Weekly Writing Update: October Week 2

I got the interior of “Pithea” formatted for paperback with minor difficulties, and after some real frustrations with the cover, ordered my first proof copy. It’s set to arrive tomorrow!! Once I have it in my hands, I’ll start reading through it with an eye for final details that need changed while also making sure the formatting is good. Visually speaking, I’m more concerned about the cover coming out good, so I’m really anxious to see it for the first time.

After I ordered the proof copy on Tuesday, I tried to turn my attention to prepping for NaNoWriMo. But that was when I realized that I only had a week until my next writers group meeting at my local library. Last month, I volunteered to lead a talk on writer’s block this month, and I hadn’t done any prep for that. So I spent a couple of evenings making notes and preparing a handout. I think I’m basically set for that now.

I have done a little of the prepping I had planned for NaNo, but I need to make sure to focus on that more in the coming weeks. There are just over 2 weeks left of Preptober, and I still need to go over the outline I made 4 months ago for the story I’m writing this year and flesh it out. Also re-read the first draft and new plans for the story that comes before. And read a couple of character interviews I wrote as part of the planning stage for this story. I’ll have to find a way to balance my writing time between “Pithea” and my NaNoNovel (working title: “Ophaela”).

Writing Wednesday: Prompt

WW Prompt

Here’s today’s Writing Wednesday Prompt:

You’re avoiding yourself.

(Today’s prompt is a quote from the book Weave a Circle Round by Kari Maaren.)

If you write something from this prompt, by all means let me know! Feel free to share what you wrote, if you want!

**If you’re looking for more like this, you might want to check out the story seeds posts I wrote for NaNoPrep a few years ago. They are not specific to NaNoWriMo, and each contains a list of several different types of prompts or ways to generate story ideas. You can find them here: Story Seeds 1, Story Seeds 2, Story Seeds 3, Story Seeds 4**

Weekly Writing Update: October Week 1

Last week, I finished making immediate changes to “Pithea” that I already knew needed made. My plan now is to format the updated draft for print, get a proof copy, and read through the book that way (probably reading it out loud), hopefully one last time, making notes for anything else that needs changed. I want to have the final draft as settled as possible before November.

This brings me to NaNoWriMo. October is what many of us call Preptober. I already have a preliminary outline for what I’m planning to write this year, which I wrote 4 months ago. But I need to re-familiarize myself not only with that outline, but also with the story that comes before it. I have a few areas of the outline to flesh out, too. I’ll have time to do this while waiting on my proof copy to arrive, I’m sure.

Weekly Writing Update: September pt. 5

I had another somewhat unproductive week, though I did work on “Outcast” a little. I also spent some time getting ready for the local author booth at a local festival. That was today. It was terrifying at first, and I kicked myself for not saying the right thing after several interactions, but I did generate some interest in my future release, get some hits on possible future author appearances, and tell one teenager about NaNoWriMo’s Young Writers Program.

Tomorrow, I will start working on making a few changes to “Pithea” that I already know need done, then format it for the print version, and get a proof copy, which I will use to do a final revision, to be ready to publish soon. I will also start making sure I’m ready for NaNoWriMo this coming week, as Preptober starts on Tuesday!

Writing Wednesday: Prompt

WW Prompt

Here’s today’s Writing Wednesday Prompt:

I couldn’t help but wonder if it was a trick.

If you write something from this prompt, by all means let me know! Feel free to share what you wrote, if you want!

**If you’re looking for more like this, you might want to check out the story seeds posts I wrote for NaNoPrep a few years ago. They are not specific to NaNoWriMo, and each contains a list of several different types of prompts or ways to generate story ideas. You can find them here: Story Seeds 1, Story Seeds 2, Story Seeds 3, Story Seeds 4**

NaNoWriMo Rebels

NaNo handouts

Many people who are new to the world of NaNoWriMo only know it as National Novel Writing Month. And of course, at its heart, that’s what it is. But let me tell you about the wonderful world of NaNo Rebels.

When I first did NaNoWriMo in 2007, the rules were more strict. You write a new piece of lengthy fiction, and if you reach 50,000 words, you win. Though rebelling did happen, I don’t think it was as prevalent or as acknowledged as it is now. In the time since then, the people who run the event have opened their arms to those who want to join in the fun, but don’t necessarily want to (or somehow aren’t able to) write a new, lengthy work of fiction. (And actually, they’ve even changed the standard “rules” to say that continuing a previous story is no longer rebelling, but only new words added in November count.)

So, what can you do as a NaNo Rebel? Almost anything you want to. For example:

  • Write non-fiction
  • Write short stories (though if the stories are related to each other, it’s not rebelling)
  • Write a script or screenplay
  • Revise a previous work

All of these things and more are acceptable for NaNoWriMo. Some of them may require a different way of tracking your work done (for example, for revision, you may track time instead, and equate an hour to 1000 words). If you’re curious about what is or isn’t considered rebelling, you can find more information here.

And if the month of November just really doesn’t work for you, consider participating in Camp NaNoWriMo, which takes place during April and July.

**Note: The website & forums have very recently relaunched with a lot of changes, so some things aren’t working quite correctly. I understand kinks are still being worked out, but be aware that what you see now may not entirely be accurate or permanent.

Are you participating in NaNo this year? Will you rebel or stick with the normal format?

For anyone out there who is participating, feel free to check out my series of tips and tricks for the month, and also to add me as a writing buddy! (Let me know you came from here, and I’ll add you back!)

Writing Wednesday: Prompt

WW Prompt

Here’s today’s Writing Wednesday Prompt:

Combine the following 3 elements into a scene, short story, story synopsis, etc:
safety deposit
hospital room
dog catcher

(These elements were 3 randomly drawn cards from my Storymatic deck.)

If you write something from this prompt, by all means let me know! Feel free to share what you wrote, if you want!

**If you’re looking for more like this, you might want to check out the story seeds posts I wrote for NaNoPrep a few years ago. They are not specific to NaNoWriMo, and each contains a list of several different types of prompts or ways to generate story ideas. You can find them here: Story Seeds 1, Story Seeds 2, Story Seeds 3, Story Seeds 4**

NaNoWriMo Community

NaNo handouts

I remember the first time I met someone who already knew about NaNoWriMo. It was in May of 2013, and she recognized the shirt I was wearing as a NaNo shirt. I get a shirt every year that I participate, and wear them a lot, especially in September through December, so they tend to start conversations when people ask me about it, and also identify people who know what it is. It was years before I met more people who already knew about NaNoWriMo, and in more recent years, I’ve met several (even my doctor had heard of it).

I am happy that NaNoWriMo is becoming more well-known and more wide-spread. It wouldn’t be what it is without the amazing community that comes together every November. And this is coming from someone who is very introverted and socially awkward. I won’t pretend that I participate in the NaNo community nearly as much as I could, but it’s there and it’s inviting.

Socially awkward or not, NaNoWriMo is one thing I can talk about with relative ease. I am very passionate about it. I like to tell people what it is, how awesome it is, and if they show an interest, why they should give it a try. So when the opportunity came up for me to sit at a local authors’ table during a festival in my hometown, it didn’t take long to think past the book-related things I should bring and realize that this is the perfect opportunity to spread the news about NaNoWriMo to people in my community. We have write-ins at the library in my town during November, so maybe I can drum up some more participants!

I have some stickers and buttons (shown above), and I will hand them out to anyone who might be interested. I’m almost as excited about talking to people about NaNo as I am about selling my book or talking about my soon-to-be-releasing book. And really, talking about NaNo will be easier than trying to promote myself.

If you’re considering participating in NaNoWriMo, and you’re curious about what kind of local community might be near you, check it out for yourself! You’ll have to make an account, but it’s free, and no one will force you to participate once you’ve signed up. Maybe you’ll find just what you need to decide to give it a try!

For anyone out there who is participating in NaNoWriMo, feel free to check out my series of tips and tricks for the month, and also to add me as a writing buddy! (Let me know you came from here, and I’ll add you back!)

Writing Wednesday: Prompt

WW Prompt

Here’s today’s Writing Wednesday Prompt:

Include all of the following words in a scene:
sigh
south
demon
night
telephone

bonus: spiky

If you write something from this prompt, by all means let me know! Feel free to share what you wrote, if you want!

**If you’re looking for more like this, you might want to check out the story seeds posts I wrote for NaNoPrep a few years ago. They are not specific to NaNoWriMo, and each contains a list of several different types of prompts or ways to generate story ideas. You can find them here: Story Seeds 1, Story Seeds 2, Story Seeds 3, Story Seeds 4**

NaNoWriMo’s Coming!

I used to love the old Coca-Cola Santa Packs commercials. They marked the beginning of the holiday season! Now, right about this time every year, I start to sing, “NaNoWriMo’s comin’!” to the same tune, and I’m just as excited (maybe more so).

First, a quick explanation for those who don’t know what I’m even talking about: NaNoWriMo is short for National Novel Writing Month. It is an event that has been around since 1999, becoming more of what it is today in 2005. At its heart, it’s a personal challenge–write 50,000 words in 30 days during the month of November. Signing up and participating simply gives you somewhere to track your progress, goodies if you win, and a huge community of like-minded people, cheering each other on.

I am such a NaNo fangirl, seriously. October is widely referred to as “Preptober” by many Wrimos, as those of us who plan ahead for what we’re going to write like to spend the month before it starts prepping. But for me (and still plenty of others), the real season starts in September.

The last few years, I was too busy with work to enjoy the lead-up to NaNoWriMo. A few of those years, I barely managed to participate, then slunk back into my depressing no-time-for-writing life until the next November. Though those times were difficult (writing has long been a huge stress relief for me), I am so incredibly grateful to NaNoWriMo for at least giving me the push, and the vehicle, to do some writing for that one month.

In the coming months, I’ll post more about NaNoWriMo, but I will probably never again post as much as I did in 2015, where I posted an entire series about how to prepare for NaNo, as well as tips for planning a story, and tips for the actual writing in November. All of those posts, including some I’ve added since then, can be found here: Prep for NaNoWriMo

So who else is excited? Are you participating? Thinking about it? Never heard of it before but can’t help but be intrigued? I’d love to hear from you!