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Monday, October 13, 2014

BOOK IN A WHAT? by Sydney St. Claire

Please welcome Sydney St. Claire to Muse Monday. And don't forget to read all the way to the end and enter her contest.

With November right around the corner, it’s nearly time for National Novel Writing Month or NanoWriMo as it’s affectionately called.  This bit of craziness is where writers all over the world dedicate November to writing a Book in a Month or approx.. 55k words I believe. And November is just around the corner. It’s not too early to starting thinking about whether to participate or not. Right?

One year, I told my husband I was going to participate and he looked at me like I’d grown two heads and asked why?

I explained that I needed a push to start writing a new series and that the goal was to “vomit 50-60K words onto paper–to just push yourself to get as much of your story written, no matter how bad a draft. A bad draft is better than no draft, right?

Again, I got that “okkkaayyyy” look followed by another “why?” In his mind, there isn’t a purpose or point to writing something that I couldn’t sell and was just a waste of time and energy.

So I explained that I wouldn’t be tossing those words, that my participation in Nano wasn’t a waste of time. It is a way of getting a rough draft of a book written, and that editing, rewriting and clean-up came after. As I was telling him of this, I was also reminding myself that the purpose of Nano was to get the foundation of my book written.

Normally, I write a chapter or two then go back. And edit, rewrite, edit some more, then I write another chapter or two and once again, I take a couple steps back. I call it Sue’s Staircase To Success (or insanity!) method. Two steps toward that goal of a finished book, then one step back, a few more up, a couple more back.

You see, for me, writing is like taffy pulling. The more you pull, the weaker the center gets. But once you smush it all back together and do a bit of kneading, you can start pulling again. And once more, the center grows thin and bits of stringy goo separate and dangle in thin air. For me, this method keeps me from losing sight of the goals, going down too many dead-end paths etc.

This method of writing makes succeeding in Nano’s Book in a Month very difficult for me yet I sign up nearly every year. Why? Because any amount of words, any push forward on a book is a damn good thing. Even knowing that I most likely won’t get from beginning to end in a month, I’m more than satisfied that I’ll be further along in the story than I would have had I not made a commitment to finish a book. Plus, there is that something extra called a deadline. A deadline means I’ll push myself, strive to put the old way of writing behind me and try my hardest to make my goal of a 50k rough first draft.

Now that this year’s Nano is nearly upon me, I have a new outlook on writing because I have been doing something called Power Writing and this, combined with the mentality behind Nano, might equal success. My last full-length novel was written using Power Writing. I had a complete book in two months with another month devoted to editing. I’ve learned that hard focus on writing equals word count that keeps growing.

The question this year is what to write. I’m writing novellas and still doing some freelance ghost writing for quick and easy income. Both are 30K novellas. I could set a goal to get two done (the ghostwritten ones are fairly light and simple with little major conflict) for a bit of a challenge, although I can often do two books in about six weeks if I push and shove myself.

So do I challenge myself or enjoy a pretty easy achievement of aiming for 55-60k words. I’d love to get another full length, Susan Edwards’s novel started but that might be insane and suicidal to my contracted deadlines. Better to wait for next year and plan and schedule that!

So come November, I’ll put the housework on hold as much as I can, make the animals fend for themselves and the husband as well. In fact, I’ll put much of my life on hold and devote myself to putting words, lots, and lots of words to paper.

Oh wait, baby shower for my first grandchild is in November and there’s all these cute little outfits to sew. Hmm, maybe not all of life will get put aside. My first little granddaughter is pretty important to me!

Come to think of it, I must be delusional if I think participating might not be challenging. I have a book that came out Sept. another due out Oct 31, which means lots of promo and marketing and blogs and guest blogs to write and the 4th book in the series to write and turn in by end of November and 2-3 ghost books to do before end of November. Whew! Taking a deep breath here. I think there will be a lot to keep me busy and writing!

So how about you? Will you participate? How have you done in the past? What do you love about it? Hate about it? Recommend it to other writers?

Wish me luck and for my fellow writers out there, the best of luck to you as well if you join me in November.

Blurb for Cinderella and Prince Dom
Jaimie Newberry is jobless, her rent is due, and her cat just died. On top of that, she was accused of embezzling before she was fired. When her friend invites her for a weekend of kinky fairytale role-playing, she agrees to go as Cinderella. What has she got to lose when sex with a handsome prince is involved?
CEO Bryce Langston needs to know if Jamie is innocent of embezzlement or just very clever. He arranges for her to be his weekend sub but soon realizes the pretty scullery maid is naïve to the BDSM lifestyle. As her prince and her Dom, he intends to not only learn the truth but to make sure she has a fantasy come true.

“Let’s talk about your sex life. I read the questionnaire you filled out and understand you’re game for a bit of light BDSM.”
“What?” The spit in Jaimie’s mouth dried. “What do you mean by light BDSM?” She was going to kill Lucy. She’d assumed many of the men and women she’d seen earlier were into some kinky stuff, but there’d been others wearing normal costumes. Like her.
“Dominant and submissive role playing.”
“Roles? As in I’m Cinderella and you’re the Prince?”
His lips curved in amusement. “Not quite. I am a Dominant who requires a submissive. I am your Dom and you are my sub. Those are our roles for the weekend.”
Jaimie stood. Yep. Her friend deserved a slow, torturous death. “I think there’s been a misunderstanding. I’m not into kinky sex or pain. I agreed to a weekend of free food, being waited on, and having sex with my prince charming.”

Wild Rose Press:

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Red and Her Big Bad Dom available Oct 31

Contest: Once Upon a Dom Tote Bag and goodies (mug, flash drive & more). See pictures of prizes and details here

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  1. I wish I could, I wish I could...but my days of writing fast are behind me, and I think NANO would just make me crazy.

    1. lol's, Liz. It's definately crazy! Fast isn't always better. But it sure sounds good! Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Wow Sydney. I've never done NANO because I work but one o these days... Good luck and keep us posted.

    1. Thanks for stopping by Kayden! Working might make that a suicidal challenge!

  3. I tried NANO one year. As my writing is similar to yours, I think I got about 20k words down before I realized I was pushing my round thinking into a square hole. Never returned to that project, either. Stick with your grand baby and book promotion!

  4. Lol's Ashantay! One thing about Nano, is it does take more time away to go onto the site and track. I really think it's a dream for this year but I'll push my personal goal a bit to try and achieve what I need to meet my goals for the year end. And you're right. Can't ignore the promo or grandbaby! Thanks for taking time to visit

  5. I've tried and failed NANO three times. So its a no go for me this year. My life is so chaotic anymore that I don't "make" myself write a specific word count anymore.


    1. Harlie, thanks for coming by. I hear you! I'm still teetering. I like the idea of the challenge, so may set my own goals for the month.

  6. Every year I seem to be in the middle of a project I hate to stop. I've never tried NANO. Someday.

    1. Thanks for the visit, Anita. I often wish it wasn't in Nov. with the start of the holidays.

  7. NaNo goal is 50,000 words. I've won every year starting in 2009.

  8. Wow, Carla, that is amazing and inspiring. Good for you!

  9. Sydney, so glad you were a guest today. Thanks for being here.

  10. Brenda, thank you so much for having me. You have a wonderful site.

  11. I found that if I try to get a number of words a day, I fail. I have to write in my own time. I guess I'm just funny that way.