So, nanowrimo

Nanowrimo what? National Novel Writing Month, aka the frenzie in November every year in the writing world. Did you join in? I’ve never participated in Nanowrimo because the timing has never worked out. I haven’t been at the starting point for a novel before November, and I have a pretty set schedule (or rather habit) of writing a novel in three months. I tend to write three novels a year plus a novella or other project, and this year I added in translations. I’m working with translators, but I need to answer questions quite often. So I’ve never felt compelled to time a project with nanowrimo, but sometimes I’ve wished I could.

However, it hit me just the other day that I started and finished a novella this month, and was able to send it to three beta readers within the 30 day period. I have a completed and polished novella, blurb, cover and even the series planned out.

I’ve read a few articles about nanowrimo rebels that make up their own guidelines, so I guess I can say I’ve done that now! My project isn’t a 50,000 word rough draft, but I think I’m happier with having something competed and ready to upload to Kindle. I already published three full length novels, and I had a blast working with this shorter format. I’m picturing my new series much like a television show with episodes: each novella has its own story questions, conflict and arc, and there’s a bigger story at play as well.

Writing a novel is a long journey. Writing a novella is like a fun adventure, with quicker pay offs, but a challenge of telling a full story in one third of the length. I was able to send it out for feedback and get comments within a few days. It showed me the weak points. I revised, added content, and then went through the entire novella several times to work on different aspects. I can perfect every scene and each element of storytelling, all within a month’s time. I hope to publish a new novella about once a month, and I plan share more about this adventure along the way.

Congrats to all the Nanowrimo participants! Even if you didn’t end up with 50k words, it’s quite an undertaking, and you still have a great chunk of material to work with. (And I think that’s the point.) Hope it was fun as well. 🙂

To write or not to write, is that actually a question?

I suppose that is a question for most people and maybe even many authors, but it’s hard to imagine going a week without writing. It’s my hobby, passion and job. Yeah, I’m a bit obsessed with constantly creating. (I have trouble following a recipe; I always want to get creative with the spices, which you should double, and maybe the other ingredients too.) I usually have several projects in the works. That way, if I don’t feel excited about one project on that given day I can write on a different one.

I have several writing announcements in February, and I just published my collection of short stories called Quickies. Many of these stories have been published in print and online, and one did pretty well in a Writer’s Digest competition. The book also includes my two Kindle novellas, The Fairy and her Giant and Diversity Problems. So it offers quite a mix of my different genres.

Click here to preview on Amazon Kindle.

Along with the two novellas, Quickies includes:

The Look – a romance mini

Which One? – a mother is put in a tough spot when as she tries to save her children during a store robbery.

Demands of the Job – how can he live with himself if he endangers the one he loves?

Valentine’s Day – it’s once again the yearly reminder of the day he lost his wife. He finds a new connection but is scared of sharing it with his young son.

Living In The Christmas Tree – How do you say goodbye to your child forever, on Christmas?

The Perfect Christmas – He lived his life thinking he didn’t need anyone…until now.

In The Land of Huckleberries and Wokas – Native American fiction. She always thought the stories were just stories, but now she’s been taken from her tribe.

This is a short story that placed 32nd out of 12,000 entries in a Writer’s Digest short story competition. I’m expanding it into a novella for release later this year. It’s a bit like The River People, but about a young Klamath girl that is taken from her tribe during a raid. The Klamath live around a huge, shallow lake with marshes, so they made marsh shoes similar to snow shoes. They also had dugout canoes and guided them through the reeds with a stick to gather Wokas, aka pond lily seeds. They made all kinds of foods out the these seed pods. The story is an action/adventure story, but it’s so interesting to learn about (and incorporate) their lifestyle.

Well, I’ll be back later with more updates, including another surprise release coming soon. 🙂