NanoWrimo: 2014 Inspiration

So I, like many of my writing friends, am taking part in National Novel Writing Month (NanoWrimo) this year. I have participated since 2008 and actually won in 2012.

This year, I am revising, rewriting, and rebuilding a novel that I started in February 2013. I have a had an interesting journey with this novel. It’s a NASciFi piece that I finished as part of a Nano-like competition. It was the first book I fast drafted and completed in a month. It has been through several revisions, was the first book I outlined, and is a book with a series already outlined:)

My big goal with getting involved with NanoWrimo this year was about latching on to inspiration. I really want to latch on to this book, retool it and push it out in the world because I think it ROCKS!

So when seeking inspiration to getting my writing juices flowing, I look to the author of The Lunar Chronicles – Marissa Meyer.

Marissa Meyer began my favorite book series as a nano book! Read about her excellent Nanowrimo journey here.

My biggest take away from her story is that most of what she wrote for The Lunar Chronicles had to be scrapped but that writing all those words served as a great road map.

As I am working on yet another set of revisions for Cycles, I am encouraged thinking of the long journeys writers take. It takes many revisions to get to publication and I am excited to be on this journey.

Revisions: Where do you go?

My life has definitely changed since I finished the first ever draft of my NaSciFi book.
I have changed jobs, finished school, and seen my responsibilities increase. It would be foolish to say that all of these changes have not impacted how I have revised this book – especially since I am just looking at it after putting it away for SEVERAL month.
One thing that has also changed is revisions. For this go round, this is what I have done differently:
1. I printed out a coil-bound, single side printed copy.
2. I am refusing to even look at the Word changes to make corrections until after I have revised the whole paper copy.
3. I have been doing the bulk on the revisions on the train.
I began this revision process at home and found that it just was not working for me. My attention was too easily pulled. However, on the train I am usually just reading or playing a game on my phone. The first time I pulled out the book, magic just happened. I knew then that revising on the train was my sweet spot.

Has anything changed about your revision process? Is there a difference in the space where you write and where you revise? Share in the comments below!

Revisions: Crafting a good 1st line

So I’m back and talking about the dreaded revision process.

As mentioned last month (or in August – man I’ve been gone awhile!), I am still revising my novel. I printed it out (which is still an amazing experience) and I am currently going through it page by page with my pen.

This is not the first set of revisions and I actually couldn’t tell you what set of revisions this is exactly (4th or 5th maybe). I mistakenly thought I would have nothing to scratch through but being that I have taken about 6 months away from this book, my eyes are REALLY clear.

One thing that I focused on with this round of revisions is my first sentence. From my internet searching, I have found these tidbits on first lines:

1. They should be shocking/funny/alarming (depending on the character).
2. They should pull you in.
3. They establish the voice.

To write the perfect first line, is like writing a twitter pitch – it can not be honed without a lot of practice. I literally typed my first line into a separate document and stared at it. I weighed it against the aforementioned three statements and then began crafting a page of new first lines.

For inspiration, I went through the books on my shelf and read what published authors came up with – man those folks can write!

How do you come up with a great first line? Share your comments below.

Interview with Elaine Jeremiah (Reunion of the Heart)

rothWelcome to September! I hope everyone is having a wonderful labor day. I am looking forward to getting back in the swing of things – blogging and revisions all September long. To kick things off, I’m chatting with independent author Elaine Jeremiah.

1. Give us the Reader’s Digest condensed version of your writer’s journey so far.

I’ve written stories for as long as I can remember but it’s only in the last ten years or so that I’ve been writing novels. I first finished one about five years ago – it’ll never see the light of day however because it’s pretty bad! Then a couple of years ago my husband suggested I self-publish – that thought had never occurred to me because I didn’t know (as he did) that I could publish digitally on Amazon. So about a year ago I published my first novel ‘The Inheritance’ and I’ve never looked back.

2. What lessons have you learned from writing and publishing this book?

I think I learned most from my beta readers really. ‘Reunion of the Heart’ is a romance and they told me I needed to make it more romantic! So that was a lesson learnt. Also to ensure that I pay attention to time passing in my story and be consistent with that – that was something I struggled with when writing ‘The Inheritance’ too so it’s something I definitely need to work on. As far as publishing goes, I would say don’t publish in the summer! People are away and your novel can take a while to sell as I found!

3. What is your writing routine?

I try to write every day though I don’t always succeed. I write straight into the computer; I find that a lot easier than trying to type up written notes. In terms of my writing process I’m in between a pantser and a plotter. I do make fairly detailed plans to begin with, and I stick to some of them but veer off on my own tangent if I suddenly have a great idea I want to explore. Usually though the ending is pretty much the same as I planned initially.

4. What do you hope readers will take away from your book?

I hope the readers will love the characters as much as I do and enjoy being able to escape into the story.

5. What advice do you have for those embarking on their writing journey?

Practice! I think as with anything in life we get better at something the more we practice it. I think (and hope!) I’m improving all the time as a writer. Also I’m finding it’s important to keep persevering and not give up at the first slump in sales! Think about how much you want to achieve this dream of being a successful writer. If it’s something you really, really want then you’ve got to keep plugging away at it. Being a self-published author is hard work – but when you realise that lots of people are reading and enjoying your book, that’s a great feeling.

Writer Bio:

ElaineI live in the city of Bristol (UK) with my husband and our daft dog Dug. When I’m not writing or working I can usually be found curled up with a book or taking Dug for a walk, trying my best to avoid doing dreaded housework! I also enjoy trips to cafes to meet friends for a chat over a drink and to update them on my writing progress.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Links to ‘Reunion of the Heart’

Amazon UK:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Reunion-Heart-Elaine-Jeremiah-ebook/dp/B00ML03PZO/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1408980370&sr=1-1&keywords=elaine+jeremiah

Amazon.com

http://www.amazon.com/Reunion-Heart-Elaine-Jeremiah-ebook/dp/B00ML03PZO/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1408980461&sr=1-1&keywords=elaine+jeremiah

Goodreads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22979535-reunion-of-the-heart

 

 

This entry was posted on September 1, 2014. 11 Comments

Looking to the Future

I did not win at Camp Nanowrimo.

It’s not like I went in thinking I was going to win (okay maybe a little) but the more practical side knew better. My practical side recognized that I had recently started an internship while embarking on my final class. My practical side recognized that I had kids starting school, household obligations, and when it came down to it my internship was tiring me out (in a good way). So I got some writing done but I did not win.

But, its okay. It was actually eye opening.

What I lacked in the expected word count, I made up for in finding was to get re-energized and re-focused on my writing ambitions. I read as much as a could, I chatted with some great cabin mates, and got to craft the beginning of a great story. But the biggest thing I learned was not to give up and that writing is a long process.

So with this revelation in mind, I am now back to the story I feel like I have been revising forever – my NA SciFi piece. Why? Because I really love this story and we are not done yet. I want to get this story in fighting shape and send it out so it can truly be a contender. Thus, it will be my major September project – Cycles – The Revisions.

In the mean time, I plan to rest! I am officially finished with my program and now have an MPH! I am going to eat, read my friend’s blogs, drink, watch tons of TV, and read things on my nook. Then in September, I start the word war again.

What are your future writing plans?

Camp Nanowrimo Day 21: The end is your friend

I had a wonderful writing date with @KarenMusings this weekend.

Previously, I have shared on how important it is to have writer friends. These are great people to bounce ideas off of, get advice, and provide much-needed moral support because writing is HARD!

One major thing that happened this weekend is that I wrote the ending for my Camp Nanowrimo project. Now, this does not mean that I am done with my novel – far from it. I still have TONS of words to write. But knowing the ending, tremendously helps my writing because now I truly know where I am going.

I consider myself a plotter. I started this project and my last project with an outline. After pantsing my very first novel, I discovered that outlining was my friend. However I also get to a point in each novel where I’m stuck and in order to re-energize myself, I have to know my ending. After this is established, I find it much easier to fill in the blanks for how all of my characters got there.

When writing your novel, do you outline? Do you prefer to write your ending first?

Share your writing tips and methods in the comments below.

Camp Nanowrimo Day 14: Everything is Peachy Keen

So is everyone settling into camp? Have you learned any new songs, toasted marshmallows, and figured out where your characters are going next?

The beautiful thing about drafting a story is that it can literally go anywhere. Your outline may say Becky Sue dies in Chapter 3 but low in behold if Chapter 2 doesn’t having Becky Sue becoming immortal after drinking a mysterious elixir. Ain’t drafting grand:)

My current stats: I have written on 9 out of the 13 days. I am very pleased with this number because honestly I thought it would be a whole lot less! I can’t say I have hit my daily world goal on these days, but I have written words and that is the greatest accomplishment. My schedule ebbs and flows (often leaning more towards the crazy side than the calm side) thus I want to use this time to really settle into a daily writing routine.

I hope everyone is still enjoying writing and loving their camp cabins. If you are participating in Camp Nanowrimo please post something about your experience so far in the comments below.