Need help hitting 50,000 for Nano?

Tips and Tricks: Increasing The Word Flow

We NaNoWriMoers are a little more than halfway through the challenge, but if you are
like me in any way, this is about the time I start hitting the wall. The pressure of words is
becoming a bit more challenging as you work through the plot you are hastily creating.
And the deadline is looming closer and closer with each passing day.
The start of the 30-day challenge is always exciting, and if I daresay, easy as you
choose your story-line and begin meeting your characters. But after the first few days the
inspiration begins to dry up and the nerves begin setting in. By the halfway point, we
wonder if there’s enough time left, and then we dread the story itself: is it even worth all
this effort? The answer: YES!
Nano is just the challenge to get 50,000 words completed (which is approximately a
novel, give or take). But you aren’t supposed to have a finished, polished novel by
December 1 sitting on your desk. Having that kind of pressure is daunting, and can
cause writers to detach themselves from their project and drop out of the Nano race.
Let’s be honest, we aren’t James Patterson.

 

But never fear, there are some tried and true tricks to keep your word count mounting.

1. DO NOT SCRAP ANYTHING
As noted before, this piece is not going to be a publishable work by Day 30. Instead, this
is a first draft. As writers, you need to keep that in mind as you go along. If you don’t like
a scene, leave it be, write something new after it and keep going. The more you go back
and delete pieces of the novel the more time you spend recreating scenes, and the less
time you spend advancing your plot.

2. DO NOT EDIT
At least not yet! Editing, while a necessary tool for polished work is not the goal for
NaNo. Make editing your December goal, and focus on getting the words down. Do not
go back and rewrite sections, instead, write more sections and keep the flow going.
Spending time each day going back to re-read entire chapters (heck, even the entire
book!) takes precious writing time away from you. In order to meet the deadline of
50,000 words in 30 days, writers have to average at least 1,700 words per day. That
doesn’t sound like a lot, but as you get into the nitty-gritty of the novel, there’s the
chance that some days you might not hit that mark, maybe one day you only hit 300
words, that puts you 1,400 words behind.

3. SCHEDULE SOME TIME
We all work, cook, have commitments, and need time to unwind. Make sure to set aside
a block of time to write. This block of time can be anywhere from 20 minutes to 2 hours,
whatever your schedule allows. But making yourself sit and write for that set time period
can get the juices flowing! Environment is also key. Make sure to select your writing
space based on your ability to block out noise. If you can’t stop yourself from looking up
at the T.V., getting involved in a conversation, or getting distracted by the pile of laundry
that needs folding, make sure you choose a location that is free of those distractions.

4. WRITING SPRINTS
These are a fun way to get the word count out in a certain amount of time. And you can
get other writers involved in them too! Pick a number of words you want to write and
then give yourself a time limit to get those words written. Or give yourself a time limit and
challenge your friends to write as many words as you can. The winner earns a free cup
of coffee! Post it to social media, text your writer buddies, or get your friends/family to
hold you accountable for these sprints!

5. REMOVE YOURSELF
Sometimes you place too much pressure on yourself to actually write the number of
words you need each day. The pressure builds and it squashes the inspiration. In these
cases, get up and get out. Head to a park, a mall, or some other public place and spend
time people watching. Give yourself an hour and write about where you are, what you
see, what you hear, about the people walking around, the smells…just jot it down, keep
your focus off your work in progress until something sparks you. This break allows your
mind to wander outside of the confines of your story line.

6. GET OFF THE COMPUTER
Sometimes working your magic with the basics are the best way to reinvigorate your
output. While typing allows you to get more words down in a shorter amount of time,
writing by hand allows your mind to work a bit slower. Use this time to develop a new
scene or character, or to give yourself a quick chapter outline.

7. OUTLINE
While passion gets you started on the Nano journey, you have to be dedicated to
finishing the job. Writing up a short, general outline can help keep you on track. This
provides you with the bare bones of the story and you can spend the rest of the writing
time filling in the organs!

8. STOP WRITING WHEN YOU KNOW WHAT IS COMING NEXT
Getting started each day can be a challenge if you aren’t sure what direction your
character is going to take later in the story. By ending your writing session at a point in
which you know exactly what your character is going to do next, you allow yourself to get
started immediately the next time you sit down and begin writing again. Jot down a few
notes before you finish writing for the day about what is going to happen in the next
chapter and stop writing. When you go back, your notes and your last few paragraphs
will be all you need to review before you can jump into the action of your WIP (work in
progress).

9. LEAVE BLANKS
Choosing a character name can take days, deciding on the correct phrasing to describe
the castle gates can be a challenge you spend hours creating, even attempting to vary
your descriptive language can take up more time than you’d like. Here’s the key when it
comes to Nano: leave it blank. The old adage, “collect the sand, build the castle later,”
applies here more than you an imagine. Who cares if you used the word SMILE thirty
times in the last twenty pages. That is a problem for you to address when you get to the
editing phase. That minor character that only appears once in the story for a few pages
doesn’t have a good name? So what, make one up, leave it blank, call him Minor
Character 4, and move on. Names can be decided upon at a later date. Not sure how to
describe the scar on the hero’s face? Write SCAR, DESCRIPTION, and keep writing the
action. This is a first draft, it isn’t supposed to be gold, it’s supposed to be raw. All the
boo-boos can be tended at a later date.

10. DO NOT GIVE UP
Even if you know you aren’t going to hit 50,000 by the end of November, keep writing.
Keep pushing yourself to write as much as you can. Then, use that success as a
challenge for yourself the following year. You might surprise yourself. You may sit down
one day, feel overly inspired, and write 8,000-10,000 words and put yourself back on
track to hit your goal. You can do it, you have the skills and the passion – you just need
the determination. (And a few good tips to stimulate those creative juices!)

 

11. EXTRA TIP
There are plenty of places to submit your work to when you’re done! Keep Junto Magazine in mind for your shorter pieces, and Ink Smith Publishing & Native Ink Press for your longer novels!

 

About Corinne

CA Bio Image

Connect with me
on Twitter!
@AndersonCorinne

Corinne has her MFA in Writing from Lindenwood University and her MPS in Publishing from George Washington University. She has been an editor at Ink Smith Publishing and Native Ink Press since 2013. Since her first trip to the library when she was a toddler, Corinne has been collecting books, recommending her favorites and providing commentary on the less-than-stellar. Her belief is that if you have a problem, it’s nothing that a good book can’t solve. Currently, she is editing for Ink Smith PublishingJunto Magazine and hoping that her blog posts here will help writers improve and publish their work.

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The Last Odinian has Arrived!

Spread the cheer and order Alec Arbogast’s debut novel, The Last Odinian, today! Available on Amazon and at Barnes & Noble! But don’t forget, leaving an author a review is the best gift you can give them. Stop by either site or Goodreads and provide your very valuable thoughts about Arbogast’s fantasy novel!

 

About the Novel

When Edward Koenig arrives at the lonely coastal town of Pinemist Bay, the only thing on his mind is finding his family. With just a telepathic message from his daughter to guide him, only one thing is clear. His wife and daughter are in mortal danger.

In order to find them, Koenig must place his trust in a few locals and delve headlong into the mysterious past of Pinemist Bay – a past centered around an ancient Scandinavian pagan rite that has all but vanished from the rest of the world.

Beneath its insouciant guise, Pinemist Bay conceals both the hidden truth of Koenig’s family’s past and the key to an intrinsic bond with his daughter that he never could have imagined. But in order to save her, he must first play cat and mouse with a zealous pagan cult whose only goal is to lure him into the arms of an arcane presence that waits in the shadows of the pine forest.

 

All About Lorna Brown!

Hey readers! This post is all about Lorna Brown, author of Debris, as a writer.

For starters, on the off chance she does have writer’s block, she battles the struggle by working on her other projects. She says she doesn’t get writer’s block often, but wouldn’t be too phased by it even if she did! Just turning on the news would inspire a story for her so it wouldn’t be too long before she had another project to work on!

Regarding her novel coming out Spring 2018, Debris started off as a completely different novel. The original novel was a story made of three parts and Andre was the main character in one of those stories. Most of the characters were the same, but their relationships were different and once Andre met Erin in the estate (instead of the minor character she was originally), everything changed. Lorna says “all the characters had already taken their place and had been waiting for Erin to come along and change the game).

One of the other projects she’s working on is set in her hometown in Sligo, Ireland. The stories are all connected and she has hopes to write another collection similar to this soon. As someone who also has a writer’s mind, I asked her if she carries a notebook with her in case inspiration strikes. She does not, she texts herself or writes herself a note in her phone (as I do too!). Recently, she read an interesting headline and emailed it to herself as an idea for a story. “Mexicans outraged after praying for faked trapped child” All weekend everyone was glued to the television watching the rescue of a 12-year-old named Frida Sofia, who never existed. She says the effect media has on the population as a whole, and how ideas can spread and wreak havoc, is an interesting topic and something she would like to write about. And when she does think of a new idea, she likes to plan before-hand. She wouldn’t necessarily have the whole story mapped out, but she would have a good idea. For one of her other projects, she created the stories of her two main characters before creating one main story.

You can look forward to the release of Debris the Spring of 2018!

 

Meet Jenna LaBollita!

Jenna’s passion for writing started very young, even winning her a Young Author Award in elementary school. Since then, she has written for The Odyssey and Puckermob, and has read countless books in many genres.

Her love for writing is unmatched, and she hopes to become a published author herself one day. Jenna holds an associate degree in Liberal Arts from Ocean County College in Toms River, New Jersey.

About The Woman Behind “Debris”

Lorna Brown’s novel, Debris, will be coming out Spring of 2018! She is very excited about the release, as are we at Ink Smith Publishing, and her daughters are as well!

Lorna has three daughters, and they all enjoy writing—like their mom! Leyla, her oldest, writes stories–mostly for school. She has tried writing some books, but after a few pages realized it may be hard (if she only knew!). Lorna says she definitely has potential. Her middle daughter, Amelie, has started to write books as well. Lorna says she’s good, and Amelie’s teachers have said so as well! Amelie was also a reporter for her school newspaper last year. And Lorna’s youngest, Cameron, has written songs already- at age seven! I think it’s amazing her family loves the art of writing. Lorna told me that she already warned her husband Matias that he’s “sired three more writers.” Her daughters support Lorna, and cannot wait for Debris to be published. The few instances Lorna has faced some writer’s block, she says her daughters motivate her by telling her to “just keep writing.”

In addition to writing her novel, Lorna truly enjoys poetry! Some of her poems have won competitions, but even still she doesn’t consider herself a poet. She explains her favoritism for writing as follows: “Poetry is a lot more personal. The poet thinks more about the world around them in terms of themselves. While writing novels, there is a certain distance even when the subject may be difficult. I prefer that distance.

As an amateur poet and writer, I definitely understand her explanation. Writing poetry is definitely a different experience than writing stories, and sometimes poetry almost seems harder. As much inspiration as I may have for a piece, there’s a sense of vulnerability I don’t always want to (or sometimes can’t) face.

When it came to writing Debris, the title of the novel came from a poem by Lola Ridge. Lorna said the moment she read the poem, she thought it captured the mood of the book perfectly. She also said there was an uncanny amount of coincidences—Lola Ridge was born in Dublin, Ireland in December as she was (only a hundred years before). Lola’s family were miners, as was her grandfather. The two women also emigrated to the U.S. in their thirties.

So, once we fall in love with Debris, what can we expect from Lorna next? She is working on a new novel now about a drug that can erase bad memories. She uses the novel to explore the idea that, without our experiences, we might repeat the same mistakes. Essentially, a different, interesting take on forgetting traumatic memories or living and learning instead.

And so, readers, keep an eye out Spring of 2018 for Lorna Brown’s Debris!

 

Meet Jenna LaBollita!

Jenna’s passion for writing started very young, even winning her a Young Author Award in elementary school. Since then, she has written for The Odyssey and Puckermob, and has read countless books in many genres.

Her love for writing is unmatched, and she hopes to become a published author herself one day. Jenna holds an associate degree in Liberal Arts from Ocean County College in Toms River, New Jersey.

Have you met Kelsey Ferrara?

Kelsey Ferrara, Editorial Novella Intern – Ink Smith Publishing

Kelsey has had an unwavering love of reading and writing ever since she was very young. She dreams of one day becoming a published author and has tackled a number of literary projects in order to improve her writing. Kelsey graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a B.A. in English and a minor in Professional Writing. This minor allowed her to focus on Multimedia Communications which emphasized coding and digital writing methods. While attending this beautiful college, she also wrote for the campus newspaper and contributed regular columns to the food section. Outside of school, she worked as an editor for a number of different publications including The Fox Magazine and Vocalady Magazine. She is currently working on Shelli Frew’s sci-fi, time traveling novel Time Sailors while interning with Ink Smith Publishing.

The Last Odinian is Coming!

When Edward Koenig arrives at the lonely coastal town of Pinemist Bay, the only thing on his mind is finding his family. With just a telepathic message from his daughter to guide him, only one thing is clear. His wife and daughter are in mortal danger.

In order to find them, Koenig must place his trust in a few locals and delve headlong into the mysterious past of Pinemist Bay – a past centered around an ancient Scandinavian pagan rite that has all but vanished from the rest of the world.

Beneath its insouciant guise, Pinemist Bay conceals both the hidden truth of Koenig’s family’s past and the key to an intrinsic bond with his daughter that he never could have imagined. But in order to save her, he must first play cat and mouse with a zealous pagan cult whose only goal is to lure him into the arms of an arcane presence that waits in the shadows of the pine forest.

Say Hello to Eric Marsh!

Eric Marsh, Editorial Fiction Intern – Ink Smith Publishing

Eric Marsh’s fiction has appeared in The Bicycle Review and 12th Street Literary Journal. He received a B.A. in Creative Writing from The New School where he was a Riggio Honors Fellow. He has lived in Minneapolis, Brooklyn, Portland, and Los Angeles where he is now working on his second novel.

My Desk

A short, true story, by author Helen Pugsley.

 

I had the stupendous and rare fortune of purchasing my mentor’s home, The Nest, as she named it. June Wilson Read and I shared the only town I want to live in all through my childhood. She has helped me in all things writing since I began. Being in her 80’s she wanted to move closer to family. With her home came her desk. A door laid across two wooden filing cabinets.

“I’m so happy you’re the one getting my house!” she said, “And my writing desk!”

I grinned through that last part. I was and am madly in love with the sun-drenched cottage but as soon as a replacement could be found I had every intention of throwing the door down a ditch and stacking the filing cabinets on top of each other to save on floor space. I could use one of the nice metal desks my family keeps in the garage until I got the guts and finances to purchase an antique roll-top!

But winter came…

First, my mother said, “You’re going to trade wood and good memories for cold steel?!”

Being porous, wood absorbs a lot of things. That’s why I won’t use wooden cutting boards. As well as beef blood I hope wood sops up talent! “Ack! Fine. I don’t feel like moving the heavy summagun anyway,” I reasoned to her.

Next, there was going to be a washer dryer set there, right in my dining room.

“But Dad! Actually having a desk will keep me from writing in bed!” A terrible habit. Guess where I penned this?

“You should really quit doing that! But find somewhere else. The washer and dryer will go here.” You can’t argue too much when someone is financing the labor and the appliances.

However, the contractor inadvertently took my side. “A water line on an exterior wall? Are you crazy?!” The huge, rectangular window is amazing for gleaning enough natural light to write by until twilight. It is not so great for keeping water lines above 32 degrees Fahrenheit. A stackable apartment sized washer/dryer will now set next to my oven.

When she left she handed me a pile of pelts. June was truly a Wyoming woman. Not knowing what else to do with them, I set them in one corner of the desk in a neat pile with an axe. Later, the axe got moved to my bedside.

A short while ago a neighbor of mine wanted some kittens. In a week she discovered she was horribly allergic. So now Iris and Wilhelm live with me. When they’re not in their heated bed they like to sleep in the pelt pile on my desk. I like to think of it as the kitten annex.

Even newer than the kittens is a kitchen chair I picked up at a second-hand shop for under $10. The silk seat is perfect for resting my feet on when I’m feeling rebellious. I sit with my tooshy on the desk and a notebook in my lap.

One day my mother and I got to looking at the door-desk very carefully and realized it’s probably my closet door. It is literally a part of my home. I can’t just throw it down a ditch! Not when the empty door knob socket is perfect for stringing a laptop cord through! And how could I when that desk is where June Wilson Read penned most of her book, Frontier Madam?! Maybe parts of Whistle Creek and Other Wyoming Tales. Also a score of unpublished works she tells me she keeps in a trunk. How could I throw it down a ditch?! That’s my desk!

 

About Helen

Helen M. PugsleyHelen comes from a small town of twenty in eastern Wyoming. She has been passionate about writing since she was small. Helen enjoys traveling and is always thrilled to excite friends with tales of playing music on the streets for money, conversing with the drunks who frequent gutters, and the epic struggle of finding a decent bath when living in a car. Visit her on Facebook‘s War and Chess page!

#ShareYourGlass Free Book Giveaway!

#ShareYourGlass with @inksmithpublishing for your chance to win a copy of D.A.Sciortino’s debut novel, Just How Long is a Lifetime! Just snap and post a photo of your wine glass, tag us in your photo, and use the hashtag #ShareYourGlass for your chance to win this love story that transcends time and space.
#love #freebooks #lovestory #wine#contest #giveaway #free #fiction#bookgiveaway #sip #liquidgrapes
Contest ends November 1!

Winner will be notified via Instagram message.

 

About Just How Long is a Lifetime?

When Luisa, a young girl in nineteenth-century Sicily, falls in love with Giovanni, she is destined for heartache. Luisa’s father has plans for her – to marry the heir of the vineyard that both Luisa’s and

Giovanni’s families work on. Avoiding trouble, Giovanni’s father decides to leave the vineyard after the young couple is caught together.

Following her father’s orders, Luisa marries the heir, Lorenzo, and together they build a family. But fate leads Giovanni back to the vineyard, this time working for Luisa’s husband. All too soon, Lorenzo learns of their past and jealousy sets the barn on fire.

While Giovanni perishes in the flames, Luisa remains unharmed – and extraordinarily, eternally 32. As her family ages around her, Luisa is forced to adapt to each new decade, the mystery of the fire burning in the back of her mind. Will Luisa finally find the answers to a happy ending, or is time against her even when things start to fall into place?