“Let me have this one night with you, to remember…”
or http://bit.ly/2euCc60 (US)
Writing Your Book, Part Four—On Your Marks, Get Set…
|…and this is what you get after completing your marathon!|
November 1st each year fires the starting gun on National Novel Writing Month. Join up, and you commit to writing 50,000 words over the month of November (that works out at a shade under 1,700 words a day)
If you’ve read Part One of this series, (you can find it here), you’ll know that making a firm commitment and telling other people what you’re going to do makes it easier to succeed. Putting the news out there gives you an immoveable target, and spreading the word makes it harder for you to back out!
There are all sorts of participation and milestone badges to achieve through NaNoWriMo as you work toward the goal of writing your book. Fill in your profile on the NaNoWriMo site to link up with thousands of other authors. You’ll find encouragement, and you can then pay it forward by helping others through their own sticky writing patches.
Any completed word count is a success story. If you achieve the ultimate and manage to reach the heroic target of 50k words, you’re judged a winner. You get a fancy certificate, like the one above. More importantly, you’ll have the satisfaction of proving to yourself you can stick with your project for a concentrated period of thirty days.
I find NaNoWriMo really useful spur to productivity. It gives me the motivation to start a project, and other members give me the support to continue. Why not try it this year? You can find out more at NaNoWriMo.org—sign in, and you’ll be ready for Day One tomorrow!
NaNoWriMo 2015: The Writing Begins!
|A wintry mystery…Pic by Alexas Fotos|
I’m posting my blog a day early today, as the first of November marks the start of NaNoWrMo—(National Novel Writing Month). The Na should properly be Int, as it’s an international phenomenon now!
I’m going to be pretty busy for the next month, trying to hit an average word count of 2,100 per day. My project for this year’s NaNoWriMo is the first draft of Wolf’s Bane, the second book in my Brackenridge trilogy of romantic novels. I want to reach a total of 63,000 words by the end of November. It’s a mountain to climb, but that’s the beauty of NaNoWriMo. By breaking the task of producing a complete manuscript down into individual bite-sized chunks, it doesn’t feel so hard. That’s the theory, anyway…
Finishing the first draft is one thing. There’ll be plenty of polishing to be done, but that can wait. NaNoWriMo simply gets the framework in place. I’ve already filled out character sheets for my protagonists, Sophia and Josh, so I know how they’ll react to whatever is thrown at them while I’m writing at speed. You can find out more about how I develop my characters here.
Josh and Sophia met in Love Lies Bleeding, a contemporary crime novel which is currently in post-production. In Wolf’s Bane, the perfect new life Sophia has built for herself is leaving her faintly dissatisfied. She’s spent years dreaming about becoming a lawyer, then she does a good turn which makes her question her motives—and makes Josh realise that danger haunts them both, every moment of every day. Dark secrets and ancient legends are a deadly combination…
Have you tried using NaNoWriMo to help you make a start on writing your book? There’s a copy of my Romance Review’s Readers’ Choice Nominee, His Majesty’s Secret Passion, on offer for a comment drawn at random on 7th November.
Writing A Book In A Month, Part Three…
My writing got derailed by vital admin this week, but my NaNoWriMo word count’s risen—although in fits and starts.
I’ve written here and here about how I’ve been helped by creative workshops organised by the Marcher Chapter of the Romantic Novelists’ Association. The most recent one helped me refine the first ten pages of a new project, Tasting The Peach. I’m now turning this embryo into the initial draft of a full-length novel, using National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) 2014 to spur me on. NaNoWriMo relies on donations, and as I write this they’ve raised $1,034,544.78 so far this year. You can click on the figure to contribute, and help support the organisation.
By Monday morning, 17th November, I’d reached a word count of 33,629. The NaNoWriMo website has a load of exciting data, which makes it just right for an obsessive like me. When I update my daily word count, it calculates my average, and from that how long it will take me to reach the 50,000 word target. As the deadline of 30th November gets closer, the stress increases. My daily average is 1865 now, but I had a bit of a slump midweek.
I’ve never written a crime novel before, but it didn’t me take long to work out they are books which are best written backwards. I started on November 1st with my two main characters fully formed in my mind, but only a vague idea of what was going to happen to them. I opened a file, called it Chapter One, and started to type.
I managed to keep my butterfly mind pinned on DI Josh Miller’s unravelling of the conspiracy behind a politician’s murder, but the plot twists were coming as much as a shock to me as they were to him. Who knew a bacon roll would play such a pivotal…well, role? I didn’t, and I’m supposed to be the all-seeing author. I needed to step back and take a long view of where this book was heading. The trouble was, all I could see was the NaNoWriMo cut-off point of 30th November, hurtling toward me.
Then, courtesy of the publisher Wild Rose Press, I was given the perfect excuse to take a break from working on Tasting The Peach. The galley proofs for my next release, His Majesty’s Secret Passion, arrived. Concentrating on checking everything was perfect before my new book goes to print gave me the change of pace I needed. My daily word count for NaNoWriMo suffered, but by working late and early each day I squeezed in some forward planning on motivations and motives for Tasting The Peach, too. This allowed me to catch up, once the proofs were checked. I’m now back on target for NaNoWriMo—just about!
If you’re working on your own NaNoWriMo project, how are you getting on? If you’d like to keep up to date with the progress of my next release, His Majesty’s Secret Passion, just visit my new author page over on Facebook, and hit the “like” button.
Writing A Book In A Month, Part Two…
|H.M.Bateman, via Wikimedia Commons|
…including The Woman Who Said No To A Launch Party, Nibbling Is The Thief Of Time, and Creative Accounting, NaNoWriMo Style…
Last week I told you how I’d signed up for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) 2014, to give me the perfect excuse to shove all other work aside and concentrate on a new project I’ve been thinking about for ages, but never managed to do much about.
You can read about how I joined here. Once I’d signed up, I became part of the NaNoWriMo community. Although it originated in the US, there are now members worldwide and where there are writers, a support group soon follows. My local NaNoWriMo chapter invited me to a grand launch party in Cheltenham, on Hallowe’en. The idea was to round off a social meet with a countdown to midnight. Then the writing would start. I was Trick or Treating elsewhere, so sadly had to refuse but I can’t think I’d have got any writing done. I can’t wait to start my project (working title, Tasting The Peach), but I need to get right into the zone before I can write. Complete silence and a total absence of crisps, drinks and nibbles is my recipe for writing productivity (Coo, what a diva! Ed.) My office is in a part of the house furthest away from the kitchen. I have to shut myself off from everyone and everything, and well away from every distraction (especially food).
I hope everyone got off to a good start with their NaNoWriMo projects. I sat down at my desk at 6:30am on 1st November, and opened a new Scrivener file to begin. You can read about the amazing help (and enjoyable hindrance) Scrivener can be to any writing project here. To write a book in a month is a tough challenge. It takes an average of one thousand, six hundred and sixty seven words every single day to hot the 50K target. That’s pretty relentless. NaNoWriMo offers all sorts of help and support, but I started with a shortcut of my own. As well as uploading the character files and background research I did in preparation for November 1st, I cut and pasted in the opening of my embryo novel, which was worked up for the most recent creative workshop organised by the Marcher Chapter of the Romantic Novelists’ Association. It was only a few pages, but it was better than siting down to a blank page.
At the end of each day, NaNoWriMo participants log the number of words they’ve written. No way was I going to claim I’d written nearly five thousand words in one day—and on a Saturday, at that! Apart from anything else, my word count would fall off a cliff on November 2nd, so I ignored my uploaded figure, and entered the words I actually wrote on the day.
So as at the start of Monday, 3rd November my total word-count is 6,129, although I’ve only written a daily average of 1,700 words.
My NaNoWriMo efforts are likely to be derailed as I’ve had some very exiting news. To be among the first to find out what it is, mail me at christinahollis(at)hotmail.co.uk. As an incentive, I’ll include an extract from Tasting The Peach.
PS: Don’t forget to change (at) to @ in my email address.