Tag Archives: NaNo

The Mermaids Dive into NaNo!

Hello dear friends in the lagoon! The mermaids have decided to dive head-first into  National Novel Writing Month this November, and we want you to join us! We may smash the word count, or we may come up a little short . . . but the point is, we are doing this together. Our novels will be the better for it. And we want to support each other — and you — every step of the way!

Thus, we are going to be publishing our word count totals on the blog every Friday, and we’d love for you to share your progress with us, too!

After only two Nano days, our word counts are as follows:

Denny: 4563 words

Kim: 1700 words

Carlene: 1913 words

Alethea: 750 words

Pintip: 3707 words

Mermaid total: 12,633 words

Wow! And that’s just for two days of writing! That is the power of NaNo!

Please share. Are you participating in NaNo this year? How is your progress?

Who Wants to Hump with Me?

Who immediately took that innocent question straight into the gutter? For shame, for shame!

I meant with NaNo. For those of you not familiar with this, it’s a time when we writers decide to torture ourselves for one entire month. We try, and sometimes succeed, in writing a 50,000-word book in one month.

Usually when I first start my book, I’m a little bit excited but mostly fearful that every word I write will be utter and complete crap. Then, a week into writing the novel, I start to enjoy it. My characters pick up speed. It starts to feel real. Although I may not see the light at the end of the tunnel, I can certainly see that I’m staying on the tracks. And then…

And then comes that damn hump. It’s a big one, too.

I’m looking at it right now. Although it’s not Wednesday anymore, today will be my own “Over the Hump” day. It’s when my story should very well hit 25,000 words. But I’m a little concerned that I won’t make it up that hump. My main character has been put through the wringer lately. And now I can’t figure out how to make her life better, so she’s just sitting there waiting for me to save her. To make things right.

I know it’s my responsibility. I made her poor life miserable, and only I have the power to change her fate. Poor Brynn. She’s hanging all her hopes on someone who doesn’t have the gumption to make it over the hump.

However, the nice thing about NaNo is the encouragement we get from other writers going through the same thing. For instance, when I don’t feel like writing another blasted word, the chime on my phone lets me know that Pintip has texted with a half-hour sprint challenge. Okay. I can do a half hour. That’s nothing.

And then a half hour sometimes turns into an hour. Or two.

So, if you’re like me, and you’re struggling to reach that halfway mark in your novel, reach out to a friend. Reach out and challenge them to finish with you. To be a part of something that’s bigger than either of you.

I challenge you all—whether you’re participating in NaNo this year or not—to encourage your friends to reach their goals. It doesn’t have to be about writing. It can be about dieting. Or organizing the house. Or physical exercise. Anything that makes you struggle.

As Mary Anne Radmacher once said, “As we light a path for others, we naturally light our own way.”

Go! Light your path.

I’m getting ready to hump.

Organizational Freak Out

I’m a virgo and the daughter of a control freak, so it should come as no surprise that I’m a bit of an organizational freak with control challenges – OK, OK, I’m a full-on control freak, too. This year I decided to up the crazypants ante by enrolling in NaNo. To really throw myself under the bus, I figured I’d share what I’ve done to prepare.

Think up story idea.

No problem. I’m working on High and Dry Creek, book three of my Dry Creek series. This is tightly-wound Sam Layton’s story. And let me tell you, he’s really met his match in Josie Winarsky, a tall, platinum blonde, tattooed painter who is hell bent on finding a long-buried treasure. With Sam at her side and a Las Vegas loan shark’s muscle hot on her trail, the treasure she finds turns out to be much more valuable than emeralds and rubies.

Research, research, research.

High and Dry Creek will feature a treasure hunt (whhhhhheeeeeee!) for valuables buried during the Oregon Trial time period by a Layton family ancestor. So I did quite a bit of Internet research about that time period and got to talk with several park rangers. A huge shout out to Scottsbluff National Monument Park Ranger A.J. Legault and Seasonal Ranger Jerry Lucas as well as Chimney Rock Visitor Center Director Loren Pospisil for taking the time to chat with me.

Plot. Then plot some more.

I love all you pantsers out there but I think you guys are all nuts. Yes, I am a die-hard plotter. I’ve tried the half pantser/half plotter lifestyle. It did not go well. I outline every scene with the following points (thank you John Foxjohn and Donald Maass):

  1. Location
  2. POV
  3. Goal
  4. Conflict
  5. Disaster
  6. Reaction
  7. Dilemma
  8. Decision
  9. Hook

Find inspiration.

I found photos on iStock and the internet for inspiration for my characters, location and moods. For High and Dry Creek, I got to make a treasure map. That was fun and only made possible by the use of photo editing software because even stick people are beyond my artistic talents.

Commence freak out.

I finished my prep work about three days prior to the beginning of NaNo and since I couldn’t write yet that gave me plenty of time to freak out. What if the words don’t come? What if I spend a month staring at my laptop and crying so hard snot rolls down my face? What if I do manage to write but it’s all crap? AHHHHHHHHHH???!!!!???

As I type this, it’s Oct. 31. Tomorrow I have to put on my big girl panties and get to work. Come find me at NaNo’s website. I’m listed as AveryFlynn and I may need to be talked down off the ledge.