NaNoWriMo Check in: Day 17

Hey All You NaNo Writers:

Day 17 of NaNoWriMo:

For those of you participating in NaNoWriMo 2016 I just wanted to check in & see how everyone is doing.

Me: Well we're past the half way mark and I'm on schedule. I'm at 39, 070 words. Fortunately, I took advantage of the first week and managed several high word count days. I still haven't had a Rachel Aaron 10K Day, but thanks to Rachel's website and her amazing book 2000 to 10,000: How to write faster, write better, and write more of what you love. I had a few 5K days. This really helped out, because this past week it's been hard to find writing time. If I hadn't jumped so far ahead the first week, I'd be behind now.

I also attribute my writing fast success to author Lisa Cron and her amazing book Story Genius. If you haven't read this book, I highly recommend it. Cron changed the way I pre-plot and my writing has benefited. Knowing so much about my characters and their backstory enabled me to write faster and better. I haven't suffered writer's block ... not once since implementing Cron's technique. Visit her at Lisa Cron: Wired for Story

I'm psyched about her Story Genius 10 Week Course. I'd hoped to sign up for her course after NaNo, but I'll have to wait until the next course is available. I might look into her Story Coaching and Consulting if I finish my psychological thriller/domestic noir NaNo story: The Next Wife.

So, those of you participating in NaNo, how's it going. 

Have you participated in any of the Twitter #NaNoWordSprints?

See you all in December. Happy NaNo'ing

NaNoWriMo 2016: Are You Writing a Novel This November

It's Time for NaNoWriMo Again:





NaNoWriMo 2016 Begins November 1, 2016

NaNo began in 1999 with few writers and it rapidly spread to over 431,000 writers tapping away on their keyboard last November 2015 - (almost a half a million) with one thought in their heads:



Get across the finish line. Complete a novel. Write 50,000 words. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? Do we write 50,000 words of crap? Can those words be revised and edited into something that resembles a halfway decent manuscript. Ask the plethora of people who've landed agents and publishing contracts from their NaNo manuscripts and they'll tell you, "Hell Yea!"

Many others have a dim view and less favorable opinion of the work they produce while cramming words together in one month. I suppose the outcome of your novel has much to do with the amount of planning you put into your novel prior to November 1st. But wait, you say ... isn't that cheating? I thought you weren't allowed to begin writing until the first day of November. 

True dat!


Very true. And in the past, I did zilch, that's right, nada ... nothing ... until day one. Then I opened my notebook (I'm still a pen and paper girl who gets her creative spark when the pen touches the paper) so I have to write my manuscript by longhand and then transcribe it onto my laptop. Double work. I'm getting better. I brainstorm my scenes in longhand and now I'm able to type the first draft.

But, there's nothing in the rule book that prevents us from doing a whole lotta prep work prior to November 1st. I wish I had culled this or practiced this during my first few attempts at NaNo. You can work on your character charts, character backstories, your premise, concept, plot points, pinch points, plants, set ups, reveals etc. If you're writing a mystery or thriller you can try out a a few different villains and potential endings. I don't just do work ups on my protagonist, I also do an extensive work up on my detective and my villain. I gleaned this from the book I just finished reading, which by the way is one of the best books on the writing craft I've ever read and I've read them all.

I just completed Story Genius by Lisa Cron and I can only say I wish I had read this amazing book at least two months prior to NaNo. Lisa Cron has changed the way I think about writing character arcs and how to tie the character's past into the story so that readers will truly care about your story. Plot is nothing if readers don't resonate with your characters. If your readers don't know why your character is doing something or what the impact or consequence is for the character, then readers won't care about your book. That is as simple as I can state what she so brilliantly lays out in her book.
If you buy only one writer's craft book this year, buy this book. If you only have time to read one chapter before you begin your NaNo project, you must read and learn how to apply chapter 7.
Read more about Lisa Cron Here. She is also the author of Wired For Story.

Angela Ackerman highly recommend Lisa Cron's Story Genius Author Accelerator Course



Pros & Cons of NaNo:

Pros:

  1. You learn discipline, whether you finish your manuscript or not. You learn the BISHOK ...butt in seat, hands on keyboard, mentality. Writing close to 2000 words per day is bound to teach you discipline. It's like participating in the A to Z challenge. Anything that requires writing every singe day, is a good thing, in my opinion. You don't have the option or luxury of procrastinating. For me, this is benefit numero uno.
  2. It feels good to get your novel out of your head and onto paper or on the computer.
  3. It's rewarding to know you can accomplish such a challenge
  4. Once you complete NaNo, all of your ideas that were stored in your head, on sticky notes, your iPhone, tablet, scattered notebooks, torn off pieces of scratch paper, and god knows where else ... now they are all organized in one place. 
  5. You give yourself permission to write quickly and write badly which allows the creative, right side of your brain to overpower your inner editor and when you read back through what you/ve penned you will be amazed and some of the juicy tidbits and nuggets that you've written. You will write in such a frenzy that you won't even recognize some of the raw, powerful, visceral work you produced.
  6. You will become a better writer, regardless of whether your book becomes published
  7. You will have a complete book, ready to revise, come December 1st.
  8. Once you complete NaNo, all other writing contests, will seem so much easier. Writing your next book will be much easier.
  9. You writing craft will improve 
  10. Once you've completed NaNo, you know you can meet a deadline
  11. You have permission to shut the rest of the world off. Your spouse and kids get to take care of the housework, cooking, cleaning, dog walking and more for just one month. When that sign is up that says "Do not disturb." They know better and chances are they will bring you dinner, coffee, wine, chocolate or whatever it is they know you love.

Cons:

  1. Technically, the rules require that you begin a new novel. You are not permitted to work on a manuscript that you've already started. So, if you're knee deep into a novel and you're really hitting your stride, making damned good progress ... do you want to stop that forward movement and lose your motivation to begin a novel that you don't know anything about? It can be a distraction. You have to choose what's best for you. I made the wrong choice two years ago. I couldn't stop thinking about the novel I'd been working on. It occupied my mind the entire time I tried to concentrate on my newer work. At the end of November, I attempted to revise the mess I made in November. January came and went and I never really felt the same strong pull toward that original novel. It's now shelved.
  2. For those of your who work during the day, and have a family and other obligations,  2000 words per day can be a difficult task. It's frustrating when you get further and further behind.
  3. If you're a regular blogger, you'll need to decide whether to skip the month of November altogether or prepare your posts in advance. You won't have time to visit many blogs for leisurely reading and commenting.
  4. If you travel for the week of Thanksgiving or have house guest for that entire week, it can add enormous stress to your life.
  5. Because you are working against the clock to put numbers (words) on the board ... your finished product will be crap. But, all first drafts are crap.

In my opinion the pros far outweigh the cons. You'll never know if you don't try.


If you need some help or tips getting started. The best place to turn is Writers Helping Writers

Check out their NaNo Triage Center

Raimey Gallent is hosting a NaNoWriMo2016 Blog & Social Media Hop

If you're not already a member of One Stop For Writers Now would be an excellent time to join.

Jami Gold has a boat load of advice to help you with NaNo

Don't do NaNo without Roz Morris' Doing NaNo? Nail it With this Resource Kit


And probably the most comprehensive list of tips I've come across, don't miss Kelsie Engen's 23 Tips & Resources for NaNoWriMo - She's broken it down into 23 relatively short post. You can skip around and find the posts that are most helpful to you. But, do read this blog. You won't be disappointed. 

So, what's the verdict? With only 4 days left? Are you in or out?

Do you have any tips to share? Pros or cons?

If you're participating, how much prep work do you do in advance? What's are you writing?


I'm writing a psychological thriller/domestic noir. 


Title: The Next Wife


Something different than my usual legal thriller. I have a great idea in my head, but I'm still working on the pitch. Hopefully I'll have it narrowed down to one line, under 30 words by Monday so I can try it out on you. I'll need some feedback. No need to be kind.  Agents won't. So let me have it.


If I Were a Mobster

Blogfest 

and

Announcing 30 Seconds Before
by
Chrys Fey



Prequel to 30 Seconds



30 SECONDS BEFORE BLURB:

Blake Herro is a cop in the Cleveland Police Force. Ever
since he was a child he wanted to do right by the city he loved by cleaning up
the streets and protecting its citizens. Red, a notorious mobster, has other
plans.

On a bitter December night, ten police officers are drawn
into a trap and killed by Red’s followers. Blake wants to bring down the Mob to
avenge his fallen brothers and to prevent other cops from being murdered.
Except the only way he can do that is by infiltrating the Mob.

Every minute he’s with these mobsters he’s in danger.
Around every corner lies the threat of coming face to face with a gun. Will he
make it out of the Mob alive or will he be their next victim?

BUY LINKS:



To celebrate, 30 Seconds, the follow up story, is on sale for 99 cents!




Sale Oct. 21st – Nov. 4th

SALE LINKS:



BIO:

Chrys Fey is the author of the Disaster Crimes Series (Hurricane
Crimes and Seismic Crimes), as well as these releases from The Wild Rose Press:
30 Seconds, Ghost of Death, and Witch of Death. Website / Blog / Facebook / Twitter





Congratulations to Chrys! 

And now ... If I were a Mobster:

You gotta break a lot eggs to get into my family.  But, I keep my hands clean. I'm the Don's Consiglieri. In fact I'm Consiglieri to the Capo Di Tutti Capi, so I mean business. And yes, that's different than the just being any old hard case. If you want a sit down with the boss you gotta go through me. If you're part of our family and you circumvent me, you just might end up whacked. If you belong to another family we'll be hitting the mattresses. No amount of hush money is gonna get you any favors. Turks gotta wait their turn behind the mustache Pete's. Our family is big on omertà. No infamita allowed. You gotta beef, you come to me first.

My Mobster Profile:

My Mobster Name: Sugar with a Twist Gold 

My Rank: Consigliere 

My Racket: Nothing dirty, just handling the money end of business. I'm the advisor, lawyer, and boss to everyone else in the family. They listen to me and respect what I have to say, but my hands stay clean. I give advice when needed and the rest of the time I handle money and make sure things run smoothly. I'm against violence. I value good ole Louisiana politics. 

Family Business: Gambling and Horses. Bookmaking is our number one source of income. We own a lot of video poker machines and casinos. The law doesn't mind too much as long as they get their cut. We are also into garbage disposal and waste management. We own a lot of video poker machines and casinos. We aren't into narcotics. Too much heat. 

Weapon of Choice: My mind ... if that fails ... a biscuit.

Vices: Gambling and the occasional banana race

Biggest Attribute: I'm a woman who knows more than I let on about my husband's business. I don't ask a lot of questions, but I'm no slouch. I play my cards close to the vest and people underestimate me. I use that to my advantage.

My Catch Phrase: Not Guilty or no comment

People I Most Admire: Meyer Lanskey, Huey Long, Edwin Edwards, Carlos Marcello



Now please hop around to the other participants:












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