Tag Archives: National Novel Writing Month

That One Last Push: Victory and What Lies Beyond – Pep Talk Week 4

Just write button

We’re in the home stretch. Check out this pep talk by our own Eden Mabee, and recharge yourself to finish big!

Congratulations JuNoWriMo Winner!

I don’t know where you are in your JuNoWriMo progress.  I don’t need to know–really!  I already know you’ve won.

You see, you started a challenge that pushed you to write even when you weren’t as ready as you hoped you would be, even when you felt sick or the kids were now out of school on summer vacation, or the boss needed you to cover a few extra hours because your co-workers had left for a cruise…

You started JuNoWriMo, and you’re still here, still writing.  No matter how close you’ve gotten to that magical 50K, whether you aimed for that exactly or declared yourself a JuNoWriMo Rebel and set your own word count… you wrote.

Hopefully you’re still writing.  After all, you still have a few more days to get those words in, and a story doesn’t stop on a number.  Keep those fingers limber, your caffeinated beverages topped off, and the inspirational music playing.  If you’ve run out of story–start another. Continue reading

JuNoWriMo Featured Author: Linda Hamonou

Meet some of your fellow JuNo WriMos in our Featured Author series each Monday and Wednesday during June.

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Background

Linda Hamonou

I started to write as soon as I could hold a pen and pestered everyone around to have them read my stories. After high school I entered university and stopped writing as much as I used to, it seemed that I couldn’t find the inspiration anymore. It’s only when a friend told my about NaNoWriMo in 2009 at the end of my PhD that I decided to start writing again. I won NaNoWriMo that year in 20 days and started to accumulate the experience with that sort of contest until now. I wrote 6 finished novel drafts, two of them have been self-published and one vampire story still unfinished. I participated to script frenzy as well, I have a finished script but I’m not much of a script writer.

JuNoWriMo Plans

I haven’t decided yet on my JuNo novel. I’m still pondering between three possibilities: The first one is to start working again on “Vampire Heart” and to finish it. My recent blog post about it has been well received. The second possibility would be a sequel of my demon novels which would be called “Blue Angel” or “The rise of the angels”. This one doesn’t have a plan yet, only ideas flying around and waiting to be caught. The third one is called the “Bayard’s house”, I already have one or two parts for it but nothing consequent. I would use secondary wizard characters from the demon novels and from “Attic Mirror” as main characters. I seems to be lighter and more fun than the two others at least for the moment but it requires a lot of planning as well. All those are fantasy novels for young readers.

Backstory and Behind the Scenes

Map of Europe which should evolve with Viorel's progression

Map of Europe which should evolve with Viorel’s progression. Starting point: Sighişoara

I’m interested in Magick and supernatural characters who are not human or are humans with powers. I like to scientifically analyze the possibilities. I also like to travel and my characters tend to travel a lot. In “Vampire Heart”, Viorel is taking an odyssey from Transylvania to western Europe (he is in Praha so far) and he should arrive in Russia and China.

My demon novels started with a love story and is continuing with mysterious ancient gods being reborn in the Demon World and people trying to stop them by all dirty means possible. The “Bayard’s house” is inspired of course by Harry Potter I want to follow a long line of Wizards and see how they evolve in the magical world I created. As all my worlds are linked together through a special place, the magic involved is different for every kind of characters which makes it more complex and enjoyable to write and I hope to read.

If I work on Vampire Heart, I hope to at least finish one volume (currently at 53235 words), as I am hoping to make it a trilogy. If I work on any other not yet started novels, I hope to pass half way through the first draft.

Find Linda:

Twitter | Facebook | Blog | Goodreads

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Enjoying JuNoWriMo? Help us make it bigger and better for next year! Donate, and you’ll receive personal fanfare from our Facebook page.

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Pep Talk Week 3: The Editwock Will Steal Your JuNoWriMo Soul by Courtney Cantrell

Greetings, O Ye Warriors of the Mighty Pen!

Word documents. Word wars. Word mongering. Wordiness. WORD COUNTS!

If you’ve signed up for JuNoWriMo (and if you’re reading this, which you are, then that is exactly what you’ve done), then you’ve signed up to immerse yourself in words for the entire month of June. Some of you have done this before, either for last year’s JuNoWriMo or for its progenitor, NaNoWriMo. Some of you are doing this for the first time. But whether you’re an oldtimer or a newbie, you know that words are key to succeeding in this month of crazed noveling.

Well, duh. It’s kind of hard to write a novel without using words. I suppose you could try using music notes instead, but you’d probably end up with some kind of post-postmodern, Wagner-derivative opera suffering from an existential crisis, and I don’t think any of us want to hear that. And writing your novel using Morse code might be tedious. So, words it is.

But the thing about words is…they’re tricksy. They flit like pixies across your page or screen, all innocent-like with their serifs and curlicues…and then they just squat there. Brooding. Staring back at you from your work-in-progress and making you care about them. Making you want to change them. Daring you to change them.

If you change one, you’ll want to change others. You won’t be able to help it; editing when you’re not an editor is some kind of weird addiction. Once you start, you can’t stop. AND THE WORDS KNOW THIS, PEOPLE.

One minute, you’re writing merrily along, something about Our Heroine rescuing the doomed prophecy puppies and drinking the magic elixir in the nick of time. Next minute, you start editing, and before you know it, your Plot Point #3 has turned into Carrot Magnetic Demolition Force 7 and there’s really no turning back after that.

What I’m getting at here, y’all, is that while you’re JuNo-ing, you must avoid editing. The words will tempt you to edit. They will lift their lovely faces to the morning sun, open their lovely mouths, and give voice to lovely siren calls of editing bliss. Do not listen to them! “Beware the Editwock, my son! The affixes that bite, the compounds that catch!”

*ahem* Sorry. Slight Carrollian digression there. But you get the point. Editing and JuNo-ing don’t mix. If you let yourself edit, you’ll slow yourself down. 1667 words per day don’t write themselves, y’know. You gotta put in your butt-to-chair time, and if you take that time for editing instead of writing, you’re going to be hard-pressed to slog through the Week Two Blues or have the energy for the Finish Line Sprint.

Your best friend, dear writer, is the admonition emblazoned upon the JuNoWriMo homepage:

JUST WRITE.

Don’t worry about the “mistakes” (better known as “happy little accidents,” right?). Don’t worry about the typos, the synonyms, the passive voice, the dangling participles. After June is over, you can give in to the sweet seduction and edit all you like. But for now, resist. Don’t worry, and just write.

You have a novel to finish. And the great news is, you can finish it and you will finish it. You’re sacrificing sleep to get there. You’re sacrificing time with friends and family. You’re sacrificing the calm that comes from not over-caffeinating 24/7. And yes, you’re sacrificing the luxury of poring over your own every word and tweaking each word to perfection.

But all this sacrifice is worth it. In the end, you’ll have a first draft in your hands — and editing it will be glorious. So just write, hon. That’s your only job this month, and you can do it.

Now stop reading this and get back to it. : )

Courtney

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Courtney CantrellCourtney Cantrell is the author of epic fantasy series Legends of the Light-Walkers, paranormal fantasy series Demons of Saltmarch, and several fantasy and sci-fi short stories. She’s also a 7-time NaNoWriMo winner. Her writing career began when she was 8 with “a Tiger that growld”; continued with a bachelor’s degree in creative writing; and most recently grew to encompass vorpal unicorn morphing powers. Those are real. She has the blog post to prove it.

You can find Courtney at her blog, Twitter, and Facebook.

Enjoying JuNoWriMo? Help us make it bigger and better for next year! Donate, and you’ll receive personal fanfare from our Facebook page along with other goodies.

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JuNoWriMo Featured Author: Vicki Trask

Meet some of your fellow JuNo WriMos in our Featured Author series each Monday and Wednesday during June.

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Vicki Trask

Vicki Trask

Hi, I’m Vicki Trask *waves* this is my second time doing JuNoWriMo but my first time succeeding.

I was walking around campus one day last year, just people watching, when I stumbled across a dark corner behind a building that everyone walked passed and no one really noticed. Naturally my first thought was “you could murder someone back here quite easily.” It then turned into a game to find all the dark corners in the university campus. There were a lot. And it often required a bit of creativity. After that, I started seeing opportunities to write murder scenes – I emphasizewrite so no one thinks I’m a homicidal manic…yet. By the end of the summer I had a notebook and a wall of sticky notes full of plot notes and dialogue and murder scenarios that I’d “borrowed” from the business office I was working at at the time.

It was a story begging to be written.

So I gave in and planned out a vague storyline so that I could do it for NaNoWriMo in November. I wrote about 4,000 words before life got in the way and I gave up. Turns out November is just not my writing month. I’ve tried and failed at NaNoWriMo three years in a row and for last year’s JuNoWriMo I got further than ever but I still didn’t finish. This year, I have no excuse so if I start to fall off the wagon for one reason or another just slap me upside the head and we’ll get through it together.

Since November the plot has changed so many times that I can’t see straight but I still have that wall of sticky notes as inspiration. I find it a great organization tool actually. It’s disorganized but colourful and handy – plus you can’t misplace a wall so you never lose your notes.

With the help of the handy wall and a few days off, I began to try and make sense of these new ideas that kept popping into my head that were somewhat related to the original idea but in the same way not – it was all very confusing. All I knew was that it was about death and a woman in a pencil skirt.

Thus “Morbid Curiosity” was born; a New Adult Contemporary Fantasy about a woman forced to kill for all eternity who accidentally kills the wrong person and is forced back into the real world. I’ve always had a fascination with death – a safe obsession I assure you. I’ve been writing short stories about death for several years now (mostly on my blog: http://madamewriterofwrongs.blogspot.com) and I thought it was time to finish a full novel.

Right now, I’m in the middle of planning, trying to plot out as much of the story as possible before June. For me the biggest challenge is going to be the emotion. When it comes to fantasy I love the rules and the origin stories but no good story is just made of background – duh – so the challenge is going to be indulging in the background while still fleshing out an interesting story. Seems like it would be simple and obvious but really, it’s not. Every writer has their strengths and weaknesses.

I’m going to be tweeting about it a lot so follow me (http://www.twitter.com/vatrask) and I post writing articles (not my own) every weekday on my Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/179919772129906/

Happy Writing WriMos, Wishing you all the best of luck!

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JuNoWriMo Featured Author: Sharon Bayliss

Meet some of your fellow JuNo WriMos in our Featured Author series each Monday and Wednesday during June.

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I’ve been a writer for 15 years, but I’ve never “Wri-mo”ed, either Na or Ju. (Yes, I just wanted to write that crazy sentence. But I know you guys know what I mean!) However, I tend to binge write anyway, so I think JuNoWriMo is a great fit for me. Also, it’s coming at the perfect time, I need some aggressive inspiration to get writing!

I am proud to have recently released my debut novel, The Charge, an NA alternate history about a Texas that never joined the United States. I have always intended to write it as a trilogy, and I need to get moving on book two. It’s so easy to get distracted with marketing tasks, but I need to WRITE.

So during JuNo, I’ll be writing The Charge sequel (untitled). I have a name in mind, but I’m not ready to announce it yet. 🙂 In the sequel, Warren finds himself unwittingly an important part of the Texas monarchy, and is tasked with re-building a nation at nineteen years old with no training and not much help. It seems like everyone wants to take him down, including a revolutionary group known as the Knights of Chinati, the dangerous young Lord of California, and even perhaps his own brother.

I have an idea of what I’d like to happen in the book, but do not have a single word on paper yet. I’ll be officially starting on June 1st. My goal is to at least get to the 50,000 word mark by the end of June, and hopefully finish the first draft completely by mid-July.

I need all the encouragement I can get, so I invite you to connect with me here!

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