NaNoWriMo, Here I Come!


I have been debating this for over a month now, but I finally decided to do it.  I arranged for some vacation time off work, because there’s no way I can keep working full-time and write 50,000 words in one month.  Yes, I know that other people do it, that people manage to work full-time and raise three kids and post on their blog every day and yet somehow also find some “extra time” somewhere in their day and crank out 50-freaking-thousand words in a month.

Those people are my spirit animals.

As a mere mortal, and not one especially skilled at time management, I have a hard time just making my Project 10K goal every month.  But with some time off work, I just might be able to do this.

As many of you know, I’ve been struggling with the revisions of my Corwallen Manor novel for a while, and taking time off that to work on short stories and trying to get those published.  Progress so far?

Let’s just say I’m learning to deal with rejection.

But hey, that’s progress!  You can’t get rejected until you actually write something and send it off, and it turns out that’s the main criteria for getting accepted, too.

Anyway, I’ve also been actively mulling over six other novel ideas (all totally unrelated to each other, naturally, but all taking place in Eneana).  I sat down to figure out whether one of them was ready enough to start writing.

Nope.  So very NOT ready.

But okay, I picked the one that seemed closest to being ready, and did a bunch of thinking about it.  A little outlining.   A little character development.  A lot of looking through K.M. Weiland’s amazing blog on writing and soaking up all her great advice.  I got a fair amount of prep done on that novel.

But there were glitches.  Challenges.  Maybe I’m not good enough to write this story yet.  So a few days ago I decided to switch to a different novel idea.  I did some work on that one.  That one also looked good, but there was a whole different set of problems with that one.  For a day I was teetering on the brink, but now I’m back to the original idea.

Definitely decided now.

Not crossing my fingers or anything,  honest.

The working title is “Heart in a Box.”  It sounds like a really deep literary theme, doesn’t it?  It is!  He totally has his heart figuratively in a box!  Also, someone’s heart actually gets put in a box.   So: literal, too.

Here’s my current blurb:

Dar should be pleased.  He’s inherited the throne and can finally rule as he wants.

But his father left him a bankrupted country. The people hate him and the restrictions he must impose.  The only person on the council he’s sure isn’t plotting against him is his mother, and that’s only because she thinks she can control the throne if he’s on it.

The only upside is that now he can marry the woman he loves.  But when he shows up to do so, she rejects him.

Dar makes a terrible decision.  Once he’s committed to it, he keeps digging himself in deeper.  Seeing no way out, he makes his dilemma worse with every step, until he invokes a dark magic that cannot be undone.

Dar’s learned the hard way that you have to take what you want in this world.  Nobody is ever good to you for free.  Can he learn a different way before he loses the woman he loves, his kingdom, or even his life?


Would you want to read that story?  Please say yes!   If you want a teaser about Dar, he’s featured in a recent flash fiction piece I did: Unreachable Peak.

Are you doing NaNo this year?  I’m always happy to have more writing buddies — tag me!

Good luck to all of us!

20 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo, Here I Come!

  1. So happy for you Joy! And hey, on the off-chance you were outing me (because I realize what kind of influence I command over thousands of followers), we only have two kids (not three) and I’ve stopped blogging every day for a few months now. But enough about me, I want to watch you tell about Dar, and have fun in the process…enjoy your time off from work…salsa dance! Best of luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha, I didn’t realize you were working full time and doing all that other stuff you talk about too. Wow, you really are one of my spirit animals! You do have a partner who does at least half the child-minding, though, which puts you at an advantage over most of the women-parent-writers I know (which is sad to say, in this day and age). I’m looking forward to learning more about Dar, although I’m starting to worry about what it might do to my mood, to spend so much time with such a dark story. Hopefully I’ll be able to resist the urge to suddenly make Dar a better person and/or reduce his life suckage, just to make things better for me. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes my partner does more than her fair share, to be fair. I know what you mean about the mood, and your immersion in the story. I’ve only had that once, but it was the second time I did 50k (this spring) and there’s something wonderful and maddening about that feeling of immersion in an imagined world, a kind of journey isn’t it? I wish you safe flight and deep immersion Joy, enjoy that.

        Liked by 1 person

      • It’s going to be a little harder than last time to get immersed, because I’ll have to keep interrupting the flow to go back to work for a couple days, keep everyone on my team on track. But I’ll still be able to carve out at least 3-4 days in a row several times, and just do nothing but write, eat, and sleep. And pet my cat; she’s very supportive of any plan where I sit in front of the computer and make a lap for her all day long. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. So you went with Dar in the end? Good for you. For what it’s worth, I think the premise is really interesting – potential for romance, political machinations galore and tons of tension. I suspect you might have to lob a mention of violence into your blurb, maybe some magic too. But I think Dar himself sounds a complex enough, interesting character to carry it all on his shoulders. Well done for going for it. I hope it goes brilliantly for you. Good luck x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad you find the idea interesting, Lynn! There’s definitely tons of tension — the stakes are high in all directions. Thanks for the tip: I couldn’t find a way to mention violence without giving away a plot point (there really isn’t that much violence otherwise), but I did revise the blurb to mention magic.

      I have high hopes for this one. I definitely did not know my last novel well enough to write up a summary like this before I started. Despite having a long outline of all the “things that happened” in the plot, back when I started Corwallen I didn’t know anything about plot structure, character development, internal B story versus external A story, theme… Well, I didn’t know much of anything, now that I think about it. So I really feel like I’m starting on a stronger footing this time. I’m sure I’ll still slip up, but maybe not quite so catastrophically this time!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, I hear you there! With my first I didn’t have a clue – never even written a short story since I was a teenager – and just dived straight in, making the whole thing up as I went along, not knowing where I was going, where I’d end up. I hadn’t got to know my characters at all, or the settings or anything. A major rewrite – two – were needed to make it into anything like a novel and even now … With the current WIP I had much more of an idea, let the idea grow, did long questionaires about the main characters. It’ll still take alot of rewriting, just maybe not so much as the first one! We learn with each one, eh?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, that’s exactly the lesson I learned the first time too. I’m glad to hear that the second one made more sense for you; it gives me hope that my optimism about my own next project isn’t completely misplaced!


    • Glad you think it sounds interesting, that’s reassuring! Actually I already feel better about this novel than I felt about my last one, being able to write up a blurb like that, that people seem to think makes sense. Thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah i agree. You did a great job though. I’m sure you have it planned out too but I always find condensing a book into a catchy blurb is so difficult.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I agree. I’m beginning to think it’s easier to figure out what makes a catchy blurb and then write THAT story, rather than spend tons of time writing a story that may or may not include “arcs” or “themes” or “development”, and then belatedly try to figure out how it might appeal to anyone, LOL!


    • Thanks Rachel! I did NaNo the first time I heard about it, in 2015, and wrote just over 60K. But then, I was only working part time that month. Last year work was crazy and there was no way I could do it, but I did Camp NaNo in between, in 2016 and 2017. Lately I’ve been having a hard time just getting 10K written for my monthly goals, so the real question this time was whether I could take some time off work, and whether I really wanted to switch gears from revising what I already have started and instead start something else. We’ll see how it works. As you say, I’ll have *something* in the end!


  3. Don’t fret on it, Joy. I’ve started two (longish) stories for my blog this year, and quit the first one about 1/4 way through, and the second one inches from the climax. Why? Because I want to focus on the rewrite of Feast Fables. Meanwhile, I’m 2 out of 4 history posts along and had to take a couple of weeks out for a family calamity, and those 4 posts are supposed to nestle inside three other history posts . . . but 2 out of 3 ain’t bad. You’ll make it, if that’s what you want. I have believe in you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Crispina, I appreciate the vote of confidence! It was hard enough putting my novel aside to let the serious revision ideas percolate, but moving on to a new novel altogether? Why, that sounds like (gasp) giving up! But I read a great post about “practice novels” where I realized that for a lot (maybe most) published authors, their first published novel isn’t the first novel they wrote — more like the second or even fifth. Their suggestion was to put that first one aside and come back to it later, when you have more skills, and maybe then you’ll have better insight into the problems you can’t quite solve now. Although it sounds as though what you’re dealing with isn’t so much being stuck with a story that isn’t working so much as trying to do too many things in one year. (Yeah, “pot calling kettle black” on that one.) As long as you keep track of all the different projects and keep your priorities straight, I’m sure you’ll eventually finish what deserves to be finished. Are you planning to do NaNo, or maybe Camp NaNo in April (for the revisions)? I love the excuse to just shut everything and everyone else off and FOCUS. Reminds me of what I can actually get done in a whole day, if I manage to cut off all those distractions.

      Liked by 1 person

      • No NaNo for me, although the currently posting story. Can of Worms, would have qualified, i.e. 50k words +, and written in a month. As to published writers and how many books set aside and/or rejected, as Brandon Sanderson says (he was chosen to finish the Wheel of Time series when Jordan died) he wrote novels into the double figures, all of which were rejected, before he made that breakthrough. So keep at it. The Dr Zeus books were turned down by something like 60 odd publishers before one finally took them. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Wow, pretty impressive that you wrote the whole Can of Worms in a month! So, any plans to put that into a published format? I know I always ask you that — I find it so hard to keep up with long serials online, so I keep hoping you’ll put your stuff on CreateSpace or something like that, where I can order a real print version and sit down with it in my reading nook. 🙂

        All those rejections for famous people just depress me, is the problem. How can we mortals ever expect to get published in such a world? But then, this is why it’s great to go to my local writers conferences, to see “real people” who did get publishing deals and made them work. “Work” — and lots of it — being the operative word!

        Liked by 1 person

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