NaNoWriMo: My Experiences Writing 50,000 Words in One Month

National Novel Writing Month 2015

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Image courtesy of National Novel Writing Month

I’ve participated in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month six times with varying degrees of success. Here’s a summary:

2003: A multi-generational saga centered around one house and my mom’s lengthy genealogy, this story is a choppy mess. I dream of someday revising this project into a set of short stories.

2005: The story of my heart, this project is about a young woman who regains her family’s ancestral home (actually, the same house as in my multi-generational saga) only to realize that her grandparents’ spiritual legacy was of more value than their material one.Where She Belongs

This much revised–and oft re-titled–story, which placed as a Bronze Medalist in the  My Book Therapy Frasier Contest a couple of years ago, releases from Revell in January as the first novel in the Misty Willow Series. Books #2 and #3 release in September 2016 and May 2017. Yay!

2008: Years ago, I learned that POW camps were set up in Florida and other states during War World II to imprison captured Germans. What kind of woman, I wondered, would help a German prisoner escape from one of those camps. So I tried to find out during this year’s NaNoWriMo.

When Memory Whisper v2With revised openings of this manuscript, I won the Writer of the Year and Best Novel awards at the Florida Christian Fiction Conference in 2009 and signed with my agent. Polished but unpublished, I haven’t given up hope for it yet. You can read the opening chapters of the now titled When Memory Whispers on my website.

2009: Friends who read the complete (and completely revised) manuscript of When Memory Whispers begged for a sequel. “Can’t happen,” I said. “Everybody died.” (Do you think that’s why editors aren’t interested? Hmm!)

where-treasure-hides-682x1024-new-coverIn an aha! moment, the proverbial lightbulb blinked above my head. A secondary character, a widowed British officer, became the male protagonist of a World War II love story, Where Treasure Hides, this year’s NaNoWriMo project.

The revised manuscript won the 2011 American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis Contest in the Historical Fiction category. Tyndale released the ebook in 2013 and the print edition this past August. There’s also a Dutch version!

where-treasure-hides-in-dutch12010: Wanting to do something a little different, I decided to write my 50,000 unedited NaNoWriMo words by hand. But I didn’t get very far. Family emergencies and hospitalizations derailed my plans. This was the first time I signed up for NaNoWriMo and didn’t win a completion certificate.

2012: Though I have successfully “won” NaNo when I was working full-time and had kids underfoot, for some reason this year — no job, no kids — I procrastinated until I could procrastinate no more. On November 29th and 30th, I pounded out the remaining 30,000 words.

The result: I got my NaNo certificate. And a pain that radiated through my wrist and up my arm to my shoulder.

This project was the sequel to Where Treasure Hides, tentatively titled What Time Reveals. It needs major work before anyone but me can read it. 🙂

2015: With a December 1st deadline looming, I’m not officially participating in NaNoWriMo this year. However, the “just do it” bug is catching so I’ve agreed to write 25,000 words–what I’m referring to as NaNoWriMo Lite.

Join me next week to see how I’m preparing for the November madness.

Writers Chat: Novelists Talk About Writing on Blab

With Diana Lesire Brandmeyer, Pam Hillman, Bethany Jett, and Me!

Tyndale authors Diana Lesire Brandmeyer, Pam Hillman, and I joined Bethany Jett on the first Writers Chat Blab yesterday.

We talked about finding the inspiration for our stories, our favorite writing tips, handling writers block and so much more.

Here’s the replay. (If the link isn’t available–sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t–please hop on over to Pam Hillman’s blog and get the replay there.)

Diana writes both nonfiction and fiction and is the author of Mind of Her Own.

Pam is a CBA bestselling novelist and the author of Stealing Jake.

Bethany is a nonfiction author and the founder of the Serious Writer Community.

These ebooks are on sale for $2.99 or less through Saturday, September 26th so this is the perfect time to get your copies!

Stealing Jake book cover Mind-of-Her-Own-200x300 where-treasure-hides-682x1024-new-cover

Stealing Jake may be purchased at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Christian Book Distributors, and other online retailers.

Mind of Her Own may be purchased at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Christian Book Distributors, and other online retailers.

Where Treasure Hides may be purchased at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Christian Book Distributors, and other online retailers.

Where Treasure Hides – Tour Stops & Giveaways

Traveling Around the Internet

where-treasure-hides-682x1024-new-coverThe print edition of Where Treasure Hides is now available!

Which means I’m hopping around the blogosphere, sharing my fascination with World War II history, and answering questions about my novel, writing, and life in general.

Appearances since last week include:

Whispers in Purple

“Surprise! My Character Did What?” is a writing-related post I wrote that appears on Peg Phifer’s blog.

Stitches Thru Time

There’s plenty of time to enter this giveaway which ends on September 6th.

Novel PasTimes (a two-day stop)

On the first day, I talked about my fascination with WWII history.

The interview continued on Day Two. (This giveaway has ended.)

Author Thursdays

This interview with Patricia Bradley includes a giveaway that ends tomorrow.

Women of Valley View Blog

Write a caption for the photo appearing on Sharon Srock’s blog or just leave a comment. This giveaway ends soon!

Story Spark: Mind of Her Own (and Book Giveaway)

A Guest Post by Diana Lesire Brandmeyer

Mind-of-Her-Own-200x300Diana Lesire Brandmeyer and I “met” when Tyndale released our novels at the same time as ebooks. Now we’re celebrating the print releases. Details for the book giveaway are below. Please welcome Diana!

They say art imitates life. Who said it, I’m not sure but in this case they were right.

Mind of Her Own sparked into life on a rainy Friday night. On Friday’s, I let my three boys have one friend over for the night. Yes, that meant six boys, two dogs, and two cats plus one husband in the house to feed.

My head was pounding as migraines often appear during storms, and it was time to make dinner. I had decided to save money instead of my sanity. The normal thing to do would be to order pizza, a lot of them. Instead, I thought I’d make chicken.

I reached into my pantry for my George Foreman grill that I kept on the top shelf—again lack of thinking on my part! The dog rushed by me chased by one of the six kids and bumped into my leg. For a moment the grill fought my grasp. And that’s when Mind of Her Own became a possibility.

I wondered if it had hit me on the head would I be knocked out.

And what if I came too and didn’t know I was married or I had kids?

From there it became a fun roller coaster ride of writing for me. And I moved the grill to a lower shelf and served pizza on Friday nights.

What’s the first thing you would do, try or wear if you woke up as someone else?

Why haven’t you done those things in your present life?

Diana Lesire BrandmeyerMeet Diana

Christian author, Diana Lesire Brandmeyer, writes historical and contemporary romances. She writes fiction about women choosing to challenge their fears to become the strong women God intends.

Author of Mind of Her Own, A Bride’s Dilemma in Friendship, Tennessee and We’re Not Blended We’re Pureed: A Survivor’s Guide to Blended Families.

Connect with Diana

Sign up for Diana’s newsletter on her website and read the first chapter of Mind of Her Own FREE

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Book Giveaway

To enter the drawing for a copy of Diana’s book, please leave a comment before Sunday, August 30, 2015 at 11:59 p.m. (Central time). After a random drawing, the winner’s name will be announced on Monday, August 31st.

Thank you for reading the Story Spark behind Diana’s novel and participating in the giveaway.