It’s that time of year, authors, when we cram so many words in a span of thirty or less days till our brains implode with dialogue, prose, unnecessary verbiage. This is my third year to participate in NaNoWriMo and I can’t begin to tell you how much it has helped me challenge myself above and beyond my usual goals.
My first year to participate in the national novel writing month was 2012. I had already published my first two novels, Silver Hollow, Stay and the first two Heaven’s Edge novellas. I was looking for my next big project and plucked a WIP from my “for later” folder. Because of NaNoWriMo, I actually came close to finishing the first draft of what would later become my current release, “Craving Beauty, Vol. 1”. Althought I didn’t finish Craving Beauty then, the writing challenge pushed me to get things going. I spent the next three years drafting and redrafting the Beauty & the Beast retelling.
The following year, in 2013, I began work on a novella that would serve as a companion piece to Volumes 1&2 of Craving Beauty, titled “Wolfsbane’s Daughter”. The novella is told from the perspective of a secondary character who makes a brief appearance in the first volume. Resha and her father Wolfsbane are key to our heroine’s survival and will have a bigger role to play in the sequel to come. It was also fun to explore the same world through a unique and different POV, since Craving Beauty is told primarily through Vynasha’s eyes. Again, while I only crafted the initial draft last year, NaNo spurred me on to work harder than ever before.
This past month saw the release of my first NaNoWriMo project, “Craving Beauty” in both Kindle and print formats. This upcoming weekend, you can follow the blog hop as we explore the world of Vynasha and Wolfsbane with Prism Book Tours. Stay tuned for more updates on the tour for an inside look, excerpts and fun prizes!
Next year, I am looking to publish the companion novel and former NaNo entry, Wolfsbane’s Daughter in February. And later in the year, hopefully by next fall, I will release Craving Beauty’s sequel, Volume 2.
I didn’t want to share all this only to gush about Craving Beauty, although you can see I’m obviously excited. I wanted to encourage you to sign up for NaNoWriMo, if you haven’t already. It’s not too late, even if you don’t write 50K by the end of the month. Every thousand words makes a huge difference. If you keep writing 1-2K a day, you will still end up with half a novel.
For me NaNo is about helping me reach that sense of accomplishment. Sometimes when I’m working on multiple manuscripts it can seem like the end goal is light years away, and I mean Buzz Lightyear’s. 😉 Some people write novels during NaNoWriMo who aren’t professionals, but have dreams of publication, or just do it for the fun of it. I don’t even write in the endless list of forums, or donate like some peeps do. For some authors, NaNo is a fun time to pack some hefty word count away on their latest manuscript and connect with fellow readers and authors. I like to look at it as a tool to help me “get there” with whatever slug bug project I’ve been working on.
This year, I’m writing a contemporary romance novel I call “Moonlight”. It’s about a girl who is running from her past, and the guy she left behind in pieces. She spends the next ten years after high school trotting the globe and trying to drown her memories. Naturally circumstances cause her to come home, in this case, her brother Peter’s diagnosis with Leukemia. Danica is the last woman any parent should want looking after their children, but that’s just what she comes home to help her brother do. Meantime, she runs into her former boytoy and his family. It gets complicated.
I’ve come up to that 20K marker and hope to reach 50K by the end of this month. I’ve found I actually enjoy writing adult romance novels with more heart and less sex than your average Jane. My previous experience has largely been with YA Sci-Fi & Fantasy, but turns out there’s something to be found in “romantic fantasies” as well. And yes, that includes more than chiseled abs and brooding glares.
Today I plan to sit down and hash out a few more thousand words. I know it can sound overwhelming, but you’ll be surprised what can happen if you just sit down and let your fingers fly. Good luck fellow NaNo’s! Happy Writing!
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Jennifer Silverwood was raised deep in the heart of Texas and has been spinning yarns a mile high since childhood. In her spare time she reads and writes and tries to sustain her wanderlust, whether it’s the Carpathian Mountains in Transylvania, the highlands of Ecuador or a road trip to the next town. Always on the lookout for her next adventure, in print or reality, she dreams of one day proving to the masses that everything really is better in Texas. She is the author of the Heaven’s Edge series, Stay and Silver Hollow.