It’s NaNoWriMo Time… Again

NaNoWriMo Banner

Are you planning, plotting, and strategizing for NaNoWriMo? No, not for November… for July, NaNoWriMo’s second yearly camp.

Yes, I know we’re only two months out from the last camp in April. I participated in that one too. I’ve just completed my book Bible setup for July,  and I have a project on the boards for November.

Do you see a pattern here?

My mister insists I’m addicted to NaNoWriMo. While we don’t generally agree on anything—because that’s how marriage works—he might be on to something. Although I don’t believe it’s NaNo itself which draws me in. There are plenty of writing challenges, write-ins, and contests monthly to take part in. But, I have yet to find one which offers the structure, discipline, and challenge of NaNoWriMo.

Beginning with the premise of writing a fifty-thousand-word novel in thirty days, NaNoWriMo has become much more than a simple writing challenge. It fosters creativity, ingenuity, and confidence while crossing ethnic and gender lines and international borders. NaNoWriMo opens up the literary world for children allowing them to write unhindered by judgment. It shuns the perfection of writing in favor of the creation of unique stories.

NaNo does all this and more by trying to put… and keep the needed processes and people in place to support writers. Participants can also learn from each other as well. It was a NaNoWriMo buddy whose outlining process I copied and still use, and another who first told me about Scrivener and explained some of its features.

Everyone succeeds in an event which puts so much time and effort into their success, right?


With the exception of those who experience the unexpected (but ever-present) interruptions of LIFE, most participants who are not successful in completing the challenge had no structure; they didn’t think it through… there was no plan.

Pantsers everywhere scream out in horror.

As a reformed pantser, I cannot stress enough the benefit and necessity of some type of outline or planning for a NaNoWriMo project. Lack of planning is what caused my brain to seize up in 2013 and 2014… because obviously, I didn’t learn from my mistakes the first time.

With twenty days left until NaNoWriMo begins, there’s more than enough time to get a writing project together. The beauty… and fun of April and July NaNo camps is you determine the project and its parameters! A Novella of twenty-thousand words? Fifteen scenes for a screenplay? Twenty-five pages of research for an upcoming project? Camp NaNoWriMo is whatever you want it to be.

As an aside, the NaNoWriMo organization is currently fundraising to design a new site that will help people go further with their writing—with new and improved tools to support NaNoWriMo’s inspiration and community year-round.

That’s a win-win situation for writers! Donate today!

CampNaNoWriMo! #MondayBlog

Writing Paper

It’s NaNoWriMo time!

No, you haven’t pulled a Rip Van Winkle and slept through most of 2017! It’s CAMPNaNoWriMo, held during the month of April.

What? You’re not ready to tackle another fifty thousand word project? Good! Because that’s not what CampNaNoWriMo is for…unless you want it to be.

At Camp, you can:

  • Tackle any writing project, novel or not. Are you revising your next draft? Preparing to write the next great musical, a la Lin-Manuel Miranda? Penning a collection of poems? Camp is fertile ground.
  • Set your own writing goal. Warm up for 50K by setting a word-count goal of 25,000. Or track hours, lines, or pages… whatever works for you.
  • Find your own, personal writing group. At Camp NaNoWriMo, you can be sorted into a public cabin with writers according to your preferences, or create a private cabin for you and your already-established writing buddies.

I won’t say it’s necessarily ‘easy’, but it is that simple.

I’ve signed up and will be working on my November 2016 project, For Worse. My protagonist, Quinn Landon, seems to have developed a personality disorder. I need her to quit with the Sybil-theatrics, pick an identity and stick to it. Geeze…

For Worse generic cover

Calm down! This is NOT the cover! I repeat this is NOT the cover!

Since this is camp, there are CABINS! You can choose to be assigned to one, start your own, or just fly free.

I have yet to choose a cabin. I elected to be assigned to a cabin last year, clearly specifying my preferences.

That didn’t work out so well. The only thing I had in common with my cabin-mates was the fact most of us were breathing. I say most because a few never uttered a word during the entire month.

Not going there again.

While we do stress out at times, battle muses and deal with writers’ block, I believe writers sometimes forget that writing is supposed to be something we love to do; something we’re driven to do; something we enjoy!

If you’re not having fun with it, and don’t find yourself smiling your way through scenes and situations – why are you doing it?

If you want to have some fun writing during April, look me up. I’ll be the one arguing with myself and trolling cabins!


The Best Laid Plans #NaNoWriMo


I literally began thinking about NaNoWriMo 2016 during last year’s event, and chose the WIP I decided against for NaNoWriMo2015. I began the pantser’s version of plotting and planning right after Camp NaNoWriMo in July. Work with me here.

Outline? Check!

Synopsis? Check!

Tagline? Check!

Logline? Check!

Scene list? Oh, yeah…twenty-two scenes ready to go!

I veered just slightly off course Monday morning (October 31st) when I was pulled into service to babysit for my two-year-old grandnephew, Jordan, who was too ill to attend day care, but not too ill to wear me, the mister AND Max, the dog out! My “baby” will be twenty-five next month, so it’s been quite a while since I toddler-wrangled. I stuck to my writing schedule, with a few changes, but accomplished little else. After a few flash fevers and several hundred Kleenex, Jordan was pronounced well enough to return to day care and left Friday morning.


The one and only Jordan!


Peace and order restored, right? Time to kick in the afterburners and up the word count, right?


I’m deep into scene eleven this morning, when I noticed heroine/protagonist, Quinn Landon, sitting over in the corner…arms folded and shaking her head. I knew that wasn’t a good thing. Our exchange went something like this.

Felicia: What’s wrong, Quinn?

Quinn: It’s not right.

Felicia: What’s not right?

Quinn: That scene…and the three scenes before it.

Felicia: Do NOT start with me. YOU gave me these scenes!

Quinn: I was confused. You know how upset I was with my family.

Felicia: You were not that upset. You were jumping up and down and talking a mile a minute!

Quinn: It’s not right.

Felicia: What do you expect me to do – rewrite these scenes?

Quinn: You must.

Felicia: Not going to happen.

Quinn: It’s not right.

Felicia: Quinn, I am halfway through the scenes I prepared listening to you and your dysfunctional family. If that doesn’t get me to 50K, I will have more writing to do. I’m not re-writing anything at this point.

Quinn: It’s not right.

Felicia: Stop saying that.

Quinn: What if I stop talking altogether? What then?

Felicia: This becomes a paranormal story and you speak from the grave. George R.R. Martin has made killing off lead characters an art form.

Quinn: No! Don’t do that. I don’t want to miss out on Mason! *Swoons*

Felicia: See? Three scenes back you wanted Fletcher!

Quinn: Don’t reprimand me. I’m a woman in crisis.

Felicia: *Massive eye-roll*

Quinn: Can’t we at least discuss this?

Felicia: *Sighs* You know none of this is written in stone. You changed your name, profession, and reason for divorcing Oscar before I even wrote a word. Just keep track, and we’ll discuss it in January during the first edit, okay?

Quinn: YAY! Okay. I can do that!

Felicia: Good. Now let me get back to upping this word count.

Quinn: Um…can we discuss my name too?

Felicia: Goodbye, Quinn!


Who knows what this read will end up looking like? I sure don’t!

Stay tuned!