Motivation and Extreme Writing

Free Today on Amazon

The holiday season, with its fun, food, travel, snow, marathon movie days, not to mention illness (cold chased by the flu), have played havoc with my writing schedule. It’s time to get motivated again and for that I usually turn to writing guides.

I seldom read an entire guide. I usually skip to that parts that are relevant to my particular needs. Today, it’s motivation, so headed for the Kindle freebies to see if I could find anything short and to the point. I found several books that look promising.

NaNoWriMo is awesome for motivation. While I wouldn’t want to do it every month, I wish it were more than once a year. I’m aware there are other extreme writing competitions and through the freebies today, I discovered a new (to me) one.

The Story A Day challenge takes place in May. Participants must write one short story for each day of the month.  During the rest of the year, the organizer, Julie Duffy, offers weekly writing prompts on her blog. She also wrote a book about breaking writer’s block, which is offered free today.

Another freebie offers advice on how to write a book in 10 days or less. I’m usually skeptical of such claims, but the book has received a couple of good reviews, so I’ll give it a look. I’m always looking for advice on how to write faster and better.

The final book has to do with unleashing the creative spirit. Sad fact, I know I’m the one who puts that leash around that neck. Time to break free!

If you know of any books or websites that motivate and inspire, let me know!

The Guide To Breaking Writers' Block  Breaking Writers’ Block by Julie Duffy
Writer’s block can come out of nowhere. It can be temporary and related to one project, or it can be chronic, stopping you from writing anything creative. It is always painfully frustrating. Julie Duffy, host of, the month-long short story writing challenge, takes you through more than 60 techniques for breaking writer’s block that have helped StoryADay participants become insanely productive writers. Conversational and light-hearted, this powerful guide may just become your favorite new writer’s handbook.

How to write your novel in 10 days or less  How to write your novel in 10 days or less by Amy Bates
You have always had some scenes and characters running through your mind; and now, you want to bring them all out of there and make the perfect story that people will love. So do you need to invest years of your life to fulfil this dream? Not necessarily! This ebook shows you how you can write your story in ten days… or less!

Unleashing Your Creative Spirit  Unleashing Your Creative Spirit by Cate Russell-Cole
This e-book will help you turn your dreams into reality! It explores the process and practical aspects of creativity; and has been written for artists, writers, musicians, dancers, gardeners, cooks, craft lovers: anyone trying to tap into their creative potential. It looks at the mental processing behind creativity; philosophies that drive how we think about and assess our creative worth; creative character traits; historical role models; an extensive bibliography and web link list and more. The content is practical, not just analytical. It will give you ideas on how to move forward in your creative life.

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.

Resources for NaNoWriMo 2012

Preparation is Key to Success

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) begins on November 1, 2012. For those not in the know, NaNoWriMo is an exercise in group madness, wherein people all over the world attempt to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days.

It is possible. I’ve done it and the proof is here. The first draft of my novel, “Fake,” was written and completed during NaNoWriMo.

Writing is a solitary business, which makes November and NaNoWriMo an awesome occasion for writers. After signing up on the official website, you can join your local region. On your local region’s forum, you can find a calendar of events that includes write-ins throughout the month. During these write-ins, participants meet at local cafes, restaurants or even private residences, and settle down to work on their novels together. It’s an opportunity to meet other local writers, exchange ideas, and participate in fun activities.

If you would like to participate or just want to check it out, this is the official website.

50,000 is a lot to write in 30 days. It’s not a finished novel, but it is a reasonable size for a first draft. I was able to accomplish this by preparing in advance. The official rules for NaNoWriMo state that you must not begin your novel before November 1. However, you are free to do as much research and preparation as possible prior to that date.

Where to begin? I’ve listed some free resources below that I’ve found helpful.

NaNoWriMo’s Young Novelist Workbook
Although the intended audience is high school students, this 91-page workbook is helpful for adults writers, too. Inside, you’ll find helpful worksheets as well as advice on character development, conflict, setting, plotting, etc. I highly recommend this for beginning novelists.

How to Write a Novel: The Snowflake Method
This method was developed by Randy Ingermanson, author of “Writing Fiction for Dummies.” His 10-point process will take you from a one-sentence summary to beginning your first draft. For NaNoWriMo purposes, I used the method up to Step 5. However, you may want to use the whole method.

Notecarding: Plotting Under Pressure
Author and writing coach Holly Lisle developed this method of using note cards to plot out a novel. I’ve found this to be a very useful method for the getting the story out of my head. One thing I highly recommend is, after finishing the note cards, don’t hesitate to shuffle them like a deck of cards. This can help you let go of your story as something written in stone and allow serendipity enter into how the characters and scenes interact.

25 Ways to Plot, Plan and Prep Your Story
Novelist Chuck Wendig offers 25 different methods on his blog. One or more may suit you.

If you decide to participate, good luck! You can do it.