Got a novel in you?

 

 

 

Ever heard of NANOWRIMO? I know what you’re thinking. “Sounds like something you could catch by drinking the water in some third world country.” Actually, NANOWRIMO is short for National Novel Writing Month. Every November, many thousands of authors attempt what seems to be impossible: writing a 50,000 word novel from scratch in a month. Why? Well, why do people climb Everest or run 26 mile races? To see if they can.

I’m part of a small group here in Texas that will be attempting the impossible. We meet in person once a month and also have online chat sessions every day where people can discuss plots, characters, etc. with other members to get prepared for Nov 1. In the days leading up to NANOWRIMO, I will be discussing how some of the ideas, hurdles, plot points, character arcs, etc. for my novel have changed due to simply spending some time working on them and how they have changed based on the group’s input. Hopefully, if you also have a novel in you and you want to be a fellow Nanowrimo-er, this information might help you out as well.

If you are throwing around the idea of doing NANOWRIMO, and 50,000 words seems to daunting, it’s basically 6 pages a day. If you’ve got everything in place, like the outline, character back stories, etc, then the writing should flow pretty well. Like your local Boy Scouts say, be prepared. Indeed for NANOWRIMO, it’s all about the preparation. I hope you will join us for the month of madness in November!  

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Mark Fadden is a freelance writer and author whose latest, award-winning suspense thriller, The Brink, is now available as an eBook for Amazon.com Kindle and Barnes & Noble nook for only $2.99!

The Brink is a hell of a read.” – Bestselling author Sandra Brown

“Mark Fadden is a masterful storyteller.” – Writer’s Digest

“Mark Fadden is the next Dan Brown.” – Triple C Ranch Book Club, Southlake, Texas

Check out The Brink and Mark’s other books at http://www.markfadden.com

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The Hero’s Journey – from Star Wars to Fairview, Texas

 
 
Could you write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days? That’s what writers across the nation will be attempting this November during National Novel Writing Month (NANOWRIMO). Some have done it. Some even got book deals out of the experience. Many more tried and didn’t quite cross the finish line.
 
A small group of us met this past Sunday at A Real Bookstore in Fairview, Texas to begin our “boot camp” to prepare ourselves for NANOWRIMO. There’s about 20 of us and we come from all walks of life, all ages across the spectrum, too. We are having 3 physical meetings total, one each month before Nov 1, and we are also setting up a Facebook chat room to have virtual meetings. It is my first time to attempt this feat, but I couldn’t have asked for a nicer group of folks to be in my writing foxhole with me. If you’re interested in joining our group, even if you live outside the DFW, Texas area you can at least join us for the virtual chats, just comment on this blog post.
 
Case in point, at our first meeting this past Sunday, Southern Methodist University (SMU) creative writing professor Suzanne Frank presented “The Hero’s Journey” to us, and basically reminded us that the novel should be one basic format, the same format, by the way, that goes back thousands of years. The highlights: There are three acts, you need to know how your story ends before your write it and then work backwards, and there’s a great documentary on PBS called, “The Hero’s Journey in Star Wars” where George Lucas talks about how he used this basic storytelling format, which he borrowed heavily from Joseph Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces, for his epic Sci-Fi adventure.
 
Suzanne also recommended a book that we should all run right out and get: The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler. I’m getting mine ASAP. And if you want to take on the insanity of writing a novel in a month, come join us!
 
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Mark Fadden is a freelance writer and author whose latest, award-winning suspense thriller, The Brink, is now available as an eBook for Amazon.com Kindle and Barnes & Noble nook for only $2.99!

The Brink is a hell of a read.” – Bestselling author Sandra Brown

“Mark Fadden is a masterful storyteller.” – Writer’s Digest

“Mark Fadden is the next Dan Brown.” – Triple C Ranch Book Club, Southlake, Texas

Check out The Brink and Mark’s other books at http://www.markfadden.com

Local versus National and all the numbers in between

I usually reserve Mondays for “Mystery Monday” where we discuss all things mysterious, but I got an intriguing e-newsletter today about the power of social media – specifically, should we, as writers, use social media to cast our net as wide as we can across the nation or the world, or should we use SM to build better relationships with the “locals?” Most folks live in an area where, within 50 miles, there are 50,000 or more people. Well, guess how many books you have to sell to get on the NY Times bestseller list? That’s right, 50K.
 
Anyway, here’s the link to today’s edition of the Search Engine Land newsletter. BTW, if you are thinking of, or already are, in the midst of using SM to get more readers, take a look at the SEL site. It’s chock full o’ good stuff. And best of all…’tis gratis.
 
Oh, and if you’re wondering how our first NANOWRIMO meeting went at A Real Bookstore, stay tuned until tomorrow night!
 
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Mark Fadden is a freelance writer and author whose latest, award-winning suspense thriller, The Brink, is now available as an eBook for Amazon.com Kindle and Barnes & Noble nook for only $2.99!

The Brink is a hell of a read.” – Bestselling author Sandra Brown

“Mark Fadden is a masterful storyteller.” – Writer’s Digest

“Mark Fadden is the next Dan Brown.” – Triple C Ranch Book Club, Southlake, Texas

Check out The Brink and Mark’s other books at http://www.markfadden.com

Thirsty Thursday recipe with a NANOWRIMO twist

Here’s one that should cool off all of our fast and feverish writing minds tonight or this weekend. San Luis Spirits, who produces Texas-based Dripping Springs Vodka, now offers the first Texas-produced gin called Roxor. What better way to welcome them to the gin shelf then by celebrating with a Ginoncelloade. Enjoy!

1 ounce limoncello

1 ounce gin

1 ounce cranberry juice

2 ounces club soda

Mint leaf for garnish

1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add limoncello, gin and cranberry juice. Shake well. Strain into a martini glass.

2. Top with club soda and garnish with a mint leaf (optional).
Read more: http://www.star-telegram.com/2011/08/16/3294061/add-a-little-lone-star-spirit.html#tvg#ixzz1VP71gQlj

Oh, and BTW, our first NANOWRIMO boot camp class will be this Sunday, August 21 at 2:00pm at A Real Bookstore in Fairview, Texas. We are gathering together to prepare ourselves for November, when we will undertake the task of writing a 50,000 word novel in one month. Suzanne Frank, Director of the Creative Writing program at SMU will be our presenter at this first meeting. She will be speaking of the importance of a strong plot. Afterward, we will all gather together to brainstorm, critique, and have a great time talking about our possible plots, story arcs, characters, etc that will fill the pages of our NANOWRIMO projects. If you live in the DFW area, we’d love for you to join us at A Real Bookstore. Best of all, it’s free!

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Mark Fadden is a freelance writer and author whose latest, award-winning suspense thriller, The Brink, is now available as an eBook for Amazon.com Kindle and Barnes & Noble nook for only $2.99!

The Brink is a hell of a read.” – Bestselling author Sandra Brown

“Mark Fadden is a masterful storyteller.” – Writer’s Digest

“Mark Fadden is the next Dan Brown.” – Triple C Ranch Book Club, Southlake, Texas

Check out The Brink and Mark’s other books at http://www.markfadden.com

Beyond the Bookstore

For this App Wednesday, we’re going old school – I’m letting you know of an actual book, with actual pages (gasp!) that will hopefully help you get rid of that closet full of books you’ve been trying to unload.

Although I have yet to read it, I came across this title, Beyond the Bookstore: How to Sell More Books Profitably to Non-Bookstore Marketsin an article I was reading. According to the author, $90 billion of book sales come from outside bookstores. So where are they coming from? Read the book to find out.

Here’s the Amazon review of the book. Pretty good, I would say.

Oh, and BTW, our first NANOWRIMO boot camp class will be this Sunday, August 21 at 2:00pm at A Real Bookstore in Fairview, Texas. We are gathering together to prepare ourselves for November, when we will undertake the task of writing a 50,000 word novel in one month. Suzanne Frank, Director of the Creative Writing program at SMU will be our presenter at this first meeting. She will be speaking of the importance of a strong plot. Afterward, we will all gather together to brainstorm, critique, and have a great time talking about our possible plots, story arcs, characters, etc that will fill the pages of our NANOWRIMO projects. If you live in the DFW area, we’d love for you to join us at A Real Bookstore. Best of all, it’s free!

*****************************************************************************************

Mark Fadden is a freelance writer and author whose latest, award-winning suspense thriller, The Brink, is now available as an eBook for Amazon.com Kindle and Barnes & Noble nook for only $2.99!

The Brink is a hell of a read.” – Bestselling author Sandra Brown

“Mark Fadden is a masterful storyteller.” – Writer’s Digest

“Mark Fadden is the next Dan Brown.” – Triple C Ranch Book Club, Southlake, Texas

Check out The Brink and Mark’s other books at http://www.markfadden.com

The Group Thing

Writers are supposed to be lone wolves. There’s just one name on the book cover. The image of a writer is a lone person banging away on his or her keyboard like a maniac, perhaps talking to themselves, their muse, or their imaginary friends. Whenever I have a character say something, I assume their voice and say the words out loud to see if it sounds right. I’ll only start to worry if I hear one of them tell me something back.

Now, there are writers groups out there where the lone wolves can gather in a pack to share and critique. These groups are invaluable. One local group, DFW Writers Group, has been around for 30+ years, they have one of the biggest annual conferences that several NY agents attend and many of their members have snagged book deals. It seems that one publishing company has taken the idea of the writing group and taken it to the advertising side as well.

Outskirts Press, a self-publishing company, recently announced their “Co-Op option” for their authors to advertise their books. Basically, they take out an ad in Publisher’s Weekly, or “the bible” to us writers, and each author can pay for a 2″ space that includes the book cover pic and short synopsis. It’s a great way to get our names out in front of the movers and shakers in the publishing community for a fraction of the price of a normal PW ad. So far, only Outskirts is doing this, but it’s a great idea that I’m sure will be replicated within the entire self-publishing community.

And speaking of the group thing, our first NANOWRIMO boot camp class will be this Sunday, August 21 at 2:00pm at A Real Bookstore in Fairview, Texas. We are gathering together to prepare ourselves for November, when we will undertake the task of writing a 50,000 word novel in one month. Suzanne Frank, Director of the Creative Writing program at SMU will be our presenter at this first meeting. She will be speaking of the importance of a strong plot. Afterward, we will all gather together to brainstorm, critique, and have a great time talking about our possible plots, story arcs, characters, etc that will fill the pages of our NANOWRIMO projects. If you live in the DFW area, we’d love for you to join us at A Real Bookstore. Best of all, it’s free!   

*****************************************************************************************

Mark Fadden is a freelance writer and author whose latest, award-winning suspense thriller, The Brink, is now available as an eBook for Amazon.com Kindle and Barnes & Noble nook for only $2.99!

The Brink is a hell of a read.” – Bestselling author Sandra Brown

“Mark Fadden is a masterful storyteller.” – Writer’s Digest

“Mark Fadden is the next Dan Brown.” – Triple C Ranch Book Club, Southlake, Texas

Check out The Brink and Mark’s other books at http://www.markfadden.com

Peer Pressure and a Looming Deadline

It takes a hell of a lot of motivation to pump out a novel. And sometimes, scratch that, most times life can and does get in the way. If you’re serious about writing something that is at least 50,000 words and probably around 75,000 or even 100,000 words, you find little nooks and crannies of time to work on it: waking up early, going to bed late, a few hours on the weekends, maybe even taking some vacation time from work. Maybe you use the carrot and stick approach – you’ll let yourself eat a bowl of ice cream, but only after you bang out 5 pages for the day.

But I’m here to tell you that there’s another approach to a writer’s motivation. Peer pressure and a looming deadline. But how does that work, you ask? Writing is a solitary profession. Enter the writing/critique group and NaNoWriMo.

Now I haven’t been a huge participant in writing groups. Ok, I’ve never even been to one. But this past year, I attended the DFW Writer’s Conference and it resonated with me. A bunch of us knuckleheaded masochists gathered together to talk shop and learn how ebooks are going to tear down the ancient walls of the publishing world. But I also networked. I also built some pretty solid relationships. As writers, we need each other. As sounding boards. As critics. As friends of the pen. Critique groups not only provide much-needed critique of your work, which you may be looking at through rose-colored, or gin-soaked, glasses, they also make you write. If you know you’re meeting on Wednesday night, by gum, you better have pages to show by then.

And that brings me to my little advertisement for the ultimate event of peer pressure for writers: NaNoWriMo. Perhaps the best way to describe National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is from the description on A Real Bookstore’s website. Incidentally, I’ll be hosting free workshops in August, September and October to get area writers ready for NaNoWriMo. Ain’t that a funny coincidence? 

“Every November, aspiring authors around the country participate in a marathon writing event: 50,000 words in 30 days. Yup, you heard right.  is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing and the goal is to write a 50,000 word, (approximately 175 page, or a little less than 6 pages a day) novel by 11:59:59, November 30. Because of the limited writing window, the ONLY thing that matters in NaNoWriMo is output. It’s all about quantity, not quality. This approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly. Make no mistake: You will be writing a lot of crap. And that’s a good thing. By forcing yourself to write so intensely, you are giving yourself permission to make mistakes. To forgo the endless tweaking and editing and just create. To build without tearing down. As you spend November writing, you can draw comfort from the fact that, all around the world, other National Novel Writing Month participants are going through the same joys and sorrows of producing the Great Frantic Novel. Wrimos meet throughout the month to offer encouragement, commiseration, and—when the thing is done—the kind of raucous celebrations that tend to frighten animals and small children.”

Peer pressure and a looming deadline. It could just make the difference between you, The Author and you, the writer.

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Mark Fadden is a freelance writer and author whose latest, award-winning suspense thriller, The Brink, is now available as an eBook for Amazon.com Kindle and Barnes & Noble nook for only $2.99!

The Brink is a hell of a read.” – Bestselling author Sandra Brown

“Mark Fadden is a masterful storyteller.” – Writer’s Digest

“Mark Fadden is the next Dan Brown.” – Triple C Ranch Book Club, Southlake, Texas

Check out The Brink and Mark’s other books at http://www.markfadden.com