Sunday, November 01, 2015

Ready, Set, Write!

8:00 AM Posted by Tara 2 comments
This is it. The moment we've all been waiting for. The sun has dawned on November 1. It is time to begin your 50,000-word adventure.

Welcome to week one!

Week one is often celebrated as the easiest. Endless possibilities stretch ahead of you, waiting to be discovered. Your imagination, finally unleashed, will pull you through your first chapters with the limitless energy of a kid at Disneyland. Your first 10,000 words will fly by in a blur of excitement and adrenaline. Magic flows freely through your fingertips.

But for some—like yours truly—week one is actually the hardest.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Nanowrimo Progress Tracker

9:00 AM Posted by Tara 4 comments
It's important to keep track of your progress throughout your month-long noveling adventure, not only to ensure that you're staying on track but to take motivation from your especially productive days. provides a few stats as you update your novel's word count, but a spreadsheet can offer much more.

I've used progress tracking spreadsheet made by others in the past, but they never suited the way I track my progress—by total word count, not words written per day—and typically had more bells and whistles than I needed. So this year, I decided to make my own, and I'm pleased to share it with you!

The Five Best Lessons I've Learned From Nanowrimo

8:00 AM Posted by Tara 2 comments
Each year I've participated in Nanowrimo, I've come away from the experience not only with 50,000 words, but with a deeper understanding of my own writing process and the art of writing itself. While every lesson I've learned from Nanowrimo is priceless, there are a few things in particular that I wish I'd known before my very first foray into month-long noveling.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Silencing Your Inner Editor

8:00 AM Posted by Tara 1 comment
You open a new document and poise your fingers over the keyboard. You're going to write a novel, and it's going to be great. But first, you need to think of the perfect opening line. You write a couple of words... but they're awful. You delete them and start again. And again, and again, and again. You write a dozen different opening lines, but they're all terrible. This writing a novel thing is harder than you thought. Maybe you aren't cut out for this, after all. If you can't even get the opening line down, what hope do you have for the rest of the book?

Sound familiar?

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Word Count Calendars

8:30 AM Posted by Tara 4 comments
To reach 50,000 words by the end of November, you need to write a minimum of 1,667 words per day. That isn't an easy number to multiply in your head—and who has time to do math, anyway? It's much easier to keep track of your daily targets when they're just a click away on your desktop!

Making word count calendars is one of my favorite things to do to get ready for Nanowrimo, and this year, I'm thrilled to share them with you!

The Tools of the Trade

8:00 AM Posted by Tara 6 comments
All you really need to write a novel is something to write with... and maybe an idea or two. But ask any Wrimo what's in their survival kit, and they'll list off twenty or thirty things that they can't live without in November. So, what should you put in yours?

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Finding Time to Write

8:00 AM Posted by Tara , No comments
50,000 words. That's a lot of words, and they take a lot of time to write. And time is a commodity most of us have little of these days. How on earth can you fit writing a novel, in a month, into your already packed schedule?

Well, we're writers. We're creative. We can figure it out!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

The Nanowrimo Community

8:00 AM Posted by Tara No comments
I attended a midnight premiere of the final Harry Potter film a few years back, and as you might expect of a midnight premiere, it was packed with only the most devoted and zealous fans. From start to finish, the audience's reactions to the movie were raucously enthusiastic, as we cheered, jeered, laughed, and gasped in one voice... except during one particularly heart-wrenching scene, when the entire theater was silent but for sniffling. It was unlike any other movie-going experience I'd ever had, because I was sharing it with a roomful of people who loved Harry Potter just as fiercely as I did.

Nanowrimo is a lot like that. You aren't just writing a novel, you're sharing an experience with hundreds of thousands of others along for the same wild ride—people who are just as passionate about storytelling as you are. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: one of the greatest things about Nanowrimo is the community.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Ten Reasons Scrivener Rocks!

8:00 AM Posted by Tara , 5 comments
I started using Scrivener four years ago, and I haven't stopped talking about how great it is since. It's completely changed the way I approach writing and revising, and as a result, the quality of my work has vastly improved. I tell every writer I meet that they should give Scrivener a try. Today, that writer is you!

Thursday, October 08, 2015

The Wonderful World of Outlining

8:00 AM Posted by Tara No comments
I wrote my first two Nanowrimo novels with varying levels of pantsing, and while I crossed the 50,000-word finish line for both, neither came anywhere close to an ending. Pantsing, I discovered, was not for me. I prepared a rough outline for my third Nanowrimo, and while it did help, it still wasn't enough. Every year since, my outlines have grown ever more extensive, resulting in ever more coherent manuscripts. And I've enjoyed outlining my novels almost as much as I've enjoyed writing them. I have become an extremist planner, and I'm not afraid to admit it!

If you, too, are an extremist planner, there probably isn't much I can tell you that you don't already know. But if you're new to outlining or want to expand your outlining abilities, you've come to the right place! I briefly touched on a few methods of outlining your novel in my last post, but today we're going to take a closer look at each.