Thursday, October 24, 2013

NaNo Revisited 2011: Poison in the Blood

Simon and his soul mate were the first Bad Witch characters I created, followed by Emily and Michael. I wrote a bit of a book with them during my last year at college but didn't get far with it. When I started Blood, Smoke and Mirrors, I knew Simon, Michael, and Emily had to be in it, and they stole scenes at every opportunity. I had so much fun writing about Emily and her undead peanut gallery that I decided to write a novella about how Michael and Emily fell in love, and that became The Importance of Being Emily.

I loved writing that story, and it became my best-reviewed book. (Dude. Seriously. RT gave it 4.5 stars and invited me to blog about it on their site.) So when NaNoWriMo approached in 2011, I decided to write the story of how Emily became a vampire.

Monday, October 21, 2013

NaNoWriMo 2013 Prep: Tips for Making Your Daily Wordcount

During NaNoWriMo, you have 30 days to write 50,000 words. That's about 1,667 words per day to hit 50k on November 30th. Some days that goal seems like a piece of cake, and other days every single word is agony. Here are a few tips to help you make your word count goal.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

NaNo Revisted 2010: Bad Witch Sequel 2.0

2010 was a busy year for me, author-wise. In April I attended the Chicago North Spring Fling and fangirled all over SB Sarah Wendell, and Blood, Smoke and Mirrors released in ebook in May. The book did rather well and received several good reviews. It went on to become a finalist in the Paranormal Romance Category of the 2011 EPIC eBook Awards and won third place in the Light Paranormal/Urban Fantasy Category of the 14th Annual PRISM Contest for Published Authors. Not bad at all.

But, as I mentioned, the second Bad Witch book had been rejected. Cue much authorial angst and despair.

Monday, October 14, 2013

NaNoWriMo 2013 Prep: What the heck is a trope?

My local RWA chapter has recently been discussing tropes and how to use them in our writing. Today I'm sharing some of my tropetastic findings with you, you lucky intarweb inhabitants. Complete with references!

What is a trope?

According to TV Tropes [i], “Tropes are devices and conventions that a writer can reasonably rely on as being present in the audience members’ minds and expectations.” In other words, a trope is a plot, character, setting, device, or pattern that the audience recognizes, like the unassuming farm boy hero, the rebellion against an oppressive government, or the wise mentor character [ii]. Tropes make stories run, and all stories have tropes. They’re kind of like the building blocks of genre fiction, or bits of basic structural code.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

NaNo Revisted: 2009, the Bad Witch that Wasn't

Every author dreams of what they'll do when they get The Call. In my case, it was The Email. On November 17, 2009 I received the offer from Mr. Sam Hain to publish my 2006 NaNo Blood, Smoke and Mirrors. There was SO MUCH REJOICING! At the time BFF Diana was also co-worker Diana, so she was the first one to hear the good news. We had the world's quietest celebratory happy dance of joy in her cubicle.

I was well into my 2009 NaNo, Bloodlines and Broomsticks, the second Bad Witch book, and visions of being a multi-published author danced in my head. I dreamed of being a best seller, of having legions of fans, movie deals, my own theme park...

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

NaNoWriMo 2013: Plotting, Pantsing, or Both?

Writers tend to identify as plotters, who plot their novels ahead of time to some degree, anywhere from a few notes to detailed outlines, or as pantsters, who "fly by the seat of their pants" and let the story develop as they write it. The official NaNoWriMo guide book is No Plot? No Problem! (and you can get an autographed copy of it from their store), so their love of pantsters is well known.

When I first started NaNoing, I was a pantster. However, as I wrote more novels I realized that pantsing wasn't for me. At about 30,000 words I would hit a wall of writer's block, give up on the project and walk away to find a newer, shinier idea. Converting to plotting allowed me to move past that block, because if I got stuck on a scene, I could skip it and move on to the next. I often use placeholders in brackets like [fight scene here] or [ninjas!] when struggling with a scene, and then fill the details in during a later draft.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

NaNo Revisited: 2006, the Birth of the Bad Witch

In the beginning, there was NaNoWriMo, and it was good.

I've blogged before about my NaNo journey. I was even featured on the official NaNo blog once (there was so much happy dancing about that, you guys). So I won't rehash the story again here...I'll just sum up. I discovered NaNo as it kicked off in 2006. I had no plot--really I had nothing, other than the idea that the heroine was called into the restaurant where she worked to hear the bad news that someone important to her had been murdered.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

NaNoWriMo approaches. Will you answer the call?

It's that time again. The most wonderful time of the year--National Novel Writing Month! Or at least it soon will be. As November approaches, I'll be discussing my NaNo plans as well as sharing snippets from NaNos past.

Some of you love NaNoWriMo, some of you hate it, and the rest are probably wondering what the heck NaNoWriMo is. It's very simple: you have 30 days to write 50,000 words of a new novel. Succeed and you're a winner, and can bask in the glory of victory. Fail, and the world will end and zombies will devour us all. I always knew it was writers who would bring the zombies...