Wednesday, October 21, 2015

NaNoWriMo 2015 Prep: Tips and Tricks to Win NaNoWriMo by Paula Millhouse

Tips and Tricks I use to Win NaNoWriMo

I’ll be honest. During my first NaNoWri Mo back in 2012 I failed miserably. When the end of the month of November rolled around, I had 12,000 words of an unfinished manuscript. An accomplishment, sure, but far from the 50K I needed to qualify. It happens. How did I go forward to win the next competitions and cross the finish line?

I’ll share three tips I learned along my writing path. Write every day. Check in with someone. Set a timer and write in sprints.

Write every day.

Carve out your writing time and protect it like a mother dragon protects her nest. Let your family and friends know you’re serious about this competition, and you will be unavailable during your scheduled writing time. Try to write first, before interacting on social media. I’ve found it’s helpful to me to write at the same time every day.

Check in with someone.

Writing can be a lonesome venture. It’s good to have a network of friends to check in with every day. When I’ve won NaNo in the past what helped me the most was a daily check-in with a group of writer friends. I looked forward to the emails we shared, checking in with our word counts. A little friendly competition in a supportive environment goes a long way to motivate you to stick to your writing goals.

Set a timer, and sprint with other writers.

There’s something magic about sprints. If you’ve never done them, the concept is simple. You agree to write for a specified amount of time: 20 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, or an hour. Usually a group leader calls the time, the group writes, and at the end of the time period everyone posts their word count. Again, the key to successful sprints is finding a supportive environment, with like-minded writers. I’ve gotten more words down on the page during sprints than with any other technique.

You can win NaNoWriMo this year. My latest release, Chalvaren Rising is proof that with a little preparation you can do this too. Take the time to clear your daily schedule and carve out and protect your precious writing time. Utilize either groups you connect with on the NaNo website, or cultivate your own list of supportive writers to check in with – accountability matters. Find yourself a group of sprinters, set those timers, then write your story for all you’re worth.

About the Author

Paula Millhouse is the writer of books where fantasy, romance, and suspense collide, including Chalvaren Rising, it’s prequel, Dragonstone, and Three Wishes. Dragonstone also appears in the anthology, A Gift of Fantasy. These stories are published by Boroughs Publishing Group.

“I wanted to find out what would happen if I designed a world where fantasy lovers get their adventure quest, but also gave their girlfriends a healthy dose of grown-up romance along the way. How can we blend High Fantasy and Romance into a story that leaves the Reader breathless, where magic and suspense collide in a spellbinding imaginary world?”

She is also the author of a romantic suspense series, where fast-paced thrillers collide with high-heat romance. The Wishes Chronicles includes Careful…, and All Your Wishes…

When not following her muse on quests for happily ever afters, Paula works in the field of medicine as a Family Nurse Practitioner by day, and micro-gardens in her potager with her husband and their pack and pride of furry babies. Born and raised in Savannah, Georgia, where Spanish moss whispers tales in breezes from the Atlantic Ocean, as a child Paula soaked in the sunshine and heritage of cobblestones, pirate lore, and stories steeped in savory mysteries of the south.

She’s a PRO member of Romance Writers of America, and the Fantasy, Futuristic, & Paranormal Writers specialty chapter. She lives in the mountains now, but she honors her southern heritage as a storyteller by sharing her adventures in fiction with readers.

Book Info

With the love of Kort, Chalvaren’s warrior-prince heir, Mia Ansgar will seize her birthright and become the great dragon-riding wizardess prophesied to free that elven kingdom from her embittered sorceress kin.


Twenty-five years ago, Theo Ansgar abandoned the Kingdom of Chalvaren for a hiding place on another world. Some called him traitor. Some, thief. Now his fully grown daughter Mia must return to the land of her birth…and their war.

It was the elf prince Kort Elias who brought her back. Theirs was an instant connection, an inescapable union of body, soul and sorcery, reminding Mia of what she truly is, and what she must become. There is also Magnus, destined to be more potent than any wyrm Chalvaren has ever seen, a three-day-old dragonlet Mia must nurture and then ride. And then there is the Dragonstone, an artifact of power nonpareil. Joined, they can tip the scales of battle against the wraith-possessed forces of darkness, of Mia’s own embittered kin.

Redemption will be offered, the protected will become the protector, and an ancient prophecy will come to fruition, but only righteous love can conquer all.

Chalvaren Rising is available at Amazon.


Paula Millhouse said...

Thank you for hosting me at your awesome site today, Robyn.
I hope my tips and tricks help everyone who tunes in to prep for NaNoWriMo 2015.

Happy writing, Everyone!

Veronica Bale said...

Great tips, Paula #NaNoWriMoSTAR!! :)

Paula Millhouse said...

Thanks for stopping by, Veronica!

Marilyn Baxter said...

Sorry I didn't get here yesterday. Long story. Both my published books were NaNo projects. I was still married when I wrote the first one and my family had Thanksgiving dinner from Publix that year. I had joined up with the local NaNoWriMo group and we had writing nights out at several different restaurants and that helped keep me accountable. I had also announced in my RWA chapter meeting that I was finally going to finish the damn book I'd been tinkering with for 5 years, so I had to be accountable to them as well. I finished, I had a close call with Harlequin and eventually sold it to my current publisher Boroughs. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. ;-) Great tips!

Paula Millhouse said...

Awesome story, Marilyn. Another NaNo success!