Maintaining NANO Momentum

My next NANOer is Ryan Nelson.    Ryan has been my guest on here before for his recent release, The Fifth Clan. (see links below).  I  think Ryan explains quite well the  struggle that most of us face with our real life responsibilities, and finding time to write. It has to be a passion to continue to write when life makes constant demands on you pulling you in twenty directions already.

Are you a nano newbie? Seasoned veteran?  Old timer?

I’m not a newbie, but I wouldn’t say seasoned veteran or Old Timer either. This is my third year doing NaNo.

 Have you finished and/or won nano in the past?

I have not, unfortunately. My first year, 2012, I managed just over twenty five thousand words before the wheels fell off the wagon. Last year, 2013, I did less than fifteen hundred. Not even one full days worth of writing and life just got so crazy that I gave up out of frustration.

How do you prepare for nano? Or if this is your first time,  how have you prepared?

Wait, we’re allowed to prepare ahead of time? 0_0 In all honesty though I got the idea for this years NaNo project about three weeks before NaNo officially kicked off. Prep consisted of bouncing the idea off of a few friends, then I sat down and started outlining individual ideas in a paper notebook with a pen. After that I sat at my computer and started outlining individual chapters in Scrivener.

How many hours do you see that you will be able to write each day?

Man, who has enough free time that they can measure it in hours? I have kids and a day job. I measure my writing time in, ‘Hey, look! The kids are distracted, grab the laptop! Go, go, go, go!’

OH man!  I’ve so been there!  Now that my kids are teens it’s getting easier. Tell me briefly your nano book idea, and what inspired it.

Briefly? Ok, briefly. Well basically the idea consists of Will-o’-the-wisps. In this fantasy world that I have yet to name, everyone knows that if you follow the Wisps they will lead you to adventure,  fame, and glory. But you will also have to deal with being cold, hungry, and scared; which all goes along with ‘adventure’. Most people don’t bother anymore since it’s not really worth dealing with all the downsides. David is the first person in generations to decide to follow the Wisps, and things don’t go exactly as planned.

Do you have a routine or ritual that you go through before you begin writing?

No, no ritual or routine, really. I just start writing. After the obligatory animal sacrifice to the gods of creativity of course. They accept bunny peeps in sacrifice, right?

Last I heared they did.  You’ve made  alms to the great god of caffiene, right?  You have to appease that one or  there  is no release from the great river of creative thoughts.

What  do you use for your writing?  Word? Scrivener?  Pen and paper?

Pen and paper for my notes and such. The actual manuscript is in Scrivener, all the way. I still haven’t gotten into the more advanced tools but even just using the basics it is an amazing program. And I love how there’s a word count goal and daily minimum counter. I can set myself a deadline and it helps me stick to my goals a little easier.

That is one of my favorite features of Scrivener! The daily word target, I love that .  It really does help me stay on track. Well, most of the time it does. Do you find free writing during nano liberating or do you struggle to not edit as you go?

I still find myself editing. Mostly in the fixing of typos and such, but I’ve rewritten a sentence on occasion because as soon as I typed it I realized there was a better way to do it. Otherwise though it is fun to just get it out on paper (so to speak) and worry about fixing it later.

Do you write chronologically or when you hit a  tight spot, do you jump to another scene and come back?

I tend to write from Chapter one to chapter End, in order. I have on occasion skipped ahead, but not often. It might help me actually to keep from getting bogged down in one thing to just skip ahead and at least continue the story elsewhere until I can figure out how to fix that one tight spot.

How long do you let it sit before you go back and edit and revise?

Are we supposed to let it sit? Last book that I published I let sit for a couple of days and then I was editing and revising like a mad man.

My Facebook author page can be found at:

shadow's birth

The Shadow’s Birth can be purchased at:

‘The Fifth Clan’

fifth clan