Shannon Bolithoe : A Writing Life

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How To Turn Your #NaNoWriMo Project Into a Real Novel

Back in 2009, I used NaNoWriMo to create the first 20,000 words of what eventually became STONE OF FIRE. nanowrimo into novelBut the words I wrote that month

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Creative Writing: Let Your Story Reveal Itself | BookBaby

Let Your Story Reveal Itself To You

By Andre  Calilhanna

“Much of the joy and discovery of creative writing comes from the process itself. I’m finding inspiration and motivation from the very characters I’ve created.
When I first decided to embark on this NaNoWriMo challenge of completing a 50,000-word novel in 30 days, I thought I knew where some of my biggest hurdles would come from. The sheer discipline it would require to write 1,667 words every day for 30 days seemed one obvious issue.

But truly, it’s less about discipline and more about being a magician. How else can you produce the necessary time to write every day? I have tried.

I’ve woken up early, I’ve stayed up late. I’ve snatched time while my son was at soccer practice, writing in the soccer clubhouse (with no heat) instead of glad handing the membership. (I hold the dubious distinction of being the president of the board of the soccer club – which is why I have access to the clubhouse.) I’ve written in a hotel room while on the road, attending a wedding for my wife’s work colleague. I’ve carved out time in the middle of the day, only to have it stolen away by the heating repairman who needed my assistance and seemed to know as much about my boiler as I did.

Point is, I’ve still got a life, two jobs, two school-aged kids, a wife, and a volunteer soccer gig that sucks up time like no paying job I’ve ever had. And I know some variation of this is true for many of you – the writers taking the NaNoWriMo challenge – and I know most of you are probably at 28,339 words, just like you’re supposed to be. (I’m talking to you, Lucy Briggs). That’s astounding. If you haven’t already, congratulate yourself.

For those of you not on the NaNo train, celebrate your writing accomplishments, too. Whatever your goals, whatever your formula, wherever you are in the process. Celebrate your creativity and dedication…”

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9 Alternatives To NaNoWriMo

9 Alternatives To NaNoWriMo

By Writer’s Relief Staff

“National Novel Writing Month has begun, and many novelists swear by this writing challenge for inspiration and productivity. But NaNoWriMo isn’t for everyone. Maybe you write but you’re not a novelist. Or maybe you’re not ready to commit to the intense schedule and word count deadlines that are the hallmark of NaNoWriMo.

Whatever your reason for skipping the NaNo-mania, you can still experience the camaraderie of writing with a community of authors who are working toward a common goal by participating in one of these alternate events:

National Novel Writing Month has begun, and many novelists swear by this writing challenge for inspiration and productivity. But NaNoWriMo isn’t for everyone. Maybe you write but you’re not a novelist.

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How NaNoWriMo Isn’t Really About Novels (And Why You Should Join Anyway)

By Mandy Wallace

“Poise your pens and keyboards because November first is around the corner. Writers everywhere are already nodding along with me. Know why? Because it means National Novel Writing Month is finally (almost) here!

If you don’t know what it is already, National Novel Writing Month—or NaNoWriMo as writers so lovingly (hatingly) call it—is when crazy writers across the globe get together to write an entire novel in one month. Yes, you read that right. An entire novel. In one month. Writers are prepping their outlines (or not) and getting serious (or silly) for the launch date next month. Are you crazy enough to join them?..”

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How to Win NaNo Using Totally Doable Daily and Weekly Writing Goals – Helping Writers Become Authors

Here’s how to create super-productive writing goals for NaNoWriMo and beyond. The best part? They’re surprising painless.

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By K.M. Weiland

“What’s the one and only key to winning National Novel Writing Month? For that matter, what’s the key to writing a novel to its finish and being a successful writer, day in and day out, for the rest of your life? If you cheated by peeking at the title, then you’re probably already guessing “writing goals.”

Well, you’re wrong.

Okay, only partly wrong—because the title isn’t lying. We are going to talk about the importance of writing goals and how you can implement them into your daily and weekly writing schedules. But before we can talk about writing goals, we first have to talk about your math skills.

If you’re now groaning, then know I feel your pain, since high school Algebra and I were pretty much mortal enemies. We’re writers, man. We don’t need no stinkin’ math! Except that we totally do. Why? Because successful goals are totally about numbers.

Today, we’re going to find out what it takes to set successful writing goals that will carry you through NaNo—and beyond. (And I promise that if I can do the math, so can you.)…”

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Tips for NaNoWriMo, Part 4

A Journey of Words

crest-bda7b7a6e1b57bb9fb8ce9772b8faafbThis is a continuation of the list I posted last week. Today’s tips are more specific to the words and reaching the word count. This will (probably) be the last post I made about how to prepare for NaNoWriMo, or how to make it through the month. It will not be my last post this year about NaNo, though. Oh no…not even close.

So without further ado, the rest of my suggestions for how to survive (and thrive in) NaNoWriMo:

1. Do not edit.
I used to think this was an understood “rule” of NaNo, but last year, I found out how wrong I was. Not only do some people not follow this guideline, some don’t even know about it.

This works on multiple levels. If your plot starts to go awry and you don’t want to follow it (which is sometimes the thing to do), don’t delete…

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In It to WIN It—Preparing for NANOWRIMO (National Novel Writing Month)

By Kristin Lamb

“Anyway, whoever chose November as National Novel Writing Month was seriously brilliant, because Halloween is like Mardi Gras for writers. If you are smart, use trick-or-treating to your advantage…”

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Changing Habits: Using NaNoWriMo for Inspiration

By Toni Kennedy

I suspect I appear hard-working, efficient, even productive. Every morning I’m at my desk, sitting at my computer, doing what looks like writing. Often, it is. I’m writing e-mails. I’m writing letters. Don’t get me wrong; I meet deadlines and I accomplish things. I have a lengthy list of publications. I do talks, presentations, and workshops but most of the time I feel like a slacker. Because, while I may be working, I’m often not doing the work I think I’m supposed to be doing, which is creative writing.

This is entirely internal. But my productivity, or what looks like productivity, feels at times like a bunch of rationalizations. Of course I do my work. If you don’t make it to meetings, or do the departmental tasks you’ve been assigned, you face the cold shoulders of peers who have to pull your weight. If there are real deadlines you don’t let those slip.

But to me, those tasks are like vacuuming when you know you have to clean the toilet. They’re still unpleasant, but they’re the lesser evils, the road less arduous. You’re still accomplishing something–just not the thing, the big thing, that’s always hanging over your head. The thing, in fact, you might not even be willing to talk about.

The truth is that I tackle the things I think I can handle, do them, get a vague sense of accomplishment, and then go back to feeling crappy about what I’m not doing. I have a hunch I’m not alone in that.

It’s not as if the things I’m accomplishing aren’t worthy and important. They’re fine. They’re good. But they’re not what I think I’m supposed to be doing. The problem is, often I don’t want to write. Or, like Dorothy Parker, I don’t like to write; I like to have written.

Having recognized, named, and admitted my problem; I’ve tried to think about how to deal with it. There’s always going to be something else to work on–or not. I know enough writers to know that all of them have ways in which they trick themselves into getting the work done. One of the most common is the daily word quota. I’ve long resisted such quotas. I like to tell myself that I work in spurts; if I’m not writing for a while, it’s because my mental field needs to lie fallow for a while. When I’m ready, the words will come. My problem is getting started. I like to put things off. Until the holidays. Until I’ve finished reading that book. Until I take the dog for a walk. Until, until, until.

Now I’ve decided it’s time for a change and I intend to use NaNoWriMo as the catalyst. I’ve made rules for myself. Some are common and obvious. I have decided on a quota of writing 1,000 plus words a day. Only after I meet that goal will I go back and revise. The only reading I will allow myself will be my book project; no fiction until bedtime. If getting the words down means sacrificing going shopping, there will be no new clothes. I have given myself a real deadline and know exactly what I want to produce in that time. I hope this will be a manageable amount and not crazy-ambitious.

I hope my new rules will work and that I will write a lot of words. Many of them may turn out to be unusable. But I hope that the writing will make me to do the thinking, which is getting me closer to the book. That will feel like real productivity.

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NaNo Write Mo Prep Advice from Cats

Source: NaNo Write Mo Prep Advice from Cats

By S.M. Johnson

“I’ve never completed NaNoWriMo before. Every time I’ve wanted to do it something has happened. But this year I’m going to do it. I’ve made a list of things that I think will help for prep, including advice I’ve found around the internet. But rather than me simply telling you, I’m getting some help from my furry online friends…”