The After(NANO)glow


I want to express my gratitude to each and every one of my guests.  THANK YOU!

Weren’t they awesome?  Maybe I can persuade a few of them to come back again.

I enjoyed reading through each of their views. I employed Lizette’s plan for making 30 points to work on each day.  For the most part, it worked.  There were a couple of points that carried over into the next day but since towards the end I utilized my Dragon Naturally Speaking software  to dictate about 14000 words and  covered 6 of my  30 points, it all worked out.  I’ve tried different methods, most of which haven’t worked for me.  I tried pantsing and ended up with scenes that really didn’t advance the story,  that just took the characters into an interesting little side loop rabbit trail.   I tried  to outline in detail and that was stifling to my creative mojo.  I’ve tried various plans – book in a year,  book on index cards, book in 30 days, in addition to  several that I’ve forgotten their labels.  So far,  Lizette’s simple plan has worked for me the best.  It allows a framework yet  freedom to be creative.

There has been much discussion as to what word processing program is the best.  There are many systems on the market.  Word is a standard option if you have Office. My husband got me Scrivener with my winner’s discount after winning in 2011.  Can I just say,  I LOVE my Scrivener! There are so many cool features it’s difficult to  highlight just a few, so I’ll just mention my three favorite.

  1. typewriter mode –  everything you type stays in the middle of the screen, so your words don’t drop down to the bottom of the page.
  2. daily targets – as I type it adds every word I put down.   I can see my word count climb as I work.
  3. the corkboard –   I can create my index cards for each chapter,  each scene within a chapter,  my characters,  the entire story on index cards on a virtual corkboard.

OK, so maybe you don’t get excited about word processors but it’s a vital tool for me.

It’s fascinating that  if you ask 10 writers the same question you get 20 different answers!  How is that possible?  Oh,  come on guys.  You should know by now that getting inside a writer’s mind is like opening a bag of popcorn.

You grab it by the opposite corners with every intention of keeping things neat and tidy, then transfer into the waiting vessel for consumption,  but the dog runs in and bumps your leg and you pull harder than you intended and popcorn goes everywhere much to the dog’s delight!

Most of the writers I know are not just one trick ponies.  If they were, they’d be one hit wonders and be done.  That old line that everyone has a book inside them holds true,  but a true writer has a library of books inside them.

This  fact makes for some interesting  forums in my writing groups.  For the most part I’ve found that writers encourage each other.  It’s not like some other fields where it’s backstabbing and trampling over one guy to push themselves higher.  We are on similar paths and there is a sense of camaraderie.  Well, at least for the friends  I have in my circle.

For everyone that attempted NANO,  congratulations!  It’s not an easy task.  Simple, but not easy. Just like baking is simple, but not everyone does it well.  I am working on honing my craft, practice does indeed make perfect.  It works with  piano lessons,  with golf, with most everything we do.

I figure whatever you are passionate about –  pursue it.  For me it’s a writing career.  I’m sending out finished manuscripts, which is a step in the right direction. NANO  is yet another tool for a writer to break old habits,  reestablish or establish good habits and focus on the goal. It’s not for everyone, but it works for me.

Thank you to my guests and to my readers.   You guys rock!

Write on my friends, write on!




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