Tag Archives: National Novel Writing Month

Good Luck to NaNoWriMo Writers – I’m Not Participating This Year…


nanowrimo

For those of you who have made the commitment to this mad, exciting, panic-inducing challenge – I say good luck, may your muse always be at your shoulder and your words flow smoothly upon your page.

To find those extra minutes in the day to write is tricky to be sure but it is a mindset. Do you have a lunch hour? Can you slip away whilst your family is watching TV? Does it really matter if the slow cooker is the only means of cooking for the month?

I know I become totally possessed during NaNo and write several paragraphs while the meal is cooking, skipping lunch so I can address a characters next move or ignore my eyelids closing as I write into the early hours. NaNo may seem like a daunting assignment to undertake, but there are incredible benefits too. It can be a personal challenge to see how you manage under a deadline, an outpouring of ideas, character development or finally beginning that wished for novel.

Writing to a deadline, for me anyway, results in almost complete novel length stories. These can be revised, added to and edited at my leisure in the following months. Even if you do not manage the fifty thousand word total, you will have laid down enough words to forge ahead with your own narrative. It can be the start you have avoided for months or years.

Knowing there are many, many writers around the world absorbed in the same challenge is not only exciting but a companionship of sorts. The NaNoWriMo site has a buddy system and you can connect with other participants, giving and receiving encouragement and support. Whether you use a pen and notebook or type your story, it is the words that matter.

This month will see thousands of stories created, their characters forging forward and overcoming obstacles. Some will be happy, some will be sad, but your story will be told.

Enjoy the process, scary as it is – the result is so very rewarding.

The Giving Thief cover

This year I will not be participating as I have to revise and edit last year’s manuscript The Giving Thief. I thought I would get this manuscript completed by now but other projects took precedent and it was pushed to the side. My western romance, Willow tree Tears was edited, revised and submitted to Harlequin and a Steampunk short story contracted to a publisher, so time was slim to say the least.

Now I can concentrate on the Thief manuscript and find a possible outlet for it. My hope is that once it is completed I can return to two other manuscripts that have been languishing in their folders for some time. A romance with a reincarnation twist, The Twesome Loop and a speculative fiction story, Life in Slake Patch.

Twesome Loop 002

Life in Slake

Good luck to you if you are embroiled in National Novel Writing Month. 2015

Good+luck+_678a98c06132f5f3e8b74b0c7f4b549a

Character Interview – Evan from Life in Slake Patch…


This post is a day early but Kathy invited me to interview my character, Evan from Life in Slake Patch. This was my first attempt at writing a novel during my first NaNoWriMo – talk about pressure! Prior to that NaNo, I had only written short pieces and plunged into the challenge full heartedly. I plan to revise and edit Life in Slake Patch next year.

I hope you enjoy the interview and please remember to comment on Kathy’s blog and share.

http://idea-creations.blogspot.ca/2015/01/character-interview-evan-from-life-in.html

LifeinSlakePatch

 

 

NaNoWriMo Winner 2014 and a Prompt…


Winner-2014-Twitter-ProfileNow for the hard work revisions, continuity, editing etc… The Giving Thief is officially pending.

How are you doing in NaNoWriMo?

Snowfall

Apologies for not writing an extended post – we are enduring a mammoth snowfall hence driving and all normal chores and activities are requiring extra vigilance.

Stay safe out their my fellow Albertan’s.

Prompt:  You are snowed in – what do you do to pass the time?

 

Reblog Wednesday – Editing Tips…


reblog

A first today – a double reblog as both parts are great for inspiration (and our sanity!)

Editing is hard…that is a fact but with some forethought and planning it can be made slightly easier. Decided on which particular edit you want to do – spelling & grammar, continuity, character development etc. then focus on each one separately instead of trying to do it all at once.

One writer I know prints out on different colored paper for each edit category. I utilize a novel workshop run by my local writing group. We pair up and review each others work for several months. Having many eyes read your work assists not only in the usual editing problems but also it is a bet read. A win, win situation.

http://knitewrites.com/2014/09/24/50-ways-editing-will-drive-you-insane-part-1/

http://knitewrites.com/2014/10/01/50-ways-editing-will-drive-you-insane-part-2/

What methods do you use for your editing process?

Which category do you find the hardest?

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editing

Writing Retreat in NaNoWriMo Month…


Overlander sign

My good friend, Linda and I escaped for a wonderful long weekend of writing on Thursday night to Jasper National Park. Our cabin was perfectly situated for us to enjoy peace and quiet. We find it companionable to write together as we share the passion for the written word. Hours may pass and we have not spoken a word, just typed a lot! This mini writing retreat was perfectly timed to give us both much needed time to devote to our respective NaNo novels.

I have many demands on my time with work, volunteering, home and family and so treasure pure writing time. However, Linda has even more demands as she is a publisher (Dream Write Publishing) as well as an author and volunteer and much more! Due to our shared discipline we managed a substantial word count even when we treated ourselves to a trip through the park into Jasper itself on Saturday. We were extremely fortunate to encounter stunning wildlife and the opportunity to refresh our connection to nature.

Elk

Mountain goats

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A browsing session in a couple of souvenir shops gave us gifts and I found a perfect promotional item for my upcoming Western romance, Willow Tree Tears. A figurine of a female barrel racer – my protagonist.

Barrel girl 3

Barrel girl 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We experienced the trip down to Jasper in rain and darkness on Thursday night, bright sunshine and magnificent mountains on Saturday and a large snowfall on Sunday morning greeted us. Each experience was inspiring and special. Returning to our normal routines was difficult – we could have stayed a lot longer but we have our spring writing retreat to look forward to – so let’s start counting the days.

What get-away has given you writing time?

Where do you go?

With whom?

Good luck to my fellow NaNo participants.

 

 

Escaping to Write – A Mini Retreat…


Overlander

This post was created and scheduled ahead of time as I will actually be traveling to Jasper in the Rocky Mountains when it goes live. My friend, Linda and I are going to spend the weekend writing our NaNoWriMo novels surrounded by the magnificence of mountains and spectacular views. Our accommodation is a log walled lodge with a roaring fireplace, perfect for sitting beside with laptop and a glass of wine. As you can see from the photo it is a stunning setting.

We will explore the surrounding area on short walks to refresh mind and body and may do some sightseeing as well – it depends on how the muse is performing. Escaping to indulge in my writing is always a treat and one I rarely (if ever) pass by.

Quotes:

You are not a writer of you do not write. Find the time – even if it’s 500 words, a short story or a paragraph. Novel’s don’t write themselves. Erin Niumata.

Prompt logo

So how about a prompt about escaping to indulge in your writing?

Describe your perfect retreat, space or venue for writing without interruption.

NaNoWriMo – Madness or Opportunity..?


Nano 2014 banner

For those of you who have made the commitment to this mad, exciting, panic inducing challenge – I say good luck, may your muse always be at your shoulder and your words flow smoothly upon your page.

To find those extra minutes in the day to write is tricky to be sure but it is a mind set. Do you have a lunch hour? Can you slip away whilst your family is watching TV? Does it really matter if the slow cooker is the only means of cooking for the month?

I know I become totally possessed during NaNo and write several paragraphs while the meal is cooking, skipping lunch so I can address a characters next move or ignore my eyelids closing as I write into the early hours. This year the challenge began on a weekend, which was an added bonus as well as our clocks went back – whoop an extra hour!  NaNo may seem like a daunting assignment to undertake but there are incredible benefits too. It can be a personal challenge to see how you manage under a deadline, an out pouring of ideas, character development or finally beginning that wished for novel.

Writing to a deadline, for me anyway, results in almost complete novel length stories. These can be revised, added to and edited at my leisure in the following months. Even if you do not manage the fifty thousand word total, you will have laid down enough words to forge ahead with your own narrative. It can be the start you have avoided for months or years.

Knowing there are many, many writers around the world absorbed in the same challenge is not only exciting but a companionship of sorts. The NaNoWriMo site has a buddy system and you can connect with other participants, giving and receiving encouragement and support. Whether you use a pen and notebook or type your story, it is the words that matter.

This month will see thousands of stories created, their characters forging forward and over coming obstacles. Some will be happy, some will be sad but your story will be told.

Enjoy the process, scary as it is – the result is so very rewarding.

cabinMy novel this year is called The Giving Thief, a thriller/suspense/erotic – if there is such a genre!

It is a combination of three true news stories I found fascinating. My protagonist murders someone and flees – for what he believes will be a short time…but things do not go to plan. The photo is similar to how I see his hideout in the mountains.

Which Genre – A Decision All Authors Have To Make…


articlesWithin the multitude of genres in fiction, there are constraints on what is and what is not ‘allowed’ in terms of content or style based on the genre’s ‘main’ heading. See here:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_literary_genres

This link is helpful when defining the genre:

http://querytracker.blogspot.ca/2009/04/defining-genres-where-does-your-book.html

As most of you know I am a free flow writer so my story comes first and the defining comes much later. For many authors this pigeon holing our work is difficult and this fact is reflected in the sub-genres that are being created almost daily. We can also use a technique where by we utilize several ‘genre headings’ in our description. Such as the list here: https://www.worldswithoutend.com/resources_sub-genres.asp , which only deals with fantasy and sci-fi. So there is a method open to us to use our genre description as a way to entice more than one ‘type’ of reader.  Romance readers would never go to the horror section first but if the description was something like – romantic suspense – then maybe they would pick up your book.

It is a matter of looking at your story and defining the main theme, even if it is underlining thread throughout the narrative. My novella, The Rython Kingdom is set in medieval England so is part historical, there is a love element, so I can add romance but there is also a malevolent witch plotting to kill, so do I add suspense, horror or adventure as well?

Children’s books are easier to promote – a short description of the story is normally enough. Rumble’s First Scare follows a young monster on his first Halloween adventure, while Ockleberries to the Rescue is the story of woodland sprites aiding their forest animals friends.

My current WIP is easier to define – a western romance, Willow Tree Tears is the story of a barrel racer deciding whether to love an old friend or a charming stranger. I will be entering the NaNoWriMo challenge this November and have decided on a new genre – thriller/suspense. The Giving Thief is inspired by three true to life news stories.

How did you decide on your novel’s genre?

When you are defining your novels, what methods do you use to decide on its ‘genre’? Do you write one or more genre’s?

Do you decide to write specifically to a particular genre prior to starting a new manuscript?

book-genre

Where Is Your NaNoWriMo Manuscript Now..?


articles

So it’s seven months since the frantic November writing frenzy. It’s hard to believe time has passed that quickly. We participate in NaNoWriMo for various reasons and levels of success but what happens to those fifty thousand or more words once the 30th November deadline has been met?

Where is your manuscript from that month now? Has it been discarded? Are you working on it or did you publish it?

Do you have a stack of NaNo manuscripts piled up somewhere from previous years left in limbo? Will they ever be revisited?

My NaNo manuscripts have seen a variety of outcomes.

Life in Slake Patch – speculative fiction – awaiting revision and editing.

The Twesome Loop – reincarnation romance -awaiting revision and editing.

The Rython Kingdom – published as an e-book and print book – Smashwords and Amazon.

Ockleberries to the Rescue – edited and awaiting illustrations – launch October 2014

Willow Tree Tears – cowgirl romance – in editing and revision mode.

Maybe it would be an idea to revisit past NaNo manuscripts – would you like to ‘finish’ them for publication or utilize the theme to re-write a new narrative. We should not let all those hours of creativity go to waste.

What outcomes have your NaNoWriMo exertions had? 

3d3df1f7d1f382285315cbfd851c3329b33bce46-thumbLife in SlakeTwesome Loop 001

 

Another Successful Conference Completed (Exhausted but Happy)…


After months of planning and late evenings finding presenters, creating a schedule, leaflets, programs, and goodie bags etc. our writers conference was a great success on Saturday. Without our excellent volunteers the event would not have happened. We began at 7.00 am preparing for registration and breakfast. A steady stream of registrants arrived and were handed draw tickets, goodie bags, programs and a warm welcome.

Reg at Conference

Our presenters were well received and everyone went away with valuable information, new friends and prized silent auction items. With a diverse schedule of topics there was something for everyone to learn, no matter their preferred genre.

Barb conference 2014Barbie-Joe Smith – humor for adults. http://www.dreamwritepublishing.ca/authors/barbie-jo-smith

Natasha Conference 2014Natasha Deen – humor for children. http://www.natashadeen.com/

Bill Conference 2014Bill Roberts – screenwriting. http://www.celticraineproductions.ca/our-team.html

Danielle Conference 2014Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail – writing for magazines/freelancing. http://www.daniellemc.com/

We were fortunate to have our local Mayor, Roxanne Carr, open the conference and the current Writer in Residence, Margaret Mcpherson, give a short presentation on what a WIR is.

 WP_20140329_005Roxanne Carr, Mayor of Strathcona County – welcome speech. http://www.strathcona.ca/local-government/mayor-councillors/mayor/

Margaret Conference 2014Margaret Mcpherson, Writer in Residence. http://ouralbertawriters.com/listing/margaret-macpherson/

Ideas for next year’s conference are already spinning around in our minds as it will be our 10th Anniversary. Bigger & better and maybe a two day event!

To all our members and volunteers of The Writers Foundation of Strathcona County – thank you. http://www.wfscsherwoodpark.com/ 

WFSC banner