Tag Archives: preparing for NaNoWriMo

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

And Another Thing!

Still thinking about the writing next month?

Quick questions–are you writing a book NOW, too?

How do you do both?

Set aside time every day for your main WIP. BUT give yourself 15 minutes daily to prepare for next month.

Here’s a little something to work on:

There are a couple of ways to drive a story forward. One is with an intriguing plot. Another is with emotion–a feeling that flows through a novel.

So, I have to back up here. Once my sister stayed a summer with our wonderful grandmother and read romance after romance. My sister wrote me a letter. It went something like this: This afternoon I wandered through the darkened halls of Nanny’s home. The wood reflected my auburn-colored hair, like a fire in a fireplace. When I stepped into freedom, I saw the chiseled jaw of the mailman as he placed letters–love letters–in the mailbox. I ran across the field, grass whipping at my ankles, my gown slipping down my shoulders, revealing a bit of my ample breasts.

Okay–it wasn’t exactly that letter (she was like, 13), but sorta like that. There was a feeling in those Harlequins that Sam conveyed in her letter, making me laugh my guts out.

All our writing should have emotion.

In your 15 minutes today, play around with emotions you hope might be in your novel.

Do this for a few days this month. A quick emotion rush. Do heartbreak, sadness, fear, joy, loathing, love, excitement.

That first glimpse of the villain. That parting kiss from the murderer. That joke from a loved one.

Mix it up.

Have fun!


PS Our next get together will be the first week of December to talk about NaNo!


Filed under Character, Chris, Life, Plot, writing process

Monday, Monday

Ann Dee and I have only the end of our book to write.

This has been a fun experience for me. Ann Dee is smart, fast and a natural writer. She knows so much. “What about plot?” she says. “Oh, don’t worry,” I say. “Is it moving too fast,” she asks.  “Fast, schmast,” I say. “Should we develop these characters more?” she asks. “Of course. Later,” I say.

My goal is to finish the rewrite this month so we can have it to our agents before November rolls around. Ann Dee’s goal is to have a baby.

And also, there is the move.

Again. But the last move, I hope. This also needs to be complete before the end of the month. I kinda feel like I’m gonna fail on this.

So much to do! I even get to teach in church.

Of course, we can’t forget about NaNoWriMo.

October 6 and October 9 have the first three exercises for you.

Here are two more.

One: PRINT the exercises each time they arrive.

Put them in a notebook. A real, actual, something-you-can-pick-up notebook.

Keep this by your bedside, on in your car when you travel–you know–keep it close by. At night add thoughts, ideas, names, incidents that might work for the NaNoWriMo. While you’re showering, remember the ideas that come to you and add them to your growing file. This is research, set up and planning to make next month as easy as possible. Believe me, I understand about falling behind on Day One. Yes, every year I have.

Two: Go through this blog. I have no idea how to navigate it but there has to be a way (PS–You can tell us how to find things in here, if you’d like). Every year we have tried to give you more ideas and helps so you can complete the NaNo challenge. Gather those ideas, writing helps and hints into the notebook. As well, there have been several writing marathons where we have lots of starts and ideas and etc to ease the burden, and inspire you, for what’s coming up.

Sheesh, I’m getting excited myself!


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Filed under CLW, Exercises, Writing Marathon, writing process

Three Things Thursday

From  Ms. Brenda
What am I doing with my time?
One of our Utah writers, Johnny Worthen, is writing.  He debuted his BEATRYSEL which was released last year by Omnium Gatherum Media in L.A. Then his YA paranormal trilogy, THE UNSEEN, kicked off last July from Jolly Fish Press with the release of ELEANOR.  Next year the trilogy will continue in June with CELESTE, THE UNSEEN, followed later by DAVID, THE UNSEEN.  (He also said he would appreciate your looking for it, even though it’s “The Unseen Trilogy”!)
Additionally, he will “unleash upon the world” his “satirical neo-noire detective Tony Flaner in THE FINGER TRAP in the fall, and when I met him last mid-September he had just received notice from Cherokee McGhee publishers, VA, that his political mystery THE BRAND DEMAND (an Edward Abby-esque MONKEY WRENCH GANG) will come out in May.  Not to mention stories in anthologies, and a novella, DR. STUART’S HEART (companion piece to BEATRYSEL).
And what am I doing with all my spare time?  What are you doing with yours ? ? ?
From Ms. Cheryl
Challenge for this week: Write down twenty things about your character that your reader will never know.
This is a great way to prep for Nanowrimo if you’re planning on it. By doing this, you add depth to your character that naturally comes out in your writing without ever being said. Try it!
From Me
Cheryl has given us a NaNo exercise. I’ll add another.  (This is three exercises to get you ready for next month!)
We’ve talked about this a ton before.
The opening of a book. How it needs to grab the reader.
Come up with as many first lines as you can in 20 minutes. Do that every day for one week.
After the 20 minutes, reread your lines.
What do you love most?
What does each line do for you?
Do you connect with any? All? None?
Write your emotions–and maybe a few lines of direction on your favorites.

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