Hello Friends and thanks for checking out my new website! This past year has been a whirlwind of adventure and excitement. I had a baby (on my couch), finished 3 manuscripts and traveled all over the east coast doing research for my 6 book series.
When I was thinking about what I wanted my first blog post to be about I remembered NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and thought here is something I must blog about. Last year at the end of October I thought about participating in NaNoWriMo…for about a minute but at the time I was 23 days late with my little bundle of joy and I was too tired to put two thoughts together let along write a novel in 30 days. But this year I knew that here is something I want to accomplish. Writers from all over the world participate in this novel experience (pun intended). The goal is to write a novel consisting of at least 50,000 words in the 30 days of November. As you cannot (or should not) use previously written work I decided to write the 3rd book in my upcoming spy series. This means that the first 3 books of my series will be released consecutively, followed a short time later by the final 3. The series is called Phantoms for Freedom and you can find out more about the series on my books page on my website.
A whole lot of people go into November having no idea what they want to write about, some only have characters or a plot but no idea how to accomplish that idea and that works for them. As they begin writing the ideas start flowing and many will achieve the winner stamp reaching the 50,000 word count. For me, I like to plan, I’ve always been a planner which worked well during my years as a wedding and party planner but what it means for novels is that I spend time, usually weeks but this time just 1 week due to just finishing a different story, writing out character boards that have pictures of characters, descriptions, quirks, faults, strong points and the results from their personality profiles (I do a personality profile on all of my main characters). I am a visual person so I keep all of my character boards on my wall of plot (wall against my desk where I can look at it every day and put up sticky boards with pictures and descriptions). After character development I write out my outline, also posted on the wall of plot, which consists of Chapters and bullet points which are a general idea of what happens in each chapter. Then I put out all of my research books where I can see them along with any props that I have for those books, i.e. poison ring, pocket pistol, dagger pistol, black box of secrets. I also post up encouraging pictures or words that motivate me to keep going when I want to quit because let’s face it, we all have those days, but when we choose to push past those feelings and keep moving forward we are made stronger and usually even better ideas stem from our perseverance.
It is day 20 and on day 15 I reached the 50k work mark and ended the day with 50,480 words. Today I am at 64,595 and I still have 6 chapters to write before I finish this story. For me I think this has gone so well because I had been waiting nearly 3 years to write this story and once I sat down and started writing most of the story fell into place. Some days I would sit down and nothing would come. When that happens I always go and talk to my husband, who knows my stories nearly as well as I do, and he lets me vent, plot, plan or sometimes yell and then he calmly says, “Are you through? Good. Here is what you should do…”
My writing times are always scattered. I usually had only 4 hours a day to write and sometimes 6 on the weekends, whatever my wonderful husband could spare. He watched the kids while I typed until my fingers hurt. He says that he is sure he saw steam coming off the top of my head on a few occasions when I had finished for the day.
For those of you who are reading this and are participating in NaNoWriMo I salute you. Your word count, whether it is 5k or 50k, is an achievement and you should feel extremely proud of what you have achieved. Keep Moving Forward.