24 October 2009

To NaNoWriMo, or Not To NaNoWriMo....

There's a mouthful for ya.  If you're not familiar, NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month.  Thirty days of literary abandon.  The goal is to write a novel by midnight on November 30th.  They define "novel" as 50,000 words.  The focus is quantity, not quality.

It's funny, because that's the exact opposite of how I usually write.  It takes me ages and ages to finish something, even when I have a pretty clear idea of where it's going, because I search painstakingly for exactly the right words to use, the perfect scenarios to accomplish what I want from a chapter, etc.  When I have a first draft, it's a pretty darn good first draf (in my opinion, of course haha).  But I suppose in the time it takes me to get a complete first draft, plenty of other writers have done the first draft and a couple edits already.  So maybe NaNoWriMo would be good for me.  It would force me to focus on simply writing the story, ignoring mistakes that can be fixed later, inserting some kind of filler when I can't figure out exactly what I want so that I can move on and keep writing.

But still, a novel in a month?  It seems pretty daunting.  I'm not sure if I can put in the time and energy that would take.  We're heading into the holiday retail season, which means busier, harder, longer days at my regular job, which already takes a lot out of me.  Can I handle NaNoWriMo too?

The other thing that makes me uncertain is that they ask you to start from scratch.  You can't include any previously written material in your 50,000 word goal.  And I don't really have any new ideas right now.  I have Confessions that I've been working on, as well as Marisol's erotica story.  I have ideas for the sequels to the erotica, but is really prudent to start writing a sequel when I've barely got 3 chapters of the first book? 

I think I would like to give it a try, but I'm hesitant.  I still have next week to figure it out, since it doesn't begin until November 1st.  If I can come upwith even a half suitable idea for a new project, maybe I'll jump into NaNoWriMo feet first, sink or swim.

Think you might be interested?  Everything you need to know is here:  http://www.nanowrimo.org/

20 October 2009

Faces of the Future

I'd like to introduce you to one awesome chica, and I thought she deserved more than just an aspiring author profile.  She doesn't even know I'm doing this, so it'll be a big surprise.  Her name is Elana Johnson and, short and simple, she rocks.

I "met" Elana through a critique group on Agent Query Connect some time ago.  I was working on Charlotte/Sorry's Not Enough, and had just recently decided that I wanted to take my writing to the next level and attempt publication.  She was working on a YA fantasay currently titled Loves Magic.  I feel privileged to have seen the early stages of that book, plus early peeks at a few others.  You can learn about her books on her website.  Elana always had useful, insightful critiques, and her own writing improved leaps and bounds while she was part of group.  She's continued to improve and I can honestly say I'd gladly read any of her books as soon as they're in print.

Okay, so being a great writer and critiquer is one thing.  But why, you may ask, does she get this special post?  Because she's fully invested in her writing and her future career.  In addition to maintaining a professional website, she blogs.  On more than one blog!  She has her personal blog, she's a contributor to the Query Tracker blog, and there's also Query Ninja.  That's three - count 'em, three! - blogs in addition to her regular writing to fit into her schedule.

Oh yeah, did I mention she's a wife, mother, and has a full time day job?  I can barely handle my day job, one blog, a husband and a dog haha.

To top it all off, Elana has written an ebook to help writers with their queries.  I recently purchased my copy of From the Query to the Call.  (Expect a review in the coming weeks!)  The Query Ninja blog is where Elana personally helps writers perfect their query letters - currently only available to those who purchase the ebook.  Elana will also be starting her next book during National Novel Writing Month in November.  NaNoWriMo is a fun - or crazy, depending how you see it - 30 days of novel writing.  The goal is to get 50,000 words in a month.  I'll blog more on that next week.

Honestly, Elana is an inspiration and a role model for me.  I hope to step back one day and find myself engrossed in my writing - whether it's actual novel-writing, blogging, publishing, promoting, or whatever - the way she is:  with wit, grace, humor, and one heckuva great talent!

So remember the name Elana Johnson.  I have a feeling she's going to have a great career ahead of her.  Check out any of the links in this post to learn more about her and read snippets of her writing and see for yourself how talented she is.  When she's on the best seller list, you can say you saw her here first!