Getting to the Story

I am developing an online course called Getting to the Story to begin in February 2015. This blog post features a sample from the coursework. If interested in taking the class, contact me HERE. ~   ~   ~ According to NaNoWriMo stats, about 23% of their participants finished their 50,000 words by the end of Nov. If you were one of them, congratulations. You have a big pile of words to play with! And if you were one of the 77% (hi there!) who didn’t finish, whatever you wrote you still have, and whatever you learned you’ve still got on your tool belt. The joke around here is that my NaNoWriMo became a DecNoWriMo, and now I’ve succumb to the fact that it’s really a JaNoWriMo. But that’s fine by me, because when I started my NaNo this...

NaNo – – No

(scroll down to skip straight to the Weekly Workout ) I came to the realization last Friday that I’m not going to be finishing my NaNo this year. Of course, a tiny piece of me keeps saying, “You can do it! Wake up at 3 am! Power through!” but that’s just because I’m stubborn like that. I really hate to lose, especially when it’s just to myself. My hope had hung in there for a while, because last year I managed to pump out 30,000 words in one week… but I was on a porch swing in Hawaii at the time. Right now I’m working full-time on a movie, house-hunting for an upcoming move, and involved in a major protest on Burnaby Mountain. So, life has been a bit cray-cray (wait, are women over 40 even allowed to use that...

Recovering From the NaNover

Another year, another NaNoWriMo gone by. On the NaNo website it says that there were over 310,000 participants from all over the world (596 regions), though I’m curious as to how many crossed the finish line (if anyone can point me in that direction, please do). But even if someone wrote only 10,000 words, that’s still 10,000 more words that they didn’t have at beginning of the month. That’s something. I’m also curious as to how the process went for others and what they do once they’ve finished. Editing is certainly as personal a process as the writing part is. This year was COMPLETELY different than when I wrote my first NaNoWriMo (INTERGALACTIC) novel two years ago. In 2011, I had been mulling the story and characters over...

Weekend Workout: How To Be

Just because it’s NaNo month and I’m on Team Pantser this year, doesn’t mean I’ll stop doing my long-hand exercises. I’m sure a lot of people (especially Pantsers) type everything straight into their computer. During NaNo month, far more of my first draft definitely happens through my keyboard. But, I almost always warm up with a hand-written exercise and when I get stuck, I always reach for a pen. Writing by hand, for me, opens me up creatively,  frees my ideas, my blocks, and my editor. Whether you are participating in the NaNoWriMo this month or not (and cheers to you if you are), I’ve cooked up a little exercise that you might find helpful at some point when developing a character. A few weeks ago, the students in one of my...

NaNoWriMo 2014: Team Pantser

Every year during National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) the discussion of “pantser” (one who writes by the seat of his or  her pants) vs. “Planner” (one who outlines in advance) pops up. For the past two years I’ve been boldly promoting the “Planner'” approach: http://theaccidentalnovelist.wordpress.com/2012/10/12/weekend-workout-prepping-fo-nano-or-not/ Reading that post, I sound very convinced and quite smug. Really, there is no one way or best way to write a novel, there’s just the way that works for you. And this year, I’ve joined Team Pantser. Not necessarily because I’ve seen the light, but because I’m being forced to for lack of planning time. As a matter of fact, I can’t even begin...

Weekend Workout: More NaNo / Novel Prep

In two days I’ll be off on a 3 week book tour in the U.S. so my posts might be sporadic (or simply reruns). But that doesn’t mean I’m not thinking about you. For those in preparation of NaNo, I’ve collected a few things for you: From Bob Ray and Jack Remick’s Writing Blog: New Tips for the 2012 NaNo This post covers setting, character, backstory, subplots, and structure. This is not just good advice for NaNo writers, it’s good advice for anyone starting any novel any time. And Bob and Jack have plenty of other exercises to keep you going for the entire month. This is an extremely helpful site for people working on novels run by two of the best writing instructors I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. And if that’s...