Showing posts from November, 2017

5 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Submit Your NaNoWriMo Manuscript

Can you feel it? The homestretch of NaNoWriMo ? Just a few days left and it's done! BUT... The question remains: Is your story done? Probably not. Many agents cast a skeptical eye on what lands in the slush pile in December. Why? Because many writers finish NaNoWriMo and submit their "completed" novels. Why You Shouldn't Submit in December You spent November vomiting up word count. You may have 50K words, but you don't have a finished novel. You have a partial first draft. You need to revise your work again and again and again. The story is not as good as you think it is (see # 1 & 2). Agents assume you're sending a NaNoWriMo first draft and take it less seriously. For tips on editing your work, check out these earlier posts. What You Should Submit in December It's ok to submit a manuscript in December as long as it's not this year's NaNoWriMo work. If you have something polished and complete, by all means submit it.

Traditions In Your Family and Story

Courtesy of Kaz @ Pixabay Whether you live in the US and celebrate Thanksgiving or not, traditions are part of your life and part of the lives of characters in books. Have you created traditions in your story? Have you broken the traditions to see how your characters might react? This is a great way to keep those NaNoWriMo words flowing. Thanksgiving abounds with traditions, each one unique to each family. Add new members, and your traditions might clash with theirs. Or maybe you've found a way to incorporate a little of both. No matter how you put it, traditions affect us in remarkable ways. In my family, my mom's sweet potato pudding was mandatory. It wasn't Thanksgiving (or Christmas) without it. Of course, we included the turkey, stuffing, cranberries, and all of the other dishes. They are part of the tradition. Two stories about changing traditions stick in my mind. One, my mother thankfully avoided. The other, well... One year, my mother invited our

The Peculiarities of Writing

NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is in full swing, and I'm behind on my word count. Don't feel bad for me. I expected to be at this point. I celebrated my birthday over the weekend. Add that to major family gatherings over Thanksgiving, and you'll see why I usually don't sign up for NaNoWriMo. I lose too many writing days to family events that I'm not about to pass up. That said, I'm still plugging on, writing towards my 50,000 word count goal for the month. Since I need to get back to writing, I thought I'd share a quick post about one of the weird issues writers deal with: getting our facts straight. This past week, I googled the following question: Can a heat sensor pick up the presence of a bomb at a distance? Add this to other odd questions I've googled about drugs, slang for large amounts of cash, guns, and poisons, and I'm probably on someone's watch list by now. What links did Google give me? Adds for thermal ca

Do You NaNoWriMo?

November is NaNoWriMo month for many writers. What's NaNoWriMo you ask? National Novel Writing Month. In the month of November, writers commit to trying to write 50,000 words of a novel. Most people commit to writing every day. It's been several years since I've done it, but I'm doing it this year. Normally I shy away from NaNoWriMo because it's November, a month when my calendar fills up, making it hard to achieve the 50K word goal. This year, I do have quite a bit on my schedule, but, barring unforeseen circumstances, I believe I can write most days. There will be some days when it's not possible, so I'll have to work hard on the other days to up my creativity. For those of you unfamiliar with the effort it takes to write 50,000 words, let me put this in perspective for you. Most novels run 70,000-100,000 words. My genre tends to run 90,000-100,000 words. Writing 50K gets you to 50-70% completion of a first draft. Not a finished manuscript. A first