Friday, October 28, 2011

Gearing Up for NaNoWriMo

This will be my third year to participate in NaNoWriMo, and I can hardly wait for November 1st to get here. Sure, it's a little bit crazy to commit to writing 50,000 words in 30 days. But I was a winner in 2009 and 2010, and I am going to try my best to do it again in 2011.

I was a "NaNo Rebel" last year; I did my first revision of The Wishing Box instead of starting a project from scratch. And I really need to revisit my previous project, which I haven't looked at since November 30, 2009. I actually pitched it to an agent at a conference last spring; she loved the plot and asked me to send her a partial. Unfortunately, the book wasn't ready to submit, so I dropped that ball, but I intend to pick it up again after the holidays.

The truth is I am much better equipped to do this than ever before. I have two years of solid writing experience under my belt, I have attended some great conferences and workshops, and I have read some wonderful books on craft. Finally, I am beginning to understand what it takes to build a story that will grab my reader's attention in the very first sentence and keep her turning the pages all the way until the end - and that I am going to need to start with an outline if I am going to pull that off. I am working on it, and plan to have the details in place by midnight, October 31st.

This morning, I finished reading two more books on the craft of writing, and I think it is going to be helpful to have them fresh in my mind as I begin Novel #3. These were the reviews I posted on Goodreads. I gave both books five stars. Highly recommended!

The first was Goal, Motivation & Conflict by Debra Dixon. 

One of my writer buddies recommended this book to me after reviewing the first three chapters of my work-in-progress and I am so grateful she did. This is the best explanation I have ever seen of these three elements of fiction writing, how to incorporate them into one's work, and how to use them to simplify the process of writing the synopsis and querying agents and editors. My friend says she reads this book every time she gets ready to start a new project; I think I will, too.

The other was Writing For All You're Worth by James Scott Bell. 

James Scott Bell has done it again. A must-read for anyone who aspires to write quality fiction, this book contains information on the craft of writing, a glimpse into Bell's creative process and interviews with other successful authors. It is chock full of inspiring quotes, and even contains a section on National Novel Writing Month. 

Some of my online pals have posted some great info on preparing for NaNoWriMo, too. Larry Brooks of Storyfix has been blogging about it all month. And Debbie Maxwell Allen of Writing While the Rice Boils posted reviews and links to a couple of free resources to help get organized.

If you're one of those people who has dreamed of writing a book, there's no better time than National Novel Writing Month to take the plunge. Check out the website, create a profile, and go for it! And look for me there; my username is pamasberry. See you at the finish line!


Julee J. Adams said...

"I actually pitched it to an agent at a conference last spring; she loved the plot and asked me to send her a partial. Unfortunately, the book wasn't ready to submit, so I dropped that ball..."

BWWAAAAAHAHAHAHAHA! Where have I heard that before??!!!

Not making fun of you--it's something I did 20 years ago. Go for it, Pam. Do it!

Debbie Maxwell Allen said...

Thanks so much for posting a link. I'm so excited about Nano this year--for many of the same reasons. I'd really love to finish it this time!


Pam Asberry said...

I won't get back to that book until after the first of the year, Julee. And it simply isn't ready to send as is. But I WILL get around to it eventually. In the meantime, I am excited about my NaNo project. For the first time, I will be starting a book with goal, motivation and conflict from the get-go. This book might actually stand a chance! ;-)

Pam Asberry said...

My pleasure, Debbie. You always have so much great information on your blog. Forgive me for not telling you so more often. See you in NaNoLand! :-)

Carol Kilgore said...

Have fun with NaNo. I'm not participating. Just finished a 6-week major edit. I'm zonked.

Pam Asberry said...

I understand, Carol. Congrats on finishing that edit!

KendallGrey said...

Congrats on getting yourself geared up for Nano. I'm shooting for 90K, which is a complete joke, but hey, it's my goal. :-)

I took Deb Dixon's workshop at GRW a couple of years ago and it was GREAT. I also have a few of James Scott Bell's books, which are also very helpful.

Good luck with Nano. Holler if you want to sprint!

Pam Asberry said...

90K, Kendall? You go, girl! Deb Dixon must have come to GRW before I joined; bummer. Maybe I'll have another opportunity to take a workshop with her at some point. I have a couple more James Scott Bell books that I want to read, but that's going to have to wait until AFTER NaNoWriMo. I also comitted to doing two book reviews during the month of November - argh!