On this blog every Tuesday and Friday I write about story techniques, structure, and/or publishing. Comments and questions are welcome. I also have a personal blog, Amy Deardon, on which I write about a variety of topics purely as they catch my fancy.

I've written one novel, A Lever Long Enough, that I'm honored to say has won two awards. In my life BC (before children) I was a scientist who did bench research.

My book, The Story Template: Conquer Writer's Block Using the Universal Structure of Story, is now available in both hard-copy and e-book formats. I also coach would-be novelists and screenwriters to develop their story. YOU CAN CONTACT ME at amydeardon at yahoo dot com.

Friday, October 28, 2011

NaNo is Coming

Here it is: the annual challenge from National Novel Writing Month (http://www.nanowrimo.org/) to write 50,000 words in a month.

Like running a marathon, for many years I looked at this goal with awe: sure, it might be possible, but was it likely? Not for me. Finally last year I decided to face my fear head on. I decided that writing 2000 words per day, six days per week, would do the trick. I'd have a few spare non-writing days for those impossible times when the world falls around your ears, and could keep going otherwise. 2000 words is a lot, but it's doable.

And so, I started out. I friended a few people and watched their word outputs: the NaNo site has a graph into which you input your word count every day. Some graphs looked like mine: slow and steady. Others were wild: flat, flat, and then an infusion of 8-10,000 words over the weekend. My brain would fry doing that.

At the end of the month, I found... I'D DONE IT! I had about 53,000 words. Most of it was drivel, mind you, but the only criterion was quantity, and I had that.

And now, it's that time again, starting on Tuesday November 1 through Wednesday November 30th. Things are tougher this year with kiddo stuff, but I'm going to try for it.

I learned while writing my first novel that SOTP (seat of the pants) is not the way to go. Heck, I developed and refined my algorithm (THE STORY TEMPLATE: CONQUER WRITER'S BLOCK USING THE UNIVERSAL STRUCTURE OF STORY) because I didn't want to waste time doing I knew not what. The Template book has more than 100 specific exercises that sequentially help the writer develop all elements of a story, and then combine them.

So for this next month, instead of venturing out on a new story SOTP, I am going to use my algorithm to develop the sequel of A LEVER LONG ENOUGH. Once this is finished, I would like to look for an agent, then find a new home for both of these books. And after that, I have a blockbuster idea for the prequel, entitled NEST AMONG THE STARS, describing a spectacular space station disaster.

If you will be joining me in NaNo, I'd love to be buddies! My handle is Amy_D.

Happy writing.

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