Poppy’s NaNoWriMo Survival Guide – My Top 9 Tips for Success!

Poppy gives a great list of tips on succeeding with the NaNoWriMo challenge that everyone should look at for November if participating.

Poppy Writes A Book

It’s that time of year again!

It’s almost November, which means it’s time for National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo. Flush with victory from last years NaNo, I’m going to share with you the top 9 things that helped me to write 50,000 words in  less than a month!

Click Here if you’re like “What the heck’s a NaNoWriMo?” For the rest of you here we go…

1. Scrivener Writing Software

Available for both Mac and PC,  Scrivener changed the way I write. I consider it the best writing software on the market. It’s full of  so many great features and I encourage you to check it out. During NaNo they offer a Special NaNo Trial  that allows you to download the software to use during the month of November for FREE. The trial lasts through December 7th, and if you “win” NaNo you get…

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Day 82 of 90 Day Novel

Should I stop? What’s the point? Last night, these thoughts kept running through my mind as I sat in front of my computer screen with the Word document opened (still untitled). I didn’t do anything for two hours straight while I watched The Voice. Then something told me I should keep going. That this is a 90 day challenge so get to work. I obeyed even if I hesitated a little.

I don’t know what it is, but for the past four days, I’ve lost motivation to continue with this novel. It’s like I’m adding scenes–just because. Because it has to be a novel so should be over 50,000. Because I have only a few more days left so should keep going. Because my inner-nerd doesn’t want to fail the challenge.

  • I talked with my writing buddy this morning, and she’s been experiencing the same feeling. Maybe it’s the 90 day challenge blues. I wondered if it would creep along somewhere in the timeline. With NaNo, it appeared in week 2. Maybe for this challenge, it happens at the very end. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one going through this.

I have the middle and ending. I’m just working on the beginning now (I wrote out of order). Some days I wonder if this  should just be a short story or novella. If that’s the case, then I should stop writing and focus on deleting the scenes that don’t really add anything to the plot. Scenes that are just there to add word count. However, maybe I should keep going to see if something interesting will happen at the beginning. Maybe I should start where the middle is–where the celebrity scandal has already taken place–instead of trying to plan things out beforehand.

All those thoughts are running through my mind at once. I’m going to pull my hair out. I love my story, I really do. It’s not boring to me at all; that’s why I’m so baffled that I keep debating over a short story or novel. This is the 90 day novel challenge I participated in, but it wouldn’t be the end of the world if I spent 90 days working on a shorter piece of fiction. At least, it’d be a finished first draft either way.

Since first drafts are meant for experimentation, I guess I’ll keep on writing. What’s the worst that could happen? I’m afraid to even answer that…

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

“One By One” Thriller First Draft Completed!!!

I’m proud to say that I completed my first draft of One By One in 43 days! For everyone who’s been following my blog, you know that I documented my NaNoWriMo Experience with a day by day account. For those 30 days, I mostly discussed the writing process itself instead of my story. Can’t give too much away. I love spoilers; doesn’t mean everyone else does hee hee.

On May 24,2012, One By One finished with a 67,331 word count (which is pretty good, considering I only had to write 50,000), Calibri 12 font, single space at 128 pages.

I used to be surprised when authors could bang out novel after novel like it was nothing. I often thought there’s no way I could do that. However, after NaNo, I’ve realized if I discipline myself to write every day instead of when the mood strikes me, then I certainly can write novel after novel, short story after short story. No more writing as a hobby–have to focus as a business.

I celebrated and put my novel away for about 3 days. With an objective eye, I read word for word all the awkward phrases, passive wording, lengthy info dumps. All writers know first drafts are complete cramp. If not, then please tell me your secret. Overall, the story held my interest. I fleshed out my characters’ personalities, and fell in love with them (so much I was bummed that I had to kill them hee hee). The suspense was there. I bit my nails in some scenes, and I believe that I successfully managed to put subtle clues of who the killer(s) may be since the beginning.

Now, of course, I’ll enjoy my story. I wrote it 🙂 The word count let me know that I really liked this one. Usually I struggle to make it in the late 48,000 range, so this was a huge accomplishment for me. In reality, I could’ve kept going, but I needed to wrap it up. Robin, Melissa, and I are doing the NaNoEdMo challenge next, so our second draft is due June 26th. If I was still creating the story, then that would’ve given me less time for editing and revisions.

I can’t wait to make this story more reader-friendly. Good-bye to 67,331. I’ve already begun revisions and a lot–especially in the beginning chapters–were cut. I can’t wait for critiquing to start to see if Robin and Melissa get creeped out or if it’s too obvious who the killer(s) is. I can’t wait to get suggestions for improvements and to see what they enjoyed the most. To say I’m excited would be an understatement. I’ve even asked a horror author to beta-read for me later on, and he agreed!

  • I must admit that I went into self-doubt, self-sabotage mode for Something’s Amiss (my romance drama), but this mystery thriller has brought my passion out again for the other novel.  To think that a fun challenge put things in perspective for me is pretty cool beans.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

P.S. And I’m happy to announce that I stuck to my word of no one tripping and falling while being chased 🙂