October means #NaNoWriMo prep!

CindyCarrollEI’m a spring/summer girl. I like the warmth, the sunshine. But autumn has always held a special place for me. I love the colours, Thanksgiving, and Hallowe’en. Since I discovered NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) six years ago October has taken on another thing to look forward to.  NaNoWriMo prep!

What the heck is this NaNoWriMo everyone keeps talking about?

National Novel Writing Month starts November 1st every year. It’s a writing challenge really. The goal is to write 50,000 words in 30 days. To some that may sound almost impossible. To others it may sound too easy. I know writers who can do that 50k in two weeks, but I’m not one of them. For many genres 50k words is not a complete novel but it’s a pretty good start on one. For genres I write, it’s just over half way there.

Every year I have great hopes for NaNoWriMo . I purposely do not plan any not writing events. Since our Thanksgiving is in October I don’t have a holiday in November to contend with. All that stuff is celebrated before November 1 so the month is free and clear for writing. Out of all the years I’ve participated I’ve “won” once. Winning NaNoWriMo means you wrote 50k in 30 days. I’m still working on revisions of that book. That’s one of the problems with writing fast and doing no editing as you go. Lots of revision. But at least the story is down.

Every year, except that one year I won, something goes wrong and I end up quitting half way through the month. Or delude myself into thinking I can catch up even though I’m 20,000 words behind and there are two days left. This year it will be different. This year I will finish my 50,000 words and hopefully more. I’m aiming for at least 70,000.

How am I going to “win” NaNoWriMo?

It’s all about preparation. Every year I start to prep for NaNoWriMo but most years I don’t do enough or I wait until the last minute. What’s the same this year as it was for the year I won – my eagerness to start the book. The year I won I had an idea for a book in May and I couldn’t wait to start writing it. But since I decided it would be my NaNo book I couldn’t start the actual writing. I could only plan, outline, do character sketches. As such, I knew my main character really well by the time November 1st rolled around. And I knew a lot about the story. I’d done a one sentence per scene outline so I knew what each one was about before I started writing.

This year I’ll be working on the first book in a new adult dystopian trilogy. I’ve had this idea for at least seven months. I can’t remember when the idea actually came to me. I’d have to go through my notes for that. But it did come from listening to a song on the radio on my way to work. I guess there is something to be said for that awful commute after all. I’ve been doing world building. I’ve been figuring out my character. I’ll be doing plotting this week. I’ve got a play list for the trilogy on Spotify. The more I learn about my story world the more I can’t wait to write it. And that is the key for me to winning NaNoWriMo . The excitement of writing the book. Having a story so compelling that I can’t wait to dive in and get words on the page. I have to keep reminding myself that I can’t start until November 1st because every time I turn on the computer I just want to write that story. To breathe more life into my character, follow her through her world and see how she changes that world. She will upset the status quo in her world. People in the story will not be happy. I can’t wait!

Have you ever done NaNoWriMo ? Anyone doing it this year? Buddy me and check my progress: Cindy Carroll on NaNoWriMo

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ReflectionsFinal2A road trip goes wrong for a group of friends trying to help one of them get over a break up. They find an inn where the mirrors are cursed and they realize they don’t know each other as well as they thought they did.

A road trip without a plan sounded like a good idea when Lena and her friends hit the road. A mini vacation and support for Steve, recently dumped, have the friends travelling through small towns and back roads. After hours of driving in the heat in a cramped car they’re all ready for something to eat and a good night’s rest. Reflections Inn looks perfect for the group of friends. A little run down, it hides a supernatural horror.

Buy on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1avH00L
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Buy on Kobo: http://bit.ly/13CBz9M
Buy on Amazon Canada: http://amzn.to/15oFc4a


13 thoughts on “October means #NaNoWriMo prep!

  1. Yes, November is a great month for writing. Been there and done what you have done. I wish you the best and maybe I’ll join you this year. Doris


  2. Good luck Cindy. I tried NaNoWriMo once and didn’t complete. I may try it again, even this year. I have a new novel I need to work on in my third book in the Inzared series and I haven’t been writing at all. Thanks for the incentive and information!


  3. Cindy, Thanks for this reminder and explanation. I have done it for the last few years. I do complete it, but since I have never taken the time to figure out exactly how to post it and I have never had any friends that kept up with me or that I kept up with, so I never shared. I’m anxious to get started again. I’ve been thinking about it for the last several years. Cher’ley


  4. I’ve known several people who participate and even a few who end up with a book that gets published! I’m taking a writing class that starts Oct. 29th so I plan to use November to create a book as well. I have some things in mind and I’m anxious to get started, too! Good luck Cindy!


  5. Best wishes with it, Cindy. I’ve never done it yet but never say never. 50 k words sounds pretty impossible for me just now, but the challenge would be amazing. The discipline of ‘making’ the time to just write would be huge. I’d might cheat though and use an already ‘ just started’ novel and add 50 k words to it! 😉


  6. I’ve started a few times, but only won once as well. It was exactly what I needed to kick-start that novel. When I’ve tried after, it didn’t work so well. I think you’re right that it’s all about the preparation. I’d done tons of planning that first time. I’m not doing it this year–I’m busy getting my current book ready to release in December. Good luck with your NaNoWriMo project, Cindy!


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