Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Nano here we come! Preparations Part 4


Don't know what Nano is go here


Final Preparations 

We are down to the last few days and I must say I'm not very ready. Most of the time by this point I have an outline and have things pretty well ironed out but I've just been too busy.  I hope you Nanoheads are doing better than me. 







Around the house 
I do have things around the house in better order.  I have some frozen soup, and
some canned veggies for those days when I want to write without cooking. Almost all of the laundry is caught up, and I'm hoping to get some chips and snacks to help feed my muse. :)






Dogs

Yes I have to lovely inside pets and they will want a lot of attention so I will try to break and be sure that they go outside and get some play time.  I must say that a laptop can help a lot when you have pets or kids. 


Last Minute Tips
Speaking of laptops, it's good to have one set up somewhere that is a high traffic
area for yourself.  You will be surprised how many words you can get down between stirring supper, or washing dishes, just be sure and don't burn anything and always dry your hands.  I normally place my laptop in the kitchen on the bar, and I get quite a few extra words that way.



Drop Box
This is a really handy little thing I found.  It's a way to share what ever work that you have on every computer you have.  If you have M word on both of your computers, if you have two, you can just switch back and forth between devices by dropping your current work into the drop box icon that will be on your computer.


I have Carbonite for back ups too, but this is handy because there is not a lot of searching necessary when you want to work on one novel on two different computers.  It's really a breeze and you can also use it on your ipod for images and some music.  I really do love it. Check it out here. DropBox.


Pacing Yourself
It's a good thing to set a word count goal.  If you type 1666 words a day that will take care of everything, but I prefer to have some stellar days, where I knock the ball out of the park.  Last year I hit 10 K in a 24 hour period.  Yes I really did.  I am going to try and have a day this year where I beat that, but it will be hard.


Word Count
Trust me during that first ten hours or maybe even the first few says you are going
to wear out that word count button.  I know I can not be happy until I have at least 5k under the old writers belt.  Try to forget about it, and to just focus on writing.  I know it will be hard, but the main focus is keep writing.





When to write

When it comes to Nano I will be sitting in front of the computer on Wed night ready to start writing when the old clock hits 12, and if all goes well I will punch out about 1500 words or so and start again when I wake up the next morning.  I normally like to write when it's quiet in the house, so every chance I get even if it's just twenty minutes I'll be there writing every word I can.






Final Thoughts 
The thing is to not freak out and sit there looking at a blank screen when you can't think of anything to write.  Just get up and move around, play with the idea in your head, pick a scene on later in the book and write on that.  Don't focus on I can't get this chapter done.  Drop it and move on. Nano teaches you to write, and write. Don't correct mistakes, don't edit just write.

It will help you to learn to write things that you would never consider if you were just on a normal word count day.  You will find yourself writing your characters out on a limb that they would have never even thought about venturing on because you are looking at that word count button again.

Prayer
It can never hurt to pray about anything.  I am a Christian and I pray about
everything, so sure I'll pray that the Lord will bless my mind with some great ideas, and that what I write will end up being worth something that someone will enjoy reading later. 






Everyone have fun,

Nano is about learning, about pushing yourself, though it's fun to win, it's not about winning.  It's about learning to write and keep your rear in that chair until you have came to the end of the month. It's taught me a lot, it's placed me on the road to self publishing and it's helped me to make a lot of new friends.



Until November
Nano Nano Samantha Fury   
 

Monday, October 19, 2020

NaNo 2020: What is Nano?

I know we're starting a little early but I want all those new writers to learn about NaNo.

NaNoWriMo: The Contest

Coming this November will be one of the most exciting contests I've ever entered. I'll be fighting against someone that's hard-headed and hard to please. A person that thanks God for the opportunity to write. A person that loves to write, and a person that I know will fight to win when Nano pushes her to new heights and new way's of thinking. I'll be competing with this person every minute and that person is ME.


What is NaNo?
It's a contest where you try to write 50 thousand words in a month.  Yes you heard me right.  It can be done, thousands of people do it every year.  True, every word of it might not be worth keeping, but it teaches you to get out on that limb and write.  Never heard of Nano go here.




Win Prizes and Pride through NaNoWriMo

I've entered and won this contest in November many times. Each time in November, I have won a prize. This year some of the prizes are some great discounts on some great products.  You can check them out here.

Now, of course, there is no way for the good NaNoWriMo folks to know if you are cheating, but they hope you won't.  You can sign up here and get a free account. Click here.




Words, Words, Words
It's not easy to write 50,000 words in a month, but it can be done. For me it comes down to a contest against my last year's record. I try to get in one really good day with about 11,000 words, so if I have a bad day, I don't get  behind. Last year I hit 11 and change in a 24 hour period. I was stoked.

I don't think I had ever written that many words in one day. I also don't know if I will ever beat that record or not, but you can bet that I will do my best when November comes around.

Outline?
For those of you that have participated you know that the only thing your supposed to do towards getting ready for the contest is to work on an outline.  You can plan and think and outline, but you can not write one word not even that first line to this great new novel until midnight of November the first. I don't have my outline started .  You can also be a rebel and work on another project if you like and still participate. But many years I have started with a blank sheet and only a few ideas and hit 50k each and every time. This year I'll be a Rebel because I have way too many stories going to start yet another! 


Really? 50,000 Words in a Month?
Writing 50,000 words in a months opened my mind to a new way of writing. It helped me learn to focus on the creation of the story, and to put editing to the back burner. It helped me to see  I can write under pressure. It taught me some of my best work comes when I'm working and writing under a timeline. When I won and finished over 50,000 words in less than 30 days it gave me a boost, and give me a great feeling of accomplishment.

Please don't let the idea of failing stop you from trying to win. Don't keep yourself from the lessons that are waiting there to be learned. It's fun, it's exciting, and at times it can be frustrating. I can't stress enough what a learning experience this is, so come on join in on the fun, and see if you can write 50k or more in a month.

Winning! 
Winning is fun that is for sure, but even if you don't win, you can learn so much from being in this contest.  You can meet great people, learn you can write a lot of words in one month, but most of all you learn to write write write.

I learned I can write above and beyond an outline. Sometimes if put myself out on that writing limb that the story line created and the Good Lord and my Muse always helps me off that limb.  I suggest every writer tries Nano at least once.


Still looking for more to read on Nano check my older nano post from previous years, some of the information will be repetitive some not.
Images thanks to 
Annette Shaff 
Javier Brosch
Edward Fielding
Ramona D'Viola
T.A. Byrne
Samantha Fury Images

Nano Nano Preparation Part 1 2020



What is Nano?  


It's a contest where you try to write 50 thousand words in a month.  Yes you heard
me right.  It can be done, thousands of people do it every year.  True, every word of it might not be worth keeping, but it teaches you to get out on that limb and write.  Never heard of Nano go here.



 
Getting ready for Nano
I'm not one of those people that count down the days, well not until it's like two
weeks out at least.  But I love to get ready for Nano, or at least try to.  There is so many things that you can do.  You can clean the house, get some food frozen so your family does not starve while you're writing. There is laundry to get caught up on, so many things that you really need to make a list.


Will I be ready?

Yes!  NO!  Maybe!  Of course not!  But I will do my best, but there will be something that creeps up on me that I'm not thinking about. Like running out of Nano supplies.  Candy, Coffee?  There are daily things that you can't do ahead of time: like walking the dogs, eating, praying family issues. Those daily chores that just have to be done. But still Nano must go on!




Outline?
For those of you that have done Nano before you know that the only thing you can
do towards getting ready for the contest writing wise, is to work on that outline.  You can plan and think and outline, but you can not write one word not even that first line to this great new novel until midnight of November the first.

I don't have my outline started yet.  I'll once again be working on my Street Justice Series during this month so I'll need to do a little reading on the last novel and see where I left off.  I'm behind one book and that is not good.  Most of the time at this point I would be releasing my next in the series, but forces beyond my control . . . life in general . . . have slowed me down.






Homework. 

If you think you might be interested in joining in on this contest just jump right in with both feet.  That said do your homework, talk to others that have done this before.  Join our Nano group on face book.  Outline if you can check out more Here 









Winning! 
Winning is fun that is for sure, but even if you don't win, you can learn so much    from being in this contest.  You can meet some great people, learn that you can    write a lot of words in one month, but most of all you learn to write write write.

I learned that I can write things that were not in my outline, that sometimes if do  put myself out on that writing limb that the story line I created while out there    will last and it is good.  I suggest that every writer tries Nano at least once.

I'll more than likely be talking about nano more before November so as I like to  say during this time of year.

Nano Nano

Part 2 
Part 3 
Links coming soon 






NaNoWriMo 2020 Nano Preparation Part 2

Getting Ready for NaNo

So you've decided to jump in with both feet, and you want to know what you can do to help get yourself ready for the greatest writing contest going?   Well you have come to the right place.  Some have called me the Queen Of Nano, NOT because I have won five years in a row, but because I try to get everyone that writes to join this contest.  There are some cool badges that they've given us over the years. I hope to add 2020 to my list of accomplishments!






The Mental Preparation

I personally try not to write much a few weeks before Nano, kind of hold all of that writing steam in. Also I'm normally busy doing other things getting ready so that all works out well. You don't want to be tired when Nano starts, well, mentally tired, you want your mind fresh and ready for ideas, plots, and characters to go flying all over the place. 


Though we can't be writing about our novel, Unless you're writing as a Rebel this year, we can be thinking and outlining. You may want to write down a list of characters, ideas, what kind weather will they be having, and do you have a plot in mind.  You may even be one of those people that like to outline, and if so that's find.  You're allowed to outline, you just can't write one word toward the November Novel you'll be entering into the contest.  




Your Health 
These last few weeks be careful what you do. Try not to catch a cold, or throw your back out.  You want to be as healthy as possible, during this month of frenzied writing.  You'll want to wash your hands a lot to keep away the flu, and Covid and of course bend with your knees and don't hurt that back.  You can drink lots of juices and water to keep well in general.

You also might want to try to catch up on lost sleep, because during the month of Nano you may be burning the midnight oil, trying to keep up, or just lost into he new story idea that will by this point be wanting to be told. 


Home-front Preparation

You can clean the house, get some food frozen so your family does not starve while you're writing. There is laundry to get caught up on, so many things that you really need to make a list. I try to cook and clean during the last two weeks so that we all have clean clothes, and that the first two weeks I can focus on writing.

I have some frozen soup, and some canned veggies for those days when I want to write without cooking.  I'm hoping to get some chips and snacks to help feed my muse. 



Children and Dogs
If you have children you might want to line up some baby sitters for Nano, talk your mother into coming over or even better having her take them for a visit.  If you can't afford a sitter, write during play time or nap time.  Use every minute you can, but don't keep your eyes away to long, you don't want the kids getting into something while you're lost in Nano.

When it comes to dogs and some kids, you need a good schedule so you can make sure Mommy has time to write. Laptops and Chrome books, even some phones,  come in really handy for this. It's good to have a laptop set up somewhere that is a high traffic area for yourself.  You will be surprised how many words you can get down between stirring supper, or washing dishes, just be sure and don't burn anything and always dry your hands.  I normally place my laptop in the kitchen on the bar, and I get quite a few extra words that way.  You might even want to go outside like I do in my outside office.

The Unexpected
There always is something that goes on during Nano to cut into your writing time. It can be anything to paying bills, to shopping, kids
dogs, husbands, the list is endless.  So, what's a writer to do? Improvise!  Make every minute count, lose an hour of sleep, write on the go, or use today's technology to help.

When I started doing these Nano tips there was not an iPhone iPad, etc, at least there was not for me. Now with Text to speech, and iPods you can write just about anywhere you need to. Take your Nano Novel with you to the doctor's office, to the bathroom, outside, there are so many more options. Dragon has a really great cool, free app for the iphone or ipod.  It's not perfect but it might help in a pinch.

Also with Drop box you can access your work anywhere that has an internet connection. Maybe you're going to stay with your parents for the holiday, and you forgot your lap top.  No worries, just be sure and activate you a dropbox account and you're all set. There will be more about drobox in our next Nano post, in saving your work.


Thanksgiving 
By the time this day roles around you should be well into your nano, and if you're a nano head like me you might even be finished with your nano. If not, this is a great time to get in some words, you say WHAT?  Yes I know it's busy, but also there are those slow moments.  You can write in between cooking those great meals, you can write while the guys are all watching football, or you can write while the family is napping after eating that great meal. Also now this year with Covid sadly you may be home alone and not visiting the family. 

Again during the holiday or any busy time this is a great place for that text to speech app, or just using your iphone to get in some good notes for later in the day . Nano teaches to be inventive with our time, with our writing, and we can take these lessons that we learn and apply them during other months in the year. 

You will learn things during Nano that you did not know about yourself, and even if you don't win, you will either learn that you hate Nano, or that you love it. I think everyone will learn something useful during this month. I have learned to write when I don't have time, to write myself out on that limb that yes the story line will be better for it, and I have learned that word wars are a wonderful way to motivate.  Most of all I learned that keeping my rear in that chair and my mind focused on a story is not that hard to do after all. 


Still looking for more to read on Nano check my older nano post from previous years, some of the information will be repetitive some not.


 Images By 
Ivan Mikhaylov
Javier Brosch 
Samantha Fury Images




  


 




NaNoWriMo 2020 Pacing and Saving Part 3

Pacing and Saving 
So you're thinking about doing Nano and you want to know how to pace yourself and you want to be sure and not lose any of those precious Nano Words, too.  I've lost a few chapters in the past so never think that you are wasting time stopping and making sure your work is saved.

Samantha Fury Pacing
For me, pacing goes out the window. I want to get as many words down as fast as I can because normally something will happen later on in the month to ruin my writing time. I've been writing since I was 8, and typing since I was about that same age. I can type extremely fast, and took typing classes for three years in high-school, and often during Nano have word count days of 3000 and up. My best record of late being close to 12k in one 24 hour period so for this topic I've spoke to a few of my Nanoites from our Nano Word War group. 




Saving Nano: Drop Box-Carbonite-ETC
Dropbox is a way to share what ever work that you have on every computer you have. If you have M-word on both of your computers, if you have two, you can just switch back and forth between devices by dropping your current work into the drop box icon that will be on your computer.  Your work will be saved and you can even access Dropbox on any internet connected computer.


I used to use Carbonite for back ups. I don't care for it these days. I had a computer die, and it was really hard to rebuild my new computer but for files it's okay. These days I stick with Dropbox, google drive, and some use one drive. Dropbox is my favorite, it's really a breeze and you can also use it on your ipod for images and some music.  I really do love it. Check it out here. DropBox.

Be sure and comment and tell us how you save your work.


Images by 
Writing Life
Edward Fielding


Friday, February 28, 2020

How to speed up your writing


Writing Styles 


We all have a different style of writing. What works for one person might not work for everyone, but it's always worth a try to see if it is something new can be helpful.

This week I was asked the question how can I speed up my writing. I put some thought into this and decided to do a blog post. This way I can share with others and then you can also share with your writer friends, so they can try out some of the things that works for me.

Time with God

First thing I would tell anyone is to pray. Ask the Lord to bless your brain your time anything to do with your writing and not just one day try to pray this at some point every day.

Putting the Lord first is a blessing. It can make the rest of your day go smoothly. Even if it's just a morning prayer, or a verse you read.  The Bible says to seek first the Kingdom of God and all things will be added to you. We all need a blessing over our work, sales, brain, and definitely our time.


Everyone can do a basic outline

I always try to outline a book. Even if the characters don't follow every line it's a help on when to know I'm getting close to the end of the book.

I also find this is a good way to try and keep my books shorter. I like to do a 225 pages so my books are cheaper to print. If I know what page I'm on it helps to try and pull in the muse. :)

I love Work flowy it's a great way to outline. You can easily make a free account. Here I have all of the lines open so you can see them all but when you're inside the app, they are all closed unless you mark them to be open. It's a great writers tool. I use it daily, for prayer, keeping up with yearly tasks you should try it out.

Early Morning Writing 

I think every author should have one day or two during the week (or month) that you sit down and write first thing, well just after prayer of your verse reading.

Have two hours blocked off. Turn the phone off, turn off notifications.  I've read we have a couple of hours that we do our very best work, so when I can I write in the mornings, but most of the time it's later for me. I'm not a morning person but I do try to write in the morning at least once a month. Gauge yourself and try it out, see if you're more productive in the morning?

Place your writing in God's hands 

Another thing is put your writing in God's hand. Write it out there no matter if it makes sense. Trust God to help you with your work. For him to get you off that limb that you write yourself out on.

I never know what the crime is going to be it just comes to me, or the plot. I just start writing and give the rest to God. We can do too much thinking and worrying . . . try turning the book over to God. Ask Him to guide your story line.


Trouble Shooting 

If you're having trouble finding something to write about, watch a movie or read a book in the same genre you're writing in. I always get some kind of an idea when I do this.

Take notes all the time, keep up with calendars if you do a series. Make a list of names you've used before so you don't use the same names in your books. Also it's a good thing to have a story board, be it on paper or on your wall. Anything that helps inspire your writing is a good thing!  Just don't spend too much time in the planning stages get in that chair and write!

Save time with your book covers too

The best way to save time here is find the couple or image you're going to use first, then write the book around
the image.

Sometimes if you're doing a Series with other authors you may have to use an image they've chosen, but please don't spend hours and hours looking for the perfect image that matches the characters in your mind. Find a good image that suits the book. Some thing that is eye catching. Every time a reader reads a book they use their own imagination to figure out what the character look like, so in the end it's a huge waste of time to spend weeks or days trying to find an image of the guy or gal in your head. PLEASE just find a good image that will suit your characters and then write the story around them. It will save you a lot of time that you can spend with your children, pets, or writing!!

Genres: Write what you know


To save time write books in a topic/ genre or area that you know a lot about. This will hold down the amount of research you have to do.

Research takes a lot of time. I know now and then you'll have to look something up but if you stay in an area that you're familiar with that is a huge help.


Distractions 

Also, when you sit down to write, Turn the TV and or radio off. Get
something to drink so you don't have to stop your train of thought. If you can turn the phone off or write at a time when no one will call that is a huge help.

Though I would like to write in the morning. My best writing is late at night when everyone is gone to bed and no one calling. If you have kids or pets, try and find them a sitter so you don't have to worry about what they are into, or keep getting up and down to let your pets in and out.  I know not all of this is possible all the time but we need to look at our writing as a business not just a hobby.


A few more thoughts 

Keep your writing area clean and free of clutter, If your desk looks neat and has some appealing flowers it will make you want to sit down more often and it will help you get more writing done.

Another thing that helps greatly is to use a word file that is all ready formatted just the way it's going to look in the book be it paperback or e book.   I have the spacing - font - formatting - everything exactly as it will print out in a paperback book. I want all of my chapters to start on the right side so each page I turn I know where I'm at, how many  pages I have written and how many words. It's a great help to pace you correctly and so you'll know at what part of the book you're in at the moment.


Another time saver is like today with this blog. An author asked me a question and I give her a very detailed answer so I turned it into a blog post. I always tell author so blog.  I don't think it matters how often, or on what topic but you need to blog.

I'll do another post soon on Blogging and why authors should blog!!
I hope that you have found this helpful!!

Blessings
Samantha
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Contact Us
Samantha Fury is the author of  the Street Justice Series.  
She's written many articles on book covers, for Indie Authors.
She operates several Indie Groups. Editing Services, Cover
Artist, Helpful Indie Facebook Groups.