Tag Archives: author

#JuNoWriMo Featured Author: Rea Harris

Meet some of your fellow June WriMo’s in our Featured Author series each Saturday and Thursday through June.

Hello! My name is Tabitha, but I go by my middle name, Rea (pronounced “REE”). I’m married to my HS sweetheart, and between the two of us, we share 5 kids. We have a Dachshund and two cats that keep us on our toes quite a bit!

I started wordslinging pretty young.  My love for pen and paper began when I was 5 years old. In 2011, I came down with a nasty bout of creative laryngitis — about 8 months ago, my voice came back full force. So now I want to write ALL THE THINGS! So, for JuNoWriMo, I’m going to be writing an anthology of short stories.  I’m a bit of a pantser, but I did a small bit of planning by going online and finding prompts to use for my book. ^_^ I cannot wait.  I’m sure I’m driving my non-writing friends completely mad with my constant talk about this upcoming project!

Genre isn’t really something I’ve narrowed down. The book will be called “Chaotic Things,” because  I’m always thinking about the most random topics. It’s fun, but it can be a bit frustrating.  I’m not sure which one I’m going to start with, but that’s part of the fun of writing, is exploring all possible outcomes!

Writing has always been an outlet for me, a place  to process things that happen or a dream I had that left me laying there wondering, “What on earth was that?” but even more, I love to make things up and sharing with the world. I’m an avid reader, so it only seems right that if I’ve got something to say, to share it with others, too. Sort of giving back, you know?

On 1st June, I will be starting “Chaotic Things,” and making a sincere attempt at the goal of 50K words.  I do like adventure, and I do enjoy the freedom of flexibility, so even if it only comes out to 40k or over 60k, I’m all for it.  Ultimately, my goal is ten stories of 5k words each, with the end goal of getting it published on Amazon’s KDP site.

I plan to participate in the JuNoWriMo for many years to come! I’m normally incredibly shy about my brain children, but I think this can be fun and it’s time for me to just do it.

Connect with Rea on social media:

Facebook | Twitter | Her New Blog

Pep Talk Week 1: The Dancer and the Nag

Mat Morris comes to us as a veteran of the 30-day novel challenge–and not only a veteran, but a wizard, having completed 50,000 words in 24 hours. Enjoy his Pep Talk; we know it’ll fire you up for the challenge ahead!

 

Greetings, fellow Dream Warriors. Welcome to the beginning of the end.

Most of you don’t know me, and that’s fine. This isn’t about me. It’s about you.

You see, you’re about to embark on a journey that will change your life. You’re about to do something that most only fantasize about. You’re going to take that little voice whispering in your ear, and you’re going to set it free. And I’m going to share with you a dirty little secret that will let you do it.

Everyone has a story to tell.

Now, you might be wondering why I called you a Dream Warrior. And we’ll come back to that. Promise.

More importantly, you might be wondering why someone you’ve never heard of was asked to impress upon you some words of inspiration. Honestly, as I sit here on the night of my deadline, writing what amounts to my third attempt at arranging my thoughts into something coherent, I’m wondering the very same thing.

So, a short bit about me—the current voice in your head.

You see, I was asked to write this because of my past successes in completing these little word challenges. Technically, I’ve completed the challenge of writing 50,000 words in a single month on more occasions than I’ve actually counted. But what seems to impress (read: stupefy) people the most is that, on four occasions, I’ve completed it within a 24 hour period.

Yes. You read that correctly. Continue reading

Pep Talk Week 3: Bribe and Bludgeon Yourself into Winning

This week’s pep talk is by JuNoWriMo co-founder Becca Campbell.

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Chocolate fondueHowdy, hard-working overachievers and unmotivated procrastinators! Whichever of the two you are, you are awesome—did you know that? You’re writing a book, and that’s no small thing! Whether you’re ahead or behind on word count, the point is, you are out there getting it done—something that many will never even attempt, let alone try to do in thirty days. Give yourself a pat on the back: you deserve it.

Plan a Sweet Reward

Right now I want you to stop worrying about schedules and whether or not you’ll be able to hit 50K by the end of the month. Put that out of your mind and instead dwell on something more pleasant for a moment: how will you reward yourself when you do win?

Not if, but when. Continue reading

Writing a Premise

At some point, someone is going to ask you, “What’s your novel about?” If not in those exact words, you’re sure to field the question in some form. Do you have an answer? Sure, your novel is complex, full of characters, intricacies, histories, motivations, breakups, and makeups, but what would you write on the back cover of your published novel? What could you say in under 60 seconds to sell your story?

You need a premise. It’s key to staying on task, reminding yourself what you’re doing all month long, and letting others know what’s got you so focused/frazzled/frenzied.

What is a premise?

A premise is a one or two sentence (25-35 word) introduction to your character, his/her conflict, and the hook. It’s the foundation of your story. It works double time. You can use it to keep you on track, or as an elevator pitch to sell your completed novel.

Two ways to write your premise:

1. A present-tense statement. <— Best for planners

2. A “what-if”question. <— Best for pantsers

Whether you use the first or the second is completely up to you. The first option gives a much clearer guideline to follow while the second raises a question, but offers no answers. How open-ended would you like it to be? How much wiggle room would you like to have as you work on your novel? That will determine the best premise style for you.

What are the benefits of writing a premise?

1. A clear idea of what your novel is about. It forces you to break your idea down to its basic components, and ensures that you have the ever-important element that sets your novel apart from any other – the hook.
2. A guideline to refer to at any time during your novel writing process. As you write, many scenes will come to mind, and you will probably fall in love with most of them. Are they all relevant? Probably not. How will you know which ones are worth using? Your premise will make it painfully (or delightfully) obvious which scenes are necessary and which scenes can hit the road.
3. Takes less time and knowledge of the details than writing a summary. To write a summary, you need to know exactly what happens in your story. For a premise, you only need the bones. No meat necessary.
4. Less strict than a summary, leaving lots of room to move around. If you write your novel based on a summary, you will probably feel locked into some ideas and scenes that are present in the summary. There are specific occurrences that you’ll allude to in a summary. In a premise, again, it’s just the bones. You can dress it up however you want.
5. Having an elevator pitch ready. There’s no faster way to say what your novel is about. This is what agents, publishers, and readers are interested in. What is the purpose of your story?

Here are examples of premises using The Hunger Games:

1. Katniss takes her younger sister’s place as tribute in a fight-to-the-death reality television show. She not only fights her competitors, but herself, to win sponsor support, and stay alive.

2. What if 24 children are forced to leave their families to participate in a fight-to-the-death reality television show, only one coming out alive, to entertain the people of their world?

With a few planning days left before the 30 days of writing begin, it’s a great time to write your premise. Remember, you only need to know three things to do it. They are:
1. Your main character
2. Your character’s conflict.
3. The hook – What makes it different.

If you’re not quite ready to write your own premise, I highly recommend writing premises for your favourite books and movies. This will give you great practice in breaking hundred of pages or 2 hours down to their bare bones. For each premise your write, include the character, conflict, and hook, and stay between 25 and 35 words. Once you’ve done this for four or five books/movies, you should be ready to do it for your JuNoWriMo novel.

~

You might also be interested in:

Be a JuNoWriMo 2014 Featured Author

Be a JuNoWriMo 2014 Featured Author

Pre-JuNoWriMo Checklist

Pre-JuNoWriMo Checklist

Prewriting for JuNoWriMo

Prewriting for JuNoWriMo