Mid Week Motivator: Five Days Left

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Congratulations!!!! Can you see the end?! All the coffee, chocolate and sacrifice is nearly at an end!

Hang in there! Just more days left! No matter where you are at with your word count, finish. Work until you get there. Stop on the 30th. Take a few days to regroup, reintroduce yourself to the family and friends.

Then continue on.

Later begins the next phase, revision. But that can wait, allow your mind to regroup. After all you need to figure out what happens to the fire breathing unicorn.

Mid Week Motivator: Plan Ahead

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Next week is Thanksgiving. A time to spend with family. There is also time to prep for the meal. Think about what this can mean for your writing schedule. Obviously, things must be adjusted.

How much will depend on what you hope to do for both.

Agree to what your able to do for the holiday. But also honor your hard work up to this point. This is nearly the finish to your novel.

Decide now if you are writing on Thanksgiving or taking the day off. By doing so, this will allow you to relive some stress. And also adjust your writing schedule accordingly.

That being said, congratulations on getting this far! I know that some days it can be like pulling teeth. At times your manuscript may seem more of a mess than not. Remind yourself that December is for revision.

Mid Week Motivator: Halfway Done

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It is the mid point of November. You are halfway through this wild experiment called Nanowrimo!

Congratulations! You have the workings of your novel set up. Perhaps you are just hitting your stride. The words flowing from your hands like water from an open faucet.

Or perhaps the words are more like an intermittent drip, drip, drip.

Keep working. If a scene is frustrating, work on another one. Stepping away from it for a bit can help your brain to process better. To return to that section feeling renewed.

Keep going. Some words are harder one than others. You will be happier knowing that you tried than to have given up.

Remember, the goal is to finish, not perfection.

Mid Week Motivator: Embrace The Crazy

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Coffee and chocolate, the fuel of writers

It has begun, the writing extravaganza known as Nanowrimo. Fingers fly over keyboards, words spilling onto the computer screens. Then being deleted, written again and perhaps now a whole paragraph is gone.

This is the time to embrace the crazy. Follow your characters over the cliff, discover a new subplot or perhaps find that a character needs more play.

Accept that this draft will be crappy and messy. The point of doing this is not  perfection with every word but to get the words onto the page. This manuscript will not be ready for submissions December 1st.

It will however be ready for you to shape, edit your words to be ready for submissions. But that comes later.

Right now comes the crazy. This is the moment to write about your new best friend, the two headed, fire breathing unicorn.

Mid Week Motivator: Nano Prep Part 4

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In just a few days Nanowrimo officially begins! The next few weeks will be full of challenging creativity. Remember this is a marathon, not a sprint. While this a competition, this is not a race against others but with others.

Schedule your writing time. Whether it means getting up earlier . Some days you may have more time to write than others. Honor the time you have set aside.

Join local write ins. This will help you connect to other writers. Don’t forget the online community as well. Join in on the fun on Twitter by following the #Nanowrimo.

Most of all enjoy the process! You may find you have a first draft to polish in December or a head start towards your first draft.

Mid Week Motivator: Nano Prep Part 3

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After asking the question What if? And developing your characters. It is now time to decide to plot or not to plot.

Some like to see where the story takes them. Namely without plotting out your novel. This can be fun, adventurous and frustrating. Having done this, I found myself hitting roadblock. Often unsure of what will happen next.

Plotting can give you direction. It is helpful in knowing what will come next, which scenes to focus on. Connecting the dots between those smaller scenes to the larger scenes.

I prefer a happy medium. Enough of an outline and character development to lead the way. However still enough flexibility for those fly the pants moments. On other words a firm Plantser.

Mid Week Motivator: Nano Prep Part Two

After filling in your question to What if?
Now is time to fill in the blanks.

I usually begin with characters. They are the prism in which your story is told. Who are your main characters? Who are your minor characters?

Knowing who they are makes it easier to plot. That is if choose to do so, more on that in another post.

Fully develop your characters. Really get into their heads. Question both your hero’s and antagonists motivations. Interview them. By understanding who they are, it will help to understand the story you want to tell.

Mid Week Motivator: Nano Prep

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So perhaps you have decided to participate in Nanowrimo. The next thing that your thinking is what now?

This is the time to prepare, outline, characters and plot. You can either plan or you can fly by your pants.

Some will prefer to use detailed outlines. Others not as much.

Maybe right now all you have a vague notion. A sentence beginning with those iconic words What If?

All you need right now is the rest of the question. This is your starting point.

Story Monday: Preparing For Nanowrimo

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In just a months time will begin Nanowrimo,(National November Writing Month). A chance to write your own story! This takes place during the month of November.

Thirty one days to let go and let your story come to life. You can join a community of writers both online and in real life. Which I highly encourage as it helps to motivate. Seek out local write ups, follow the hashtags #Nanowrimo #nano on Twitter.

It is a month to finally write that first draft that has been waiting to come out. The story you have been waiting to write. Use this month to prepare, plot and think. November first will begin the mad dash of an entire month of writing!

I have participated in years past and while I never “won” (meaning you have a word count of 65,000 to 80,000 word count) . But it did push me.
I learned how to push through those hard days. Close up plot holes .To look at the bigger picture of my story
Gain confidence in my skills.

At the end what you will have is a full first draft, ready for you to work over. Please do not send off your Nanowrimo draft to publishers. It will need polish. And research which agents to send your novel off to. Again Twitter is a great tool for this.

Due to my schedule this year, I will not be able to participate this year. But during this month I will use my Mid Week Motivator posts to give tips and encourage those of you who choose to participate.

Happy writing!

Mid Week Motivator- I Did Not Win

This past month was Nanowrimo ( National November Writing Month) and I chose to participant once again. I have yet to win this thing and this year was no different. I went into it this year with the vaguest of ideas, and it showed. Unusal for me was the way I bagan this one. It started with an idea instead of a character. This proved to be a challenge for me. I always begin with a character, with the story forming around this person.

It was not until the end of the month that I finally had a break through. Finally figuring out who my main character is changed the whole story. This has changed the whole story but for the better. Believe me when I say that.

I went into Nanowrimo unprepared and I lost. This is alright though. Writing is a process, as we are told. Sometimes we writers get in our own way too. I broke all the rules of writing. I did not protect my writing time well enough. Not to mention that this was the busiest time at my day job plus my new writing job, my time and brain were drained.

I did get the start of my story. An idea that is rather exciting and will surely challenge me.

That at the end of the day, is what matters. Goals may have to move or change. Story may change but as long as there are words on the page ( or computer) then all is not lost. I have not truly lost.