AMBER LOVE 04-NOV-2016 My work is supported by monthly backers at my tip jar on It’s time to check in with myself and with you about how this year’s National Novel Writing Month is going. How are you holding up? I want to know, especially if it’s your first time trying the challenge.

amy poehler quote

Day 1:

This was the first year that I was comfortable with my plan and my outline. I felt ready to tackle this project in a way I hadn’t been ready before. It’s all new: new world, new characters, new murders to figure out how to pull off and make interesting.

However, leaving the Farrah Wethers series even for just a break to dive into this was scary-newb fear all over again. What if my characters suck? What if they are too stereotypical? What if people “don’t get it” and don’t understand what I’m trying to do? What if there’s a “fake horror geek” backlash because my story partially takes place at a horror convention and I’m not a horror fan!?!?!?

I want this one thing to be clear — I’m not writing a horror genre book. I’m writing a mystery that happens to be about a horror author and the fans. Fortunately, most of the people I have ever met who create violent, gory, suspenseful, thrilling, or terrifying content, are sweet and wonderful people! Duane Swierczynski quote


Fortunately, last year I was welcomed into the fold of a NaNoWriMo cabin of horror writers. They basically know I’ll never be fan. I haven’t volunteered to beta read for any of them because … bleeccchhhhh… it’s just not my thing. I hate being grossed out. I hate being scared. However, if someone created a story that had suspense but not enough to give me a panic attack, I’d be down for it. I can watch Criminal Minds, for example, but I don’t sleep well afterward.

Needless to say, I felt pretty great after reaching 1,714 words in two hours on day one.

susan wittig albert quote on writing

 Day 2:

I remember I didn’t sleep well because I woke up at 2AM in excruciating menstrual pain (Yay fun!). Luckily this week, it was only that painful for two days (Bright side!).  Yet the effects showed in my productivity. It took me four hours to write 1,680 words. I had gotten my main characters introduced in a couple of short chapters. There are still other important characters later. The story also got a name this week, Misty Murder, hopefully not already the name of a book out there. nanowrimo coach

Day 3:

Was it just me or is Chrome crashing because of the official NaNo website? I also found the spreadsheet someone else made (can’t remember who) for the JuNoWriMo challenge. I was able to adjust it for November, but the only page I’m using is the word tracker. It has a lot of other tabs for character creation and plot development. I have all that in Scrivener anyway. The main reason I’m utilizing the spreadsheet is more or less for the data because the official NaNo website closes after a certain period. The spreadsheet also has a column for hours and comments which help me examine productivity. nanowrimo

Day 4:

It’s crystal clear that I’m already off that “new manuscript” high. Ahhhh! Oh well. It lasted three days and felt great then. Too bad it’s not a feeling that lasts longer. Day four wasn’t a disaster. I made something resembling “not crap” to move the story along.

My expectation for today’s writing was not met. I thought I’d be at the murder, the big whopping first major plot point. Misty still lives. Perhaps I’ll kill her tomorrow. Instead, I’m still at the setting up and build towards the murder. Of course that could mean I suck at pacing or just means my outline wasn’t perfect. No big deal. Moving on and making words. At least there’s a visible bump in the target goal bar graph in Scrivener. word count


Back your files up OFTEN! I typically do backups every day through an automated cloud service, but as I tend to not trust things that are not in my control, I also have other backups. Every couple days I take my passport drive (external portable hard drive) and put the files there and store it in a fire/water proof safe. Weekly or more often, I send a .doc version of the Scrivener file (just the story part) to Google Drive.


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