Posted in: #amrevising, #amwriting, #fiction, #TheRomantics, 2018 writing goals, book marketing novel, book promotion, book publicity, new year, new year's writing goals, setting goals writing novels, travel to italy, women's fiction, writers groups, writing fiction, writing tips

Happy 2018! New Year’s Writing Goals

Gifts of Writing - Author Rachel Dacus's GiveawaysHappy 2018! What are your new year’s writing goals? Someone in one of my writers groups asked me, while wishing me a happy 2018. I was shocked to realize I don’t have many. My debut novel launches on January 23 — The Renaissance Club, my time-travel love story, available now on Amazon for pre-order. I have a poetry collection coming out in August — Arabesque, from FutureCycle Press. And I’m finishing the last revision before querying agents and publishers of my new novel, The Romantics. Plus I’m writing a new musical play.

For me, 2018 seems to be all about finishing up big projects and sending them off to sail in wider waters, with new readership and audiences. Do you have a book making its debut in 2018? Maybe your writing goals revolve around book marketing — blogging, doing interviews, giving readings, offering giveaways. These all require a lot of writing. But my big 2018 writing goal is to start writing a new novel.

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Posted in: #amrevising, #amwriting, #fiction, #NaNoWriMo 2017, Uncategorized, women's fiction, writing schedule, writing tips

10 Days of National Novel Writing Month – #NaNoWriMo Survival

It was the best of days, it was the worst of days on Day 10 of National Novel Writing Month. Because I wrote for an hour first thing, it was the best. But actually, mostly it was the worst of days. Consider having:

  1. Your heating installed over a 3-day period of mistakes, confusion, and changing personnel.
  2. Three of your 4 website disappearing for no reason — all paid for and not hacked.
  3. The world’s stiffest neck from writing all week.

And yet, I wrote. And so am happy. What is it that makes writers have to write to achieve the peculiar bliss we know in our imaginative worlds? What makes you write? I’m almost sure most of you reading this do write. Please let me know in the comments what propels you to do this crazy cantilevering out into the unknown that is the act of creating something.

And Yet, I Wrote – Day 10 of National Novel Writing Month

I committed my month of November to #NaNoWriMo, as it’s affectionately called by its participants. My goal is to revise a (mostly) complete draft of a new novel, The Ro30-daymantics. I knew from last year’s writing marathon that forcing myself to write every day is a little like forcing myself to have cherry pie every day. There are days when I’d rather not — but most days, I’d definitely rather.

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Day 8 of #NaNoWriMo — and I’m Still Here

On Day 8 of #NaNoWriMo — National Novel Writing Month — I’m still fulfilling my commitment to spend two hours every day working on my new novel, The Romantics. NaNoWriMo is a marathon, an endurance test for writers. The official goal of participating is to draft a new novel of at least 50,000 words. Yes, 50,000 words. That divides up into more than 1,600 words a day. Remember having to write essays in school? This is an essay every single day.

My self-determined goal is not to count words this time, but hours, in order to finish last year’s NaNoWriMo creation.ehemoth of a story that needs to be tamed. As you can imagine, it sags in the middle. No, actually, it gets amnesia in the middle — why did I take a day trip to Portofino, and what is that castle doing in my story, and just how is it going to improve my terrible relationship with my only sister?

My primary way is to write for two hours first thing every morning. Just showing up — or #buttinchair as some call it — is my way of courting my  muse. I can only hope by just showing up, the muse will really steer me and help me kill my (pointless) darlings to get that middle as lean as if it had been doing 50 situps every day in those two hours.

5 Ways to Make Your Daily Goal — Word- or Hour-Count

If you’re doing a #NaNoWriMo project this year, you may, like me, need some ideas to keep going, especially as we head toward the middle of the month. Here are 6 tools and writing tip for keeping at it:

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Posted in: #amrevising, #NaNoWriMo 2017, revising, Writing, writing time, writing tips

Thriving in National Novel Writing Month

I never thought I’d be writing about thriving in National Novel Writing Month, but November 2016 changed my perspective on what I could do in my writing life. I learned the discipline of trying to write an entire  novel in one month. I had had nothing but challenges trying to find a publisher for my first novel, The Renaissance Club (forthcoming January 16, 2018 from Fiery Seas Publishing). They say the best thing you can do to sell your book is write a new one. So on a reckless whim, I signed up for my first #NaNoWriMo.

How did I find a way to thrive? By plunging into a daily word goal of 1,600+ words. What I learned is that I love s challenge, and word count made me compete with myself, I was not only reckless to enter #NaNoWriMo, I wrote recklessly. Thirty days later, I found the partial novel draft full of life, and for the last year I’ve fleshed it out.

NaNoWriMo for Pantsers

If you’re an outline-averse writer like me, the idea of entering a force writing march with a precise outline of who, what, when, where, why feels like closing the door to inspiration. Charts like that shoo away any muse I have wooed close. So what can I use as a guide, other than my vague idea that my sisters would be like those in Sense and Sensibility (did I mention that I have two complete sets of Jane Austen novels, one for upstairs, and one for downstairs?).

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Preparing for National Novel Writing Month – 4 Writing Tips

Preparing for National Novel Writing Month can be hard if you’re allergic to plot outlines. And with any method, it’s a steep climb to write 50,000 words in a month. But if you have the urge to join the 34,000 people who last year completed a novel in 30 days, and your pen is poised […]

Posted in: #amrevising, #amwriting, #fiction, Character development, diction, jane austen, language, novel, setting

Stealing from Jane Austen – Writing Tips

Virginia Woolf observed about Austen, “Of all great writers she is the most difficult to catch in the act of greatness.” I’m an Austenite (having an upstairs and a downstairs complete set of her work qualifies, I think). I’m writing a book whose characters are based on the Dashwood sisters from Sense and Sensibility. I’m […]

Posted in: #amrevising, #amwriting, #fiction, Italy, novel, Shelley, siblings, sisters, women's fiction

The Story with Sisters

Sibling relationships and specifically sisters is what I’m thinking about. I’m finishing a new novel. It’s about two half-sisters who feud about an inherited cottage in Italy with its resident ghost of the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. Sisters — we love to explore these complicated lifetime pairings. In real life and literature, sisters stand out. […]

Posted in: #amrevising, #amwriting, #fiction, first drafts, novel writing, poetry, revising, writing fiction

First drafts – just get the words out

I post this advice from author Neil Gaiman with some trepidation, having just spent a solid twelve months fixing words that were relatively easy to draft. But it’s true, if you let your inner critic sit in your lap while you type, you’re going to get your hands and words bitten all over until there […]