Novel Writing, Writers on Writing

Setting goals and reaching them late… one way or another

I always plan to write over winter break, but somehow it never happens. I work at a University that closes for almost two whole weeks the end of December. Perfect time to get some writing done, right? Apparently not!

So then January came along, and I buckled in and started writing regularly. I have been scheduling it into my day, but not giving myself too much grief if I occasionally get off track. And I must say, it has been going pretty well for me. I am writing at least three days a week (while working a full-time job and single-momming two rowdy boys in the process) and hacking out the first draft of book two of my Valley of the Bees series a few pages (and sometimes a few sentences) at a time.

My goal was 20,000 words by the end of January. Of course, that didn’t happen, but I did get close. And today – three days into February – I ALMOST made it finally. Of course, I typed the final word of the chapter I was working on, looked down at my word count, and saw this:

19,999 words toward my 20,000 word goal. Seriously?
19,999 words toward my 20,000 word goal. Seriously?

Of course! I was one word shy of my goal! Seriously? Continue reading “Setting goals and reaching them late… one way or another”

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NaNoWriMo, Novel Writing, Romance

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!

Continue reading “2014 NaNoWriMo Trashy Romance Challenge: And now to get them back together again”

NaNoWriMo, Novel Writing, Romance

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. Continue reading “2014 NaNoWriMo Trashy Romance Challenge: Act 3/When it hits the fan”

NaNoWriMo, Novel Writing

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.

 

Continue reading “2014 NaNoWriMo Trashy Romance Challenge: Act 2 Scene Assignment 2”

NaNoWriMo, Novel Writing

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:

Continue reading “2014 NaNoWriMo Trashy Romance Challenge: Week 2/Act 2”

NaNoWriMo, Romance

Are you laughing yet?

The opening scene of my trashy romance novel is hilarious. Anyway, I think it is. I could be wrong.

I’m putting my heroine – who, by the way, is terrified of water – on a boat. She comments to her sister, “It’s only a three-hour tour.” Hmmm… what do you think I have planned for my heroine?

If you’re not giggling whilst writing your trashy romance novel, then you’re not doing it right. You’re more likely to finish it if it’s fun! Continue reading “Are you laughing yet?”

NaNoWriMo, Novel Writing, Uncategorized

2014 NaNoWriMo Trashy Romance Challenge: Day 1

Get your NaNoWriMo Participant web graphics on the office website: http://nanowrimo.org/web-graphics.
Get your NaNoWriMo Participant web graphics on the office website: http://nanowrimo.org/web-graphics.

Well, here it is. November 1st. Day One of NaNoWriMo, and Day One of our Trashy Romance Novel Writing Challenge. I know you have a lot of writing to do, so I will get right to the day’s writing assignment: Continue reading “2014 NaNoWriMo Trashy Romance Challenge: Day 1”

NaNoWriMo, Novel Writing

NaNoWriMo logistics: How are you planning ahead?

Underwood No. 5, in the collection of The Chil...
Can you imagine attempting NaNoWriMo on this behemoth? | Underwood No. 5, in the collection of The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s amazing how often logistical issues can get in the way of our writing. I, like many writers, have tried a variety of techniques in an attempt to make writing – wherever I may be – as easy as possible. Because we all know, the easier it is, the more likely we are to do it. If it seems like too much trouble to haul your ancient, seven-pound laptop along when running errands, then you probably will end up just not doing it.

Yeah, I said seven pounds. I am a starving artist, after all. Of course I don’t have an iPad!

If you were writing a novel a century ago, your choices of communication modes were probably quite limited. You basically either wrote your novel out longhand, or you tapped it out on a bulky typewriter. Did they even have portable typewriters yet a century ago? Continue reading “NaNoWriMo logistics: How are you planning ahead?”

NaNoWriMo, Novel Writing

NaNoWriMo Trashy Romance Novel Challenge

fancy harlequin romance teaspoons
These are my fancy romance novel teaspoons. I got four free novels with each spoon!

Can it be mid-October already? NaNoWriMo is right around the corner, and I am just now getting around to thinking about it. As usual, my original plan for this year was to just skip it. But as November draws near, I find myself once again itching to see if I can knock out a novel in thirty days.

Last year, I did not. While I did manage to conquer the quest for 50,000 words, my NaNoWriMo project was not, in any way, a novel. Last year, I proved to myself that I am capable of writing 50,000 words in one month. This year, I think it’s time to step it up and write 50,000 words of an actual novel. Continue reading “NaNoWriMo Trashy Romance Novel Challenge”

Memoir, NaNoWriMo, Write Your Novel This Season

Did you write a novel this season?

Cover Image - NaNoWriMo Gone Wild - The Quest for 50000 Words
This is a current draft of the cover for my NaNoWriMo project.

Earlier this year, I started my Write Your Novel this Summer Challenge, which then morphed into Write Your Novel this Season. While I did manage to complete a full draft over the summer, I am still working on my fall novel. Considering I am only three chapters in, I am kind of doubting I will finish it by the first day of Winter (December 21st.) However, I have managed to get into a regular writing routine, so there are no worries here. Looking back, I see that I have made great progress over this past year.

I spent the early part of 2013 writing a 90+ page creative thesis that would net me an A for the final semester of my Master’s level professional writing program. I graduated in May, found and lost a job (that, looking back, I am happy didn’t work out). I was unemployed for the summer but spent a lot of that season traveling and spending time with family members I hardly ever get to see.

As I mentioned above, I wrote a full first draft novel that I am currently revising. I also wrote a full memoir/writing manifesto-type manuscript for NaNoWriMo, just to prove to myself that I could write 50,000 words in one month. I am even considering publishing it and offering it up for free downloads. Continue reading “Did you write a novel this season?”