October Webinar: How To Write A First Draft In A Month

October 23rd I’ll be teaching another great webinar with Writer’s Digest.

 

Yes, you can write a draft of your book in a month! Don’t let limited time, busy lives, or other obstacles get in your way of writing the book that is in you. A manuscript in 30 days requires thoughtful preparation, strategic planning, a strong sense of discipline and loads of enthusiasm—and this live webinar will give you the concrete tools to achieve your goal. If the only thing that’s holding you back from getting words on the page is no plan, this webinar has all the answers.

Literary agent Carly Watters has been coaching authors through first drafts for a decade and she’ll present a comprehensive strategy to “winning” National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo): a 50,000+ word draft in 30 days. This webinar is all about volume and getting 1,667+ words written per day. Whether you’ll be joining a “5am Writers’ Club,” writing during your lunch breaks at work, or after your kids have gone to sleep—it’s possible for everyone. The webinar will focus on character sketches, detailed storyboarding, realistic schedules, and tips to keep up your momentum through the full month of daily writing.

There will be roadblocks, but you’ll be better positioned to succeed with the more preparation you can do in advance.

 

WHAT YOU’LL LEARN:

  • How to create an overview for your month of writing
  • How to create an engaging premise, well-paced plot, and comprehensive character sketches in advance of writing
  • How to stick to a daily word count
  • Which chapters to flag for future revision and when to forge on to the next chapter
  • Tips for setting, and maintaining, a realistic schedule
  • Ways to overcome complicated life stuff, writers’ block and sluggish writing days

 

WHO SHOULD ATTEND?

  • Writers thinking about National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)
  • Writers scheduled to participate in NaNoWriMo this November
  • Writers who are writing their first manuscript ever
  • Writers who have written a book, but are looking for a faster-paced schedule this time around
  • Writers who are “pantsers” but want to become “plotters”
  • “Plotters” who want to refine their habits

 

A critique is included. Sign up here, today!

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Closing Down The Blog

 

Hi everyone, it’s been a great 6 years of blogging, but it’s time to end the party.

My advice to all writers regarding social media and blogging is that if you can’t post consistently with new content then it’s not worth it–and I’m taking my advice! I will leave it up so that you can still read the articles for information.

Thank you to my 3,000 blog followers–and 80,000 visitors a year!– for engaging with me and asking great questions.

Here are some of my top posts from over the years:

On comparison to other writers

On where your book begins

On Instagram

On characters

On category and genre

On querying

On personalizing your query to agents

On your first page

Did you have any favorite posts over the years? Let me know in the comments.

Moving forward, I’m taking the energy I was using on blogging and spending it on my other social platforms. Come follow me over there!
Instagram / Twitter / Tumblr

 

 

 

5 Year Blog-versary Round Up!

9e4073d6863e21b9a5b923c3e62390afWow, 5 years since this blog began!

Thank you to the loyal readers and commenters for your engagement with my posts.

I decided to do a round up of some of my top posts over the years.

Craft:

30 Questions to Ask Your Main Character

When You Start Comparing Yourself To Other Writers

7 Things Writers Should Stop Wasting Their Time On

6 Tips To Hook A Reader on Page One

4 Ways To Edit Your Book Back on Track

Business:

Do You Know The Difference Between Literary, Upmarket and Commercial Fiction?

5 Secrets To Publishing Your Debut Novel

7 Ways To Make Yourself An Easy Author to Work With

Queries:

How To Write A Synopsis

8 Query Tips No One Tells Writers

How I Read Slush: 3 Lessons for Writers

Agent perspective: What’s wrong with your manuscript

Social Media:

7 Ways To Build a Platform Through Your Online Community

6 Ways Social Media Doesn’t Help You Get Published

Q: Do you have a favorite post? One that changed your opinion of the industry or changed your manuscript for the better?

Why You’re Starting Your Novel in the Wrong Place

Does your book start at the most interesting point in your character’s life? It should. 

The number one problem I see with sample material, and even client material sometimes, is that the book doesn’t start in the right place. If you are starting with the beginning of the day (waking up or eating breakfast) I don’t trust it’s starting in the right place. If you take 50 pages to introduce the conflict there is no way you’re starting in the right place.

HOW TO START YOUR NOVEL IN THE RIGHT PLACE:

  1. At the end, go back and rewrite your beginning. There is no way by the end of your novel you should have the same opening when you started the draft. Characters change, plot trajectories change. You don’t know what your novel is going to fully become until it’s over. So why keep the same opening? Revise to make sure it is the proper opening for the novel it became.
  2. We don’t need a car crash, but we do need a secret. “Starting with action” is often misconstrued as starting with a bomb going off. For some genres that works, for many it doesn’t and shouldn’t! What we do need to start with is knowing that your character has a secret. Action can be many things, but no matter what we need to know something big is coming. We can’t be reading about a normal day in your characters’ lives.
  3. Are you introducing too many people? We should meet the main character on page one and maybe one or two others–but that is it. Introducing too many characters is very confusing to the reader. We don’t know who’s who yet. And we don’t know who to care about. Establishing a bond between main character and reader starts on page one.
  4. Alternately, information dumping won’t win us over either. Want us to know everything right off the bat? Guess what…we don’t want to know everything on page one. Or else what are we reading about?! Give the reader some credit and let them connect the dots. Trusting that your reader is smart will win them over too.
  5. How do we know this is a novel? Something happens. As I said at the top: your book should start at the most interesting point in your character’s life. Or else why are we reading about them? What is the moment when everything changes? Why? And why does the reader care to find out what happened? These seem like simple questions but they’re the crux of getting readers’ invested in your characters from the moment we meet them.

Q: What do you worry about with your beginnings?