#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 2: 4 Tips to Succeed this June

Robert Chazz Chute offers his tips on how to succeed this June!

So, you’ve decided to commit to writing 50,000 words or more this month. Blood oaths have been sworn. You promised yourself, as God is your witness, you shall be a novelist! Heroes will sing your praises in Valhalla this night. As it was foretold in the prophecy, you shall write and you will finish to great acclaim. Beer, Cherry Cokes and champagne for everybody!

Good. Now that we’ve got the drama, grand pronouncements and the first flush of enthusiasm out of the way, let’s settle some priorities and expectations so you, too, can win JuNoWriMo and the love of your cold, aloof parents.

  1. You have made your writing a high priority this month. You matter and what you want is of value. We’re talking hopes and dreams here! No shame in such selfishness.

That affirmed, know that you will have to tell someone no this month. You’ll probably have to defend your writing time against the onslaught of several someones repeatedly. Fine. Do so. Your family, friends and enemies will still be around to suck the life out of you when you’re done your word count for the day. Put your writing session on your calendar just like you would an appointment for a colonoscopy. You probably wouldn’t look forward to a such a procedure, but you definitely would not miss such an important appointment.

Yes, your writing is just as important as meeting a doctor with a startlingly long air hose, a camera and a penchant for proctology.

  1. You are here for the writing and this will be fun. Not always, of course. If scratching out words were an easy  and endless gigglefest, everyone would be a novelist. There is a trick that will help you through the rough spots: just as with a bad movie, you can always fix your manuscript in post.

Write confidently. Write swiftly. Don’t look back. Push through to the end. Editing and worry is for later. The key to a great book is to start with a crappy one. There will be plot holes. You can fill those in another time. Too often, writers compare the wretchedness of their first draft to some genius’s finished work. Trust me, that so-called genius looks like half an idiot in his or her first draft, just like you and me. Relax into the inevitability of disappointment with your first attempt.

This isn’t baseball. In writing, you can take as many swings as you like until you hit a home run. Writing is a sport for cheaters. We keep our lousy attempts in locked drawers and the fans only see our triumphs in highlight reels.

  1. I guarantee you will have a ton of fun with this challenge if you resolve to stop being so precious about writing. We fetishize the act like some dudes dig the smell of leather when they’re naked. We talk instead of write. We develop elaborate rituals, light candles and demand everything be perfect before we can begin. We think too much about how hard writing can be. But wait! Remember physical labor? Remember that sunburnt summer you got a job as a roofer pouring hot tar and day after airless day was a heatwave full shimmering punishment? Or what about that summer retail job that was so bad you studied harder in September so you would never have to work that counter at the mall again?

The quiet solitude of writing combined with the social support of JuNoWriMo is heaven compared to those mundane horrors. Writing is play. Look around. Writing is everywhere. You can already write so don’t make too big deal of it. If you want to be a novelist, be a novelist and be grateful. Storytelling looks just like typing at first. After we learn more craft, we call it writing. Eventually, we call ourselves writers and it doesn’t even sound weird when spoken aloud. Your parents will remain fretful and unsupportive, sure. But hey, you knew Mom and Dad weren’t going to change.

  1. I know you probably think writing should be hard. I had a lot of false starts thinking that way. When I got into traditional publishing, I had a romantic view of the profession. Then I drove authors to signings where no customers showed up and the author blamed me. I attended literary parties hoping for witty repartee with great minds. Sadly, the number of geniuses in the publishing industry is no more nor less than what you’ll find among any random clutch of accountants, plumbers or dentists. Elite publishing parties are more about bon bons than bon mots. You’ll find ego, avarice and envy at those cocktail soirees, but surprisingly little material for your next book.

Freedom came when I let go of all those trappings and got to the core of what you and I do. We write. Creative writing is a meditative, hopeful act of faith. When the words are coming fast, a neural engine chugs along that changes the way you think and feel. You won’t know where the ideas are coming from but it feels magical. Writing is the only magic I believe in.

This is a great thing you are attempting. If you hold on to that, you’ll persevere. Congratulations on getting started. I hope you discover a great story along the way and end up with something you’ll love. Remember, you don’t have to love it all the time. Sometimes the only virtue in the exercise is that you made your daily word count so you don’t have to write more today. Fix it in post. Tomorrow, find the fun again. Repeat until complete. Write so much and so freely that you stumble upon the magic.

Throwing down words to build stories is addictive. Let’s get high on this wonderful drug. Once you crush this goal, you’ll probably find that 50,000 words was a great start. Most serious writers I know write at least 50,000 words every month. That’s how you know you must be victorious in JuNoWriMo. If mere mortals can complete this task or something like it twelve times a year, surely you can do it once. As your confidence grows, what once seemed difficult will become easier. This might even turn out to be your new day job.

But you don’t have time to read this. Write now right now.

Robert Chazz ChuteA former journalist full of self-loathing, Robert Chazz Chute is now an award winning suspense novelist (still full of self-loathing.) He writes assorted apocalyptic epics, SFF and crime thrillers that would make your momma pee the bed. Learn more at AllThatChazz.com and love him, dammit! Since you’re climbing JuNoWriMo, you might especially like Crack the Indie Author Code.

How to Have a Successful JuNoWriMo, No Matter What!

Honorée Corder, author of twenty books (and counting!) kicks off our series of JuNoWriMo 2016 pep talks with a plan to make this month a successful one.

HonoreeCorderHeadshotCongratulations on your decision to embark on JuNoWriMo! Right now I am sure you are filled with the excitement that can only come with a shiny new project. Executed well, in 30 days you will be the proud owner of a completed manuscript. And right now, you might be feeling invincible… as though not a thing or person could possibly stand in your way or take you off course.

I do hope that is the case, but I know better than almost anyone that just about the moment I 100% commit to something, at almost exactly that same moment the universe conspires to test me. (How rude!)

I want to help you get from June 1 to June 30 with finesse, style, and ease. Let’s go ahead and set you up for super success so that no matter what happens you will crush it!

Number one: the goal. If you’re like me the goal isn’t just 50,000 words, you have a story or outline already percolating in the back of your mind that comes with a title or even an ending. But on the off-chance you don’t have a specific goal, go ahead and set one. Something like: Complete 50,000 words toward my manuscript by June 30th, or, Finish Game On! The Ultimate Guide to Getting All You Want from Your Life and Your Work (my current WIP).

Write your goal on a 3×5 card and look at it twice a day: right when you wake up, and right before you go to sleep.

Pep Talk Week 3: Breeze Through the Middle of Your Novel

Ruth Long addresses how to work through the middle of your book and how to tackle the rest of this challenge. 

My first attempts at novel length stories were exhilarating and demoralizing.

Exhilarating because I could so clearly envision the beginning and end of the story.

Demoralizing because I could never quite manage to bridge the gap between the two.

Why is it that middles so often become baffling, exhausting, and tedious to get through?

I’ve been actively seeking the answer to that question and here’s what I’ve come up with so far.

There are no hard and fast rules for writing a novel.

There are, however, a handful of techniques that make the process easier.

The first technique we’re going to reference is the Three Act Plot.

The general breakdown of the Three Act Plot looks like this:

Setup = 25% of story

Middle = 50% of story

Resolution = 25% of story

Whoa! No wonder the middle seems like a monkey on our backs. It’s half the story.

We need to cut that sucker down to size but where do we start?

By employing a middle-of-the-novel-tedium-busting technique I like to call “Lemony Snickett’s ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events.’”

This is the technique we’re going to focus on. Continue reading “Pep Talk Week 3: Breeze Through the Middle of Your Novel”

#JuNoWriMo Featured Author: Alathia Paris Morgan

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

~

alathiaI am an author who writes mysteries. I started really writing last April for the CampNaNo and was able to get my first book started with 25k words. Then, in July, I was ready to start camp again and picked up the manuscript where I had left it in April. I continued into August to finish my first book, Ding Dong is She Dead? It was self­-published in September. I have finished my second novel, Death By Poison, and it came out on June 1, 2015. It has been amazing year, and I find myself writing more when I have a group that cheers me on and writes with me.

I’m an Avon Lady which is what my first two novels are based on. I am also a mom to three daughters, a wife, and advocate for Domestic Violence Awareness. I am an avid reader and own over 6000 paper/hardbacks, and several hundred kindle books. My Goodreads goal is 200 books for the year, but now that I am writing, I don’t read as much.

For JuNoWriMo this year, I’ll be working on a story I started back in high school and left it in the notebook until now. I have 100 handwritten pages that I plan to rewrite and update (cassette tapes are so dated) and publish this novel as the first in a new series called The Agent Series.

I love a good mystery with a twist that no one expects.

Book # 1 in The Agent Series

Mac is kidnapped and taken to Scotland to marry the person who bought her on the black  market. Nathan works for Interpol and is home on vacation for his brother’s wedding. Sensing something is not right with the bride, he uses his contacts within Interpol discover Mac is being held against her will. The castle she is held in holds ways to aid in their escape, but can she trust Nathan even though his brother kidnapped her?

Find Alathia Morgan online:

Twitter | Facebook | Blog | Goodreads | Amazon


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

#JuNoWriMo Featured Author: Ann Shannon

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

~

Ann ShannonI am the Manic Writer. I’m a voracious reader and author. I read an average of 2­3 books a week and write roughly 3000 words a day. I’ve written 4 novels which are all in various stages of revision and editing, not bad since I started writing fiction in February. I also blog about PTSD, working to educate others and help to end the stigma that comes with it by teaching people what it is, how they can heal from it, and live again. And I have a not so secret love for Anime, which I watch obsessively whenever I can.

My writing journey began when I was in college, and I fell in love with romantic fiction the moment I started writing it. My destiny as a romance writer became clear to me with my first fanfiction, but I quickly figured out that I should be writing my own original work.

I discovered CampWriMo by accident through a friend of mine. She “sort of” bullied me into joining her cabin this past April, and now I’m addicted!

My JuNoWriMo project, however, is a departure from my usual work. I am planning an anthology of short stories that will give my readers a glimpse into my writing style. My goals for it will be 50K words, of course, and to finish the anthology. I’ve already been hard at work outlining it and developing characters. To do this, I will have to write a little more than one story a week, but I think I’m up to the challenge, and I know I will get lots of support from my fellow JunoWriMos when I need to catch my breath.

My inspiration for this project came from a few different directions. I had the idea for a short story called, The Table of Misfit Donors. Chelsea Price is a successful graphic artist who owns her own business, so why is she stuck overseeing a table of misfits at the annual fundraiser for the Winston Pemberton Burn Center? Between Louise the gossip, who is doing everything she can to distract the rest of the table from the fundraiser; Samuel the retired Marine, who wears glasses that might double as telescope lenses and is so deaf you have to tell him everything twice; and the distracting young pilot, Randy, sitting next to her, Chelsea has her hands full trying to keep her table on track and focused on the fundraiser.

This is just one of the short stories I will be crafting next month for my anthology, which will cover a wide range of human emotions including humor, love, and despair. I’ve been hard at work crafting plots and creating characters for my readers that they will love, hate, applaud, and wish they could drown.

Find Ann Shannon online:

Twitter | Facebook | Blog


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

 

Pep Talk Week 2: Seven Things to Do When Your WIP is a Hot Mess

This week, Katharine Grubb offers advice on how to rescue your work in progress (WIP). Katharine’s blog is about the “Confessions of a Busy Mom Who Became an Independent Novelist.”

So it’s JuNoWriMo and you’ve hit the second week!

You’re like um, I have how many words to go?

You thought you could do this. You had ideas! You had characters! You had a plot! I mean you kind of have a plot but now it kind of feels like a plod. You had a vision for the perfect story in this genre! But then you realize that maybe this contemporary romance might do better on Mars? Maybe your heroine needs fangs? Maybe you could kill everyone off, call it a dystopian and be done with it?

What do you do?

1. Take a deep breath. Deep breathing can calm you down. They don’t tell you this in writing classes but breathing when you write is as important as the kind of mug you use for your hot beverage. Take another deep breath. No one ever died from JuNoWriMo. Continue reading “Pep Talk Week 2: Seven Things to Do When Your WIP is a Hot Mess”

#JuNoWriMo Featured Author: Neal Abbot

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

~

Neal AbbotMy JuNoWriMo project will be a literary fiction work entitled Entanglement. It will be my sixth novel and my eleventh book.

Entanglement is the story of Rex Monday. It is set in St Petersburg, FL and Havana, Cuba. Rex is based upon the the 19th century character-type common in Russian literature known as the Superfluous Man.  This type of character is usually a part of the nobility or at least  one of the upper-crust. The Superfluous Man is one of the idly rich who lives without concern for others. He wastes his life with chasing women, gambling, and quite often ends up in duels.

This is pretty much the life of Rex. His story is a cautionary tale and demonstrates how his own life falls apart when he lives wantonly and selfishly.

Find Neal Abbot online:

Facebook | Blog | Amazon


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

 

 

#JuNoWriMo Featured Author: Elizabeth Conrad

Meet some of your fellow JuNoWriMos in our Featured Author series each Wednesday and Friday in June.

~

Elizabeth ConradI’ve wanted to be a writer since I was a little girl. By age six, I was typing little stories on my mother’s typewriter and illustrating them. This fascination with storytelling grew with me and has culminated in two novels which I am preparing for self publication over the next couple of years. I don’t have one specific genre, but my first two novel length works are sci-­fi and romance.

My still­-untitled novel for June, however, will be a more of a mystery about two sisters who deepen their relationship while solving a cold case murder on an island in south Texas.

Mia is twenty-five years old and is an accomplished writer who has chosen to live on a rather remote island in the Gulf of Mexico. When her sister, Isabel joins her to attend the local university far from their home state of Iowa, the differences between them are highlighted even more. Yet the unique 0pportunities of living together as adults draw them closer together. They begin collaborating on the death of a jazz singer from the 1950s and uncover secrets that will astound everyone on the island.

I have loved south Texas since vacationing there when I was twelve. The setting seemed a natural fit, because I loved the idea of someone living there year round and discovering what might happen when the summer is over. I am a singer myself and have been a jazz fan since I was eighteen and love writing about singers from that wonderful era.

I’ve not started on my novel yet, but I am outlining and getting my ideas together! I hope to reach around halfway during JuNoWriMo. It’s such a wonderful opportunity and I very much look forward to it!

I’m active on social media with several accounts

Find Elizabeth  Conrad online at:

Twitter | Facebook | Blog


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

 

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 1: The Dancer and the Nag”