Friday, 21 November 2014

NaNoWriMo Win!

Done! Finito! Fini!

At midday I managed to complete the NaNoWri over a week early. Last week I realised I was well on schedule to complete it in time, and so I decided to push real hard to make sure I was definitely going to win. Here are the top three things that helped me the most:

  • Planning. I had the idea for this three years ago, and it's been on my mind ever since. I knew the character, I knew the plot, I knew the subplots, and I knew where my problems were going to be. I had all that ironed out before November even started so that I could just keep writing.
  • I didn't focus on the word count, I focused on getting the story as complete as possible and managed to get well ahead of my word count. It's hard to play catch up later and I knew I wanted to win this year, so I downsized my procrastination and made sure I wrote nearly every day.
  • Knowing that my blog was inspiring others to have a go at the NaNoWriMo also spurred me along even further. I have a competitive streak and I hope you do too - I've won, now you lot need to get cracking!

The Clearing

WITHER meets THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH: who will survive Ruby's reckless decision? If you like the sound of that, maybe you would like to be a Beta-Reader for my latest manuscript, The Clearing.

I truly want the most honest opinion you can muster. The book is fairly short (between 50,000 to 60,00 words) and is a young/new adult, dystopian horror. Here's the working synopsis:

Ruby struggles with her village's stubborn ways, but even more so with why those Sentenced run willingly into the forest full of the Soulless. She knows there's more to life than this one village, and refuses to sit back and raise children, especially whilst her friend is being abused by her father and strangers are being rejected entry from the village.

When Ruby is Sentenced for endangering the whole village, she refuses to run. She wants them to watch the Soulless infect her as payback for her harsh banishment! Only the town psychic pulls her back from her fate at the last minute, crossing hairs with the Mayor and causing a chain of events that have disastrous consequences for the whole entire village.

Maybe Ruby should have run...

Please use the contact form if you're interested. I can't wait to hear what you think, whether it's good, bad, or somewhere in the middle.

I'll be posting up an exert soon!

My Final Tips

You don't have to win to succeed. If you've got a big chunk of writing done which you know you would have never made yourself do without this event, then you've already succeeded.

But winning is nice.

Don't get too comfortable. If you feel like your on schedule, then remember how unpredictable life can be and really push yourself further. Try to keep yourself a day or so in front. That means you're less likely to be scrabbling around on the last day, praying for the last ounce of inspiration to carry you through.

Go back and flesh out some of your earlier scenes. Save the real editing for later, but maybe some of those scenes you wrote last week could do with an extra few hundred words to really build the tension, set the scene, and reiterate past events to remind readers of bits they may have forgotten about.

Start thinking about the sequels. Sometimes I start writing scenes for later books whilst I'm still working on the first. It's not cheating (or at least I don't think it is) to explore what may happen after the book 1 plan, and who knows, maybe you were really writing bits from book 1 all along!

Watch This Blog For Freebies! 

Next month I'm planning on offering free (short) section edits to those participating in the NaNoWriMo, to help you kick start the editing process.

Also, I have a fantastic author offering two copies of her new novel! Entries will open in December.

There will also be lots of advice on self-publishing next month, so check back soon for lots of great freebies and tips.

Let me know when you succeed!