Skip to content

Category: NaNoWrimo

NaNoWrimo, Write-Ins and your novel

So with NaNoWrimo just mere weeks away, it’s time to makes plans! Plan your novel! Pants your novel! No one cares if it makes sense as long as you get the 50k in the kitty before November 15th it’s all good!

Also, plan to go to a write-in.

Wait, what’s a write-in?

A NaNoWrimo write-in is a public gathering of NaNoWrimo participants. Among many things done at these write-ins is participants type away on their laptops until they all get sick of each other or their work in progress.

Yes, you heard me, writers gathering in groups and typing away.

This may sound odd but it’s fun and you’ll find you get more work done in the end.

A brief background on myself, I started NaNoWrimo in 2004 in Rhode Island and gradually worked my way up to becoming an Municipal Liaison (ML) and in 2014 or 2015 stepped down so someone else got the fun job.

An ML’s job is essentially to herd cats, er, participants, send out emails to the region, hold a mandatory Kick-Off and Thank God It’s Over (TGIO) parties and schedule write-ins even if no one shows up.

A write-in is essential to your NaNoWrimo experience for several reasons.

First, so you know you’re not doing this alone. The comradeship helps as November rolls on and the writers who were hot to trot three weeks ago all of sudden dwindle to nothing by the time Black Friday comes round.

Second, because coffee shops.

I was never a really big coffee drinker in junior, high school and college. I’m one of this morning people that can roll out of bed at 6am and start working without the caffeine.

So, when I started to frequent places like Panera, Reflections, Brewed Awakenings, the now defunct Borders Café, Blue State and Elephant Room (now Schastea) and so on, I figured out what I liked and what I didn’t. This helps later on in life when you’re writing to make a buck and can’t get any work done at home.

Besides the drinks, being an ML is meant looking for places where if need be the entire group of writers (10-15 on a good night) could de-camp for three hours and write without ticking off the owners. Doing these events taught me to look for several things like seating, electrical outlets and parking.

Along with all this, I learned to keep a surge protector in my bag at all times just in case which has saved me on more than one occasion.

Thirdly, write-ins are fun because if you hit a brick wall you get to people watch and listen to for instance a comedy stand-up act about Muppets and fisting.

Lastly, it’s fun to see your fellow writers and swap war stories about losing a thousand words or how many words they gained. Word Wars are started this way and it’s fun to have someone nipping at your heals. This hobby can be very lonely at times unless you manage to hit pay dirt and begin a professional career out of it.

It’s what helped create the writer group I started some eight years ago and out of the core group, myself included, five of us have gotten short stories published or in my case published novel that took me seven years to finish because as much I as I thought I was writing it I wasn’t put my ass in seat, cut the cable tv, the PS4 and the twitter feed to finish it.

So, when November rolls around as it does every single year, check the regional calendar and see if there’s a write-in. Bring your laptop, the charger and your noise canceling headset and go to write-in. Get a lovely NaNoWrimo sticker for which the ML should have many and start typing.

You’ll surprised at how much writing you’ll get done with everyone else is tapping away on their keyboards.

Leave a Comment

Rhody Writing Group’s Fifth Anniversary

2010 NaNoWrimo TGIO Party happy to be done with the writing!

Rhody Writing Group’s Fifth Anniversary

Writing in a vacuum can be very boring. For most you either need to sit at a desk or library or if you’re like me you have a 3 days worth of movie soundtracks to listen to get you into the mood. The downside to writing in a vacuum is no feedback or moral support feels like you’re building a sand castle at the beach and no one is there to admire it.

I started writing by adapting the Transformers pilot episode onto my dad’s TSR-80 laptop and continued through Junior High and High School writing at the time what was fan fiction Robotech novels.

During college, I met up with Paul Chabot and in a year or two we’re semi-yearly self publishing a black and white comic book called Totems.

In 2004, I found NaNoWrimo and got back into the universe I create in College and updated it so the Robotech trappings were gone.

Rhode Island is small state so traveling to write ins and finding coffee houses that can hold a burgeoning amount of people who’re just going to sit there and tap away on their laptops sounds easier than it should be but it’s not when your favorite place on Fox Point up and closes and you now have to seek another watering hole.

In December of 2010, sitting at the TGIO (Thank God It’s Over) party for NaNoWrimo over at Brewed Awakenings in Johnston,  there were great deal of people sitting around and I asked them if I started a writing group would they be interested in joining and they said yes.

Thankfully, Warwick Public Library had rooms available to reserve and in February (after a mis-step in January with snow in the forecast that never appeared) our motley group got together and reviewed several pieces including the first chapter of Weaver which has since been filed under: Nothing happens in fifteen pages it’s being revised.

It has been a fun five years. I’ve attempted to switch gears from hobby writing to writing professionally and even finished the first draft of Weaver to find I put too much into it.

It’s been a delight to see  other authors hone their craft until they have a voice and knowing when you read their piece it’s going to be interesting.

If you’re writing and haven’t found a writing group I suggest checking Meetup. You’d be surprised to see how many writing groups there are.

A writing group is great resource to have because:

  1. No one at the table is a blood relation to you.
  2. You’ll get free feedback on your work from people who may not even be writing in your genre.

We’ve had people come and go, the core group had clicked and even started meeting once a month to write in Newport.

We’ve even had a few people self publish a book or two, like Matt Keefer, Janet Parkinson and more.

So, when Bennett North sold her first short story to Fantasy and Science Fiction it was happy day since she had submitted to the group.

It was even a more happier day when it appeared in the January/February 2016 Edition of the magazine.

cov1601lg-250

And here are some of those reviews from Tangent and SFRevu of the issue.

Leave a Comment

[#nanowrimo] November and December…

So with November almost here, it’s time once again for:

111411_nanowrimo

For those in the Rhode Island Area, the Meet Up Calendar, Twitter and Facebook accounts will be updated.

This year I hope will turn out better than last year.

During the month of November besides NaNoWrimo, I’ll also be re-posting interviews that Martha Reynolds conducted with members of the Association of Rhode Island Authors in the lead up to the Rhode Island Author Expo on 12/5/15 (FB Event page).

Leave a Comment

[Plotting About] Welcome to December

shouldbewriting40

Wanderers – a short film by Erik Wernquist from Erik Wernquist on Vimeo.

Let’s start with this short film entitled “Wanderers”. If you love sci-fi movies or space exploration watch it.

It’s the overall theme of exploring is what I’m aiming for with the Weaver ‘Verse and some of those visuals of the ships are pitch perfect.

What is happening with Weaver?

Well, NaNoWriMo is over, I did about 7k words but I wrote a whole chapter that’s usable, we’ll call this Chapter 5 for now.

Chapter 3 has been edited to merge scenes together and to end on a perfect note. Now it’s onward to Chapter 4 that needs to be re-written to get to Chapter 5.

Chapter 4 is going to be the call to action for both Spence and Melinda. For the most part it’s there, scenes needs to be shuffled around and such.

I’m happy with what I’ve gotten done so far and glad I didn’t push myself to write more. I am going to try and pick up the pace a bit, my deadline is a week before Emerald City Comic Con in March 2015.

That brings the Where Weavers Daire K BAR count to:

In other news, my sister-in-law, Kellie has started a Backyard Roots Blog. If you enjoy picking your own vegetables from your own garden then this blog is for you.

Leave a Comment

[Plotting About] Weaver and NaNoWrimo

shouldbewriting38

Rhode Island Comic Con is over.

Rhode Island Author Expo is over.

Now it’s time for NaNoWriMo.

And less said about Destiny and Advance Warfare the better.

Since when did November become so busy?

This will be my tenth year for NaNoWriMo.

Week 2 has arrived and things are progressing.

On most Novembers I’d be at 40k by now having well learned that it’s all about the word count and not the story. In the past reaching 50k by the 15th was normal.

Instead, I’m taking it slow with the second draft of Weaver and addressing several things that the first draft didn’t.

Questions like:

What is this story about?

Why are they there?

What are the characters’ arc?

What’s the purpose of all this?

What’s the elevator pitch?

And making sure it stays a tiny story with big characters instead of a big story with small characters.

Best example: Kung Fu Panda has tiny story but big characters while Kung Fu Panda 2 had big story and small characters.

This blog post over at Heather Webb’s site covers what I haven’t but should’ve been doing.

Chapter Three was completed pre-NaNo.

The end of Chapter Four is going to be re-written.

That brings the Where Weavers Daire K BAR count to:

Leave a Comment

[Plotting About] Where Weavers Daire: Plotting it out.

shouldbewriting15

Welcome to October.

One month to go until NaNoWrimo and I’m not coordinating this year.

This will be my tenth year of being NaNoWrimo participant.

Besides the Weaver ‘verse, I’ve got two maybe three different themed ‘verses that have come from doing NaNoWrimo.

A zombie urban fantasy ‘verse that could be spun off into space and a space invader ‘verse that needs a crap ton of space research involved.

The writing group’s fourth year anniversary arrives this year.

Bennett North has been writing some good posts about preparing for the annual event.

It should be noted, the posts are good anyone writing a novel because it’s best to plan things out before you jump in.

Discovery writing or pantsing your way through a novel isn’t the best in my humble opinion.

The writing group had several great suggestions to fix Weaver.

I’ve not taken the editing chainsaw to the first draft and instead I’m re-planning it.

Not a page one re-write, thankfully, I’m just a revising what happens after page thirty. Keeping the setting, narrowing down the characters and the plot.

It’s moments like this why I’m happy the writing group exists.

I’ve been pantsing my way through Weaver since the beginning and even though I did beat sheet it all out, the overall plot turned out to be too much too fast.

So the new marching orders is to make sure it reads right before going off and writing another chapter.

This doesn’t change the plan to turn Weaver into a graphic novel and judging from the reactions of the writing group they liked the character sketches.

I don’t know what I’m doing for NaNoWrimo this year. The plan is to re-plot Weaver.

Take it slow and steady and not take another four years to finish the second draft.

I think setting a deadline of March 2015, just in time for Emerald City Comic Con is a good plan.

Leave a Comment

[Plotting About] January 2014 / Week 4 / Weaver / Chapter 5+6

shouldbewriting13

The end of January is upon us and I decided to enter a Writer’s Digest University Boot Camp to crit the first ten pages of Weaver.

This meant going back to the first ten pages and chainsaw editing two pages worth of unneeded words. It doesn’t hurt the story just gets rid of unnecessary world building that can shuffled elsewhere.

Overall the editing for the first couple of chapters hasn’t been sunshine and rainbows. I’ve been discovery writing my antagonists and just goes to show how much I need to plan the next novel. This pantsing vs. planning has been an ongoing problem and is not breaking news by any stretch.

It just means Chapter 5+6 have been rewritten several times already to set up the rest of the novel and that’s a good thing.

I completely understand why it takes people years to finish their first novel. This is year three for Weaver.

I really am going to try my hand at short stories after this. Honest.

Amazon Breakout Novel Contest begins Feb 2 and ends March 2.

Great post from my word war/treadmill buddy, Bennett North in response to Chuck Windig’s post about when and when not to self publish. I agree with them both since my writing started out horrendous and thanks to feedback has gotten just a wee bit better.

Great guest post from Kameron Hurley about persistance followed by a follow up post of Harry Connolly on the subject.

Word metrics for January!

The Where Weavers Daire K BAR count is:

Less than two months away from Emerald City Convention! Time to track down pieces parts for a Jayne Cobb costume!

Leave a Comment

[NaNoWrimo] In the final week…

shouldbewriting8

With a week to go in NaNoWrimo the metrics are looking like this:

The Spoils of War K BAR count is:

I’ve re-adjusted my target goal and have been having a good time trying to ignore scenes I would have normally thrown out and just kept writing.

The good news is the framework for a second novel is in the 41k I’ve written. The editing chainsaw is of course going to be used a great deal.

As for December, I’m going to put the novel aside and work on a short story to submit to a few workshops then get back in to finish the Weaver book.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger... Leave a Comment
%d bloggers like this: