November 30, 2009

With 11 Hours to Spare...

Taking off weekends and Thanksgiving day, I managed to finish over 50,000 words in the month of November.

Congrats to all the other NaNoWriMo winners out there!

Now... about those edits...

November 28, 2009

Give Yourself a Break

It's that time of the month... no, I mean the part of November when you sit at your computer all day, trying to make up for lost time. It's crunch time for NaNo-ers. But don't forget to take care of yourself. Rotting on the couch is bad juju on your writing and your word count.

So take a few pointers from this article on how to keep your sparkle when you're writing. Ten things you can do to make sure you take care of yourself, so you can take care of reaching your goals!

November 26, 2009

Looking Back Before the Home Stretch

This being my first official NaNo, I'm not as familiar with the ups and downs of it all. Now that we're up to the home stretch, what does NaNo look like as you glance over your shoulder?
Where were the high points and low points? What helped you get over that hump?

For me, the biggest help I got was while I was trying to fall asleep. (Darn inconvenient, I tell ya.) That's when my creative mind buzzes. As I've said before, I struggle to find a really great voice for my characters, especially my main characters. I think that's what I was pondering when some things clicked for me.

I realized that my blog posts are closer to the kind of voice than the one I use when writing fiction. When I sit in front of my story, my writing gets so... formal and stiff. (I blame the years and years of school.) So, I told myself that my main character is blogging about what happened to her, but is going to show, rather than tell. It was a simple concept, but it made my head hurt at first. I got used to it. My voice isn't perfect yet, but I pointed myself in the right direction.

What about you? Any breakthroughs?

November 25, 2009

How To Revise Your Novel Sign Up

Just a last minute message: If you are at all interested in taking the How to Revise Your Novel class, now is the time to sign up for updates. There is limited space, so if you think you may be interested, but you're not sure, then you should at least sign up for the mailing list.

Hopefully I'll see you there! :)

November 24, 2009

Extra Post: Can't We Relate?

I stumbled on this quote today.

Writing a book is an adventure. To begin with, it is a toy and an amusement. Then it becomes a mistress, then it becomes a master, then it becomes a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster, and fling him to the public.

--Sir Winston Churchill

And... a contest! We all love to win books, right? :)

Funny Break!

Stolen from WillWorkforChocolate:

November 19, 2009

Revising Your NaNo Novel

I know it's still a little early to think about this, but I found a course called How To Revise Your Novel. The teacher, Holly Lisle, has published over 30 novels, including a couple of young adult books, and several fantasy (though she has covered other genres, too). I've taken some of her other courses and she's very thorough.

The course doesn't start until the end of November, but if this is something you may be interested in, you can sign up for the priority list so you know when it's available.

Your NaNo tip for the day comes from this article tha gives some techniques for reaching your writing goals faster. I use some of these. They're awesome.
(I break up my writing into 20 min-1 hr segments and can get 1600 words for an hour of writing!)

November 17, 2009

Check-In - How's Your NaNo Coming?

We're past the halfway point.

My book is slowly developing. The day before I started writing, I discovered that I'd lost ALL the planning I'd done in October. Everything. So I had to start from memory. (I lost everything because I got a computer virus and had to reformat my hard drive. Both of my backups fell through. Sometimes you just can't win.)

This loss has been both a curse and a blessing. I'm sure I've left out some scenes that I'd planned, but on the other hand, I'm allowing myself to flesh out each scene a little more. I tend to write short and choppy, so this is a huge advantage for me.

On top of this, my husband had a root canal, I'm trying to get my computer back up to speed, and I'm getting used to waking up an hour and a half early so I can get some words in before my daughter wakes up. (I tend to get about 500 words in the first hour and my daughter has kindly decided to wake up half an hour earlier to bless me with her smiles a little sooner.)

How's your journey been so far? What obstacles have you faced? Are you burnt out yet?

November 14, 2009

Something to Think About While You're Writing

One thing you need to pay attention to while you write is Foreshadowing vs. Telegraphing. I wasn't familiar with the term telegraphing, but it's important to remember how intelligent your readers are.

November 10, 2009

Got Titles?

In the midst of this flurry of words and writing, start thinking about a title. If you already have one, try plugging it into Lulu's Titlescorer.

Using the information you give it about your title, it will compare it to books that have been published in the past, their titles, and how well they sold and it will tell you how likely it is that your title is best-seller material.

But remember: it takes more than a great title to make a best-seller.

November 8, 2009

November 7, 2009

Is Your NaNo stuck?

Okay, so we’re about a week into NaNoWriMo. Stuck yet? Here are a few ideas to get you going and/or motivated.

1) Mind Map. Have a problem? Can’t figure out why a cat keeps popping up in your scenes? Maybe your character received a letter in the mail and you don’t know what it is. (Been there.) Try putting whatever “it” is in the middle of a piece of paper (or a program like and ask yourself questions about it. Write whatever comes to mind. It’s worked for me countless times.

2) Try a Timer. Set it for 10-20 minutes and write NON-STOP until the timer goes off. Write about your problem or whatever comes to mind. Just make sure you don’t censor yourself or edit. When you’re done, look back at what you wrote. Do you understand your problem a little better? Did you discover a new angle or viewpoint or solution?

Did it work?

November 5, 2009

Tools for Tracking Your Word Counts

I've posted these before, but I thought they were worth sharing again.

Using the NaNoWriMo Report Card by Eric Benson, I adapted a spreadsheet that will track your word count goals and progress. This is a helpful motivation tool, especially if you're goal-oriented or like a visual representation of your progress.Click Here to Download.

Cameron Matthews has a much more high-tech version, found here.

November 3, 2009

Gentlemen: Start Your Computers!

And the games begin!

Okay, as promised, a short post to help you stay sane as we begin National Novel Writing Month.

This is taken from Brandon Sanderson's Alcatraz versus The Scrivener's Bones:

Writers-- particularly storytellers like myself-- write about people. That
is ironic, since we actually know nothing about them.

Think about it. Why does someone become a writer? Is it because they like
people? Of course not. Why else would we seek out a job where we get to spend
all day, every day, cooped up in our basement with no company besides paper, a
pencil, and our imaginary friends?

Writers hate people. If you've ever met a writer, you know that they're
generally awkward, slovenly individuals who live beneath stairwells, hiss at
those who pass, and forget to bathe for weeklong periods. And those are the
socially competent ones.

I thought this quote would be fitting for our big November send-off. Now go hole yourselves up in a secluded room somewhere and get writing!

By the way, I would love to hear about your projects and how your first day went. Feel free to leave comments. :)
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