Celebrating Two Year Blogging Anniversary


Hi Everyone

I recently received a message from WordPress to say congratulations on my two year old blog. Wow! Doesn’t time fly when you are having fun!

In celebration of this wonderful achievement and all of the people who have contributed to make this blog so successful, I have decided to list below, some of the most popular blogs posts for you to browse in case you missed them before.

quirkybooks.wordpress.com/2012/11/10/the-liebster-award-thanks-and-nominations

quirkybooks.wordpress.com/2012/10/14/the-beginners-guide-to-succeeding-at-national-novel-writing-month

quirkybooks.wordpress.com/2012/10/12/whose-birthday-is-it-today

quirkybooks.wordpress.com/2012/09/29/own-your-niche-book-review

quirkybooks.wordpress.com/2012/07/10/researching-what-your-reader-wants-to-read

I also want to share with you, some posts that I think you may enjoy.

quirkybooks.wordpress.com/2011/05/11/10-reasons-why-writers-should-retreat

quirkybooks.wordpress.com/2011/07/29/super-8-ideas-for-stories

quirkybooks.wordpress.com/2012/03/07/top-five-tips-for-how-to-stay-focused-on-your-writing

quirkybooks.wordpress.com/2011/02/10/seven-ways-to-write-and-excite-your-valentine

To top off all of the fun, I have been nominated for two more awards, The Shine On Award and the Reality Blog Award from http://catnipoflife.wordpress.com These will soon be displayed on my blog and nominations will be given.

Happy celebrating and thanks to all of you for making this possible.

Write soon

Sandra

Have Fun with National Novel Writing Month


Hi Everyone

In order to keep the momentum of NaNoWriMo to a peak, I asked Author and Writing Coach Rochelle Melander, if she could do a guest blog post on how to stay motivated during this event and this is what she wrote.

I rocked NaNoWriMo on November 1. By the end of my first writing session, I had nearly twice the amount of words I needed. When I woke up on November 2—a Friday—I felt a sense of foreboding, “You mean I have to do this again?” By the end of that first busy weekend in November, I was thousands of words behind and worried about catching up. And I wasn’t enjoying creating scenes. Instead, I was worrying about whether the scene was realistic, thinking about how this should be easier, and wondering how long it was going to take me to revise this quickly drafted book. All the time, I had my eye on the counter: how many words had I written. (And I’m a professional writer!)

But recently, I’ve had a brilliant, game-changing aha moment: oh yeah, National Novel Writing Month is supposed to be fun. That tiny thought was all I needed to jump back into NaNoWriMo project with some joy. If you’re struggling with NaNoWriMo and need to add a little fun to your work, here are five ways to rock your story:

1.   Add a pop of color. I hear that advice a lot on clothing shows (as well as in nearly every magazine I read). In order to make an outfit compatible with the season, we can add a pop of color with our nails, shoes, or jewelry. Well, why not add a pop of color to our novels? A few weeks ago, I heard a story on the radio about a guy who had invented a working gun that could be printed on plastic using a 3-dimensional printer. My mind went right to fiction: imagine what would happen if a character could print a gun? Now that would add a pop and maybe even a pop of color. Try it: give your character a printable gun or some other unusual 3-dimensional prop to make and use. See what happens next.

2.  Take a page from fan fiction. Many of the students I am working with during NaNoWriMo this year write fan fiction. They borrow the best elements from their favorite novels and television shows, add new characters and plots, and write forward. When they talk about writing their NaNoWriMo book, they get all giddy because it gives them an opportunity to spend the month with characters they are curious about in a setting they have long admired. Try it: list 5-10 elements you like from your favorite television shows and novels. Don’t limit yourself—write down characters, setting, plot points, props, and anything else you can think of. Once you have your list, add one or more element to your NaNoWriMo project.

3.  Make worry work for you. I’ve been a worrier my whole life. Even happy events leave me worrying about what might go wrong. On the other hand, if you’re a worrier, you can harness your imagination and make it work for your writing. In Josip Novakovich’s Fiction Writer’s Workshop, he invites readers to make use of their worries by listing events that could have happened but didn’t (p. 23). These could be events you feared or hoped might happened. Try it: Make a list of at least five of these events and use one or more in your novel.

4.  Phone a friend. On the popular television quiz show, Who Wants to be a Millionaire?, participants could get help by reaching for three lifelines: 50-50, ask the audience, or phone a friend. Often both the audience and the friend were not just wrong, they were wildly wrong. In NaNoWriMo, we might get some interesting answers if we ask a friend or acquaintance for help with our novel. And in the world of NaNo, interesting means more fun for us. Try this: ask your friends on Facebook to give you a fun character or situation to add into your novel. Then do it—put in the zombie librarian or the flying pig, even if they have nothing to do with what you are writing about. Trying to add a unique element to your book will puzzle your brain in the best possible way.

5.  Use Found Passages. I’m enamored of artists who can take old materials and shape them into new items. In Paper Made: 101 Exceptional Projects to Make Out of Everyday Paper, author Kayte Terry teaches readers how to make purses out of old book covers and bracelets out of scraps of paper. As a writer, you can take found passages of writing and incorporate them into your book as well. Jonathan Safran Foer created his book Tree of Codes by cutting into his favorite book, The Street of Crocodiles by Bruno Schulz. What emerged is a novel that is part story, part sculpture. Try this: review favorite books, journal entries, magazine articles, and your old drafts of articles and novels for snippets to mix and match and revise into a part of your book.

Your turn: What tools and techniques do you suggest for letting go and having fun? Comment below! We need your advice!

Rochelle Melander is an author, speaker, and certified professional coach. She is the author of ten books, including the National Novel Writing Month guide—Write-A-Thon: Write Your Book in 26 Days (and Live to Tell About It) Rochelle teaches professionals how to write good books fast, use writing to transform their lives, navigate the publishing world, and get published! For more tips and a complementary download of the first two chapters of Write-A-Thon, visit her online at www.writenowcoach.com

Rochelle Y. Melander 
Author and Writing Coach 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Author of the book,
Write-A-Thon: Write Your Book in 26 Days 
(And Live to Tell About It)
(Writers Digest Books, October 2011)
A 2011 ForeWord Book of the Year Finalist
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
http://www.writenowcoach.com
http://www.writenowmastermind.com
rochelle@WriteNowCoach.com

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Find me on Facebook
Follow me on Twitter
 
 

 

Write-A-Thon Winner – Close Contest


Hi Everyone

quirkybooks’ latest competition to win a signed copy of Rochelle Melander’s Write-A-Thon, was a close contest, with many people trying several ways to win.

I am pleased to announce that Casey Jo Roach is the winner of the signed copy of Write-A-Thon. Congratulations Casey.

Thanks to everyone who entered and made the competition a great success.

For this competition I asked the question: “If you could buy any self-help book, what topic would you choose and why?”

Amongst the answers were books about:

  • How to write well
  • Writing resources
  • Writing an interesting Novel
  • How to write a novel quickly
  • Getting published
  • Overcoming Depression
  • Mindfulness
  • Stress
  • De-stressing
  • Anxiety

I thought it was remarkably interesting that two main categories shone through: Writing and Health and Well-being. Two of my favourite subjects to write about. So watch this future space!

If you could buy any self-help book, what would it be? Please leave a comment below.

Next post will be about my nominations for the Liebster Award, so don’t miss it.

Write soon.

Sandra

The Beginner’s Guide To Succeeding at National Novel Writing Month


Hi Everyone

Back due to popular demand is guest blogger, Rochelle Melander, taking beginners through the process of preparing for NaNoWriMo. You also have the opportunity to win a signed copy of Write-A-Thon (closing date 26th November) by clicking on this Rafflecopter link: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Get entering to win now and follow Rochelle’s guide below to have a successful NaNoWriMo experience.

National Novel Writing Month gives wannabe writers the opportunity to write a 50,000-word novel in 30 days (or 26 or even 11, it’s up to you). Chris Baty started the popular program with a few friends in hopes of giving himself a deadline—the magic element that he believes stands between most writers and their finished book manuscript. For writers and wannabes all over the world, National Novel Writing Month gives them accountability, structure, and a community. If you’re interested in jumping into the National Novel Writing Month waters, here’s how to begin:

1. Sign up. Though you don’t have to officially sign up to participate, it’s going to be a whole lot more fun if you do. Visit the National Novel Writing Month site and create a profile. You’ll add author information and create your novel profile (don’t worry, no one will hold you to your working title).

2. Join your regional group. When you create your profile, be sure to specify your region. Your regional advisor (RA) will send you NaNoMail about virtual and in-person events. Your regional advisor will also let you know if your region has other ways of communicating, such as through a Facebook group or a Twitter feed.

3. Get yourself a Buddy or two. I’ve been doing NaNoWriMo for 5 years, but I didn’t win until 2009 when I got the support of buddies. Your buddies can be friends that are doing NaNoWriMo with you, acquaintances you meet at regional events, or strangers that you connect with on Twitter. Find ways to encourage each other (such as messaging on Twitter or Facebook). And you can count on this: nothing will get you inspired to write more like seeing how far behind or ahead of your buddies you are.

4. Ready, set, sprint! I’d never heard of writing sprints until I joined National Novel Writing Month. In a writing sprint, writers try to write as many words as possible in a set amount of time (such as 15 minutes). The one who amasses the most words wins. You can set up a writing sprint with a friend, at an in-person write-in or on Twitter using the hashtag, #writingsprints.

5. Write in, anyone? I’m a solitary gal: I like to exercise and write alone. But attending a few write-ins convinced me of the value of hanging out with other writers, especially when I am behind on my word count. The peer pressure keeps me in my seat writing. In addition, a group provides the opportunity to share ideas, tools, and do writing sprints. Plus, there’s always someone to watch your laptop when you need to run to the bathroom!

6. Prepare! If you want to succeed at National Novel Writing Month, make sure you do some pre-month novel planning. Create a group of characters that will sustain your interest for a month, design or borrow an intriguing setting, and give the characters a plot that will keep you awake and writing! If you need help preparing for the month, get together with some NaNoWriMo buddies for a book brainstorming party. Or, if you’re the solitary type, visit my blog. Every Wednesday since September 26, I’ve been sharing fun ways to prepare for the month-long writing challenge!

7. Get Your Bling! If you reach the coveted 50,000-word mark, don’t forget to collect your winner’s treats at the end of the month! Half the fun of participating in NaNoWriMo comes when you can collect your winner’s badges and post them on your Facebook profile. You’ll also get the opportunity to print out a winner’s certificate. Most regions also hold celebratory parties for the winners (and even the almost winners).

Oh, and one final note: have fun. National Novel Writing Month is an opportunity to let down your hair and write with abandon. Go for it!

Rochelle Melander is an author, speaker, and certified professional coach. She is the author of ten books, including the National Novel Writing Month guide—Write-A-Thon: Write Your Book in 26 Days (and Live to Tell About It) Rochelle teaches professionals how to write good books fast, use writing to transform their lives, navigate the publishing world, and get published! For more tips and a complementary download of the first two chapters of Write-A-Thon, visit her online at www.writenowcoach.com

You can contact Rochelle:

If you haven’t done so already, don’t forget to enter the competition to win a signed copy of Write-A-Thon by clicking the Rafflecopter link, the competition closes on 26th Of November, good luck and keep writing.

Write soon

Sandra

Write-A-Thon Winner?


Hi Everyone

We have had an amazing 57 entries to the win a signed copy of  Write-A-Thon competition, written by Rochelle Melander. In order to select a winner fairly, I let Rafflecopter make the decision by choosing a winner at random.

And the winner is ———– Amy O. Who answered the question, “What does writing mean to you?”

Amy’s answer: “It means I get to say what I want, when I want, however I want, and as often as I want.”

I thought her answer was great because I could relate to it myself, although I would probably have added “and no one can tell me I can’t.”

Some of the other answers were:

“Writing is how I express ideas and opinions that come to me and communicate them to others, using my words to make them feel what I felt while writing.”

“Writing is my ticket to sanity after a long day of classes and work. It’s how I blow off steam and stay calm. It is my safe haven.”

“Writing is leaving a legacy.”

“It’s a way to talk back to the world, to express what I see and feel and understand in a way that can move others.”

“Everything! Without writing I’m not sure I could consider myself sane, there are plot lines and character quotes roaming around my head that keep telling me I must be written. ”

“A way to put my overactive brain to good use.  In other words, everything. An enormous thanks to everyone who has taken part.”

All entries have been amazing and it has been wonderful to read your comments, see your Likes and to interact with all of you.”

Write soon

Sandra

Get Ready! How to Prepare for National Novel Writing Month NOW By Rochelle Melander a Rafflecopter giveaway


Hi Everyone

Today we have a guest blog article by Author and Writing Coach Rochelle Melander and we are giving away a free signed copy of her book, Write-A-Thon, to one lucky person. All you have to do to enter the giveaway competition is to answer a few questions by clicking on the Rafflecopter Giveaway Link in the title of this post. In the meantime I will hand you over to Rochelle.

As a former Girl Scout, I’ve never forgotten the scouting motto: Be Prepared. Even thought school has just started and November seems far away—I’m getting ready for National Novel Writing Month right now. After several years of succeeding at NaNoWriMo and one epic fail, I’ve learned how to prepare. Here are three practices from my toolbox that will help you get ready for the month-long writing marathon:

1. Train Your Writing Muscles. NaNoWriMo novices often end up like the proverbial weekend warrior, jumping into the month with gusto only to be grounded by injury (my aching neck) or discouragement. Schedule daily writing time throughout the rest of September and October. Write daily pages, craft poems, or do fiction-writing prompts—just get words on paper each day. By the end of October you’ll be a seasoned writing professional, easily able to amass 1667 words a day! As a bonus, you’ll have already created space in your daily schedule to write.

2. Create a Story Bible. Filmmakers and television writers make use of a show bible—a document that contains information about character, setting and plot. Take time to create your own Story Bible for your National Novel Writing Month project. In past years, I’ve used three-ring binders, spiral notebooks, and index cards to collect my ideas about character, setting, and plot long before the month starts. During some of your writing time each day, create histories for your characters. Collect photos of your setting. Sketch out several scenes. In the middle of National Novel Writing Month, you won’t have to wonder what your characters might wear or do— you will just have to consult your story bible.

3. Collect energy boosts. Writing a book in a month takes an enormous amount of energy. During the next month and a half, pay attention to the activities that increase your energy. For me these include taking daily walks, eating healthy snacks, stretching, reading fun magazines, and listening to music. I’m collecting these ideas on a Pinterest board, so that when I hit the proverbial wall—I’ll have easy-to-access solutions. (http://pinterest.com/writenowcoach/exercises-food-and-tools-4-overwhelmed-writers/) I’m also stockpiling energy boosts in my office. I have a shelf in my closet that I am filling with yummy snacks, inspiring books and magazines, and a few new music albums. (Wow, I can’t wait for NaNoWriMo to start!)

Your turn. What are you doing to get ready for the month-long novel writing challenge?

Rochelle Melander is an author, speaker, and certified professional coach. She is the author of ten books, including Write-A-Thon: Write Your Book in 26 Days (and Live to Tell About It)Rochelle teaches professionals how to write good books fast, use writing to transform their lives, navigate the publishing world, and get published! Visit her online at www.writenowcoach.com

Rochelle Y. Melander

Author and Writing Coach

Editor, The Word in Season

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Author of the book,

Write-A-Thon: Write Your Book in 26 Days 

(And Live to Tell About It)

(Writers Digest Books, October 2011)

A 2011 ForeWord Book of the Year Finalist

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://www.writenowcoach.com

http://www.writenowmastermind.com

rochelle@WriteNowCoach.com

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Find me on Facebook

Follow me on Twitter

Competition closes on Friday 28th of September 2012.