor.

Review Policy

My old Review Policy

For my review policy, I wrote this before I started reading mass quantities of books. Most of what I wrote next to my star ratings were reflections of what I thought a good book should have, not what I personally enjoyed in books. As I have read a larger quantity of books five years into my blog, I know more of what my reading tastes are and I want my rating scale to more accurately reflect how I rate my books now.

My new Review Policy (part one)

As a result, I updated my explanations next to my star ratings. I also put a little blurb at the bottom to explain about half star ranking. When I first started my blog, I didn’t use half star rankings. However, I have started using them more frequently to better distinguish books because there is a big different to me between a 2 and a 2.5 or a 3 and a 3.5. Also, I indicated that when I rate these books on places like Goodreads, which do not allow star rankings, I always round up with my stars.

My new Review Policy (part two)

Additionally, I updated the form on my Review Policy page with more questions for inquiries to be more specific in the form at the bottom of the page. I also updated my social media links on the page to the social block from the WordPress editor so they weren’t as cluttered in text form. To make the information on the page read easier, I also added headings to each section of text on the page.

Review Master List

For my review master list, I didn’t change anything because I already like the set-up. I did try to change it into columns, but it only looked more cluttered and confusing. One thing that I will change, however, is how regularly I update it. I haven’t updated my Review Master List in AGES so that will be my next project to update my blog!

How have you updated your blog since you first started blogging?

My #YallStayHome (Online Y’All West) Experience: Day One

On Twitter a couple of week ago, I saw that someone retweeted about how Y’All Fest would take place online this year due to the current state of the United States and coronavirus. Even though it is disappointing that the authors and attendees couldn’t gather in person, moving the event online opened up the panels to people who otherwise couldn’t go, including myself.

Whenever I see people go to book festivals or events with their favorite authors, I wish that I could be there too. However, my location doesn’t really have many book festivals or author visits in general. Especially with Y’All West, which is held in Santa Monica, this is an event that I probably wouldn’t be able to attend in-person.

After reading more about the event, I decided to register for the panels that most interested me online. For each panel, attendees were given a Zoom link, which I placed onto my Google calendar. While I was slightly worried about the Zoom calls, it ended up presented as a webinar with only the panelists abled to be viewed and their comments only to be seen in the chat feature. Each panel was about 40 minutes long. Here’s what I watched on the first day:

Opening Ceremony and Teanote AM Keynote

The event kicked off with an opening Keynote from the creators of Y’All West, Melissa de la Cruz (Descendents, Alex and Eliza) and Margaret Stohl (Beautiful Creatures, Royce Rolls). I’ve read books by both of these authors, but I didn’t know that they created this event that I had heard about through book blogging. This opening keynote, moderated by Raphael Simon focused on the authors shared love of Little Women, which inspired them to write their own take on the story, the upcoming Jo & Laurie.

Melissa and Margaret upped the fun by donning bonnets and adding quaint houses onto the backgrounds of the screen. It made me smile when they said they felt like sisters while writing Jo & Laurie, like getting frustrated when the other would write over a line that they really enjoyed. I also enjoyed how they talked about their book and how different adaptations from the original story can make you feel different ways about the characters and their choices.

Modern Magic Worldbuilding

The next panel that I watched was the Modern Magic Worldbuilding panel. This panel was moderated by Ransom Riggs and was made up of Melissa Albert (The Hazelwood), Francesca Flores (Diamond City), Adalyn Grace (All the Stars and Teeth), Frances Hardinge (Deeplight), Margaret Rogerson (An Enchantment of Ravens), and Tracy Wolff (Crave).

The Modern Magic Worldbuilding focused a lot on how fantasy authors take inspiration from the real world and the implications of the world current state on how people view fantasy. My favorite part of this panel was when the authors discussed how they created their own fantasy worlds. I especially liked one comment by Tracy Wolff. She mentioned how when she’s writing, she always thinks that maybe she should use someone else’s process because it doesn’t seem like her process is good enough. However, you are stuck with your process, so no matter how different it may be from someone else’s, your process is what will work for you.

PJ Cosplay: Middle Grade Truth or Dare

This panel was moderated by Brendan Reichs and featured Elise Allen (Gabby Duran and the Unsittables), Ally Condie (The Last Voyage of Poe Blythe), Shannon Hale (Real Friends), Carlos Hernandez (Sal and Gabi Break the Universe), and Holly Goldberg Sloan (Counting by 7s). While this event usually only features dares because of the format of this year’s event, all of the questions were truth questions which I really enjoyed.

This was definitely one of my favorite panels of the day. Brendan Reichs was a hilarious moderator and it was fun that all of the authors dressed in their pajamas (I loved Shannon Hale’s Rainbow Dash onesie!). One of the aspects of this panel that I really liked was they took a lot of audience questions, which I didn’t necessarily see in my first two panels of the day. There were also a lot of authors that I have read and enjoyed like Shannon Hale, Ally Condie, and Holly Goldberg Sloan, so it was fun learning more about them as people than just reading their books.

Facing the Enemy: Hope, War, & Revolution

The next panel that I visited was full of authors with books that focus on characters who start revolutions. This panel was moderated by Victoria Aveyard (Red Queen) and included Danielle Paige (Stealing Snow), Victoria Lee (The Electric Heir), Hafsah Faizal (We Hunt the Flame), Isabel Ibanez (Woven in Moonlight), and Jordan Ifueko (Raybearer).

For me, the most interesting aspect of this panel was the authors explaining what they pulled from real life to inspire their books, but also how their books unintentionally ended up mirroring what was going on in real life.

This American Experience

After the Facing the Enemy panel, I stopped by The American Experience panel. This panel was moderated by Lauren Myracle (This Boy), Jennifer de Leon (Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From), Angie Thomas (On the Come Up), George M. Johnson (Not All Boys are Blue), Natasha Diaz (Color Me In), and Bill Konigsberg (The Bridge). 

This panel was definitely the most controversial of the day, due to the panel’s moderator, Lauren Myracle. While I was extremely interested in hearing more about the experiences of the author’s on this panel and how their experiences inspired their books, it is a shame that the attention has been taken away from these authors due to the actions of the moderator. For example, during the panel, author Jennifer de Leon, author of Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From, was literally asked where she was from. Y’All Fest has since apologized for this panel (although they didn’t name specifics in their apology) and rescheduled the panel with Nic Stone as the moderator for a later date and time.

PM Keynote with Brandon Sanderson

The next event that I visited was a PM Keynote with fantasy author Brandon Sanderson with an introduction by Melissa de la Cruz. Brandon Sanderson spoke about his experience with writing, from when he was in high school and up until his publication. Brandon Sanderson was completely honest about his writing journey and how his goals changed as he continued writing (13 books!) before he was eventually published. This keynote gave hope to aspiring writers, but also gave some hard truths about pursuing a creative career and having luck in the publishing industry. This keynote also included a guest appearance by his pet macaw, Magellan, who was absolutely adorable.

YALLSTAYHOME Smackdown

The final event of the night was the YALLSTAYHOME Smackdown hosted by Angie Thomas aka Dumbledope and Nic Stone aka Snape Dogg. Angie and Nic, as well as several authors from the panels throughout the day, competed in different activities like an interactive fill-in-the-blanks game where the audience could vote on the choices, Author Cribs (like the old MTV show), and pet roast (where they complimented other author’s pets).

I really liked this event because it really showed off the authors’ personalities and gave you a more personal look at their lives. It made me feel better to see other people have messy rooms and to see all of their cute pets. Angie Thomas and Nic Stone were great hosts together and even took the event an extra mile by dressing up and using British accents.

Stay tuned to hear about the panels I watched on Day Two!

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March Writing Progress/Camp NaNoWriMo 2020

Writing Progress

Earlier this year, I created some writing goal for myself going into 2020 (see my goals here). One of my goals was to write the first draft of a new project. In last month’s writing progress report, I indicated that I currently had 9,000 words on the first draft of a new project. Let’s check out my project for this month!

  • Current word count (as of March 27): 13,908 words

I’m slightly disappointed in myself since I only increased my draft by around 5,000 words. However, I want to give myself some grace because it’s been a stressful few weeks with a lot of changes that affect every aspect on everyone’s lives. That being said, I am happy with what I have written, so even though the quantity of words isn’t great, I believe I did have some quality writing. With Camp NaNoWriMo coming up in April, I hope to skyrocket this word count and get closer to a finish first draft. My goal for the draft of this project is 27 chapters with 3,000 words in each chapter which equals a grand total of 81,000 words.

Now, onto my goals for Camp NaNoWriMo!

If you aren’t familiar with NaNoWriMo or Camp NaNoWriMo, here is a brief explanation. NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, is held annually in November and challenges writers to write 50,000 for a new project. Camp NaNoWrimo, held annually in April and July, encourages writers to set any writing goal for themselves for a new or existing project. For more information on either of these events, check out NaNoWriMo’s website here.

For this Camp NaNoWriMo, I want to continue working on the project that I mentioned above. Like I stated previously, this project currently has almost 14,000 words. During Camp NaNoWriMo, I want to add 30,000 words to this project. I chose 30,000 words because that averages to 1,000 words a day. Since I successfully completed NaNoWriMo this past November with 50,000 words, I am optimistic that I will be able to finish 30,000 words in one month. If I finish my 30,000 word goal, I will be at 45,000 words, which is a little over halfway of my complete first draft goal of 81,000 words.

Are you participating in Camp NaNoWriMo? What are your goals?

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February Writing Progress

Writing Progress

In my Book/Writing Goals for 2020 post in January, I planned to finish my current work-in-progress that I started during NaNoWriMo and to complete the first draft of another book. Here’s my progress on my goals so far:

  • Finish my current work-in-progress

I’ve been working on finishing up my first draft/revising chapters for the story that I finished during NaNoWriMo last year. While I still like the story that I wrote during NaNoWriMo, I’ve hit a few roadblocks along the way in editing that I want to work out before I write anything new. I’m hoping that maybe during Camp NaNoWriMo in April that I can come back to this story after brainstorming and working out some ideas in this draft. As a result, I am going to start the first draft of my new story while I brainstorm ways to fix the first draft of the other story that I wrote.

  • Write a draft of a new book.

As I was working on revising the first draft of my NaNoWriMo story in January, I was also watching a lot of writing videos and reading articles on the writing process to help me brainstorm for the first draft of the next book I want to write. For me, the planning stage has always been minimal. While I still don’t like to plan out every little detail of what I write, it has become more important for me to have established backstories and some structure before I start writing.

Something that I have found very useful in brainstorming plots and characters is the app GoodNotes, which I downloaded on my iPad. While I do have Scrivener and like using it to write chapter or create character profiles, it is fun to use GoodNotes to splatter random ideas on the page before I decide on what direction that the story will go.

When I decided to take a break from my NaNoWriMo story, I started writing this new story. For this story, I am trying to use Kat from Katytastic’s process (see the video here) where I have 27 chapters at about 3,000 words each. During February, I have approximately 9,000 words out of 81,000 words.

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Book/Writing Goals for 2020

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It’s a New Year, so it is time for some new reading and writing goals! I’m not usually a goal person, but I do like to think of what I hope to accomplish every year. For me, goal setting isn’t something set in stone that I need to feel bad about if I don’t finish, but something to make progress on during the year, no matter the outcome. Here are three goals that I hope to accomplish in the New Year.

  • Read 25 books.

This year, I read a little over thirty books, so I think 25 will be a good target in the Ndw Year. I faced a massive reading slump this year, so I hope 2020 will bring many new books for me to enjoy!

  • Finish my current work in progress.

In 2019, I won NaNoWriMo. I am currently in the process of editing the book that I wrote. Hopefully, I can work through a few drafts this year in order to finish the story.

  • Write a draft of a new book.

This goal piggybacks off the last one. I hope to finish revisions on the book that I am working on before November, which should be extremely possible, in order to participate in NaNoWriMo again with a new story.

What bookish or writing goals do you have for 2020?

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Blogmas 2019 Day #1: I Won NaNoWriMo!

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Hello and welcome to the first post in my annual Blogmas series, where I post everyday during the month of December. Today, I’ll be discussing my recent experience with NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, this past November. If you aren’t familiar with NaNoWriMo, it is a, annual month-long writing writing event in November that challenges you to write 50,000 words towards a new novel in thirty days. For more information, check out the official website here.

I have participated in NaNoWriMo once before, however, I only made it to about 35,000 words. This year, I was determined to reach the 50,000 word benchmark. Throughout the month, I faced a lot of challenges to reach my goal. I was sick for the first three weeks of November. Then, in the middle of the month, I was in the process of rearranging my room, which cost me several weekends of building IKEA furniture.

However, I prevailed on the last day of the month with only a few hours to spare in the day by writing more words than I have ever written before in one day… a little over 8,000 words! While I’m not completely finished with my first draft, I have a great place to start.

This year, I really focused on just writing whatever came to mind instead of focusing so much on making every single word perfect. While I have much to revise, I am still excited to meet my goal and have words written down that I can work on over the next several months.

On NaNoWriMo’s website, they provide several statistics about your writing experience. Here are some of my statistics:

  • 50,075 words: This was my ending total word count.
  • I’m a night owl–I wrote mostly between 8:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.: This does not surprise me, considering I work all day.
  • I mostly wrote at home: I only worked at home while writing, so this is also not a surprise.
  • I wrote an average of 1,669 words per day: For NaNoWriMo, they suggest you write 1,667 words per day. For me, that number greatly varied. At the beginning, I tried to stick to 2,000 words. However, there was one week where I wrote 0 words. As a result, my word count spiked at the end where I tried to catch up, sometimes writing around 6,000 words per day.

 

Overall, I was excited to complete NaNoWriMo successfully for the first time. Did any of you try NaNoWriMo this year?

 

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Independence Day Book Tag

Book Tag

Happy Fourth of July to all of my American followers! Since today is Independence Day, I thought I would celebrate by completing the Independent Day Book Tag. Here are my answers (I am not sure who started this tag. If you know, please link to their social media down below so I can credit them!):

  • Show three books you have already read (one red, one white, and one blue)

Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid: Rowley Jefferson's JournalCounting by 7sReal Friends

This summer I have been really drawn to reading more middle grade books. These are three books that I have read so far this summer. While I wanted more from Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid, I was thoroughly impressed with the unique and distinct voices in each of these stories. Real Friends, a graphic memoir about Shannon Hale’s childhood, really grabbed me because it perfectly captured how most people feel at that age.

  • A book with your favorite “rag-tag” band of revolutionaries

Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1)

I haven’t talked about The Lunar Chronicles in so long! This was one of my most hyped series when I first started my blog. I love each of the characters in this book and they have stayed with me years after I finished the series. I’m still waiting on someone to make this into a movie series, or even better, a television or Netflix series!

  • Show a book that takes place in one of the 13 original colonies

The Unexpected Everything

The Unexpected Everything takes place in Stanwich, Connecticut, one of the 13 original colonies. I am a huge fan of Morgan Matson’s books and hopefully I can get to the only book that I haven’t read by her, Second Chance Summer, before this summer ends!

  • Show a book that takes place in England

I've Got Your Number

Sophie Kinsella’s books are some of the first books that got me into the “adult” book age range. I particularly loved I’ve Got Your Number out of all the books that I have read by her.

  • Time for fireworks! What book(s) end with a bang?

The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air, #2)

The Cruel Prince was an okay read for me, but I was completely blown away by the twists and turns in the second book in this series. The ending caught me by surprise! I am eagerly anticipating The Queen of Nothing.

  • Show three books you would like to read (one red, one white, and one blue)

The Wedding DateSomewhere Only We KnowThe Rest of the Story

I really enjoyed The Proposal, so I was love to read the other books in Jasmine Guillory’s companion series. I also want to read books by Maurene Goo because I’ve heard such positive reviews of her work. Obviously, I need to read The Rest of the Story because Sarah Dessen is my favorite YA author!

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Writing Progress: March 2019

Writing Progress

Last year in November, I participated in NaNoWriMo. While I never reached that 50,000-word goal by the end of the month, I still persisted in writing the story that I started. Much to my surprise (really, it wasn’t looking like I would ever finish!), I finish the first draft at the end of January. Since then, I created more goals (and revised them after a long break from my story) to polish up my work in progress (WIP). Currently, my goal is to complete revisions and finish the second draft of my WIP by the middle of May.

Goal #1: I will complete revisions on my WIP to complete my second draft by May 15.

Current Progress: I have revised 3 out of 20 chapters in my work in progress as of March 17, 2019.

Goal #2: I will increase my word count from approximately 35,000 words to 55,000 words by May 15.

Current Progress: My revised work in progress (Chapters 2-4) is currently at is approximately 7,800 words as of March 17, 2019.

While I am already a *little*  (read: a week or two) behind on my plan to meet these goals, I am still hopeful will spring break on the horizon to have a little more time to carry out these plans. One step that I am taking towards these goals is participating in Camp NaNoWriMo.

I participated in Camp NaNoWriMo last year (with a different story), but never joined a cabin and only kept a personal goal. This year, I decided to pick the option to randomly join a cabin with people writing in the same category (middle grade). I am hoping through collaboration with other people, I will stay more accountable for writing and also help other people successfully work on their Camp NaNoWriMo projects.

 

Are you writing anything or participating in Camp NaNoWriMo?

 

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Camp NaNoWriMo July 2018 Update #2

Camp NaNoWriMo

Camp NaNoWriMo Goal: 25,000

Week Two Goal: 11,290

Current Word Count: 5,537

Things started to look up during week two… and slowly went downhill. After falling behind week one, I sat down and tried to crank out some words. After one successful day where I almost wrote 3,000 words, I planned to keep up the momentum the rest of the week. However, a stretch of sunny (and very humid!) days, I found myself more in the mood for the pool than any writing. As a result, I only reached about the halfway point of my expected goal for the end of week two.

Even though I’m quite behind schedule, I hope to continue pushing through these last two weeks, even if I don’t make my goal. I’ve really enjoyed sitting and writing. I think Camp NaNoWriMo has helped me just get out the general idea of the story I’m working on, without getting bogged down by the perfect word choice and the perfect scene this early in the process of my story. Usually, I get hung up on every little detail, but I think writing freely will at least get me a first draft that I could fine tune out later.

How has your NaNoWrimo going?