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?