How is your NaNoWriMo going? 


How is your NaNoWriMo going? 

Natalie Bright
I didn’t start anything new, but I am making great progress on finishing my short story for our Route 66 Anthology. We were on the road during the holidays so I took pen and paper to stay on track for NaNoWriMo. Sometimes it helps to get a completely different perspective from a computer screen. A bumpy highway prevented me from writing legibly, so I began to make a list of major scenes, character thoughts, and plot points. The story came to me fast. It was completely in my head, each scene clearly visible and the list went fast because I wasn’t taking the time to make complete sentences. And now I have a full outline to THE END. During the last week of November I can begin fleshing out the scenes and adding sensory details.
Hope you had a productive November !
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NaNoWriMo


“There is no perfect time to write. There is only now.” – Barbara Kingsolver

NaNoWriMo.org

Natalie Bright

This year I officially registered to write a novel in the month of November. Several of my critique group members are also attempting to do this, so I’m motivated first of all by the fact that I’ll have to tell them how far along my book has come. We meet again next week.

Also I’m inspired to work by the fact that this book idea has been on my mind for several years, and it’s going to be such a relief to actually have a first draft down on paper. Staying in the chair for long periods of time with my fingers on the keyboard is the hardest thing for me. Maybe NaNoWriMo will be the motivation I need.

The progress graph on the NaNoWriMo website is fantastic. It’s encouraging to be able to update my word count, see the progress, but it’s self-defeating at the same time. Saturday, the day we were supposed to double-up on word count, was a total bust for me. I had three places to be, errands to run, plus two teenagers texting me, which resulted in zero words. There are those days when life takes over and nobody cares about your novel in progress.

TRICKS AND TOOLS

Here we are seven days into writing a 50,000 word novel in a month and I am definitely not where I had planned to be. The good news is that I’ve discovered some pleasant surprises in this experience. The story really flows when you FORCE yourself to focus. It has been a struggle to block out the real word and stay at it until I have my 1500 words or more a day. If I stay at it during lunch, I can crank out 1000 words. I’ve been able to type the rest during shorter sessions here and there, whenever I could manage.

To speed things up for me, I cleaned off the white board next to my desk and wrote character names and setting details. This is book two of a series set in the Texas frontier and it totally stops my forward momentum when I have to look up the name of the trading post on main. Having those details that will be carried throughout the series at hand really saves time.

Is there anything you have done to help with the flow of words for NaNoWriMo? Please share.

I’m thankful for a new week. Carry on writers!

National Novel Writing Month


National Novel Writing Month

Rory C. Keel

November is National Novel Writing Month, NANOWRIMO for short. For thirty days writers from all over the world will be cranking out words on computers and word processors trying to reach 50,000 thousand words.

The goal is to encourage writers to put out a novel size piece of work in a very short period of time. With that many words completed, the work can then go through rewrites and editing for clean up to produce a polished and completed novel.

This year, I’m going to attempt this challenge as a way of motivating myself to write. It will certainly be a challenge at an average of 1667 words a day. My plan of attack will be to put the outline of my story down, then fill in the spaces. Maybe I should have participated when I had a chatty six year old at home who couldn’t stop talking. I could have taken dictation and made the word count!

If you are interested in participating, go to www.nanowrimo.org and sign up. It’s free, fun and who knows, you even might get a novel out of it.

Rory C. Keel


Nano


POST CARDS FROM THE MUSE
Nano

By Nandy Ekle
We are now in the middle of August. In my part of the world we are still in the throws of a huge barbecue under the sun, temperatures soaring into the hundreds daily. However, there is a slight change in the air reminding us that summer is coming to a close. I may be because of the ads and the themes the stores and malls are spreading to remind parents to get their kids ready for school to start. Or it may be the calendar, hanging so proudly on my wall announcing that we have indeed entered the eighth month of the year. Or it could be that we are all so tired of being roasted daily like marshmallows that we are dreaming of those cooler days.

Most assuredly, the approach of autumn is felt with much excitement to those like me because all of the above reasons, and a few more: colors, weather, adventure, smells . . . I guess the only thing I do not like about the fall season is the fact that where I live, we only have about two weeks of true fallish type weather before the deep freezer door hangs open letting in all the ice and snow we can stand. And then, by late April, we will be praying for the heat of summer to come back.

Autumn holidays are practically non-existent. Of course, the biggest day of autumn is Thanksgiving, which opens the Christmas season and starts the holly jolly madness of the winter holiday. There are also a couple of smaller holidays between Indepenced Day and Christmas: Labor Day, Columbus Day, and Halloween. And then, Of course, Thanksgiving. 

There is another thing about autumn that is very exciting. NaNoWriMo. This is a group of authors who have gotten together and sent November as Novel Writing Month. The challenge is to write a novel of 50,000 words, at least, in the 30 days of November. The first couple of times I participated in this, my attitude was, piece of cake. I could write anything any time. But I have learned what a pompous attitude that is. It is a challenge, and the challenge is big.

Beginning midnight, November 1, through midnight November 30, 50,000 words will be put on paper. The only rule is you cannot have written any of the story before midnight, November 1. On that night, you may type “Once upon a time,” or “It was a dark and stormy night,” and kick off your story. The story does not have to make sense, it does not have to to be one long story. And it may be one that goes on further than 50,000, or stops short. As long as you have 50,000 words by midnight November 30, you will be able to say, “I beat NaNoWriMo.” And being able to say this is worth the prize, which is more of a prize than than the other NaNoWriMoers could ever give you.

So the time is right. November is still a little ways away, It may still be blisteringly hot outside, but it’s not too early tho begin thinking about November.

Congratulations. You have just received a post card from the muse.    

Nanowrimo


Nanowrimo

by Adam Huddleston

 

Well folks, Nanowrimo is in full swing. And like the last few years, I have already bowed out. I say this not as a discouragement, but rather in the spirit of frankness. On the contrary, I highly encourage others to attempt the monumental feat known as “Nanowrimo.”

“What is it?” you may ask. The month of November has been designated as National Novel Writing month. The website www.nanowrimo.com contains a competition where contests may submit a fifty-thousand word novella. The catch is every single word must be written between November 1 and November 30. It sounds daunting, and for most it is. A writer must average 1,667 words a day.

If you are one of the fortunate ones whose life commitments allow you to attempt this task, I would give these bits of advice:

  1. Begin plotting your story before November 1. Although this may not help now, it will if you participate in the future. Having a plot before you start will allow you to focus on the actual writing.
  2. Use software to track your progress. Being able to see how many words you’ve written each day will keep you focused.
  3. Ask friends, family members, and/or other writers to keep you motivated. Believe me, it is very easy to get burned-out and quit before it’s over.
  4. Don’t worry about editing. Just get those words down as quickly as possible. December is for fixing your work.
  5. Have fun!

THE WRITING PROCESS


THE WRITING PROCESS

            Head Games minus the Publishing Part

 

By N. Bright

 

It’s true that there are as many different writing processes and ways to craft a book as there are writers. However, based on what I’ve learned, all writers go through similar angst before they type THE END. Whether it’s your first book or 49th, I’m guessing you’ve probably experienced a few of these head games yourself.

 

  • You’re hit with an absolutely brilliant idea set in an amazing world. You are certain it will be a #1 NYT bestseller and a movie.
  • Realizing that you will never completely understand the time period, character profiles, theme, setting, plot—whatever it may be—to effectively write an entertaining story. Why are you torturing yourself?
  • First Draft. There is no possible way this can ever be a cohesive novel worthy of any reader. You should just watch television.
  • This isn’t that bad. Maybe your critique group will like it, and it might show promise after you tweak it based on their input.
  • Return to your life. The novel disappears under a stack of short stories waiting to be submitted and rough drafts of magazine articles.
  • Final Read. Outloud. To yourself. You discover it has some brilliant parts, but in your mind no one will ever read it. YOU like it and it’s done. Now what?
  • Spark…. See No. 1 above.

 

Happy NaNoWritMo everyone!

 

National Novel Writing Month


National Novel Writing Month

By Rory C. Keel

November is National Novel Writing Month, NANOWRIMO for short. For thirty days writers from all over the world will be cranking out words on computers and word processors trying to reach 50,000 thousand words.

The goal is to encourage writers to put out a novel size piece of work in a very short period of time. With that many words completed, the work can then go through rewrites and editing for clean up to produce a polished and completed novel.

This year, I’m going to attempt this challenge as a way of motivating myself to write. It will certainly be a challenge at an average of 1667 words a day. My plan of attack will be to put the outline of my story down, then fill in the spaces. Maybe I should have participated when I had a chatty six year old at home who couldn’t stop talking. I could have taken dictation and made the word count!

If you are interested in participating, go to www.nanowrimo.org and sign up. It’s free, fun and who knows, you even might get a novel out of it.

www.roryckeel.com


Being A Writer


Being A Writer

By Natalie Bright

 

On the first night of class she scanned the room, looked us all in the eye, and said, “You are all writers, or you wouldn’t be here.” That comment shocked me to the core. A writer! Me? Just hearing those words gave me hope. Even though my day job involved writing, I never once considered working on the stories that floated around in my head. It was several years later before I could say the words out loud to anyone.

“I’m a writer.” Why is that so hard to explain?

What is it about being a writer that is so intimidating? I think it’s the pressure we put on ourselves. It’s not like we have someone standing over our shoulder saying, “Write. Produce. You MUST crank out those chapters. Don’t stop.” On some days I wish there were someone who could make the world go away and insist that I sit down at the key board.

Once you say those word, the world has great expectations. Non-writers think they’re being helpful. “You’re a writer? You must have a lot of time on your hands.” “What have you written?” “Do you even have a book?” “Are your articles in anything I’ve heard about?”

Now the pressure is on—write a book, win a contest, publish something, submit anything…the world is wondering what you’re doing.

What happened to the joy of writing? Where did the thrill go of finding the right word? I used to feel less pressure to do this thing that I love.

I ponder my sanity at the start of another NaNoWriMo. This November I will finish the WIP, but I’m going to enjoy the process. Just me and words. Just me and the world inside my head. I don’t care if you like it or not.

“Allow your characters to take you on their journey,” the writing instructor said so many, many years ago. In the end, that’s the key to this crazy process.

Just write it.

And So It Begins


POST CARDS FROM THE MUSE

And So It Begins

By Nandy Ekle

November first. The madness launched twenty-one hours ago (from where I sit on the globe). The crazy, hilarious, maddening self-punishing NaNoWriMo began. For the next 29 days, I will perform all my daily tasks while breathing, eating, living in the dream world of my newest work in progress. I have 29 days to write the 50,000 words it will take to put the story down on the paper of my word processor.

I have not finished a NaNoWriMo yet, and this year I am actually starting a little behind the eight ball. The story I am writing began as a tiny seed in my brain about twenty years ago, so you’d think I’d have the whole thing worked out by now. Since deciding the time has come to commit to my young character, I have discovered several things I didn’t notice about her before.

So this morning, as I wrote the first words of her tale, an entirely new element of my character popped up. This new discovery is something that will take some research because I know nothing about cheerleading. I wrote a status on facebook asking for help from some of my friends with cheerleading children. I googled cheerleading stunts and found tons of information. However, since I have such a limited amount of time, I will simply write the highlights of my character’s activities.

Another thing I realized as I started this story is my limited knowledge about colleges around the country. So when the place came to name a famous college, I simply put in brackets {large college far away}.

The point is, in a mad dash to get words that make any kind of sense at all down on paper, the research does not have to be immediate. Simply put a note in your manuscript and you’ll remember to look it up later when speed is not the issue.

Congratulations. You have just received a post card from the muse.

 

NANO NANO


POST CARDS FROM THE MUSE

NANO NANO

By Nandy Ekle

It’s almost here! I can feel it in the air and smell it everywhere I go. There are whispers of excitement all over the world! Writers everywhere are gearing up, tucking in, researching, outlining, planning, reading, listening to music, dancing, whatever else they do to get ready for National Novel Writing Month.

November has been deemed National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, also affectionately known as NaNo. And what a month of adventures this has come to be. For thirty days a writer is encouraged to live totally inside their story. If you join the website, which, by the way, is absolutely free, you can register as a writer and meet thousands of other writers, make new writer friends, and converse about writing things twenty-four hours a day. But that’s only a small part of NaNo.

The goal of every November is to write a 50,000 word novel in thirty days. This actually can be done with a lot of discipline, commitment, perseverance and support from those around you. Yes, the 40-hour a week job still has to be done so you can buy groceries and soap to do the laundry that also still has to be done. But the rest of your waking hours, and some of your sleeping hours, will go into the story you have been waiting all year to put down on paper during this adventurous month.

The rules are simple. Write a novel of at least 50,000 words. It must be a brand new piece of work, meaning not one single word of the story has been written before. You are allowed to research and outline before you begin, but not actually start the story. And believe me, you will want to do as much research before November first as you can so that the rest of your time will be for writing.

It’s a very fun, challenging and exciting month. The work you produce will in no way be publishable, but it will be a novel-length manuscript giving you something to build on. The NaNo site even has a list of published books that were written as NaNo books.

Go to  http://www.nanowrimo.org to register. Look around and search for Nandy Ekle. I’ll need all the support I can get!

Congratulations. You have just received a post card from the muse.