Tag Archives: amwriting

NaNoWriMo Season

Fall is here and ’tis the season for NaNoWriMo. NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month.  A group of insane authors set a goal of writing a 50,000 word rough draft in the month on November. This is a worldwide event with guest speakers, prizes, a store, and camaraderie.

Established in 1999, last year the event had over 400,000  worldwide participants. No one is required to write in English. Participants from Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia, and of course all 50 States and the provinces of the USA.  I have participated three years and won the last two. I learned that you don’t have to start working on your novel on Nov 1st, that is just when you start writing it.

Preparation and Determination equals Creation.

Image courtesy of National Novel Writing Month


Tips for NaNo -ing:

  • Have your outline ready before November.
  • Have your characters fleshed out.
  • If you are using Scrivener, Have it laid out before November. Build your index cards with your scene summaries and your folders.
  • Try to get any research done in advance – otherwise make a note in your story you need to look it up and keep writing research for second draft. I use *** then list what I want to look up or spellcheck, so I know to search for *** to find my research spots.
  • Instead of being intimidated by writing 1500 words a day — break it up into two bites of 750 words or three bites of 500 words. I learned that trick from Leigh Perry at a workshop.
  • Try not to get behind. It is possible to catch up, but can be brutal in the last week of the month.
  • Remember this is a rough draft. Just get the word on paper.  There is an editing event in January.
  • Take care of you – get up and walk around once an hour. Healthy for body and re-energizes your brain.
  • Join a Region community in Nanowrimo – get encouragement.
  • Need a buddy; look for me in Nanowrimo as Claire Count.

Key thing to remember is this is a rough draft. Be kind to yourself. Everyone’s first draft is very rough. Polish that crude lump of wordsmithing until you make it a diamond after November.

NaNoWriMo is a  501c charity and will ask for donations. In the first or second week , they run a special where you get a badge or a prize bump up. Wait to donate.  They run an event where donating in a certain hour gets you into a drawing for book covers , editors, free software, etc.

Winners get badges and bragging rights. The sponsors give freebies and discounts. You have the right to wear proudly the NaNoWriMo winners T-shirt and drink form the victory mug (which you have to buy for yourself). Display your certificate of completion prominently.  And Literature and Latte gives winners a 50% off transferable coupon for Scrivener, a robust writing program built by a novelist for novelists.  You can test it with a 30 day free trial during NaNo if you like, but I would not advise it if you are not already familiar with the program. You will loose some valuable writing time learning the program.

So join me at https://nanowrimo.org for a massive explosion of creativity. 

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Word Builder December 2017

For some time I have been collecting interesting and unique words and phrases. Words that are new or seldom used that I run across in media or my research.  Dawned on me others might be interested too. As I find them,  I am posting them on my Twitter feed @ClaireCount.  I will do a monthly post to summarize the list.

Excoriate – verb – to severely criticize  –

The ABC boss excoriated his staff after the snafu over Michael Flynn error.  This really jumped out as American headlines almost never use rich language.  http://money.cnn.com/2017/12/04/media/abc-news-president-brian-ross-flynn-correction/index.html


Ruth Wilson as Alice Morgan in BBC’s Luther

Sympatico – noun – bonded, being of the same mind, in sync

I had heard the word before but was surprised it was a real world and not just jargon.  On the same day, I heard it from a sociopath on BBC’s marvelous crime drama Luther, which I highly recommend. Intense acting by Idris Elba.  http://www.bbcamerica.com/shows/luther

“Simpatico” was used on Mike Luckovich’s political cartoon on 12/6/2017 for the Atlanta Journal and Constitution, which at some point will appear on gocomics.  http://www.gocomics.com/comics/political  I admire Mike Luckovich; He is a Pulitzer Prize winning political cartoonists and often illustrates events in a way which makes you think about them differently.

Agitprop – Noun – political propaganda often in art or literature

Seen in the outstanding webcomic #Endtown by Aaron Neathery about a supremacist faction  http://www.gocomics.com/endtown/2017/10/27


Jugaad –  noun – from India- a hack or finagled solution – An untranslatable word for winging it

http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20171213-jugaad-an-untranslatable-word-for-winging-it?ocid=ww.social.link.twitter via @BBC_Culture #amwriting #writerslife #vocabulary

Patrimony – noun – derived from Latin word pater- father –  originally meant inheritance from father now means heritage in general. A word you hear but did not quite mean what I thought it did.  or according to Oxford Dictionary  2) historical meaning – The estate or property belonging by ancient endowment or right to a church or other institution.

http://www.cnn.com/style/article/raphael-paintings-vatican/index.html #vocabulary #writerslife

A detail of the discovered paintings.
A detail of the discovered paintings – Raphael’s last works. Credit: CNN


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