Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Get Set, Go, NaNoWriMo

Today's guest post is from fellow author Jean Rabe whose new book, The Dead of Winter, A Piper Blackwell Mystery, releases today!!! (Click the title to get your copy in print and Kindle, and Kindle Unlimited!!)

If you're interested in writing, today is also the start of NaNoWriMo. Me? Um, well, no. I signed up one year. I can use the push, but I'm a firm believer in putting in quality, not quantity. It's useless to fill up pages just to fill them and then have to do it over and heavily re-edit. If you're a tight and fast writer then it works. It's a way to get the words down.  I have a novella I'm working on and plan to push myself to get in the words but not in a contest-kind of way. I keep track. Daily word counts are good. Writing is not a race. Just. Keep. Writing.

That said, Jean's a fan - she's also a fast, and prolific, writer. Here's her take on it. She actually makes it sound fun. I went to the NaNo group with her one year. It was good to mingle. That can be fun, too. 

NaNo NaNo NaNo

By Jean Rabe

November is National Novel Writing Month - NaNoWriMo

You’ve probably seen it mentioned in writer-threads, Facebook, Twitter, bandied about as a topic in local writing groups. Only once through the years was I successful in talking a member of my writing group into NaNoing with me. And that person was a published author—short stories, newspaper articles, magazine features, and novels. She’s participated in multiple NaNos. The other writers in that group, some of whom have sold short stories, all of whom are working on novels but have never sold one, would not participate.

They said they didn’t have time.

They said the rigors of writing 50,000 words in one month were too demanding.

That’s probably why they don’t have finished novels.

Can’t find enough time to write that much, they said, too demanding to finish. Not up to the challenge of crossing the finish line and sticking -30- on the last page, I say.

Writing is never about finding the time.

Writing is about making the time. Taking the time. Stealing the time away from other things to write.

It’s about looking in the mirror and asking: How bad do I want it?

Supposedly NaNoWriMo was started to help newbie authors get that jump-start on their novel. But I know a lot of veteran oft-published authors who participate every year. Actually, I know far more veterans who sign on than aspiring novelists. I’m one of the veterans. I have 36 published novels, about 100 published short stories (maybe more, but I haven’t bothered to count), edited a couple dozen anthologies, and edited more than 100 issues of various magazines.

So, yeah, I’m a veteran. My friends tell me I don’t need NaNoWriMo.

Yeah, I do need NaNoWriMo.

Its things like NaNoWriMo that make me a veteran.

It serves as my I-want-to-write-this-book-but-don’t-have-a-contract-or-deadline-for-it churning blast. NaNo is my contract with myself, and my deadline for 50,000 words. It’s my nudge. It is my put-the-butt-in-the-chair, put-the-fingers-on-the-keyboard, until I finish 50,000 words. Or more. It is my whoooo-hooooo-let’s-do-this Fall event.

This November I will use NaNo to get a jump on The Dead of Night, the sequel to The Dead of Winter, releasing Nov. 1 by Imajin. I’m working on the outline for the book now. It’s fair game in NaNo to outline your novel ahead of time. You just can’t start writing chapter one until Nov. 1.

 It’s perfect for me, The Dead of Winter releasing on the day I start The Dead of Night. Something appropriately poetic about that, dontcha think? I used a previous NaNo to start The Dead of Winter—which was runner up in Killer Nashville’s prestigious Claymore Awards. Hmmm…guess I better come up with another “Dead” book for NaNo 2017, eh?

Need or Want?

So, yeah, I need NaNoWriMo. Or at least I think I do. And that’s basically the same thing.

I’m suggesting to any aspiring novelist reading this to give NaNo a try.

There are a bunch of great perks.

·         You can meet locally with other writers taking the plunge, usually in coffee shops and restaurants; nice chance to socialize and chat about writing and books. You might make some new friends or find (or create) a regular writing group.

·         Your email box will fill with inspiring essays by top-notch pros discussing writing. Many of the essays are by bestselling authors. And NaNo alone is worth it to get this inspiration and advice.

·         It serves as an opportunity to lock yourself away, ignoring family and friends for 30 days, telling them you’ve made a commitment to this contest. And it is a contest…can you write 50,000 words in one month (that’s less than 1,700 words a day)? Can you win? You still win if you don’t hit the word mark, ‘cause you’ve gotten something down on your manuscript.

·         It is a chance to kick the excuses of why you can’t do it to that proverbial curb.

·         It will turn you into a sorcerer…you will have ‘made’ time, ‘created’ time, rather than to have simply found it.


Here's the NaNo page with lots of great articles to help with writing in general: http://nanowrimo.org/nano-prep#resources

And here is one of those articles, this one about handling the 30-day keyboard binge:

Now, I gotta close out this little blog because I need to finish my outline for The Dead of Night…because NaNoWriMo, like Winter, is coming.

If you’re interested in checking out a novel that I started on NaNoWriMo and sold during the summer, here you go….

You can find my blog at: http://jeanerlenerabe.blogspot.com/

I have a newsletter filled with tidbits about my upcoming books, reviews of things I’m reading, and writing advice. You can subscribe here: http://jeanrabe.us14.list-manage1.com/subscribe?u=89364515308e8b5e7ffdf6892&id=9404531a4b

   USA Today Bestselling author Jean Rabe has written 35 fantasy, urban fantasy, and science fiction novels. The Dead of Winter, her 36th, is her first mystery. She has roughly 100 short stories in print, has edited a couple dozen anthologies, and has edited more magazines than she cares to tally. When she isn’t writing or editing, she tosses tennis balls to her cadre of dogs, visits museums, and tries to find gamers who will play Axis & Allies with her. 

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