NaNo Diaries: Changes #NaNoWriMo


Writing Banner


Changes.

Every MS goes through them, especially in the editing phase.

I chatted with an author a couple of years ago who planned every aspect of her book, right down to the dialogue.

Everything.

Other than spelling and grammar, there were no changes.

I was in awe.

I have no clue what a book’s title will be until I reach midpoint in writing… mostly.

But this ultra-author knew in advance what her characters would do and say, plot twists, and the ending.

That’s an amazing superpower to have.

Yet, I don’t think it’s one I want.

As a character-driven writer, the voices in my head trip me up almost daily when I began a new MS.

Saturday, Day 4 of NaNoWriMo, two in-the-moment-characters stole scenes. And they were good.

Yesterday, Day 6 of NaNoWriMo, the protagonist took a walk into existentialism.

Wait, what?

It wasn’t planned, but it fit.

Will it stay? I doubt it.

But it did give me an idea for another WIP.

So, after six days of NaNo, I have nine scenes and 12K+ words written, FIVE pages of CHANGES, and an outline for a new WIP.

Didn’t see that coming.

Maybe it’s a different superpower.

Morpheus_Nano


NaNoWriMo Day 6 word count – 2037

Total – 12503/50000

Keep writing!

NaNo Diaries: Editing? Nope! #NaNoWriMo


Writing Banner


One of the first things you’ll learn during a NaNoWriMo challenge is do not waste time editing.

We’re told to turn off our inner editor. Bound, gag and toss them into a closet. Send them on vacation. Put your inner edit on IGNORE.

Editing slows you down. While you should be moving on to the next scene or chapter, you stare at what you’ve written and it just isn’t quite… right.

So, you futz around trying to rebuild the world, or block the scene, or build the suspense and an hour later, the page still sucks, you have a total word count of 537, and you just want a drink or your bed…or both!

Save your sanity and sobriety and don’t edit.

True, it’s easier said than done. But, when you think of the time wasted on editing text that will be re-edited several times in the coming weeks and months after NaNoWriMo, self-editing while you write becomes less of a problem.

In most writing programs and apps, the screen can be modified so only a few lines of text are visible at a time. If self-editing is a big problem for you, it would benefit you to investigate how the process works in your particular writing program.

I’m trying something different this year.

A few months ago, I saw several authors post about the Alphasmart, a writing tool used in schools and computer labs in days gone by. They’re no longer in production, but after a bit of research, I found there are still tons of them around, new and refurbished, and the company still supplies and support. #WIN

I ordered one from Amazon and OMG! The sky is blue, birds are singing, and I’m sure I saw a Unicorn walk past my window!

AlphaSmart NEO2

This is not a high tech piece of equipment. It’s strictly for word processing. There is NO way to connect it to the Internet. It holds up to one hundred pages of text. It’s lightweight and has a battery life unrivaled by any device–more than seven hundred hours from three AAA-batteries. (I’ve been using mine daily for over two months and the usage line on the battery meter is so small, I can’t measure it.)

And word count? My word count is rockin’! Only four lines of text are visible (with the font setting I use) so I can’t see my WIP and languish over words already written when I should be writing new words!

For Day 2 of NaNoWriMo, I wrote 1914 new words. I can live with that!

Word count total – 3815/50000.

 

Save

Editing Tip #6: Prioritise Macro Edits over Micro Edits

Jed Herne: Writer

Not all forms of editing are created equal. While any type of editing should improve your story, some forms of editing are more powerful, effective and less time-consuming than others.

Macro and Micro Editing:

This is where the idea of macro and micro edits come in. Macro edits refer to big-picture fixes. For instance, re-writing your climax, adding a new character or even changing your whole plot are examples of macro editing. In short, you’re editing your story on a large-scale.

View original post 282 more words

The Rundown of Beta Reading

A Writer's Path

by Samantha Fenton

Definition of a beta reader: A beta reader is a non-professional reader who reads a written work, generally fiction, with the intent of looking over the material to find and improve elements such as grammar and spelling, as well as suggestions to improve the story, its characters, or its setting.

Beta reading is typically done before the story is released for public consumption. Beta readers are not explicitly proofreaders or editors, but can serve in that context. Elements highlighted by beta readers encompass things such as plot holes, problems with continuity, characterisation or believability.

View original post 748 more words

Power Your Book Revisions by Using Macros

Powerful time saver! 👍

Writers After Dark

Revisions are a critical step in the writing process, but let’s face it, they can also just suck all the joy out of writing. Anything that can help speed up the process and increase focus is a good thing.

One of my favorite tools is Macros.

Unfortunately, like many writers, I was a master of words but never really mastered Word. I’ve wasted a lot of time doing things the long way.

A few years ago, however, I discovered Macros and they changed the speed, focus, and effectiveness of my revision process.

In short, I’m a better writer because of them.

Now before you start to think I’m gonna unload some complicated programming How-To on you and zone out, be assured I’m not.

A Macro is a simple program script that tells your Word Document to do “something.” In our case, it’s going to highlight words that we should consider…

View original post 204 more words

Harvesting the Crop of your Writing

The common sense approach wins every time! 😉

Story Empire

Hello SEers! Welcome to another Monday Blog. Today, I thought I’d write about how to harvest the crop of your writing, and to that end, I am re-using the fertile soil of an old article I wrote for an online writing mag that has now, sadly, closed its doors. I make no apologies for my … ahem … artwork 🙂

To write a book is to become intimate with change. And, if we do it right, we’ll have something to harvest at the end of the process. As with any process, while each individual step is important, timing is everything. We need to know when to interfere, and when to leave well alone. Whether the problem be over-watering, or under, the end result will be the same: The seed of imagination will never make it to a full grown, published and successful book.

So, how do we best harvest the…

View original post 1,860 more words

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!