Saturday, October 22, 2011

Such fabulous success stories coming out of RWAus 2011 "50K in 30 Days" 
during June (winter in the southern hemisphere).

We'll be back again in 2012.

Maybe you'll be here with us?

Hope so.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Day 29 - Almost over now

The secret of genius is to carry the spirit of the child into old age, which means never losing your enthusiasm. - Victor Hugo

We're almost finished, and I couldn't have wished for a month filled with more enthusiasm from all you wonderful writers who have participated. Tomorrow I will start updating your word counters on this blog for the last time this challenge, and hopefully we can all have a couple of days off before we need to get into the editing sprints that are already on everybody's minds.

A few people have said they would like to continue the sprints on some sort of regular basis. If you'd be keen to be in on that action, leave a message below and we'll see what can be set up!

Meet up again in November, anyone? ^_^

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Day 28 - Why are we doing this again?

No fine work can be done without concentration and self-sacrifice and toil and doubt.        - Max Beerbohm
There are only a couple of nights left to go, and you might be saying to yourself something like the following: "I'm finished my goal! That's June done!" or "I'm never going to make it. I'll just stop here and call it over." or "Wimbeldon!! Wimbeldonnnnn!!!"

That last one might be just me.

I'd like to encourage you to just put in a little bit more. If you want to and if you can - you know yourself best. But if you can, write something. Even if you scale down to 100 words a night for the last three nights. Even if you just bash out a couple of risque limericks and add them to your word count. Even if you write a short story about your characters 10 years after the end of your novel.

Because the more you do now, the less you have to do later. Your 30 days isn't quite up yet. (Which is probably a relief to those of you like me who were counting on a sprint on the final day to boost your word count ^_^) Make every second of this month count.

And if you do write a limerick, please feel free to post it in the comments below.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Day 26 - LAST Sunday Check-In!

Oh wow, this month has just flown by! Some of us have already blown our goals out of the water. Others of us, myself included, realised a while back we weren't going to reach our goals and have lowered our sights.

No matter which boat you're in, don't stop yet! You still have a few more days before the challenge ends, and the more you do this month, the less you have to do next month. The more words you write in this challenge, the more you know about your capabilities and your limits. If anything, work as hard as you can for the last few days. After all, you can see the end from here. The time is coming when you can lie back, relax and watch all the TV shows you missed over June.

But that time is not yet. Make every single day count. Go write!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Day 24 - A really long quote

"If you want to write, if you want to create, you must be the most sublime fool that God ever turned out and sent rambling. You must write every single day of your life. You must read dreadful dumb books and glorious books, and let them wrestle in beautiful fights inside your head, vulgar one moment, brilliant the next. You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads. I wish you a wrestling match with your Creative Muse that will last a lifetime. I wish craziness and foolishness and madness upon you. May you live with hysteria, and out of it make fine stories — science fiction or otherwise. Which finally means, may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world." - Ray Bradbury 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Day 23 - Doing Something New

You can never cross the ocean unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.- Christopher Columbus
Your challenge for tonight is do something you know you're not good at. If you avoid dialogue because it always comes out stilted, tonight your characters are going to have a long conversation. If you have problems with action, someone's just thrown a fight. Personally, I suck at description. So there's a grand panorama out there just waiting for me to tell people what it looks like.

Let's go get away from the shore.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Day 22 - If music be the food of love...



When I'm really inspiration-light, there are a couple of songs I know I can always listen to and they are going to push me on to be better, to do more with my time and my life. The Climb by Miley Cyrus is one of them, and I don't care how uncool that makes me ^_^

When I'm feeling really, truly sorry for myself, and that writing is too hard and I should just put if off until I have time (when my son's grown up, left home, we've paid off the house, I've retired) I know it's starting to get serious and I pull out the big guns - rap and hip hop.
(I'm going to put links to the songs below, but I feel I should note that while none of the quotes below contain swear words, I can't say the same for the rest of the tracks) 

This isn't an attack or a lack of compassion
But you gotta get yourself back in the action
Tap into your passion and follow it up
Either that or let the madness swallow you up
How full is your cup, half-full or half-empty
You're the envy of plenty, tread gently
Apathy is deadly and if you've got seeds of doubt
With means to sprout, you need to weed them out
(Butterfingers - Get Up Outta The Dirt)

I don't normally like the genre, but they get where I'm coming from. They talk about how hard it is to break in to an industry, how difficult it can be to push yourself to be all you can be - even when you've already got the bling and the fans.  It's inspiring to hear of these men who have been dealt a really raw hand by life who manage to succeed through sheer hard work, skill and determination.
The moment you own it you better never let it go, oh
You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow
'cos this opportunity comes once in a lifetime
 
I was playin' in the beginnin', the mood all changed
I've been chewed up and spit out and booed off stage
But I kept rhymin' and stepped writin' the next cipher
Best believe somebody's payin' the pied piper
(Eminem - Lose Yourself)

And moving away from rap, one of my favourite songs to belt out in the car -




What about you? What song do you play to keep you moving when you're starting to feel a little hopeless?

Friday, June 17, 2011

Day 17 - Guest Post by Leah Ashton



Leah Ashton won Mills & Boon's 'New Voices' competition in 2010 and her book 'Secrets & Speed Dating' debuts in October 2011. During 50/30 she'll be busy writing the second book in her contract.







The Procrastinator’s Guide to 50ks in 30 Days


I am a terrible procrastinator. The worst, quite possibly. But I have written a 50K book in 30 days – and that book will be my debut novel for Harlequin Mills & Boon in September. And if I – a writer who will find absolutely anything to do, other than actually write – can do that, than other procrastinators can too. I promise!


I’ve attempted 50k30days before, and failed dismally. It even took me four years to finish my first manuscript! So what changed this time? How was I magically cured of this dreadful procrastination curse?


Well, sadly – I’m still a procrastinator. Procrastination, I’m pretty sure, is here to stay. But now I have tools to deal with it. I cannot promise that what worked for me will work for you, and I can promise that nothing I’m about to say is particularly ground breaking. But it worked for me, so well that the word count I’m capable of achieving when I follow these steps still shocks me.


So here it its…


Leah Ashton’s Anti-Procrastination Toolkit


1. Erase the guilt
So you’re a procrastinator. Everyone around you is more productive and diligent than you (or so it seems!). Cue hours of self-flagellation. Or – acknowledge that you are what you are, and find techniques that allow
you to up your word count regardless. Feeling guilty won’t put words onto paper – so what’s the point?

2. Give yourself a real deadline
I would love to be one of those people who can’t bear a day without writing, but…well… I’m not. So, I need a deadline to get my butt in the seat. And it needs to be a real one, not just “I will write 10K by the end of
the month”, it needs to be a deadline with consequences if I fail. Prior to publication, my deadlines were planned around writing competitions. So if I didn’t hit my deadline, I couldn’t enter.
So, give yourself a deadline, with a real consequence. Find a writing competition with an entry date in early July. Sign up for a pitch at the conference. Anything – but make sure there is a consequence other than, “oh well.”


3. Have a plan (or even a plot)
I used to think I was a seat-of-my-pantser, resulting in the euphoric dashing off of an effortless chapter one, and chapter two and… then……nothing. I know this will be controversial with confirmed pantsers, but I strongly recommend at least a sketch of your plot. Just a vague plan of where you’re going and the main turning points along the journey. Why?
Well, nothing triggers a serious procrastination session for me than a blank page and absolutely no idea where I’m going. Reduce the risk of finding yourself with terrifying nothingness ahead of you and plan. Your plan is your safety net – and besides, you can always ignore it!

4. Remove yourself from temptation
What do you do when you procrastinate? Do you read? Watch TV? Surf the Internet? Whatever it is, get yourself away from it. Be dramatic if you have to – go write at a café, have someone physically remove your TV from your house, give your modem to your husband and tell him he is not under any circumstances to give it back. You get the idea?
Obviously this is for confirmed procrastinators like me – if will power is enough for you, then that is awesome, but if not, do whatever you have to do. The Internet is my vice, and I’ve been known to lock my Internet dongle in my car, or alternatively I use a really nifty program called Freedom (www.macfreedom.com - available for Mac and PC), which cost $10 and will block the Internet for up to 8 hours – and the only way to get it back is to re-boot your computer. If it’s just some sites that suck the time out of your day, look into browser add-ons like Google Chrome’s StayFocusd or Firefox’s LeechBlock. Both will either block a site totally, or give you a maximum time limit per day.

5. Write with your friends
The discovery of sprints (where you write for 30 minutes or an hour with a friend, and then report back with your word count) was a breakthrough for me. I am a slow writer, so I never had super impressive word counts, but knowing I had to report in with my word count was super motivating.
Make sure you check into the Sprint Sessions in the RWA Chatroom throughout 50Ks in 30 Days, or follow along on Twitter. And if you can’t write with your friends? Well…

6. Sit down, and start typing
It’s hardly surprising, but the reality is if you sit down every day, without any distractions, and simply write a word, followed by another word, and then another – your word count will go up. Sometimes the idea of writing X number of words can be so overwhelming that starting seems impossible. But when you do start, and regardless if the words flow or are squeezed out painfully – as long as you’ll keep writing, you’ll hit your
word count. And once you start doing it day after day – well, before you know it – you would have written a book. Or 50Ks in 30 days!


There you have it – my procrastinator’s guide to 50Ks in 30 days. Please let me know if you reach into my toolkit – I’d love to know if it helps you, too. And as I’m also looking for new weapons to slay the procrastination beast – what tips have I missed that help you?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Day 16 - Working out of the mid-month slump

Exert your talents, and distinguish yourself, and don't think of retiring from the world, 
until the world will be sorry that you retire. - Samuel Johnson

You've been pushing yourself hard for over two weeks now. Even if you feel you could have done more, you have made the time to write more than you usually would - and that can be really, really tiring. 

I've seen it a lot during NaNo - it's happened to me during NaNo - the mid-month slump. There's such a long way to go, you're never going to get there and you're tired. 

The best advice I can give you is this: don't stop writing. Don't take a few days off. It's like sitting down after a day of cleaning when you've still got more to go. It's doubly hard to get back up again and keep going. 

Picture the goal. Take a couple of hours to have a bath, watch a movie, maybe even see some of those people you live with whose names you're starting to have trouble remembering. But then get some words on the page - even if it's only a couple of hundred, or a hundred, or twenty-five. 

It's only two weeks to go! You can do it! 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Day 15 - Halfway Point!




If you're going through hell - keep going. 
- Winston Churchill

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Day 14 - Our own expectations

Be not afraid of going slowly, be only afraid of standing still. 
- Chinese Proverb

It's so easy to look at the past and say "I could have done better. I SHOULD have done better. I should have written more, or made more time for editing." After all, it's going to take forever to get where we want to go if we don't make optimal use of our time, right? 

Regret and perfectionism can be a bigger drain on our productivity than pretty much anything else. Personally, I struggle to retain a sense of proportion - I've written x many words, which is x more words than I would have written otherwise. Still, it's not what I expected from myself. 

Writing is like life. It's messy, imperfect, full of unfulfilled potential (everyone has that one scene that was just so perfect in their head) and layered with excitement, regret, drudgery and bursts of inspiration. It may not go the way we want all the time, but if you do the best you can during the good times, the bad times can only ever drag you down so far. 

Best of luck for the coming week! 

Friday, June 10, 2011

Day 10 - Guest Post by Emily May!

Today's Guest Post is by romance author Emily May, or perhaps romantic fantasy author Emily Gee. Whatever the name, Emily has seen some brilliant success, with her Regency novel "The Unmasking of a Lady" making the finals in several competions including the National Readers' Choice Awards and the RWA's Romance Book of the Year Awards 2011.



I'm a slow writer.  My happy word count per day is about 1000 words--usually written laboriously over many, many hours. But 1000 words a day is a little too slow when I have deadlines to meet!

Last year I started doing two things that helped me to increase my word count and achieve my writing goals a little more easily. Both are quite simple. They may work for you ... or they may not.

First, I wrote the following sentence on a piece of paper and put it on my keyboard each night, so that I saw it first thing in the morning.

"Take a few minutes at the beginning of each day to set goals."

Each morning I sat down and read that sentence and thought about my goal--"Today I am going to write 1500 words"--and set it firmly in my mind.

(I know, 500 extra words per day doesn't sound like a lot--but it adds up! A 90 000 word first draft takes 60 days, instead of 90--that's a whole month less!)

Second, because 1500 words is a daunting amount for me and can easily drag out over eight or more hours, I wrote down my goal in little chunks, like this, on a scrap of paper:

  1500 words

100 600 1100
200 700 1200
300 800 1300
400 900 1400
500 1000 1500
 
And then I started writing, not focussing on the end goal, but on the mini goals instead. 1500 words was impossibly far away, but 100 words was easy, and then 200, and 300. And with each mini goal I crossed off, I got a nice little boost. I could SEE that I was blasting through my mini goals, which made me feel more positive about my writing, and that in turn made the words come more easily. 
Incredibly, there were days when I reached 1500 words by lunchtime! (A miracle for me.) So then I'd write out more increments of 100 and keep working. Several times I passed 2000 before my brain shut down, and once I even passed 2500!

So there they are, my two little strategies for upping my word count. I hope they work for you too!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Day 9 - The Writing Habit

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit. - Aristotle

I try and write every day. Sometimes I only do 100 words, sometimes I do a couple of thousand. More often than I would like, I don't write anything at all. And sometimes, as an unpublished author, it's difficult for me sometimes to truly believe it when I tell people I am "a writer". 

After all, what is a writer without a published book?

That's where trying to write everyday comes in. Writers write. After all, lots of people have published books who I would not necessarily consider as writers. (Did you know Sharon Osbourne wrote a novel??) Publication is a goal, but it's not what defines us. 

We're writers, after all. What defines us is what we do repeatedly. We write. 

Get going people! 


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Day 8 - Questions and Cute Kitty Pictures




Coleridge was a drug addict. Poe was an alcoholic. Marlowe was killed by a man whom he was treacherously trying to stab. Pope took money to keep a woman's name out of a satire then wrote a piece so that she could still be recognized anyhow. Chatterton killed himself. Byron was accused of incest. Do you still want to a writer--and if so, why?

- Bennett Cerf

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Day 7 - Here's to the Editors



I always wondered why it took so long, reportedly, to write a book. After all, if you can type really fast, you should be able to finish a book every fortnight or so, right?

HA!

To those who are about to edit, we salute you! Just remember the words of Mark Twain:

Substitute "damn" every time you're inclined to write "very"; your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.


Monday, June 6, 2011

Day 6 - Counting Every Word


When writing a novel that's pretty much entirely what life turns into: "House burned down. Car stolen. Cat exploded. Did 1500 easy words, so all in all it was a pretty good day." "Got call this morning to say I'd got Nobel Prize for literature. Wrote less than 300 words (285) probably unusable, so lousy day." - Neil Gaiman
Congratulations to everyone who has updated me on their progress over the last week! Between everyone who's reported so far, we have written 375,299 in the last 5 days!

Anyone who undertakes a grand enterprise of any description is in it for the long haul. And it's really bloody difficult to look at the crap you've produced on a Wednesday night at 10.30pm (after the kids have been acting like homocidal screeching monkeys and everyone in the world suddenly seems to discover your workplace existed on the same day creating an avalanche of paperwork) and not think "Oh God. Is that really what I write like?"

In his pep talk for NaNoWriMo in 2009, Neil Gaiman pretty much said it best:
The last novel I wrote (it was ANANSI BOYS, in case you were wondering) when I got three-quarters of the way through I called my agent. I told her how stupid I felt writing something no-one would ever want to read, how thin the characters were, how pointless the plot. I strongly suggested that I was ready to abandon this book and write something else instead, or perhaps I could abandon the book and take up a new life as a landscape gardener, bank-robber, short-order cook or marine biologist. And instead of sympathising or agreeing with me, or blasting me forward with a wave of enthusiasm---or even arguing with me---she simply said, suspiciously cheerfully, "Oh, you're at that part of the book, are you?"
I was shocked. "You mean I've done this before?"
"You don't remember?"
"Not really."
"Oh yes," she said. "You do this every time you write a novel. But so do all my other clients."
I didn't even get to feel unique in my despair.
So I put down the phone and drove down to the coffee house in which I was writing the book, filled my pen and carried on writing.
One word after another.
I have this pep talk stuck to my wall at home, and it always reminds me that it never gets easier. You just get better at dealing with it. If you want to read the whole thing, you can find it here.

Have a good week everyone! 

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Day 5 - Check-In Day the First!


That's right, it's Sunday already and time for you to let me know how you're going!

I hope you've all had productive weekends - or at least, like me, semi productive. ^_^

At the moment I'm behind in my goal - my daily wordcounts just haven't been up to scratch. But that's okay, we've got a long way to go and I'm sure I'll catch up!

The sprints on Twitter (#50K30Days and #50Kin30Days) and on the RWA chat rooms have been doing really well. They are wonderful for fast wordcount boosts and meeting new people.

Diane put up a wonderful resource on the Google Group to keep an ongoing track of your writing statistics over the month - you can download it here. Check out the other great resources on the site while you're there - I think I've downloaded about 10 different tools now.

I look forward to hearing from you all! To report your word count to date, just send me an email or put it in the comments below.


P.S - There was a Day 4 in between 3 and 5?!? Drat. 

Friday, June 3, 2011

Day 3 - Guest Post by Nikki Logan!

Nikki Logan sold her 2008 50K/30Day story just five months after she wrote it. She’s just finished her tenth book for Harlequin Mills & Boon, proving that the lessons learned in 50/30 come in really handy in the high-pace world of commercial fiction. She’s also a participant in the 2011 50/30 because she thinks writing is so much more fun as a team-sport.

Three years ago this week I was a couple of thou into my second attempt at category novel aimed at Mills & Boon. I’d written one earlier targeted at Blaze but the feedback I was getting was that my sex was fine but I wasn’t sexy enough ‘in premise’ to write for that high octane line. Wrong voice.

I wasn’t (and still am not) a fan of the serious Alpha required for Sexy, and so I set about writing something more suited to the young urban ‘younger-sister-of-Presents’ line, Sexy Sensation.

The book I wrote was set on the rooftops of Sydney and pitted a landscape designer heroine with a cocky television producer she had been in love with at sixteen. I had a fantastic time writing that during June 2008, notably because it showed me that Sexy Sensation wasn’t my line either. I finished the book, had a few days spare to edit it. And then I didn’t look at it again.

Fast forward a few months to November 2008 and I was contacted by the Senior Editor for M&B London who wanted to talk about revisions to my Blaze which had won an opening chapter comp she judged. There was a lot wrong with it but more right with it. She was interested.

I was beside myself.

But then came the dreaded question… while I went off to explore the diversity of story types offered by the Sweet line at her suggestion, she wanted to know ‘do you have anything else I can look at?’

Are you mad? No. That was my first category. Oh, wait… yes, there’s that 50/30 book in my drawer.

And so I gave my Sydney book one more excited, panicked day of editing and emailed it off on a total of four days editing: raw and awful and imperfect. And then I kicked myself for my naïveté.

But it was the right decision, because Kim called me less than a week later and said ‘we’re going to work on this book’ and gave me some revisions to look at. And then I got to do all the editing it needed.

In mid-December I got the call and a two-book deal.

Moral of this story is not that you should send a book off raw and awful and imperfect and hope for the best. I just lucked out there. The moral is that you should always, always have ‘something else’ ready to go.

A book in a month is a wonderful way to grow that back-list of ‘something else’. A book you can come back to when you’re having a fresh-eyes break from whatever you’re writing. A book you can come back to between other books. A book you can polish up and get out there into the submission system.

A book that can be your ‘something else’.

I first joined 50/30 because I was a devotee of the stream-of-consciousness, pantsing style of brain-dump writing and I was hoping to mix up with some similar writers. I had no idea how many different types of process there were until that month or how hard and fast some people were going to go.

I have a vague recollection of some writers knocking off obscene totals in 24 hours or a weekend, totals which weren’t healthy or sustainable. I have a clear recollection of others trying to match it and failing horribly and in a few cases crippling their creative selves and blowing their chances of finishing on time. Every single person has their own pace and their own process. Don’t judge yours by someone elses’. So:

First rule of 50/30 fightclub - Do not get caught up in the wordcount arms-race.

It doesn’t matter what someone else is doing, it only matters what YOU are doing. Set your goal and divide it by thirty: that’s your daily target. By all means tweak it upwards on weekends and downwards on busy nights. But just don’t be tempted by breaking any world records. I promise you steady and sustainable will get you there in one piece.

The other temptation (particularly if you share samples of your work to keep you motivated) is to edit and polish as you go. That’s a big fat 50/30 no-no. If you happen to be one of those gifted few for whom the words spill out of your fingertips already literarily perfect then you can ignore this one. But the rest of us really struggle not to edit as you go. But seriously, people, fight it.

Second rule of 50/30 fightclub:Don’t be tempted to edit as you go along. 

By all means quickly fix up crappy sentences as you find them but going over and over a passage for perfection is not what June is for. That is what July is for. And August. And the rest of the year if you want. JUNE is for getting that story out of your head and onto the page. Imperfect. Unbalanced. But there.

And lastly, don’t let your words become the enemy. 50/30 is a marathon and it’s a team marathon. It’s not about you beating your wordcount into submission, it’s about you and your muse working together to reach an achieveable goal. The moment you let things turn adversarial you start losing.

Third rule of 50/30 fightclub: Remember that you and your muse are a team. 

You need each other. If you look after her she’ll look after you.

So that’s about it. Hopefully you’re going great-guns and sitting up around the 25% of your goal total by the time you read this. If you’re not, don’t worry, just shuffle your diary, make more time to write, and do your best.

The only shame is in quitting without trying.

See you at the finish line!

Nikki

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Day 2 - Social Networking for 50Kers


"Writing is a fairly lonely business unless you invite people in to watch you do it, which is often distracting and then you have to ask them to leave." - Marc Lawrence

One of the great things about a strong writing community like the RWA is that we all get a lot of support and discussion - which can sometimes translate into socialising and distraction. ^_^

Nevertheless, I love my social networks. I didn't have internet access for 14 hours the other day and I almost cried! (not an addict, not an addict) So if you are on Twitter, or you have a blog or a Facebook fan page, put it in the comments below. I promise not to stalk you! ^_^

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Day 1 - First Steps!


Lao Tzu once said "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."

We have 30 Days.
We have massive goals.
We have skill and determination.
(We have the number for the local takeaways. ^_^)

We're ready to go.

Bring on the words!

Monday, May 30, 2011

1 Day to Go! My Life and 50K in 30 Days Guidelines.

While I should have been frantically freezing pre-prepared meals, sharpening my pencils and selecting my playlist for the kick off of 50K in 30 Days, I've instead been arguing with my router (I won that round - yes, I should have access to the internet, thank you very much!) and taking care of a sick toddler.

It's funny - sometime it feels to me like life gets in the way of writing. I keep forgetting it's the experiences in life that make writing possible. So I've not written much over the last week, but if I ever have a character who needs to look after a kid with the worst runny nose in history, I'm going to know exactly how she feels. ^_^

So Wednesday it all starts. Here are a couple of frequently asked questions:

Updating Word Count
Every Sunday, send your word count (or edit count) through to me at my email address and I'll update your word counter here on the blog. I'll do my best to have everyone updated that evening, or at the very latest by Monday evening.

Sprint Sessions
Spring are short (or short-ish) intense writing sessions broken up by periods of chat and various other forms of jovial relaxation. Every evening at 8pm, I will be running at least one sprint session through the RWA chat room - the sprint sessions will be simulcast over the Twitter hashtag #50K30Days.

Guest Blog Posts


Will be definitely happening! The first one is from the fabulous Nikki Logan will be our first sucker volunteer and her post will go up this Friday night.

If you've got any questions that have been niggling away, email me or ask away in the comments!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Welcome New Participants!

Thanks to the power of mass online communication (ie. email) we have now got close to 75 participants for this year's challenge! That's an amazing number of people, and it means that we're going to have a really brilliant community to cheer each other on. ^_^

If you sent me an email yesterday or this morning, you will have your word count widget on the blog and your invitation to join the Google Group by this evening. If you haven't recieved your invite by Tuesday evening, please email me and let me know because it probably means the internet goblins have hidden your details. Darn those internet goblins.

Defeat to the Internet Goblins! 9 Days to Go!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Have you got a plot?

May is flying past at a rate of knots, and the kick-off to 50K in 30 Days is less than a fortnight away! 


I'm always worried that I'll sit down all ready to go on June 1st and find myself staring at a blank page, frantically hoping words will jump onto it. So I've chosen a specific manuscript that I'm going to work on over the month. I'll be writing a Regency romance set near the end of the Napoleonic Wars, and my heroine is a French woman who goes undercover as an English actress to spy on the British war plans. 

If you don't already have something you want to work on, here are some excellent resources to help you plan your novel:

  • Seventh Sanctum have a romance-specific plot generator
    • "This story starts in a tourist town in South America. In it, a brave cab driver falls in love with a religious merchant - all thanks to a theft."
  • The Snowflake method is an interesting take on how to do extremely detailed plotting before you begin writing. You can find it on this site(Though I note they also try and sell you the software - still, good free information.) 
  • Prefer to get your title first and work out a plot that fits? There is an excellent romance title generator here
    • "Fleeting Flames", "A Winter Stranger", "The Nightingale and the Voyagers". 
Anyone else have any great resources that help with plotting? And do you know what you're planning to write this June? 


Friday, May 6, 2011

Countdown to June!

It's back again in 2011, the 50K in 30 Days!

The premise is simple, just set yourself a word count goal for the month of June, and then report back with your word count each week. We'll be having writing sprints in the Romance Writers of Australia chat rooms (join now if you're not already a member!) and blog posts from brilliant authors full of all the motivation, advice and the butt-kicking you need to get writing.

To sign up, just comment below with your word count, or send me an e-mail!