Tag Archives: novel writing

NaNoWriMo: Getting on My Crazy

This is the time of year when hundreds of thousands of writers around the world, including me, get antsy.  Stories flit through our heads, a few characters decide to burrow in and stay a while, and we can’t wait for November 1st to start writing. NaNoWriMo, aka National Novel Writing Month, is a time when hundreds of thousands of writers around the world get crazy and try to write 50,000 words during the month of November.  We even manage to go to work, school, holiday gatherings, and sometimes even make a few dinners for our families! 1,667 words a day, every day, or catch up on weekends.  If, like me, you take Sundays and Thanksgiving off, it jumps to 2,000 a day.  Why drive ourselves like this?  Jaime Raintree put her thoughts into a brilliant post over on Writers in the Storm, and she not only ticked all my boxes but … Continue reading

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Flunking NaNoWriMo, Finding a Writing Rhythm

I admit it:  I flunked NaNo this year. I had great plans of using the month to crank out a down-and-dirty rough draft of Shimmer #2.  What I discovered was that a good story (not just a large word count), necessary historical research and a 30-day deadline do not make a good combination! At about the 10,000 word mark, I discovered a resource that filled in a lot of gaps in my knowledge about life in the canal construction camps of the 1830s.  Great info, but it also meant stopping to read, re-imagine and re-plot before I could move forward again.  And when local book signings and a marketing push on Mother-Daughter Book Reviews took over my brain, and NaNoWriMo went completely kaput. Sigh. On the other hand, when I was working on those 10,000 words, I discovered a great rhythm for my writing time! As many of you know, … Continue reading

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Author Interview: Kassandra Lamb & the Story Behind the Story

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about Story, with a capital S. Why do we authors feel compelled to tell stories? Why do others read our stories?  Why do we choose one story to tell over another? So I decided to interview a writer friend of mine who has just released the seventh book in her mystery series, and who also happens to be a retired psychologist, to see what her answers to these questions might be. So let me introduce you to Kassandra Lamb, author of the Kate Huntington mystery series. Hi, Kass, thanks for joining me today. Thanks for having me, Jen. We wouldn’t be writers if we didn’t have stories itching to come to life.  So why do you feel compelled to tell stories? *laughs* Have you ever seen one of those figurines of a Native American storyteller surrounded by children, some in her lap, some hanging … Continue reading

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Weird Names & the War That Wasn’t a War

Stolen Ohio chickens, a lost Michigan militia, and men with numbers for names?  You never know what your fiction research is going to uncover. There I was, digging into Midwest canals and railroads for Book 2 of my Shimmer of Time series.  Lots of cool stuff for the book, right?  But I got sidetracked completely by Benjamin Franklin Stickney, who had weird tastes in names and was (probably) responsible for a war most of us have never heard of. Stickney’s mother was a favorite niece of Benjamin Franklin (that’s right, the key-on-a-kite-string Benjamin Franklin, “discoverer” of electricity and inventor of my ever-necessary bifocals), and she named her son after him in 1773.  So Benjamin Stickney grew up, got married, and named his sons … wait for it . . . One and Two!  Evidently he wanted to let them choose their own names when they got older, but they never did.  … Continue reading

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What Can You Say in a Six Word Memoir?

We talked about Six Word Stories in the last post, and some of you came up with some great ones – thanks!  But did you ever think about a Six Word Memoir? I came across the idea about a month ago, over at Smith Mag.  They have some fabulous categories – Six Word Questions, Six Words on Love, Six Words by Tony Winners. The idea behind it is to put something of your day into six words, and the results range from humorous to heartbreaking to gee-I’ve-been-there.  Here’s a sample: Wish I’d take my own advice.  (Also the book title of teen memoirs.) Everybody really does know my name. Summer’s not the season for quarrels. Great, huh?  If you follow #sixwords on Twitter, you’ll find a lot of people expressing philosophy and inner thoughts as well as memoir, sometimes with a photo, sometimes in poem form:   untethered :: I … Continue reading

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