Posts Tagged ‘novel writing’

Write on Nano Writers!

Kudos to you writers who are participating in Nano (National Novel Writing Month). You are half way there…days wise anyway.  Are you half way through your novel?

Nano is a challenge to writers to write a 50,000 word novel in one month.  Rather than just meeting the challenge, some write a 100,000 word novel or three 20,000 word short stories to win the challenge. I on the other hand never made it to 50,000 words. I told my story in half that amount. But by joining Nano I learned how to approach writing a novel.

I am happy to say the short novel I wrote in Nano 2007 will be published in March 2011 by Muse It Up PublishingSunshine Boulevard, a mystery/horror ebook, is my debut. Needless to say I am geeked up about that! It was so much fun to develop this genre for readers.

The story takes place in Florida at a retirement community. Someone or something is killing the seniors on Sunshine Boulevard. Check out my author website for more info on the book.

I know this time of the month the going gets tough for Nano participants.  Just keep at it. Perseverance. Determination. Lots of coffee and chocolate and you will be a winner!

New Resource for Writers: Ask an Author

Grand Opening for Ask an Author is at 8 pm Central tonight, July 30. Lots of give aways and of course writing info and a chance to mingle with published authors. The purpose of the site, spear headed by Keira Kroft, is to help writers with writing a novel, answer questions on publishing, and to offer writing tips. You will also rub elbows with many published authors from different genres.

If you can’t make it tonight, then stop by the website. You know they’re always open 24 hours a day!!

Are you an outliner or seat-of-the-pants writer?

When you begin your story or novel, do you use an outline to guide your writing or do you just begin and let the ideas/characters/plot take you in the direction of the story? Letting the story go along with no pre-planning means you are writing by the seat-of-your-pants thus gaining the title of a “pantser.”  We have lots of discussions at The Writers Chatroom among the newcomers and regular attendees of the Wednesday evening chats, as well as guest authors on Sunday nights,  as to the best method of writing a story or novel.

In an article by Robert Campbell, Outlining,  in Writing Mysteries: A Handbook by the Mystery Writers of America, this mystery writer admits he never used an outline. He preferred William Faulkner’s method of setting his characters on the road and “walk beside them, listening to what they have to say.” Campbell admits writing without an outline causes him to start down paths that lead to dead ends, but he discovers a lot about a character spending time on pages upon pages that he may have to discard. However, he feels that at least, he exercised the writing muscles.

Later in his writing Campbell discovered outlining using his “word processor” or even hand writing a simple outline. He also makes up documents before starting the story such as Chronology, Cast of Characters, Address Book, Timeline of History, Notebook and Agenda which “sketches the goals, desires and probable actions of each principal character as I move through the body of the book.” He builds on each of these documents as the work-in-progress (WIP) evolves.  Campbell cautions that at no time is anything engraved in stone. He remains flexible with each chapter.

It really makes no difference whether you need a map, guidelines, outline or just an idea to freely write a story. The important thing is to write. Don’t be paralyzed by constructing an outline, then never writing the story. With no outline, you may write paragraphs, pages, chapters, etc that will need to be cut for the final draft. But many authors incorporate those leftover pages into another future story.

Pleeeeeezzzz…just write! It’s in you. What a shame if you don’t let it out on the page.

NaNoWriMo Time

nanowrimo_participant_icon_small2A fall tradition for writers takes place every November. With ridiculous high hopes and stellar dreams, we join up for NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month whereby we attempt, and some actually accomplish, to write a 50,000 word novel in one month. Ah, the foolishness of dreamers. Many of the writers hold down day jobs and still join in on NaNo. 50,000 words in 30 days equals…um. let me think…an enormous bunch of words per day.

Chris Baty, the father and cheerleader of Nano, began this crazy project in 1999 with 21 participants. In 2008 the number grew to 119,301 participants and 21,683 winners. You are considered a winner if you end up with 50,000 words by the end of the month. Incidentally noone decides if the novel is any good or if you even slung any ideas together or if it is only gibberish. As long as you meet the 50000 word goal, you are a winner.

I have participated for two years, but never reached my goal, although I did race through the novel and finish it…unfortunately I guess I am just not wordy enough…you’d never know it from this blog entry though…

I am on the fence this year as to whether to spend November revising the previous novels that I have written for NaNo or to jump in and start another absurd attempt at novel writing.

If you have always wanted to write a novel, this is your chance to make up your mind and do it!! Just do it!! Check out the site. It’s a lot of fun and you can meet writers and waste a lot of time just joining in and explorng the site.

The good thing is that if you only make it halfway to the goal, at least you have done something instead of talking about it. Try it!