Sunday, October 27, 2013

Winning Nano, Part Two: Don'ts

Image Courtesy of arztsamui /

Last week, I shared my Five Do’s for winning Nano. And with Friday’s start date a few days away, let's quickly examine some Don’ts before returning to our outlining and research.

Because that's exactly what I've been doing lately...
1.      Don’t focus on the word count.
I know. It’s ridiculous to suggest you not think about the 50,000 words you need to lay down by November 30th. But when you sit down to write each day, focusing on how many words you have to go is the easiest, fastest way to cripple your progress and short-circuit your creativity. So though it might be tempting, do yourself a favor—don’t do that.

And by the same token…

2.      Don’t delete anything.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Winning Nano, Part One: Do's

On October 31, 2011 at 5:30 p.m., I made a life-changing decision.

I decided to do Nano.

For the uninitiated, Nano refers to “National Novel Writing Month,” a contest in which writers are challenged to write a minimum 50,000-word novel in 30 days, from midnight November 1st to 11:59 p.m. November 30th.

I had nothing beyond a thin semblance of a story outline and no clue where I would get 50,000 words in 30 days. But I had the will to begin and a brand new laptop, and that seemed like enough. And so armed, I compiled 50,461 words in just 27 days.

“Mini-wave in celebration of me. A-whoo-hoo!”

Two years later, I am poised and excited to do it again. This time, I feel prepared. Not just because I gave myself more than six-and-a-half hours to prepare, but because my first experience taught me a thing or two about what to do and what not to do for a successful Nano.

Let’s start with the Do’s.

1.      DO tell your housemates what you’re doing.
Based on your living situation, this might be anything from unnecessary to a major risk, but I told my husband about my commitment to Nano the night before I began. I wanted him to cheer me on, sure. But I really wanted him to understand how this decision would affect the household. Once we settled a few minor issues, he was all the way on board and encouraged me every day.

Speaking of which…

2.      DO take daily advantage of adjectives and adverbs.

Friday, October 18, 2013

From Write Divas: Romance in the Spotlight

Special Feature on Genre: Romance (via
…and they lived happily ever after. Trite though it may sound, according to Romance Writers of America, a happy ending or “an emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending” is one of only two requirements for a story to be classified under the…

Monday, October 14, 2013

Divas on Writing: Brand Name Dropping (via
Brand Name Dropping Are name brands necessary in fiction? Everyday name brands like Coke and Kleenex have made their way into all kinds of fiction, and most readers don’t blink an eye when one appears. The focus for today is the more exclusive name…

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Fan Fic Flash Fic Weekly Winner!

Every Thursday, Fan Fic Flash Fic provides a writing prompt--a song, an image, a quote, a funny gif. Inspired by the prompt, writers have until Thursday at 11:59 p.m. to write 100-200 words.

This week's winner, I'm proud to announce, is yours truly.

Image Courtesy of Fotolia / MS Office 2010

*Flourish... confetti... applause*

I have never won anything before, so I am stunned and stoked. Doubly so, as this was my first attempt at flash fiction. Many of my writer friends participate in such contests all the time, but they always slip below my radar until it's too late.

But not this time.


Sunday, October 6, 2013

Who I Am

Image courtesy of posterize /
I know myself pretty well, could describe myself in myriad ways.

I am an overachieving perfectionist in recovery, an avid reader, and a shameless whore for my husband’s gravy. And his lasagna and beef stew and barbecue ribs and chicken alfredo and…. Okay, I’m a whore for my husband’s anything.


But this past week, the last few really, I have discovered some new truths about myself. I covered my hard-headedness last week, but here are four more.