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.

#JuNoWriMo Featured Author: DJ Morand

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

My name is DJ Morand. I’ve been writing Fantasy short stories for going on 21 years now. I took my first stab at Science Fiction in 2014 for NaNoWriMo and published my first novel in November of 2015. After NaNoWriMo, I began writing a short story series titled The Legends of Vandor building up to my debut Fantasy novel sometime later this year.

For JuNoWriMo, I am heading back to my science fiction series, a Trilogy titled Infinity Verge. I am finishing book number 3 this June while putting book 2 out for publication. Busy busy busy! Ursidae: Infinity Verge 3 is the final book in my trilogy and the end to a harrowing journey for my characters.

A Secret Kept.

An Alien Threat.

A Daring Rescue.

As a captive of the Vald, Captain Abel Cain is being forced to attack his former allies. Controlled by his nanites and a sinister ship designed by the Vald, Abel must find a way to escape or watch everyone he loves die. The Vald are close to getting the information they want from Abel, and their murderous machines still roam the galaxy.

Meanwhile, Echo Shade fights to circumvent the Automated Defense Matrix aboard the Atlas. If she can break the code, she can find Abel and bring him home. But what kind of home will he be coming back to? The newly formed Eden Defense Force is building a fleet to contend with the Vald and their EXOs.

Fleet Admiral, Andromeda Clark, feels that she has been betrayed and sets out to destroy the EDF. Caught up in the politics and perceived betrayals, Andromeda forgets that other threats in the galaxy still exist.

DJMA_logo_2My ideas for the Infinity Verge trilogy came from a number of sources, namely my love of science fiction shows like Firefly, Star Trek, Star Wars, and Battlestar Galactica. There is such an eclectic mix of ideas in these shows. The roguishness of Captain Mal in Firefly, the logical and yet emotional Spock, Luke Skywalker’s journey from farm boy to Jedi, and the overall galactic stage in BSG, are just some of the inspirations that birthed Infinity Verge.

I came up with the idea of Abel Cain, a roguish starship pilot who was at odds with himself, hence the name. Kodiak, the first book was an adventure from start to finish. By the time I finished Atlas (book 2), I knew just where I wanted to go with Ursidae (Book 3). This last book is something I want to get just write (pun intended), so I’ve been taking my time plotting it out and working on it a little at a time. I plan to have about 25k when I start JuNoWriMo and around 75-80k by the time I finish. 

Connect with DJ:

Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon | Website

#JuNoWriMo Featured Author: Shawn Contant

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

Hey there, everyone.  I’m Shawn.

I’ve been writing on and off since I was twelve. My first story ideas came from dreams I had. As I got older, books I read and things I learned became my inspirations. I typically write in the Christian, sci-fi, and young adult genres, sometimes mixing them together where I can.

I’m a life-long Trekkie so it’s probably no surprise my most major inspiration was Star Trek. The episode “MirI”, from the 1960s series, has fueled my imagination and muse for almost a decade. The episode features a world where adults have died off, leaving teens and children behind. I wondered what might happen if that happened in our world. That thought has led to what I call the After Adults series, which follows the lives of several young men and women after the death of all adults, and how their actions affect the reconstruction effort.

I use writing as a way to explore dilemmas of the heart and mind. To paraphrase William Faulkner, “The only thing worth writing about is the human heart in conflict with itself.” I’m also a fan of taking tropes and pushing them to their logical ends. Writing is a fun challenge and a personal journey. Words are really neat, not just in matters of etymology, but also the images and feelings they can evoke in the reader’s mind. Orson Scott Card is an inspiration because of his powerful characters and compelling plot in Ender’s Game. Another favorite of mine is George R.R. Martin because of the sheer detail and scope in the A Song of Ice and Fire series and the conflicted, morally grey characters he writes.

JuNoWriMo 2016

Tentatively titled A New Hero, my JuNoWriMo 2016 story is set in the same universe as my two NaNoWriMo novels The Red Eye Effect and The Ragged Platoon. However, it is set much earlier, just after the pandemic that wiped out everyone over the age of 18. Alex Caffey hides in the outskirts of his hometown as gang violence spikes. A group calling itself the Order of Friendship moves in, claiming to be interested in restoring order to the world. He agrees to work with them, first as a mechanic, then as a soldier in the Knights of Friends. For the next year, Alex travels with his fellow fighters defending those who can’t defend themselves, falling in love, and trying to figure out where he stands in the world. It’s an adventure for him externally and internally, one he never imagined taking.

I already have some of the story written, but much of it remains to be developed. I am dedicating this June to completing the novel, then moving on to others in the same world that help tell the larger story of survival, power, and social order.

Connect with Shawn:

Facebook | Twitter | Website

 

#JuNoWriMo Featured Author: Terrelle Shelton

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

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BackgroundTerrelle

I became a writer shortly after reading the Twilight Series. I began writing my very first story back in 2010. It was a story centered around an ancient blood feud between two rival clans from the 1800’s set in current day Atlanta, Georgia.  I never finished writing this story because I lost the notebook I was writing it in.  About two years later, I was watching an anime known as Fairy Tale and suddenly I got the urge to write again. This time I came up with a whole new story centered around two men who decided to work together to take over the world that they were in. This led to betrayal and all sorts of things. I started working on this book back in 2013, which I finished in my first ever NaNoWriMo. It was a lot of hard work, but I loved every minute of it. I write in the fantasy genre.

Terrelle’s JuNoWriMo Plans

For JuNoWriMo, I will be working on a brand new series called, Dragons And Gods. There isn’t much to say about this book at the moment because I am still working on the blueprint,  but what I can tell you is that is that one of the dragons named Dias will attempt to take over the realm of the Gods, which will spark a war between both realms. How will it play out you may ask? Well you’ll just have to wait!   I didn’t write anything before June started, but I did work on a blueprint so I had an idea of where I wanted to go. I plan on meeting the 50k mark during JuNoWriMo, but my ultimate goal is either going to be 60 to 65k.

Connect with Terrelle: 

Facebook | Twitter

#JuNoWriMo Featured Author: Kalen Williamson

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

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Background Kalen

I always wrote growing up, and enjoyed writing whether it was a novel, an English project, or a poem inspired by my tumultuous emotions. I started writing as a career a few years ago. I am publishing an anthology, called Tapestry, this summer. It has various sized stories from flash fiction to novelettes linked together as an emotional journey.

Kalen’s JuNoWriMo Plans

This June is going to be hectic for me; it’s my first JuNoWriMo and I am going to be a sprint leader! I want to complete the finishing touches on Tapestry, and I plan to continue work on a novel I started a few years ago. While Tapestry is literary fiction, my novel is going to be Christmas, fantasy fiction. It’s about a boy who has learns the origins and meaning of Christmas when someone in the North Pole notices his bad behavior. There are some dark parts in the story, so i’m not sure if I would put it in the Young Adults or Adult category. I’ll have a better idea when I finish writing it.

There’s no title yet. I’ve been playing around with different ideas, but none of them seem perfect. I don’t recall if anything in particular inspired me to start down this path, but I love Christmas and stories about Santa Claus and how he came to be. Since it is a holiday story, I hope to have it written, edited, and polished in time for the holidays. I want to get most of the first draft completed during JuNoWriMo; however, the whole novel might take until the end of July.  I have not started a Pinterest board for this project yet, but I enjoy making them and will probably end up with one by the end of the project.

Connect with Kalen: 

Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr | Pinterest | Goodreads | Blog

Pep Talk Week 4: Do you ever get stuck?

Stacy Claflin, author of four book series, shares with us her advice on what to do when you get stuck in the midst of your novel–just the Pep Talk we need for the middle of JuNoWriMo!

InspirationDo you ever get stuck at some point when writing a novel? Sometimes that middle-ish point can be the most challenging. The beginning is fun because you come in with all these ideas, and it’s exciting. The end is full action, and the writing sometimes seems to happen by itself.

Really, though, any point of the story can give the writer problems.

Feeling stuck

When you’re in the thick of it and things slow down, a lot of different variables can leave you feeling stumped. Maybe the story has gone in a different direction than you planned. You’re not sure if you need to map out a different ending or maybe look for a new path to the end you have in mind.

Or it could be that the story is right where it should be, but doubt has crept in. You know what I mean. Do I have enough material to get to the end and have it long enough? Is this as good as it could be? What if it sucks and I just can’t see it? Or maybe you feel like it is horrible, and you don’t know whether to go on or not.

That valley between the exciting peaks can feel like a wasteland. 

The good news is that it doesn’t need to stay that way. There are a lot of things you can do to turn everything around and get excited about writing again. Continue reading “Pep Talk Week 4: Do you ever get stuck?”

#JuNoWriMo Featured Author: Eden Mabee

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

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Hi!
Hi!

A ‘Jane of All Trades’ in a long line that has included farmers, slack-rope walkers, mechanics, forgers, teachers, horse-thieves, and writers, featured author Eden Mabee shares stories of a universe filled with magic, tech and political intrigue. She’s a self-proclaimed WriMo addict and photography dabbler.


Hi! Nice to meet you all. Welcome to JuNoWriMo, my fourth year of this challenge. It’s a great bunch of people to write with. Come join us for Twitter sprints and chatting about craft via our Facebook page.

For this year’s JuNoWriMo, I’m continuing to work on my Swan Song Series, a set of five planned novels, and will be placing the majority of my emphasis on the first book, Courting the Swan Song. The series crosses genre boundaries somewhat, but the first two books hold to the “Coming of Age” fantasy form. Here’s a quick overview of Courting:

Only child and heir, Alanii Vestimiir has decided that his father’s plans for him are shortsighted and suffocating. He’s off to become a soldier and serve the crown in the way he sees fit. In his attempt, he runs afoul not of only his father, but two powerful noble houses who stand poised to tear down his family and possibly involve their country in a war that might destroy them all.

Along the way, Alanii has to deal with all sorts of normal teenage problems: squabbles with friends, pretty girls, perfectionist teachers, etc.–who said growing up was easy?

Many elements went into CTSS. In writing my space opera, Release, secondary characters such as Alanii founded stories of their own, demanding to show how the brutal universe of the story come about through more than their actions. Before that, my best friend and I wrote fanfiction together, where I learned elements of story writing and developed the seeds of the Swan Song Series. Another MC, Atyr (book 2, Singer of the Swan Song), came out of those stories grew to be her own person as my vision of their universe became clearer.

Since CTSS comes out of writing I’ve been doing since high school, one would have thought I should be further along in the story. I am, and I’m not. A ‘finished’ version, that is very much a First Novel, has been duly been appointed a drawer where it can spend its days peacefully, while I scavenge its corpse for useful tidbits. Integrating elements from this very rough work has meant that I work on the first three books of the series concurrently (books 1 & 2 happen during the same in-world time, and book 3 follows soon after, starting where the original book began). However, this June, finishing a complete draft of CTSS is the plan.

Come visit me on my writing blog Many Worlds From Many Minds, or follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

#JuNoWriMo Featured Author: Heena Rathore

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

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BackgroundHeena R

I’m a 24 year old freelance content writer and an aspiring author.

I’m a voracious reader and a book reviewer. I also love baking and I have 3 blogs (1 book-blog, 1 personal author-blog, and 1 food-blog.)

I’m married to the love of my life and as a result of my husband’s undying trust in me, I left my engineering degree course in the 3rd year to pursue 3D Animation Film Making (as I have an infinite love for drawing.)

I love watching psycho thrillers and slasher movies. I’ve been a fan of the genre since childhood. From Texas’ Chainsaw Massacre series to The Strangers, Touristas to Nightmare On The Elm Street and Vacancy (1 and 2, though I like the first one!)… I love watching them all and I often wonder what goes on in a psycho killer’s mind or how will it feel to find myself in a similar situation. I watch Zombie movies with my husband and we plan out ways to survive such an apocalypse.

After finishing up with the film diploma, I started with my book-blog and content-writing. And after a year of writing, reading and reviewing, I’m here talking about my debut novel that will be written during JuNoWriMo.

Heena’s JuNoWriMo Plans

The working title (and hopefully the final title) of my novel is Deceived.  It’s about a couple who’ve recently moved to an isolated setting to begin a happy new life, but soon they’ll discover the horror that awaits them. The psycho neighbors have been waiting for a nice new neighbor for a long time!  The story completely turns in the last few pages and ends with a possibility of a sequel.

It’s a psycho thriller book that’ll mainly focus on the female lead. I’m still working on which point of view I should write the book in (It is first-person for now.) This book will show different phases in my lead’s life and her growth as she realizes how deceiving near and dear ones can be.  The later part of the book will focus on her survival and an ultimate plot twist in the last line.

My JuNoWriMo goal is to get the first draft done by the end of June, as I have plans to get this book published by December. Before June started, I wrote out chapter summaries and built character profiles to help my writing. So hopefully, I’ll nail WriMo’s much dreaded 50,000 word count, though i’m hoping to write even more.

Connect with Heena: 

Facebook | Twitter | Author Blog | Book Blog | Instagram

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.

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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


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