Manuscript for "Nobody's Girl"

Manuscript for “Nobody’s Girl”


Since I have finished NaNoWriMo, it’s time to get to back to the book I’m still intending to be ready for publication this year…  Thought I’d share my basic steps for it now.  I’ll expand on the stages as I go through them with the book I’m editing now.  It’s the process I used to edit my book last year, and it worked well.  So, here we go!

  1. Rough draft
  2. Initial read-through
  3. Highlight modifiers and dialogue
  4. Cut out as many modifiers as necessary
  5. Break up into scenes
  6. Read each scene independently–asking “does this move the story forward”?, “is this scene complete as is?”, “is this scene well written,” etc.
  7. Remove unnecessary scenes
  8. Add missing information/scenes
  9. Second read through
  10. Build dialogue/internalization from narrated stuff
  11. Third read through
  12. Fourth read through
  13. Submit to proof-readers
  14. Fifth read through
  15. Take comments from readers and edit as needed
  16. My own proof-reading
  17. Final read through aloud with corrections



Stocked and Ready–Welcome NaNoWriMo 2013!


A teacup on a saucer.

A teacup on a saucer. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The countdown to NaNoWriMo begins.  Less than 6 hours until she begins.  And I’m ready.  There’s a new box of my favorite tea bags (Celestial Seasonings Green Tea with White Tea [Decaf]) waiting to be enjoyed.  The Hawaiian Breeze candle is located nearby, with a stash of matches ready for lighting.  I’ve got my playlist(s) for writing set up…only 5 hours to go!  3rd Win for NaNoWriMo, here I come.

All the best to everyone doing NaNoWriMo this year.


Final Steps in NaNoWriMo Prep

Image courtesy of Pixomar /

Image courtesy of Pixomar /

The book is chosen.

The characters are named.

The location is set.

The story is roughly outlined.

The calendar is mapped out.

The writing space is ready.

I have a lovely scented candle to get me started.

Yummy green and white tea awaits the mug.

And my friends know that I’m doing NaNoWriMo again this year.

Now, it’s time to finish up preparations.  Today, that means making the writer’s playlist.  And since I’m going with another “For the Love of Music” series book, I get to choose music that reminds me of the artists/bands in the book.  Real life artists list their influences.  My fictional ones get to as well.  And while they may not influence the actual style of the music in the books themselves, the artists inspire the characters, lyrics and storyline as we go along the NaNoWriMo road.

So, it’s time to sort through the artists/bands I’ve got on deck, and choose their best works.  After that, I create three playlists.

  1. Nostalgic/Emotional
  2. Upbeat and/or happy
  3. Chill/relaxed

Now, here are the bands/artists in the NaNoWriMo 2013 playlists:

Always Surprised


Surprised? (Photo credit: SaZeOd)

Other writers can relate, I know.  To that moment when your book turns on you.  And changes itself without your permission.

In my first novel in the “For the Love of Music” series, that definitely happened.  One character left during the rough draft  unexpected to ever surface again.  But then he returned in the second draft and never left my side.

In the very first book I ever wrote (unpublished and still unedited it, darn it all!), something similar happened.  A character I intended to kill off for the better of the book didn’t die.  Instead, his brother jumped in the way and took the bullet.  Stupid keyboard.  I kept trying to type the correct name, but the other name came out instead.  Time after time after time.  Grr.  My favorite character ever died, thanks to you, you stupid, stupid keyboard.

And a book I began crafting when I was about 17 did that to me last night.  I had a beautiful ending in mind.  I knew where the story would go as I continued roughing the first draft.  But, darn it all, the ending took a turn and surprised me.  Now, a different book doesn’t exist at all.

And then two books talked me out of including them in the “For the Love of Music” series.  They begged me to make them stand alone books instead.  And I finally agreed.  Just to get them to shut up, sure, but, we’re probably all better off that way.  At they are still around somewhere, so we didn’t really lose anything.  Right?

And, yet another surprise, my novels also talked me into writing a different one altogether than was suggested before.  NaNoWriMo will produce another rough draft of one of the books from “For the Love of Music” series.  Not “Little Miss Priss,” but a different one whose idea was birthed this week.

You books need to stop conspiring against me, at least for a week or two.  Maybe wait until after NaNoWriMo?  But, no, no.  That won’t happen.  That would be too easy, wouldn’t it?

Choosing the Book for NaNoWriMo 2013


Writing (Photo credit: jjpacres)

I originally thought of doing another book from “For the Love of Music” series (“Nobody’s Girl,” “Forever My Song,” “Drop Dead Daisy,” etc.), but since I have not finished editing books #2 & 3 for that series yet, I should work on something different this year.  I don’t need to keep collecting unfinished books in the same series, since you have to begin a new book from scratch (writing wise at least) for each NaNoWriMo.

So…let’s look at the previous projects and go from there.

  • NaNoWriMo 2010–did not complete, but wrote much of the 50,000 words for my historical novel “All the Stars By Name,” the first book in a three book series.  I have pretty much not touched this book since because of the need for more research into the era.
  • NaNoWriMo 2011–completed/won with a stand-alone untitled historical novel that I first conceptualized when I was about 16.
  • NaNoWriMo 2012–completed/won with the rough story of “Forever My Song” (titled, at the time “Mistress of the World”).

Since I have mostly been working on contemporary fiction and have felt a bit stuck of late, maybe it’s time to go back to another historical fiction novel?  I could do that…there are several in the queue, waiting for a voice.  Any of those might work…yes.  Of course, the other option is work on an entirely new genre, just for fun…like fantasy.  NaNoWriMo books don’t have to ever be read by anyone else. 😉

Hmm.  Choosing which book to work on this year might be tougher than I thought.  But at least I’m starting to form a list to work through.

  • The Star King (historical fiction)
  • Even the Winds and Sea (historical fiction)
  • In Need of Grace (historical fiction)
  • The Star King (historical fiction)
  • The Book of the Shring (fantasy)
  • The Antiquarian’s Gauntlet (fantasy)
  • A Song of Peace (historical fiction)
  • Sing Free Little Birds (historical fiction)
  • The Universe at Last (satire/fantasy)
  • Little Miss Priss (book #4 in the “For the Love of Music” series, if I get desperate)

Well, step #1 isn’t finished, but it’s well on its way.  That’s good enough today.

Getting Ready for NaNoWriMo 2013



This year, NaNoWriMo will be more challenging than ever for me. I will no longer be employed solely as a writer/non-profit worker setting my own schedule this year. So my process will be rather different this year. Especially as I am also moving out of the State in the first week of November. All the more reason to be more prepared than usual before November 1st hits this year.

In the midst of packing up my entire life, filming my first movie (as director/actress/singer), applying for jobs and many happenings in my personal life, NaNoWriMo preps will be challenging. So, I’m starting today.

My process this year:

  1. choose book to write this year
  2. research and choose character names
  3. research and choose location for story
  4.  outline gist of book
  5. set a generic calendar for completion for NaNoWriMo writing
  6. prep work space for days leading up to move
  7. keep a work space prepped and clean for writing once I move
  8. get some scented candles, matches, etc. ready for writing times
  9. get a few more yummy tea flavors for writing sessions
  10. tell closest friends that I’m planing to do NaNoWriMo this year and get their encouragement


Well…here goes.  Step 1.  Best of everything to all the other NaNos this year as you prepare!

The New Writing Year in Goals

Happy New Year 2013

Happy New Year 2013 (Photo credit: ell brown)

Well, I just finished the 85,000 word rough draft of the book I started for NaNoWriMo, on December 30.  Then, I took New Year’s Eve and Day off.  So, it’s time to make the goals for my writing this year.  Here they are.

  1. Publish my second book by June 30 (unless I have some shipping hang ups–if that happens, then by the end of September).
  2. Have at least the next to last draft completed on my third book by November 1st.
  3. Participate and win NaNoWriMo again in November.
  4. Do at least 1 photo shoot for my next book covers.  Tentatively have this scheduled for some time in January, even have all but one of my models lined up!
  5. Write 365 posts across my various blogs throughout the year.

Not a long list, but that’s good.  I will be away from home for a good bit of the year, so writing will especially be a challenge this year, but all the more reason to set such goals as these.  I will have consistent internet (well, as consistent as mine at home, so I’ve heard), which will make a huge difference in being capable of meeting these goals, as well.  And being in a different environment often inspires the writer in me.  And the blogging should help with keeping me up on the goals…Guess we’ll find out!

What are some of your writing goals this year?  How will you accomplish them?