IWSG 99: NaNoWriMo Has Started


This post was written for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our encouragement or insecurities on the first Wednesday of the month, to join the group or find out more click here.



Diedre Knight|Douglas Thomas Greening|Nick Wilford|Diane Burton


Did you ever take part in National Novel Writing Month? If not, why not?

First, I’ll answer some questions about NaNoWriMo that new writers might have.

Who, When, What, Where, and Why

Who? Anyone can participate by signing up and announcing their project on the NaNoWriMo site then start writing on the 1st.

When? All of November.

What? NaNoWriMo stands for is National Novel Writing Month. It is a free yearly contest. The goal is to write 50k in the 30 days of November.

Where? At home, your local library. Alone or with friends. Open up your computer and get the story down. About ¾ of the way through to the end of November, the site will have a text box to enter your work. Don’t worry, they don’t save a thing. It’s only proof of word count. If you’ve hit the 50k mark or more, you are a winner.

Why? So many reasons, like all the sponsor’s prizes.

They are small potatoes compared to making writing breakthroughs like proving you can finish a story.

CampNaNo vs NaNoWriMo

They are different in two ways: CampNaNo runs April and July and the word count is determined by the contestant. Lower pressure contest for those who prefer an easier stride.

Have A Strategy

Daily Word Count: First and most important is to break it up into doable pieces. Some divide by 20 and write 2.5k per day, taking the weekends off. Some divide by 30 and write 1.67k per day. Stick to this plan and you’ll win.

October is really NaNoWriMo Prep Month

If you’re a planner, you’ll have your research, character profiles, and settings well organized and ready. And the big one, you’ll have a detailed outline waiting.

If you’re a pantser, you could give yourself 20/30 writing prompts.

Trust me. At the halfway point, it can be a slog. Do yourself a favor, give yourself something to kick-start your daily word count when your momentum wanes.

One last piece of advice is don’t go back and fix anything. Instead, type these words: Try Again. Then start the scene from the beginning with your new perspective. Don’t look back.

If you must: jot down what is distracting you, let go, and move forward.

A note for Scrivener fans: In October Scrivener offers an extended trail in anticipation of NaNoWriMo and a half price offer if you win.

Answering the Question…

Have I ever participated in NaNoWriMo?

Yes, it was the place where I finished my first book. It was where I learned to push through what I thought was impossible.

I learned to write, Try Again.

To Start again. To Move forward. And to Get It Done.

Now, a question for you

If you’d participated, what did you learn? If not, what is your strategy to succeed?

IWSG 98: Do You Ever Speculate?


This post was written for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our encouragement or insecurities on the first Wednesday of the month, to join the group or find out more click here.



Tonja Drecker | Victoria Marie LeesMary Aalgaard |Sandra Cox


What do you consider the best characteristics of your favorite genre?

I love to read about magic in fantasy or wild technology in science-fiction.

The what-if that helps bring words to pages can be a wild ride. The thought someone could fly or fix a broken cup on a whim can hook me like nobody’s business.

Don’t get me started on dragons. hehehe

Like most scientists and I apologize if feelings get hurt here, I’m on the naïve side and think breakthroughs should only be used to help humanity. But I know, it doesn’t always pan out that way and am glad some things aren’t possible, yet.

Our speculation and the stories it generates question what we as a people are doing today. Our walk in the everyday world limits us—some more than others. The answers that may come to mind, depending on what side of warrior-verses-pacifist coin a person lands on, may flare despair or hope.

Speculative fiction raises great questions and I think about them. Do we have the discipline to handle our next technological singularity? Will it look like magic does to me now?

Now, a question for you

What about you. What genre raises questions for you?

IWSG 97: What Wouldn’t I Write?


This post was written for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our encouragement or insecurities on the first Wednesday of the month, to join the group or find out more click here.



Kim Lajevardi | Cathrina Constantine |Natalie Aguirre | Olga Godim | Michelle Wallace | Louise – Fundy Blue


What genre would be the worst one for you to tackle and why?

A while back, I discovered I was a speculative fiction writer. It was a bit of a shock and I resisted. Only because I’ve never labeled myself before. I don’t think genre when I start with a premise. I think… what if…

Hence the speculation.

So the question leaves me wondering, what wouldn’t I write about?

I don’t know.

Maybe I’ll discover the answer by reading all the other posts this month.

Now, a question for you

Do you always write in the same genre or are you covered by an umbrella too?



This post was written for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our encouragement or insecurities on the first Wednesday of the month, to join the group or find out more click here.



 J Lenni Dorner | Janet Alcorn | PJ Colando | Jenni Enzor | Diane Burton


 If you could live in any book world, which one would you choose?

Worldbuilding for Our Pleasure

When you build a world, you include the landscape that your characters will inhabit, the tone of your story, its major preoccupations and themes, as well as the nature of its morality. Worldbuilding lays the groundwork for your characters to develop, providing the stage for where your creations will perform.

Masterclass Post

Truth About Living in a Book I’D Read

I spend 80% of my reading time up to my elbows in mysteries. The other 20% in the horror and fantasy genre. I’m sure you see the problem. Living in those fascinating worlds with fearless heroes—of all identities—that pull some super stupid life saving stunts are not placed I could live.

Mostly because I wouldn’t last long.

I’m game joining Stephanie Plum, Grandma, and Lula doing their bounty hunter antics. It’s fairly safe watching them from afar. But I have a feeling I’d be eating at her parents place or limping around the burg, when she finally succeeded.

Sure, Middle Earth is great, but I’m pretty big for a hobbit. I know one of their holes could fit twelve dwarfs and Gandalf, but adding me would be pushing it. Not only am I magicless, always lost at hide ‘n seek, and I’d be pretty useless in a battle.

So there is that. And…

The world of New York’s Cop Central in 2057 was really fun. Love Eve Dallas and Roarke kicking criminal butt. But unless I lived in their mansion and was fed food I take for granted here, I’d never make it.

Do you see a pattern?

The worlds I visit are exceptional. Wonderful. Exciting. Dangerous, and I could never live there.  Die there? Well, sure, but fun is that?

Now, a question for you

How does your everyday life compare with the worlds you read about?



IWSG 95: As Easy As Writing Looks, It’s Not


This post was written for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our encouragement or insecurities on the first Wednesday of the month, to join the group or find out more click here.



SE WhiteCathrina ConstantineNatalie AguireJoylene Nowell Butler | Jacqui Murray


When the going gets tough writing the story, how do you keep yourself writing to the end? If have not started the writing yet, why do you think that is and what do you think could help you find your groove and start?

I hope you take everything here with a grain of salt—if not for you, for me—then I can relax while I share.

Writing Goals

I’m always seeking new information about the craft and recently heard some great advice for the discovery writer—aka pantser.

Write the ending first—ish. Mid-point twist too if you’d like.

This really hit home with me because I’m a Sagittarian. We like to shoot off our arrows and follow them to the bitter end.

I’ll admit my first ending is never my last ending—thank goodness for revisions—but it supplies a general direction and a final destination.

Writing Beginnings

I really want a kick-@$$ first line, first paragraph, first chapter, and to find the first line I do an internet search for best/top first lines in fiction.

They are the best for a reason; they’re inspirational.

The monthly question could also be asking: where to start? Like where on the timeline or storyline?

It is said, through my reading on how to improve the craft, that the best point to start as close to change as possible.

I try to come from the reader’s perspective here.

Like any good joke, there is the setup. Just enough information to so the punchline makes sense when it hits. The opening could focus on a fantastical world so the reader knows they aren’t in Kansas anymore. It could even focus on the person singing under a rainbow before the mind-whirling trip. Or the ruby slippers and who is wearing them.

The choice becomes clearer when I look at my destination, and I decide how to get there.

Writing through

I have my goal and an enormous gap of where I am and where I have to go. I aim myself in the general direction and write. All is well with my world.

However, sometimes I stare at the screen and wonder what’s next. If I’m not writing, my brain is telling me a direct route will fail. I need to think outside the box and the circle the box is in. There may even be a triangle in there somewhere.

Jumping to another scene is a good way to stay in the story while I figure out what my problem is. Because there is a problem. I just don’t see it yet.

Usually I’m using the wrong point of view, or am ignoring the plot hole staring me down, or I’m blindly painting myself into a corner with an unnoticed hallway directly behind me.

It takes time for my subconscious to find the solution. I let it bubble up, then I’m rolling again with a better story than I first imagined.

Now, a question for you

You ever do that, jump around in your story? How does that work for you?