Tuesday, November 2, 2010

10 NaNoWriMo Author Successes-You CAN Do It, Too

 The National November Writer’s Month Challenge extends from November 1 until midnight November 30.

As this year’s challenge grew closer and my planning and stress-level became more intense, I heard about more and more authors who had competed in previous years and ended up with publishable works. Not on December 1st, but after revisions and editing, sometimes taking two years or as little as a few months.

My own 1st novel, Odessa, due out April 1, 2011 by MuseItUp Publishing, was last year’s NaNo accomplishment at 85,000 words. It has since grown to nearly 100,000, but the story was complete at the end of November 2009.

So this year I’m planning something in a whole new direction for me. A YA Dystopian. The planning hasn’t come together yet, but I have a day or so left. . .

If you’re writing in the NaNo Challenge this year and wish to be my buddy, find me at http://www.nanowrimo.org/eng/user/511151

According to Author, Terri Main, “Dark Side of the Moon was originally a Nano novel. I had participated the year before and wrote a cozy mystery novel and enjoyed it. I still haven't completed editing that novel. It was my first attempt at long fiction. Always before, I had written short fiction and mostly for personal enjoyment. When Nano 2007 came along, I wasn't sure I would do it. I was reeling from the loss of my mother just five months before and struggling to find my way after being her caregiver for so long. I wasn't exactly feeling like doing anything in particular.

However, I decided to take a stab at Nano for the second year. It was a bit of a struggle. I was sick for part of the month and could only write in fifteen minute segments separated by long rest periods. The main character, a college professor who just recently lost her mother to a
stroke, was someone I could relate to well. I pushed through and hit the 50K mark and let the story rest for a year working on it occasionally.

Finally, I put a push on to finish it in early 2010 after writing the sequel to it during Nano 2009. It was a cathartic experience and, I hope one that will bring enjoyment to others.

Wendy Laharnar wrote, “The NaNoWriMo experience is positive, whichever way you look at it. For some, it is enough to have more words written on the page at the end of November than the zero they had at the start. For me it's the joy of proving to myself that I'm a stayer; that I can finish what I start and reach a goal under pressure. My bonus is a 50,000 word first draft of a rather confused and thready novel. But as they say, you can't edit a blank page.

I have three Winner's Certificates framed on my wall. The first one, in 2004, was for the bare bones of a story that eventually consumed me for more than 5 years. In those years I spent many hours on medieval research and developed my characters and their adventures. That NaNo manuscript grew to 117,000 words. Through workshops and critique groups, I chiseled and polished it back to 93,000 words. This year I submitted it to Lea at MuseItUp Publishing. Lea said yes!

That frantically scribbled manuscript, for NaNo 2004 became my novel, The Unhewn Stone, due to be released in August 2011.

Rewriting my 2005 NaNo 'novel' is my current WIP. I love this fantasy and hope to finish it soon.

Fiona Brown wrote, “Hubby is out of the country at the moment on his day job but NaNoWriMo got him started on his first novel, Blood Curse. He didn't finish it during the month, but he got so far that he decided to keep going. He self-published that one, but is currently going through the editing process for the second in the series and is preparing to submit queries to agents.
Nic Brown -
Success has an uncanny way of visiting those who have paid the price of
preparation.  ~Anonymous

Author Pat Dale said, “My book, THE EVIL WITHIN, had floated in my brain forever but I could not get a handle on it. Thinking it would be a waste of time, I went ahead with NaNoWriMo and guess what? I had a book in a month. Took a couple of years of editing but the finished product, which will be released by Muse on January 1, 2011, is still in the form and spirit of that first effort. Made a believer out of a skeptic!

*Can anywhere be found a man who does not harbor a seed of evil within his
soul? Battle weary Army Specialist Adam Watson retreats from the chaos of
Iraq to his Missouri Ozarks home, believing he's seen the worst that man is
capable of. But even as he seeks refuge, he finds that same evil in his own
country, his own town, his own family-and in his own heart.*



Karen McGrath said, “In the spring of 2009, someone in my online writer's group mentioned NaNoWriMo - it was the first I'd heard of it. I thought it was a good idea. On October 29th, I remembered it was coming up and decided to have my girls do it for part of their writing course in homeschool. I gave them the instructions and at midnight on October 31st, my youngest (night owl girl) and I stayed up to have hot chocolate together and start our novels. It was a blast!

I particularly like the fact that no editing is allowed. I had begun four novels in the previous nine months and stopped by chapter seven in almost all of them because I was stuck with my internal editor telling me I had to revise everything. Me and my NaNo'ers pushed through every day, some days were easier than others. It's like climbing a mountain, you find your weaknesses and your strengths. We all reached over 50,000 words on November 30th and posted our novels to NaNoWriMo's word count system.

Elizabeth (Grade eight at the time) is just now finishing her novel before NaNoWriMo 2010. It's at 114K, a YA Fantasy. Molly's (Grade nine, ten now) was done at 52K, YA Dark Horror. I added another 12K to mine in January 2010 making it 64K and then polished and revised for submission putting it at 68K last spring, a paranormal romance mystery novel. In May 2010 MuseItUp Publishing offered me a contract for ebook and print rights. Primordial Sun, the Heart of the Amazon will release in April 2011!

Needless to say I'm ecstatic and doing NaNo again this November. I'm working on a YA Fantasy this time. Both of my girls are doing NaNo again this year for school. It's one of the best writing programs I know of. As a homeschooling mom, I've pretty much seen them all.

Since last May, I started three more novels as well as finished several short stories and one novella, some of which will also be published by Muse in 2011. I was tempted to work on one of my WIP's for NaNo this year but decided to keep the rules and begin something new.

NaNoWriMo is excellent! As one of the liasons for the NaNo'ers in Boston said, I'm living the NaNo dream. The Office of Letters and Light in California has a bookshelf that contains copies of NaNo novels that have been published and I can't wait to send them mine.

Visit Boston daydreaming...
Making dreams come true one page at a time...

According to Christine London, “The first year I participate in NaNoWriMo I completed the requisite 50 thousand words, now published Leap Of Faith a result. I find the intensity of the challenge motivating, especially when you've been mired in trying to launch a work. This particular piece is close to my heart because its heroine has recently developed a neurological disorder that sends her into a nose-dive. There's so much misunderstanding and downright ignorance about these 'hidden' maladies, I felt it an honor to be able to couch it within the fabric of a really entertaining tale set on one of the magical volcanically active regions off the coast off Naples Italy. The Isle of Forio is backdrop to a (real life) international film festival that our heroine brazenly crashes. She is an amazingly strong woman in spite of her challenge--maybe because of it.

The storyline was knit together as I progressed with only the barest framework in place on November first. As a 'pantser' (fly by the seat of her pants plotter), this was normal for me. The fire in my gut to make this young woman relatable and as lovable as she is, was gigantic. My own life has been heavily impacted by various neurological challenges
within my family, so this opportunity was perfect fertile ground.

Leap Of Faith was born.

The second year (last year) I wrote the bulk of the first of a trilogy set on the mythical Scottish Isle of Skye. I've now fleshed it out into a full length single title. It's resting, like fine wine, as I take a detour into my present work in progress. It also sits in Penguin  UK's editorial inbox. :) Not sure where or when it shall end up, but it's gonna be a heck of a read.

This year (year three for me) I have notions of a tale set at a nudist resort. Sound like fun?? lol. You bet!

Author Sandy Lender responded, "2009 was the first year I participated in NaNoWriMo, and I wanted to use the time to put together my second chapbook of short stories that supports the fantasy series my publisher releases for me. I already had the world built, complete with a map, so sitting down to write in November wasn't difficult. I put together a set of shorts and a novella that tells a scary romance story from the past in the fantasy world of Onweald. Because my publisher doesn't "do" short story compilations, I took care of the production on my own, and it's available on Amazon right now." (and the book I completed is What Choices We Made, Volume II)

“Some days, you just want the dragon to win.”

Historical Fiction Author, Anita Davison wrote, “I had an idea in my head for months I didn't do anything with. So to avoid the notes on my laptop being completely ignored, I signed up for NaNoWriMo in 2008 to see if I could cope.  The discipline of having to write 2,000 words a day spurred me on, and I wrote 50k in that month, which gave me a basis for a manuscript that I have since honed and polished.

Now MuseItUp is publishing Culloden Spirit next year.

You never know - try it.
Website: http://www.anitadavison.com

According to Frances Pauli, “I'm on Nano as: Neffis, and I've participated and written 50 thousand words each of the past three years.

This year I am my region's ML (Municipal Liason) for the second time, and I organize the kick off parties, write-in's prizes etc. for the area.

To date, I have sold all three of my Nano novels. The first one is set for release this Nov. 24th!  Nanowrimo has been heaven sent for me. It taught me how to finish, finish, finish and that was a lesson that I needed! I tell people my first book took five years to write, the second one, thirty days.

The floodgates were open after that, and I've been producing fiction like mad.

I give a lot of the credit to Nano and to Chris Baty's book, No Plot? No Problem.
Free Space Opera Serial:

Speculative Fiction and Romance