Wednesday, November 30, 2016

NaNo Recap And A Christmas Party Invite

Jill Williamson is a chocolate loving, daydreaming, creator of kingdoms. She writes weird books in lots of weird genres like fantasy (Blood of Kings and Kinsman Chronicles), science fiction (Replication), and dystopian (The Safe Lands trilogy). Find Jill on FacebookTwitterPinterest, or on her author website. You can also try two of her fantasy novels for free here and here.

Today is the last day of NaNoWriMo, so if you're close to reaching 50K, keep at it! You're almost there. You are such hard workers and we believe in you!

I did technically "win" NaNo, even though my book is not yet complete. I logged in 76,901 words so far and I'm still going to write some today when I get home from my side job. (Yes, I have a side job watching a darling three-year-old boy.) But since I came into NaNo with a bit of a head start on this book, and since it is likely going to be closer to 200K when I finish, I still have a little bit further to go.

*crackes knuckles and moves smoothly into December Novel Writing Month to keep the words flowing fast* Whoo!

For those writers who reach at least 50K, NaNoWriMo will send you this nifty badge to display wherever you like. Here is mine:

If you didn't reach 50K, that's okay. Life happens. And we are proud of you for giving this a try. I don't know about you, but in the words of Robert H. Schuller, “I'd rather attempt to do something great and fail than to attempt to do nothing and succeed.” But remember, NaNo is not really about "winning" anything. The whole point is to get you writing and to teach you that it's okay to write messy, ugly, show-no-one rough drafts. Giving yourself permission to stink as you write your rough drafts can be one of the most freeing lessons you can learn as a writer. NaNo taught me that, and I hope participating in NaNo taught you something about your own writing.

What to do now that NaNo is over?

If you haven't finished your book, I say keep on going! But if you did complete your NaNo draft, here are some ideas of what you can do next:

-Take a break. After an intense time of writing, it's nice to rest your brain. When I'm not writing, I like to read. I have so little free time these days, that reading whatever I want is a rare treat. Whatever it is that will rest your brain, decide how long you're going to rest, then rest. You need it.

-Edit. If you finished your book, you might want to dive right in and start editing. If that is you and you need some help, check out these two posts: The Macro Edit and The Micro Edit.

-Join a writing group—if you're not already in one. Besides actually writing, there is no better method to improve beyond getting feedback from others. Being a part of a close-knit group of writers is a great way to grow and give back. Check out these posts for ideas about writing groups:
Suggestions For Writing Groups, Part One
Suggestions For Writing Groups, Part Two
11 Things To Do In Your Writing Group

-Continue to set writing goals. Whether they be word-count goals, chapter goals, or word sprints with friends, goals help you get your writing done in a timely manner.

-Celebrate. No matter how many words you logged during the month of November, your worked hard and should celebrate that. Maybe that looks like buying yourself a treat at Dutch Brothers, a banana split, or a box of chocolates. Or maybe that means buying yourself that book you've been dying to read or going to see Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Whatever it is, enjoy, and pat yourself on the back for a job well done. One way you can celebrate is by coming to my Christmas Facebook party this Friday! Enjoy some random silliness and a chance to win a Kindle, a book, or a gift card. It's going to be a time of joyous merriment.

Here is an official invitation:

So... share in the comments:
1. What did you learn from NaNo this year?
2. What do you plan to do now that NaNo is over?

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

NaNoWriMo Day 29 Check-In

After writing 3,973 words today, I have logged 50,006 words for the month. I'm official!

I'm not going to finish my novel this month. I think I have another 30 to 40k until the end, which would make this the longest first draft I've ever written. What about you? I'd love to know how many of you will keep working on the same draft in December.

Two days left, writers! You can do it!

Monday, November 28, 2016

NaNoWriMo Day 28 Check-In

THREE days left. Wow. 

I'm feeling pretty comfortable with 4,000 words left to write. How much do you have left? Are you still going strong or limping your way through these final days?

7 Thoughts For Writers Struggling With Depression

I'm delighted to have Rebekah Gyger on the blog today. Rebekah has been a member of our community for a long time, and is a very gifted writer as well as a total sweetheart. Depression and anxiety are common struggles among writers and creatives of all types, and I so appreciate Rebekah's willingness to be vulnerable and share what has helped her.

Rebekah is a recent graduate of the University of Tennessee, with a BA in Anthropology and Religious Studies. Her first flash fiction piece, a contemporary titled Family Stickers, was published on the Splickety Lightning Blog in December 2015. Currently, she has a book review blog at where she posts weekly.

If you have ever struggled with depression, know that you are not alone. Depression is something a lot of people go through and studies have shown that creative types suffer from it the most. We tend to live in our own heads and that can be both tricky and difficult to handle when our own thoughts betray us. When I first had the idea for this post, I had found myself staring at my computer, wanting to write but unable to do so because of an onslaught of depression and anxiety.

Over the years, I have found many ways to work through this. All help to some degree or another, and I encourage you to try them as well.

Talk to Someone:

My mom is my sounding board. Even at twenty-two, I tell her just about everything. Sometimes, voicing my problems is all I need to do in order to start letting them go. Make sure that whoever you chose to talk to is someone who will listen and offer encouragement rather than indifference.

Write it Out:

I can't always talk to my mom. Even when I'm free, that doesn't mean that she is. Writing out my frustrations can help to release a lot of pent up fears. Once I see them written down, they don't seem as insurmountable. As writers, this can particularly helpful as it helps us to express how we feel in medium we are most comfortable with.

Get Out of the House:

Just go somewhere, even it is to the end of driveway and back a few a times. Changing your environment gives you new things to focus on and time to emotionally regroup.

Look Through Uplifting Notes:

I like to keep track of every nice thing someone has said about my writing. I even kept an email from the ladies here at Go Teen Writers a year or so ago when they critiqued a paragraph of everyone's submitted manuscripts. Though there was some critique, there was also encouragement and I have read it many times since then.

Your Worth is Not in What You Write:

It can be easy to put ourselves down for the quality of our work because we put so much of ourselves into it. On the other side, we can also take too much pride in our skill, so that criticism feels like a personal attack. But we all have lives and achievements separate from our writing, and we can't let it become the foundation for our self-worth.

Don't Compare Yourself:

We hear this often, but it can bear repeating. NO ONE else's personal story of achievements or failures has any reflection on you, not even Michael Jordan's story that many of us have heard of his having failed at basketball all through high school before making the NBA. While many of these stories can serve to encourage us, there are times when focusing on the success of someone else only makes us anxious for when we can say the same for ourselves. And we have enough anxiety to deal with.

Celebrate What You Have Achieved:

How much have you already written? I may not be published, but I have written a few books. My first took me all four years of high school and will likely never see the light of day. But when I told a college recruiter that I had written an 80k word novel, she used it as the means to get me accepted to her private university and listed it as my highest achievement. Above my 4.28 GPA and class ranking. To her and the other admissions staff, my novel was proof that I had goals and was willing to work toward them.

Depression and anxiety are never easy. Many people will never understand what it feels like, even those in our own families. But when we voice our struggle, we are able to bolster each other. 

Tell us below, what are ways that you have found to cope with depression and anxiety? And let us know what your achievements are. We would love to celebrate with you!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

NaNoWriMo Days 26 and 27 Check-In

After writing 1,500 words this morning, I have a little over 5,500 left to write by the 30th. It really is hard to believe that the month is almost over.

I often stay off my computer on Sundays, so this will be our spot to share word counts for the 27th as well.

How much do you have left to write? Do you have any fun rewards planned for yourself when you're done?

Friday, November 25, 2016

NaNoWriMo Day 25 Check-In

Shannon Dittemore is the author of the Angel Eyes trilogy. She has an overactive imagination and a passion for truth. Her lifelong journey to combine the two is responsible for a stint at Portland Bible College, performances with local theater companies, and a love of all things literary. When she isn’t writing, she spends her days with her husband, Matt, imagining things unseen and chasing their two children around their home in Northern California. To connect with Shan, check out her website, FB, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest.

Happy day-after-Thanksgiving, everyone!

Soooooo. Update me!

How is National Novel Writing Month treating you all? I'm not participating this year but I sincerely hope those of you that are novelling are enjoying your time and letting yourself dump oodles of words onto the page.

Just a handful of days left to reach 50k words. Have the past three weeks left you with any lightning bolts of revelation? An inner-well of inspiration bubbling over? Anyone just so ready for it to be December already? I think all of the above are totally normal responses. But tell me about you!

How goes the writing?

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

NaNoWriMo Days 23 and 24 Check-In

My errands have been run.

My laundry is all done.

My whole house has been vacuumed.

Which means, I have written zero words today. Ugh! I'm hoping to get a thousand in tonight, and maybe do a bit more on Thanksgiving (but we're hosting, so...)

How about you?

When Writing Can't Be Your Life: a Guest Post From Alyson Schroll

Jill here! Happy the-day-before-Thanksgiving, to all of who who celebrate the holiday. Today I am happy to introduce to you to Alyson Schroll, a lovely young writer who has some fabulous wisdom to share with you today. I've known Alyson for a long time, and she has always impressed me with her creativity, professionalism, and kindness. I encourage you all to go spend some time poking around her blog ( because it's loaded with good stuff that will help you better get to know her and her writing. I'm excited to have her on the blog today, and so appreciated this post. Enjoy the wisdom, everyone!

Alyson Schroll is a hater of poetry turned poet and impatient brainstormer turned novelist. The first money she ever made writing she spent on a tea thermos for her “Earl Grey, hot,” and a new Bible. Splickety Havok published Alyson’s flash fiction story, Map Maker’s Hotel. She has also  been a guest at the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writer’s Conference, in multiple classrooms, and on the blog of Realm Makers. Currently, Alyson balances being an author and a student as she studies at Cedarville University. Follow her online via her blog, Facebook, or Instagram @alysonschroll.

When I was headed to college for the first time, I was convinced that I was going to have more time than ever to edit my contemporary novel, write my mashup novel project, blog stronger content, and build my author platform. I compared my crazy high school life to the one I estimated I'd have at college. It would work, and I was so sure. At the time, I had an informal agreement with a literary agent who was skeptical of my confidence, but she too eventually agreed that I should have plenty of time to write, or at least enough flexibility to make it work. At home, I was attending three schools, working three part-time jobs, and being an active member of my ten-member family. Not to mention that I had hobbies and I sort of enjoyed to sleep now and then. I had added up all the hours and figured out that I'd have more time to write at college than at home. I was convinced the math worked.

Problem is, I suck at math.

Or rather, I grossly underestimated the demands of college life.

Writing quickly got squeezed out of my life, and I got overwhelmed by how far I had misjudged being a college student. I learned that writing couldn't be my life. Studying had to be my priority. Plus, I had friends to invest time into and a job to work hard at. My life had shifted chapters, and writing wasn't the focus of this one. It was frustrating.

Your life won't stay where it is forever, and writing may not always be the most important thing. You may not physically have time to write what you want, to invest creatively in your stories. Most of you will reach a point where writing can't be your life, and I have learned a few things that I hope might help you through that shocking reality.

Write what you love. When writing can't be your life, the times you do get to write may be sparse. Make sure that when you get the chance, you write something you love. Enjoy the story. Enjoy the characters. Have fun with your project. You need to be able to treasure your writing time, so make sure you love it. If you don't love it, put your story aside and brainstorm something new. When writing can't be your life, it's vital that you enjoy what you are doing.

Write when you can enjoy it. Sometimes setting goals like, "I'll write fifteen minutes every day" can be good. However, the stress of squeezing that time in late at night can easily suck the fun out of writing. Do everything you can to find time to write, but do it when you can enjoy it. Don't put an undo amount of weight on a particular time of day if are making yourself miserable. Get creative. Find a place you enjoy writing, whether that's a coffee shop or even a friend's house. Experiment and find a time and place where writing is fun and productive.

Write without deadlines (if possible.) If writing's not your life at the moment, that probably means that you have other things demanding a lot of your time. School assignments, work, and family all require all a lot from you, including strict schedules to be kept. All these things are good, but be careful not to turn writing into another item to be checked off a list at a certain time. If at all possible, don't give yourself deadlines. Don't tell yourself that you need to have 20,000 words or certain number of chapters written by a certain date. What this does is allow you to separate your writing from the other aspects of your life. You'll treat it differently, therefore you will be able to enjoy it more.

When I went away to college, I didn't want to accept the reality that writing couldn't be the focus of my life. When the course of your life shifts—because it will—you may find yourself in a similar situation. You may not like that—and boy can I relate!—but if you write what you love, write when you can enjoy it, and write without deadlines, you should be able to squeeze in some writing here and there and maintain an excitement and joy for the process.

I hope that you never stop writing because you're a writer, and that's what you do whether it's a small part or big part of your life.

Have you had to deal with writing taking a back seat in your life? What have you found as encouragement in those times?

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

NaNoWriMo Day 22 Check-In

How's day 22 going, writers?

I wrote 2,500 words this morning, which felt great. But my kids are out of school for Thanksgiving starting tomorrow, so I know the rest of the week is going to be funky for me.

How about you? If you're American, do you anticipate getting more or less done over the holiday? 

Monday, November 21, 2016

NaNoWriMo Day 21 Check-In

After a weekend of no words, I need to catch up.

So far I have 1,200 words. My afternoon will be full of grocery shopping and kids, so my next chance to write will be this evening. I'm hoping after the kids are in bed, a second wave of energy will kick in.

How are you guys doing?

9 Ideas To Make Room In Your Life For Writing

Stephanie Morrill is the creator of and the author of several young adult novels, including the historical mystery, The Lost Girl of Astor Street, which releases in February 2017. Despite loving cloche hats and drop-waist dresses, Stephanie would have been a terrible flapper because she can’t do the Charleston and looks awful with bobbed hair. She and her near-constant ponytail live in Kansas City with her husband and three kids. You can connect with her on FacebookTwitterPinterest, Instagram, and sign up for monthly updates on her authorwebsite.

Last Thursday, I sent out an issue of Go Teen Writers Notes about a few things I've done to make room in my life for writing. I encouraged recipients to hit reply with tactics they've adopted, and it was so fun seeing all the responses come in.

Here are the four I mentioned in the newsletter:

1. I use every minute of my writing time. What I mean is, if I have an hour to write, I'm getting better at using my entire hour. If I hit a milestone (like finishing a chapter or passing a word count goal) around minute 55, my past tendency has been to think, "Well, I'll just stop here. I'm practically out of time anyway." I'm getting better about writing up until the moment I have to shut down for the day. Maybe that's only an extra 100 words or so, but that adds up!

2. I think through my next scene while I'm away from my computer. Sometimes this is easy to do because the story has its claws in me. But other times, I have to make choices about not engaging in an audio book or listening to a podcast so that I'm providing myself the quiet space I need for thinking.

3. I let the other people in my life know that I require time to write. When I'm in a season of writing a lot—whether it's NaNo, a publisher's deadline, or a personal goal—it impacts the people around me. Especially the people who live under my roof. I'm getting a lot better at working with my husband to get writing time I need. When I lived with my parents, they were also great about giving me the time and space for writing, when I was good about expressing my need for it.

4. During writing time, I work on my story first and do all my other writerly things after. I have lots of things on my to-do list all the time. It's easy for me to let writing time get squeezed out by writing-related things (like responding to emails from writers, writing blog posts, marketing stuff, etc.) But I've found if I prioritize writing time, those other things still seem to get done. I talked some about that at the start of the year in my post, How To Make Effective Goals When Facing The Unknown.

And then here are the others that were submitted:

Make use of your lunch hour or free period:

Many writers are taking their study hall or lunch time and using it for writing.

Julian Daventry said, "I make time for my writing by sometimes not eating during my lunch break at work - gives me extra time to get some words in.  Or I multitask! I try to fit in typing in odd places - watching my younger siblings, or when in the non-drivers seat of a car."

Kaitee Hart said, "I took study hall this year, so I often use that time to write or think of something to write, or read through other books for inspiration."

And Taisha said, "Right now school is really overwhelming so one thing I found out to be helpful is to work on my NaNoWriMo novel in the bus! I have a Google docs document available offline and I'll just type my story then! Makes the ride flies by quite fast too."

Prioritize it late at night or early in the morning:

Another trend I noticed in responses was how many writers make writing the first thing they do, or the last thing they do.

  • "I write during spare moments at school and then at night before I go to bed, when my brain feels most awake and I have free time." - Katelyn Allred
  • "I write in bed (by hand) till I fall asleep. The hard part is transferring the written story to the computer. But while doing so I get to edit the story and polish at the same time so it works well for me." -Maryam Abdulla
  • "I have a certain time every night that is used for writing.  I've been writing before bed almost every night for the past 3 or 4 years, so it's now become a habit.  Things don't feel right if I don't write a bit before hitting the pillow!" - Julian Daventry
  • "I get up early. I do almost all my writing before work, between the time of 6-7am. I do some writing sometimes during the day, if I both have time and feel like it. And in the evening I ALWAYS journal, even if it's just something small, before I go to bed." - Keturah Lamb

Jessica Staricka sent me an amazing and inspiring email about why she's chosen to get up early:

I wanted to contribute how I make time for my writing because I've made some new habits in the last few months that I know have changed my writing life, and my life in general, forever. 
I'm a junior in college now, and this semester I have no classes until 1pm. I was sick of doing all of my homework all evening and then getting so burned out I just didn't feel like writing. Thanks to my 1pm classes, I decided I would get up an hour earlier each day of classes and do my writing first thing. I reported this to my academic adviser and told him, "...but I'm not getting up at 5am to write before work. That's just not happening." 
He said quietly, "Well, I do." 
My fate was sealed! After that, I had no excuse not to get up at dawn, too. That's when my resolution really began: every single day, no matter how early it is, no matter what important function is going on later that day, no matter how much homework I have, I get up and write for a carefully timed hour first. 
Since I started, I haven't missed a day. I'm at 65 days as I type this email!
Isn't that amazing??

Don't wait for long stretches of time:

Marja wrote to me about writing in 10 minute sessions: "This is something I learned from the book Write Your Novel In 10 Minutes A Day by Katharine Grubb. I set my timer for 10 minutes and write like a madman. 10 minutes of writing every day is better than the one hour I never find - and never write.

And Sarah said, "I usually try to squeeze in a little bit of writing every day, or most days. Even writing a little bit between school and extra-circular activities can go a long way."

Don't wait for your computer:

Go old school with a notebook and pen like Marja suggested, or use your phone!

  • My notebook goes where I go, so I can write wherever I want. It is also faster, just opening my notebook and going. A a computer is asking for my 2-year old to leave her toys, wanting to type as well. (Marja)
  • I write before and after dance, in the car (mainly on my phone) and basically whenever I find time. (Gabriella S.)

Get ruthless about your priorities:

If we want to do big things like write novels, we have to make cuts elsewhere in our life. Megan Croyle said that she  prioritizes using the rocks and sand method, which I talked about in this post. Marja said she cut distractions like Facebook and other apps on her phone that were pulling her away from writing.

Have you done something on this list that's made a big impact on your writing? Or do you have something to add to the list?

Saturday, November 19, 2016

NaNoWriMo Days 19 and 20 Check-In

Getting words written on the weekends has been tough for me, and so far this weekend is no exception. I wrote zero words on Saturday. Maybe I'll get a few in on Sunday? Regardless, I'll be playing catch-up on Monday and Tuesday.

How has it been for you guys?

Friday, November 18, 2016

NaNoWriMo Day 18 Check-In

I really struggled to stay on task today. Maybe it's a Friday thing? Or because I was getting interrupted by kid-related stuff more than normal? Even when I had a stretch of not-being-interrupted time, it was hard to buckle down and focus. I finally set a timer for myself hoping that it would make me stop popping over to email or Twitter.

How about you?

Is The Wrong Character Telling Your Story?

Shannon Dittemore is the author of the Angel Eyes trilogy. She has an overactive imagination and a passion for truth. Her lifelong journey to combine the two is responsible for a stint at Portland Bible College, performances with local theater companies, and a love of all things literary. When she isn’t writing, she spends her days with her husband, Matt, imagining things unseen and chasing their two children around their home in Northern California. To connect with Shan, check out her website, FB, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest.

Have you considered the possibility that your story is being told by the wrong character?

Let's say, in your story, there's a house on fire. Not a small, flickering flame either. A fireball of destruction, licking away at the old timbers, popping and snapping as it turns the family residence to ash. And let's say, for example's sake, you have three vital characters in this scene.

Tell me then, which character is best positioned to tell this story?

The boy across the street watching the tragedy unfold.

The fireman just outside on the lawn.

Or the young mother inside the house looking frantically for her two children.

The young mother, yes? Closest to the action, nearest to the danger. Her life and the lives of her littles are at risk. This burning house, this story--it's hers to tell.

Or is it? Nine times out of ten I'd choose to tell this story from the perspective of the young mother, but a case could be made for watching the scene unfold through the eyes of either the boy or the fireman.

To make that possible, we need to ask ourselves some 'What If' questions.

What if the boy is the one who started the fire? What if he did it on purpose? What if he started the fire on accident but finds that he likes the feeling of destroying someone else's property? What if this is the start of something devious in a child? If it is, then this story, this burning house might actually be his story to tell.

Or. What if this house is just one in a string of several arsonist attacks the fireman has responded to in this neighborhood? What if a message has been scrawled to him on the front door? What if this specific fireman is the only one who can unravel what's really going on in the small town? If he is, then this story might well be his.

We could go on and on, couldn't we? Asking questions that force us to consider every option on the table. And the options are countless. Perhaps after asking yourself a series of 'What If' questions, you decide that this story would be best served if viewed through the eyes of multiple characters. Or perhaps you decide you've added too many characters to the scene. Maybe the house burns without a fireman nearby to help.

Who knows?

The point is that the questions we ask ourselves about our story, serve to make it better. And when it comes to zeroing in on the perfect narrator, it's important that we take the time to ask ourselves a slew of questions. Not every set of questions will lead to superior scenarios or to motivations that you'll choose to incorporate into your story, but it's an exercise that, among other positives, might illuminate the perfect narrator for your tale.

Let's do something a little different in the comments section today, alright?

Pick a character from our example, either the boy or the fireman, and I want you to convince me that the burning house is their story to tell. You can convince me however you like, but perhaps using 'What If' questions, as I did, will get your brain and your fingers moving.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

NaNoWriMo Day 17 Check-In

I only allowed myself to write 2,000 words today, because there were a few things I had been ignoring that I just could not ignore any longer. Like the emails piling up in my inbox. Or the way I vanished from social media these last weeks.

One thing I had neglected to share was the very pretty full artwork for The Lost Girl of Astor Street, which I put up on my blog this morning.

How's the day going for you? What kind of things have you been neglecting so you can write?

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

NaNoWriMo Day 16 Check-In

Hi, writers!

I wrote about 1,900 words this morning. I've found that I'm much faster when I take about five minutes to write a brief summary of the scene I'm going to write. Have you found any tricks that are helping you get words on the page?

If you missed it, Jill did a great post with 8 tips for pushing through to the end of NaNoWriMo.

Eager to hear how your day is going!

8 Mid-Month NaNoWriMo Tips For Making It Through

Jill Williamson is a chocolate loving, daydreaming, creator of kingdoms. She writes weird books in lots of weird genres like fantasy (Blood of Kings and Kinsman Chronicles), science fiction (Replication), and dystopian (The Safe Lands trilogy). Find Jill on FacebookTwitterPinterest, or on her author website. You can also try two of her fantasy novels for free here and here.

It's the middle of November, which means the middle of National Novel Writing Month.

How you doing so far?

I had a rough weekend. I had company in from out of town. They were here for four days, and while I did try to write in the early, early morning or after everyone went to bed, I didn't do very well. I only managed about 2000 words for four days. So I'm a little behind on my own goals.

This is the time of the month when many authors slow down. They could be losing steam. Or life might be getting in the way. Whatever the reason, if you've made winning NaNo your goal, you've got to stick with it. Here are some tips to making it through to the end.

1. Don't delete. Don't edit!
Seriously. Due to my company this past weekend, I tried to get up early and type, but I was so tired that I wasn't being very effective. I managed 1333 words on Thursday, then did 1248 on Friday. Saturday I sat down to get some words in, and I was so out of it (fatigue-wise) that I tried to get going by editing Friday's words, and I ended up deleting several hundred words as I rewrote things. It was really sad. If you're wanting to reach that daily word count, and in the end, reach 50K, don't delete anything. Don't edit. You can do all that later on when you have more time. For now, just get those words out onto the page!

2. Don't stop to research.
Talk about a time killer. Research will sap hours off the clock. You might think, "Ooh. I just need to Google this one thing, and then two hours later you're pulling out your hair because you got distracted by a nifty list of plot types. Stay focused. If you come to a place in your story where you need research, use a placeholder or add a comment to remind yourself later, when you're in editing mode, that this is a place that needs some more work.

3. Factor in time off for Thanksgiving.
Don't forget that a big holiday weekend is coming. This may mean even more writing time for you, which is great, but for many of us, it means a day with family, away from the computer, and a second day standing in lines, shopping. That's a lot of time away from the computer, so if you can put in some extra hours this week to compensate for the time you know you'll be taking off next week, it will go a long way toward reducing your holiday anxiety. It's no fun to be sitting at the dinner table, eating your holiday meal, while inside you're crying because the clock is ticking and you are behind on your word count. Plan ahead! You'll be glad you did.

4. Skip around. Write anything at all.
When you sit down at that computer, make your butt-in-chair time count. If you're stuck in your current scene, skip ahead and write the next scene. Or go write a future conversation you know is going to happen. Dialogue often comes quickly and can fill multiple pages. The point is to keep those fingers flying and write anything at all to get in your word count for the day.

5. Write extra words in unlikely places.
You might be surprised to find out that words add up quickly. If you've got some unavoidable errands to do today, get creative with your writing. No matter where you go, keep that brain working. Dwell on your idea. Daydream your way through the next scene you'll write. And get creative. Jot down some words of dialogue on the back of a receipt or a napkin. Type some out on your cell phone while waiting in line at the store. Dictate on your phone while taking a walk. Writing a few extra words here and there, then adding them in to the story when you get home can boost your word count in very pleasant ways.

6. Support each other with pep talks and word wars.
You likely know friends who are doing NaNo, so send them a word of encouragement and schedule in some word wars. Two or more are stronger than one, and people often get energized off the excitement of others. It's contagious. So if you're feeling discouraged, share in the comments and let us pump you up!

7. Stuck? Don't stop to figure it out.
At least not until you're completed your daily word count goal. One thing you can do is email some friends for brainstorming help or post an SOS for help on social media, then get back to work, writing a different area of the story. Once you've reached your word count for the day, then you can check and see if any great ideas came in that might help you through that rough patch.

8. Only entertain positive thoughts.
Your thoughts can help you, but they can also hurt you. Stay positive! If you find yourself thinking negative thoughts, stop! Tell yourself that you can do it. Chant "I think I can, I think I can" like the little engine. Because you CAN. But if you mope and bite your fingernails and procrastinate, then you will be sabotaging your success. So think positive and cheer yourself on.

So, how are you doing? Share your own mid-month tips in the comments, and if you're stuck, comment on how we can help you make it through.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

NaNoWriMo Halfway Check-In

Writers, today is day 15 of NaNoWriMo! You are halfway done! How has today gone for you?

If you've participated in NaNo before, I'd love to know if you've found the first half or the second half of the month to be the easiest.

Monday, November 14, 2016

NaNoWriMo Day 14 Check-In

Hey, writers!

Hope you're getting in lots of words today. Hard to believe we're nearly halfway done with NaNoWriMo!

I did a little over 2k in the 90 minutes that my baby slept this morning. I wrote zero words yesterday, so I need to catch up. Hopefully I get more time this afternoon!

How's it going for you?

Your Novel Is Like A Body

Stephanie here! I'm happy to introduce Abigail Mouring to you all. Today, she's offering us a unique perspective of how to view your novel. I think you'll enjoy it!

Abigail Mouring is a sophomore in college who loves linguistics, Charles Dickens, and singing at the top of her lungs. She loves to write stories that are unique and that mix several genres, yet have themes that are grounded in timeless truths. So far, she has completed one novel, is currently writing another novel, and has dabbled in a few short stories and journalistic articles. She knows personally the power of words to change hearts, change lives, and change the world, and she hopes to give this blessing to many others through her own writings!

Do you ever hear something so often, you stop really hearing it?
I do. And, I don’t know about you, but it is for that very reason that I love verbal illustrations. My favorite part of a very technical article or textbook is when the author says, “For example...” That is my cue to get excited, since I know that something memorable is coming my way.
And here’s something else easy to remember: your novel is like a body.    
 The Heart of a Novel:
It is odd how we refer to the heart when we speak about love or strong emotions. After all, the heart pumps blood and...well, it pumps blood. But really, I think the reason this expression is used is because if anything happens to your heart, you are in serious trouble – if not dead. Therefore, if any emotion comes "from your heart" it must be important.
So what does this have to do with a novel?
Have you read a book that was entertaining, but left you feeling empty inside? Not necessarily empty in a bad way, but empty in the sense that you haven't been changed -- even slightly. Every meaningful novel has a heart that is central to the story and gives every event purpose. The heart of a novel is the kind of theme that doesn't just appear at the climax in an epic line, but is woven through the story so tightly that, if it was taken away, the novel would collapse. This is what makes the difference between "good" novels and "great" novels.    

The Brain of a Novel:
The human brain is fascinating! You only need an elementary level introduction to it before you realize what a masterpiece your skull holds captive. Every movement -- let me say that again -- EVERY MOVEMENT happens because of your brain. We speak, think and move coherently because of the brain. All our body systems are controlled by it. 
So what does this have to do with a novel?  

Your novel plot should be like the brain. I could go on for forever and two days with analogies, but I'll just pick out three.

1) Logic. Imagine if your brain just allowed things to "happen" for no apparent reason at all. There you are, eating breakfast, when you suddenly jump up and start dancing. With a novel, all events should be intertwined and controlled by the plot that you shape. No one likes to be reading a story and suddenly get pulled off on a rabbit trail.
2) Complexity. Our brain can multi-task, hone in on one project, keep pace with conversation in a group, go deep in conversation with a friend, and just be an amazing juggler of all that needs to be done in our lives. In the same way, the scenes and conversations that make up our plots should not sit idle or serve as fluffy fillers, but rather be intentional in their purpose, moving the plot along.
3) Change: Brains are built to think – to interact with others and with the world around us. Constant repetition of a task or inaction can cause us to zone out or (even worse) to be painful aware of just how bored we are. Similarly, readers are quick to take note of plot that is just killing time, or isn’t really going anywhere. I like to think of it this way: there should never be a moment where the reader sets down my story and has no curiosity about what will happen next.  

The Limbs of a Novel:
Having a brain is a good thing. Having a heart is a good thing. In fact, if you didn't have these things, you wouldn't exactly be you -- or anything. But what's the good of thinking, "I would like to walk across the room," and having the cardiovascular ability to do so if you have no legs?
So what does this have to do with a novel?
 Characters are the limbs (the arms and legs) of a novel. Without characters, the plot (the brain) and the theme (the heart) of a novel are lifeless. Characters draw the readers in. Characters give readers a someone to mentally feel and fight for. Characters are the ones who take on your plot and theme and give them the spark of reality.
1) Just like our limbs carry us around from place to place, characters are what move the plot from scene to scene.
2) The same hands that can play with a puppy can also pull gunky hair balls out of the bathroom sink. The same legs that can dance the night away can also push against freezing, raging, river rapids. Characters must do the hard work as well as the enjoyable work. After all, that’s life, and that is what we relate to as readers.
3) Perhaps most importantly, we use our limbs to be relational. A handshake, a high-five, a hug, a dance, a friendly elbow in the side – we use our limbs to reach out and build relationships. I bring up this point, because I am of the firm belief that our lives are shaped by relationships. What follows then, is that we should invest in shaping relationships that our characters build off of and operate in.        
You may have heard some of these tips before, but I hope that hearing them in a different way helps you in your quest to be a better writer! Keep calm, stay strong, write on. 

Which part of writing stories comes easiest to you?

Saturday, November 12, 2016

NaNoWriMo Day 12 Check-In

Stephanie here. Amidst the bustle of a busy Saturday with three kiddos, I wrote over a thousand words and crossed 20k for my total word count. Yay!

I don't know if it's because I've been sick, or if it's where I am in the story, or just the normal grind of NaNo, but this week was definitely harder for me. How about you?

Friday, November 11, 2016

NaNoWriMo Day 11 Check-In

Hey, writers!

How's the day going? After writing over 2,000 words today, I'm at 19,488 words for the month. 

I love this writing quote, and I know we've posted it here before, but I just thought it would be a good one for NaNoWriMo season:

"Impeccable" is certainly not the word I would use to describe the writing I'm doing right now, but I'll fix that in December!

Why Do YOU Write?

Shannon Dittemore is the author of the Angel Eyes trilogy. She has an overactive imagination and a passion for truth. Her lifelong journey to combine the two is responsible for a stint at Portland Bible College, performances with local theater companies, and a love of all things literary. When she isn’t writing, she spends her days with her husband, Matt, imagining things unseen and chasing their two children around their home in Northern California. To connect with Shan, check out her website, FB, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest.

Every writer I've ever known has had moments of doubt. Hard times that make them wonder why it is they carve their hearts out daily and smear them on the page.

This past two months have been very difficult on our family and, by extension, my writing. We've had some serious health concerns to contend with, a death in the family, a tragedy to navigate all while dealing with a minor house remodel and car problems.

We've had some awesome things happen as well. My son made the All Star football team--Go North!--and we ended up getting a new car and brand new floors. Amazing, incredible blessings, but every single one of them have been time consuming. We're exhausted, and, out of necessity, we're evaluating everything we currently have going.

That includes my writing.

The truth? Writing stories takes a lot of time. It takes a lot of energy. It takes brain space and heart space. The publishing side of this thing can be ulcer inducing and ego deflating. It is often an industry that feels like you're dancing in someone else's shoes, trying to learn a routine that keeps changing: two steps forward, one step back. And while there is money to be had in telling stories, occasionally the thought takes hold that you could make more and work less if you just found a cubicle somewhere.

Sobering? A bit. But if you haven't had this moment of doubt yet, I can almost guarantee you, it's coming. If you want to be a career writer, you'll wrestle with these thoughts as we all do.

And so, I have to ask myself, and you have to ask yourself: Why do I write?

This isn't my first time asking the question. I've been here before. What I'm realizing tonight is that each time my answer is a little different. It shouldn't surprise me, I suppose. Life changes us. We grow, morph, adapt. Even the act of writing turns us into a different writer than the one that began. And so, because I'm going to ask you answer the question as well, I'll answer it once again.

Why do I write?

I write because story is the way I share truth with the world. It's the way I reach out. The way I connect. When I walk into a room or hike a trail, when I splash into the ocean or drag my hand along the bricks of a century-old building, when I'm moved to tears or trembling with excitement, every part of me is learning the moment, cataloguing it, storing it away for later use. I write because everything I see, smell, touch, taste, and sense is experienced as a storyteller. I am a writer. Not writing won't change that. Not anymore. I started as a dabbler. As someone who wanted an outlet for my creativity and while I certainly don't have it all figured out, the journey has changed me. It's turned me into someone who sees the world as a writer does. So, I write. And though I don't relish these times of difficulty, I think they make the writing deeper, more authentic, rich with the kind of truth that was dug up in the course of living.

At least that's my answer for today. It's a good one, I think. An honest answer, if a bit fanciful. The kind of answer that'll help me stay the course when everything in me is wondering about that cubicle.

And now I must ask you.

Have you asked yourself this question yet? Have you made yourself answer it? Either way, I'd love to know. Why do you write stories, friend?

Thursday, November 10, 2016

NaNoWriMo Day 10 Check-In

How's Thursday going, writers?

I wrote 2,000 words today, and I'm really having a swell time with the story. I'm eager to hear how you guys are doing!

I would also love to know when you guys write. In the morning before school? Afternoon? Late at night? Do you sit down and do all your words at once, or do you write it bursts throughout the day?

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

NaNoWriMo Day 9 Check-In

I'm sitting at a bit over a thousand words for the day, I have about forty minutes now while my baby naps and the big kids watch TV shows, so we'll see how much more I'm able to get before I have to pause for dinner.

How's your day going?

Writing Romance That Works a Guest Post by Hillary Manton Lodge

Jill here.

I usually work at writing conferences. Now, you're never too published to learn, and I'm often totally jealous of the conferees who get to go to all the workshops because I want to learn, too! I just get so busy talking to people that I never even look at the schedule unless I'm checking to make sure I'm not late for my next appointment.

Well, last conference I attended, my friend Dana happened by me in a moment of down time and said she was on her way to Hillary Manton Lodge's romance workshop. I gasped, jumped up, and followed her. I've known Hillary for some time now. She is a fabulous writer. Her books make me laugh. And she's funny in person too. Her workshop was titled Writing Romance That Works and she's given me permission to share some of the class with you all here on the blog. Get ready to take notes, those of you who need tips on writing romances. This is good stuff.

Hillary Manton Lodge is the author of five novels, including Together at the Table, Reservations for Two, and the INSPY Award-nominated A Table by the Window. A graduate of the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism, Hillary discovered the world of cuisine during her internship at Northwest Palate Magazine. When not writing books, blogs, or Facebook posts, she enjoys experimenting in the kitchen, watching foreign films, attending indie concerts, and exploring her most recent hometown of Portland, Oregon. She shares her home with her husband, Danny, and their Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Shiloh and Sylvie. Visit her online at

It can be really difficult to get two characters to kiss sometimesand have it make sense in your book! So I had to really sit down and think deep thoughts about romance and plot and structure.

Romance hinges on character. Unless you have characters that your readers love and are are attached to, any romance between them will ring false. Readers won't care whether or not the characters fall in love.

Successful romance lives at the intersection of plot and character.

Here are four elements that I reach for when I am building a character. Your female and male characters BOTH need each of these elements, and they must match each other's well.

Altruism - This is a moment of selflessness or goodness that tells us this character is worth caring about. This is the Blake Snyder Save the Cat moment (for those of you familiar with that concept.) It's a moment within the first act where your character does something out of kindness or goodness that makes the viewer/reader like him. Let's look at Doctor Who. The most recent doctor played by Peter Capaldi didn't do very well with fans his first season out. Grouchy doctor just didn't appeal to viewers by itself. The writers neglected to give him a Save the Cat moment, and because of that, they had some of the lowest ratings ever that season. They course-corrected in the next season with a storyline that forced the Doctor to make a tough choice. Will he save a child who will grow up to be his enemy? He did. And for the rest of the season, he was known to say, "I'm the Doctor, and I save people." This gave him altruism, which also saved his character and increased the show's ratings!

Damage - This is the damage or hindrance that keeps the character from realizing her goals. This is not simply a flaw. This is deeper than a flaw.

Anne Shirley is an orphan. There is a stigma there that she strives to overcome. Orphans put strychnine in the well. You can't trust an orphan. They amount to no good, etc. Lizzie Bennett is a poor woman with an embarrassing family. She has no dowry. Her life situation causes her damage.

Goal - What your character wants. This may not be what your character needs. Think about the show Parks & Recreation. The show is all about a woman who wants to build a park. Leslie Knope wants to fill in the pit in front of her friend Anne's house and build a park. The show is about so much more than that, but building that park is Leslie's goal, and she keeps coming back to it again and again.

A Superpower - This is a thing for your character to be good at, a way for her to contribute. Creating active characters doesn't happen by accident. One great way to put your character in the center of the activity (the plot) is to give her something to be good at.

Katniss Everdeen is a great example with her hunting skills with a bow. She is skilled enough to succeed in the Hunger Games. Anne Shirley has her imagination, which helps her navigate her broken life. Lizzie Bennett has her wit, humor, cleverness, which makes her situation in life much more bearable.

So, if you combine Superpower + Damage = that will give you an INTERESTING character.

Add a character's Goals + Altruism = and that makes them WORTHY of reader's attention and the attention of the romantic interest.

Combine Interesting + Worthy + Active (the character being an active part of the plot and making choices that lead to a plot resolution) = a COMPELLING character

Breaking It Down
While You Were Sleeping

To show you how this looks, here is a breakdown of Lucy and Jack's four elements. If you haven't seen this movie, you must. It's a lot of fun. It's also one of my (Jill's) absolute favorite movies, ever. I just adore it. It's so well done.


Altruism - Lucy quit school to take care of her dad (who had cancer). She now works at the subway station, the result of having given up on school.

Damage - She lost her father and has been alone ever since. She has no family, except for a cat.

Goal - She might sit in a subway booth every day, taking tokens, but she dreams of going to Florence, Italy someday and even has a passport in her pocket, just in case. She also dreams of Peter.

A Superpower - From the outside, it looks as though she has nothing, but the loss of her father made her empathetic. She is kind to all people, even annoying people. She works holidays. She even puts up with Joe Jr. Her superpower is her kind heart. It also gets her into trouble later.


Altruism - Jack is the good son. While his brother Peter went off to college and became a rich and successful lawyer, Jack stayed in the family business of buying furniture from dead people.

Damage - He has lived his whole life in his brother's shadow and has allowed his loyalty to stop him from pursuing his life goals.

Goal - He wants to build rocking chairs and go into business on his own.

A Superpower - Jack is steady and capable. He takes care of his family and still attends mass with them. He is always there. He is loyal. And when he meets Lucy, he starts trying to take care of her too.

This works great in the movie because their needs fit what the other person has to offer. Jack has a large family that Lucy so desperately wants. Lucy is the nice girl that Jack has always looked for. She encourages him in his dreams. The only problem is, he thinks she's engaged to his brother (who is in a coma)! So typical for Jack. Only, Lucy has a secret! She's not engaged to Peter. A nurse was mistaken when she told the family that news, and Lucy was too nice to set everyone straight.

Romance Rules

Here is a list of romance rules to help keep your fictional romance on track so that readers will be rooting for that happy ending.

Romance Rule #1: The two love interests must deserve each other.

Romance Rule #2: The romance much benefit both characters. Each one has something the other needs.

Romance Rule #3: We must believe the love interests want each other. Give us some mushy, gooey chemistry. Readers need to see interest spark from the start.

Romance Rule #4: The romance must have believable obstacles. Take Pride and Prejudice for example. Some obstacles to Darcy and Lizzie's love are: Darcy's attitude, the Bennett family's financial state, Lizzie's crazy family, Caroline Bingley's interference, Mr. Collins, Darcy being sort-of promised to Lady Anne de Bourgh, and of course Wickham's machinations.

Romance Rule #5: The romance must be paced with care. Make sure something is happening throughout the story. Don't just have two characters randomly falling in love at the end.

Romance Rule #6: At some point, the reader must lose hope in a happy ending. This is to set up the emotional payoff at the end.

Romance Rule #7: For an emotionally satisfying ending, the end must make up for the pain.

Remember: Readers Want To See . . .

Characters they love, who fall for each other, who almost don't make it, but come out on the other side stronger and more together.

To thank Hillary for sharing her wisdom with us, we're giving away a copy of her book A Table by the Window. Enter on the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is open to anyone in the world, but only entrants in the USA are eligible to win a print copy while an international winner would receive a digital copy due to shipping costs.

Heirloom recipes, family secrets…and a chance for love 

The youngest heir to a French-Italian restaurant dynasty, food writer Juliette D’Alisa has spent her life negotiating her skill with words and her restaurant aspirations. When her brother Nico offers her a chance to open a restaurant together, she feels torn—does she really have what it takes? Should she risk leaving her journalism career?

After the death of her grandmother, Juliette discovers an antique photograph of a man who looks strikingly like her brother. As the truth behind the picture reveals romance and dark secrets, Juliette struggles to keep the mystery away from her nosy family until she can uncover the whole story.

Inspired by her grandmother’s evolving story, Juliette resolves to explore the world of online dating. To her surprise, she finds a kindred spirit in Neil McLaren, a handsome immunologist based in Memphis, Tennessee. With a long-distance relationship simmering, Juliette faces life-shifting decisions. How can she possibly choose between a promising culinary life and Neil, a man a world away in more ways than one? And is it possible her Grandmother’s story can help show the way?

What's your favorite recipe that you cook on your own? Any kind of food counts. Answer in the comments.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

NaNoWriMo Day 8 Check-In

Yesterday I was so sick (plus had two sick kids at home) that I didn't even attempt to write. Just holding up a book so I could read felt physically taxing!

Today, while it wasn't prettylots of nose-blowing, tea-making, and zoning outI wrote a little over 2,000 words.

How's your day going, writers?

Monday, November 7, 2016

NaNoWriMo Day 7 Check-In

Hey there, writing machines. How goes it?

Jill here. I had a rough Monday. Tough to get the words out today, sadly, and I have no excuse. I wrote myself into a circle and knew I needed to change something, but couldn't figure out what. I ended up adding two new chapters, which I'm not sure I actually want to do, but it was the only way to move past the Stuck. It was like my engine was a little cold today or something. I've hit 2397 words, which is enough to quit, so I will. I need to make dinner. Maybe I'll get a second steam and come back, but if not, at least I cut out in the middle of a scene, which often makes it easier to get started the next day.

I'm at 19,347 so far for November. How are all you doing? I'm curious if anyone else had a bad case of the Mondays or if it was only me?

Writing Advice Examined: If you want to be published, do you really have to pick just one genre?

Stephanie Morrill is the creator of and the author of several young adult novels, including the historical mystery, The Lost Girl of Astor Street, which releases in February 2017. Despite loving cloche hats and drop-waist dresses, Stephanie would have been a terrible flapper because she can’t do the Charleston and looks awful with bobbed hair. She and her near-constant ponytail live in Kansas City with her husband and three kids. You can connect with her on FacebookTwitterPinterest, Instagram, and sign up for monthly updates on her author website.

When teen writers ask me about being published, one of the most common questions I get is about the idea of needing to pick one genre. They'll say something like, "Is it true that editors only want you to publish in one genre? I like to write lots of different thingswhat should I do?"

I've also had writers tell me that they've chosen to self-publish because they don't want to have to pick a genre, and this way they can write whatever they want. I always internally cringe a bit at this one. Not because I don't understand this position; as an artist, I can totally relate to wanting to write whatever I want, whenever I feel like it.

The reason I cringe is that this outlookI'm going to self-publish because I want to write whatever I wantignores the "Why?" behind the advice of picking one genre, which is to satisfy readers.

Think about your favorite writer. Let's say it's Maggie Stiefvater, who mostly writes paranormal YA. What if you've just finished the Raven Cycle series, and you've spent months obsessing about the wonderfully strange world of Henrietta, and you're waiting for Maggie to announce her next book.

And what if her next book is a contemporary romance novel about a single mom who learns she's dying of cancer on the same day that she meets Mr. Right.

Now, that's not a bad story idea. Maybe you like contemporary romances. Maybe if it was another author, you would see that description and think, "That could be good." But after being immersed in a series where trees speak Latin and a boy can bring objects back from his dreams ... you'd be disappointed, right? Because you have certain expectations about what reading a Maggie Stiefvater book will be like.

When industry professionals give you the advice of picking a genre, that is why. Because they know the value of protecting the reader's experience and expectations. Yeah, it matters financially (people tend to only keep buying books from authors they continue to like) but if you care about your readers, like most authors do, it matters in that sense too.

So whether you're seeking traditional or indie publishing, this is an issue worth examining.

But I like to write lots of different types of books! What do I do?

If you are a young writer or a hobby writer, you just keep writing lots of different types of books. Don't feel pressured to pick. If you want to write a medieval fantasy, followed by a 1940s murder mystery, and then a novel in verse, go for it.

The more you write, the more you're going to learn about what kinds of stories you like to tell. You'll start to notice patterns and themes, and even if you still like to write eclectic stories, you'll start to figure out what links them all.

And even if you do all this, and you mostly write one genre, you might still find you have a wild hair of an idea that you're just dying to write. You still can. Not everything you write has to be published. But if you do decide you want to publish that book...

How can I break this rule?

Lots of writers do. You can probably even name a few. Here are some ideas for how to get away with it:

Be "close enough": Roseanna White writes Biblical fiction and also historical romance. Even though they're different genres, she writes them under the same name. The readers for these are close enough that it's fine. Same goes for Jill Williamson, and her various speculative fiction novels.

Make it gradual: While it wouldn't be a very smart audience-building move to write a historical mystery, and then follow it up with a contemporary romance, you can gradually make your way there. For example, after the historical mystery, you could follow it up with a historical romance with elements of mystery. And then it could be a dual generation story where you're dealing with a contemporary setting and a historical setting.With each new book, you can tweak the genre just a bit.

If you want to explore that idea more, this season of Writing Excuses has focused on something they call "Elemental Genre" and it can really help you dig into layering genres.

Use a pen name: Or maybe you have two or more genres you want to write in that draw different audiences. Maybe you like writing historical fantasy for teens, but you also like the futuristic sci-fi for adults too. If you have two distinct author brands that you're wanting to pursue, that's when a pen name can be a good idea.

I would love to hear what kind of genres you guys write! It's helpful for us as we plan posts.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

NaNoWriMo Day 6 Check-In

I have about 300 words so far today, and I'm still plodding along.

If you're in the U.S., did you use your extra hour for writing? I used mine to finish up Stranger Things. No regrets!

Back to it over here. I'm eager to hear how Sunday is going for y'all!

Saturday, November 5, 2016

NaNoWriMo Day 5 Check-In

Saturdays are hectic at our house, and it's rare for me to write, so I knew finding time today could be a struggle. Between errands and housework, I've managed 1,644 words so far. I feel okay about that. I was really hoping for 2,000, but I just don't know that I'll get there with all the other items lined up on my to-do list.

I know some of you struggle more on weekdays due to homework and school hours. I hope you're able to make great progress today!

Friday, November 4, 2016

NaNoWriMo Day 4 Check-In

I've struggled today.

Maybe it's that I pushed myself harder yesterday. Or it could be that I'm still groggy from watching the Cubs win. Or maybe it's just one of those flukey writing days where the story isn't clicking for me.

Whatever the cause, I'm not a fan. I've written 1,463 so far, and that might be it for the day.

Hope the day is going well for you!