Dead-to-Writes: National Novel Writing Month Goes EXTREME

Have you ever done it? Ever tried it? Started it? Quit or Won it? The “it” I’m talking about is National Novel Writing Month aka NaNoWriMo with its challenge of writing a 50,000 word book in the month of November. Well, it ain’t easy, but somehow this year I ended up joining something called the Entangled Smackdown, via Savvy Authors, and yes, Entangled is Entangled Publishing LLC. I had no idea what I was stepping into, but whoa, it’s been extra-exciting, and fun, but still hard, exhausting and messy, and its only day EIGHT! Adding to the joy, this year I’m on a TEAM called Dead to Writes (cool name, huh?), and yes, we are writing romantic suspense. In fact we’re writing category romantic suspense using Entangled Publishing’s Dead Sexy guidelines for inspiration, motivation and who knows what else:). So I was thinking, what are my teammates willing to say about the Smackdown eight days into it? So, I asked them:

Tell us a little about your story, and what has been the biggest surprise (so far) about participating in this year’s NaNoWriMo Entangled Smackdown?

Team Member Rachel said,

The biggest surprise? Definitely how hard it’s been to get going. Normally by this time, I’m not only on track, but ahead of the game. This is also the first year, though, that I’ve had such a detailed synopsis and “beat sheet.” I think that is what is holding me back. Worry about making sure I don’t deviate from the synopsis, worry about making the specific word length for the imprint I’m a part of, and worry that I’m writing romance wrong (this is my first time attempting category romance – I’m typically a mainstream suspense/steampunk/paranormal/spec fiction gal) is all kind of cropping up and drowning out the NaNoWriMo free-spirited flow. Bleagh. But it’s only Day 8 – there is time to get back in the swing of things. I think I just need to close my eyes and wade through. 😀

My story is about a district attorney prosecuting his name-making case who falls in love with a beautiful woman – who turns out to be the defense’s star witness.

Rachel started her writing career as an Army journalist. Her latest publication is a steampunk short horror story in Dark Moon Digest #9. Entangled Smackdown is her first attempt at writing in the romance genre. Twitter: @siegerat.

Team Member Sue said,

My story is a para-ops one. My hero is all about the mission, and his mission is to find his partner’s killer. Thing is, a certain sexy psychic keeps getting in his way, and under his skin. Now she’s in danger and he has to choose between keeping her safe, and seeking revenge. I live in Australia and write urban fantasy and romantic suspense. This is my second novel, and I’m working towards the day when I get ‘the call’. NaNoWriMo and Entangled Smackdown are helping me write my quickest book, ever! Twitter: @SueBT

Team Member Selena said,

The biggest surprise to me about the Entangled Smackdown has been that having other people to report to really does motivate me. This is a totally voluntary program and I’m not usually a “follower,” but for some reason this works for me. I feel compelled to keep up my end of the bargain so to speak and I’ve hit my wordcount plus every day so far. My romantic suspense is about a young woman who escapes her mafia husband and takes her daughter to live in Hawaii under an assumed identity. She meets a man who is not what he seems and falls in love, but their lives are threatened when her husband finally catches up with her. Luckily, since it’s a romance you know there’s a Happily Ever After. I go by S.R. Paulsen, and I write romantic suspense and comedy. I am also an Associate Editor for an independent publisher and currently finishing a novella, “Owen and Eva” as well as my NaNoWriMo novel “She Ran.” Twitter: @SRpaulsen

Team Member Sahara said,

My biggest surprise so far has been the number of people that have repeatedly failed NaNoWriMo-myself included. Participating in the Entangled Smackdown has put me into a team setting. But this year, we  have team participation and support. The Nano novel I’m working on Desire & Deception: Up and coming drug lord is days away from meeting with cartel leaders when he claims a kidnapped bystander that may not be as innocent as she seems. Twitter: @exoticwriter

Team Member Me (Denny) said,

I enjoy learning new things, and category is brand new to me. We’ve had the opportunity to get feedback from the Entangled Dead Sexy editors on our synopsis, a thing called a beat sheet:), and a log line, but the teamwork is definitely helping me stick with the daily writing (which I’m doing while editing my VLC manuscript). So November maybe National Writing Month, but December will be Revision Hell! My story is about 
a former FBI agent and computer hacker who must choose between the new man in her life seeking redemption and an old family friend’s claim of innocence. When her choice becomes a life or death decision can she trust her gut? It’s failed her before but now with love in the equation the stakes have never been higher. (or something like that:)…Twitter: @dennysbryce

Anyway, if you want to check us out and the other Entangled Smackdown teams and lines participating – just remember these hashmarks: #entangledsmackdown #teamdead2writes #nanowrimo!

Are you nanowrimo-ing! If so, how’s it going? If not, what do you think of the madness? Either way Happy NaNoWriMo!

Also a quick shout-out to Team Dead to Writes Member Cathy – she couldn’t join us in this little bit here today, but I wanted to wave:)!


16 thoughts on “Dead-to-Writes: National Novel Writing Month Goes EXTREME

  1. Denny, isn’t Savvy Authors an awesome resource for writers? I love the events they hold and it’s always about team work. I’m in the Entangled Smack Down too, on Team Bliss. I love your Dead Sexy team name. I know you better get some mad crazy “Promoting Team Work” points for this one 😉

    1. On the ‘promoting team work’ I probably should have held off on this idea until they were giving some extra points lol – but timing is everything. But I’m with you between Savvy Authors and the Entangled Smackdown idea, I’m just happy to be able to get so much done (or at least with a very good game plan). thanks for stopping by and posting:)

    1. I love the name…one of my other team mates came up with it – and we’re already talking about a group blog…first we’ve got to get through this month, though. Thanks for stopping by and commenting Jane!

  2. All of your works in progress sound fabulous! Good luck to all of the NaNo and Smack Down participants. 😉

  3. Denny, great post and good luck to all the Dead to Writes gals! All of your stories sound intriguing. I’m NaNo-ing for the first time this year, and I’m loving it. There’s something about “reporting in” every day that is very motivating!

    1. I’ve been following you in the ‘buddy’ nano list, and you’re kicking butt! It is fun, but it’s making my days fly. If I don’t keep to my schedule I just won’t get it all done…:). Thanks for visiting!

    1. Thank you so much for dropping by and commenting. I’ve tried NANOWRIMO several years in a row, and actually finished last year, and I’m still working on revisions though…but you’re right it is a great way to get a new book started.

  4. Hey, we do need to plan on getting together soon … but your life has been so hectic. I’ll shoot you an email. In the meantime, thanks so much for commenting, and yes, we need luck – lots of it.

  5. You are all awesomesauce!!!!! Your stories sound amazing and I’m so in awe of all the work you are doing! Go! Go! Go! You can do it! 😉

  6. I love your name! Not Denny–although I love that one, too–but Dead to Writes! That’s amazing. What a great name.
    Anyway, I’m NaNo-ing this year, but I have to admit that I’m not doing too well. If it wasn’t for Mermaid Pintip texting me to find out how I’m doing and basically guilting me into it, I probably wouldn’t be writing at all. And that’s the awesome thing about NaNo. Reporting in to someone…having them challenge you to a half hour sprint here and there…having them to just commiserate when you’re having a bad day and the words aren’t flowing…that’s NaNo! And that’s also learning to lean on your writing friends. I love it!
    Good luck to you Dead to Writes ladies! You can do it!
    We can all do it.
    Off to see if I can pull another thousand words out of nothing…

    1. Isn’t the name cool!! The team is focused on getting through the month, but we’ve had some loose talk about keeping it going with a group blog, but we’ll see.

      I agree with you though (and you and Pintip sound like a great team – I see both your numbers in Nano:), having a team keeps me from slowing down to a halt:)…

      And yes, I believe, we can all do it! Thank you Mermaid Kim.

  7. Denny:
    Thanks SO much for the fun write-up! It’s been great to work with you on Team Dead to Writes. Let’s keep it crankin’ for the rest of November!

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