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October 20, 2015

@SloaneBCollins What's in my Writer Toolbox for NaNo? #NaNoWriMo #amwriting @onestop4writers #MFRWorg

Authors everywhere are gearing up for NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month – which takes place annually in November.  We are battening down the hatches, preparing meals ahead of time (unless you’re lucky enough to have a hubby like mine who does 99% of the cooking!), letting friends and family know we won’t be answering phones, and scheduling the DVR…all of this to get 50,000 words written in one month.  That’s right, a whole complete novel in one month!


For an author like me who is time-challenged with a crazy-busy day job, an editing job, and four cats, this is the month where I really push to spend every minute writing.  I’m a pantser by nature when it comes to writing – meaning I literally sit down in front of the computer and write by the seat of my pants.  It keeps the story fresh for me, instead of getting bogged down in research.

BUT…when it comes to NaNo, I need to have a pretty good idea of my characters, the plot, scenes I want to write, and that all important Goal, Motivation, and Conflict for my characters.  Now is when I use all the tools available to authors to get me prepped in time for November 1, so I can hit the ground running.


As a reader, I want to be immersed in a book, and feel as if I’m part of the story, seeing and living the story as if I’m the heroine.  As an author, I want readers to be immersed in the world I create, so I’m constantly taking classes, honing my craft.  This also means reading books about writing, filling out character questionnaires, filling out worksheets.  And searching for that One. Big. Secret.  The one that will make everything click, turn on that light bulb over my head, and make the words literally flow from my brain, out my fingertips, and onto the page. 

Last week a new website launched for authors called One Stop for Writers.  This description is straight from their website: One Stop For Writers is a powerhouse online library like no other, supplying writers with inspiration, education and unique description resources. If anything I’ve ever found has come close to that One Big Secret, this is it.  The creators of the Emotion Thesaurus Collection and the creator of Scrivener joined forces to create one of the BEST tools for authors I’ve ever seen.  Not only are the Emotion Thesauruses included in one place, but they have a Setting Thesaurus, one for colors, shapes, patterns!  I think my favorite one is the Setting thesaurus.  I’ve never been on a ranch, so this is the perfect place for me to go to find things I may not have ever thought of including in a book. 

I admit I’m a geek – I love filling out worksheets, charts, spreadsheets, and questionnaires.  If it helps me dig deeper into my character’s psyche, then I’m all over it.  And the One Stop website has several, from character descriptions, to their greatest fears, to emotional progression, and so many more. 
I was lucky enough to be a beta tester for the website, and it was like Christmas morning, my birthday, and winning the lottery, all rolled into one the first time I accessed the site.  It’s amazing, and it’s all for ME!  Well, not really.  It’s for authors everywhere to deepen their stories and make them the best they can, all for the reader.  While it is a subscription based website, authors can also sign up for a free account and be able to access some of the features. Here’s the link if you want to try it out: One Stop For Writers

So as I begin prep work for NaNo, and all through the month of November (and, really, forevermore) I’ll be using One Stop for Writers, all my favorite character sketches, Pinterest (awesome for inspiration!), and pushing to get 50,000 words on the page.  Wish me luck!

As an author, what are your favorite writing tools?  Are you gearing up for NaNo? 

Readers, what questions do you have for the Princesses when it comes to writing, or their writing process?

11 comments:

Cathy McElhaney said...

I will definitely check out that web site! I still have a hard time thinking of myself as a 'writer'. I self published 1 short story and everyone who read it said they loved it and many said they were surprised I had that kind of talent!
I wont be doing that much writing this year...too many things gong on with the 4 grand kids I am raising, but I will definitely check out that site! Thanks for the info!

vicki batman said...

Lordy, woman. I wish I had time for Nano. I wish I had an idea for Nano. But nothing right now. I love how this pushes writers to write.

Sloane B. Collins said...

Cathy, congratulations on the short story! Don't shortchange yourself. It's a huge accomplishment to write and publish...and receive accolades!
I LOVE the One Stop site - it's been an immense help to me.
Good luck with those grandkids - sounds like YOU are their blessing!

Kathy Ivan said...

I'm not formally doing Nano but I'll definitely be writing. LOL I'll also be utilizing the One Stop site, because it looks like they have something for everybody. Wishing you fabulous luck with finishing your project for November, and getting your 50,000 words. Now I'm heading back into the writing cave to get my words done too.

Sloane B. Collins said...

Thanks, Kathy. I wish I had your drive and commitment to the craft!

Sloane B. Collins said...

Vicki, I just hope I get it done! You've got a little over a week - maybe an idea will strike.

Angela Ackerman said...

Sloan, I am so thrilled you are enjoying One Stop! Very excited to hear how it helps you with NaNoWriMo. Good luck--I am cheering you on!

Phyllis said...

Sloane, girlfriend I wish I had your drive. Actually, the writing bug has been stirring deep inside me and some new ideas have been popping up in my brain! Now that I have Scrivener and One Stop for Writers it should be interesting to see how much I get done. I don't know if I will actively participate in the non-no challenge. Then again, I'll see how much prepping gets done.

I will send you an e-mail or text on a regular basis for your accountability of words completed. Let me know if you prefer daily or weekly prompts to report your word count.

Sloane B. Collins said...

Thank you, Angela! One Stop is AWESOME, so I know it'll get me going where I've stalled on a couple of books.

Sloane B. Collins said...

Thanks, Phyllis. Vacation helped recharge me, and the writing bug has been snapping at me to get going again. (It helped driving thru ranch country - I have a ranching story that's itching to get told.)

Glad you have some great ideas popping up! (Although you know which story I'm itching to read.)
I hope you love One Stop for Writers as much as I do. It's been SO helpful!

Accountability email - weekly, I think. Thank you!

Nancy K said...

Love the blog, Sloane! All the best on NaNo, and thanks for the scoop about One Stop!

Light,
Nancy