Nano is Close!






National Novel Writing Month is just about a week away now… Are you ready? I’m in the process of clearing my schedule, researching for my book, working on an outline, and drafting up my goals. Go back, you say, what is NaNoWriMo??? Well, dear readers it is the month of November where you attempt to write a 50k word novel in just a month! Check out for more info or to sign up!  Pictured above is my -ahem- initial research for my novel. You can’t quite tell from the covers, but both these movies involve geocaching. That’s right, something else you may be unfamiliar with… Geocaching is a worldwide treasure hunt in real life! Check out for less cryptic descriptions and to sign up!

My goals for Nano are to write my novel the Geocache Killer and lose 5 lbs because I plan to write and exercise more! I’m going to follow one of my favorite author’s advice on how to write your first draft in 20 days (check out that scintillating blog post by Ksenia Anske here).

To accomplish this feat of inhuman strength and motivation I have created my nano calendar… Where I have placed my write-ins! I’ve also begun shifting my internal clock so that I can wake up earlier, get to work 30-60 minutes earlier and use that time to write!

nano calendar


After thinking and thinking about how I can possibly write a suspense/thriller when I’ve never attempted, I thought up a better spin to the story, one with more depth, one with more geocaching, one that will be funny, and fun to read. Perhaps it will be best classified as a drama… Whatever the case I’m getting nitty gritty on my outline now and will be finalizing my organization on my nano novel at my Factoria and Newcastle write-ins and writing dates on the 29th and 30th.

All my ducks are lining up, do you have yours?

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See you at Hallonanoween, sooner or later Wrimos!

NaNo November: Author Do List


Of Ducks and Writing

My to do list as an author

1. Develop my web presence (get known before the book deal)

1. Web presence/platform – blog, facebook, website (update blog 3x/week and read others’ blogs and comment)
2. Send my children’s picture book off to publishers
3. Beauty and the Beast – edit this young adult manuscript per beta readers comments and create a professional cover
4. Ataxia – redesign cover and make internal edits, market, market, market
5. Get involved (Goodreads, Smashwords, Facebook groups) – connect with both the audience and other writers through communities
6. Finish the Day the Computer Stood Still Manuscript First Draft.
7. Write write write

What is on your to do list as an author?

NaNo November: Panster or Planner?

Are you a fly by the seat of your pants writer or do you carefully outline before writing any words? Almost every author usually has the basic elements formulated before starting a large-scale writing project. The basic elements of any outline include:

1. Title
2. Characters
3. Setting
4. Basic summary

Here is my NaNo Novel Basic Outline Elements:

1. The Day the Computer Stood Still
2. The Computer, The Teacher, The Politician, The “God Complex” Programmer, The Supporting Character, The Dissenters, The String of Embarrassing Ex’s
3. Sarasota, FL
4. The federal supercomputer was meant to catch felons but fell in love instead. How can there be peace when humanity’s watchdog is surfing dating sites instead of catching criminals?

Perhaps you are more of a planner but are not quite sure how to make an outline. Have you checked out scrivener? It has helpful software tools to organize your writing and help you as you write. There are many other methods, more or less detailed for making a more or less detailed outline. 

Check out the snowflake method by Randy Ingermanson
Or go through this writing exercise, courtesy of Casz of the SnoValley Writes

1. What distinguishes your protagonist from other people

2. What strength does he/she/it have
3. How does this strength get them in trouble
4. In opening action, what is character on the brink of doing?
5. Why do they say they’re going to do this?
6. What does this action represent for the protagonist?
7. What external situation will require protagonist participation throughout the book
8. How does this connect with number two above (when novel opens what is your character on the brink of doing?)
9. Does it help or interfere, can you build in a deadline for extra tension?
10. what is the protagonist goal for the time the book covers?
11. How does this connect with external situation? or does external situation divert protagonist from his/her goal
12. why does protagonist say he/she wants the goal?
13. is there a deeper motivation as yet unknown to your protagonist
14. what problem/external conflict does the external situation present?
15. How can the protagonist eventually resolve that conflict
16. list at least three obstacles in the way of your main character resolving the conflict (at least one is internal)
17. How will the protagonist grow because of confronting these obstacles? (turning point)
18. what do you want to happen at the end of the book
19. what will have to happen to the protagonist against his or her will to make your ending come about?