Let the Challenge Begin

Welcome   to Day 1, week one of NaNoWriMo. This is the second favorite month of the year for many authors and first time writers who take on the challenge of writing 50,000 words that somehow morph into a novel in thirty days.

This is my second time participating. The last time I participated I came out with the rough draft for Nuka at just over 38,000 words and two years and four drafts later I have a polished version. Unfortunately mostly for personal reasons it will not be published but that’s ok and was my call. For my first novella(which is an okay result for a first attempt at writing a novel in my books) it was the writing process that I savored some days and other days hated the most.

Are you participating? Do you have an idea for a novel? If so are you using an outline or winging it?(If you have no ideas for a plot see the resources I’ve put together for you at the end of this post.)  Have you told anyone if you have accepted the challenge? Have you asked anyone to be your coach – to gently nudge you to write on the days when writing seems like the hardest thing to do? What is your writing routine? How will you accomplish your goal of 50,000 words in 30 days?

Personally, I don’t outline– ever although for kicks I’m going to this time and I’ll likely attend a few write-ins this year ( I hear there’s going to be one ever Tuesday at Oh So Good on  York St. in the market.)  Although to be honest, I’ll likely have my cake and coffee before putting pen to paper. I may write my first draft longhand this round.

I hear there are writers out there who will only allow themselves pleasures like going to a movie or eating their favorite cake at the end of the week if they have met the weekly word quota. Does this sound like you? What was your experience with that method?

Here are a few writing resources to assist you with this challenge.

http://davidseah.com/node/nanowrimo-word-calendar/ to assist you in keeping track of your wc.

https://nanowrimo.org/ (If you haven’t signed up yet or heard of this it’s where the Nanos go.

Looking for a book to assist on your writing challenge? Read, No Plot No Problem by Chris Baty

https://larawillard.com/nanowrimo-resources-for-writers/ for more resources

And, begin!

 

 

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Dare to Suck

This is one of my fav posts from 2017

Not My Straitjacket

You heard me. Everyone says, dare to be unique, different, bold, daring, and all those other lovely verbs most of which are vivid descriptions of what a person could be if they applied themselves (as a writer in this instance) or maybe already are or already relate to or know someone with some or all of these character traits. Today my friends, I tell you all, dare to suck. In fact, don’t just dare it: succeed in spades.

Prologue: I was on my way to have dinner with the family when for no reason at all I struck up a conversation with someone about their music. (The giveaway was the guitar case on their lap. It turns out they have a passion for music like most people have for the ones they love. Their passion is intense and admirable. So they tell me about how they became a musician, how…

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Drown your coffee instead…in donuts

My 40th birthday has come and gone. I’ve had time to reflect on the fact that I killed a book in its early stages and thankfully I have no regrets. Sometimes the hard decision is the best one. For me looking at my blog objectively I had the opportunity to assess how it would serve as a book on a store shelf compared to the readers I reach simply by blogging and frankly, for this blog I am grateful for the readers that take the time to follow the posts on this blog.

I have to (okay choose to) take a moment to reflect on what turning forty has done for me as a writer: it has reinforced that at my age I am more worried about quality and less worried about quantity so if you notice periods of less posts or see periods of more posts that is in part the reason why. This blog has become less of an instructional pursuit and more of a record of my personal progress as a writer, scriptwriter and human being.

I am taking a children’s book writing course and I have offered up my first kids book to the gods of the underworld (I mean my classmates and esteemed writing instructor) to rip apart during our next class so I can get real world feedback on what did and didn’t work about my first attempt at children’s writing. My instructor is someone I would love to see sitting over coffee with Stephen King who first said, “Kill your darlings” and my instructor who in our first class called out, “You have to be willing to drown your children”. (children as a metaphor for writing). I will refrain from mentioning their name for fear that someone may misinterpret the translation of their statement in which the reference was to be willing to edit your manuscript with an objective eye and be willing to make sacrifices to get the material that belongs there, not the material you want to see there by cutting out what is inessential.

This same instructor had several other tidbits of deep, well thought out quotes which spilled out of his mouth much like he was reading a passage from one of Munro’s books. Rich and alive with thought.

I finished another short script recently and at present I’m deciding which script out of my collection I want to shoot for Digi60. Film pre-production, production and post-production is a very time consuming activity and as any filmmaker would tell you there are sacrifices to be made if you want to produce something of quality. This would be my second short.

Time for coffee.

Ciao for now.

 

 

I (May) Have A Problem

bookproblemcolourediteduseI’m reorganizing my writer’s dungeon (I mean office) to suit a makeshift home photography studio temporarily and I had to move the bookcases around. I have at least two and a half more tall bookcases plus some books in line for room on the shelf. In consideration of this awareness I will be adding book reviews more regularly to this blog. I can’t however promise I won’t keep buying new books (and old ones). It’s both a passion and a hobby of mine.

writersmug

In the meantime time to get back to writing book #3 #MustardSeeds #siblingrivalry #twosisters #oneplaceinthespotlight #thestakesarehigh #childcaughtinthecrossfire #WIP

Virtual World Tour

 

So I am a writer of my word. I practised what I preached. I Dared to Suck Dare to Suck and I published my second book, a compilation of my favorite posts from Not My Straitjacket which I only recently realized I hadn’t celebrated the two year anniversary since its creation. If you have read this blog in whole or in part I invite you to rate my book on Amazon.com The official launch date for this book is September 13th, 2017.

Thank you for reading! Time to celebrate and let the virtual world tour begin.

Remember it is said: Sharing is caring.

Success as a Journey

“Success is a journey, not a destination.” Arthur Ashe.

I was writing a blog on goal setting, perseverance and success when in the middle of that flow of words pouring out onto the keyboard the computer crashed, and my file had not yet been saved. Hazards of writing at 4 in the morning, not awake enough to think of important things like backing up files and important things like getting more sleep when the muse has so obviously struck.

I was reminiscing that the last two years I have had my share of falling on my face with attempted success in children’s writers’ market. My first children’s book Loved Like Me is back online as of today and available for purchase. (I pulled it one day frustrated from my lack of sales which in retrospect I realise partly contributes to the fact that I really need to put more time in marketing the book.) I am also writing my second children’s book this fall through independent studies with a local art school which will soon learn that my ability to even draw a pretty stick figure is about a four out of a ten.

(Ctrl S) I really can’t believe it crashed…moving on…

I recently completed the first rewrite of my first feature script Witness. I have several eyes on it now giving me critical feedback as to how to improve important details like plot development, pace, creating more convincing conflict and such. I am hoping to start sending it out to potential producers by January when all the chaos from the impending holidays will have passed.

In my spare time, I have been carving out a makeshift photography studio in my home with a very basic budget, with a lot of do-it-yourself stuff and such. I have found, especially in the past year when I took my photography to a professional level and started freelancing as a photojournalist that the more I took photos, the more visual of a writer I became.

There is a connection between framing a photo and seeing what fits in the picture and what doesn’t, what makes a story and what doesn’t, how the pieces fit together to tell a compelling story, or don’t. I went from being someone who always struggled with being a visual writer as I wrote to being able to “see” what the picture in front of me looked like and what I needed to make that image, that story work. Now, this may not work for everyone, but it helped me so I throw it out there as a suggestion of things to try if you feel the ink well is drying up and you just can’t see the story you want to tell. Imagine it as a series of pictures telling a story from beginning to end.

Not a fan of photography? Tell your story in stick people, I believe you’d get a higher score than I gave myself and, you’d have a story. And now, coffee.