Tag Archives: NaNoWriMo

Nana and the Last Days

Anyone want a little Bantam rooster and his best friend? Tiny and Runny need a new home. Tiny lays one little white egg a day. If you’re interested, please email me at carolthewriter@yahoo.com

Okay you NaNoers! We have today, tomorrow, Wednesday and Thursday to finish up our 50,000 words.

Where are you? Me? I’m pretty far behind. But I’m trying for a big 4-day push. And why not try? “It’ll be fun,” she said.

I’m writing a little with Ann Dee, a very little with Kyra (she’s pushing to rewrite her fabulous Mermaid book) and then more on this adult novel. This mystery. That plays with time. And several characters. Including more than one killer. And a ghost. And . . . I chose this for NaNoWriMo?

What I’ve found interesting is as I’ve settled into the story (or sorta settled), a favorite character of mine showed up. My grandmother, Nana. This time she is a very fancy Southerner. Wealthy! But it was such a relief when I realized old Grandmommy is based loosely on someone I love. November 26 is Nanny’s birthday. She would have been 100 years old.

If you have followed the NaNo plan, you are right in the place where the character makes (or is getting ready to make) another choice that will change her life forever. You’re building to the reveal of that choice. What makes her say, I won’t do this anymore?Whatever this choice is will propel you into the climax of the novel.

And if you’re writing a mystery, you’re character is narrowing down and getting closer to the killer. Her life is literally at risk. Tension is rising in both stories. Characters are making decisions. All are life and death, as far as character goes. All are life and death, as far as genre. This part of the novel matters that much.

So!

Slow and steady wins the race. Keep writing. You’re almost to the finish line!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

NaNoWriMo, Lemon Trees and Blossoms

A few weeks ago my youngest and I transplanted my lemon tree into a new pot. Every year we get one HUGE lemon from this tree and I was excited that the one lemon I had-pollinated, still clung to the branch.

Low and behold, when Carolina and I moved our tree, it rejoiced and burst out in blossoms all over!

Yahoo! More hand-pollination for me to do! The promise of more lemons!

But this growth got me to thinking. I take very good care of my southern plants. I have two orange trees, a clementine, a lime and two lemons. I have a couple of hibiscus and I’m even growing ginger (three pots full). Still, my lemon needed more love than I had given it. It needed room to breathe and stretch. And when I gave the tree what it needed, I was rewarded with blossoms.

This is sorta like our stories. Here we are, writing with our heads down, trying to get a specific number of words each day. This is exactly what we should do during NaNoWriMo. And at this point, we should be in the just-after-the-beginning of the middle of our novels. That  horrible awful icky yucky-ducky place that I slog through every time I write a book. We might be feeling a little stuck. Or root-bound.

Why not shake things up a little? Loosen the roots of your book. Allow your story to blossom. How? By asking yourself a few questions. Here are a few that may shake things up for you.

  • Am I allowing my character to move the plot or an I forcing the story to go the way I want it to?
  • Am I adding far too many characters? Too many subplots? Too many useless words just to make word count?
  • Am I feeling a forward movement in the story or have I gotten stuck because of wrong moves made in previous pages?
  • Do I trust myself, my story idea, my creativity, my characters to move the story toward the climax of the novel?
  • Do I know where I am headed? (By now, I think you should know what the climax of the story will be.)
  • For the sake of numbers, am I adding useless bits and pieces that may throw me off course during revision?

Hopefully these questions will give you an idea of how to grow a bit more during this exciting month of NaNoWriMo. And I mean that. This month should be a growing month, an exciting month, a frustrating-but-I-did-it, fun month!

3 Comments

Filed under Ann Dee, CLW, Exercises, Family, Kyra, Life, Uncategorized, Writing Marathon

Preparing for NaNoWriMo

On Thursday I wrote a long list of things we could do to prepare for NaNoWriMo and for some reason, when I went to post, it wouldn’t.

I pitched a fit and stomped off.

Went to the TH evening party and it was a lot of fun.

Never resent.

You have today and tomorrow to think about a few questions so you can jump into NaNo a little more prepared.

BTW, if you want to play with WIFYR, email Bruce here: wifyrdoesnano@gmail.com and make your goals. Bruce will add you to the list. The goal is 1,000,000 words as a group! Woot woot!

Novel questions:

  1. Who is your main character?
  2. What does she want?
  3. Have her write a note to you.
  4. Ask her 25 personal questions and write this interview down.
  5. Who are her friends?
  6. Her enemies?
  7. Her family?
  8. What is she afraid of?
  9. Can she sing?
  10. Dance?
  11. Is she funny?
  12. Snarky?
  13. Does he have a crush?
  14. A true love?
  15. What is the scariest thing that can happen to her?
  16. Will it happen to her?
  17. What do you see as the climax of the story? Do you have a general idea?
  18.  Name three things she will lose during the telling of the story.
  19. Are you trying to teach a lesson?
  20. What are you willing to give up to complete your 50,000 words?

Also, every Thursday evening, from 7-10 pm we will meet at Kyra Leigh’s house, eat and write.

Last year this was a lot of fun. This year it will be even more fun because I won’t have to clean every TH in anticipation of people arriving at my home. YAHOO, KYRA LEIGH! Anyway, if you want to bring potluck (which is what gets you into the house) and write for a few hours with fellow NaNoers, let me know. We have room for about 15 people.

Leave a comment

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

HAP-pee New Year!

Yes, I’m late!

As always.

We had an illness in the family that left one of us in the hospital for 6 days and another one of us caring for the sick daughter’s baby for 6 days.

But this is still a New Year! A Yippee, Let’s Go! year. A We Can Do Anything

Each year I write out a million goals. Last year, though, I held back. I made only 70. (I’ve mentioned I’m not one of those gals who feels badly when she fails to reach a destination. I love the way I feel when I set a goal and imagine accomplishing it.) How’s I do? Not so well. It was a tough 366 days.

This year, well, I’m still writing out the things I want to do–but I can safely say I have more hopes and dreams than a human should have. There are house goals, garden goals, personal goals, etc etc.

I found these from 2009:

  1. Read 200 books
  2. Write three novels
  3. Rewrite lost in Peace for St. Martin’s Press
  4. Blog????

And then here were Rick Walton’s goals. Hahahaha! I love him. And miss him.

  1. Read 200 picture books
  2. Pick up three novels
  3. Rewrite *A Million Little Pieces* for St. Martin’s Press
  4. Comment anonymously on Carol’s blog????

It’s been a hard year. A lot of people I love have died. People I’ve loved have lost loved ones.

Here are 3 of my millions of aspirations–just in the writing category!

  1. Finish rewrite with Ann Dee, rewrite for an editor, and draft of mystery before January’s end, and send in for review to Steve.
  2. Write a true NaNoWriMo–meaning, accomplish the 50,000 words. Now, if I am rewriting a novel then, I will set the goal as I did this last year and just do the best I can. (I sent in the partial murder mystery and I’m hoping my editor likes it. I’ll let you know if she bites!)
  3. Write a picture book with my daughter Laura.

 

We know we have at least 3 readers out there. If you’d like, put your goals here. Share as many as you’d like. Unless you’re crazy like I am. Then that means there’s not enough room.

Ann Dee and Kyra? Submit your goals, too. I’ll save them this time.

😉

 

 

5 Comments

Filed under CLW, Life, Uncategorized