Blank to 50K: What if I want to do NaNoWriMo?

http://lorilrobinett.comGreat! Good for you for making the commitment! Participating is easy.

  • Go to www.nanowrimo.org and sign up
  • Look for your local region (I happen to be in NaNoWriMo::Missouri::Fulton – and we have a Facebook page (that is woefully outdated at the moment!)
  • Check with your local library for a kickoff or informational session. If you’re in central Missouri, check the library calendar here.
  • Keep an eye on the regional forums of the NaNo site, check your NaNo mail, and keep an eye on your email so you can stay informed about local events, like write-ins and parties.

And if you decide NOT to participate officially in National Novel Writing Month, no worries. You can still participate in Blank to 50K and learn tips to help you finish your first draft.

Fatal Impulse

http://www.amazon.com/Fatal-Impulse-Widows-Web-Novel-ebook/dp/B00UB2U7WS/

Fatal Impulse (a Widow’s Web novel)

by Lori L. Robinett

Chad and Andi Adams are the perfect couple. He is a successful dentist with a winning smile and a penchant for perfection. She is the perfect suburban wife who supports him totally and completely.

Until the night she kills him.

Sneak Peek at Fatal Impulse

The two celebrated their sixth wedding anniversary the previous May, and she was determined to make her marriage work. Her parents raised her to believe marriage is forever, ‘til death do you part, so she would not leave him. No matter what.

A sharp bang interrupted his tirade.

The SUV swerved on the wet pavement, throwing her sideways into the door. The seatbelt grabbed and held her in place, and she braced herself against the dash with her hands. Her head jerked from side to side as the vehicle fishtailed back and forth until Chad slowed the Grand Cherokee. He held the steering wheel with an iron grip and guided the vehicle to the side of the road, the blown tire thumping. He set the emergency brake with a sharp yank, then turned to look at her, his dark eyes narrowed. He looked evil in the amber glow of the instrument panel.

The interior light blinked on when he opened his door, bathing the inside of the vehicle with harsh light. He started to get out, then paused, one foot in, one foot out, and turned to stare at her.

“I had control. There is no need to grab the dash like that. As you may recall, this vehicle is equipped with airbags. Had they deployed, your arms would have been broken.” That low, smooth voice that had once impressed her now gave her chills. “Snap.”

If you like what you read here, sign up for my newsletter (pssst . . . . look to your left, in the sidebar) and I’ll send you the first two chapters of Fatal Impulse free.

Want the whole book? Click here!

 

 

Blank to 50K: Characters Bring Your Writing to Life

Blank to 50KWe’ve determined you want to write a novel, and you’ve committed to getting the first draft written in 30 days. Great. What now? Where do you begin? Some writers start with the plot, others with characters. Either way is fine. Personally, the characters are usually my starting point. They talk to me, take form in my head, and then I figure out what they’re up to. If you’d rather start with plot, go for it – but you’ll have to wait until next week for my tips.

Character Sketches

These are highly touted, and there are lots of worksheets and templates available on the internet. I use Scrivener, and often use their templates as my jumping off point, but that template is very basic. I suggest you do two things:

  • Write a detailed character sketch, at least a couple of pages. See the bottom of this post for a free copy of my worksheet.
  • Write an autobiography – your character’s life story from his/her point of view. A page is fine. This doesn’t have to be long, just focus on the high points – what is important to your character.

Character Spreadsheet

You need a spreadsheet for every novel/series you write. This helps you keep track of who you are writing about. Actually, it does a lot more than that – your spreadsheet can become your writing bible. It tells you who did what, when they did it and where they were. But for right now, keep it simple. All you need is a list of characters, so you can fill in the details for each character as you create their sketches. This is also a great place to keep track of tags that you use to cue your reader as to who the character is. For instance, in my Diamond J series, I use “Wranglers” as a tag for Beau, and I use “red hair” as a tag for Beth. Very simplistic, but I want those things to instantly remind the reader of that character. Another great example of this is the Harry Dresden series. If you hear duster and staff while you’re reading a Jim Butcher book, you know Harry is the character in play.

If you’d like a copy of my Character Sketch Worksheet (Word format) and my Character Spreadsheet (Excel format), please enter your name and email below and I’ll send them to you.

[contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]

 

Blank to 50K: Why write your novel in 30 days?

http://lorilrobinett.comIf you’ve always wanted to write a novel, but can’t seem to get it done . . . National Novel Writing Month may be for you. But there is a caveat to that. You don’t HAVE to sign up for NaNoWriMo. You don’t HAVE to do it in November. The things that make NaNo work for so many people can be tweaked for your personal situation to help you reach your goals.

Quantity over Quality

Don’t get hung up on this point. The idea is to take one month to get your first draft finished. Your goal is to have a beginning, a middle and an end. If you get too focused on crafting perfect sentences, you’ll never reach those two magical words: The End.

Write Wherever

NaNo teaches you to write wherever you’d like: at your desk, at a write-in, or in short little bursts wherever you happen to be. I’ve been known to work through lunch at work . . . but take 15 minutes to send myself an email with a few hundred words for my work in progress.

Support

If you sign up for NaNo, you’ll have overwhelming support from the entire NaNo community – from the Office of Letters and Light, your Municipal Liaison, and your Region. If you don’t sign up for NaNo, you still need to elicit support from friends and family, as well as the writing community. Find a writing group or at least a critique partner.

Take the Time

The biggest hurdle writers face is finding the time to write. Give yourself a deadline, tell others you are writing a novel . . . then DO IT.

If I Can Do It, You Can Do It

Both of my novels were drafting during National Novel Writing Month. Check them out and see what is possible, and support a fellow writer at the same time:

http://www.amazon.com/Denim-Diamonds-Lori-Robinett-ebook/dp/B00M8N210Y/

Denim & Diamonds

http://www.amazon.com/Fatal-Impulse-Widows-Web-Novel-ebook/dp/B00UB2U7WS/

Blank to 50K: Why you should let me help you write your novel

In the past few weeks, I’ve talked about the fact that everyone wants to write a book, asked why you want to write a novel, and advised you to write what you read. But I missed an important step . . .

Why should you listen to me?

I’ve done it, plain and simple. I have participated in National Novel Writing Month eight times and finished every single time as a winner.

http://lorilrobinett.com

My 8th National Novel Writing Month WIN!!

Even better than that – I self-published my first draft through Lulu and sold twice as many copies as most self-pubbed authors do. Then I took that (very) rough draft, rewrote and polished it, submitted it . . . and I happily signed my first publishing contract with CaryPress. It was released in 2014.

http://lorilrobinett.com

I’ve been published in Well Versed, “The Storyteller,” “The Heritage Writer,” “Writing for Dollars!”, and “Secrets & Strategies.”

I led my National Novel Writing Month region to Top Ten status (number of words / writer) every year I served as Municipal Liaison. I helped others finish the first draft of their novel in 30 days or less . . . and I can help you do the same thing.

Rev your engine up. Let’s go.

Are you ready?

Blank to 50K: Write What You Read

WHAT do you want to write_(1)Obviously, you want to write a novel. And you know WHY you want to write a novel. Now the question is: What do you want to write?

Well, what are you reading? And don’t EVEN tell me you aren’t reading anything because, let’s face it, you can’t be a writer if you aren’t a reader. I tend to be a bit of a book slut. Right now I’m reading a thriller (An Unlikely Hero by Tierney James), just finished a rom-com (Frisky Business by Tawna Fenske) and before that, I read horror (Dr. Sleep by Stephen King). But there are still commonalities in what I read, and I tend to go to a particular section of the library and the bookstore every time I go in – the mystery section.

So, think about your habits. What section first draws your attention?

What about the characters that appeal to you? Do you like strong female protagonists? What about those characters we love to hate? Sometimes I find myself rooting for the bad guy, like in the movies Gone in 60 Seconds and Ocean’s Eleven.

In essence, write the story you would want to sit down and read. Write the words that would draw you in and keep you reading into the wee hours of the darkest night.

If the idea of getting a second chance appeals to you, pop over and check out one of my books.

http://www.amazon.com/Fatal-Impulse-Widows-Web-Novel-ebook/dp/B00UB2U7WS/

http://carypress.com/denim-diamonds-by-lori-robinett/

Denim & Diamonds by Lori Robinett