Don’t forget to update your word count on a regular basis.  Not only is it a huge incentive to watch the curve of your word count graph steadily climb through the month, but you can also earn three separate NaNo badges for streaks of updating your word count on successive days (5-days, 10-days & all 30-days).

You’re not limited to only one update each day, by the way – I make it a habit to update my word count every time I take a break, right after I save the last writing session in at least two places.

If you’re new to the NaNoWriMo website and are not sure how to update, here’s the easiest way:   Click on the down arrow next to the “#### words so far” at the every top of every page of the website.  Fill in your total word count in the box that drops down and click “Update.”  Just remember don’t use a comma in the number as a thousands separator – just type in the numbers themselves.Update Wordcount


Update your word count daily during November

Ponderous Plotting continued

Sheesh! I had no idea you plotters are so meticulous.notepad

I got the point in the workbook that talks about making your characters and planning out your story ideas. WOW! How do you even know? How do you make them up? Just freewrite? As a pantser they just come to me. No joke. I’ll start November first with something like “Vanessa sighed.” and go from there. Already I have a character named Vanessa. I can see her. She has dark hair down past her shoulders some of it is pulled back from her face while the rest hangs loose down her back. She’s leaning on her hand on a table. Do you know what comes next? I don’t. I just watch Vanessa and see what she does. Oh, she’s reaching for her cup of coffee. No, sorry, I see it’s a latte with a fancy leaf pattern from the pour. She doesn’t care though. She’s sad. I’m compelled to keep writing to find out why.

I understand that I’m a square peg trying to fit in a round hole doing this plotting thing. (Or maybe a round peg trying to fit in square hole. Ah, who am I kidding. I’m a dodecogon trying to fit into an icosagon shaped hole. None of us are common enough to be square or round.) I feel like a sedentary person (mostly am) going to an advance yoga class and being set to some impossible pretzel twisting knot of a pose. Whew.

screaming-146426__180It’s annoying. But I know if I’m annoyed I’m challenged. And if I’m challenged I’m doing something good for me. (Yes, I have learned to like Brussels sprouts but I still hate cooked carrots.) My brain is growing and stretching. I might not make it into that twisting pretzel knot pose but I’ve gotten closer than I ever would have without trying and while I’ll be sore tomorrow, my body will be stronger and more flexible for it. And thus, my mind will be stronger and more flexible for plotting.

Try doing the opposite of what you normally do at least once (I don’t recommend this for a word war, though). See what you get. You might not get a whole novel but you might get something that plays a roll in your next project.Popeye1

I’m going to keep going with the workbook but November first is likely to see me pantsing. I am what I am.

Make sure that you have RSVPed for the KO/Midnight WI. We hope to see you there. Those first few words at midnight are pretty cool. After that we’re off like a shot. check the calendar frequently for write-ins and changes.

The Ponderous Path to Plotdom

A few years ago I found copies of Ready, Set, Novel by Chris Baty, Lindsey Grant, And Tavia Stewart-StreitReady, Set, Novel! by Chris Baty, Lindsey Grant, And Tavia Stewart-Streit

(the illustrious heroes of the sacred halls of This book has sat in a drawer because, well, I’m a happy pantser. This is how I work. I’ve mentioned this before (feel free to check out a previous post The Eternal Question). It is an absolute joy to write this way. The shocked gasp when my plots go all wibbly wobbly certainly amuses anyone around me. Thus this workbook has sat.

Recently NaNo put on a NaNoPrep webinar with four writers. Jonathan Maberry (YA horror and freelance comic book work among other things) mentioned that he uses Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook by Donald Maass as a starting point for every one of his novels.

by Donald MaassI wandered to to Barnes and Noble this morning to take a look at Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook and found it was $20. Not too bad as an investment if you’re going to plot but it wasn’t in my budget this morning. And then I remembered the tome entombed in my drawer, long forgotten. I hurried home and dug out the Ready, Set, Novel workbook. What better way to start plotting for NaNo than with an officially official NaNo workbook.

The first activity is to get you used to marking up the book. There is a huge square and you have to fill it. Anything goes. Brilliant. A way to get you into the “write in this book” mindset and get random garbage out of your head, or put some inspiring quote on the page surrounded by some fancy doodling.

I’m really going to put out the effort to do this year’s NaNo this way. And I do mean a lot of effort. This is so out of my skill set. I just found the “What-if” Activity. Sheesh. My brain doesn’t work that way. I’m analytical. I have a hard time what-iffing things I don’t want to happen and things that are simply improbable if not impossible. Yikes! At least that’s followed by some internet sites that will spark some ideas.panic-149063__180

I’ll keep you posted and let you know if I freak out and abandon the Plotter Path to return to my Pantser
Predilection. Plus, I’ll let you know how the book is as a whole.


Also, a reminder if you’re in the Spokane region to RSVP in the Kick-off/Midnight Write-In thread if you haven’t already.

Kick Off and Midnight Write-in

partyIt’s two, two, two events in one!

Come to the Kick-Off Party, October 31st at 10:00 pm, and stay for the Midnight Write on November 1st until 1:00 am. (See our NaNo regional page for details.)

Be sure to visit and get your KO only goodies! Then stay and get your first words done!

Please RSVP on the regional page and let us know you’ll be there. We’d hate to run out of awesome KO goodies.

See you there (costumes welcome)!

Are you ready??

hear yea

NaNo is coming! NaNo is coming!

The forum reset is October 5th

(yes, this Monday!)

so hurry after and update your profile with this year’s novel information!

You don’t want to be left out – NaNoLag is a terrible thing!

Taps – CampNaNoWriMo July 2015


Another camp over.
We wrote, edited, plotted and outlined.
Words were added, others delete.
At times it was exhilarating, other times it was gruesome, still other times it was tedious.
It’s a process. That’s how it goes.
Glory in it!
Revel in it!
Embrace it.
It is what it is.
And what it is is the very best of you.
You ARE a writer.



You know, the funny thing is, I like research. Or at least I used to.

Remember books? I remember getting an idea and heading to the library to Research (at this point in my ideamonologue, “Research” and other seemingly random capitalized words are to be sung accompanied by an angel orchestra – the assumption they’d be more skilled than 5th graders). I would dig through the card catalog (remember how that smelled? ancient wood and paper) and find Books and then hunt down the necessary Encyclopedias (remember the smell of those? Decades old, musty paper -sigh). (Make sure your singing those random capitalized words.)

It was a Glorious Quest to find the information that allowed you too expound on whatever topic your instructor required.

Glorious. (Hushed, reverent tones)

Now we have Teh Interwebz (intentional cheezeburger misspelling and spoiler alert).

You know what I’m talking about, I know you do. You can pretend to be all focus-y and business-y around other people but I know. We are not so different, you and I. (Um, am I starting to sound strangely villain-y? That’s troubling. I’d better put down my big fluffy cat.)

Where was I? Oh yes.

With the internet we have the collected knowledge of the world and a whole lot of collected opinion posing as knowledge. (Plus random weirdos posting random rants and rambles in blogs – What? – Ugh! No! Not me. I’m knowledge, I swear. – Fine, attempted entertainment. Sheesh.) We can wade through that stuff though. If we get enough info from good enough sources we can find what was and was not true about Owain Gwynedd, king of Wales (early to mid 12th century) for that historical novel or just what happens to our human bodies when exposed to the vacuum of space for 2 seconds for our sci-fi endeavour.

Which brings me to the second problem. The internet is a wild ride. Say for instance I look up the physics of what does happen to a body in space (turns out it’s not that horrific and quite survivable even after a minute). Oooo! A wild catvideo about black holes! Huh, the brontosaurus is now found to be the juvenile of the apatosaurus. ROFL Those cats are having a light saber battle! Wow! In 1962, the moon, sun and closest 6 planets all aligned within 17 degrees (which is about as good as conjunctions get) along with a solar eclipse and there were no related catastrophes. Oh, we’ve sent jelly fish to space to see how their progeny would handle gravity when they come back. Okay, Duncan Donuts has adopted shark week. That’s weird. Oh, probably sponsoring, funny. There’s a whole page and stuff dedicated to “take a bite, take a pic.” I’m not sure how I feel about that. Hey, Discovery Network. Whoa, dude! That car was obliterated. I love Mythbusters.

Wait. Where was I? What was I doing?

You get it. Hours later you remember you were doing Research and then it starts all over, thus the prefix Re-.

Yes, that is part of the fun now. Maybe in your wanderings you’ll be inspired for a new story or you’ll finally find a way to get that Turkey grease stain out of your favorite sweatshirt (I miss that shirt).

I guess it’s not really that different. I remember getting sucked into books near my target at the library.

I guess the whole point is find good resources, take good notes (remember to right down your sources so you can go straight to blue jellythem in the future), and enjoy the journey. You never know when inspiration may strike. I totally want to do a piece that includes those gravitationally confused jelly fish.