This time last year I was still reeling with joy because I finished writing my second book, The Right Design. You see, I participated in my first NaNoWriMo and I won, (this means that I wrote a book in 30 days!). I was on a high, not believing I had done it.
This year, however, I didn’t take part in NaNoWriMo because there was too much going on, but I’m proud to be sharing NaNo experiences of the below awesome ladies:
LAURA CHAPMAN, Change the Word
Tell us about your NaNoWriMo experience: This was my third consecutive year participating in NaNoWriMo, and as much as I planned and prepared for it in advance, my schedule naturally went away. While my first two years I worked entirely on one project, this year I found myself in a slightly different position. I needed to add a few new chapters to the book I wrote for NaNoWriMo 2010 to prepare for (hopefully) publishing in 2013. I knew I needed to get them done before I could completely focus on my new book. That means, I participated as a NaNoWriMo rebel, and I’ll tell you it was not the same. Even though all of my friends told me to add that word count to my new novel, because it was new word count, I felt pretty guilty about it the whole time. It was definitely much more rewarding my first year, when I hit that 50K after spending Nov. 1-2 plotting the book and the rest of the month writing on airplanes, airports and if I was lucky enough my home.
What is the title of your book? “Hard Hats and Doormats” and “Should Old Acquaintance” (Again, I was a rebel. Bad, Laura.)
What is your book about? The first book is about a Midwestern girl transplanted in Texas to work in the big oil business. While trying to charm her way up the corporate ladder, she ends up missing a big promotion, because the bosses think she is too nice. Determined to change her ways, she stops playing by the rules professionally and personally. Both combine when she falls for one of her co-workers, which is against company policy. The MC ultimately learns that nice girls don’t always finish last.
The second is about a guy and girl who hook up at a New Year’s Eve party and decide to leave a little mystery in their night of fun by never exchanging last names, phone numbers or any way to contact each other. Five years later, they find themselves the best man and maid of honor in a holiday wedding. Stuck between wanting to support their loved ones and a rekindling of those feelings that drew them to each other in the first place, their reunion makes for an interesting December.
How many words did you write? 50,258… and counting!
Now that NaNoWriMo is over, what do you plan to do with you book? Book one needs a few more edits, and I hope to publish in the first part of 2013. It will be my debut novel, which is super exciting. I’m plugging away at book two, which has added several thousand more words to my final NaNoWriMo tally. My goal is to finish draft one before the new year — it is a holiday book — then take some time to revise. It’d be great to publish next holiday season, but we will see.
SHARON MOORE, Romance Righter
Tell us about your NaNoWriMo experience: I was pleased and amazed at how many words I could write in a day’s time with a deadline of 30 days. It was great fun, and I was never seriously worried I wouldn’t make it. (Even though I logged 0 word count for seven days because of three out-of-state trips during the month.) What I was disappointed in was not meeting my personal goal of 65K words.
I learned a ton about which planning tools work best for me, and I’m going to apply them to my future books. I have tried bunches of tools over the years, but this combo kept me on track and writing even when I knew it wasn’t the best writing.
Never again will I let the saggy middle, or plot holes, or character inconsistencies stop my writing. Just keep writing, and it will all sort out when you revise. Some of those aspects that would have stopped me in the past, showed me another direction to go with the book because I kept writing!
Toward the end, I was seriously behind–and traveling again–but friends understood and we worked around carving writing time out for me. I found myself “downloading” (e.g., “writing”) scenes playing in my head no matter the order. Just get them down, I told myself. So now, though I have a complete novel, it is not completed. I am going into the last few thousand words and re-ordering the scenes and writing better transitions and linkers for them. THEN I can start revisions and edits.
All the warnings for NaNoWriMo say to just write and do no edits or revisions, but I found myself largely ignoring that advice. I went back into the book each session, fixing something or elaborating a scene that I had envisioned more for. I don’t think it is a problem at all to do those things as long as you continue to add to the story.
I have both “pantsed” and “plotted” past novels. For fast writing like NaNo, however, I was successful largely because of the massive planning I did in October. It was my most planful novel, and I know that’s the major reason for the writing coming so easily. I was “in the flow” more than with any other of my novels, save one. Flow writing is sooo much fun!
What is the title of your book? The Quick and the Dedd. It’s the first book in a series.
What is your book about? I wrote a parnormal romantic suspense.
Isabella Quick, current owner of I.Q Security (“We take your intelligence seriously.”) misses the company of one of her best agents. Riley Dedd is, well, dead, murdered while on assignment for her. When his spirit turns up in her office, she thinks it might be other spirits–her single malt scotch perhaps–at work. Having convinced her he is real, a real ghost that is, they figure out how to work together to find his murderer, save her company from a takeover, and unmask a plot of national security proportions. And can they figure out the mechanics of making ethereal love corporeal? Throw in her petty crook ex-husband, a BFF ex-sister-in-law who’s her office receptionist along with assorted other co-workers, and you have a paranormal romantic suspense that is not as transparent as it seems.
How many words did you write? 50,115 validated. My counter showed a few more, but it was close.
Now that NaNoWriMo is over, what do you plan to do with you book? I am sending the novel to Avon Impulse (deadline Dec. 10th). They solicited completed NaNoWriMo novels for their digital imprint (new title each week). I’m sure they know these are first drafts, so we’ll see if anything comes of it. (3-month response time.)
If that’s a no-go, there are lots of publishers to query re paranormal romantic suspense once it is revised and edited.
In the waiting time, I am going to revise/edit the novel and plot out three more Q&Ds to follow (Dedd on Arrival, Dedd to the World, and Dedd as a Doornail). In case Q&D gets published, I want to be ready to write the next ones.
Additionally, I am going to pitch a NaNoWriMo article to various in-flight magazines. The idea to do so came in this month’s issue of The Writer. So many people say they want to write a book, that this should appeal to a large number of flyers. I am researching flight magazines’ guidelines and timelines. I see this as an October article to give people time to sign up for NaNo next year.
MARTHA REYNOLDS, MarthaReynoldsWrites
Tell us about your NaNoWriMo experience: Last year I had hoped to participate in National Novel Writing Month; however, I’d already begun writing what would be “Chocolate for Breakfast,” my debut novel. I only wanted to join in with something new, so I decided to wait until this year. With my debut novel released in August, and my current work-in-progress at about 50,000 words, I was ready to devote the month of November to writing a sequel to “Chocolate for Breakfast.”
I signed up and added a few writing buddies. And although I didn’t participate in any of my local events, I did want to commit myself to this project, so during the last weekend in October, I drove to the Barnes & Noble bookstore, ordered a tall skinny latte and sat down with a notebook (the kind with actual paper in it) and a pen and began outlining the story that would become “Chocolate Fondue.” Mapping and outlining was essential, I knew. Although I’m more of a “pantser” kind of writer (writing by the seat of my pants, going where my muse takes me), I didn’t think that method would work within a thirty-day time frame.
I reached 50,011 words by Day 14, but I kept going. I “finished” the messy first draft on November 29 at 62,883 words. Now the editing begins. Whoever first said “Write fast, edit slow,” was right. Getting it all out there is important. Making every word count is more important.
What is the title of your book? My book is called “Chocolate Fondue.” That’s the working title, but I’m happy with it as of now, and I envision the cover already, so I’m sticking with it. And because it’s a sequel to “Chocolate for Breakfast,” I think it works. Keeps the wonderful chocolate theme alive!
What is your book about? Well, it’s a sequel to “Chocolate for Breakfast.” It’s certainly beneficial to the reader if he or she has read CFB, but I’m writing the book with enough informaiton in it so that if the reader hasn’t read CFB first, they won’t be lost. It picks up on the exact same day where CFB left off, as Bernadette and her aunt Joan are standing at the reception desk in the Hotel de la Rose (Switzerland), and Bernadette is string into the face of the young man she believes is the baby boy she gave up for adoption twenty-three years earlier.
How many words did you write? I wrote over 61,000 words by November 27th! Now that’s not enough for a book, so I’d like to have at least another 20,000 words. But I don’t think that will be a problem. Then, of course, there’s all that editing.
Now that NaNoWriMo is over, what do you plan to do with you book? I’m still working on it! More to write and lots to edit; after all, the idea behind NaNoWriMo is to get that messy first draft written. Ultimately, I’d like to have both “Chocolate for Breakfast” and “Chocolate Fondue” picked up together, but querying agents will come much later.
JEN TUCKER, Jen Tucker
Tell us about your NaNoWriMo experience: I really liked the discipline that has to come along with writing a book in one month. The idea that there were a community of writers participating globally was encouraging to me. I think for anyone who needs a kick in the pants to complete a novel that has been running through your head for an eon, this contest is for you! *Jen included*
What is the title of your book? Ashes to Ashes
What is your book about? A woman dies and she has gathered three people from her youth to spread her ashes: the first boyfriend, the high school bestie, and the nemesis. There are some secrets that they wish would remain buried, yet nothing shines a light on the truth like spending time with people from your past you’d rather forget.
It has humor and tender moments in the story, as well as people you’d love to punch and some you might just wanna hug.
How many words did you write? 50,877
Now that NaNoWriMo is over, what do you plan to do with you book? I’m going to let it sit and rest for the month, then begin edits at the top of the year. I’m not sure yet if I will shop it around for a publisher or go indie. I’m really happy with the way the characters developed throughout the book and without me realizing it until the end, I think they gave me their blessing to make it a two or three book series.
JOSEPHINE THOMAS, eBook Addict
Tell us about your NaNoWriMo experience: NaNoWirMo was an experience that I had never experienced before. For starters, I didn’t even think it was possible to write 50,000 words in 30 days. When the challenge first began, I was super excited, but as the excitement wore off, the pressure grew and as well as the fear; my word count began lagging immensely! When I first signed on to do NaNoWriMo, I never factored in things such as: blog tours that I had signed up for, novels that I had promised authors I’d read (which I will get to eventually), final exams for college, and last but certainly not least, the unexpected things. Taking care of my grandmother while working on my novel for NaNoWriMo was a lot harder than I expected, but I was able to manage. All in all, this was an experience of a lifetime; NaNoWriMo definitely gave me the push that I needed to kick-start my wanting to be an author.
What is the Title of your book? Sliding into Love
What is your book about? As I was working on my novel for NaNoWriMo, a lot changed with the synopsis and everything, but a few things stayed the same. For example, when I went into this experience, I knew I wanted to have both of my main characters on dialysis. So basically the story is about a girl, Emma, who has been on dialysis for ten years and is tired of living the same old boring life; she is definitely ready for excitement. Then she meets a guy, Bradley, who is the star pitcher for their hometown baseball team. Bradley also ends up getting sick and has to be on dialysis. The story was inspired by my father’s diagnosis with renal failure, which he has been dealing with for almost two years now. Renal failure is an illness that runs in my family, so I thought it would be a great idea to bring awareness to the disease while exploring the aspects of a relationship between two ill people as well.
How many words did you write? Shockingly enough, I was able to write 50,156 words! I just made the word count goal by the skin of my teeth!!
Now that NaNoWriMo is over, what do you plan to do with your book? First and foremost, I plan on doing some heavy duty editing; it was pure torture not being able to edit my book during the month of November! Once I’ve completed my editing and things of that nature, I plan on publishing my book through KDP and if my book does well, I’d love to have a portion of my royalties go to the American Kidney Foundation.
SARAH HITCHCOCK, Wattpad
Tell us about your NaNoWriMo experience : This was not my first time, and as I enjoyed writing my book last year, I was more prepared this time around. I did try and do two books, but for me, it did not pan out. I mainly wrote one, and added a little over 10,000 words on the other.
What is the title of your book? Torn between two brothers
What is your book about? From the title you may guess, but my MC, Megan, is set up on a blind date, and although he is not her type, she finds herself liking this short bald headed man. Until one day, she is invited to the families home for Christmas, and she meets Callum’s brother, who she had thought had been hired help. She had caught him looking at her, and found she was attracted to him. While at the families home for Christmas, she pops out to the stables for some fresh air, their Liam catches her of guard and kisses her. After that she cannot help but think about the brother, but as she is with Callum, she would not cheat on him, even though she has no idea where there relationship is going. She is confused about her feelings, how will this story unfold?
How many words did you write? I manged just under 51K on this novel, and just over 10,000 on the YA one I started.
Now that NaNoWriMo is over, what do you plan to do with you book? For now I plan to leave it, I still have a few books which I have been writing for a while now, to finish and edit, and last years Nano book to edit. So many to do, and not enough time.
PAULA PHILLIPS, The Phantom Paragrapher
Tell us about your NaNoWriMo experience: This is my first year that I have done NanoWriMo and I started out great and then November ended up being a Crazy month so it took a little bit of a backburner, but will pick it up again when things start to show signs of settling.
What is the title of your book ? A Teenage Girl’s Literary Guide to Life
What is your book about? It is a set of 52 diary entries , each one taking on the theme of a book at the moment it has a Pride and Prejudice Theme to the novel.
How Many words did you write ? 10,567
NaNoWriMo is over, what do you plan to do with you book? I plan to continue writing it and eventually who knows, I might get it published. I also had a cover made by Boo Savage Creations.
This is an amazing post. I got chills reading about everyone’s successes with NaNoWriMo, and these are all books that I would love to read. Congratulations to all of you!
Samantha Stroh Bailey
Martha Reynolds says
I apologize for the typos in my piece. Rushing is never an excuse. I should have proofread. I didn’t. My errors, my fault. 🙁
Jackie Bouchard says
Thanks for sharing, ladies! I really enjoyed NaNo the year I did it. Didn’t participate this year because I wanted to finish up the book I’d started during a prior Nano, but hopefully next year. You ladies are making me remember how rewarding it was!
Congrats on getting all those words written!
Libby Mercer says
Great post! It was so interesting reading about everyone’s experience. Totally made me want to do it. Which I will. One of these days. 😉