Thursday, October 31, 2013

Blank pages and endless possibilities

Happy Halloween and NaNo Eve! At midnight writers around the globe will open a blank page and begin to fill it with their imaginations.

When it comes time to open your own blank page, pause. Take a moment to savor the emptiness. The vast playground to let your muse run free and create brand a brand new world. A world filled with possibilities all at your finger tips.

Ahead are 30 days to fill those pages with vampires, cowboys, hard boiled detectives, romantic rendezvous, or time traveling penguins.

This could be your breakout novel, a novel that will change your life or touch someone else. Or just the most fun a writer can have, knowing hundreds of other writers are looking at a blank page, hands poised over the keyboard.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a seasoned scribe or this is your first foray into fiction. When the clock strikes midnight and we type Chapter One our novel adventure begins. And those possibilities are endless. 

Good luck and Happy Scribbles! 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

One Word / 60 Seconds: Routine is a website for getting the muse warmed up. Each day you get one word and sixty seconds in which to write what it inspires.This is my entry for today's One Word. What's yours? For more of my past One Word entries check out my One Word Profile EliseV

photo by Harm Rhebergen

A routine day in the shop, was all I wanted. Just a normal unbothered day of customers, dusting antiques, and inventory. Until the crate arrived, until I opened it. The contents would change everything I knew. No more routine days in the shop.

That's my story now it's your turn. 60 seconds, Go! 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Write what you don't know

Possibly the most given piece of advice to new writers, “write what you know.” Why? Everyone has something they are an expert in motherhood, computer programming, Civil War buff. All those things would make a great base for a story and having knowledge in them is an advantage when you start plotting.

Yet that knowledge can be a disadvantage also. When we’re comfortable we can get a little lazy, it’s just human nature. If a person knows a great deal about a subject they tend to stick within the boundaries of that knowledge. Instead of looking for an aspect or new idea that could take the story to the next level.

Taking the challenge of writing on a topic with little to no knowledge allows for a broader look at the subject. Learning something new is exciting; a person wants to know all they can about it. This lets us take in all those extra ideas and facts that could lead to writing an even better book.

Instead of working in a genre or with a subject you know try stepping out of the comfort zone and into something you know absolutely nothing about. You’ll find that new found knowledge working into old topics, giving them a new life and you a more rounded writer. 

Knowledge is power. Especially in a writers hands!

ROW80 Update
My goals on last update where to write every day and begin evil plot… um.. I mean begin plotting for rubs evil mommy hands together.

NaNoWriMo. Check on both of those fronts. I am in the learning something totally awesome for the novel phase. Researching has been a lot of fun. Especially when I can combine it with homeschool and make the kid research to,

My last goal was to get preparations ready for Lake County NaNoWriMo Kick-off. Check! We have the place, the kits are almost finished and my costume is perfect. I’m blessed with a fantastic group of writers in the Lake County region. It’s going to be a stellar NaNo 2013.

New Goals for the week:
Write every day
Finalize research
Get two articles written

How about you? Do you like to dive into unknown topics or write with a base of something you know and build on it? How is your novel prep going?

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Tag! Your it Blog Hop... I'm it!

Thanks so very much to Mary Ann Bernal  for tagging me to take part in the Tag You’re IT blog hop. I get to share a few tid-bits about my current work in progress, and tag three other authors and invite them to answer the same questions for their blogs.

They then tag 3 more authors, and so on and so forth till it’s one great big giant Tag-Along! Sound good? Great! Here goes!

1. What are you working on right now?
Right now I have more things going on than I have sanity :) First getting ready for NaNoWriMo 2013 whoo hoo I wuv NaNo. It's such a great way to meet fellow writers and encourage newbies to the world of words. I'll be posting more Lake County  NaNo News soon :)

My current book project is a historic western, Outlaw Born. 
When your father was a notorious outlaw, it’s hard to out run that legacy. Ben tried to live a better life and become the hero his wife and son had seen in him. When the war is over and his medals won Ben comes home to find his family and land taken by the greed of the railroad company.

When justice fails him, he finds a man can’t out run his legacy. He must embrace his lineage of violence to get vengeance if he can’t have justice. Ben Mason is an outlaw born. 

My muses for Ben :) 
2. How does it differ from other works in its genre?
I think the difference is in the character and what he is. Most heros run away from the dark past or try to hide it under the rug. Ben is forced to look at it and accept it as part of him. Exploring what happens to a good man when he has to do bad things. Does it really change his white hat to black or just a dark gray?

3. Why do you write what you do?

That is actually a hard question. I write so many different things and each one has a different reason or inspiriation. I think I write what I do mostly because that thing or character fasicates me. I want to know more about them, what better way to learn about something than to write about it.

Here are the 3 authors I’ve tagged for this hop:
Tony Vincent
Janet Beasley
Janie Little Upchurch
Tag you're it :) 

How about you? Do you have an exciting project or event coming up? What are your favorite things to see in a western read? 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

How to win NaNoWriMo: Realistic Goals, determination and a bottomless pot of coffee

NaNo season has begun. Novelists around the world are franticly researching, outlining, and character mapping in preparation for the 50,000-word dash to the finish line that begins November 1st.

Writing 50,000 words in 30 days might seem daunting. There will be days mid November it feels that way. A writer questions their sanity level on accepting such a wild notion of writing an entire novel rough draft in a month. It can be done if the writer is determined.

It takes a special kind of dedication to the craft of word spinning to stick to daily goals and make the novel a priority. This becomes hard when life happens and shakes up a writer’s daily routine. That is where making goals for your writing and novel become important.

Sure, the goal is to write 50,000 words in 30 crazed days. However, that’s the big picture and the thought of the number 50,000 can make the head spin. (no pea soup, just head spinning) To ease the panic of “OMG I’m behind on my word count!” Make realistic NaNo goals that will fit your average day.

Have a word count goal for each day. NaNo suggests at least 1,667 words per day. Maybe you work long hours and can write each day but not that much. That’s okay. Your realistic goal might be 800 words on a workday and 3,000 on days off. Don’t be afraid of falling behind. Most everyone is going to fall behind at some point.

That’s where that determination comes in. If you fall behind don’t panic or give up on winning. You can do it. Just adjust those daily goals, brew a pot of coffee and challenge yourself a bit more to grab time to write those words.

We can do it; we just need realistic daily writing goals, a strong determination, and a bottomless pot of hot coffee. (Preferably Starbucks Mocha or Peppermint Mocha. Yum!)

I’ll see you in the winner’s circle. I’ll probably be a lil tipsy on the caffeine: D If you would like to add me as a NaNo Buddy: flsandcastle

In perfect timing, the new round of ROW80 begins this week also. Here are my goals for this round.

Round 4 Goals
Write every day
Complete NaNo with seventh Win
Complete novel edits

Goals for Week 1
Write every day
Start outline for NaNo Novel
Finish preparations for Region Kick Off  (Go Lake Writers!)

Click these links for more information about NaNoWriMo or Round of Words in 80 Days (ROW80)

How do you work NaNo into your busy daily life?