Happy Halloween, Er, I mean, NaNo Eve!

Hello, dear friends!

Who here celebrates Halloween? Or, more importantly, who here is staying up till midnight to start working on your NaNo novel?

Not this girl, LOL!

Best of luck to all trick or treaters and NaNoers!

I hope all y’all’s hangovers aren’t too horrendous to keep you from stopping by on Friday!

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A reminder and a request: In case you missed last Wednesday’s post, I’m gathering peeps for a Release Day Blitz for my novelette NEW PRIDE. Please refer there to see how to help, if you’re so inclined. THANK YOU!!!

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Finish Line

 

It’s the last day of NaNo!!!

So, gang, how’s you do?

Whether you finished or not, I’m totally proud of your efforts–every word you wrote is a word toward victory!

Debriefing is an important part of the process, so why don’t we all share our ups and downs of Nano?

Feel free post your experience in the comments.

Now, one tip I can give you:

PUT YOUR MANUSCRIPT IN A DRAWER AND DON’T LOOK AT IT FOR AT LEAST A MONTH!

I’m not joking. Set that sucker aside. Now. 😉

Next month, I’ll focus on topics that’ll help your resist the urge to open your NaNo WIP doc and start revising.

Mental Health Monday–Respite

Hey gang!

I titled this post “Respite” because it’s important to remember to take breaks now and again. The holidays are coming up and there’s much “real life” stuff to do, so I’ll be taking the rest of the week off from blogging.

Be sure to send me your mental health questions (writing related only, please!) and I’ll address them as they come in.

Those of you working on your Nano novel–WOOT WOOT! We’re coming into the home stretch. Don’t forget to stay hydrated (I prefer Dunkin Donuts iced coffee) and fed (M&Ms are awesome!) and rested (sleep is my favorite hobby after writing and reading, yo!).

I hope everyone enjoys their Thanksgiving. This year, the fam is coming to my house (this’ll be the First Annual Thanksgiving At the Fixer Upper Mansion).

If you’re masochistic, then you’re probably heading out on Black Friday. I’m not. Nothing gets me up in the morning…NOTHING. So while I’m sleeping in, I hope y’all get some uber fabulous sales.

Okay. That’s about it. See ya’s all next week! 😉

Thanksgiving Song by Adam Sandler

Flake-Out Friday–How Stephen King Does NaNo

Hi gang! * waves *

Well, 18 days of Nano is down, and there’s 12 to go. How’s everybody’s word counts? I’ve seen some pretty great numbers out there.

Gotta say, though I’m not Nanoing this year, I am having a great time being a cheerleader for you guys and gals!

Anyway, I find it interesting to see how each person approaches a challenge. Here’s how Stephen King does NaNo (he bases his story on life events and, boy, does he make it look easy!):

(This is a cartoon and therefore not true. However, there are some people who will believe anything, so I’m adding this disclaimer.)

We’re Halfway There!

Hey, gang, November is officially more than half over, which means Nanoers are heading toward the sloggy middle of their manuscripts!

For those of you who outline, you may have developed a nice plot line that’ll help guide you through the potential muck and slush of the-middle-of-the-novel, but those of you who are pansters may be stuck.

What’s a panster to do???

Well, here are some tips!

How to get un-stuck:

  • Skip a scene or three and write something that’ll get ya stoked about the story again.
  • Throw in a plot twist. (Didn’t know your character is allergic to peanuts? Have her hotter than hot love interest make her a peanut butter cup in the shape of a heart.) (The antagonist is actually the protagonist’s half-sister? Yikes!! Now what’re the characters gonna do?)
  • Free write using the POV of your main character. Just let them do the talking and see where it takes you. Inspiration may strike and you’ll be back on track again.
  • Remember Write or Die? Challenge yourself to a timed session there and I’ll guarantee you’ll be typing faster than your mind can think.
  • Sprint with some pals.
  • For God’s sake, take a freaking break and let your mind rest! Read a few chapters of the book you’ve set aside for the past two weeks. Go see Breaking Dawn. Let your unconscious (AKA subconscious) mind work things out. It’ll let you know when the problem is solved…Trust me. (You know those EUREKA! moments? That’s your unconscious giving you an answer.)
  • Take a walk. Physical exercise not only makes us healthier, it provides stress relief, and the scenery may just trigger an idea.
  • Check out Sarah’s Sisterhood of the Traveling Blog post on whether or not she Nanos. Then review Lydia’s and mine. 😉
  • DON’T GIVE UP.

Your turn to share you ideas of how to get through the sloggy middle!

Sisterhood of the Traveling Blog–Do You NaNo?

This month, I ask:

If you do NaNoWriMo, why do you do it? If not, why not?

Listen, I had fully intended on doing NaNo (National Novel Writing Month) this year. I signed up. I had my plot 2/3 done. My mind was cooking with great plot twists, conflict, and cliffhangers. I could picture the characters, the setting, even some paranormal tricks.

Then I got sick.

Work got complicated.

“Open” weeknights and weekends got filled.

I got overwhelmed.

It was a tough decision to make, but I have decided NOT to do NaNo this year. Sure, I could use a kick in the pants to get writing again (haven’t worked on a new project since summer). I could even use the challenge to shut off my internal editor.

But I’m not going to.

Why?

Well, I’ve done NaNo before (in 2009) and was successful, so I know I can plop down 50,000 words in a couple weeks. Those were my panster days. Super fun, but they left me with uber-long character sketches with little plot to speak of. Scenes turned into rambling concoctions of “this, then that.” “Filler” chapters slogged the middle. It took 100 pages for the story to “get going.” I ended up cutting more than I kept.

Two years later, I’m not so much into plopping as I’m into careful consideration and mindful building of a solid structure.

Okay, so this slows me down a LOT, but I end up with a much better quality draft. And I’m more content.

Your turn to dish. Do you NaNo? If yes, then why and if no, then why not?

Check out Lydia’s response next week!