nano

Writing Life

If you’ve been keeping track of the awesome writing adventure I’ve been on, you’ll know I’m working on the 7th book in the Cry Wolf series for National Novel Writing Month.

This week’s post dives a little deeper into that. I’m currently sitting at 27k words, which is pretty impressive for me.

One thing I’ve remembered this month is how just because I have an outline and the characters laid out doesn’t mean it’s always going to be easy. But that’s been part of my process, I guess. There’s a point in the book where I have no idea how in the world I’ve managed to write around 30 books. Were those books flukes? How did I do it? And then, something happens, and I break through that point, and the words flow again.

On the flipside, I’ve discovered that there’s something new and special about the person I am now versus who I was before. The hard days before might’ve knocked me down and made me consider just not writing for the day. With the holidays coming up, there’s a good chance I’ll be taking small breaks to spend time with family and friends. But not getting words on the page because I’ve had a bad day, or my outline isn’t as awesome as I’d first thought, isn’t a good enough reason now. I’d rather keep climbing my way to 50k words and beyond!

Jacob and Kelly also make it a pleasure to write. They keep me coming back to the keyboard each day, ready to see where their story is headed next. Their interactions with one another are seriously cute.

Interested in seeing a snippet from the latest book? I shared one with my book club on Facebook. Join us if you’d like to see excerpts from my latest novels too!

Until next week,

Sarah

Cry Wolf Series News

Hey there,

And I’m back with more news!

Last week, I wrote about how I was dipping my toes into the waters with getting back to my writing business. Not only did I survive the week, but it’s been really fun getting back into things! 🙂

Something else I mentioned last week was that I’d be participating in National Novel Writing Month in November. After puzzling over what book to write and what it should be about, I’m thrilled to say that outline for Cry Wolf 7 is done! That’s pretty awesome. I’d initially thought aiming to have it complete by October 30th would be optimistic.

The story will be about Kelly and Jacob. So far, the plan is it will pick up directly after The Wolf Who Played With Fire. If you’ve read the first three books, you’ll probably know what I mean. I’m imagining this book as the bridge between the events of the first three books to the present with the Scottish Pack’s trilogy.

Speaking of the Scottish Pack, I haven’t forgotten about Cry Wolf 6. Before I took a break from writing, I’d been in the process of going over the edits from my editor. I’ve picked up on completing that while I’ve been planning the book six. More news on it soon!

Until Next Time,

Sarah

CampNaNoWriMo Totals

Whew! It’s the first day of May, and I’m thrilled. I enjoy the beginning of each new month since they always feel fresh with possibilities.

Last month I did CampNaNoWriMo, and I set an ambitious goal of 60,000 words. I’m pleased to say that I reached my goal! Woohoo!

I ended April with 60,002 words. 43,601 of those were toward a novel I wrote The End on last night, and 16,401 of those words were on On Thin Ice, the second book in my Super Powered series.

For more stats, since I love them, this is my progress on my goal of writing 1,000 words a day.

84926 / 365000 words. 23% done!

This month, I’m switching gears a little and lightening my writing efforts a little to focus on editing what I wrote last month. I’m also hoping to read more this month.

How about you guys? What are your goals for May?

NaNoWriMo Update

So, I’ve been doing NaNo this month, and so far, I’ve reached 4,733 words! Woohoo! Yeah, it’s not exactly on par with where I should be or where I’d like to be, but it’s more than I had at the beginning of the month. I’m very much enjoying working on this story. The hero is so awesome, and the heroine… man, I feel for her. She’s going through a lot of craziness. *grins*

I’ve also been working toward my next novella release, which should be coming out December-ish. It’s a superhero romance! I received my edits for it, so I’ll be busily working on them to get them back to my editor. I hope you all enjoy reading it since it was so much fun to write.

Tomorrow I have a Six Sentence Sunday post scheduled, so make sure to come on back to see more of Rubia and Kyle from Jungle Fire!

Techno Crazed — Now at Fictionwise!

I hope everyone had a fantastic Halloween! Yesterday, Techno Crazed, the first book in the Hacked Investigations series, was released at Fictionwise. How cool!

Here’s the blurb:

Private investigator Hannah Franklin’s life is turned upside down after being contacted by a former employee of MAX Home Security, the leader in security services. But they’re not just protecting people anymore. Hannah’s informant claims to have proof that MAX has ordered the assassination of politicians who stood against the corporation. 


When her informant is killed and an attempt is made on her life, Hannah has no choice but to contact a freelance hacker. Her only hope now lies in the hands of a man she never expected to welcome back into her life. 


Ian Bradley has lost his girlfriend and his job, as well as having acquired a very annoying gnome. Now his ex, Hannah, is in danger, and she needs his help. Ian vows to protect Hannah with every resource available to him — and as a technomage in a high-tech world, his resources are almost endless…

Buy at Fictionwise

In other news, today marks the beginning of National Novel Writing Month, and I’m pretty ecstatic about that. I have a paranormal romance project I’m working on during it. Woot! It’s something I’ve kept on the back-burner for a while, so I’m happy to finally get a chance to write it.

Nano is over… What next?

What next? Good question! I’ll share what I’m focusing on now.

1. First of all, I think we all know that with most novels these days (I think including most YAs) that 50,000 words isn’t long enough to submit and think about getting an agent or an editor. My genre for this book is post-apocalyptic paranormal romance, which has required quite a lot of world building in addition to getting the story off the ground and going. Which leads to, December calls for finishing that novel. 80,000 words up to 100,000 (maybe more depending on genre) is where a person should set their aim. I personally am going for 80,000 and then hopefully adding more during revisions.

2. Taking a break! I’m going on vacation for the holidays at the end of the month to see my in-laws in Europe (since that’s where they live). So I’ll be able to have a good two weeks or so off from writing related activities. Which is good since then a person can see their writing better without being so absorbed into the world and problems.

3. Reading, reading, reading. This is part of taking a break because a good book is definitely a nice way to unwind, don’t ya think? Besides, writers should read to help themselves with learning the craft and staying informed on what is currently being published. Plus, it’s fun!

4. Thinking about my goals for the New Year, which my critique partner, Kinley Baker, and I have already starting working on actually. Writing can be a hobby, but if you’re serious about getting published, it’s best to have goals

5. And lastly, I’ll jump into revisions at the beginning of the year for this novel. Since as great as someone thinks their novel is, they can always improve it. Boy, I can’t wait to begin. I’m not sure I’ve ever been so excited to start revising before.

And an update!

So, as you might’ve seen I had a “revise and resubmit for novella” on my blog. I’ve completed that, and as I said in the previous blog, it lifted a weight off my chest to have that sent off. Writing with Nano is going well, too. I’m planning on doing about 10k words this weekend to get me ahead of my goal. Then I won’t have to worry about pushing out large numbers when Thanksgiving rolls around and family comes into town.

I’ve also gotten up to 21 books read this year (leaving only 4 more until I reach my goal of 25), which is pretty amazing for me. I have so many books, but it seems like finding time to read (or so I thought) was really hard. It isn’t. I just had to make the time, exactly the same concept as writing or editing. If you want to do something, you have to make the time.

What I’ve learned this year with Nano

This year, I had a few setbacks with figuring out which story I was going to work on.  Some years, I’ve forgotten to figure out a story until the last minute, but this year, I’d planned on doing the historical urban/dark fantasy, then I decided that wouldn’t be possible without me doing further historical research for the time period I want to write as well as for my heroine. So sadly I put that idea aside and struggled to pick a new one.  I was torn between one I’d like to do, and one that I’d just had sitting around that would be cool if I mustered up some enthusiasm.  Needless to say, I went with the one that I needed to muster up enthusiasm. 

Except for the fact my critique partner, Kinley Baker, went to a chat room pitch session through our RWA chapter FF&P, so I decided to tag along for support.  Long story short, at the last minute I was able to pitch to the editor as well, and I had one story I thought could pitched and gain some attention with her.  A story that Kinley said should be lengthened.  I ended up throwing out that I needed more enthusiasm on since the editor wanted a full and said it needed lengthened.  Now I’m working on that story.

So, the things I’ve learned.

  1. If you have a good critique partner, trust him/her, at least sometimes.  They should be looking out for you.  I pondered about lengthening my current novel, but I figured if I did, it’d be something I’d work on “one of these days.”  I didn’t expect to get interest and have that reiterated by an editor.
  2. Just because a story starts slow, and you’re wondering if maybe you should give it up, don’t give up on it yet.  My current story started a little slow, and it’s involving a little more science than I’d like.  But I kept with it and am super thrilled with the story.
  3. Speaking of the science, just because you notice an element in your story that you feel uncomfortable with, don’t try to eradicate it.  Try to figure out how it can work to your advantage and make your world that much more unique.
  4. This one especially pertains to Nano.  If you feel like you’re getting stuck with a certain scene, write out some of it and leave yourself a note on what you think should happen there.  And move on.  Last night, I stumbled upon I scene in the Hero’s POV I knew needed to be there, but I couldn’t figure out for the life of me what else he should do.  So I wrote what I could, and I went back to the Heroine who was being especially interesting to write.
  5. And lastly, it is important to make sure what you’re writing isn’t illegible to you.  Don’t feel in such a rush that you can’t write clearly.  It doesn’t have to be perfect prose, this is a first draft after all, but I’ve gone through in previous years and rushed.  Sometimes, I was left with a good sentence that had an illegible word that I couldn’t for the life of me figure out, so I had to throw out what I’d written.
I hope any of these help! If you’re curious, I’m currently working on a post-apocalyptic paranormal romance, and my current word count is 9,035. =)

Praise of Nano and the End of Day 1

2010 marks the sixth year that I’m done National Novel Writing Month. Honestly, I think NaNoWriMo is a fantastic way to give people who have always wanted to write a book the permission to just do it. And that’s basically why it was created. Chris Baty and his friends LOVED books, and therefore adored writers, so he wanted to have a way to what he loved. Not all of the people participating in Nano are pursuing lifelong publishing careers, they just want to have some fun and tackle what they’ve always wanted to do. Write a book. A lot of the people who do this, write only once a year, during Nano. Why give them flack for doing something they enjoy?

But it also has Pros for people who do want to get published. It’s a good way of jump starting a project might only take two or three months to finish as opposed to a year or more of 200 (give or take) words a day. Like Chris Baty says in an guest blog he did yesterday, “Human beings are amazing procrastinators. Give someone two years to write a 50,000-word novel, and what you’re really giving them is two years to feel guilty about not writing their 50,000-word novel. Give that person 30 days to write the same book, and they’ll get it done, no sweat. Tight deadlines bring focus and build momentum, which ultimately makes them much easier to achieve than their open-ended cousins.” And I couldn’t agree more. Unpublished writers don’t have set deadlines to finish their books like our published and contracted peers.

But 50,000 words in a month produces pure crap? Not necessarily. If it was so horrible with quantity over quality, why do published authors like Jocelynn Drake and Kelley Armstrong amongst others participate in Nano? Besides, authors on deadlines put out amazing numbers daily, I’ve seen Laurell K. Hamilton talk about doing 20 pages in a day. Yesterday, Jocelynn Drake wrote a little over 5,000 words. Does that mean either of them are producing crap? No, they’re producing first drafts. But that’s Nano is about, isn’t it?

Writers doing Nano who want to pursue publication do need to research the industry and know that just because they type THE END and give the manuscript the once over, doesn’t mean its ready to send off to an agent. Manuscripts need to be revised thoroughly before being sent off. And if a writer knows they work a certain way better (pantser vs. plotter), they should prepare before diving in with both feet. That’s why people who typically do Nano reserve October for getting ready.

Still don’t think it’s possible to publish a Nano novel? Think again, here’s a link to a page at National Novel Writing Month’s website that lists the people who have had their Nano books published. (Including a #1 NYT Bestseller, Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen) http://www.nanowrimo.org/publishedwrimos

The most common advice writers give to aspiring authors is to “Write, write, write.” (As well as Read, read, read, but hopefully people who like to write, also like to read.) And writing is the thing Nano is about.

As this is my 6th year doing Nano, I can say that during my first year, oh yes, my writing was not that great, but through the years, it’s given me the chance to have at least one month a year to focus on honing my craft (through THREE years of college finals, parents, and getting married, no less.) And it taught me how to make a deadline, no matter what.

In closing, for the end of day 1, I wrote 3,150 words that I’m proud of and that didn’t exist before. Currently, I’m at 4,070 with hopes of reaching 6,000 before the end of day 2.

Preparing for Nano

(I’m cross posting this from Castles & Guns.)

This week, I’ve been getting ready for an intense experience know as none other than… National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo, for short). For those who might not know, it’s a month long writing event where you aim to write 50,000 words by the end of November. It begins November 1st, and you have a daily goal of at least 1,667 words. This year will be my sixth year/win. I know, I’m so humble. haha

Preparing is even more important to me this year than previously since I usually give myself November and then finish up my novel in December, but this year, I’m going to Europe for Christmas to spend time with hubby’s family. So I’ll only have a month and a half for my novel to get done before the end of the year (because I’m a sadist obviously), and I’ll have to write quicker than I ever have.

Anyways, the meat of how I’m preparing.

1. First things first, I’ve let my family and friends know that I will be participating in NaNo. By now, they know how important it is to me, so I’ll have their support throughout the month. They’ll be there to cheer me on, but also, it shows them that I have set a priority on my writing.

2. I’ve taken care of (and am finishing up) things that could tie up my time during November and other writing projects are being placed on the back burner while I work on this new novel. Anything that isn’t urgent or pressing has been dealt with. I’ve mostly gotten caught up on my favorite shows, too. That way my obsessions won’t take up my time. lol

3. Figuring out what I’m going to work on for NaNo. With the amount of words needed to be written in the span of only thirty days, I always figure out what my novel is going to be about and (some years) outline it accordingly. Now, I’m not the type of person to write fifty page intensive outlines, but I do like to have a road map of getting from Point A to Point B. That way, I have a sense of direction, but there’s a lot of options still open. It’s still an adventure.

4. Cleaning my desk. Yes, I know. It should be something I keep tidy on a normal day, but with NaNo here… I’ll need a place for my story notes, my character list, and my favorite caffeinated beverage, Coke.

5. Lastly, I’m kicking my internal editor to the curb. Recently, I’ve been doing a decent amount of editing, so the internal editor is strong. I’ve been doing more reading to try to cage it, and come November 1st, it’s not going to be let out. It’s important to keep a decent speed with writing during NaNo. If not, it can be easy to run into barriers that you can’t figure out how to get around. I’ve noticed that when I am going quickly enough, that my brain helps me figure these things out instead of crossing her arms and refusing to help.

Anyways! That’s what I’m doing this year. I hope it gave ideas of ways to make this year a winner if you’re participating in NaNoWriMo! Each week in November, I’ll blog my journey and share struggles and how things are going. Are you doing NaNo this year? What are you doing or have done in preparation?

The official National Novel Writing Month website.http://www.nanowrimo.org/

More Tips for NaNo.
http://www.writersdigest.com/article/november-is-national-novel-writing-month/