Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Baker's Dozen starts Fri!

While I finish up NaNoWriMo (so close!) here's a little something from Miss Snark's First Victim Baker's Dozen. Make sure you you take a good look at her auction; it's a great way to see what agents are looking for. Your book may be next!

Happy writing and ¡Buen Provecho!

The 60 winning entries for our Baker's Dozen Auction will post THIS FRIDAY! You're in for a treat.

I'll be posting all the itty-bitty details about the auction on Thursday. In the meantime, here are a few important tidbits:

  • Critiquing may begin IMMEDIATELY. I will ask you to hold off on critiquing during the actual bidding window next week.
  • WINNERS: If you see any formatting issues or want to change anything once you see your post, please email me at facelesswords(at) WITH THE TITLE OF YOUR NOVEL IN THE SUBJECT LINE. I will make the changes.
  • NON-WINNERS: I will be posting instructions on how to submit your excerpt to one of our 10 guest blogs for public critique. Please remember that this is OPTIONAL; you don't have to participate if you don't want to.

I'm excited! Spread the word to your writing friends and communities; this is going to be wonderful to watch as well as to participate in. The posts are already in the queue and ready to post automatically. I'm finally getting to the point where I can sit back and watch things unfold.

Well, almost. A few more emails and last-minute details. Then the fun will begin!

Another word of thanks for your donations, too. Just a reminder that all donations from this point forward will go to admin. I'm going to be placing the book order for my library this week, so I can no longer accept donations for books.

You can donate at any time during the auction. Again, thank you. I am repeatedly humbled by your generosity.

Okay -- onward! Many sparkles ahead.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Week Four Nano: Oh, What a Lonely Boy

For those of you too young to know the reference, Lonely Boy is a song from 1976 by one of the decade's many one hit wonders, Andrew Gold. Ok, he was a two hit wonder, responsible for the Golden Girl's TV show theme, Thank You For Being A Friend. Kinda fits with what I have to say today.

This week, week four for NaNoWriMo, I hit a word wall. I knew it was coming, but I didn't know how to climb over it. That's when I discovered week three's enemy: solitude. Writing can be a lonely business - just you alone with your thoughts, worlds, and characters.

But a good friend gave me a lift up over that wall. She is the Book Babe, Faith Hochhalter. If you don't know her, you should. Here is a wonderful blog interview with her by the equally wonderful and soon to be published Shannon Messenger. Included is a chance to win a critique from the fabulous Book Babe herself. Go now. Well, maybe wait until the end of this, which is coming quick.

Last Sunday, I complained to Faith that I didn't think I could still get my word goal out for that day. A lazy Sunday afternoon and frenzied writing don't always mix.

All Faith did was tell me I could. 'All'. Like that's a little thing. It's not. It's huge. And it made the biggest difference for me. I hit my goal that day and the days following. I'm at 42K words. Only 8K left to go and a week to do it. I CAN do this.

And so can you.

Faith - Thank for you being a friend. See? I told you it would fit :)

Don't be afraid to seek support. We all need it. It can change everything.

Good writing and, this week especially, ¡Buen Provecho!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Week Three Nano Enemy: Yaaaaawn.

I have met mine enemy and it is boring. My enemy isn't boring; boring is my enemy.

This week, I got so bored with my story! The characters felt stale, the plot stagnant, all the evidence pointing to my failure as a writer. But perusing the NaNoWriMo website, I saw I wasn't alone. Looks like week three has a common enemy. Since I'm writing by the seat of my pants and doing it as fast as I can (re: writing without thinking too much), I decided to shake things up a bit.

First, I shot my main character. Totally didn't see that coming.

Then, I switched two characters' roles. I made the bad one good (sort of) and the good one bad. The good one had been getting on my nerves anyway. He acted a bit too good, more annoying than endearing, if you know what I mean. Now he has purpose.

In switching the roles, I ended up with a hidden, inter-dimensional conspiracy. Now we're cooking!

Week one enemy: Inner Critic. Goal met.
Week two enemy: Inner Editor. Goal met.
Week three enemy: Boredom. Goal meeting.

I learned that when boredom hits, do something crazy. When Erin Morgenstern got tired of her NaNo-novel, she sent her characters to the circus. And now we have her stellar debut book, The Night Circus.

Don't be afraid to let your story take you somewhere unexpected. You may just end up on a best-seller list.

Good writing and ¡Buen Provecho!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

New NaNo week, new NaNo Enemy

Participant_120_200_whiteOk, here I am, week two, day nine of National November Writing Month. And I'm still writing. A lot. At least for me. NaNo recommends a goal of 1667 words a day to reach 50,000 words by the end of the month. I set my personal goal at 2500 per day: a morning session of 1250 and an evening one of 1250. That way it would take me 20 days and I could take off weekends plus Thanksgiving and Black Friday (a holiday all its own).

But like all writers, I learned to be a little more flexible. A good writer is nothing if not flexible. 

So, when evening writings turned into late nights, I changed them to early afternoons right after lunch until it's time to pick up the first round of school goers. (We have three. Rounds, not kids.)

That worked, and it worked really well. So I wrote right after breakfast and right after lunch. Having a full belly appears to give me super human typing speed and strength against the writer's natural enemy: the inner critic. Sounds like a good excuse for eating, so I'll take it. Toss in few more words over the weekend (flexiblility wins again after sick child stayed home from school on Friday) and week one goal met. Yay me!

This week has started just fine. Met my daily goal so far. But I met a new enemy as well. Now not only am I fighting my inner critic, but my INNER EDITOR. I want so badly to go back and fix, add, read, etc. what I've already written, that I'm endangering all the new words that want to get out. This is a rookie mistake not uncommon for a first time nano-er like me, but I am determined not to look back. Writers look forward, at least on a first draft.

To recap:

Week one enemy: Inner Critic. Goal met.
Week two enemy: Inner Editor. Goal meeting.

I can't wait to see who I meet week three.

So if you're nanoing and facing the same temptations to edit that I am, it's time to refocus and remember that its National Novel Writing Month, not Editing Month. Be patient. That time will come. We'll rename Jan, Feb, and March NaNoEdMos. Because editing is what separates the writers from the wannabees.

The best news? I'm enjoying writing again and for that alone, I'm happy I'm nanoing. Hope you are, too!

Good writing and ¡Buen Provecho!

NaNo Writer Workout Wish!

I wish this really worked:


Then maybe only thing moving this month wouldn't just be my fingers. But darned if I don't have the most beautifully fit fingers in the neighborhood! Well, next to the concert pianist down the street :)

That is all.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Bigger Steps

Participant2_180_180_whiteGuess where all those baby steps from my last post led me this week? Straight to NaNoWriMo. For those who don't know, this is National Novel Writing Month. That's where writers, both professional and amateur, buckle down and write 50,000 words in 30 days. It's not too late to start, either - join us here!

In my last post, Wee Steps, I mentioned that the words were not coming easily. So I took baby steps in getting them out by writing letters to friends. That way I didn't have to worry about quality or quantity, I only had to get them out.


With nanowrimo, the emphasis is squarely and totally on word count. Quantity over quality. And it was the perfect next step to take.

I had a general story line in mind, complete with flexible log line and opening sentence. But beyond that, I have no idea what's going to happen. This is a total pantsing experience. Not the kind where some bully pulls down your pants in front of everyone, - though sharing what you write feels eerily similar - but the not having an outline kind. Plot vs Pants. For me, for this one, it's completely by the seat of my pants. Does thinking about it before I fall asleep count as plotting? Prolly not.

So I set a daily word goal of 2500, breaking it into a morning run of 1250 and an after-the-kids-are-in-bed-hopefully-before-midnight one also of 1250. And wouldn't you know? I hit it. And in just over an hour each time. It's amazing how fast you can write when you aren't shedding blood, sweat, or tears over every word (and then end up changing them anyway once you start editing). But that's the whole point of nanowrimo - silencing your inner critic.

I have never written so much in so little time. I'm actually starting to believe that I'll have a whole book by November 30th.

The best part is that under all those words, a story is starting to emerge.

And I can't wait to see how it ends!

¡Buen Provecho!