Takeaways from #NaNoWriMo 2016

nanowrimocrestWhen I started my NaNoWriMo project, I had mixed feelings. While I listened and nodded when the other GuelphWriMos spoke of 5K-word spurts and pulling all-nighters to achieve the ultimate goal of 50K words, I decided to be more realistic.

A linear pantser, I preferred to write sporadically, at most 1K words a day. My highest monthly count was 20K words.

Could I possibly make the leap from 20K words to 50K words and produce a “reasonable” first draft of A Different Kind of Reunion? And would I be able to write without stopping to edit the “hot mess” that would inevitably appear before me each day?

Continue reading on the Sisterhood of Suspense blog.


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TGIO Party for Guelph #NaNoWriMo

nanowrimocrestFriday evening, I joined four other NaNoWriMo winners at Fionn MacCool’s in south Guelph for our TGIO (Thank God It’s Over) party. Of the 96 members in the Guelph region, 26 of us completed 50K words and more during the month-long marathon.

Thanks to our M.L. Cindy Carroll for organizing and motivating us throughout the month. We plan to meet throughout the year and compare notes on our NaNoWriMo projects.

As for next year, I’m in for another round. Ideas are percolating for The Missing Gigolo, Book 4 in the Gilda Greco Mystery series.

My final stats…50,940 words with an average of 1,698 words per day.

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Inspiration From My Favorite Mystery Authors

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Collecting quotations has been one of my lifelong hobbies. In the pre-computer days, I would jot down quotations on slips of paper and toss them in a desk drawer. Once a month, I would type them up and place them in a special file folder. I’ve kept the folder but now use Pinterest and Goodreads to store my quotations.

Continue reading on the Just Romantic Suspense blog.


Half-Way Party for Guelph #NaNoWriMo

nanowrimocrestLast evening, eight of us met at Fionn MacCool’s in south Guelph for our half-way party. We are an eclectic group of writers but still manage to find common topics of discussion. The conversation was an animated one as we chatted about our WIPs, e-publishing vs. traditional publishing, evil day jobs, and NaNoWriMo.

We also debated the merits of different writing processes. We appeared to be divided (not so evenly!) between plotters (write using chapter outlines) and pantsers (write by the seat of their pants). While I like to stick with my comfort level of 1700 words per day, several of the others have written 5000+ words in one day.

All in all, it was an enjoyable evening, and I left, inspired to continue writing.

My Word Count (as of Tuesday, November 15) – 25,599 words.

Goal (by Wednesday, November 30) – 50,000 words.

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ONWARD ♦ AVANTI ♦ EN AVANT ♦ WEITER ♦ ADELANTE ♦ AVANTE


Spectacular #NaNoWriMo Success Stories

nanowrimocrestCompleting 50,000 words in 30 days is a major achievement, one that hundreds of thousands of NaNoWriMo participants have set as their November goal for the past seventeen years. While the end result will be part unreadable, part unfinished, and more than likely, error-ridden, the process often continues well beyond November. Many published books–including some very successful ones–started off as NaNoWriMo projects.


Here are four spectacular success stories:

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Sara Gruen devoted two separate NaNos to writing Water for Elephants and then sold her work to Algonquin Publishers for $55,000. In 2007, the book topped the New York Times Best Seller list and hit the big screen with Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson in 2011.

Erin Morgenstern began writing The Night Circus in November of 2004. That first year, Erin ended up with 50,000 words of unconnected scenes and imagery. She then spent the next two NaNos adding to the story. In 2008, she took the 100,000+ words and formed them into an actual plot. She didn’t have a workable draft until 2009. In 2011, she received a six-figure deal from Knopf Doubleday Publishers. The movie rights were snapped up by the producers of the Harry Potter films.

Rainbow Rowell had already published two novels when she sat down to write Fangirl during NaNo 2011. While writing, she moved away from her usual pattern of rewriting the previous day’s work and kept moving forward. She considers the book her “bravest writing”…New York Times agreed and designated Fangirl a 2013 Notable Children’s Book.

Hugh Howey wrote three of the novellas that later made up Wool in November 2011. When he self-published the book, he sold 1000 copies the first month. After selling tens of thousands of ebooks directly to readers, he signed a six-figure deal with a major publisher. The movie rights have been purchased by 20th Century Fox.


ONWARD ♦ AVANTI ♦ EN AVANT ♦ WEITER ♦ ADELANTE ♦ AVANTE


Starting #NaNoWriMo

nanowrimoparticpant2Never say never.

For years, I’ve been shaking my head whenever the topic of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) came up. I couldn’t fathom the idea of writing 50,000 words in one month.

Madness…undue stress…why on earth would I subject myself to that kind of torture?

In a podcast with Stephen Campbell, I listed several reasons for not participating and assured him I would take my time writing any future novels.

All that changed when I started imagining the plot for A Different Kind of Reunion, Book 3 in the Gilda Greco Mystery Series. Determined to release the book within a year of Book 2, I knew I had to change my m.o. If I continued to work at my present speed, it would take at least two years to write, edit, and release the novel.

Continue reading on the Sisterhood of Suspense blog.