Tag Archives: A book in 30 days

A few words here, a few words there….#NaNoWriMo2017

I just realized NaNoWriMo 2017 is half over as of today. Thirty days has September, April, June, and November…. so yeah! Half way.

I know I’ve been plugging along and I’ve been checking on some of my NaNo writing buddies and they all are as well. I’m usually not so far in a novel as I am right now, something  I wanted to stop and think about for a moment.

I write fast. Like I talk, only without the hand gestures. ( heehee), but this year I’m halfway and already at over 40,000 words. You  need a 50,000 minimum to be an official Nano Winner. The NaNO predictor tool says if I keep my current word count up, I’ll finish by this Saturday, Nov. 18. That would be the fastest I’ve ever gotten words on the page for this event.

So what have I done differently this year to write so much faster?

Is it because I was so well prepped with an outline before I started? Nope. I always outline.

Is it because I’m so pumped about this new series that I can’t wait until I sit down to work each day? Kinda, but not the real reason.

So what is it you ask? Well, I’ll tell ya.

 

In the past ( like up until last month, Heehee) I sat at my desk for hours on end writing, thinking, cyber trolling, writing and thinking some more. For hours. Literally. This year I’ve been plagued with some heavy arthritis and other joint issues and injuries which make sitting for long periods painful for me when I finally get up. So I’ve been writing in times sprints of a half hour to 45 minutes every day. I write for, say, a half hour, then get up and do life stuff ( laundry, cook, run errands) then go back to writing again for about 45 minutes, then life stuff ( gym, channel surf, watch Real Housewives episodes – don’t judge me!) and then back to writing again. I’ve been uber productive doing this, evidenced by the word count. I think my brain  wants to write when I sit down because it’s been denied that while I’ve been life-stuffing. The words flow out and onto the laptop at record speeds and amounts.

Who knew productivity could be so high when times are limited? Well, probably a lot of people – like the ones who work full time and have to do NaNo in their sparse free time, but I certainly didn’t. I’ve always written under the edict BUTT IN CHAIR, FINGERS ON THE KEYBOARD, WRITE. (BICFOTKW)

Usually, I have a cramp in my butt at the end of the day from sitting so much. Not this month.

I’m amending my NaNo edict to BICFOTKWFTM : BUTT IN CHAIR, FINGERS ON THE KEYBOARD, WRITE FOR THIRTY MINUTES.

Heehee.

When I’m not writing or doing life stuff, you can find me here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

 

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#NaNoWriMo 2017…progress?

Well, we’re almost a week into NaNoWriMo 2017. I’m doing well and so are most of my Nano Buddies. For a writer, I’ve always felt this event is a great way to either kick-start the writing process if you’ve been stalled, or a motivator to get you writing. Just committing to the continuous 30 days of writing makes anyone a winner in my book. I’ve had all four of the books I’ve written during NaNo go on to be published. Not too bad, right? My 2016 winner Can’t Stand The Heat will be released from Kensington/Lyrical Shine on April 4, 2018,

and my 2015 win, Passion’s Palette 

is available now for purchase.

So, if you’re participating in NaNo this month, Yay! Keep on writing and plugging away. Remember – it takes just 7 days for something to become a habit. Buy the end of this week you’ll be in the mindset of writing every single day and that will take you onward into the next months.

I can usually be found writing my NaNo stuff and interacting here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

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#NaNoWriMo2017

Yes, it’s November. You know what that means.

No, not colder days (Brrr), daylight savings time ( a stupid idea), or Thanksgiving.

It’s time for NaNoWriMo.

For the next 30 days, millions of writers around the globe will attempt to bang out 50,000 words in a new novel. Some will succeed. Some will…not.

I hope to succeed. More to come on that.

I can still be found here daily, despite being locked in a cave, typing:

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Winner! Whiner?

Strange blog post title, right? Well, maybe not.

So, November is a memory, but not the November challenge of NaNoWrimo. You’ve – hopefully – gotten your winner banner, letting one and all know you managed to eek out that 50,000 word minimum for the month, and maybe even a little more ( like me!) and now you’re internally debating the next step.

Dive right into editing? Start to query agents, editors, and publishing houses?  Print out the book and give it to one and all of your supportive peeps to read and review and critique?

Well, I hate to give advice because I hate to receive it, but….

Let’s sit back for a second and think this through.

You’ve just spent 30 arduous days giving literary birth to your new baby. A quick pregnancy in potential plotting ( if you’re a plotter) and then 30 continuous days of delivering it into the world. 720 hours, 43,200 minutes, 2,592,000 seconds ( does this remind you of a Broadway show tune?) That’s a lot of time spent in doing one thing, any way you slice and categorize it. The goal of the challenge is to write your story. To get it onto paper or the laptop. Like most writers competing  in the challenge you did not edit along the way. I’m sure your manuscript – like mine – is rife with spelling, grammar, and tense mistakes, not to mention maybe a plot hole or two. Or three. Now is not the time to submit it or allow ANYONE to read and review it.

Now is the time to….sit back for a little bit. Let the manuscript safely stew in your file section. Don’t read it…don’t edit it…don’t start letting the publishing world know it’s available, because it’s not.

I know the excitement of getting the story down – and quickly – is high. Believe me, I know it. But you need to rest your creative brain for a tad and forget some of the words you wrote. Then, when sufficient time has passed – and that can be two days, two weeks, or even a month ( like AFTER the holidays!), you can open it from the file and start to read it with fresh eyes. Eyes that will see all those mistakes, plot holes, and character problems. Those setting mixups and description errors. You’ll be able to SEE you gave your heroine green eyes in chapter one and then realize the hero described them as brown in chapter four. You’ll be able to SEE the motivation you gave your killer to kill was the same internal struggle you gave your hero to. You’ll SEE the escape plan you concocted in chapter 6 is pretty much impossible if you’re penning a contemporary tale and not one filled with dragons and wizards.

Right now you are high on the fabulousness of what you’ve written. Let it stew a while and you’ll realize it’s still fabulous, but needs work. Namely, editing.

Editing with fresh eyes is the best way to find the problems and think of ways to correct them.

Now, as far as querying – don’t. Not now, and certainly not after the first read through. My last three NaNo written books have been published AFTER they went through extensive edits and rewrites BEFORE I even submitted them. The books I submitted to my publisher were the ones where I removed all the mistakes, fixed the grammar and tense, and idealized the plot and story line. My settings were all consistent, my characters fully formed and possessing the correct hair and eye color throughout the book! And even after they were bought they still needed more editing!!!

Do yourself a favor: have a glass ( or two or…) of wine, sit back and put your feet up on the ottoman. Watch a good romance chick flick or even an action adventure movie. Or both. Relax. Rest. Revive. Then you can review, revise, and rework those wonderful NaNoWriMo pages.

Trust me. You’ll be happy you did.

AND ( here comes a shameless plug and I’m not ashamed in the least) if you want to escape into something funny and read a holiday tale, try A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS, available right now. It’ll take your mind off writing and put it back on reading someone else’s work for a bit.

When I’m not being shameless you can find me here:

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The benefits of writing sprints….

On my last NaNoWriMo post,  I told you a dirty little secret about how I bribe myself to continue writing when I’m getting tired/bored/unfocused. I give myself little incentives –aka BRIBES — to keep going and then reward myself when I’m done.

Another way I’ve found to keep myself motivated and typing  when I really want to do something else —  like watch a Real Housewives marathon or dive into the new J.D. Robb book on my Kindle — is to do timed writing sprints.

They don’t have to be very long, 15- 30 minutes at the least and 60 at the most ( mainly because there is no way on God’s green earth I can sit still longer than 60 minutes without imploding!) During these timed writing sprints I write as much as I can, knowing that I may have to stop in the middle of a sentence or a thought when my cell phone signals the time is up. I can justify this by knowing that the next time I get set to write I am prepared with what I want to say, how I want to say it, and how to carry the scene/dialogue/plot onward. Plus, this process keeps my body fresh and my mind sharp.

Knowing that my time is limited I can stay focused and set on getting my thoughts down on the page and not worry about spelling, tense, format, etc. I can always go back and fix that later on. The most important thing is getting everything I want to say, SAID, ( or written, in this case) before the time runs out.

If you’re one of those enviable people who can sit for long stretches of time, composing on end, without a break, know first that I hate you, and second, you are blessed! I have too much energy to sit still for long periods, which is why I hate to fly long distances or drive anywhere for more than an  hour before I need a break to stand up, stretch, and realign my body and soul. Writing in timed sprints allows me to do what I have to do – namely, get the words on the page – but also lets my body have a respite from sitting for too long.

Truly, my a** is big enough  – I don’t need to expand it further it by spending hours on end on it.

SO, writing sprints: they’re a good tool to use for NaNoWriMo.

When I’ not sprinting you can find me here:

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And for a little writing motivation/inspiration, here you go…. from me to you.

nano24

You’re more than welcome!

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NANOWRIMO 2016… Day 1

November has rolled back again – just as it does every year around this time! – and in addition to Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and snowstorms, November brings with it NANOWRIMO, or for those of you who don’t know what the initials represent, National Novel Writing Month.

nanowrimo

NANOWRIMO is a challenge  for writers across the globe  to compose a 50,000 word novel  ( or greater than 50,000 words, if you are so inclined) from 11/1- until 11/30. You catalog your daily word count on the NaNo site and  once the end of the month comes, your total is tallied and, if you reach the 50,000 words, you “Win” the challenge.

This will be my fourth year participating in the challenge and this year is somewhat special for me for a few reasons.

One, I am my RWA New Hampshire chapters’ leader in the NANOWRIMO RWA WORD WARS challenge for this year. Last year, the NHRWA chapter won word wars and I intend to keep our streak going this year for my chapter. I may not have been a cheerleader in school ( too fat, too shy) but I am a totally enthusiastic and encouraging sort and I will do my utmost best to make sure my chapter-mates feel my support!

Two, the past three years I have participated, the novels I wrote for NANO went on to be published. I know! The novel I’m writing this year has already been contracted for Kensington/Lyrical and is due out sometime in 2017/18 so I have plenty of time for edits. HaHa. This challenge is getting my writing butt in gear.

The last reason this year is so special to me is a purely selfish one. People who know me know I love an individual challenge. I’m not into team sports, don’t like to compete with others for anything. I would be one of those who would be voted off the island first! But when the challenge is just between me and myself, well, then I say, “bring it on!”

In preparation this year in my capacity as Chapter Word War Leader, I made a PINTEREST board especially for NaNoWriMo, listing motivations for writers, articles on how to proceed, writing tips and little sayings to keep us all – myself included – up for the challenge. Click on the link and see if any of the boards speak to you.

So, here’s to day 1……..

Do you NaNo? Let’s discuss…

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Filed under #RWA16, Author, Contemporary Romance, Kensington Publishers, Life challenges, Literary characters, love, Lyrical Author, NaNoWriMo, New Hampshire, NHRWA, Romance, Romance Books, RWA