Your deadlines are set and your calendar is drafted. Now, it's time to start writing! But as daunting as penning a whole novel may seem, there are a few strategies you can use to keep yourself on track.
Now that Pieces of Pink is officially out, it's safe to say that I've learned a lot about independent publishing in a very short amount of time. From LLCs to Photoshop and InDesign, there are so many road blocks that spring up along the way -- especially for your first novel -- and it can be really helpful to have a clear-cut guideline to get you moving in the right direction.
When I was a freshman in college, I discovered Nanowrimo. Excited, I emailed my creative writing professor about mentioning it in class, thinking it might be a fun extracurricular activity for the other students. Although I didn't save her exact response, it went something like this: "Nanowrimo is silly, because there's no way a person can write anything but complete garbage if they only give themselves a month to do it." At the time, I felt ashamed and embarrassed for even suggesting something so foolish; but I've grown up a little since then, and now I know she was wrong. If you never write garbage, you never write at all.
As a common courtesy to my fellow creatives: Always back up your computer before you make a big change . . . and always double-check to make sure that the backup was successful.
Okay, so here's the deal: My book comes out on March 8th, which means I am ferociously revising, passing around beta copies, and finalizing feedback. As thrilled as I am, I also have to admit, I've reached a point where I can no longer remember the distinction between 'past' and 'passed'. Like, I know the difference--passed is the past tense--but do I really know the difference?
On Sunday, I made a terrible mistake. At the time, I had no idea that it would affect me for the rest of the week, but it has. My mistake? I went to the grocery store. The result? I've had "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas" stuck in my head for three days straight. But what's even worse is that my brain created a monstrous hybrid with "I've Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts."
It's December, Nanowrimo just ended, and it's cold enough to freeze the tits off a polar bear. (Although considering the impact of global warming on polar populations, that's not true anymore, and I should probably remove that colloquialism from my arsenal.) Anyways, it's cold enough that the geese are no longer floating on the lake, they're walking on it.
Before I begin, I think it's worth mentioning that I don't know the answer to this question. Actually, I'm not completely convinced I even know what the question really means, but it's certainly something worth thinking about.
Whether you're participating in the official NaNoWriMo or not, November is National Novel Writing Month, and for many people, that means setting a writing goal and sticking with it. Of course, by mid-November, more than a few people have fallen off the bandwagon, or maybe even missed the boat all together.
When it comes to writing fiction, death is often inevitable. No, I don't mean writing fiction will kill you, I mean eventually, you will have to write the death of a beloved -- or despised -- character, and sometimes, your fictional fatalities will have far-reaching consequences for the rest of your novel or series.