I fancy myself a writer.

Posts tagged “National Novel Writing Month

So, I’ve totally bombed #NaNoWriMo—but that’s okay!

If you’re doing NaNoWriMo this year, I hope you’re doing better than I am. With Thanksgiving only a couple of days away, and me at like 2,000 words, tops, I think it’s time to throw in the towel and admit this just isn’t my year. I’ve still been getting writing stuff done though, so I have no regrets. Well, maybe just a couple. But, that’s life, right?

Anyway, I have my full manuscript of Valley of the Bees with a professional proofer at the moment, and I’ve been working on page layout for the print edition of all three eBooks in one big book, which is scheduled to release in March. I printed out the front pages and the first several chapters to get an idea of how things look, and I was pleasantly surprised at how much it looks like—well—an actual BOOK!

The Valley of the Bees Omnibus print edition is shaping up quite well!

The Valley of the Bees Omnibus print edition is shaping up quite well!

I have done a pretty stellar job with page layout, if I do say so myself. I can’t wait to order my first real proof. Then, it will be real. Really real! (more…)

It’s time to gear up for #NaNoWriMo 2016!


It’s that time of year again, writing friends! Time to prep for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in November! This year, I am doing it, and I am doing it right. Anyway, that’s the plan!


I don’t know about you, but I have a lot to do over this next month to prepare. My writing plans for October include: (more…)

2014 NaNoWriMo Trashy Romance Novel: The final challenge

English: Cows eating trash, Jaipur, India.

Is your trashy romance novel destined for the trash heap? Or is it worth saving? Either way, I hope you will view your 2014 NaNoWriMo novel project as a success. | English: Cows eating trash, Jaipur, India. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Now that your trashy romance novel is complete, what are you going to do with it? From where I’m sitting, I think you have a couple of options:

  1. Trash it. It is “trashy,” after all. Every successful author seems to have at least one novel sitting in a drawer someplace that they never want to see the light of day. Maybe this one can be yours. If that’s the case, think of this as a rite of passage that even the greatest authors have endured. You are now officially one step closer to joining their ranks. So, toss that trashy novel aside and move on to your next great idea!
  2. Polish it up a bit and sell it. Trashy or not, your manuscript might have merit. Review a handful of published romance novels and determine whether yours might be publishable with a bit of editing. Then, go for it!
  3. Analyze the crap out of it. Pretend like someone else wrote this steaming heap and tear it apart. Use this manuscript to help you determine where your writing weaknesses lie. Then you can use the information to determine what strategies to keep using and which ones need work. Just remember to take some time to look for the good as well. The fun thing about fast writing is that, while a lot of what you write will turn out to be crap, once in a while you will stumble upon a gem of glittering prose that might be turned into a great literary novel with a bit of elbow grease. So, tear that sucker apart and see if there is anything worth keeping.
  4. Develop your characters and turn it into something better. Honestly, ask yourself if this shallow tripe has any potential. What would happen if you gave your characters some not-so-romantic names and threw in a few real-life problems? Could you possibly develop your story into something a step above the average Harlequin and turn it into the next Nicholas Sparks-ish novel?


2014 NaNoWriMo Trashy Romance Challenge: The end is nigh

Epilogue of Samuel Johnson's Irene' by Samuel ...

A cheesy epilogue is a great way to boost word count if your manuscript is still a little light once you have wrapped up your story. | Epilogue of Samuel Johnson’s Irene’ by Samuel Johnson. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today is the day. I hope you are close to 50,000 words. You have until the end of the day today to hit that final word count goal and write your hero and heroine into their happily ever after.

Writing assignment

If you have managed to write your story through to its completion already but still need a few more words, then spend today writing an epilogue.

Epilogues are common in trashy romance novels and usually consist of a scene that takes place exactly one year after the ending of your actual story. Oh, and there is usually a three-month-old baby involved. Because of course your heroine got pregnant on their wedding night. (more…)

2014 NaNoWriMo Trashy Romance Challenge: And now to get them back together again

You tore your happy couple apart. Now, how to put them back together again? Don’t make it too easy for them. What has to happen for them to regain their trust in one another? Make a list. Then get those scenes written, because YOU are RUNNING OUT OF TIME!


Happy Turkey Day!

The Turkey Is Done

I hope our turkey looks this good. It probably won’t, but one can always dream! | The Turkey Is Done (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


I’m not here today because I have scheduled this post to run while I am out doing sadistic things to my family.

Wait. No. That was my characters last week. I’m sure I’m enjoying my family today and hope you are enjoying yours as well.


2014 NaNoWriMo Trashy Romance Challenge: Act 3/When it hits the fan

600x750mm sign intended to match the specifica...

How many words per day are you averaging during NaNoWriMo? | 600x750mm sign intended to match the specifications for sign W13-5 (Advisory Curve Speed) in the 2004 version of the SHS manual. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Just when you thought your story might draw to a sweet conclusion a little too early, it’s time to throw a wrench in it and drag it out for one more act.

Act Three. It is time to be mean to your characters.

Maybe one of them has been keeping a secret that comes to light, making the other one question his or her feelings.

Maybe your vampire is kidnapped by terrorists. (more…)

2014 NaNoWriMo Trashy Romance Challenge: Act 2 Scene Assignment 3

Write a scene in which your hero and heroine need to cooperate to get something done. Maybe they will decide to be friends or at least come to an agreement to be civil to one another until the task is complete.


2014 NaNoWriMo Trashy Romance Challenge: Act 2 Scene Assignment 2

Write a scene that puts your hero and heroine in close proximity with one another where they get to touch each other. How much is up to you, but maybe hold off on actually letting them “do the deed” for the time being. Use this as an opportunity to build the tension.



2014 NaNoWriMo Trashy Romance Challenge: Week 2/Act 2

Do your hero and heroine now hate each other on the surface while secretly wanting to jump into bed with each other? If so, great work! Now you’re ready to begin writing Act Two of your trashy romance novel. For the next few days, I will give you brief scene ideas to keep you moving and hopefully keep your middle from sagging. Here’s the first: