by Merrie Destefano
CONTEST IS CLOSED!
The WINNERS are Sullivan McPig—who will receive a signed copy of AFTERLIFE, and Kimberly B—who will get to choose a book of her choice, as long as it was written by a Supernatural Underground author. CONGRATULATIONS!
I have your e-mail addresses, so I will be contacting the winners shortly.
Meanwhile, thanks to ALL of you who commented. And a BIG CONGRATULATIONS to everyone who has been participating in NaNoWriMo. You still have time to get in some words today!
Just an FYI, I ran everything through a randomizer program to find the winner.
I had my first exposure with NaNoWriMo [the National Novel Writing Month] a few years ago, when one of my dear friends decided to participate. We were also members of the same writing group, so I heard about her preparation and progress on a regular basis. I thought she was nuts. Write a novel in one month? 50,000 words?
Since then, I’ve heard more about NaNo and I guess I got used to the craziness. Lots of times as writers we do things that border on insane. Rewrite manuscripts. Kill off characters. Change an entire book from third person to first. Forget to pay the electricity bill because we’re so immersed in our story, which just so happens to need that pesky thing called electricity to write. I hate it when that happens.
And so, I had been toying with the idea of joining NaNo this year when fellow Supernatural Underground alumni, Tera Lynn Childs, tossed down the gauntlet. I mean, she very sweetly and politely invited me to join. So I did.
Now, mind you, I still need to pay the bills and do copyedits on my second novel and edit a freelance book. My dogs need to be walked, my house needs to be cleaned, and my husband would like it if at least once a day I came out of my office and talked to him.
And I am bending the traditional NaNo rules a bit. I decided to use this 30-day period to resurrect a book project I started over the summer. Back in June I was waiting for the editorial letter for my second novel, so I had a little bit of free time. In 24 days I got 100 pages written. So, I’m working on that project, with the hopes that I will get another 100 pages finished by the end of November and then finish the novel by the end of December.
Right now, I’m at 38,000 words and 158 pages. This NaNo thing seems to be working for me. Although I must confess that I need special tools to help me from time to time. Flying monkeys always seem to work best.
I decided to share a couple of things that I’ve used during NaNo. Mainly these help me write quickly and more efficiently when I’m short on time, like I have been this month. Here they are:
1. SCENE SHORTCUTS:
This technique was adapted from chapter four of the book, Novel Shortcuts by Laura Whitcomb. In my version, I create a separate Word document and quickly—the key is in doing this quickly—write down everything that I want to take place in my next scene. I include dialogue, emotions, setting, anything I can think of. Then when I finish, I use this as rough material to create my scene. The weird thing is, many times this fast, quick overview of what is supposed to happen ends up being dead on, almost perfect. This also really helps to break through writer’s block, something I have suffered with more often than I’d like to confess.
2. WRITE OR DIE:
I just discovered this program about a week or so ago and it’s killer. I love it! You can use the free version of Write or Die online or you purchase the program (that’s what I did) for $10 and download it onto your computer. You write inside this program, instead of Word or Scrivener. You get to set the parameters, which I really like. So you decide how many words you need to write and set the timer. Then you write. If you stop for too long, your screen will darken from white to red, and then a dialogue box pops up and reminds you to start writing. Meanwhile, as all this is going on, you can see a red bar on the top. It grows longer as you run out of time. I hate that red bar! But it gets my adrenaline flowing. The first day I got Write or Die, I tested it. Here are my results: I wrote 8 pages in 62 minutes. For me, that’s just unbelievable.
So, for those of you who knee-deep in NaNo, don’t give up! Keep going. I heard that the novel, Water For Elephants was a NaNo book.
Here’s my question for the day:
Who’s doing NaNo and what are you writing?
If you’re not doing NaNo, have you ever heard of it before? And if so, do you think all of us NaNoites are nuts? (We kinda are, but we seem to be enjoying ourselves.)
Tell me about your NaNo adventures in the comment section below and I will give away two prizes to two different people this month. One will get a signed copy of AFTERLIFE: THE RESURRECTION CHRONICLES and one will get a copy of A BOOK OF THEIR CHOICE WRITTEN BY A SUPERNATURAL UNDERGROUND AUTHOR.
To enter to win, please post a comment below and include your e-mail address. Entries without e-mail addresses won’t be included in the giveaway. You can earn points by:
+1 Posting in the comments section
+1 Linking to this post on Twitter
+1 Linking to this post on Facebook
+1 Linking to the Supernatural Underground blog on your own blog/website
+3 Following me on Twitter
+3 Following me on Facebook
Just post the total number of points that you’ve earned in your comment. Contest ends Tuesday, November 30, at midnight. Winners to be announced in this post Wednesday, December 1.