It’s All About Quantity

thM9TM00E3A head start is important during the month of November when it comes to National Novel Writing Month. Getting as much written in the first few days is vital. For most people, there will come a time during the challenge where you will slow down. You’ll hit a dead zone where nothing comes to you. It will feel like you have forgotten how to write or think. You’ll feel like your brains have turned into mush and you might as well be a freaking zombie for all the creative thoughts happening in your head.

Or maybe not. Not everybody who participates in NaNoWriMo, or any writing project for that matter, experiences such hardships. Lucky you. (I hate you!-Just teasing. Or am I?)

For the rest of us, that strong start is all about quantity. Yeah, it’s always good to have quality in your work in progress but it’s terribly important that you remember to get the words down. You can work with crap. You can’t do anything with no crap. Does that make sense? Put your inner editor to the side. Don’t worry about getting everything absolutely perfect. The whole point of this challenge is to let your creative side work without all the pit stops that come with the editing process. You AREN”T SUPPOSED TO EDIT RIGHT NOW. The only job you have is to craft that super-awesome-spectacular FIRST DRAFT from start to finish. Continue reading

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Are You A Plotter or a Pantser?

pantser-or-plotter-writingWowza! Can I just say how super surprised I am this year. My story, Juliet, Missing is going fantabulous. I have just over 11K words already. What is so totally different for me this year is the fact that I’m not using an outline. That is a huge difference. I mean, you have no idea how significant that is for me.

For years I tried churning out novels but I would only begin them, never finding an ending. I always stopped midpoint and gave up. When I began my quest of writing The Prophecy of Three: The Oracle’s Warning, it was the first time I wrote out a long outline. I had something very every single chapter, from start to finish. Yeah, sure, the outline would change frequently as the story progressed but I still had that roadmap to the finish line. Continue reading

A New Year, a New NaNoWriMo!

nanowrimoAll this week I have been sweating bullets, racking my brain, trying to find a story idea for NaNoWriMo. Last year I got an idea just a few days before November 1st. The year before that, I dreamed something that led me to a solid story idea just four days before November 1st. And the year before that I pushed it to October 30th waiting for an idea.

This morning, I woke up from a dream, hoping it would give me something but it was a total dud. Ugh. What was I to do? I’m no longer a fly-by-night pantser who can just write as November speeds along. I HAVE to have some kind of idea. I was freaking out.

So, I decided to go walking. It’s how I got last year’s idea, and it ended up being a good one. I walked up a huge hill (2.2) miles total and ended up coming down with a seriously excellent story. And I had a blast writing it. I didn’t have an ending at the time and by the last week of November I still didn’t know how it would end, but I eventually found it…it just came with the writing. I was pleasantly surprised by it. Continue reading

Now That Nano is over….

Slay 50K Winner ShirtI’d like to thank everybody who’s supported me through such an endurance test. This was my third year of completing NaNoWriMo successfully. I did however attempt and fall short way more times than I won. I’ve learned a lot through those attempts and completions. Most of all I continue to learn and relearn that one important detail. Don’t give up. Tonight I was complaining. I was feeling lazy and I didn’t want to write. I’d already given four thousand words to the day and I still had eight thousand to go. My story had turned upside down and my characters were not cooperating. I essentially didn’t want to write. I didn’t even want to get out of bed. (And by the way folks…please listen to me when I tell you this>>>do NOT write in your bed. You’ll most likely not get a lot done. Kudos to those who can pull that off.) Continue reading

Turkey Day, Writing, and Goals

Does anybody find these creepy?

Does anybody find these creepy?

Today, last year, I finished NaNoWriMo with 50K words. Today, I stand at 12K words short. I’m a bit disappointed with myself because I believe I could have done this. Am I giving up? Well, I already said that I wasn’t going to. I intend on doing an all-nighter tonight. I believe I can probably get at least five or six thousand more words…who knows, maybe all 12K. *shrugging.

Tonight I went to Barnes and Nobles tonight in search of ideas for some of my goals for 2015. I made a lot of goals for 2014 and I basically completed them for the most part. A few will end up carrying over into the new year. Hey, I’m not perfect. But I am working on a good number of new goals. I’m not exactly thrilled with where things stand for me right now but a lot of that is not a lack of getting things done. It’s just a feeling of my own. Does anyone get that?

I won’t go into detail about my goals just yet. Let’s save those for December. Yes? I will say I have lots to munch on mentally. Continue reading

NaNoWriMo: Chapter Five

beta readerChapter Five

Five weeks and not once had Kamila seen Elizabeth anywhere. Frustration coursed through her as she took a seat in the group therapy session. Twice weekly she came here, sat through sitting to people discussing why they were angry at their cat, how their dad abused them,  and how what the government hid in their electronics was causing cancer. Some of it freaked her out. She’d left the last meeting certain that if the population in just this institution was only one percent of what thrived outside these walls the world was pretty messed up.

Other patients fluttered in and mingled with others, some took extra cookies and hid them in their pants pockets. She glanced towards the door just as Elizabeth entered. Kamila’s mouth dropped and her eyes grew studious. The young woman looked so frail and pale. She was thin, too thin, and her tall blonde hair hanging around her neck was knotted up. The unkempt appearance of the woman baffled Kamila. Where has she been all this time? What have they been doing to her? The wrists were bandaged up and her legs, Kamila guessed, looked just as bruised and beaten as her arms did. Continue reading

NaNoWriMo: Chapter Four

nanoChapter Four

Lying in her tiny bed, Kamila wondered what time it was. She knew it was sometimes after five in the morning as the sun was crisping her salmon-colored blanket. Rubbing at her sore neck she considered asking for another pillow. She closed and reopened her eyes attempting to get away from her medicine-induced sleepiness. It was finally wearing off and her regular insomnia returned to normal. The snores of her roommate was a comfort, which was surprising to her. The young teenage woman across the room muttered something in her sleep and somewhere outside their room a phone was ringing incessantly.

The night had been long and, though she didn’t want to coin it this way, scary. Wasn’t first nights in new territory always that way though? It was worse though because of the dreams that made her toss all night. Maybe I can talk with my new shrink about my nightmare. Kamila smirked inward. She was confident any dream that involved gasping for air and drowning in dirty swamp water would make for good therapy.

The door opened after a quick banging on the outside. “Morning check.” A tech popped his head in and informed them that breakfast was in twenty minutes. Kamila watched her bedmate roll over and mumble something incoherently and then cover her head with the blanket. Continue reading

Nanowrimo: Chapter Three

Chapter Three

 

Kamila sat at the table and watched Chad place their drink orders. The envelope was still in her back pocket burning through the cloth but she resisted the urge to pull it out again. She had already looked through it a dozen times over the last few hours. None of it made sense to her and she hoped Chad had more answers than what he’d divulged so far. He approached her, holding two drinks, and she pulled his chair out for him.

“Still dirty chai, right?”

She nodded and took it. “How did…”

Chad stopped her. “I know you have lots of questions.” He sat his drink down and pulled his chair in. “Most of the beginning answers will probably make you pissed off though so I’d like to control this conversation right now.”

“That’s not fair Chad. I do have a lot of questions and…”

“And I will tell you what I know. So can I begin?” He waited until she nodded. “Your paper shook the FBI department more than you know. You actually put a big ol’ bullseye on you.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Kamila crossed her arms and sat back.

Chad smiled and shook his head. “You were always too smart for your own good.”

She didn’t enjoy in the joke. “I’m waiting for answers.”

“Do you think that nobody else in the force thought that David wasn’t the Gemstone Killer?” He didn’t wait for her answer. “You brought unwanted and unneeded attention to the entire FBI when you turned that paper in.” Continue reading

Nanowrimo: Chapter Two

mirrorChapter Two

Kamila knew what the students at the FBI Academy called her behind her back. Hunter. It never bothered her. It was the truth and she believed the truth should not bother you. It should set you free. Only the truth she sought was still missing in her life. She raised the dirty chai tea (with three shots of vanilla) to her mouth and blew.

“She’s an amateur. I don’t know why Chad put her on the case.”

She smiled as she listened to her new partners. They didn’t know she was listening. She sat in the two-man sofa, right around the corner, in the waiting room. She’d been there for only seven minutes or so. Glancing at her watch she decided if Chad was anything like when they had dated a decade ago he would be right on time.

“We don’t know anything about her, Doug. And Chad has never led us wrong. His ability to sniff out these killers by combining the right minds has him holding an undefeated record.” Analiese replied. “I heard she will probably graduate at the top. That’s gotta mean something.”

“Yeah, whatever. I just don’t want some cadet-in-training stepping on my feet. You and me solved the last case and this one will be ours too.”

“Doug, Chad isn’t even hiring her on. She’s just consulting on the case at his request.”

Kamila sighed, tired of her eavesdropping, and stood up. She walked around the corner. “Good morning.” She welcomed Analiese’s genuine smile and saw right through Doug’s. “Chad here yet?” She didn’t bother looking around.   Continue reading