Tag Archives: National Novel Writing Month

Ready, Set, NaNo!

OK, fellow NaNo’ers. This month the Writers Inspired blog will be bare bones as I write like crazy to complete a 50,000 word (rough draft) novel. Are you with me? Buddy me >>> click here

I’ll be checking in here to post my frustrations and triumphs and to just procrastinate. I do have some guest posts and book giveaways scheduled throughout November, so even if you’re not participating in National Novel Writing Month, please visit often. Or better yet, SUBSCRIBE! That way you’ll get an email when a new post goes live.

OK, I’m ready… I think!


P.S. As I’m writing my novel ( a YA horror novel this year) I am also working on a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious project…more on that in December ! Squee!


Are you participating in NaNo? First time? 10th time? Share your genre, your word count, your stay-awake-and-write advice!


Filed under NaNoWriMo

O. M. G.

received this in my inbox last night…

“Have you seen the countdown clock on NaNoWriMo lately? The 2011 noveling extravaganza begins in just 13 days!…”

When did that happen?! Fear, panic, regret, excitement, nausea, giddiness, exhaustion, elation…

What are you feeling 13 days out from the BIGGEST. CHALLENGE. You’ll .ever. face?????

*frantically searching for plots, characters, settings, themes, titles – anything, people! Give me something!!*



Wanna follow my wild NaNoWriMo carpet ride for the FOURTH year? Subscribe! I’ll be ranting and raving all month long


Filed under Uncategorized

7 Steps to NaNo like a Champ


Step One:

Decide you’re going to it. Sign up, read the FAQ’s Page, find some buddies, complete your profile. OK, that’s like 5 steps in one, just trust me.

Step Two:

Tell everyone you know you’ll be writing a novel in November and not to count on you for PTA meetings, dinner parties (hosting or attending!), prepping your high schoolers  for mid-terms, changing diapers (infants or seniors), cooking, cleaning, showering. You get my drift. However, please remember to use bathroom breaks and occasionally swish with Scope (not just coffee.)

Step Three:

Brainstorm! You’ve already fantasized about writing a novel, now you’re going to it. You need an idea or two. You can begin with a character: human, zombie, alien, animal? What are they like? What do they want? Who or what will stop them? OR, like the Master of Horror suggests: start with a situation. (not, “The Situation”) Victim gets revenge, Boy finds secret porthole to the past, Woman desperate to have a child turns to desperate solution. Still with me? Why? Go jot down your ideas!

Step Four:

Map it out. Writing 50,000 words in one month takes a lot of energy and a plan. The rules say you cannot begin writing your novel before the clock strikes Nov 1, but mapping out an outline, character sketches or a plot arc will give your journey focus. (That and  a lot of caffeine!) For a ton more helpful tools/links, click HERE

Step Five:

Schedule it! My theory is “write it down, get it done.” If it’s on the calendar, you are more likely to commit and submit (as in “Yes, Master Novel, I will write thee.”) Take out a calendar of November and survey the dates you’ll realistically write.  Fro instance, my birthday is on the 5th (hint-hint: I love Dunkin Donuts coffee, cool bookmarks and tons of Post-Its!) and my husband and I usually go away for a few days, which means I devote my time to him, not the novel. Also, if you’re in the US, Thanksgiving weekend can be a bonus or a burden. WARNING: some math involved. So, decide now which days/hours you can sneak away from family and turkey to write. Then, calculate the days you can commit, divide that number into 50,000 = the number of words you must write each scheduled day of writing to reach your goal. Example: I can commit to writing 25 days in Nov.  So, 50,000 / 25 = 2,000 words a day, which comes out to about 6.5 pages typed, double spaced. Ugh. Sorry I did that now. *bangs head*

Step Six:

Assemble your supplies: your notes; worksheets on characters, plot, scenes, etc; index cards, pens/pencils, working computer (to “validate” your novel on Nov 30, it must be uploaded into NaNo’s magic word counter, hence, must be typed – better to write directly on your computer) SAVE YOUR WORK!!!!! (gratuitous reminder). Keep your fav. drink nearby, along with snacks, tunes and something to distract your brain, eyes and hands for brief breaks.

Step Seven:

Reward yourself! Little incentives go a long way. Deciding to write a novel and actually doing it, separate the mice from the literary geniuses ; ) So, when you reach your daily goal, treat yourself to a latte or spiced green tea, or a new notebook, or a walk through the leaves, or a few hours of Jersey Shore reruns (or Hell’s Kitchen or What Not to Wear–my personal guilty pleasure!) Remember – baby steps.  Chip away at that novel one word at a time. Then repeat 50 thousand times. *wink*


Ready to Nano? Need that motivation to go on each day? SUBSCRIBE and my blog posts will appear in your inbox showering you with literary wisdom.


Filed under Advice, goals, NaNoWriMo

Prompts to beef up your NaNo word count

Are you as behind as I am in your NaNo word count?


Try one of these techniques to add more words to that fledgling novel:

  • add a dream or nightmare sequence
  • your protagonist finds an unmailed letter in a library book
  • your character lets a phone call go to voicemail and the result is tragic
  • add a childhood flashback
  • listening to a song brings back a hurtful memory: use songs lyrics here, too!
  • truth about a minor character is unveiled, shifts tone of a relationship
  • spring cleaning in any season: character rummages through a car glove box, items under a bed, a junk drawer in the kitchen, an hierloom chest or an inherited house

What are your ideas for adding more meat to your novel?


Leave a comment

Filed under Advice, NaNoWriMo, Novels

Are you Ready for NaNo?

NaNo badge

22 days and counting…

Is it too soon to begin plotting out your novel for November’s Novel Writing Month? Hell no!

Here are some tips to help you prepare for what may be the craziest, heart-pounding, gut-wrenching, pride filling month of your writing life:

So, NaNoWriMo, huh?  I loved it.  Why? Forced me to write everyday and write big chunks at a time. Used methods of writing I hadn’t used before, such as flashbacks, dream sequences, story-within-story and lots of scenery/setting.  I started with almost no preparation, which I strongly advise against. It’s much more difficult to write 1500 words a day when you have no idea what your story is about.  I used a novel outlining software which really helped along the way.
It was also FRUSTRATING: the highs and lows of writing like a madwoman and not being able to stop and revise along the way. I’m a perfectionist, so this was my cross to bear. SATISFACTION: Being able to say I wrote a novel, though I really just say I participated in NaNo (it doesn’t “feel” like a novel at its feeble state of a rough draft.) But having that satisfaction of completing something so challenging and knowing writers across the globe were doing it too, was amazing. I’ll definitely be at the starting line on Nov. 1 – what about you?

Things to consider: Browse around the NaNo site for chat rooms, discussions, and lots of tips. You can also find a local municipal liaison, who sets up regular meetings and “write-ins” throughout November for extra encouragement.

TELL EVERYONE you are doing this. Why? So they don’t bug you when you’re tapping away at the keyboard at 1am, or gulping down vast amounts of coffee. And, they can be your support system – a sounding board when you announce your growing word count.

PLAN. Plan your plot, plan your characters, most importantly: plan your daily routine: change deadlines if necessary or finish up early; don’t over commit in November; plan dinners (make and freeze or wing it, but don’t plan to cook 3-course meals every night – it’s not gonna happen.)

GO WITH THE FLOW: Go into it knowing you’ll be writing lots of crap, it’s the quantity of words you write that is the spirit of NaNo: sitting down to write a novel from start to finish. They say “December is for Revising!”

So, are you Ready? Share your tips with us! (and request me as your writing buddy once you do sign up!)


Filed under Believe, contests, Fiction, Novels