Are you Ready for NaNoWriMo?

25 Days. Let the games begin.

25 Days. Let the games begin.

In 25 or so days, writers all over the world will suffer from lack of sleep, caffiene addiction and…writer’s block.

But Jordan, that sounds like NaNoWriMo!

You bet your 50,000 words it’s NaNoWriMo!

I’m not prepared! What am I going to do?!

Don’t worry, I’m not prepared either and for most of us writing isn’t our entire lives. We have work, school, kids, so we a battle plan going in. That’s where I come in. We are going to plan these novels down to a T over the next 25 days. Think of us as pre-NaNo buddies!.

What if I haven’t done NaNo before, Jordan? 

Not to worry just go sign up at You’ll be fine I promise. This is only my second one and I’m going to be prepared this time.

I know writers all over the world are ordering their coffee in bulk right about now, (I probably should too) but there are plots to be finalized, character to be made, wars to be planned!

Ask yourself: Is my story ready for NaNoWriMo?

If yes, great! Sit back and drink that coffee, you deserve that coffee! If your answer is no then you’re on the struggle bus with me and a million other writers. Not to worry, we’re driving to preparation station where everyone exits the struggle bus…and boards the struggle train to NaNo Town! At least you’ll be prepared when you get there!

Now that the rant is over, let’s get down to business. Since I usually start with characters we’ll start there.

Do you have a main character?

Do you have all of the characters you need at the moment? (Your answer is no if you have less than 15)

Have you established which characters are primary and secondary?

Have you established each characters role in the story?

All of these components help you determine how your story is going to go. Your characters, their motivations, their hopes and dreams need to be flushed out before you start writing. Otherwise, you’ll be banging you head against the table before you know it. I’d suggest looking into character profiles. Click here to read my post on character profiles.  It’s one less thing to worry about when you need to reach 50,000 words.

If your looking for inspiration I go to Pinterest and search “character inspiration”. I’ll be talking more about characters and next week we move on to….PLOTS! At the end of the next two or three weeks, I’ll have a check list put together so people can keep track their progress. Let’s whip our characters into shape!

The Confessions of a Writer TAG

First let me thank Nicole for tagging me in this. I meant to do this a couple of days ago, but school had its claws in me. If you want to go visit you can click on her name above or the highlighted text in the rules section.

Rules of the tag:

  • Please link back to A Little Bookish, A Little Writerly’s post, so that the original rules are always accessible to anyone who is curious and wants to participate!
  • Acknowledge the person who tagged you in your post.
  • Tag your friends and fellow writers – it’s up to you how many!

When did you first start writing? Was being a writer something you always aspired to be?

I started writing in the second or third grade, but I stopped somewhere along the way and started again in high school. I don’t think I actually wanted to be a writer until about a year and a half ago. I always assumed my sister would be the writer.

What genre do you write?

I like to write fantasy stories. I believe reality is just a string of controllable and uncontrollable events. Since I find my reality to be mostly uncontrolled, I write what I believe I can control. The weird thing is, if my story gets away from me I don’t freak out.

Can you tell us a little about your current work in progress? When did you start working on this project?

A lot of people think my work in progress involves my character, Remi, since I write about her the most, but her story is actually my side project. I’ve mentioned Ri before and her story is my work in progress. She’s a part of the lower class (of course) and it’s up to her to stop her nation from tearing itself apart

What was your first piece that you can remember writing? What was it about?

I remember writing a story in the second grade and it won my class contest. I got to attend a pizza party. I’m not sure what the story was about, but I’m pretty sure dinosaurs were involved.

What’s the best part about writing?

The best part about writing is that feeling you get when everything comes together. Whether if it’s you finishing your story or just when you have your WIP planned out, it feels good when it all works out.

What’s the worst part about writing?

The worst part is being stuck and you just just sit there staring at the blinking cursor, mocking you until you slump down in defeat…or just running out of snacks.

What’s the name of your favorite character and why? (This can be from a book by another author or from your own work. Book crushes are perfectly acceptable here as well.)

I don’t think I have a favorite character, but I have a thing for names. I love rare and exotic names when it comes to characters. If it hasn’t been used a lot, then I love it.

How much time a day/week do you get to write? When is the best time for you to write (morning or night)?

I don’t get to write as much since the semester started, but I still try to write on the weekends. The best time for me to write is probably late at night. If it’s too early in the morning then I’ll just want to lay in bed. If it’s midday then I’ll probably still want to lay in bed. Late at night is probably when I get tired of laying bed.

Did you go to college for writing? Or if you haven’t been to college yet, do you plan to?

I’m in college! Yay (stay in school kids)! I’m currently getting a minor in creative writing. I didn’t do a major because I wasn’t sure if it was really what I wanted to do, but I wouldn’t trade my current major for anything.

What bothers you more: spelling errors, punctuation errors, or grammar errors?

I think spelling errors because I’m pretty good at spelling. I don’t really follow the laws of punctuation as much as I should so I wouldn’t judge someone else on that. I pride myself on not being a hypocrite 🙂

What is the best writing advice that anyone has given you?

Write for you- my entire support system

What advice would you give to another writer?

You’re good enough. You’ve poured your heart and soul into your characters, your plot, your everything. That alone makes you good enough.

What are your favorite writing sites or blogs that you turn to for help, tips or encouragement?

I can’t remember any of the sites. I just search “writing tips” on Pinterest or Google. Sorry 😦

Besides writing, what else do you enjoy doing? What are your hobbies?

Besides writing…hmm…my life is a mess so I’m not sure what I do. Let’s just say I reading books and try not to flunk out of school. #lifegoals

What is the best book you’ve read this year?

I’m not sure if I read it this year, but I read this book called Graceling did a book review on it I thought it was amazing!

What is the best movie you’ve seen this year?

Avengers: Age of Ultron. Ask me again in February though.

What is your favorite book or series of all time?

It’s between the Maximum Ride Series by James Patterson or the Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series. I’m a sucker for flying kids and Greek mythology.

Who is your favorite author?

Veronica Roth because I can relate to her. I want to write a book before I graduate college and that’s what she did!

What are your plans for the rest of the year in terms of your writing?

Go through the fiery pit that is NaNoWriMo and come out with a ragged first draft. Then polish said rough draft into a semi (but barely) acceptable second draft.

Where else can we find you online?

I’m on Twitter @JordanHolman_ feel free to follow me and tweet me. We can commiserate together.

Update! I’m back!

Sorry I’ve been MIA for the past few weeks, with school starting and moving places it’s been a pretty busy couple of months. As you know, I’m a college student and that has played a major factor in my absence. Between meetings, classes and homework it seems as though the time has just disappeared. However, I’m back in action now and I can’t wait to tell you all what I’ve been up to.

I moved back to my college town a week before school started and it took that time to get everything unpacked and put in place. I honestly never want to move again. After that it was just trying to get back into the groove of college life. I’ve settled into the groove of classes and I like it. There’s this one class that I’m not really feeling and it had to be the only English class I’m taking.

This is a class that helps you learn all about the fiction. However, I don’t feel like I’m actually learning. I feel like I’ve been downgraded to a middle school reading class. I know reading is a part of learning, but when you spend the first 8 weeks of class in silent reading time then you just feel like you need your money back. Also, we are confined to only writing proper literary fiction. No sci-fi, no fantasy, no nothin’. She tells us that there’s a way to do it, but isn’t really teach us how for the students (like myself) who haven’t really written literary fiction. Am I just a ranting student? Are my rants misplaced?

Anyway, all of my class problems aside, during my impromptu hiatus, I got to write a guest post for Writers Helping Writers. It was a really cool experience and I’m glad I took the chance to do it. It gave me the confidence to believe in myself and my ability to write. If you want to check out my article just click here.

If you want to guest post I highly recommend it.

Other than that I haven’t had too much going on. I’ve been on the job search and that’s pretty much it. How have you been?

Let me know how your summer went, or just whatever you want to share. Finished your novel? Entered a contest? Went to the beach? Let me know.

Writing Challenge Countdown: Day 147

So I’ve gotten a late start today due to appointments and whatnot which gives me enough time to write this post. I haven’t gotten to write today, (I will after work) but I’m super proud of my story so far. For a first draft, I love it.

So today, were going to focus on your character’s motivation. What or who do they love? Who or what do they fight for?

I know Remi fights for survival, but she also fights for her mom and little brother. I’m not sure what Ri fights for at the moment, but I’m getting close to what motivates her.

Motivations aren’t important to just main characters, but all characters. What drives your antagonist? Why is your secondary character going on the adventure with your main? These are things to think about when you’re creating characters. So, what’s your character’s motivation?

Today I challenge you to give your character the ultimate motivation. What that motivation is, is for you to decide. Don’t just make the antagonist jealous, make him vengeful and corruptive. Don’t make your protagonist a justice seeker. Get them personally invested in a conflict.

Here’s some more info on character motivation from

Keep on writing, the fruits of your labor will pay off.

Writing Challenge Countdown: Day 149 and 148

Sorry! I know I was supposed to write a post yesterday, but it was just a non-functional type of day. I’ve been keeping up with my writing though and I hope you have been too.

Current word count: 1,610

I couldn’t figure out what I wanted today’s challenge to be, but after some Pinterest searching, I figured it out. Today is all about the character’s journey. What makes your character special? What can they go through to make them stronger? I always like to ask myself “How can I throw my character into the abyss?”

So today I challenge you to challenge your character. Put them through hardship, let the odds stack up against them and see where it takes you. Here’s a coup;e ideas to get you started:

1. Torture them (mentally or physically)

2. Make them wanted fugitives

3. Make them get robbed

4. Have someone close to them die

5. Kidnap them

6. Make them just have a bad day

I think I’ve always had a problem with putting my characters through hell, but I’ve practiced and now I think the things they’ve gone through have help me make them and the story more interesting.

Have you put your character through something? Are you just struggling with your story? Let me know in the comments what your your problem is. Don’t worry you aren’t alone. We’re all on the struggle bus together.

Keep on writing!

Writing Challenge Countdown: Day 150

For those of you that have been following me for a little while, you know that I am working on my first novel. The entire task seemed daunting at first, but I found a way to make it work. I gave myself the deadline of December 31st to finish the first draft and started planning. I haven’t really given myself an end goal in terms of word count because I just wanted to write and see where I got.

To make the task less challenging, I’ve decided to write 500 words a day for the next 150 days. This will help me reach small goals while making it toward my big goal. 500 words doesn’t take me that long to write so I know it’s manageable.

So the reason I’m telling you this is because I want to invite you to join me on this little (actually pretty big) writing adventure. If you join me on this writing challenge, by Dec 31st you will have 75,000 words. If you want to write short stories, non-fiction, or fiction that’s fine. Honestly, you can write anything you want to this is just a way to help people to reach their goals.

As of today, I have 559 on my story. I have another 5,000 somewhere, but I need to find it. So I’ll do daily countdowns with tips, exercises and short stories and hopefully we’ll be able to help each other get through the next 150 days.

Happy writing!

Which Plotting Technique is Right for you?

I so desperately wanted to make the right/write pun in the title, but I resisted. I’ve seen a lot of different plotting techniques on Pinterest and I couldn’t decide what was right for me (again the pun…). I’ve seen everything from plot boards to book binders to idea webs, but my first mistake was trying to do them all. Don’t get me wrong, doing a bunch of different plotting techniques may work for some, but it tends to get really confusing for most. I try to use a couple in different stages of planning. Here’s a few different techniques to help with your plotting.

1. Outlining

The first technique I saw a lot of people suggesting was outlining. I think outlining didn’t grasp my attention at first was because I’d been forced to do outlines for school and I hated it. The more I started to outline for my stories, the more I actually found it helpful. Outlines tend to be for writer’s that are all about organization, but keep in mind that it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. It’s for those who need or want to add more detail and it will essentially make writing your story easier overall.

2. Plot Boarding

For those of you who aren’t familiar with plot boarding, it usually involves one of those tri-fold cardboard display boards and some sticky notes. Each section of the board represents either Act I,  II, or III. You stick the post it notes that have different parts of your story on them in their respective acts. I think plot boards are for the writers that work best with visuals. It gives you the space and the freedom to move scenes around. It can also help you keep track of characters and sub plots (different colored sticky notes).

3. Scene List

I use the scene list all the time even though I find it less structured than the outline. It’s for those writer, like me who can work with a bit of untidiness. This is better for those writers that just need to write things out sometimes. I typically use it as an extreme rough draft of an outline. I don’t always put it in order so I take what I write in my scene list and put it in an outline. I see scene lists as the gateway of plotting, it’s better for me to  write everything out before I put it in order.

4. Book Binder

The book binder is for the extreme planner and is basically the holy grail of your book. All of the information you need is in one place. Outline, character list, scene list and so much more. I’ve wanted to do a book binder for my novel, but I just haven’t gotten around to it yet. If want to have everything you need to know about your book all planned out then I’d definitely suggest the book binder. I’ll put some links below that will show how to make one.

5. Idea Map

Idea maps are definitely for the visual writer, if you like to see things before you write then this is for you. I used to idea maps in elementary school, but I don’t remember doing them anytime after.  I’m not that much of a visual person when it comes to writing so I don’t really do them, but I made a basic one just so you could see what it looked like.

Idea webIdea webs could be pretty helpful if you want to keep track of where your story is going, but you can’t easily switch it around like the plot board. However, if you use a computer, changing it shouldn’t be too hard.

I hope you enjoyed some of the techniques here. Some of them are pretty fun to try so if you have the time try a couple and see which ones work for you.


Plot Boarding:

Scene List:

Book Binder:

Who are you?

I remember when I was 5 years old and I told my mom that I wanted to be the first African American, female president. Then, by the time I was 10 or 11, I wanted to be an aerospace engineer. I never wanted to be a writer from the time I was young, but I was always a dreamer. A dreamer of imaginary places and imaginary people.

I wrote for a little while in the 3rd grade, but ultimately my sister was the one who was the writer, and she was good at it. She used to tell me stories as a kid and I loved each and every one. We always joke about how she wrote FanFic before FanFic was cool. I got to be friends with Harry Potter or have powers like the X-Men and I think that’s where it started.

Even though I didn’t always write, I loved to read, I’m pretty sure that it was a prerequisite in my family, but I never minded. I read books of Greek Gods, spies, and kids with wings. By the time I’d gotten to high school, the public school system had already instilled the “wonders” of academic writing and I hated it. It took forever for me to realize that creative and academic writing are two different arenas.

I finally started writing again 2 years ago around the time I started college and I loved it!  The more I wrote the happier I was. Yes, sometimes it was frustrating and daunting, but it never compared to the feeling I got from creating something and watching it take form.

So here I am, a junior in college, plagued by the question “Who are you?” That question I couldn’t really answer for a while because I couldn’t really say I was writer could I? Wrong. I don’t consider myself and author, but I do consider myself a writer. I’m still trying to figure out where I fall, but I know that I am Jordan, writer, dreamer, future author.  Who are you?

Camp NaNoWriMo: Take Two

In less than 24 hours the July session of Camp NaNoWriMo will be underway. If you don’t know what Camp NaNoWriMo is then click here to head to their site. Trust me, it’s worth the look. The camp is used to give writers a practice run for the main event which would be NaNoWriMo. This event is held every November, but you can still check out the site here for more info.

I started this blog at the end of April which meant I was coming off the last camp session. I had met my goal and I was happy, or so I thought. I got into this rut that prevented me from not only writing, but reading my own work. I started to realize I wasn’t just happy putting anything down. No, I didn’t just write random words, but I did spew a whole lot of unnecessary scenes into my story. So this time I’m gonna do things a bit differently.

Plan, Plan, Plan

This time I’m planning and organizing. I’m making scene lists and I’m making my very own book binder. Think of it as a manual to your story (I’ll post the how-to for that later this week) and if you can’t remember something or need to work through your character’s issues, you can turn to it.

Don’t Follow the Order

I didn’t write in order last time and I’m not doing it this time. Writing out of order helped me get more ideas out instead of getting mentally blocked. I don’t know about you, but I am complete crap at writing beginnings; I know I’m crap and I accept it. It helps to plan out the middle and even the end before tackling the beginning. I know, I’m backwards.

 Make Friends

I’m going to try to engage the people in my cabin more this time around. Writers that support one another can go a long way. You can commiserate and cry with one another, but you can also celebrate together and push each other. I’ve always wanted to expand my circle of writing friends so this is my chance to do so.

Make a Schedule

With work and it being summer and all, I find myself to be getting lazy. That stops now. I’m going to make a schedule and stick with it. I find that I work better late at night or in the afternoon. So I will schedule some time around then to write. It takes 21 days to make or break a habit, hopefully I carry this habit on past July.

Make a Snack Box

During writing, I get hungry so I get up and get food. This action somehow leads to getting on Facebook or Twitter or watching TV. I’m going to get a box and put a few healthy snacks inside. If you missed it, here’s my healthy snack post.

Are you joining Camp NaNoWriMo? Are you just writing a novel? No matter what your doing, leave your routine in the comments below. I’d love to see what your doing.

Welcome to St. Martin/Sint Maarten!

I’m back! Sorry it’s been so long since my last post. I’ve been cruisin’ around the Caribbean for the past week or so with little to no internet access. However, I’m back to share all of the beautiful places I’ve been and all of the wonderful things I’ve experienced.


I’m just going to make this week travel week.This week I’ll show you the islands of St. Thomas, Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Kitts, and Sint Maarten/St. Martin. These are some incredible places to visit. They’re all full of culture, history, and beautiful scenery. The picture above was taken in Marigot, St. Martin.

St. Martin was the last island we stopped by. Since it was our last day, Bryan and I decided to go on a tour. We’d done a lot of beaches and shopping on some of the other islands, but I thought that this would be a good way to end the cruise. What’s so special about St. Martin is that it has two different parts of its culture. The north side of the island was once ruled by the French and the south side of the island was ruled by the Dutch.

Funny story: The tour guide told us the story of how the island was divided. The French sent a man to mark territory and the Dutch sent a man to mark the territory. At one point in the Dutch man’s journey he stopped to sleep while the french man kept going. When they woke up the French had covered an ample distance. So the French ended up getting 21 miles of the island while the Dutch only got 16 or 17 miles. I’m pretty sure it was a joke.

Us on a tour bus getting ready to tour the island.

Us on a tour bus getting ready to tour the island.

When we got on the tour bus in Phillipsburg, I could only remember little bits from my last visit. I remember that St. Thomas was my favorite island, but I couldn’t remember much about this island, but the more places we went to, the more I liked this island.

A beautiful beach a few miles away from Phillipsburg

A beautiful beach a few miles away from Phillipsburg

One thing I like about this island was the way it looked. I was constantly taking pictures because I didn’t want to miss any of beaches or hills or mountains. As a writer, it was absolutely inspiring. I couldn’t wait to get back home to write and see what I could come up with.

International Lookout Bay

International Lookout Bay

Our first stop on the tour was International Lookout Bay. The reason for its name is because when you stand there you can see three different national areas. You can see the Dutch part of the island, you can see the French part of the island, and you can see the British Island of Anguilla off in the horizon.

Bryan and I at International Lookout Bay

Bryan and I at International Lookout Bay

Crossing the French/Dutch Border into St. Martin

Crossing the French/Dutch Border into St. Martin

Our next stop took us across the French/Dutch border into St. Martin. Yes, there are two spellings for one island. The Dutch side spells it “Sint Maarten” while the French side spells it “St. Martin”. It has to do with the way each language pronounces it. So we would travel from the Dutch capital of Phillipsburg to the French capital of Marigot.

Our stop in Marigot

Our stop in Marigot

The West Indies Shopping Mall  in Marigot

The West Indies Shopping Mall in Marigot

The first picture in this post is also from Marigot, as mentioned above. After finished at that stop they took us around the rest of the island and then we had an option to be dropped of in downtown Phillipsburg or back at the port. We chose Phillipsburg. We went to a few shops and

Downtown Phillipsburg

Downtown Phillipsburg

Another beautiful beach

Another beautiful beach

Sint Maarten

All in all..

I love St. Martin/Sint Maarten

I love St. Martin/Sint Maarten