NaNoWriMo: Day 9

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Perseverance.

November is often the worst month for month for me to write.  Family obligations and family -related stress are at a maximum during the last two months of the year.  And for three years running, I’ve tortured myself with NaNoWriMo on top of everything else.

It’s my  masochistic streak showing.

All that being said, I’m in love with my NaNo story this year.  I’m way behind in where I’d like to be, though I’m not drowning in lake of unused words just yet.  Here’s hoping I can get myself back on track though.

For all those others taking part in the madness this year.  How goes your NaNoWriMo?

 

NaNoWriMo – Day One

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I started yesterday, feeling slightly nervous.  All my plans, after all, had been tossed in the rubbish bin.  I had so many questions about how I would I do with a new idea?  A new idea with characters whose names I hadn’t decided on until the minute I started writing on day one.

There was no outline to fall back on.  I’d barely had time to put together a new focus board, never mind working out all the details.

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So…I did good for day one–1,725 words.  All handwritten.

The story. The characters.  It felt like sinking into a favourite comfie chair.  I can tell I’m going to love delving in this world.

There’s a life to Francis and Caddock, my main characters.

If the Blackbird series was dark chocolate, bitter, moody and rich.  These two men are a light, sweet milk chocolate with a hint of caramel and sea salt.  Tasty, fun and delicious.  I’m liking day one, and day two, even though it’s just started.

How’s everyone else doing with NaNoWriMo so far this year?

 

A Wealth of Updates

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A few tidbits of news to update you all with.

New Books:

Stay tuned for more information on an upcoming short story that I’ve written for an anthology being published by Hot Tree Publishing.

Blackbird Series

I’ve made significant progress with Lorcan, I believe it will be released sometime in September or October. I’m going to be releasing it individually as well as part of an anthology which will compromise the entire Blackbird series.

Lorcan’s story wraps up the Blackbird series quite nicely and leads me into the two series that I plan on working on next.   The Fallen Knights will be a series featuring Elaine and a mystery that she stumbles on while the Scottish Poachers is all about Ivy’s Uncle Roger and the family of Wildcat shifters living near to his farm.

More to come on both of these in the next coming months.  The first of the Scottish Poachers series will likely be the novel I focus on for NaNoWriMo this year.

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Events:

There’s still time to check out the Paranormal Romance End of Summer Event with a big giveaway.

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Authors to Check Out:

A few of my fellow authors with new or upcoming books you should check out:

Sheila Kell

Kate Austin

Casey Sheridan

L. Grubb

Mailing List

There will be some upcoming changes to my mailing list and street team.  Most importantly, I’ve created two separate newsletter lists for bloggers (and authors):

Sign Up for My Event List (for anyone who wants to be notified of upcoming events/sign ups):

Sign Up Form

Sign Up for My Review List (for anyone who wishes to be considered for an ARC of upcoming new release):

Sign Up Form

 

Honesty.

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It’s important when writing to be honest with yourself.

I’ve learned to ask myself a number of questions while I’m working on a new story, particularly during NaNoWriMo.

  • Am I rushing the story?
  • Am I adding unnecessary filler to bulk up the word count?
  • Did I really need that sixth cup of tea?
  • Would the sex scenes I wrote make my mother blush? (If yes, my work here is done.)
  • Does the plot resolution make sense?
  • Did I resolve the conflict too quickly?

I found myself needing to answer the first two questions in particular over the last three days.   It’s not always easy to slow yourself down when telling a story, and during November, it’s easy to keep going even when the story is told.   Reining myself in wasn’t all that easy though.   It’s important though.

What questions do you ask yourself while writing?  Are you honest in your answers?

Midway Madness

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It’s November 17th(well, 16th when I took the screen cap of my NaNo stats).

And as a NaNoWriMo participant, I’m feeling the mid-November frisson of fear.

If you’re in the US, you’ve also got Thanksgiving coming up in a week or so, which means family interruptions.

The midway point is usually where the crux of the main plot really start to amp up.  At least it is for me, I’m in the midst of trying to connect the dots on a series of little things which will hopefully culminate in an intriguing conclusions for Alicia.

Things I’m reminding myself of at the moment:

– Chocolate solves everything.

– I can always kill that annoying character off.

– Writer’s block can be turned into a plot twist.

– Don’t let NaNo become a chore.

– There is always time to do research.

– If I unravel the plot a little, I have to remember to bring it all back together before the epilogue.

What do you remind yourself of when you’re writing?

 

Preparing for the Madness.

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The thought occurred to me this morning when my alarm clock went off at the rather ungodly hour of five-thirty that NaNoWriMo begins in a matter of days.  It also means I have less than four days to finish the manuscript I am currently working feverishly on.  The panic of NaNo hasn’t set it, and I’m hoping it hasn’t since I’ve prepared as much as one can.

I feel a little like Boromir, ‘one does not simply walk into NaNo.’

Well, they shouldn’t in any case.

What do I do to prepare?

Step One: Stock up on tea, cookies.

Step Two: Inform my hubby not to disturb me for trivial things like laundry or lunch until I’ve made progress on my daily word count.

Step Three: Fill in as many character details in my Scrivener character folders as possible.  I found breaking the characters down into sections by how they relate to each other makes it easier to manage.

Step Four: Determine names, places and faces.   My word count tends to suffer if I’m floundering around trying to determine what a character looks like or where they live in the middle of NaNo.

Step Five: Plot out the first chapter.  I’m mostly a panster.  I don’t outline, but I do like to have a general gist of where the story is going.

Step Six: Create a writing playlist in iTunes.  Music soothes the panicked beast.

Step Seven: Make sure my writing timer has batteries.  I find using a timer helps keep me focused and reminds me to take breaks.

Step Eight: Remind myself it is not the end of the world if I come short of my goal.

Step Nine: Repeat Step Eight.

Step Ten: Keep aspirin handy.

Ivy was my first success at NaNo. So I’m hoping I can repeat the feat this year.

Have you succeeded at NaNo?  What were your secrets to success?