nano novel doings



Journaling about the Nano novel this morning yielded a title. I like to have a title, even if it’ll change. Not having one bothered me a bit, but I decided not to fret over it and to get on with the planning. So was brainstorming in the Moleskine and out popped a phrase–“errors of choice.” That’ll do! Baby has a name. Not particularly brilliant but it’ll work for the first draft, and the novel has a touch more dimension to it.

Coming up with a title made me think about doing a cover for the fun of it. I neglected to put that on my Preptober to do’s, but noted it in the journal list, and spent a little time creating a cover. I’m not a graphic artist, can’t draw a straight line with a ruler–no kidding–it takes me more than one try, but there’s my cover.

Using Scrivener’s Corkboard feature (love the index cards), I sketched out Act I and a half of Act II. Will note Act II when it’s outlined but right now these items are completed:

Set up Scrivener file
▫ Create a journal for the novel in Scrivener file
▫ Decide on a working title
▫ Brainstorm story notes
▫ Do Character profiles (Whose who and why)
▫ Figure out Character motives
Make a list of names
▫ Research photos for character
Figure out character personality types
Outline Act 1
Add a November word count calendar in Scrivener file
▫ Create a cover

I have not developed a premise–kind of cart before the horse way of working–but my initial idea has yielded quite a lot of story stuff, just have not distilled it into a sentence. No worries!




It’s that time of year again. November is rolling up and I’m getting ready for 30 days of intense writing. I’ve signed up at the Nanowrimo site and made my Preptober checklist, and have been working my way through it. The “to-do’s” are in no particular order. The italicized items are done.

Preptober Checklist

Set up Scrivener file
Create a journal for the novel in Scrivener file
▫ Decide on a working title
Brainstorm story notes
Do Character profiles (Whose who and why)
▫ Figure out Character motives
▫ Write a brief summary of each supporting character
▫ Develop premise
▫ Decide on a plot structure
Make a list of names
▫ Research photos for character
▫ Research photos for settings (Pinterest)
▫ Create a playlist
Figure out Character personality types
▫ Outline Act 1
▫ Outline Act 2
▫ Outline Act 3
▫ Plan rewards
▫ Stock up on snacks/coffee/tea/treats for November.
▫ Plan writing schedule
▫ Writing candle
▫ Add a November word count calendar in Scrivener file

I’ve done and won NaNo for the past 10 years; would be 11 years but I skipped it last year–was getting settled from my move to Alabama. I was going to write a YA fantasy, but a shiny new idea popped up with a few bells and whistles that I don’t usually get and lured me on with all the charm of my favorite vampire character (Anne Rice’s Lestat). It’s a contemporary novel–no vampires involved… this time. 🙂 I gave it the green light. I may still tinker with the YA fantasy after NaNo hours are done, if I have any operating brain cells left at the end of my writing day.


april already!

Today’s the official start of my garden as well as Camp Nano. I’ve been busy, busy all day and I’ve not written word one. Went off to buy plants–Marvin’s is having its Spring Black Friday Sale through the weekend, offering 6-pack veggie plants at 2 for $5.00. Couldn’t miss that plus great deals on garden soil and wood planks, and I needed compost too. I bought heirloom tomatoes, spinach, yellow squash, watermelon, a strawberry plant, and bell peppers. Found a sunny patch near my shed and planted the tomatoes this morning. The potted thyme and oregano have sprouted  and the cantaloupe and arugula need transplanting to the yard so April is going to be a mixed bag of writing and gardening. Yes!

It’s also time for the quarterly progress report, but don’t have it together yet. The month just started and already I’m under the bus. Have to do my April spread bullet journal too.

Spring has turned my backyard into a meadow of all sorts of wild blossoms–lavender bells, little pinks, miniature yellows, and a violet lily that seems to be everywhere–don’t know the names of these various pretties but they are a delight to the eyes.

I was so pooped after planting the tomatoes that gathering one creative word brought on a fainting spell. :)) But I’m rested and ready now so let’s see if anything new happens in the book–A Fall of Diamonds is my Camp Nano project. I’m aiming to write 20,000 words during April. I slashed more than 20,000 words during March, started to rewrite it in first person, went back to third person, apart from having pulled out my hair, I’m okay.

Happy writing!


nano progress



Day 23  1463

Day 24  Took the day off for Thanksgiving

Day 25  3406


Managed another 3 pages, updated today’s count. Close to the end and I’d like to finish before November 30.

Meanwhile I’m also writing a science fiction short story, Point of Pride. I’ve finished the first draft and I’m now in the middle of revising it. The magazine I want to submit to has a December 1 deadline so I’m a little bit under the bus already.


nano progress


Day 21  1696

Day 22  1950


12,717 more words to go on A Fall of Diamonds. It’s a mess of course, not sure I can call it a novel but it’s more like the makings of a novel. I’ve got so much plot in the story I don’t know what to do. And I still struggle with scene and sequel structure. People say your premise tells you what scenes you’ll need. Really? Outside of the opening scene I never know what scenes I’ll need. Every novel is a mystery to me. That’s why I write scenes out of sequence, creating a crazy quilt of the story. I put them together later, and I guess I have developed enough skill to be somewhat successful in writing fiction. I’ve published a few short stories and cobbled together three passably decent novels (not to mention all the Nano manuscripts in my files) but even the three good ones still need work, not ready for prime time yet.

I guess though I’m being too hard on myself and not recognizing that all I have to do is to keep writing. So despite my bouncing about and banging into walls, I’ll keep writing.