Next Steps…The First Read.

As I attempt to do the first read through of my NaNoWriMo novel, I have been researchong different ways to go about doing so.

I attended a webinar from James Scott Bell (JSB You can find his work at www.jamesscottbell.com ) that was excellent in giving points to make the first read through as successful as possible. He suggested to read like a reader for the first look. Print your book out and give it a cover (a different color paper with the Title in Bold center works for me). Nothing fancy just a way to trick your brain to read without editing.

I figure this gives you that chance to read your book in its ‘raw’ form. So you can see the great things you wrote during the Madness of November as well as the crap.

JSB also suggested to keep your notes to a ‘must’ and not go full edit until after the read. Just make simple marks on the margin to remind yourself during rewrite what you thought as a reader. JSB showed us marks he uses but I think using your own marks might help keep your groove while reading. Trying to remember what someone else uses for a “This is boring,” mark or a “What were you thinking here?” mark might be more trouble than it is worth. Find something that works for you but remember not to get carried away with edit the first time through.

Once you have things read from a reader POV then you will have a much easier time getting into the rewrite and fixing the plot holes and character flaws.

On a side note, I was able to help a fellow author today who was asking about Kickstarter. If you get the chance go check out Benjamin Wallace and his Dumb White Husband series of books. You can find Ben’s stuff at  benjaminwallacebooks.com. Funny Stuff.

My Kickstarter Experience: A simple starter walkthrough

So I have been thinking, I am going to try to do a Kickstarter for my novel I wrote for this years Nanowrimo. I posted a brief bit with a link to the page I am working on.

And then I thought “Hmm, I wonder how many other authors might want to try the same thing but are not sure if they can?” I decided to write a blog post about how and what I am doing for Kickstarter. Giving a walk through of my experience so that you can have a better understanding of what they do and how to go about doing it for yourself.

First off, Kickstarter  according to their own site:

“Kickstarter is a funding platform for creative projects. Everything from films, games, and music to art, design, and technology. Kickstarter is full of ambitious, innovative, and imaginative projects that are brought to life through the direct support of others.”

The way they work is they are an “all or nothing” style funding. Either you meet your goal and get paid or your don’t and no money changes hands. It is up to you to get people looking at your project and sponsoring you.

This opens up a whole new world to people seeking support for their creative projects. For writers, this may help you decide if you are going to self publish or pursue traditional publication. Something to keep in mind when you are getting ready to set your goal amount.

When you first start your Kickstarter project they send you through their GUIDELINES to learn what is a proper Kickstarter project and what is not. Things like getting an album produced or, for writers, getting the backing to self publish your novel.

Next are the BASICS of your project. In this case, your book.

  • Project Image: Post the Cover Art if you have it already, if not post an image used for your author platform.  I am using a bit of art made by my husband that I am also using on Twitter. That way people will know it is really my project.
  • Project Title: For Books you can just use the title of the book or try to put something that is Eye Catching. I just put Death’s Hope for now.
  • Category: You will need to categorize your project. There is a section for Publication and sub sections on what type of thing you are seeking to publish. Fiction here.

(I strongly suggest going through their vids and such on how to pull off a successful kickstarter. You can get some great ideas and learn a great deal on how it all works)

  •  Short Blurb: If you tweeted about your project (135 characters) what would you say?
  • Project Location: Where is your project located? Kickstarter has a breakdown and you can look up current projects started by people in your area. If you are someone who likes to support local artists, check out what is being started in your area.
  • Funding Duration: This section is for how long you want your project to run on Kickstarter. They have a ‘small print’ section here. Read through it to learn what is the best action for your project.
  • Funding Goal: This is very important to research. Find out how much you will need for your project and then ask for that. Don’t get greedy. Look and see what other people are doing. I took a long look at the people who had achieved their goals and what they did.

Next section you will be asked to work on is the REWARDS section. This part was my favorite. Thinking up all the different things to reward my supporters with. Bookmarks, Signed book copies, Launch Party invites. Anything you feel would be seen as valuable and worth a person investing in your project. Keep in mind that you will have to pay for the things you are offering to your supports when you are setting goal and reward levels. Have fun with it and your supporters will too.

The next step is the STORY.

  • Project Video: Post a video about what you are asking people to spend their money on. It does not need to be anything fancy. Some folks might even think “Well if you can afford to get that video all cool, why you need my money?” It will make you look more credible if people see the person behind the project. Authors should really use this as a time to get your audience started.
  • Project Description: This is where you tell people about your book. What stage are you at? Is the book finished? Are you still working on it? What is it about? Tell people as much as you can without actually giving away the story. This is the section you want to be very honest and open in. People will read this to find out more about what the project is about and making their choice to give you money or not based on what they read here.
  • Risks and Challenges: This section allows you to show your supporters that you are fully prepared for the things that might happen during the course of your project. Print delays? Computer crashed and need to get a new one to finish the rewrite? There ya go.

From here it is all ABOUT YOU. Who are you? What kinds of things are you interested in? How can supporters find out more about you? Do you have a webpage? PLATFORM people! This is it!

There are two other sections to completing your project with Kickstarter. Account and Review. I am just getting into these sections myself so I will do another blog in the near future about what it is like to get through them. You will need to create an Amazon Business account and have either a Debit card or Credit Card for them to deposit the fund onto if you should make your goal.

I hope this was helpful for people who are interested in learning more about the Authors journey through the Kickstarter process. I will be posting more about this experience to share for future or upcoming authors!

Enjoy and let me know if this was helpful or not! Click the speach bubble at the top to leave a comment!

Nano Over Now What?

NaNoWriMo is over and I am sure many writers are wondering the same thing I am at this point.

Now What?

Well, there are a few ways you can go at this point but for sure, Keep Writing. Find a new project to immerse yourself in.

I plan on doing another Novel in a Month. It worked well for me in getting a book from start to finish. I plan on doing another and see what happens. Lucky for me the program I use to write with gives a daily word goal. It is nice. If you are interested in joining me in another 30 day dash, leave a comment. The more the merrier and this is a great time of year for Merry!

Another option now that Nano is over: Edit something else. (The key here is Something Else)

If you happen to have a project ready for it, try editing something you have that is not your Nano work. (That needs time to settle in and ferment a bit. Which makes a good book kinds like beer! Oh there is a blog bonus post!) I have a short story I have had for years. I have started the edit process with the help of some great people ( Thank you Jennifer! Roz and Bara!) If you have ready my previous blogs you may know the story I am talking about. Do you have something you are editing? What is your biggest pet peeve when editing someone else? Leave a comment! Is there something in your own work that stands out? a Mistake you make all the time? Mine is commas. When ending a dialogue sentence like “I told you to put the damn comma in the right place,” Jen said to me, her voice full of sarcasm. I always get it wrong (cept now cuz I was watching…)

You can celebrate a job well done and look forward to next year!

I know some people only do Nano for the challenge of it. Just to be able to say “I see your 30 Days…And I win.” Nothing more. That is cool. So now you have 11 months to tell people “I wrote 50k in 30 days.” Good on you! Let me know how you have decided to celebrate maybe we can have an online party!

Whatever you decide to do, Grats on a job well done during NaNoWriMo this year! Even if you did not make it into the Winner Circle be proud that you were a part of something that people all around the world participated in!

 

 

50k Done!

Holy Crap! I feel like the little boy from the end of The Incredibles that says “That was totally wicked!”

There were a few days in there I was not sure I would make it at all. I was starting to get a bit depressed with the whole thing and almost threw in the towel. If it was not for the fantastic support group that I have on twitter, I think I would have given up.

I plan on putting their names in the acknowledgments ‘when’ it gets published.

The biggest motivator was having people who where doing the same thing at the same time. Sharing my pain and triumph with them along the way.

I think the other thing that helped was picking my ‘Big Motivator’ at the start of the month. That goal I would love to achieve (even if it is crazy ridiculous) if all the cards played right into my hands.

My dream. I want to sit on an author panel as a fellow writer, at one of the conventions or some such with my favorite author Laurell K Hamilton. The dream that maybe she would maybe read my book in the future.

That was a large motivation. How can she, or any of the other awesome authors I have met recently, read my book if I never write it?

It helped to think, what kind of book would so-and-so like to read? And then write it. I know the kind of books I like to read so I tried to write a book I thought would be cool. (Does that make any sense or do I need sleep?)

I feel great. I am a writer! Now to take the advice of the lovely Yasmine Galenorn and learn how to edit!

Nano Day 28

28 days? Really?

I have less than 5 thousands words left to meet the NaNoWriMo goal of 50k. And it feels like everything is out to keep me from finishing those last words!

School meetings, sick kids, client meetings and the holidays seem to be begging for my attention. Add college midterms to that list and it is a wonder I made it through the 45k!

But that just tells me that I can make it through the next 5k with no trouble. Maybe a little less sleep and a messier house but those are small things when I think of finishing a novel for the first time.

I will look back on this November and remember it as the first step down the road to becoming what I wanted to be when I was young. A writer. How many other people can say that? How many times throughout our lives do we ‘settle’ for the next thing on the list?

I know some people find their dream job only after they have grown up and found themselves. Me? I think I got lost along the way. When I was very young I knew what I wanted and I wove the things in my life around that goal. Then life happened and those dreams where either shattered or torn from me by the cruel hands of fate and I became less that what I was as a young child.

It has taken over 20 years for me to find myself again. To regain that lost childhood dream and the drive to make it a reality. “Hello me! I am so glad to see you! You would not believe how much I missed you.”

So, here is to the finish line. To unlocking an achievement that has been waiting for decades.

“Writing a novel. Achievement Unlocked!”

Nano Day 25

HAPPY DANCE!!!

I passed the 40k mark and am so thrilled!

While I still feel that this story had some serious ADHD moments in it I think I might be able to turn it into something readable in the future. There is SO much in this that I can easily take it beyond just the one book and turn it into at least a trilogy. The book title changed tonight from Dance with Death to Death’s Hope with The Gods Hope and Titans Hope following.

Do you ever get that feeling when you are writing that there is so much more going on in your worlds that even you do not really understand until it is happening to your characters?

I am looking forward to returning to my much-loved Charlie the Sorceress and her world of shapeshifters and such. The playing around with the gods has taken a lot out of me and I want to get back to ‘normal’ magics. (ha-ha)

I also will not mind spending some time with my werewolf other self either. Her story has been sitting like a constant fuzz in the back of my mind this entire month. She is worst at full moon. Thankfully it is winter and we both despise the cold so no running in the dark for now. (Dont look at me like that I KNOW there are plenty of other writers out there who see their characters the EXACT SAME WAY!)

I have learned so much about myself and the ways I am most productive in writing. I hope it serves me well in the future. As much as I can not wait to share this book with the people who have been following my progress I hope you all can understand my need to step back from it for a bit before I run into the rewriting.

I am signed up for a Webinar called NOVEL REVISION: CRAFT A STORY READERS CAN’T PUT DOWN. I am really looking forward to it and it will give me a few days to NOT look at the story of Hope and Thane for a few days.

There are a few more Write Ins happening here and I wish I could make it to them. I will have to see what I can arrange with the man. (aka My Husband).

I hope you are all feeling as good about where you are as I am. I was really feeling depressed about it for a few days and fell behind but there is a new determination not to let it beat me. See you again at the finish line!

 

Nano Day 20

You know when you get to that point of being over tired where your eyes are burning and gritty? Where you think your brain might actually be made of Green Jell-O with bits of pineapple in it?

Yeah, that was me today.

I stayed up late to try and catch up on my NanoWordCount. ( made it to 32,439!) I did over 2k words yesterday. I am so proud of myself! By the time I had put in a decent word count, it was 5am and time to start getting kids up for school.

The coffee and Red Bull had reached critical mass and were no longer helping my eyes stay open.

I was feeling like super mom until my higher brain function started to shut itself down. I started to drool on myself. There is only so many games of Peek a Boo and Tickle the baby you can play to keep you awake. At 2pm I fell into bed and lost it for the next six hours.

I am hoping that my little ones will go to bed soon so I can do some homework and writing.

Nano Day 16

/headdesk

That was my day yesterday. I got a little over 700 words done. Only because I forced myself to sit here at my computer until 3am to get something on the page.

I did get my blog about Branding posted. There is so much there that I need to learn! Thankfully I have time to save the money to hire someone professional.

Oh yeah, and my house got clean! Like REALLY clean!

I am still sorta stumped in the storyline. I know where and what just getting the words to get there has been difficult.

Today is going to be mostly about trying to push past this hump and getting into the last half of the NaNoWriMo. I might come up with another blog idea in the process.

Trying to focus my blogs about my journey as a new author and the things I am learning along the way. I hope everyone enjoys it as much as I am!

Nano Day 12

Today is going to be interesting. I spent a big portion of my night talking with my husband about some of the issues I have had with my novel. He is my creative inspiration. It has always been that way. He compliments me in every way. (Now that I am done being mushy…) It helped me to clarify some of the things I was stuck on story wise. I don’t want to go into detail because it is some major storyline plot thick stuff, but it was like “LIGHT BULB!” from Despicable Me! He was mid sentence explaining how some plot twist could work and all of a sudden we both looked at each other and went “Holy Shit!” then he pointed at my laptop and said “Write Woman”.

I don’t think I have ever typed that fast in my life. I think I did over 1000 words in about 20 minutes. It. Was. AWESOME.

So now, not only do I have a better idea of where we are going with THIS book, but have a great background and overall plot that could carry through several others. It is so exciting! I really can not wait to share this epic story with you all.

I enjoy putting teasing bits of what I am writing here in the blog. I think it helps people gain interest in what I am writing without giving away the story. Like the back of a book tells you just enough to get you to buy the book in the first place. I want to get you interested for the same reason.

Here is are snippets from the book. I hope you enjoy it!

“I am Nyx,” she said. “I can smell my nephew on you, girl.”

I was not sure if I should start to panic or not. “Do you mean Thane?”

“Thanatos, yes.” she said. She moved out of the trees and walked around me. I felt like a prize horse being checked out. “You have good taste, nephew.”

Thane stepped from the trees as well and replied “Thank you Aunt.” I had no idea that he had been there. “Were you following me?” I asked him in a flash of white-hot temper. Nyx let out a deep-throated laugh at my outburst and grabbed my face in her hands. Her long, black nails dug deeply into my cheeks and I thought she might break skin. “She has fight in her. She must get that from her father.”

——————————————————–

Nyx dug her nail into the side of his face. “Does she know yet?” She asked him. “Does she remember?” Thanes lips were tight “No.” He said
“Ah.” Nyx gave a short chuckle and looked at me with her burning purple gaze. “This promises to get interesting.”

Nano and life Balance

Finding the balance between NaNoWriMo and the obligations of life has been difficult.

I am currently taking college classes to get my Bachelor is Business Management. It is not my passion or even my dream job. Writing full-time would be a dream job.  I know there is still much to be done (like finishing the damn novel) before I am the next J.K. Rowling so I am going to school so that I can make enough money to support my unusually large family until I am a best-selling author with a movie deal. (HAH I can dream right?)

I have been so caught up in word count this week that I have missed several days of valuable homework time. Thankfully I can turn in my work late for a few points docked. I won’t claim to be a perfect 4.0 student on the best of days,(I am just grateful that I can take classes at all!) but I am not stupid and do put in every effort when doing my work so that when I do slip and need to turn things in late the only points lost are the ones for being late!

Granted it does not help that the two classes I am taking are both very heavy. Legal Environment and Intro to Business and Tech. This makes for a lot of brain work added to my over taxed Nanobrain. I am wondering if I will live to see Thanksgiving let alone the 30th. What does an aneurism feel like? Seriously though, I will be that much more in ‘celebrate’ mode when this (and class) is all over. I will have to think of something appropriately “Cheer” worthy to reward myself with. Any suggestions?

I wonder if I can mail a book to my favorite author for her to sign? That would be cool. I bet with return postage…

So, remember to do the things you HAVE to do in life. DO NOT let Nano become an excuse to let the rest of your personal obligations slide, no matter how tempting it may be. NaNoWriMo is a self motivational event to help you learn to become a writer. A way to learn how to balance the things in your life that you will still need to do when you are a successful full-time best seller. Kids will still get sick. Groceries still need to be bought. Holidays happen. Add to the normal life list the things you will now be asked to do as a writer such as Conventions, Book signings and other “must appear” events that I am sure I am not aware of yet. Only now you are financially obligated to produce a book. Use Nano to keep the writing enjoyable even when it becomes a job.