Tuesday Toss-Up

Novel Wishes and NaNoWriMo Dreams

Baby Stepping Through NaNoWriMo

Upside-down yawn
NaNo’s over. Time to Party!

National Novel Writing Month is over for 2012.

Whether you rocketed past the finish line or were miles away, you wrote words that didn’t exist before November 1.

Even if you never got past the first sentence, you made something happen. Seriously. Pat yourself on the back.

Celebrating even a tiny success can motivate you to succeed further.

I’m a huge believer in baby steps. Some people get jazzed by lofty goals. The mere idea makes me want to puke in my mouth a little. Continue reading “Novel Wishes and NaNoWriMo Dreams”

Tuesday Toss-Up

Fattening Up Your Word Count for NaNoWriMo

Is it Cheating to Use Tricks to Get to 50K?

Scaredy Cat
I have to write how many words a day?!

50,000 words in 30ish days. That’s the NaNoWriMo goal and it breaks down to about 1667 words a day.

For some, word counts in the thousands a day is routine. For others (*cough cough* like me), this is no small feat.

Prior to NaNo, I averaged about 5-600 words a day. 750 was a pretty good day. And 100o was cause for a parade and statue erected in my honor (in my head, anyway).

Of course, I was also hand writing all those words. So that may have played a big part.

Coming up on November, the idea of hitting 1667 daily was nothing short of terrifying.

But then I remembered reading a post on padding your word count for NaNoWriMo and 750Words.com. At the time, I ignored the advice. Sounded like a good idea but I didn’t think I needed it.

And I didn’t need it for 750 words but for 1600-2K?

Well…maybe. Continue reading “Fattening Up Your Word Count for NaNoWriMo”

Tuesday Toss-Up

How Not to Starve During NaNoWriMo

Freeze Ahead Meals for National Novel Writing Month

Hungry bird
Feed. Me. Now.

Imagine this: it’s the end of another NaNoWriMo day. You’ve worked, studied, and/or chased kiddos all day long. Maybe you’ve already knocked out your daily word count or maybe you’re gearing up for a kamikaze session this evening. Your stomach is growling and your family, especially if you’re usually in charge of meal prep, may be eyeing the dog with evil intent. Somebody’s gotta make dinner or it’s gonna be pocket pizzas and candy corn again.

That dog is starting to look pretty tasty. Continue reading “How Not to Starve During NaNoWriMo”

Tuesday Toss-Up

Every Word Counts When You’re Writing a Novel

Word Count Trackers for NaNoWriMo and Beyond

TypewriterWriters everywhere, newbies and old hands, are staring down the barrel of NaNoWriMo. *cue tense theme music*

At the moment, I’m wading hip deep the first draft muck of my work-in-progress. I don’t know if I’ll be joining the ranks of psychotic intrepid ink-slingers in November but I am learning the value of a monthly deadline, even a self-imposed one. Continue reading “Every Word Counts When You’re Writing a Novel”

Parallel Tuesdays

There’s a Story Here Somewhere: Inspirational Images from Flickr

*Looking for the Summer (June – August) Writing Challenge – Every Picture Has a Story? See below for details.*

Flickr is my favorite site to scout for images to use on my blog. There’s a wealth of Creative Commons licensed images and it’s easy to search for them. The images vary widely in quality and artistic value but I’ve rarely failed to find just the right one for a post.

And, of course, it’s all free…which might be the most important factor to a blogger who isn’t making money off her blog.

My Favorites stream over there is already jammed with more images than I can use in a couple of years but I just keep adding more. So many of the images I’ve encountered have captured my imagination, inspiring blog posts, stories and stories-to-be. Here are some that have really stuck with me even though they have no story…yet: Continue reading “There’s a Story Here Somewhere: Inspirational Images from Flickr”

Tuesday Toss-Up

April-May Writing Challenge: First Impressions and Famous Last Words

keyboard blur

Great opening lines draw us in, making it impossible for us to turn away and great last lines linger long, long after we’ve read the end. Two of my favorite first and last lines come from Stephen King’s work.

“The man in Black fled across the Desert, and the Gunslinger followed.”  The Gunslinger (1982). Ooh…I know I want to follow them both. Don’t you?

“lady fingers they taste like lady fingers.” Survivor Type (1982). That one even makes my husband shiver and he’s never read the story.

Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to write either the opening or closing lines of a story. Start us off with a bang or leave us begging for more. As usual, any genre will do and the word count limit is 100.

Here’s how it all works:

  • Prompt: Create the first or last line of a story.
  • Genre: Anything goes. Mystery, Western, romance, historical fiction, alternate history, steam punk, science fiction, horror, fantasy, slip-stream, or whatever.
  • Word count: 100 words.
  • How to share: You can put it up on your blog and link here or (if you don’t have a blog) you can email (sonia DOT m DOT writes AT gmail DOT com) it to me and I’ll put it in a post for you.
  • Time limit: From now until the next challenge is posted in June.
  • Prizes: No…no prizes. Just the reward of a story well written.

There were some fabulous stories for the March Writing Challenge. I’ll be updating this post with links to them all shortly. In the mean time, cruise on over and read them here (in the comments).

***

I’ll posting over at the Life List Club tomorrow. Come on by and say hello.

Photo Credit
keyboard ~ blur by hobvias sudonelghm, on Flickr CC BY 2.0

Killer Thursdays

Ants in the Mailbox – Postcards from Hell, Part 2 (a 500-word story)

My friend, the lovely historical fiction writer Haley Whitehall, issued a flash fiction challenge in the horror genre and this time it involves a prize! The contest runs until 10/31/11, so there’s still time to enter. My entry is Part 2 of a story I wrote for BeKindRewrite’s Inspiration Monday IX. You can find Part 1, Postcards from Hell here.

And now…

Ants in the Mailbox

US Mail
They stood at the edge of the front lawn gone almost knee-high with weeds. The figure in the filthy postal uniform lay still on sidewalk.

Steve looked right. Left. Nothing else moved anywhere on the street.

Deanna squeezed the stock of her crossbow. “He really dead? Dead-dead?” Continue reading “Ants in the Mailbox – Postcards from Hell, Part 2 (a 500-word story)”

Tuesday Toss-Up

Itty Bitty Baby Steps

In honor of the Life List Club Milestone Party, I’d like to share one of my favorite guest posts so far. This was originally posted at the blog of the fabulous Catie Rhodes.

Itty Bitty Baby Steps

Sail around the world. Climb Mt Everest. Lose 30 (or 40 or 50 or 100) lbs. Eat a 10lb burrito slathered in ghost pepper hot sauce. Write a novel.

All huge undertakings.

Okay…maybe writing a novel isn’t quite the same feat as the others…but it sure feels like it sometimes. Sometimes it feels bigger than that because we have to invent something that’s never existed before, our story.

Any big task or change can feel like trying to climb a mountain. We might stand at the base, look up at the vast distance between where we are and where we need to be, and just freak out.

But…maybe, just maybe, there’s a better way. Continue reading “Itty Bitty Baby Steps”

Parallel Tuesdays

Sacrifices and Secrets: Some Flash Fiction and a Mini Writing Challenge

Today seemed like a fine day to share some flash fiction with you. Here is one of my first pieces, written for my first Monthly Writing Challenge in March. The prompt was the starting sentence “I should have listened with both ears instead of one” and a word count limit of 250. You can find the original story post here.

There were many other fantastic stories entered in the March challenge. If you missed it, I urge you to sashay on over and check out the entries. You can find them all neatly listed in the March wrap up section of the April Writing Challenge. It’s amazing how writers can take the same prompt and create very different stories.

Without further delay, here is that first flash fiction piece weighing in at 250 words or less… Continue reading “Sacrifices and Secrets: Some Flash Fiction and a Mini Writing Challenge”