NaNoWriMo 2017!

I’m excited to announce that I’m doing NaNoWriMo again this year!

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Pack Up The Tent

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As of about ten minutes ago, I am officially a Camp NaNoWriMo 2016  winner! My validated total is 43, 683 and a big part of me feels like I should have set it for the full 50,000 words but when I started this month I planned to have it help me finish a novella. Now it’s helped me almost finish a novel.

I donated $25 this session after donating $10 in November, so I get a couple of swanky stickers to add to my November sticker on my computer. It’s funny, I was so against putting stickers on my computer before, now I’m plastering them all over. Only the writing related ones, though.

I still have a little ways to go on this one but I can definitely see it hitting the full 50K by the time the sun sets on April. There are three big plot points that need to be wrapped up and it’ll be at least two or three more chapters. My characters, Chelsea and Marc, have been through a rough time and things are finally looking up for them. For now.

This is definitely going to be my next book for Booktrope and I hope everyone enjoys it as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it. Now what the heck am I going to write in November?

It’s Camping Time!

CNW_ParticipantI am super excited to tell you that I am participating in Camp NaNoWriMo this year! I had so much fun last year in November that I thought this would be a great opportunity for me to get a project finished that I can’t get out of my head.

You can set your own word goal for Camp so I went with a nice 20,000 word goal, thinking that the project I’m working on would be about 30-40,000 words, and I already had about 15,000 written. Unfortunately (or fortunately!) this project looks like it’s going to be a full-length novel so I bumped up my goal to a slightly more ambitious 30,000 words.

Once again, I’m having a ton of fun. I’ve met new people and participated in the first night of the NaNoHouseCup, representing Ravenclaw of course! The project is coming along nicely – I’m at 10% of my goal already – and hopefully I’ll have it finished by the end of April so I can focus on finishing the pirate project that I am woefully behind on.

I’ll keep you updated on both projects as I write them and maybe have a little bit of an excerpt in the coming weeks. For now, I’m heading back to the word mines to see if I can get a little more writing in!

NaNoWriMo and the Dreaded Rewrites

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Friday night, after a mere 20 days of writing like a crazy person, I hit 50,000 words and won NaNoWriMo 2015!

I had a lot of fun doing it, especially the Word Sprints, and it taught me a very important lesson about getting your first draft out, even if it’s less than stellar. That’s what rewrites are for.

Speaking of rewrites, my editor got back to me with some helpful suggestions, which means I get to go back and add scenes, change perspective, and basically add another ten pages or so. This is a lot harder than it sounds and I’m really glad I finished my NaNoWriMo novel when I did because trying to do both of them at once would have been a nightmare.

Her suggestions were excellent, and I kind of wish I’d had them earlier because it would have added a ton of words to my novel. It also puts me in the position of having to do the exact same thing with this one that I’m going through with Detective’s Brother, which means I’m not going to let it see the light of day until I get it rewritten. Besides, Framed is next on my rewrite list. That one will be kind of fun, since I haven’t started editing it yet and it still needs a couple of chapters anyway. I can add stuff in as I go and it won’t be as much of a hassle as it is right now.

I’m hoping I can keep this editor on my team for the rest of my books. She seems enthusiastic about my work and I like the suggestions she’s giving me. It seems she’s interested in helping me polish it in addition to the usual editing and I’m grateful. It’s kind of fun going deeper into my hero’s mind, even if it’s filled with thorns and tragedy.

For now I’m feeling a little sad after NaNoWriMo’s ending and a little frantic because of the rewrites, so there’s no crochet news to report. However, my Christmas exchange squares are on the way so hopefully I’ll have them to show off next week!

Winding Down

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My first NaNoWriMo is drawing to a close.

I’ve learned some really important stuff from my first year. First and foremost, I can always find some time to write. I fall into the trap sometimes of thinking that I can’t write because I only have an hour or two to myself but I’ve learned that’s not the case. I’ve been able to get a decent chunk of writing done during lunch breaks, while my stepdaughter is taking her nap, even waiting for the laundry to dry. Writing doesn’t need to have a perfect setting or setup, just a computer and an idea.

I’ve also learned that sometimes the main thing is simply writing. I’m not going to pretend that writing 6500 words in a day is going to produce a perfect product right away but that’s also 6500 words I didn’t have the day before! Even if I have to edit half of them out later or refine them, I’m still getting things done and getting my ideas onto paper.

Thanks to these lessons I feel like I’m becoming a better writer. True, this story is going to take some editing and it may change in ways I’m not expecting – in fact, my heroine has already done some things that weren’t in my outline – but I feel like I’ve got a good draft going and I’m pleased with the way it’s coming along.

Some people like to be critical of NaNoWriMo by saying that it makes everyone think that just because they finished a novel they are “real writers,” but they’re kind of right. Everyone who writes a novel, a short story, or even fan fiction is a writer. As long as we’re actually writing instead of just sitting around talking about writing, we’re writers. Period.

I have 44,534 words and if I can buckle down and write another 6500 like I did on Tuesday I can finish! All I need is a couple of cheesy horror movies and some Word Sprints and I’ll be golden. Winning starts today and I want to get in before midnight. Now, on to the finish line!

NaNoWriMo, Week Two!

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Last night I hit 22,000 words. That sounds like a lot but I don’t feel like it’s enough! My goal for today is to hit 25,000, which means I’ll be halfway done. I think with a few Word Sprints I might be able to make it though!

What are Word Sprints? Super fun timed sessions where you write as much as fast as possible. For example, you get 15 minutes and a totally optional prompt and then post what you came up with. There are even ones (that I find extremely rewarding) where you attempt to write 1000 words in 30 minutes. So far I’ve nailed every one!

Doing NaNoWriMo has really been a fun experience so far. I’ve been sitting on this idea for a while and it actually seems like I’m going to get the first draft finished this month! Adding my 22,000 words to what I had before has put me at about 31,000 words! Of course, I’m only planning on validating what I’ve written this month but it’s still kind of amazing.

It’s been good to get in the habit of writing every day again, even if it’s just 500 or 600 words. There’s been some drama in my life lately and I’ve been able to kind of take a step back and relax thanks to writing, and bury my head in the sand for an hour or two, which makes it easier to face the drama because now I know I can do anything.

After I edit this story, I’m planning on setting it aside for a little while and working on finishing another old friend, Framed, which only needs a couple of chapters to be complete. I plan on that one being my second book even though it takes place before Detective’s Brother because I just went crazy over Simon and Quinn.

Now, back to writing. I’ve got a dance to attend and those 3000 words aren’t going to write themselves today!

NaNoWriPost!

NaNo-2015-Participant-BannerToday is the first day of NaNoWriMo and I’m off to a great start with almost 3000 words! I had planned to stay up until midnight and get right to business but I got sleepy after binge-watching Sons of Anarchy and crocheting.

So here’s a little bit about my novel.

A few years back I started writing a story about a teacher, two men, and the unexpected bond between them. It was a contemporary romance before I discovered my love of historicals, and I really had a great time with it for about 30 pages. Then I just sort of stopped. I put it away in the virtual drawer and went about my business.

Then one day I decided I was going to write a story set in the Old West about two detectives and a suspicious series of events, and that became The Detective’s Brother. I discovered that I really enjoyed writing historical romance and enjoyed reading Western history and researching it just as much. I wrote another story called Framed that needs a bit of polishing but will probably be my next book, and then turned my attention to If I Hadn’t Met You, the story I’m rewriting for NaNoWriMo.

I’m not sure what possessed me to rewrite it in 1880s Texas but I kind of reworked the characters, wrote a comprehensive outline, and went over some of my old notes. I’m really enjoying rearranging things to fit my 1885 Fort Worth setting, and coming up with names from that time period is especially fun.

I’ve read a lot of people saying that you can’t really produce anything of quality in 30 days and to be honest, I don’t expect to have the story completely finished in just a month. Detective’s Brother took over 70,000 words to tell the story so I’m assuming this will be about the same. But if I can get 50,000 raw words down, I can finish it up in December and get the first editing pass made, then send it to my beta readers.

I’m excited to get this story told the right way and excited to be a part of such a wild and crazy group of writers! I’ll post some excerpts as I’m writing if you promise not to hold the first draft against me.