Nano Kaput!

If this picture was a writing prompt, what would you write?

Greetings, fellow writers, authors, and readers of this blog. If you took part in National Novel Writers Month, how did you do?

I managed 54K, which is not bragging; it is just the facts. Those that know me ask me how I tend to write so much in so little time.

I think the first thing I would offer as advice is this. ‘Don’t sweat the small stuff.’

The more you write and edit, the greater your propensity to catch weasel words and punctuation issues as you tell the story.

That is great if you can quickly correct them but, don’t sweat them now.

I am divorcing the word pantser and adopting the word or term discovery writer.

Writing for me is a hobby. A hobby is something that you had best enjoy. I know way too many who have spent years on one novel and then are so sure it will make it to the bestseller list they invest heavily. When I say heavily, I mean they hire expensive editors, beta readers, book cover designers, and the list goes on.

In truth, if you are going to survive financially in this writing world, you had best have a side hustle. What is that, you might ask?

Maybe you are an artist. You learn all you can about book cover design, and you try to design covers for authors that will make it.

Possibly you are a grammar Nazi, and you understand the comma… well; you might be an editor when not creating your own story.

Writers are suckers for spending money on their babies. There is one born every minute, and trust me, if you have something to offer that we believe will make the difference of published or not, we will buy it.

My second bit of advice to you is this, try to stay objective. You can spend thousands on your baby. You end with a copy on your shelf, and you get to brag to your friends.

As a discovery writer, enjoying the storytelling is the fun part.  In all likely hood, your draft will be shallow at best. By shallow, I mean lack of the attributes or layers that bring the reader into your world.

Who is your character?

What do they want?

Are they broken in some way?

Who is the antagonist, a jealous boyfriend perhaps?

We could go on forever with the details, from Save the Cat to Scene and Structure.

Vomit the story on your medium of choice before you dig into the details.

The more you write, the more you will learn. I have over thirty novels published that I will be re-working down the road. What I have learned by ‘forensic examination’ is that many of these things I do naturally.

The more you read, the more you write, the less you will worry about the muddy middle.

Very soon, I will be releasing Forensic Assassin, which I created in November. Currently, I am working on a cover design while I read and reread each chapter.

I get comments and e-mails asking me why I published before I had them polished…?

I had no tribe, no associates that were into writing so, I chose the only way I knew how. Bait the hook, cast the line, and see what happens.

On occasion, I will enter a contest just to see what fish I catch.

As far as Nano goes, I support the cause, and by support, I mean talk about it, financially support them, and of course, participate. What better use of money could there be than encouraging kids and young adults to write and become more literate?

Agents will be inundated with stuff for their slush piles from everyone that created the next Tale of Two Cities. That is the downside of Nano. It-dumps, and by dumps, I mean dumps, tons of slush for them to have their intern sort through.

With December just beginning, I wish you the best of the Holiday season. I hope that you keep your passion for writing alive.

Much Love -TW

Nano November

Are you ready to be a Hermit?

Yes, I am working on an outline for a book to create during November.

To keep your tools sharp, you need to use them. Grammarly just reported that I went over 26 million words in October. 

Think about 26 million words all typed on this Logitech k350 keyboard. I have replaced keycaps on a few of the keys. Other than paint rubbing off, been a great keyboard.

Today I entered a flash fiction contest. I don’t for the life of me understand how Word, Grammarly, and Pro-writing aid disagree on so much.

Between the AP manual and the Chicago style manual, I am just not sure which is correct.

From Dialogue tags to internal thoughts, English has changed since I was in school.

Who dreams up this stuff?

Where publishing is concerned, use an editor. I spent days trying to teach myself what they consider to be ‘good grammar.’

I used to believe the comma was my only nemesis, not even close.

The Little Brown Book has nothing on today’s style.

I will leave you with this final thought. If you are not sure, the odds are excellent that the reader will not be sure either. Go back and read some of the literary greats if you want to blow what you think you know about grammar out of the water.

My secret is this, Write the Damned Story. Please don’t get your knickers wrapped around the axle where it comes to grammar. The more you write, the fewer mistakes you will find when you finally do edit it. 

Once written, put it away. Last year’s project is still in the drawer, waiting for me to edit it with a fresh set of eyes.

Don’t rest on your laurels. Once you develop that habit of writing, stick with it. I have found that between 4 AM and 6 AM works well for me. It would shock you how you will bounce out of bed once you get into the habit.

There is a science involved with that time of day, and it involves Theta Waves. Just try it for a month.

I can do the mechanics of research or editing anytime; for the creative part, I need zero distractions. I have yet to be offered a car warranty between 4 and 6 AM.

The news is toxic to the creative type. Remove the screens from your view and don’t focus on the idiots. From clickbait to ratings, they will say and or do almost anything to get your attention.

You might notice that I have blogged about certain events in the past. That was wasted energy but, it was a vent. That leads me to my last point, expel toxic poop from your life. From the media to people, if they are unhealthy, shut them out.

As a programmer of years ago, there was a saying—garbage in equal garbage out.

I hope this gets you in the right frame of mind and hopefully excites you about NaNoWriMo.

Yes, I contribute to them every year. I believe in the mission.

-Best

TW

Day Three of NanoWriMo

If you want to vote on something important, tell me what you think about my pen name question below.

I want to start this blog for my friends in the States. If you voted that is all you can do. Your voice matters. While I pray that your voice came from informed sources and not those of the biased media, your task is completed.

Stop fretting over what the results may be.

If you read my novel Presidential Assassins I feel like there is more truth buried in the story than one might think. You will draw comfort from that novel if you need it or would like it.

Now on to what you can do. If you are like me get to writing. I have reported my 12.6 K words and will spend a little of that writing time to share this with you.

Magic and Mayhem which is my latest novel is coming right along.

Here is a question to authors everywhere. TWScott is my pen name much like many writers use. Everything I write to date has been under this name.

My latest novel is nothing like any of the previous novels, as this is a YA. Coming of age witch story.

Since this novel is not racy like other works, do I publish it under a different pen name or, do I plod ahead and use TWScott?

Advice on the matter is all over the board.

Do I self publish like everything else or do I go through the excruciating efforts of trying to prostitute myself out to agents?

You know what, in keeping with elections stuff, VOTE!

Should I publish YA stuff under a different pen name than my racier, well naughty stuff?

Which one should I do and why?

As for NaNo, my goodness write my lovelies. If you are a writer or author carve out some time away from the telly and write. Trust me they are just selling advertising time anyway. Vote, write and worry about the results when they are posted.

Much love -TWScott

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