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    #Nanowrimo Q & A

    Last November was one of the best months of the year. Why? Because I got a chance to do NaNoWriMo for the first time. This gave me the opportunity to:

    • Meet other writers
    • Write a novel that can/would be published the following year
    • Realize that 50,000 words in 30 days is possible 

    I have seen a few questions float around the web and other platform asking questions on Nanowrimo and although I believe the best place for answers is the actual website (www.nanowrimo.org) I wanted to post some Q & A’s here as NaNoWriMo is almost here. 

     

    Q1: Can I start writing my novel before November 1st?

    A:  Absolutely Not. I’ve seen this question more than once and I get it. You’re excited about doing your first novel or you want to get a few words down so you can make it to 50K at the end of November. As understandable as this is, you have to remember that the goal here is to see if you are able to write within a time frame. Starting before that time doesn’t do anything for you as far as giving you that sweet sweet satisfaction of being able to juggle your everyday life with your everyday passion. 

     

    Q2: What can I write about? 

    A: Do you like fantasy? Romance? Young Adult (YA)? History? Memoirs? Fanfiction? Poetry? Everything? Well, write what you like. I myself love Romance and YA and although for NaNo I have choosen to write romance I still might dabble into YA. Only one has to reach 50K unless I want to push through and do two novels at once.

     

    Q3: Should I create an outline or no? 

    A: Another question that has crossed different platforms. This is considered plotter vs pantsing. Plotting is where you do an outline, draw scenes, basically have every bit (or just about) of your story planned from that first sword fight, first kiss, first argument etc. You know what’s going to happen because you planned it that way. Pantsing is the opposite. You fly by the seat of your pants. You may have an idea of your story but you want to just sit at the computer and let the creative juices flow. Whatever happens, happens. I can’t say which one is better because we all have our own way of doing things. Just find whatever fits you. 

     

    Q4: 50K words a month? That’s impossible

    A: I will answer this question with a question. Why is it impossible? You may say because 50,000 (yes, I wanted to add the zeros this time.) is too many words but if you break it down it really is 1,667 words a day. I get it. You have a hectic day. Work. School. Children. It’s hard to find time to write but to be honest, that’s not true either. You can find time to write at any time. At work, jot down on a post it note. Out with kids or others, use your cell phone to quickly add a word or two. Remember, a word here and there can eventually lead you toward your goal. 

     

    Q5: When is being too prepared too much?  

    A: I’ve seen this question once or twice and quite honestly as a plotter I am always over prepared but that just comes with being a plotter. To me, you can never be too prepared. You want to at least have a general idea of the genre you want to write, perhaps you can see what the character looks like in your mind but you don’t have a name for them yet or maybe you can see the end of the story but not so much the beginning. All of that is okay. As long as you know something about your upcoming work then that’s what matters, at least to me. 

    Have any questions you’d like to ask or like any of the ones I gave above? Let me know. Everything above is my own opinion and is in no way the words of Nanowrimo. Agree. Disagree. Be indifferent. Either way we all have one thing in common and that’s our love of national novel writing month. 

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    That ‘Newly Published’ Feeling.

    Inside_Out_-_Emotion_Poster_Collaboration   I really enjoyed seeing Inside Out in theaters. Why? Because it explored the different emotions a person can go through at any given point throughout their lifetime.  Having just recently, as of yesterday, become an officially published author I have had a lot of my friends ask me the same question.  “Estelle, why aren’t you jumping in the air? You should be more excited!”  I guess I’m not giving off as much of an excited emotion unlike those around me. You’d think they wrote the book and got it published. Ha! I wouldn’t want to give the wrong impression. I am EXTREMELY excited. I mean, I started writing when I was young, like most writers, and sure I always thought maybe I could possibly be a writer but then I became swept in having a grow up and live a sustainable life which meant going to college to obtain a degree that paid money to pay bills.  I still do that, I’m even crafting this post during a lunch break, but I realized I can do both. I can be an author and still hold down a 9 to 5 job. Writing is something I love to do. It is where my heart is. Everyone has their own things that make them happy whether that’s a family, children, new sneakers, newest electronic devices, season tickets to a game (you get the idea). I am on an emotional roller-coaster right now and, though I’m not a roller-coaster lover, I am not looking to come down any time soon.  I am excited and nervous and slightly scared all the same time. I’ve read so many posts where people have stated that once your book is out there then it’s out there. You open yourself up to the world to get praise or to get jeered. You have to have thick skin.  I have that, to some degree. I won’t pretend everything bounces off my shoulder but I know that with critics come the ability to improve and I always want to improve in everything that I do.  I honestly cannot answer which emotion an author should have when their work has finally reached the masses, no matter how it gets there. However, there is one thing that should be felt and I feel it now.

    Accomplishment

    If nothing else, I know that I have achieved an accomplishment within my lifetime and whether my book, Illusions of the Heart, does well or not (but let’s be honest here, I want it to do well) I know that I have done something that has shown people that where you start off in this journey of life is not where you’ll always end up. Success, big or small is still success and you should enjoy it, even if you aren’t sure the right way to express  yourself. 

     Congratulations to all those starting to write, in the middle of writing, looking for representation or already published (whether traditionally or self published). You’ve achieved something within your life whether you initially know it or not. 

    Click here to purchase my new novel Illusions of the Heart

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    Conferences

    This area was created to provide an up to date list of all writer’s conferences being held.

    I will also include some sites that are not 100% geared toward writers but are still offering sessions between people who are interested in writing and want to listen to someone who has been published, whether traditional or self.

    Select from the drop down list above. The conferences will be split into quarters.

    • First Quarter – Conferences held between January – March
    • Second Quarter – Conferences held between April – June
    • Third Quarter – Conferences held between July – September
    • Fourth Quarter – Conferences held between October – December
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