With only two days to go before National Novel Writing Month kicks off November 1st, writers around the globe (including me) are getting excited. And I have already started prepping for NaNoWriMo as a Pantser.
NaNoWriMo, for newcomers, is an annual, international, free event where writers (from seasoned pros to dreamers still in grade school) dedicate time to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboards) and write as many words as possible in the month of November, with the goal being a 50,000 word novel.
"So what is a 'Pantser'?" you may ask.
A 'Pantser' is someone who shows up at midnight November 1st with no outlines, no planning, just an inspiration/idea which we forge ahead with until our books are completed.
For writers who wish to be better prepared, there are also 'Planners', who outline their books in advance, and 'Plantsers', who do some basic planning but nothing in-depth (a hybrid of Planner and Pantser).
"Wait," you may say, "What would a Pantser possibly have to do to 'prep' for NaNoWriMo?"
I'm so glad you asked!
Here is my go-to pre-NaNoWriMo checklist:
-1.) "Announce" A NaNo Novel.
If you're new to NaNoWriMo, you'll want to create a free account HERE so that you can "announce" (set up the details about) your writing project for this year and do the other things on this list.
-2.) Find some buddies/join your "home region".
You may have some buddies from previous years, but the more the merrier! Check out your writer friends on social media and exchange usernames to have a list of accountability partners and encouragement set up before day 1. Want an easy start? Add me as a buddy HERE.
Your "home region" will have local events called "write-ins" in your time zone which you can participate in throughout the month.
-3.) Make a writing playlist.
Okay, so I know this may cross the line into "Plantsing" for some, but nothing sets the mood for barreling through 1,600 words a day like an epic playlist.
-4.) Upload a "working cover" and assign your self-awarded badges
NaNoWriMo stats show that authors with a working cover/working title tend to "win" (hit 50,000 words) more than those who do not. Need something cheap? You can get a working cover for as little s $5 US from Getcovers.com HERE (no, I am not being paid/sponsored to promote them and YES, I have used them myself for all of my working covers).
You can find your self-awarded badges section under your "project" once you announce your novel. Anything from which kind of WriMo you're going to be (planner/pantser/plantser) to small-but-important writing milestones.
-5.) Grab your "Halo"
The final thing on my checklist is something I do to give back to the nonprofit organization, "The Office of Letters and Light" who organizes NaNoWriMo every year both for adult writers and for in-school/in-library writing programs.
I want to put a disclaimer that financial donations ARE NOT REQUIRED to participate in NaNoWriMo.
However, when you make a donation of $5 US or more, a digital halo is added above your profile picture. Many writers wait until double-up donation day to claim their halo for the year, but it's always a nice "thank-you" to the group and keeps this amazing project running.
Now that I've shared my checklist, it's time to get ready for NaNoWriMo!
Looking for some prepping help? Want to come join the fun with a live NaNoWriMo launch party? AutoCrit has you covered!
To celebrate the audiobook launch, Talon David and I are throwing a launch party!
Come join us to celebrate the launch of the audiobook on an RSVP-required live party!
-When: TBD - Awaiting final date from publisher
-Where: Online meeting; link will only be e-mail to people who RSVP (RSVPs coming soon)
-What: Join in for a QA with Talon and I, enter a giveaway for a chance to win THREE MONTHS of Audible membership (US only), a signed copy of TVTTF, OR a cash prize equivalent via PayPal (international only).
October 2021 fantasy giveaways, book sales, & promos are PACKED and filled with amazing bookish merch and reads!
Not sure how to keep up with them all?
Here are the ones I've compiled for October:
Want to be the first to know about giveaways, sales, and promotions in the future?
Sign up for my e-mail list HERE for frequent updates on book news, new releases, and events like these. I'll even throw in a free book to thank you for signing up!
Remember the paranormal/fantasy romance box set with 40 full-length novels by award-winning and bestselling authors that my book, Splitting Dawn, is a part of?
Well, I have great news!
The Realm of Darkness box set is available for pre-order on Barnes & Noble!
But wait, there's more...
To celebrate, the Realm of Darkness authors are running a promo especially for readers who pre-order a copy on Barnes & Noble:
-Pre-order a copy of Realm of Darkness (only 99 cents right now) on Barnes and Noble HERE
-And we will give you a free collection of short stories from the Realm of Darkness authors (you can claim your free collection HERE)
Not a Barnes & Noble Reader? No problem!
-Pre-order on Apple Books HERE and claim a free Beverage Companion to go with the set HERE.
-Pre-order on Amazon HERE and e-mail your pre-order receipt to firstname.lastname@example.org for an advance reader copy of my book in the set, Splitting Dawn.
I lost one of my most beloved family members this week. A family member who shaped many of the core characteristics of who I am since I was a child.
Loss of a loved one is impossibly hard in so many ways and for so many reasons. Dealing with loss... as a writer... has far more impact than I realized, though.
And while the impact is brutally painful, and the reality is that my perfectly controlled worlds will never be carried over into the plain of existence I currently inhabit, the impact of a loss on me as a writer shows me positive sides as well.
Experiencing loss makes us human. The never-ending struggle with grief following the loss of a close loved one is exhausting, but it's one that most of us battle through.
Some days will be better than others. 'They're in a better place,' some say, and yes, in this case I personally agree, but I'm not here to argue religion. "They're not in pain anymore," others will do their best to console, and yes, you know they're right, too.
But where do we, Fantasy readers, often turn when societal norms seem to fail us?
If you're like me, you turn to books.
Books where characters struggle with life, death, love, loss, and more in richly-detailed glory.
Why is that?
Because the writer poured a piece of their soul into those pages. We find in their words a connection to someone else who at the very least imagines a pain similar to our own. We know someone in this world exists who understands us, who can truly imagine what it is like to be in our shoes.
And those scenes, the ones that really mean something to us as readers, don't happen on accident.
They are born out of the raw reality of the writer's own soul. They represent the heartaches and joys, the highest highs and soul-crushing lows of their progenitor.
So while writing is the last thing, emotionally-speaking, that I feel like doing right now, it is, perhaps, the best thing to do. I'll take a pause, work through the emotions and the memories, and then pour those emotions into scenes which may one day be read by others seeking the same comradery and escape that I seek as I read today.
Hold your loved ones a little tighter the next time you see them. Each day is a gift. And gifts are all the better when shared with those we love.
Are you new to my writing/self-publishing journey? Check out my about me blog HERE
My Written World
Here I share more about the worlds I write, lessons I'm learning as I strive to become a successful author, and my real-life travel and cooking adventures along the way.