The Monday Five: Writing Life – Goals (November 11)

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Goal-Setting and Consistency Are Key to Writing Success
from Kristen Stieffel at The New Authors Fellowship

Goals Will Make You Fail
from Kevyn at Kill/Adjectives

Comprehensive Guide to Setting Freelance Writing Goals
from John Soares at Productive Writers

Nine Ways We Lose Control of Our Writing
from Cathy at Catherine Ensley’s Words, World and Wings

NaNoWriMo–Kevin’s Elevens Productivity Tips 5 & 6
from Kevin J. Anderson at Kevin J. Anderson’s Blog


Our Goals (and Yours!) for AcWriMo and NaNoWriMo

The Tuesday Five: Writing Process (November 5)

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How to get started writing a novel
from Nathan Bransford at Nathan Bransford, Author

10 Steps to Finding Your Writing Voice
from Jeff Goins at Goins, Writer: On Writing, Ideas, and Making a Difference

5 Tips For Writing Better Characters Into Your Screenplay
from Noam Kroll at Noam Kroll: filmmaking, cinematography, & post-production

2 Essential Elements of a Scene
from Ron Estrada at Writer…Interrupted (with Gina Conroy)

Five Critical Components of Any Successful Novel’s Plot
from Victoria Grefer at Creative Writing with the Crimson League

Bonus Resources:

Types of Scenes

Articles on Plot / Articles on Characters

How to Write a Fight Scene

NaNoWriMo Plot and Writing Schedule & Resources for 11/13

International Plot Writing Month

The Monday Five: Writing Life – NaNoWriMo Tips & Resources (November 4)

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How to Participate in NaNoWriMo
from various contributors at wikiHow

Nanowrimo Tips and Resources
from M.A. Chiappetta at The Chipper Muse

NaNoWriMo Tips & Resources
from Justin McLachlan at Justin McLachlan

25 Things You Should Know About NaNoWriMo
from Chuck Wendig at terribleminds

Writing on the Ether: The Haunting of NaNoWriMo
from Jane Friedman at Jane Friedman: Writing, Reading, and Publishing in the Digital Age

Bonus Stuff:

The best fake #NaNoWriMo opening lines

17 Struggles Of Getting Ready For NaNoWriMo

You Can Do It! NaNoWriMo Success Stories

14 Published Novels Written During NaNoWriMo

It’s NaNoWriMo! Top 10 Legal Tips for Writers

The Monday Five: Free-Entry Writing Contests (April 8)

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Always verify ALL details through the contest websites, please. 

Stanford Story Slam 2013
from Ensemble at Stanford University
Collaborative story with a prompt
Up to 1,000 words
Deadline April 22

The Character-Driven Tale Contest, with David Corbett
from Scribophile
Character-driven short story, no required genre
Up to 3,000 words
Deadline April 30

15th Annual GPS Writing Contest
from Geek Partnership Society
Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, Supernatural, Alternate History Fiction
Up to 5,000 words
Deadline May 15

2013 Write Action 8th Annual Literary Contest
from Write Action
Theme: “A Different World,” open to interpretation
Up to 1,500 words
Deadline June 30

Young Writers of Earth 2013 Flash Fiction Writing Competition (ages 18-30)
from Young Writers of Earth
No required genre or theme
Up to 1,000 words
Deadline TBA

Bonus Group Writing Activity –
National Novel Writing Marathon
from NaNoWriMo
Happening April 13

Bonus Writing Competition Tips –
Entering Writing Competitions? Here Are Six Quick Tips!
from MaryChris Bradley at The AmWriting Blog

Bonus Writing Contest Resource –
@WritersContests on Twitter

8 Links: Hooking Readers, NaNoWriMo, and More

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From Lyn Midnight‘s WriMos FTW! (a blog-hub for 2011 Nanoers):
Whammo! You hooked ’em! by Julie A. Lindsay
A great article on the importance of hooking readers in the first pages of your novel, including tips to help make that happen.


From Jody Hedlund‘s website:
How to Keep Writing When the Honeymoon is Over
Tips to help you stay with your first draft after the initial euphoria is gone.


From Bob Mayer at Write it Forward:
The real gatekeepers in publishing now? Authors.
Tips to help you establish and maintain your status as a published writer.


From The Writers’ Workshop:
Quick Guide to Writing Convincing Characters
Another excellent approach to an essential pre-writing step.    


From EelKat on Squidoo:
NaNoWriMo: Reaching 50,000 Using EelKat’s Methods
13 steps to success from one of my favorite Tweeters.


From Scott Eagen‘s blog:
A NaNo No No
If you’re so behind on NaNo you don’t have even a wisp of hope of catching up, take heart. Not everyone believes NaNoWriMo is worth it.


Writing friends on Twitter: follow Jon Winokur (from AdviceToWriters) for excellent daily writing tips.


Finally, just for fun – from The Office of Letters and Light (official organizers of NaNoWriMo):
The 30 Covers, 30 Days Blog
Why not take a break from writing to browse a few well-done book covers? You may find some inspiration here (or at least a cover artist worth bookmarking for the future).

November Blog Schedule

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Because of the time commitment that NaNoWriMo demands, November will not follow the site’s regular programming. Instead, I will only be making weekend posts comprised of read-worthy blogs I stumbled across during the week (like the Writerly Reading feature, but without a theme). December will resume our usual schedule.

Happy November, dear writing friends! If you’re Nanoing, I wish you the best of luck, and I hope to see you in the winners’ circle. (If you want to follow my NaNo progress, find me on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+, and if you have a blog you’d like me to check out, let me know.)

P.S. You can find lists of NaNo bloggers at the links below:
Participants’ Blogs (thread at the official site forums)
NaNoWriMo ’11 Blog Directory (unofficial blogspot)

Still need a plan for NaNoWriMo? Here are 6 sites that can help.


So you’re just now jumping on the NaNoWriMo bandwagon, or maybe you just didn’t have a spare second during the month of October to devote to prepping. Either way, you need a plan, and you have less than 3 days to come up with one. So let’s get down to business.


From Alexandra Sokoloff‘s blog, a series of posts labeled NaNoWriMo Prep
These aren’t short posts. It would take a bit of time to read everything here, but this is a goldmine of valuable writing/plotting advice. If nothing else, bookmark for perusal in December.


From Paperback Writer, an excellent 4-part NaNoWriMo Prep series:
Part 1: The Mountain
Part 2: Stand Out Characters
Part 3: Food and Fire
Part 4: Glass Wisdom


From Dan at SurlyMuse:
The Hailstorm Approach: Prep for Nanowrimo in Seven Days (or Less), a quick and easy read featuring a 7-step guide to plotting in a hurry. This uses a compilation of useful techniques and will have you well on your way to feeling prepared to start writing November 1st.


From Janice Hardy at The Other Side of the Story:
NaNo Prep: Planning Your Novel, a 6-step guide with links to other relevant articles, which serve as excellent reference points or standalone reads.


From LindaJM at Squidoo:
Get Ready For NaNoWriMo, an easily-skimmed but still comprehensive preparation guide, complete with links to resources.


Finally, from Amber West at A Day Without Sushi:
A Guide to Preparing for NaNoWriMo: The Pantsless Way, a lighter approach to NaNo preparations for those who plan to pants their way through November. She brings up some good points that even plotters may want to take note of.


I’m off to finish writing the synopsis for my November project. Where are you in your NaNo preparations?

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