Life After NaNoWriMo

Winner badge 180x180

Yeah, I gotta shout it out. I’m a winner! I passed the 50K words mark last night, after being behind for almost the entire month.

How did I do it? Basically, I just decided I was going to do it. I went to a write-in on Wednesday night and wrote almost 4K words. On Thursday, I made up my mind to make the goal that day and wrote over 4K words.

Something that helped is I found a new-to-me technique. Several days ago, I wrote an email to a close friend. Then, after I opened my book file, I stared at the blank page and thought, “If only I could write this chapter as an email.”

Cue the light bulb above my head. I think I might have heard an angelic choir in the background as well.

I’ve read similar advice before, along the lines of “write the chapter as a letter.” However, that never resonated with me because letters, for me, have always been somewhat formal affairs. An email, on the other hand, especially to a close friend, is where I write like I talk and don’t have much of a filter. I can let my feelings out and describe a situation from my point of view.

The chapter zipped from my fingers. I wasn’t worried about describing the scene. I let the character describe what happened and his emotions surrounding the situation. After that, I wrote a couple of regular chapters. Then, last night, I wrote two more chapters as emails and I reached the 50K mark.

In the next draft, will these chapters remain in email form? Probably not. But when I rewrite, I’ll have a much better idea of how the characters feel about events because they’ve told their closest friends.

NaNoWriMo is over for me, but the book still needs to be completed. I have another 25K words to go, I’d say. My new goal is to have the first draft completed by December 31.

Anyone out there who participated in this year’s NaNoWriMo, I hope you reach goal at the end of today, whether is was 10K or 50K words this month.

I’ve listed two Kindle books today, one free-for-now and one for $0.99.

The free-for-now book is basically a rant by an indie author about indie authors. It’s a complaint about the bad quality books that are being self-published, but also contains advice on how to write and edit a good quality book. After finishing NaNoWriMo, you might think you’ve written a masterpiece. Think again and consider reading this book. No matter how brilliant an idea, a hot mess is a hot mess until you clean it up. You can find the author’s blog here.

The other book is one I wish I had before November 1. It give advice on how to write fast and well. The author has a blog which describes some of her techniques, and if you like what you see, I suggest showing the love and buying the book. It’s only $0.99.

  Rage against the Indie by Stella Deleuze
Those who have been following my blog, know that I hold a Ph.D. in ranting. Be it about self-published authors and their behaviour in social media, or the mediocre to non-existent quality of self-published books. Not all of them, but certainly the ones I’ve deleted. To help lift the overall quality, I decided to do what I do best: write a lengthy rant about my observations and experiences, followed by suggestions on how to make it better, and a few additional tips and tricks. Beware: it’s not for the faint-hearted. Whether you are a suffering reader or a self-published author, I hope you’ll get a giggle and some useful advice, or maybe even both from this book.

  2k to 10k: Writing Faster, Writing Better, and Writing More of What You Love by Rachel Aaron Not free. $0.99.
Have you ever wanted to double your daily word counts? Do you sometimes feel like you’re crawling through your story? Do you want to write more every day without increasing the time you spend writing or sacrificing quality? It’s not impossible, it’s not even that hard. This is the book explaining how, with a few simple changes, I boosted my daily writing from 2000 words to over 10k a day, and how you can too.

Descriptions provided by Amazon

Disclaimers and Disclosures

I found this book via Amazon’s Kindle eBooks store. Resources for free Kindle and other format eBooks are listed in my sidebar.

This freebie is a limited time offer and there is no guarantee it will still be free when you click on the link. Grab it sooner rather than later.

So Many Words, So Little Time

Free Today on Amazon

I’m still trying like crazy to catch up on my NaNoWriMo word count. It didn’t help that this last weekend was a long, holiday weekend here in the United States. How far behind am I? I calculated that I can still make my goal if I write 2600 words each day between now and Friday.

Whew. Can I do it? Yes! Will I do it? I sure hope so. If I can get into “no guts, no glory” mode, I shall succeed. Wish me luck!

I hope everyone else participating in NaNoWriMo is doing well and going full steam ahead toward the finish line. Feel free to celebrate and/or bitch-n-moan in my comments.

Anyone who’s done this before knows that on December 1, you will be staring at a hot mess of a manuscript. Before you begin editing, you may want to consult a writer’s guide or two, or ten. I like to find guides that address the particular problems I’m having with my prose. Below, I’ve listed some free-for-today guides that may help you clean up some of that mess and inspire you to further creativity.

Get ’em now, but don’t read ’em yet. Keep writing!

  Rivet Your Readers with Deep Point of View by Jill Elizabeth Nelson
Dear Novelist: Would you like your readers to live your stories, not merely read them? Deep Point of View anchors your readers inside the point of view character(s) of your novel. This handbook shows you how to perform the transformation from ordinary narrative to deep narrative in clear, easy-to-master steps. I invite you to sweep your writing to the next level with a technique that creates immediacy and intimacy with your readers and virtually eliminates show/don’t tell issues. My Best to You, Jill

  Telling Details by Kat Duncan
Telling Details explains the use and misuse of factual information in fiction, particularly in romance fiction. The updated second edition contains several new articles on how to effectively use details in fiction.

  Inspired Creative Writing by Alexander Gordon Smith
In Inspired creative writing Alexander reveals some brilliant insights into making your writing more effective. Drawing on his years of experience as a writer, editor and publisher, Alexander shares insider tips on every aspect of writing, from overcoming writer’s block, to creating characters so real they leap off the page, via how to chose your writing style, how to develop and maintain the right atmosphere for your writing, and much more besides. Packed with practical and realistic advice, ideas and techniques, this book will prove an invaluable aid to any writing experience. Whether you write part-time as a hobby or are intent on being the next Grisham or Proust, combining Inspired creative writing with your passion and talent will prove a winning formula.

Descriptions provided by Amazon

Disclaimers and Disclosures

I found these books via Amazon’s Kindle eBooks store. Resources for free Kindle and other format eBooks are listed in my sidebar.

These freebies are limited time offers, so there is no guarantee any of these books will still be free when you click on the links. Grab them sooner rather than later.

Books that I have previously listed will occasionally come up free again. I add those to my current posts for people who didn’t see them the first time.

Jim Butcher and the Great Swampy Middle

On the mend and way behind, that’s the best way to describe me right now. I’m trying to catch up on my big NaNoWriMo word count deficit.

This isn’t a blog post. More like a reblog. The Boulder region NaNoWriMo Municipal Liaison (i.e., regional head volunteer), Nicole J. LeBoeuf, recently sent out a letter to our region that included some gems of advice on getting through the middle of the novel.

The best of those gems was a LiveJournal post by Jim Butcher. It’s funny and informative, and gives good, solid tools to navigate across that vast swamp that has sucked down many a hapless novelist. Read it! It’s that good. You can find it here:

The Great Swampy Middle

If you’re a writer, keep writing. If you’re a reader, keep reading. If you have a cold, have some chicken soup.

Chicken Soup for the Writer’s Cold

Free Today on Amazon

I’ve caught the mega-monster cold that’s been going around. It came out of nowhere. Seriously. Tuesday morning, I was happy as a clam. Tuesday night, I was clam chowder. I haven’t written anything since Wednesday and am now way behind on NaNoWriMo.

I’ve spent most of my sick days on the couch, catching up on episodes of Revolution, Beauty and the Beast, and Vampire Prosecutor. Yes, you read that right. It’s a K drama with a prosecutor who is also a vampire. He doesn’t sparkle, but his eyes turn blue and he wears guyliner. Trust me, it’s awesome.

I also made my version of chicken soup. It’s very simple and wholesome, and great for sick days.

Lori Writer’s Chicken Soup for a Cold

  • 1lb chicken tenders
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 can of chicken stock
  • Salt, pepper, garlic, herbs

I use a Creuset, but a stock pot should work fine.

Over medium high heat, melt the butter in the pot. Place the chicken in the pot and cook lightly on both sides, about a minute each side. Pour in half a can of chicken stock. Squeeze in the juice of the lemon. Lightly season to taste. Turn heat to low and cover the pot. Allow to simmer until chicken is tender. This can take anywhere from 20 minutes to half an hour.

When the chicken is done, pour the remaining half can of chicken stock into a single serving bowl. Microwave to boiling. I like to add a little white pepper when it’s done. Then take a piece or two of chicken out of the pot, slice it up and place in soup. This way, the broth stays clear, but you also have yummy chunks of chicken.

Store the leftover chicken with juice from the pot to keep it moist. Then, when you want some soup, just nuke the broth, chop up some chicken and yum.

I am feeling a bit better today and hope to get some NaNo writing in. I took a looksie at Amazon, hoping to find a good soup book. Found a seven-in-one recipe book that includes a soup cookbook. I also found what looks like an pretty awesome writer’s guide. It’s only available free until November 18, today, so grab it now.

  Best Recipes Ultimate Collection – Casserole, Chicken, Chocolate, Pie, Salad, Soup, Smoothies
Best recipe books brings you exactly what you’re looking for when it comes to great eating – a vast collection of easy-to-make and bake recipes that you can turn to over and over again to create dishes for any occasion. Over 500 recipes! There’s no mindless chatter, no fluff and stuff – just delicious and tasty homemade recipes made with ingredients you recognize. The instructions are basic and easy to understand.

  MFA in a Box: A Why to Write Book by John Rember
Part craft talk, part philosophical tome, part memoir, MFA in a Box is not so much a book about how to write as it is about whyto write. In chapters that explore the relationships between the writer and love, grief, place, family, race, violence, and other topics, Rember helps writers dive deep into their own writing. He tells them how they can breathe down there and how they can get back.

Descriptions provided by Amazon

Disclaimers and Disclosures

I found these books via Amazon’s Kindle eBooks store. Resources for free Kindle and other format eBooks are listed in my sidebar.

These freebies are limited time offers, so there is no guarantee any of these books will still be free when you click on the links. Grab them sooner rather than later.

Eat and Read

Free Today on Amazon

I wrote almost 2,000 words today for my NaNoWriMo novel. Still haven’t caught up yet, but I’m getting there.

I also went to see a chiropractor and a massage therapist for my tweaked back. Can’t recommend doing this enough. I’m still a little sore, but feeling much better. By the way, if you need a quick fix, I can recommend The Joint.

As a reward, I decided to take a look-see at the Kindle freebies. NaNoWriMo has curtailed my reading time for the month, so I headed over to the cookbooks. Still gotta eat. At least, that’s my excuse. I was delighted to discover two books that are themed around cooking, eating and reading. Nice haul for a Monday night. Enjoy!

  Bookworms Anonymous by Jan Stafford Kellis
Part memoir, part cookbook, and part informational guide, Bookworms Anonymous is a laudatory examination of reading as a hobby, diversion, obsession, even sport. The book features a Bookworm’s eye view of eight meetings as well as menu plans, recipes, and instructions for establishing your own chapter of the fresh, frugal, fun book club known as Bookworms Anonymous. The book includes lists of the club’s favorite reads, Book Handling Commandments, book shuffling and other literary athletic pursuits, strategies for finding reading time every day, anecdotes about life in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, and many book reviews (mostly positive).

  Eat, Read, Love by the Ruby-Slippered Sisterhood
They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. If so, then you’ll need a copy of EAT, READ, LOVE! This unique literary cookbook pairs recipes with excerpts from the romance novels that inspired them. From YA to suspense to historical to contemporary… Join the members of the Ruby-Slippered Sisterhood for some “romancing the stove,” and delight in romance and recipes from some of today’s hottest rising stars, such as Darynda Jones, Jeannie Lin, Hope Ramsay, Laurie Kellogg, Kim Law, Amanda Brice, Liz Talley, and more! Because there’s no place like the kitchen!

Descriptions provided by Amazon

Disclaimers and Disclosures

I found these books via Amazon’s Kindle eBooks store. Resources for free Kindle and other format eBooks are listed in my sidebar.

These freebies are limited time offers, so there is no guarantee any of these books will still be free when you click on the links. Grab them sooner rather than later.

Books that I have previously listed will occasionally come up free again. I add those to my current posts for people who didn’t see them the first time.

Tweaky Procrastination

Free Today on Amazon

I’m still behind in my NaNoWriMo word count, though now I can partially blame it on tweaking my back yesterday. Not sure how it happened. I’m feeling better today, though a trip to the chiropractor is now on tomorrow’s schedule.

I planned to get some writing in this morning, but found myself wandering over to my favorite method of procrastination: free ebooks! So, let my word loss be your gain.

I was trolling the nonfiction, looking for reference material and I found a couple of interesting books. One is particularly relevant to my novels. It’s a guide to getting your first tattoo. I don’t have a tattoo, but several of my characters do, particularly my main character, Paul. I have tattooed friends, including a tattoo artist, and I even watched her ink a friend. Still, it’s good to have a written guide to refer to.

The other book is a guide to Jane Austen’s house. This book includes diagrams and room by room descriptions. I think it’s an excellent resource for someone writing historical fiction or regency romance. Even if you write in neither of these genres, you never know when you might have a situation where your characters enter an historical home.

  Tips For Getting Your First Tattoo by Jacob Fairclough
Thinking about getting your first tattoo? Don’t do it without considering everything involved. The eBook, Tips For Getting Your First Tattoo is the perfect source to help tattoo beginners get started in the awesome world of ink.

  Behind Jane Austen’s Door by Jennifer Forest
Behind Jane Austen’s Door takes you on a tour of a Regency house, room by room, to explore the delicate challenges and the beautiful lives of Jane Austen’s women. Jane Austen did not place her stories in castles or on the battlefields, but in that one building so important to Elizabeth and Elinor, a home of their own. What was life like for Jane Austen’s women in the home? From drawing room diva, to mother, wife and savvy housekeeper, Jane Austen’s women lived fascinating lives in their homes. Behind Jane Austen’s Door is 14,500 words, perfect for a few hours relaxing reading.

Descriptions provided by Amazon

Disclaimers and Disclosures

I found these books via Amazon’s Kindle eBooks store. Resources for free Kindle and other format eBooks are listed in my sidebar.

These freebies are limited time offers, so there is no guarantee any of these books will still be free when you click on the links. Grab them sooner rather than later.

How to be a Great Author

Free Today on Amazon

Today is day eight in the NaNoWriMo competition. I am behind in my word count, though not by too much. For those not familiar with NaNoWriMo, the goal is to write 50,000 words in 30 days. That equals 1,667 words per day. At this point, I should have written 11,666 words, but as of now, I’ve written only 10,607. Hopefully, I can catch up by today or tomorrow.

Still, I hate neglecting my blog. Or perhaps I love procrastinating? Regardless, I poked around Amazon a bit this morning and found a fun-looking book, “Shaman, Healer, Heretic.” Its description reminded me a bit of the series, The Dresden Files, which got me thinking about the author of that series, Jim Butcher.

I met Jim Butcher at a writers’ conference awhile ago. He and his wife, Shannon, who is also a best selling author, are two of the nicest people I’ve ever met. They were so friendly and easy going, and eager to be perceived as fellow participants rather than star attractions.

Jim sat on several panels and always showed up on time, while other, lesser known authors either bailed or showed up late, and in one case, drunk. He was attentive to the questions asked and gave great advice. He spoke of how he was hardly an overnight success, that he’d received piles of rejection notes, and offered encouragement, that if he could make it, anyone could.

The conference was open to the public during the afternoon of book signings. Jim’s fans showed up and he had a very busy table. Afterward, he chilled out in the lobby with a group of fans who’d hung around.

Jim Butcher, to me, is a great author because he’s a great person. He put aside his ego and reached out to aspiring authors and eager fans. Putting aside ego was one of the points he made during a panel discussion. He said when he first started writing, he thought he was all that and didn’t want to listen to any advice. And he failed miserably. Then he started attending conferences, listening to authors and editors, and going over the notes from his creative writing class. He took the advice to heart and his writing improved.

I think this is so true. If you just want to write for yourself, then write however you want. If you want to write for an audience, you need to start taking advice on how best to reach that audience.

Today’s freebies include the above mentioned book, plus another fun-looking paranormal, along with a tasty selection of writing guides.

For those of you also participating in NaNoWriMo, no more procrastinating. Let’s get cracking!

  Shaman, Healer, Heretic by M. Terry Green
Even for a techno-shaman, a kachina in the bedroom isn’t exactly part of the drill. When Olivia Lawson wakes to find one towering over her, she panics. A Hopi god visiting the real world isn’t just wrong-it’s impossible. Or is it? Soon Olivia learns that the kachina is the least of her worries. As she struggles to save her clients, clashes with other shamans, and fends off the attacks of real-world vigilantes, Olivia finds herself in the destructive path of a malevolent ancient force intent on leaving the spiritual realm to conquer this one.

  Brightest Kind of Darkness by P.T. Michelle
Nara Collins is an average sixteen-year-old, with one exception: every night she dreams the events of the following day. Due to an incident in her past, Nara avoids using her special gift to change fate…until she dreams a future she can’t ignore. After Nara prevents a bombing at Blue Ridge High, her ability to see the future starts to fade, while people at school are suddenly being injured at an unusually high rate. Grappling with her diminishing powers and the need to prevent another disaster, Nara meets Ethan Harris, a mysterious loner who seems to understand her better than anyone. Ethan and Nara forge an irresistible connection, but as their relationship heats up, so do her questions about his dark past.

  The Seven Moments In Storytelling That Really Matter by Christian Blake
Stories are told through the Seven Moments. You can’t tell a story without them. It’s impossible. This book explains what the Seven Moments are and how to use them within your writing. If you want to learn how to captivate your reader from the first page of your story to its very last, read this book.

  Plotting Simplified by Eddie Jones
We remember characters; we pitch plot. In Plotting Simplified you’ll learn how to map your story using the “passage markers” that shape every story’s journey. From introduction and motivation to your Lead’s moment of maximum angst, you’ll see how easy it is to develop a story line and keep your characters on the path to a compelling climax. Learn how to introduce the Great Disturbance, what 4 Questions you should ask of your plot, how to map-out your story, manage your key scenes, the 7 Keys to every good plot, whyWorry, Conflict and Disaster spells success for the writer, and how to introduce your Major Dramatic Question.

  The Prolific Writer by Ethan Miller
Stop staring at the blank page and make your writing dreams come true through professional, prolific writing. Every writer knows that writing takes practice, but how do you find the time in a busy schedule? For those who write full-time, the schedule may be open, but pushing yourself to complete tedious writing projects can be difficult. The Prolific Writer: A Minimalist’s Guide to Productive Writing provides numerous tools and tips for dealing with problems that plague many writers.

Descriptions provided by Amazon

Disclaimers and Disclosures

I found these books via Amazon’s Kindle eBooks store. Resources for free Kindle and other format eBooks are listed in my sidebar.

These freebies are limited time offers, so there is no guarantee any of these books will still be free when you click on the links. Grab them sooner rather than later.

Books that I have previously listed will occasionally come up free again. I add those to my current posts for people who didn’t see them the first time.