NaNoWriMo, quotes

It Doesn’t Have To Be Perfect – #NaNoWriMo Motivational Monday quote

Today’s NaNo motivation quote comes from the Writer’s Relief article “Setting The Record Straight: 5 Misconceptions About NaNoWriMo.” Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to produce a great manuscript by the end of NaNoWriMo — the important thing right now is to get words on the page and have fun.

“While some writers might expect to have a finished book in thirty days, most writers understand that their NaNoWriMo efforts will result in the finished raw material of a book—not a polished, publisher-ready book. NaNo is just the beginning.” – Writer’s Relief

Quotes About NaNoWriMo | MarisMcKay.com

NaNoWriMo, quotes

There’s Always A Way Out – #NaNoWriMo Motivational Monday quote

Today’s NaNo motivation quote comes from author Sarah Ockler’s article “10 Prompts to Get You Out of a NaNoWriRut.” Writing a brand new novel is hard, so don’t get discouraged if is seems like things aren’t going perfectly this month. Keep writing!

“Don’t stress, storytellers. You’re inventing people and conflict and worlds out of thin air—a few speed bumps are to be expected. … The good news? There’s always a way out.” – Sarah Ockler

Quotes About NaNoWriMo | MarisMcKay.com

NaNoWriMo, quotes

Whatever You Do, Don’t Edit! – #NaNoWriMo Motivational Monday quote

Today’s NaNo motivation quote comes from Justin McLachlan’s article “5 NaNoWriMo Tips.”

“The desire to stop and edit what you’ve written will be strong. Don’t! You have to push that desire aside if you want to finish. 50,000 words over 30 days is 1,667 words a day [is] a lot … But it’s not impossible, especially if you save the editing for when you have a first draft.” – Justin McLachlan

Quotes About NaNoWriMo | MarisMcKay.com

NaNoWriMo, quotes

Remember Why You Love Writing – #NaNoWriMo Motivational Monday quote

Today’s NaNo motivation quote comes from Savannah Gilbo’s article “12 Reasons Why Every Writer Should Participate in NaNoWriMo.”

“Writing a novel in 30 days is … going to be challenging and you may even doubt yourself from time to time, but don’t forget – it supposed to be fun too! … Allow the NaNoWriMo experience to remind you why you love writing. The world needs your story!” – Savannah Gilbo

Quotes About NaNoWriMo | MarisMcKay.com

My Projects, NaNoWriMo

Why I’m Not Doing NaNoWriMo This Year

I’ve been participating in the National Novel Writing Month since 2011 and I’ve finished novels all but one of those years. It’s something I love doing and look forward to each year. But those five novels I’ve finished are still just sitting there in my documents folder. I’ve been querying agents for the first one, but the others I’ve only looked at once or twice since writing the first draft. I want to actually finish another novel, not just keep turning out new drafts.

And so I’m not participating in NaNoWriMo this year. Instead, I’m going to focus the intense writing time that I would normally spend on a new novel on revising the novels I wrote last year. Last year’s NaNo project turned into a duology (I finished the first book last November and the second a couple months later) and I honestly think it’s the best story I’ve ever told. I want to make it publication ready without getting distracted by another new story.

It feels so weird not to be starting a new novel today. To not have spent the past month sketching out characters, making sticky-note outlines, and getting my NaNo survival kit together. My thoughts are with everyone who is embarking on a month of noveling, and I wish you all the best of luck. And good luck to those of us sitting this NaNo out to work on other projects as well!

Official NaNoWriMo 2016 project announcement MarisMcKay.com
NaNoWriMo

Official NaNoWriMo 2016 project announcement

I’ve settled on a working title and cover design. When you set up your novel on the NaNoWriMo website, you can add a title, cover, and synopsis. I highly recommend filling out all three no matter how rough. It helps convince you (and anyone else looking) that you’re serious about your novel.Official NaNoWriMo 2016 project announcement MarisMcKay.com
Since I’m writing a futuristic sci-fi/fantasy retelling of Shakespeare’s Henriad, I patterned the cover after title pages from the original plays. The woman in the background comes from a brush set by zazac on DeviantArt (no copyright infringement intended; this is a temporary cover made for non-commercial purposes).

So we have a title and a cover. Now it’s time for a synopsis (this is what took the longest to come up with this year). Here’s what I have so far. It might change as I write, and that can be a good thing.

Ellyn has a secret. She can manipulate light, even bending it around herself so no one can see her. In the nation ruled by King Hendrik, that makes her something unnatural — a “miscreation.” The best thing she could do is stay out of sight. But she longs to play a more visible role, preferably by helping others like her reconcile with society. Being the Lord Chief Justice’s niece and rakish Prince Henry’s unlikely friend might gives her a chance to do just that. Or things could go horribly wrong and both sides will brand her a traitor.

Only 15 more days until we can really start writing! in the mean-time, I’ll be working on character sketches and scene outlines. I’m so excited for this year’s story!

Are you doing NaNoWriMo this year? share your story ideas, titles, covers, synopsis — whatever you want — in the comments.

What's in your NaNoWriMo Survival Kit? marismckay.com
NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo Survival Kit

I know it’s only September, but I’m seriously excited about NaNoWriMo. It’s never too early to start planning, right? I actually decided on my novel idea last month. Even more shocking, I’m still in love with the idea. I’m a planner but not usually that much of a planner.What's in your NaNoWriMo Survival Kit? marismckay.com

While we’re talking about planning, what’s in your NaNoWriMo survival kit? Are you loading up on tea or coffee? Keeping  a lucky notebook on hand? prefer a certain writing program? Share your must-haves for November in the comments! Here’s my list this year:

  • Notebooks. Because one can never have too many
  • Pentel RSVP fine point pen with violet ink (what? isn’t everyone that picky about their pens?)
  • Laptop. How did people survive before they could edit their work without re-typing everything?
  • Sticky notes. I no longer outline without them
  • An outline (or the beginnings of one) written on said sticky-notes and affixed to the bedroom wall
  • Lindt and/or Ghirardelli Chocolate
  • Character sketches. An essential part of NaNoWriMo prep
  • Notes on novel setting, including history, politics, foods, religion, etc.
  • Medieval Names Archives. The go-to place for your fantasy and historical fiction naming needs
  • Immune-boosting essential oils to reduce risk of illness from lack of sleep
  • For this particular story, Folger editions of Shakespeare’s Henry IV Part One, Henry IV Part Two, and Henry V
  • NaNoWriMo.org. For pep-talks, word-count tracking, accountability, and procrastination on the forums
  • Music. Usually I plan the music to the feel of the story. Not quite sure what I’ll go with this year
  • Lapdesk and pillows for writing sessions in bed
  • Flash drives (two of them) and GoogleDrive for backups
  • Pinterest board to collect inspiration. I’ve already started mine: