Category Archives: Writing Marathon

Writing Challenge, Monday Hint

Did you get your goal number of words for last week?

Did you write everyday?

Have you five hours writing logged?

Is your goal where you can see it?

Hint: Do not stare into the sun during the eclipse. Damage can occur in moments.

Another hint: Do not sing Total Eclipse of the Heart. CORNY!

(Now I will have to sing that dumb song. I will change the words to Turn around blind eyes in case one of you looks at the eclipse today.)


Filed under Ann Dee, CLW, Plot, Revision, Voice, Writing Marathon, writing process

Three Thing Thursday


Today was a little bit harder than yesterday. I didn’t  get writing as soon as I would have liked to, and then family was here. I do have a super cute baby living in my house.

Hint: stick to the schedule you set up for yourself. Perhaps you will be able to make this writing time for the next 30 or so days into a real habit.

Hint: write the title of this book you’re working on a 3 x 5 card. Use block letters. Post this title where you can see it every time you sit down to work on your book.

Wrasslers Gals


Carol Lynch Williams

If I see this every single time I sit down to work, I can imagine this middle grade novel coming to life, being printed, and finding its way into the hands of little girls.

Do this with you WIP.

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Filed under Ann Dee, CLW, Kyra, Plot, Uncategorized, Writers Block, Writing Marathon, writing process

We Start Tomorrow! Our Writing Challenge!

August 15 through September 15, 2017

There are 32 writing days (including both fifteens) in our challenge. Have you chosen the time you want to write?

Have you set a goal for yourself?

My goal is 1000 words during that hour. I’ll probably write first thing in the morning, when the house (not including the hounds of the Baskervilles) is mostly quiet. After I’ve helped Mom but before the sun is really too high in the sky.

During the next 32 days (except for Sundays), Ann Dee, Kyra and I will leave you one writing hint or help each day.

So. My friend Trent Reedy (who is one of our teachers at WIFYR next year) organizes his office every time he finishes a novel. I’m not sure if that is from conception to sale and final revisions or what. But there is something cool about that.

My first hint for today is for you to check out your writing space. Do you have everything you’ll need for tomorrow’s start? Are there notecards? Have you already written character descriptions? Ideas of what might happen? Do you need your desk to look neat? The pillows fluffed on the sofa if you’re writing there? Is there a pen handy?

My second hint is to prepare a reward for each day. You decide what it is. Tomorrow I shall lunch with Cheri after the morning festivities. But I can’t do that every day (unless I win the PCH 15,000,000 dollars). The reward might just be writing the day’s word count (I like that kinda stuff!). But I’ll know by tomorrow what my reward will be.

My third hint is to keep a piece of paper, where you can see it, to log in your word count and how the writing day went. Watching those numbers grow will keep you motivated.

Okay, Everyone. Take a deep breath. Have a party, go to bed early, prepare however you must. We’re starting the writing challenge tomorrow!


Filed under Ann Dee, CLW, Exercises, Kyra, Plot, Writing Marathon

Three Thing Thursday–Lots of Hints for Our August Challenge

August 15 is now just a few days away.

Are you ready for our August challenge? (If you are wondering what we’re talking about, go to August 1, 2017 and see Ann Dee’s post.)

Here are some things to help you and your family get ready for your one hour a day.

  1. Decide on a time. You may want a trial run. Is 6 am better for you or 10 pm? Practicing will help you know what is best for you and your family.
  2. Make your place, for this one hour, sacred and private. Time for you and your words.
  3. Alert everyone for the next several days that you WILL be writing at this time and you’ll need this time, alone, to complete this challenge. IF you can write with children at your feet, more power to you. Just remember you are working toward 60 minutes of straight writing.
  4. If you are writing a book that needs lots of research, do that now. Perhaps, as you experiment with what hours are best, you can look up the price of chicken in 1929 (the same price as in 1969), which Apollo launch caught fire and killed the astronauts (Apollo 1), or how far Tampa is from New Smyrna (just over 2 hours down I-4). Get the pre-work done so you can follow Ann Dee’s rule of writing a solid one hour.
  5. Set a goal for how many words you’d like to write in that one hour. Anyone can sit in a chair and look at an blank computer screen  and put down a word a minute. But you want to end up with a good number of words on the page. 500 words? 1000? 2000?
  6. Do some brainstorming now. What is your story about it 25 words or less? What does your main character want? How do you keep that from happening? What are five subplots for your book? What is the climax? How do you expect this book to end? Knowing little things (not all the important details but having ideas) will help you succeed.
  7. Jot your ideas down and post where you can see them.
  8. Tangerine oil is supposed to help your creativity. I’m thinking of purchasing some and putting it in the diffuser I bought months ago and have never used.
  9. Bring your snacks with you and don’t get up to go get more.
  10. Write scenes instead of writing chronologically.

So those are a few helps. We’ll have a few more before next Tuesday.

What if we also watched this movie as a final reward?


Also, I won’t go see this but I really want to because RYAN REYNOLD’S!!!!!!

(for those of you with sensitive ears [like me] don’t watch with the sound on as there are lots of swears. This is a rated R trailer. I listened to them for you. Mostly I just wanted to see Ryan Reynold’s face. It is cute.)



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Filed under Ann Dee, Character, Kyra, Voice, Writing Marathon, writing process

Planning Ahead. Me?

That’s right.

NaNoWriMo this year will find me doing something I’ve never done before. Planning ahead. What have I ever planned ahead? Even my daughters came earlier than their due dates.

We have a week before glorious November is here. So much going on in that month. My Nana’s birthday. My great-grandmother’s birthday. My momma’s birthday. Thanksgiving. Eating. ONE WEEK OFF SCHOOL!


This November we have a lot planned and our WIFYR Newsletter tells you some of those things. Here are a few excerpts.

“First, Carol Lynch Williams will be hosting a NaNo Write In on November 2, 9, 16, 30 (these are all Wednesdays) from 7-9 pm. For more information on this event and more, check out Carol’s website: http://www. workshops.

Second, WIFYR is hosting a reward party! Our group goal is 400,000 words OR, if you’re in the middle of a masterpiece, a second group is editing 2000 pages (8 pages a day per person). All who meet their goals are invited to come to the reward party. Whether your goal is 20,000 words or the full 50,000, or you’re editing 8 pages a day or 15, this month is a good time to reach your goals. Click here to join the group or email us at

Third, the Byron Ghost Story Challenge! One hundred and ninety eight years ago, on a rainy night in Switzerland, Lord Byron challenged Percy and Mary Shelley to a ghost story writing contest. Thanks to that chilling night,  Frankenstein and Manfred were born. WIFYR extends the same challenge to YOU. Come to BYU on October 27th at 7:00 in 4068 JFSB and we will write scary stories together. Who knows? Maybe you’ll come up with a great idea for NaNoWriMo. Or maybe you’ll come up with the next Frankenstein!”

Now for me. This year my goal is to finish the two novels I’ve been thinking about since this summer. One is a YA murder mystery. (Someone dies!) I have about 1,000 words written on it AND a full outline in my head. The 2nd is a mid-grade novel. I have about 8,000 words on it and had NO idea where I am headed. Then I had a breakthrough and so HA! maybe I know what to do for it.


Over the next week I plan to plan.

And I’ll take you on that planning adventure.

So let’s go, Everyone. We have books to write.


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How are You Doing?

Ann Dee and I completed part of our goal this evening.

I went to her house.

I saw her cute kids and cute husband.

I looked at her library books.

We talked.

She asked questions.

We laughed.

We said, “Good idea,” to each other.

We got too complex.

But now

we sorta know where our newest novel is going.

We have the 25 words (or less) elevator pitch. We have our MDQ.

We know each of our main characters’ wants.

Maybe this means we’ll be able to get our dirty draft done by the end of the month.

What did you do today?

How is your writing coming?

Are you happy with this first real day of of our July Writing Quest?

Let us know!


Filed under Ann Dee, Plot, Writing Marathon, writing process

Three Thing Thursday


I read a study this week that attempted to determine whether or not men felt that intelligence was an attractive trait in a woman. 

First they were asked if they would be attracted to a woman who scored better than them on a test. An overwhelming majority answered yes.
Then they were given a test. Afterward, they met briefly with two women. They were told that one of the women had scored better on the test and one had scored worse. The men then rated each woman on her attractiveness.
As you might have guessed, a huge majority found the woman they perceived as more intelligent as less attractive.
Depressing? Perhaps. But I love experiments like this. I love these peeks into human nature. It adds a sense of reality to our writing. If you have a brilliant, beautiful female protagonist, it’s possibly that many men in her past became irritated with her intelligence rather than enamored by it, even if they claimed they felt differently. And that, of course, leaves room for one of those few men that can truly appreciate a girl with both beauty and brains.
I have a big, 4-drawer standing file cabinet in our spare bedroom-cum-Library-cum-Herb’s office closet.  The bottom drawer, currently out and giving us trouble trying to get it back in, is the only empty one.  The rest are full of papers.  I also have four more 2-drawer file cabinets which are used as the under-pinning, or “legs” if you will, of a huge wooden slab which acts as an extra desk.  I think only one of those drawers is empty, or nearly so: we use it for a handful of office supplies like Post-Its, thumb tacks, glue, 3×5 cards, 4×6 cards, etc.
Additionally I have more than a dozen loose-leaf folders, and a variety of paper-sized boxes — ALL of them full of papers: articles I’ve clipped and saved, stories I’ve started and never finished, same for articles and essays, even notes to friends which, somehow, never got delivered.  Plus all the NEW paper “stuff” that has accumulated since Herb and I got married 3.5 years ago.
Time to determine what I need and WILL USE, and what can be shredded, recycled, and stored in such a way that we know WHERE something is, PRECISELY when we need it.
What do YOU do with all that paper stuff YOU collect?
Planning what could happen in your NaNo book? Just a few days away and then we begin. Join WIFYR on FB. We have a NaNo group.
Gosh, I hope I am able to actually do this!

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Filed under three thing thursday, Writing Marathon, writing process