Tag Archives: questions

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!


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

15-Minute Monday–Double Dog Dare

What is the meanest thing you have ever said to someone?

How about your character?

What is the scariest thing you have ever gone through?

What about your character?

If you could do anything, anything at all, what would it be?

What about your character?

We all have at least one deep, dark secret. What’s yours?

And your character’s?

Who is the person you love most? Loved most? Who is that love you missed and are sorry, still to this day, that you missed?

What about your character?

What is the most shocking thing anyone has ever said to you?

Your character?

Who’s hurt you the most?

Your character?

What’s the most painful thing you’ve had to do in life?

What about your character?

What thing will you never tell anyone?

What thing will your character never tell?


The cool thing (the awful thing) about life is it makes you uncomfortable. It changes you. Shapes you. And you have a lot to do with that shaping depending on the choices you make, your reactions, feelings etc.

When our characters are real, they connect our reader to the story, and to us.

So push yourself, push your character, to something a little darker, a little funnier, a little more secret.

Don’t stand at the edge, dive in.

Scare that character of yours.

Make her feel.

Surprise her.

And surprise yourself at the same time.



Quit reading this.

Go write!




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Filed under Character, CLW, Exercises, Plot

Krya Leigh, Queen Bee

My insomnia is coming back. With a vengeance. 

Usually I fall asleep around 11 PM on weekdays, and 2AM on weekends. 

But not anymore. 
Lately, I’ve just been lying in bed, with a large amount of thoughts running around. 

Where am I going to live? 
Will I find a job worth working? {maybe I’m snooty} 
Will I know which changes in this novel to make? 

Will I? 

How do you decide which changes are needed and are not? 

Does someone else usually tell you? 

My first novel is a disaster. I’ve read it so many times, and reworked it so many times, that I’m not sure I know how to change it. 
I put it away over a year ago, and I’m still not sure if I’m ready to look at it. 

Who do you trust to recommend needed changes? {besides agents and editors} 
Your mom? 
Your friend? 
Your sister? 

I need to figure it out. 
And when I do, maybe I’ll get some sleep. 

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Filed under Uncategorized