Top 2014 Posts – #6 – How to Write a Novel Synopsis: 5 Tips

To end the year, I’ve decided to spotlight my top 10 blog posts from 2014. I went into my stats page and looked up those articles, stories, and other published pieces that had the most number of views. Some surprised me, others did not.

Today, we’re up to #6: How to Write a Novel Synopsis: 5 Tips

IMG_4159After attending Chuck Sambuchino’s Colorado Writing Workshop last month, I can smile and nod at this post. Because everything in it is exactly what he taught me during that conference. So, be sure to read it if you haven’t and take to heart its important lessons.


 Welcome to Twitter Treasure Thursday! Although I’m still a few months away from finishing my manuscript, I’m always on the lookout for useful tips, dos and don’ts, and lessons about the querying process.

writing_humour_synopsis-scaled500Today’s gem, courtesy of Writer’s Digest and the ever helpful Chuck Sambuchino, focuses on the dreaded synopsis…Oh, come on. Don’t deny it. You’re as “ugh” about this step in the querying process as I am. Thankfully this article makes it a little easier by giving us five tips to use as basic guidelines. So, before you sit down to write yours, check it out!

How to Write a Novel Synopsis: 5 Tips

1. Reveal everything major that happens in your book, including the ending. Heck, revealing the story’s ending is a synopsis’s defining unique characteristic. You shouldn’t find a story’s ending in a query or in-person pitch, but it does leak out in a synopsis. On this note, know that a synopsis is designed to explain everything major that happens, not to tease — so avoid language such as “Krista walks around a corner into a big surprise.” Don’t say “surprise,” but rather just tell us what happens.

To read the entire article, click here!

For more useful advice, follow Writer’s Digest and Chuck Sambuchino on Twitter!

Previous Top 10 2014 Posts:

#7: Into Paradise

#8: Music Monday – Love The Way You Lie

#9: Operation Disney

#10: Over The Edge

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http://writerswrite1.wordpress.com/2013/04/12/how-to-write-a-one-page-synopsis/

Friday Funny with Mad Editing and a Merry Christmas

Since today will be my last Friday Funny until after the New Year, I thought I’d have fun by kicking things off with some dancing from one of my favorite Christmas movies, White Christmas.

Are you getting into the holiday spirit and shaking that booty? Come on, you know you want to…at least a little. 

Hey, if Bing Crosby can do it, so can you! 😉

Anyway, as I mentioned, today will be my last Friday Funny for the next few weeks. With the holiday hoopla revving up, a two week vacation quickly approaching, and a mad dash to the finish line of my third draft, I need to take an itty bitty break from my blog. But don’t worry. I’ve decided to run a small feature while I’m gone:

My Top 10 2014 Posts.

IMG_4120Basically, I’ll be re-sharing my most popular posts from the past year (based on the number of views).

So, if you think about it, I won’t really be gone.

Glancing at my stats page now, I see my most popular posts include stories I’ve written, helpful articles I’ve found for Twitter Treasure Thursday, and some articles I wrote myself. So, you’ll get a little taste of everything.

I also have a dear friend who might do a guest post while I’m gone, so stay tuned for that special treat!

As far as life has gone the past couple of weeks…

Yeah, things have been on the frustrating side. I really can’t explain why other than I’m hitting a wall and simply need a break. You know, a vacation. A real one. Like, on a beach somewhere with nothing to worry about but getting a sunburn by accident…

Of course, there is no beach vacation planned, and taking a break right now is impossible. If anything, I need to work harder. My January 1st deadline is rapidly approaching and I’m only one third of the way through editing my novel.

Okay, I’ll admit it. At this point, it’s going to take a Christmas miracle for me to finish my third draft by January 1st. A combination of fatigue and diligence has slowed my progress way down.

However, I’m determined to finish it by January 16th, which is when the first round of the Short Story Challenge 2015 kicks off. I just need to stay positive and focused.

Luckily, I’m taking a week off of work starting on the 23rd, and besides celebrating Christmas and a few other holiday events, I have nothing planned, so I should have plenty of time to dedicate to finishing my third draft.

Don’t worry. Life hasn’t been all work and no play for me. A couple of weeks ago, my family and I took my nephews up to The Polar Express event at the Colorado Railroad Museum. To say it was magical would be an understatement.

1939799_10101899434320383_2937349853069502961_n

1604978_10101899434799423_3646238437629819534_nWe boarded a train with our tickets, had hot chocolate served to us by dancing waiters, and listened to The Polar Express read aloud. Then we disembarked and walked over to watch the actual Polar Express train arrive.

I don’t know how it happened, but as we watched the train chug along the track towards us with its steam billowing, it began to snow. Soft, perfect little flakes that hadn’t been in the forecast but decided to fall anyway in that moment. It made the entire experience surreal and unforgettable.

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My nephews aboard the Polar Express

10440778_10101899435468083_6522615166308918613_n-1As we rode the train, we were entertained with various reenactments from the story, as well as a visit from Santa who gave my nephews a sleigh bell. We even had our tickets punched by the conductor with the letter “B” for “Believe”.

10389674_10101916656437123_5972138565947193689_nThe entire event was amazing and will likely go down as the main highlight of this holiday season for me.

Well, time to wrap things up and get back to working on my manuscript! I searched and searched for a writing funny based on the holidays, but I couldn’t find one 😦 But here are some that will still hopefully give you a chuckle. Enjoy!

8246264544ad943e218ecc1ea7522e62

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f917926d7f239d09a7b19d9486d6090bI wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Be safe, have fun, and try to relax more than me 😉

Jen’s Roundup

In case you missed my last few posts, here you go!

Music Monday – Superheroes – The Script

My First Writing Conference – Top 10 Things I Learned

Music Monday – Bad Moon Rising – Creedence Clearwater Revival

What I’m Thankful For

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1, 2, 3, 45, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Friday Funny with Editing, Exhaustion, and Hoopla

It’s Friday! Let’s shimmy, shake, and dance it up!

Why do I always make you dance with me on Fridays? Hmm, maybe I need to find a better way to celebrate the fact we’ve made it to the end of the week?…Or maybe not? I like dancing and this is my blog, so…

Yep, my decision’s made. We shall keep dancing on Fridays. Beware! 😉

A quick sum up of my week goes likes this:

I wrote.

A lot.

Okay, okay. I didn’t write as much as I needed to. Honestly, it was one of those weeks where life distracted me. It didn’t help things got off to a rocky start after spending last Saturday at the Colorado Writing Workshop hosted by Chuck Sambuchino. I’m not going to go into too much detail about my experience at the writing conference since I plan to dedicate another blog post to it. However, I will say it was great and I learned a lot!

It was also completely exhausting. The combination of nerves, focus, frantic note taking, and socializing did a number on me. I woke up on Sunday feeling like a zombie, and I carried that fatigue with me into the week. All I wanted to do was curl up on my couch, watch TV, and sleep.

Thankfully, I snapped out of my weary fog by Tuesday and got myself back on track…Well, mostly. You know, life. Stuff. Distractions.

Side note: I’ve discovered that whenever I create a deadline for myself, God decides to have a big laugh by throwing unexpected obstacles at me. It’s like He says, “Deadline, huh? Hmm, I wonder if I throw this, this, and this at you if you can still finish on time?…Yeah, that sounds like fun. Let’s see how you do–And go!”

Don’t worry, I didn’t eat my feelings or gorge upon ice cream all week…Just a lot of peanut M&M’s 😉

As far as my manuscript goes, I edited the first four chapters (hopefully five by the end of today). Yes, I know I need to pick up the pace if I want to make my January 1st deadline, but…Honestly, I’ve decided I’m not going to rush for the sake of making that deadline. I want things done right, and I want them done well. So, if that means I end up being a week or two late, then so be it.

I believe one of the main reasons I’m working a little slower is because after attending that writing conference on Saturday, I’ve become extra sensitive to certain aspects of storytelling. I find myself tweaking and revising things I hadn’t expected to tweak or revise, and I suddenly see issues I hadn’t seen before.

Oh, the joys of editing 😉

Anyway, that’s it for today. As I mentioned, I do plan on sharing specific details about my experience at the Colorado Writing Workshop later. I learned a lot from the great Chuck Sambuchino and I hope to tell you about some of them. So stay tuned for that!

In honor of my up and down week, filled with edits, exhaustion, and personal hoopla, here are today’s Friday Funnies. Enjoy!

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10256795_890169144327045_3018233349446529036_nHow was your week? I’ve spoken to a few of you in private about your progress with NaNoWriMo, and I’m amazed how many have hit the 50K goal/will hit it by the end of the weekend. You’re crazy! And total rockstars!

But, really, whether you’ve hit the 50K goal, are on track to reach it, or are so far behind, you know it’s impossible to make the November 30th deadline, don’t stop! Keep writing. That’s the point of NaNo. Write, write, write!

Jen’s Weekly Roundup

In case you missed my posts from earlier this week, here you go!

Music Monday – Ghost – Ella Henderson

Why You Should Enter the NYC Midnight Short Story Challenge 2015

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http://www.socialanxietysupport.com/forum/f35/frustrated-friday-night-dance-party-502633/ 

https://www.tumblr.com/search/emiliana+replies+to+things 

http://www.lipstickalley.com/showthread.php?t=439281&page=2

http://ohnotheydidnt.livejournal.com/86751220.html?page=2 

http://slitsread.com/2014/05/ 

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https://www.facebook.com/pageawards?fref=photo

Friday Funny with Books, Stories, and Surprises

Congrats, everyone. We made it to Friday! Let’s take a moment to do a happy dance, shall we?

Wriggle, wriggle, wriggle. Shake, shake, shake. Boop, bop, bee-boop!

…Okay, okay. I’ll stop torturing you with my “dancing”, lol.

Because I know so many of you are super busy and hard at work with NaNoWriMo, I’m going to keep today’s Friday Funny post on the shorter side…er, hopefully.

My week went well. Just busy-busy, as usual, and filled with lots and lots of writing. I suppose I had two big highlights:

First, I got to spend some quality time with one of my besties. We rarely get to do this since we both have such hectic lives, but we finally planned ahead of schedule and met up. And it was awesome! Sometimes, you just need to push pause on the chaos, stress, and go-go-go of life and hang out with one of your best friends.

What made it all the better was my friend surprised me with a thank you gift in the best form possible: BOOKS!

unnamedYes, my friend knows me all too well. And she knows one of my favorite YA series is Daughter of Smoke and Bone. And she knows I’ve been dying to own all three books. Now I do. Thank you, Kelsey!

The second big highlight of the week was finding out the results of the second round of the NYC Midnight Flash Fiction Challenge. Don’t ask me how, but my political satire, Operation Disney, placed 8th out of 40+ writers.

Yeah, when I saw my respectable score, I laughed out loud. I was so shocked! I’d expected to see a big fat zero next to my name. To see anything more than that was…well, laughable. However, as my shock has worn off, I have felt more and more proud by the results. I guess this proves you should never give up and you should always try. Even if you think, “Political satire? What the heck is political satire? How do I–What do I–What?” Don’t throw in the towel. Just go for it!

Unfortunately, I didn’t collect enough points from round one and two to advance in the competition, but that’s okay. To be honest, I said a prayer the night round 2 scores were released: “Dear God, please give me enough points to salvage my pride, but not enough to advance.”

Yes, I know, pride is a sin and I shouldn’t ask God for it. And asking for failure is kinda lame, but I did and He listened, so there! 😉 But, seriously. As competitive as I am, and as cool as it would’ve been to move on in the competition, I just couldn’t. I don’t have time! I’m mere chapters away from finishing the second draft of my novel, and once it’s finished (hopefully today or tomorrow), it’s onto editing a third draft. My goal remains to have that draft done and ready for initial presentation by January 1st.

Me too, Tim. Me. Too.

Fingers crossed I’m able to buckle down and “make it work”. 😉

Okay, okay. I promised I’d keep this short today, so time to wrap this bad boy up! In honor of my not so horrible Disney inspired political satire, as well as finishing up the second draft of my manuscript, here are today’s Friday Funnies. Enjoy!

401d48768df82ba2607895f0492bd33c IMG_20141104_205640 73babec84847242f0322cf202a13c565How was your week? How’s NaNoWriMo going for those of you participating? Are you staying on track? Getting ahead?…Falling behind (ahh!)? Just remember: it’s still early in the month. Even if you’ve fallen behind, you have plenty of time to catch up. I was behind by 10K around this time last year, and I managed to get my stuff together and knock it out. And you can too!

I’m cheering for all of you!

Jen’s Weekly Roundup

In case you missed my posts from earlier this week, here you go!

Music Monday – Strip Me – Natasha Bedingfield

NaNoWriMo Tips – How To Deal With Deadlines

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Photo credits:

https://twitter.com/LianaBrooks/status/528379985955127296/photo/1

https://www.pinterest.com/madijeank/frozen/

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/326370304220185943/

http://s304.photobucket.com/user/Carrack01/media/gifs/tumblr_lcww3fRFp01qzblb4o1_500.gif.html

http://warpoets.tumblr.com/

https://www.tumblr.com/search/laugh+gif

http://www.hercampus.com/school/saint-marys/29-thoughts-every-nd-band-member-has-tunnel

Music Monday – Strip Me – Natasha Bedingfield

Welcome to Music Monday! As many of you know, music contributes a great deal to my writing process. Whether it’s a song’s lyrics, beat, rhythm, or tone, I find myself constantly inspired by it.

writing-to-musicSo, I had a completely different song picked out for today’s Music Monday, but then I heard Natasha Bedingfield’s “Strip Me” on my way to work this morning and changed my mind.

Long ago, I was absolutely obsessed with this song. Then it faded off as I became obsessed with others. This morning was the first time I’d heard it in forever and I fell back in love with it. And I knew I had to share it with you!

NatashabeddingfeildStripMe“Strip Me” is a great song to listen to when you’re creating epiphany filled moments in your story. Or when your characters decide to take a stand for what they believe in. Seeing as I’m working on the end of my book, there have been many “epiphany” and “take a stand” moments, so this song hits home and inspires me to infuse the right tone and feeling while writing.

largeI also love this song’s music video. It adds oomph to the lyrics and brings them to life in a way that’s motivating, colorful, and beautiful. And also makes you want to stand up to the enemies in your life.

So if you’re looking for a song that’s energetic, heartfelt, and perfect for those revelation moments in your story, listen to “Strip Me” by Natasha Bedingfield.

What song(s) are you in love with right now? Which one(s) offer you inspiration? Let me know! I’m always searching for songs that motivate my writing.

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Photo credits: 

http://michaelgalvis.com/

http://mp3artwork.blogspot.com/2010/11/natasha-bedingfield-strip-me-fanmade.html

http://weheartit.com/entry/group/39131262

 

Friday Funny with Some Hocus Pocus, Frozen, and Writing

…And now you’re mine.

Whahahaha

Okay, okay, not really. I only hope I can keep you entranced past this sentence 😉  I’ll start off this Friday by saying happy Halloween! I’ll admit, I’m a sucker for this holiday. I know a lot of people aren’t, and many of you out there feel like this:

But I feel like this:

Halloween is one of the only reasons I embrace the autumn and cooler weather here in Colorado. I just love everything about it: Scary movies. Candy. Spooky decorations. Candy. Silly costumes. Candy. Apple cider. Candy… 😉

I don’t have any special plans tonight except to watch some scary movies and eat–er, I mean, hand out candy to the neighbors. I did most of my official celebrating last weekend at my family’s Disney themed Halloween party. Despite its modern twist, my Frozen costume worked well enough that most of the kids kept calling me “Elsa”.

10711080_10101848208068203_3581436476091146286_nYes, those are official Frozen pants. If you look at my knee, you’ll see Elsa performing her icy magic.

10686824_10101848207364613_8328769457753683577_nMe with Olaf (aka, my nephew). He wouldn’t let me out of his sight all evening. “Elsa, where are you going?”… “Elsa, take a picture!”… “Elsa! Elsa! Elsa!” It was adorable and funny.

As for writing this week, I’ve continued to chug along with my manuscript. I’m just a few chapters away from finishing my second draft, and if I maintain my focus, I should have it done by early next week *fingers crossed*

I’m actually proud of myself this week. I sucked it up and said “no” to anyone who asked me to do stuff. “Jenna, do you want to come over for dinner?” No! “Hey, can babysit?” No! “Do you have time to–?” No, no, no! I didn’t even take the time to clean my house or buy groceries. I woke up this morning and realized I was out of food and my house was…Well…

Oh well. Tis the life of a writer, right? It’s not always orderly, pretty, or necessarily comfortable.

Are you tired of the Hocus Pocus gifs yet?

Well, fine. Be that way. I’ll end things here. I should anyway. My manuscript is starting to yell at me to get to work on it.

Okay, okay. That was the last one. Promise!

In honor of Halloween, as well as my enjoyable, but slightly uncomfortable journey with my manuscript this week, here are today’s Friday Funnies. Enjoy!

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25cc46c9773464db4d516275cdacd2ceHow was your week? Anyone have any fun plans for Halloween? What/who are you dressing up as?

P.S. Good luck to all who are starting NaNoWriMo this weekend! I know you’ll rock it.

Jen’s Weekly Roundup

In case you missed my posts from earlier this week, here you go!

Music Monday – Tomorrow Belongs To Me – Cabaret

Jen’s Top 10 NaNoWriMo Tips

The Last, Definitive Word On Word Count

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http://www.comments20.com/category/occasional-graphics/halloween-graphics/page/4/

http://www.buzzfeed.com/lorynbrantz/18-insanely-clever-pop-culture-stencils

http://www.buzzfeed.com/samimain/witches-be-crazy

https://www.tumblr.com/search/movie+flyer

http://mashable.com/2014/10/22/hocus-pocus-cult-classic/

http://www.bookaddictsguide.com/2014/10/20/fortnight-fright-2014-hocus-pocus-morgan-words/

https://www.facebook.com/Writers.Write.Company/photos/a.821983757828947.1073741831.175634409130555/920050231355632/?type=1&theater

https://www.facebook.com/A.WritersStudio/photos/a.583569911653638.1073741826.583384065005556/881224548554838/?type=1&theater

http://www.keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk/gallery/#/i/321896/

The Last, Definitive Word On Word Count

Welcome to Twitter Treasure Thursday! For some reason, I’ve been seeing and hearing a lot of talk lately about word counts. Perhaps it’s to do with NaNoWriMo approaching and everyone focusing on that crazy 50K-words-in-one-month goal? I’m not sure. Whatever the reason for the sudden hype, I think discussing the subject of word count is important.

word-countNow, do I think watching your word count every second of every draft is necessary? No. In fact, I strongly urge you against it. The more you focus on your word count, the less you focus on your story. However, watching your word count at certain points during the writing process–particularly editing–is important. Why? Because you don’t want to try and pitch your 140K YA novel to an agent. That’s just begging for rejection.

So what should a YA novel’s word count be? Or a thriller’s? Or another genre’s? Find out in today’s gem, courtesy of literary agent, Janet Reid. She gives us a quick, general breakdown of word count expectations, and what you should aim for when finalizing your manuscript.

The Last, Definitive Word On Word Count

Here’s the rundown:
Sweeping, epic fantasy: 150K at a minimum. You can’t do it right in less.
Sweeping, epic, historical fiction: 120 at a minimum. More is better.

Science fiction novels: 75-125K

Romance novels:65-100K
Womens’ fiction: 100K and up

To read the entire article and see all the genres, click here!

For more useful advice, follow Janet Reid on Twitter!

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Photo credits: 

http://kristiholl.net/writers-blog/2013/10/organization-why-word-count-matters/ 

Jen’s Top 10 NaNoWriMo Tips

Lately, a lot of people have been asking me if I’m participating in NaNoWriMo this year. The answer, unfortunately, is no. Since I’m in the middle of editing my current WIP, I don’t have the time to join in. However, I wanted to offer up some advice to those of you who have accepted the daunting task of writing 50K words in one month.

Jen’s Top 10 NaNoWriMo Tips

1. Decide Why You’re Participating

“I dunno, I signed up just because.”

No, no, no! Don’t say this when people ask you why you’re doing NaNoWriMo. Give a valid, reliable, motivating reason to participate:

“I’ve been slacking lately and need a kick in the butt.”

“I have a great idea for a novel.”

“People say NaNo’s impossible. I’m gonna prove them wrong!”

Whatever your personal motive, make sure you have one. Don’t sign up for NaNoWriMo “just because.” If you do, you’ll likely fail. You’ll inevitably hit a rough patch and think, “Ugh, why am I even doing this? Forget it. I’m done.”

2. Just Write! 

 NaNoWriMo is a great way to start or finish the first draft of a novel, or to completely rewrite an old one. It’s not a great way to revise or edit a novel. And it’s definitely not a great way to write a masterpiece that’s ready to be published on December 1st. Nope, sorry!

So, stop stressing about making things perfect, resist the temptation to edit or revise along the way, and don’t get upset about a watered down plot or 2D characters.

JUST WRITE!

Close your eyes, open your mind, and tap, tap, tap your fingers against your keyboard. And, remember, this is a rough draft. You won’t be showing it off to many (if any) people. So, let the words flow and don’t stop to question them. If you do, you’ll never make it to 50K by November 30th.

3. Don’t Skip Days

The first time I participated in NaNo, I missed the first three days because I was in a writing contest. And after that, I missed a few more days because, well, I missed them. Life happened. I didn’t feel like writing. I was tired. I had better things to do. Etc., etc.

Bad idea.

Missing one day is okay. Not good, but not horrible. But after one day, the word count deficit starts to pile up–fast! Within one week of my first NaNo, I was behind schedule by 10,000 words, and the only way I was going to catch back up was to increase my daily word count–ack!

Do yourself a favor and spit out those words every day, even if you don’t feel like it.

4. Be Proactive

Don’t live on the edge if you don’t have to. Give yourself a word count cushion.

After I climbed out of the deep, dark word count abyss I’d fallen into, I decided to take the bull by the horns and get ahead of schedule. On days I had extra time, energy, and motivation, I blasted past my daily goal and kept writing. Why not? Who knew how I’d feel the next day, or if my life would blow up and I wouldn’t be able to sit down and write?

Because of this “get ahead” strategy, I was able to finish almost a week early.

5. Find an Idea You Love

When you hit those “ugh” moments, or you’re just flat out tired, it’ll be your passion and excitement for a story that gets you through. So, make sure choose one you love. Find a plot you want to explore and a cast of characters you want to know better. They should have the power to enthrall and entice you, and keep you motivated on a daily basis.

I promise, if you feel “meh” about your story before you start it, you’ll feel “meh” about it the whole time. And, sooner or later, you’ll throw in the towel.

6. Evolve With Your Idea

There is a very good chance the story you set out to write won’t be the story you end up writing. This is especially true for those of us who are “pantsters” rather than “plotters.” We assume we’re going to take a left at the fork, but end up taking a right instead. That’s okay.

Remember: JUST WRITE!

Don’t add constraints or limit yourself because the story “was supposed to go this way.” Go with the flow and see where things take you. After all, this isn’t a final draft. It’s an exploration of the story you will–hopefully–continue pursuing long after the November 30th deadline.

7. Embrace a Love-Hate Relationship

 Even if you’re infatuated with your story, you’ll probably become infuriated with it at some point. You’ll have moments when you question your concept, or realize you despise a certain character, or fear you chose the wrong path back in chapter five.

It’s okay! First drafts aren’t meant to be perfect or 100% lovable. They’re ugly, troublesome, and, more often than not, a total nightmare.

So, accept the inevitable love-hate relationship you’ll have with your story, remind yourself you’ll be able to revise those despicable spots in the future, and keep chugging along.

8. Lean On Other Writers for Support

I often tell people, “Writers have their own language.” And, it’s true. We do. We naturally understand each other and are able to relate to each other’s woes. So, why not befriend a few? Trust me, you’ll need their cheers, pep talks, and internet hugs to survive the NaNoWriMo roller coaster.

If you aren’t sure where to find potential writing pals, here are a few suggestions:

  1. NaNoWriMo’s website. It allows you to network and make solid connections. If you’d like to add me as a buddy, my username is jenspenden.
  2. Twitter. I can’t tell you how many writers I’ve met there and have created genuine, supportive friendships with. Be sure to check out hashtags like #NaNoWriMo, #NaNoWriMo2016, #NaNoPrep. And, of course, feel free to follow me (@jenspenden). I’ll happily follow you in return!
  3. Writing Blogs. Follow them, read them, and leave genuine comments on posts. If you do, you’ll naturally connect with other writers.
  4. Writing Contests. This one might sound strange, but some of my best writing friends have come from participating in writing contests, especially those that allow you to interact with other competitors (ex: NYC Midnight).

Whatever your method, I highly recommend you befriend other writers. Life becomes so much better once you do.

9. Have Fun! 


I mean it. Enjoy the experience. Yes, NaNo is stressful, insane, and a lot–a lot–of work. But nobody is forcing you to do it (well, I hope not). So, why not have fun with it?

Whenever I hit a low point during NaNo, I like to sit back in my chair and laugh at the absurdity of writing 50K words in one month. Who does that? Seriously? Or I like to take a deep breath and embrace my accomplishments. I figure every word I write deserves a round of applause, even if it wasn’t the best word in the world.

10. Worst Case Scenario

The worst thing that can happen? You don’t reach the 50K goal by November 30th.

Big. Deal.

Okay, maybe it is a big deal and you want to focus on that goal to keep you motivated. Great! However, in my opinion, the point of NaNoWriMo isn’t to barf out 50,000 words for the sake of barfing out 50,000 words. It’s to help writers focus and kick-start a steady writing routine that carries them past the November 30th deadline.

So, if you’re approaching the deadline, and you’re nowhere near the 50K word finish line, who cares? Keep going. Keep writing! The only true failure in NaNoWriMo is giving up completely.

Well, there you go! I hope you found at least one of my tips for NaNoWriMo useful. Good luck, everyone! And remember:

JUST WRITE!

Related articles:

NaNoWriMo Tips – How To Deal With Deadlines

My NaNoWriMo 2014 Survival Kit

A Writer’s Guide to NaNoWriMo Part 1

A GREAT QUOTE FOR NANOWRIMO

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You Know You’re a Writer When…Awkward Introductions

YKYAWW Introductions

Music Monday – Explosions – Ellie Goulding

Welcome to Music Monday! As many of you know, music contributes a great deal to my writing process. Whether it’s a song’s lyrics, beat, rhythm, or tone, I find myself constantly inspired by it.

writing-to-musicOver the past year, I’ve made three playlists for my manuscript, each one with approximately 30-50 songs. Since I made the third one a couple of months ago, I’ve been listening to it way more than the others. Like, a lot more. Like, I’ve been listening to nothing else.

A few days ago, I realized I was no longer finding inspiration in any of the songs on that playlist. So, I decided to switch back to the first one I made in hopes of finding fresh inspiration on it.

And I did!

“Explosions” by Ellie Goulding popped up and I was swept away.

Ellie-Goulding-ExplosionsI’m not sure what it is about this song–or any of Ellie Goulding’s songs for that matter–but it always transports me into whatever other world I’m living in. “Explosions” has a magical combination of lyrics, rhythm, and tone that inspires me every time I hear it. It’s also bursting with raw emotion, which is exactly what I need to hear right now as I work on the current chapters in my book.

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I have many favorites by Ellie Goulding, but “Explosions” is at the top of the list. And right now, it’s my number one pick. So, go ahead and give it a listen to see if it inspires you too!

What song(s) are you in love with right now? Which one(s) offer you inspiration? Let me know! I’m always searching for songs that motivate my writing.

Photo credits: 

http://michaelgalvis.com/

http://youtu.be/miOEmyjpLkU

https://www.tumblr.com/search/explosions%20ellie%20goulding