Friday, November 11, 2011

Second Week of NaNoWriMo: One Week Down Three More to Go

Posted by Laurielu Bona Fide Reflections at 7:00 AM


Welcome to the first week of the NaNoWriMo Feature where Kendra from Reader's Edyn and I bring you the trials and tribulations of four aspiring authors.  The two authors I am following through this event are Kelly and Lou. I have had the honor of getting to know these lovely, funny, snarky ladies and it has become important to me to support them through this writing journey. In this post, I am also featuring Daniele who is a published YA author and she is participating in NaNoWriMo this year. But, in order for you to get the complete picture, you need to visit Reader's Edyn, as well.

Kendra and I are here to cheer our authors along. But there are a lot of others out there cheering all the NaNoWriMo participants on with us.  Kyla is cheering along beside us and came up with this great encouraging logo:

I am in awe of Kyla's creativity. 

Before I get started with the interviews, I am going to add a random Tweet thought about writing here:

Kelly Week 1

Laurielu: How did you find out about NaNoWriMo?
Kelly: I’ve participated in NaNo almost every year since 2005.  I *think* I heard about it in passing from someone else who was doing it and the idea intrigued me enough to look into it.  Don’t tell anybody, but the first couple of years I crashed and burned spectacularly.  One November I wrote a grand total of 500 words before pooping out.  That was not my finest moment.  Just to put things in perspective, of the 5 years I’ve participated, last year was the first time I hit my 50K word goal.

Laurielu:  What appeals to you about NaNoWriMo?
Kelly:  I love that there are so many people involved.  Writing can be such a solitary occupation that you sometimes forget that there are other people out there with the same insecurities and writing issues that you have.  Having other people to commiserate with, whether it’s your first time trying to write 50K or your 5th, helps spur you through the rough spots.
It also turns out that I’m insanely competitive.  When I see my writing buddies at 10K while I’m still at 6K (even though I’m still well within the word goal time frame), I push myself harder.  I’m not competing against them in any sense, but seeing those big numbers gives me the kick in the pants to stay up an extra hour and force my characters to do more crazy-insane things.

Laurielu:  How has the writing process been going for you?
Kelly:  It’s been good so far.  It’s also been tough.  The act of writing on when you’ve written yourself into a metaphorical corner is HARD, but I just keep reminding myself that I can’t leave my characters dangling in mortal peril.  That’s just mean.

Laurielu:  What has been your biggest challenge so far?
Kelly:  I really need to work at not being distracted by shiny things online.  I have the time to write, but sometimes the will deserts me.  Twitter is my nemesis at the moment.  Maybe I just need to start following people who aren’t interesting.  Hmm… that might work.  I’ll get rid of my cool, awesome peeps and pick up people who only talk about rocks and turnips.  Since I find neither rocks nor turnips exciting, this will allow me to write!  Good plan, right?

Laurielu:  If you had a challenge, what did you do to overcome it?
Kelly:  Three words: Write or Die.  It is amazing at forcing you to focus.  I try to do 20 minute sprints and it’s been very effective for me.  It turns out that avoiding the blaring car alarm and the screaming child is a great motivator.

Laurielu:  What are your strengths when it comes to writing?
Kelly:  Umm… I have a fairly active imagination, so I can envision a lot of different scenarios for my characters to get into and out of.  This is great because it makes me feel like my fictional world is very big and full things that are going to take both me and the reader by surprise.  As of this moment, I’m about to lock my two main characters in a veterinary clinic with a cat and something ravenous.  There might be some creative chopping.  Then again, there might just be screaming and running.  I’m fairly certain they’ll all make it out alive but you never know.
(Note: No cats were harmed in the answering of this question.)

Laurielu: Good to know that the cats are okay.  What are your weaknesses when it comes to writing?
Kelly:  or some reason, my characters always want to get naked with one another.  It’s almost embarrassing.  I try to maneuver them out of the nakedness but they’re very stubborn.  I guess I’m trying to say that my weaknesses all involve inappropriate nudity.  Geez, characters, get a room! And keep your hands to yourself, dangit!  No, not ON yourself! *face palm*

Laurielu:  *pats Kelly's back soothingly* Have you been staying true to NaNo and writing for quantity rather than quality?
Kelly:  Yes. And no.  I’m not going back and editing what I’ve already written but I am trying to make sure that everything I’m writing stays true to my overall plan.  I mean, I’m not going to throw a werewolf in the middle of a pack of zombies just so I can hit my word goal for the day.  My story is (sadly) werewolf free.
Although, if I could find a way to include a werewolf and it made sense…

Laurielu:  At this point, how is your sanity? 
Kelly:  I didn’t have any to begin with, so I’m doing just fine.

Laurielu:  *coughs & clears throat* Have you taken advantage of the support system by buddying with other NaNoWriMo authors? Has it been helpful? 
Kelly:  Yes!  I love my buddies!  I get numerous @s every day on Twitter asking me how my word count’s going.  Knowing that I’ll have to admit if I wrote nothing keeps me on the straight and narrow.  I also have that aforementioned competitive streak.  I want to do well and I want others to do well with me.  If I have to poke them with my mighty stick to get them writing, I will!  In fact, I have used the mighty stick before.  More than once.  By that same token, my buddies have prodded me into getting another couple hundred words down when I was ready to call it a night.

Laurielu:  Where did you get the idea for your story?
Kelly:  The initial idea started as a joint writing venture between one of my good friends and myself. 

Zombies!  In the town where I live!  I failed at my part of that joint story, but the idea stuck.  What if there was a Zombie Apocalypse in cow country?  How would the survivors keep themselves going?  How would they keep themselves from being zombie bait?  Where would they get food?  How would they deal if their loved ones fell?

I pulled my son in to brainstorm with me and we worked up how the people who survived the initial infection would protect themselves if they were living in the area where we lived.  From there, the story began to take shape.

The moral of this story is that 12 year old boys are good at planning for a Zombie Apocalypse.  Just so you know.

Random thought:  Weapons are often used improperly during Zombie uprisings. Be responsible!
(Brought to you by People for the Ethical Treatment of Zombies)

Here is a random writing tip from the Twitterverse:

Up next is Daniele Lanzarotta who is the published author I am featuring this week.

Daniele Lanzarotta is the author of YA paranormal novels, including the Imprinted Souls Series and Academy of the Fallen.

She has a bachelor's in business and finance and a MBA. With only a few semesters left in school, Daniele started writing as a hobby, but it didn't take long for her to be consumed by her stories. That is her passion, and she now has several projects under way.

She enjoys reading and writing young adult novels with just about any sort of paranormal or supernatural bent...vampires... ghosts... She also enjoys watching hockey, playing rock band, guitar hero and spending time with the family.

Laurielu:  Why are you participating in NaNoWriMo?
Daniele: I got talked into it. *laughs* Seriously, I wanted to participate last year, but I was in the middle of writing another novel.  Things are no different this year, but I decided to take the challenge anyway... and I'm so glad I did!

Laurielu:  What is your writing goal during NaNoWriMo?
Daniele:  Just to write everyday and try to meet that word count... All while working on another novel. 
Laurielu:  In your opinion, what is the greatest advantage of NaNoWriMO?
Daniele: Having deadlines.  It really helps you see how far you can go...
Laurielu:  Is there a disadvantage of NaNoWriMo? If so, what?
Daniele:  I think that the focus on having to meet the word count can take away from other areas.  One of my favorite things about writing is getting to know and enjoy the characters.  You can still do that by writing a novel in one month, but it can be a challenge if you are worried about word count or editing while writing.  Just write for fun and everything will come together!

Laurielu:  Does it help to have writing buddies when participating in NaNoWriMo? Why or why not?
Daniele: Writing buddies can be great motivators.  They know the challenges and can share great writing tips.
Laurielu:  What advice would you like to provide for NaNoWriMo participants who have never published?
Daniele:  Get in the habit of writing everyday, even if it is just for a few minutes.  Don't get discouraged if you don't make your word count one day... just keep writing. Enjoy the story, enjoy the characters... and happy writing!

Laurielu:  How can readers keep in touch with you?
Daniele:  I have a bit of a social media addiction...
Twitter @DaniLanzarotta

Another random writing tip brought to you from Twitter:

To wrap up this week's NaNoWriMo post, I have a few questions I asked Liza about how her writing was going...

Laurielu:  How did you find out about NaNoWriMo? 
Liza:  I learned about NaNoWriMo last year on Twitter. I was curious, asked some peeps who were participating, went to the website and learned more. Then I mulled on it for a year. *laughs* I like to really think out the big decisions.

Laurielu:  What appeals to you about NaNoWriMo?

Liza:  The community. I am a first timer and am more than a little intimidated by just the idea of writing, much less trying to write a novel. But every single person who is participating in NaNoWriMo has the exact same goal as me... to get the idea they have in their head out and onto paper, in at least 50,000 words, before November 30.

Laurielu:  How has the writing process been going for you?
Liza:  *looks down, hopefully hiding shifty eyes* Well, I haven’t killed off my lead character, yet. So, I’m calling that a win! *beams brightly, hoping you don’t notice the maniacal gleam in my eye... or the shanking spork in my hand* 

As I said, I’m a first timer. First time trying to write a novel, first time participating in NaNoWriMo. I’m learning how to deal with many things I’ve never faced before... writer’s block, balancing my schedule to allow time to write... the many reasons my friends give for me not whacking my lead character in Chapter 2.
Laurielu:  That is a lot to cope with.  What has been your biggest challenge so far?
Liza:  I think all of Twitterverse may already know the answer to this question, but... My personal kryptonite is... editing. I edit as I write. This is a big no-no for NaNoWriMo. 

Laurielu: What did you do to overcome it?
Liza:  I am not allowing myself to look back. I’ve literally set up a separate document that I work in, and one that has the complete MS in it, for my critique / editing partners to shred and burn. If it’s not there for me to look at, I can’t pick it to pieces. 

*shifts in chair, fidgeting guiltily* I, umm... I am also being bribed by fellow NaNoWriMo-ers. They are posting pretty “reward” pictures for us hitting our word count daily. *nods* Very pretty pictures. 

Laurielu:  *snickers & clears throat* What are your strengths when it comes to writing?
Liza:  Wow... I don’t know. I think I have a pretty decent grasp of the English language and rules of grammar, which is always a bonus if you’re going to write. I have a good imagination, and I think I am good at creating dialogue. 

Laurielu:  What are your weaknesses when it comes to writing?
Liza:  *points up* I edit myself out of writing. I second guess myself endlessly. 

Laurielu:  Have you been staying true to NaNo and writing for quantity rather than quality?
LIza:  *hangs head, ashamed* No, I absolutely have not. I won’t say that what I’ve written is “quality,” but I’ve been editing and revising as I go, not just putting out the words.

Laurielu:  At this point, how is your sanity? 
LIza:  *leans back, twirls a lock of hair and pulls my feet up into chair* My sanity? *laughs brightly* Oh, it’s just fine, love bunny! *pulls up legs of yoga pants to show red knee socks with white polka dots, pink trim and green bows* Do you like my socks? Aren’t they pretty? I like the bows...

*laughs* No, seriously... my sanity? *looks to distant horizon... and the small, barely visible dot* That ship sailed a long time ago. *waves bon voyage and tosses confetti*

Laurielu:  I think my sanity sailed away on that same ship.  *snort* Have you taken advantage of the support system by buddying with other NaNoWriMo authors? 
Liza:  I have several writing buddies, and I see their word count, which both shames me *laughs* and spurs me on. I also have friends on Twitter who are encouraging and helping me by offering their support in many ways. They cheer me on, encourage me, boss me around, tease me and are reading and editing for me. I’m very fortunate to have a great group of peeps in my corner.

Laurielu:  Where did you get the idea for your story?
Liza:  I daydreamed it. *shakes head* It’s really strange how clear the overall concept was when it came to me. This was more than a year ago, and it’s been niggling in my head this entire time. I figure I should try to do something with it before it falls out one night when I’m sleeping. *laughs*

Random thought: (enter here )
Don’t mess with a girls Louboutins. She will gleefully harm you physically.

Well, there you have it. A bird's eye view into the writing journey that IS NaNoWriMo. Kendra and I will have more to share next Friday. I will leave you with the final random writing tip from Twitterverss:

Don't forget to stop by Reader's Edyn to see how our gals Gig and Poison Rose are doing with NaNoWriMo.


GzNKz4evr on November 11, 2011 at 10:55 AM said...

*snort* Oh Kelly and Liza, how I love you both. Your humor is awesome! It is okay if you don't hit those goals. Just keep trying every day. Something to work with at the end of the month is much better than nothing to work with. Onward and upward ladies! You can do it! Here's a cheer for you!

*\o/* Ready ... Okay! *\o/* Keep it up Kelly, keep it up! *clap, clap* *shakes pom poms* You can do it Liza, I know you can! *spirit fingers* *\o/* *back flip* *\o/*