And it Begins!

November 1, 2013

Launch Day.

In The Mouth of Madness (hehe appropriate that movie is about a writer!)

NaNoWriMo has officially been going for 10 hours and 18 minutes. 

Are you participating this year? Pantser? Plotter?

Last year was my first NaNo. I had a blast! For the first time in years of wanting to be a writer, I finished a draft. All the way. It was the best feeling in the world!

I strongly recommend it to anyone who has dreams of being a writer but can’t seem to move that one step closer to completing a piece. The whole process teaches you so much about your own personal writing style, when you work best, What motivates you to write and more. 

Last year I learned that the best time for me to write was at night after my kids have gone to bed. I learned that no matter how many books on writing you may read, there is no One True Way with writing. What works for me may drive you up a wall and you would never manage the 1667 words per day needed to reach the 50,000 word goal that is NaNoWriMo.

When do you write best? 

I’ll be doing daily posts as well as a vLog every night after writing is done. Hope to see your comments!

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Are you starting to panic yet? NaNoPrep talk.

National Novel Writing Month is only a few days away!

I must admit, I am getting a little nervous. This year is going to be especially difficult because we are in the process of moving to a new house.

Add the Crazy of the Holidays plus Packing/ Unpacking (Yes that gets a Capital letter) while juggling 6 boys, one 80lb black lab, two senior citizens (my parents) and a Husband with various daily life schedules…Well, if you see a mushroom cloud over Western Washington, that is me and not the mountain or a bomb of some type.

I do plan on making it through NaNoWriMo. If I can write a novel this November without my eyeballs exploding or someone in my family dying, well then, there will be no more excuses for me NOT to be successful at this writing thing.

I know over the past year I have had many rambles of various things on the blog, but I always come back to writing and my journey to make a go of it. I try and post interesting things that other ‘would be writers’ and even established writers may find funny, interesting or helpful. Seeing how someone else made the journey helps you learn what you may or may not want to do on your own way.

Getting my butt in my chair is the hardest part for me.

I don’t know if that is a common writer problem or just an Iniriba problem, but there it is. My biggest issue with getting things written.

The moment I sit down I am either interrupted or think of something that HAD to be done RIGHT NOW. Mind you, it is usually not something that NEEDED to be done by ME, but as any mom can attest, sometimes it is just easier to do it yourself…

In between all the things that have to be done when moving from one place to another, I am doing my NaNoPrep. Packing does not take much brain power so it allows me plenty of time to go through different plot ideas I have had spinning in my head this past year.

When I get to the point in an idea that I need to write it down or lose it, I take a break, grab the pen and notebook every writer had within arms reach of them and write down everything I hashed out as I packed. Now I have a good stack of notes for the book and am about ready to outline everything 😀

Last years Nano taught me that I write best at night after everyone is asleep (or suppose to be anyway) so the plan is to do that again this year. The only foreseeable issue is going to be making sure I have munchies.

So there you have it. I guess this year will be the deciding factor in exactly how serious I am about this ‘writing for a career’ thing. Thankfully I am blessed with an entire family that wants to see me succeed at this as much as I do.

Hope you all have a happy NaNoWriMo!

Rewriting is a…

Bitch.

Blast.

Thing.

All these words are accurate. If you are writing your first novel or even your 101st then you know exactly what I mean.

I am learning the hard way the rewriting your work is a must. Unless you are God giving the law to Moses on Stone, you will HAVE TO rewrite.

Especially if you are a pants-er like me.

I wrote 50k words for NaNoWriMo last year. 50,000 words. How?

One action sequence after another. My characters fought, had sex, fought some more and no one was really sure why or who they were fighting or screwing!

So now during the rewrite I have to untangle the bodies and figure out who is killing who and who is sleeping with who (or what).

It is Gloriously Aggravating!

I hope to have a decent book out of it by the time it is all said and done. I have taken out the sex for now. It may go back in depending on what the Beta Readers have to say. If they are not needed in the story then great! If the readers like the idea of some hanky panky time (And I am able to write a decent sex scene) then I will include them.

Mostly I just hope the story is good enough that people will want to spend their hard earned dollars on it.

Everything you have ever read, that was worth reading was NOT a first draft.

Rewriting in a MUST.

A Book Review on Writing Great Fiction – Plot & Structure by James Scott Bell

Here we are, several months after NaNo and my book sits in a large manila folder by my computer. Mocking me.

I found myself struggling to get my NaNoWriMo book edited. I would take it out of its neat folder. Sit down somewhere cozy and prepare to read the silly thing. I made it about 20 pages in.

Not that I was not excited about the plot! There is great potential in those pages. The characters (after a bit of serious rewrite) are fun, sexy and smart-ass, but for some reason I just could not bring myself to sit there and read something I knew everything about.

It was starting to feel impossible! This book will never get edited. Rewrite is going to be a chore if I can not even read through it once!

I decided to look through my kindle for anything on the subject I could find. I was not really sure where to look so I started with the author who had recently given a webinar on the very subject I was having a hard time with.

James Scott Bell is an author who followed me on Twitter so I decided to return the favor by following him. Am I glad that I did!

I found his book Writing Great Fiction – Plot & Structure. I grabbed the sample and read through it. Absorbing every bit of info available in the brief snippet of text they allowed in the sample. I had to buy it.

 

I am only about half way through the book. I have started to take my time reading it. Wishing now I had purchased a hard copy to highlight the crap out of. (I think he even mentions doing that to his own books on writing.) It is one of those books that you just need to dunk in a bucket of highlighter ink.

JSB goes through the basics of plot creation and idea generation step by step with great examples from many of the top names in Fiction, both past and present. The exercises he gives started my mind whirling about ways to improve my book right away. I had to grab a notebook and pen to keep with me as I read.

He explains each stage of a book and the reasons why they work the way thay do in such a way that you never get bored.

I don’t have a very extensive library of ‘How to write…” books yet. I honestly don’t think there is a successful author out there who could put out such a book and not have it be good. I am really glad this book happens to be one of the first I have purchased.

Writing, due to the creative nature of it, is something that you can never learn too much about. Yes, I agree with JSB that it can be taught. Point proved by the things I have learned from his book so far. However, there is still the element of creativity, of spontaneous art that comes from the flow of the words onto the screen (or page if you longhand at all).

That part, I don’t feel, can be taught. It is the artistic passion of the writer that keeps them writing regardless of the number of rejection letters they have received. That starts them on the path to becoming a writer in the first place.

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 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.

New Look, Same Great…awe who am I tryin to kid? hehe

What do you think?! Huh? You like it? I had to find something that was Me, my writing and the voices in my head.

The book I am working on right now has the Greek Gods in modern-day. Walking around. Yeah. I hope to get a bit of a dark feel to it with some hot sex and combat. (not at the same time). There is a light in the dark. Hope. hehe

The other book is about a sorceress. Who owns a nightclub. And falls for a police detective who also happens to be a werewolf.

Last book ties in with the sorcress…same world different POV. MC is a werewolf. (This one is the rest of the story behind the short bit I did called Full Moon Station which I am debating on posting here or putting up on Amazon. Talking to my friend and fellow writer Jennifer Sights who also has a blog here on WordPress! Check her out!) Let me know what you think, post it or not? Leave a comment below!

There is an Epic Fantasy bit I would like to do later on when I have had more experience as a writer and a Hard core Sci Fi because I love the genre so much I took a class on it High School.

In addition to the great new background I am rocking, I have added two new things I will be talking about after Nanoinsanity is over.

Reviews.

There are three things I adore enough that I would write about them and feel confident that I would not sound completely stupid.

Books.

PC Video Games.

Music.

I look forward to sharing what I am reading, playing or listening to and what I thought of them after.

DONT FORGET!! Facebook and Twitter ————————————————————————->>>> Over here on the sidebar! Like the page and Follow the Twitter! I like you so won’t you like me too? (I may not autofollow on twitter unless you take a moment to drop me a “Hey! I followed you from WordPress!)

I am always interested in what people have to say so don’t be shy, if you find yourself wanting to answer any of my random questions GO FOR IT!

Have a Great Day! I am off to try to catch up on my word count!! (I am at 30,582 and need 33,333 but would like 34,000 by tonight.)

The Write Frame of Mind.

My mind is in a fog. Lack of sleep, too much caffeine (NO such thing!!) and a house full of distractions are all on the front lines of the battle to write this book.

I have a word goal of 30,000 to reach before midnight tonight. I am at 29,313 and have NO motivation whatsoever. It is almost painful. Except that I am too exhausted to really feel pain at the moment.

Finding the write frame of mind is a bit of a challenge. (See what I did there? That play on words? Pretty shnazzy huh) There are several key factors to getting the write mind.

TIME

Some writers claim that getting up in the wee hours of the morning and writing before the day has had the chance to stretch its arm across the sky is the best. Others seem to be able to pour out their novel ideas in the evening when the world is getting drowsy and the light is fading away in a wash of colors against the clouds.

I prefer late night writing. After my kids have gone to bed and the house is quiet, I sit at my computer and let the words come.

PLACE

Coffee shops, libraries and bookstore that let you sit and read are all popular places for writers (and students) to sit and perform feats of literary amazingness (is that even a word?).

I like the comfort of my own space (and hate using public restrooms).

MOOD

Sometimes getting in the write mood is almost as difficult as getting your significant other in the right mood. It may take some gentle persuasion or subtle innuendo to achieve the goal. (Shameless flirting may be needed) Other times you might have to grab the Muse by the hair and drag her kicking and screaming to a place that gets the words moving. Music, lighting and general atmosphere are key factors in mood creation. (also depends on what mood you need for the story which makes it that much more of a bitch to figure out, but hey that is another blog topic)

Once you are in your place, with your Muse rubbing your shoulders and the clock hits the write time (like that one?) you should be able to generate words that fill the screen like water from the sink fills a cup. (Just hope the plumbing does what it should)

Writer foods!

I love to eat. Thankfully, I am blessed with a metabolism that accommodates my love of food. Sometimes it gets me into trouble because I get hungry all the time.

Now, however I find myself with a dilemma. Writer friendly foods. By that, I mean foods that are quick to make, easy to eat quickly so that you can keep the flow of words going without getting cold and gross or soggy and gross or any other number of things (and gross). That fill you up so that you are not wanting to get up and make something else again after you have licked off the plate.

I have found some great solutions!

Cups. Just about every nifty side dish out there now comes in a cup. Mashed Potatoes, Rice a Roni and Mac N Cheese all come in pre portioned cups that pop right in the microwave. All of these make awesome writer food. Add bacon (mmm bacon) to the potatoes or tunafish to the mac n cheese and you have something semi resembling an actual meal.

Dinner roll sandwiches. Yup. These are single hand sized goodness. Or if you happen to have a large mouth, a bite size hunger solution.  A couple of these made before you start then stored in the fridge to grab and munch when needed are perfect.

There are always the usual array of snacky type foods like chips and crackers. These are ok if you don’t mind greasy keyboards or crumbs everywhere.

Better than these two is the Pretzel. Not greasy, won’t leave flakey crumbs in your keyboard and lets face it, they are just plain salty awesomeness. You can even dress them up in chocolate! (mmm chocolate)

Fruits and veggies. Cut up and ready to eat for those crazy cravings. Your body will thank you later for the healthy snacking goodness. Not to mention the vitamins and things that come in fresh produce just might help boost your brain power and get you through a tough spot!

What are some of your favorite writer snack attack foods? Leave a comment below!

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!