Post NaNoWriMo Editing Sale!

Please note: this sale has ended!

Hello to all you NaNoWriMo participants and winners! I hope that you achieved your goal for the month… whether that was to churn out 50,000 words of Nobel Laureate-worthy prose or just to get back in the swing of creative writing. Me? I didn’t get the word count, but I did get some work done on my work-in-progress, so go me!

Now that we’re all done celebrating our writerly prowess and awake again after our turkey comas, it’s time to… keep writing more! And making sure it’s the best it can be.

I promised a sale on editing services in honor of NaNo (you don’t have to be a winner), so here it is: 25% off of ALL services, big and small. Check my rates here. For work that I don’t charge a per-word rate for, we’ll go through a friendly negotiation and then take 25% off of that.

That’s not all. If you want to sample my services and see what it’s like to work with me in the easiest way, I’ve got deal the for you. Send me up to 5,000 words, and I’ll give it an edit and brief commentary for $35 flat. Simple! (In case you were wondering, that’s $0.007/word!)

“You’re crazy!!” you are probably saying. Nope. Just excited to see what everyone is working on. So contact me today so we can start talking about making your masterpiece even better. It’s going to be fun.

(Offer ends January 31, 2014. Resolve to take advantage of this deal before it’s gone! (See what I did there?!) And again – you don’t have to have had anything to do with NaNoWriMo this year to take advantage of this offer.)

NaNoWriMo: Last Day. You Can Do It.

In 2010, I did NaNo, but I also had a big Thanksgiving trip planned to California’s Central coast. It was an amazing trip, but needless to say, I barely got any writing done.

Before I left I had about 39,000 words. When I returned, I had about 40,000. I was pretty pleased with that, truth be told, but I wanted more. I really wanted to finish.

So I did. On the 30th, I had nothing planned, so…

Eight hours.

10,000 words.


It was a great feeling to get that done.

You can too.

Once more into the breach!

NaNoWriMo: Halfway home. Stuck yet??

Hi, everybody! Sorry I dropped off the map. Between NaNo and the nice little boost of editing and non-profit work you’ve been sending my way (many thanks to you all!), I’ve been busy. I suppose that as soon as I committed to NaNo and started running the sale on non-profit consulting, that work would ensue… but I have room for more! Please contact me today to get some great deals on editing. I am super-fun to work with, if I do say so myself. And as I recall, I promised you all a NaNo editing special. That’s still coming, I just needed to put it off a bit. Look for it around Thanksgiving.

End PSA. On with the post!

Today is the end of the first half of NaNoWriMo. Dun-dun-dunnnnn!

Hit the doldrums yet?! I hope not. But if you did, here’s a few more ideas to get you going again:

  • Write from a different/new character viewpoint. New blood = new story.
  • Do something random. Add a flock of menacing ducks. An angry bank teller. Have an alien invasion at the mall. Make all the zombies start getting better. You know… weird stuff.
  • Talk out your story situation with friends or family. Have them give you random ideas for new conflict and then draw one from a hat.

Or maybe this is you: “I missed three days, and am waaaay behind. Help!”

  • Don’t panic.
  • Worry even less about typos.
  • Worry even less about the story making sense – as long as you can keep it going in a good/fun direction.
  • Make sure that you end your writing day in the middle of a scene rather than completing it. That way you know what you are going to write right off the bat next session, and it will be easier to get going.
  • Remove yourself from your normal situations. For example: Use an app that counts words, but isn’t one that you typically use or go outside or to a cafe to write.
  • Set up a reward system. Make it good. What are your favorite little things in life? Do that for yourself.
  • A couple of cheapies, but goodies: stretch descriptions and conversations. Make characters wax eloquent about otherwise boring details in a fun way. Describe every hair on the back of the murderous cat that is the villain of your sci-fi, alternate history.

Whatever you have to do to get that word count! And that brings up the question: what are YOU doing to keep yourself going? Share in the comments! You might help someone achieve their NaNo goal today.

Keep going, everybody! You can do it! Have a blast.

I’ll try to post sooner rather than later, but I’ll not make any specific promises. And please send me some more work! 🙂

It’s Four Days into NaNo. How are you doing??

Hopefully better than me! I started day one like gangbusters, but fell off on day two. Too much outside non-NaNo life intruded. This is all too typical of NaNo. Day two can be tough: the shine is already off and many folks think: Wait. I have to do all that AGAIN?

Yes, you do, but it’ll be alright. Here’s some things that you may be telling yourself already and some tips to get through them. Because you’re so very wrong about what you’re telling yourself!

I’ll never be able stick to it.

Don’t say that. Of course you will! Some days will be better than others and some days will be… awful. Just know that tomorrow is another day. And make sure that you have a good support system in place so people can kindly shame you into continuing when you think you’re ready to give up. Laugh at yourself. Writing a novel in one month is crazy funny. And don’t forget: crazy fun. It’s supposed to be fun!

I’m Terrified of the Blank Page.

Don’t worry. No one is judging you, aside from – most likely – you. Put that voice aside and get creating. You don’t have to be William Faulkner or Stephen King right off the bat. Just be you. The world already has plenty of Faulkner and King; it needs more YOU. Put something on the page or screen and then put something else. Don’t stop. Just write. BICHOK it. That’s “Butt In Chair; Hands On Keyboard.” Go. No judgement allowed.

I’m still stuck. Any more advice, brainiac?

  • If you’re going to worry about quality anyway, try this: deliberately set out to write something you hate or is bad, as long as it’s within the context of your story. The trick is this: write the best nonsensical crap you can. Pulitzer crap. Once the juices are flowing again, you’ll just write your story.
  • Try writing about the noises you hear outside or in the office wherever you are.
  • Type what you’re feeling about being anxious and then put it into a character. Make sure that they overcome some part of their issues before the end of the scene.
  • Ask a random passersby for an idea on setting or character quirk or bad-guy doomsday scenario. Then use it verbatim. With permission.

Whew. I’m going to take my own advice here and get back to work!

What are you doing to get through your early NaNo roadblocks? Or what are you doing that’s allowed you to avoid them? Please share in the comments!

It’s NaNoWriMo Eve! What are you doing as last-minute prep?

Screen Shot 2013-10-31 at 9.15.20 AMI spent yesterday and this morning deciding what I’m doing for NaNo this year. I’m excited that I decided on a work in progress (WiP): an epic urban fantasy/sci-fi frankenstein monster of awesomeness that’s I only need to make about… 50,000 words of progress on to finish. How convenient! I was going to do something wacky like create a video game script based on a fantasy novel that is also in progress, but maybe later. That would have required more prep time than I’ve had lately.

I’ve got to get a few ideas together and maybe make a new playlist or two, but otherwise, I’m set. What are you doing to prep today?

Oh, and If any of you are signed up at, find me. I’m right here. We can be novel buddies and cheer each other on!

Good luck, everyone!

NaNoWriMo Tools – Part 5: Three Reasons I Write to Music

Not every writer likes to write to music, but many do. I am one of those.

Here are 3 reasons that I rock out to get my word count.

  1. Concentration. Music sort of walls in my head and helps keep aural distractions to a minimum. And that is something that really, really helps for NaNoWriMo – especially if you haven’t hit your daily word count goal for the day. Also, I never would have been able to do NaNo on a busy, noisy train without good headphones and loud music.
  2. Create different moods for different scenes. I have different playlists set up for different emotions. Need angry or determined? Cue up some raucous, kick-butt movie music. Contemplative? Chill electronic or trance. Romance? A playlist of 1970s movie love themes. It works. No, really, it does.
  3. Motivation. Sometimes it’s hard to get going, so I put on some music and wait for the muse to show. She generally comes riding in on the wings of heroic movie soundtracks.

Type of music is definitely important to me. Here are 3 of my favorite music types for writing.

  1. Instrumental Soundtracks. So many moods… and almost no words to get in your brain. Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Hanna, Conan the Barbarian (the Schwarzenegger version of course), and How to Train Your Dragon are among my favorites.
  2. Electronic and New Age. Two different types of energy and again… no words. For electronic, I just put on Spotify or iTunes radio and go. For New Age… can’t go wrong with Mannheim Steamroller’s Fresh Air series.
  3. The music of the 1980s. Yes they have words, but I know all these songs from my childhood so well, that I don’t ‘hear’ the words any more. Lots of pep really gives me forward momentum. Your milage may vary.

(Why no classical? I can listen to some classical, but I find it extremely distracting since I have two degrees in French horn performance. All of my music theory classes kick in, and I’m down the rabbit hole of analysis!)

Please share you favorite writing music in the comments!

And that does it for my NaNoWriMo Tools series! Hope you enjoyed it. If you missed the other installments, see Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.

Scrivener 2.5 dropped today!

It’s NaNoWriMo Christmas, everybody! Keith and Co. at Literature and Latte have gifted us with a new Mac version of Scrivener.

Go get it here or in the Mac App Store. And see all the new goodies this version features here.

Highlights are OS X 10.9 ‘Mavericks’ compatibility (which is available free(!) in the Mac App Store), compile upgrades, import from Scapple adjustments, and what seems to be a fair amount of bug stomping.

New toys. Love it.