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I’m letting the whole world and it’s mum know, and I don’t actually care if I FB’ed it already!! I need to blog about this crazy experience. It is probably one of the most thrilling achievements I feel I’ve made as a writer. I have claimed my National Novel Writing Month badge for the first time, in all the years I have tried to crack this shit! I’ve done it. To knock out 50,000 words is a challenge for any writer, but in thirty days…. it’s tough! Don’t get me wrong the most words I’ve ever written is 90,000, but not so hardcore in such a short space of time.
So what changed this year?
If you have read other detailed blogs I’ve done, you’ll know the past that the last few years for me have been a challenge personally, but I made it through. I am out the other side. Even through the challenges, I tried to do #NaNoWriMo very badly! I completed projects and some still half done to this day. This year I worked in a team with some great writers who I would say are girlfriends too, all over the world some as far as the Caribbean. Via FB messenger we spoke everyday, had fun laughed and joked about just girly stuff really. We manged to keep each other motivated. Overall, the group did well we all made some kind of progress.
I completed book three of my Romance Set In Paradise series, “Chances, A Puerto Rican Love Affair.” A slightly longer novella, and very different from the other two so far. I will release it on my 37th birthday the 14th February 2020. My cover is currently being made, and let’s just say I LOVE IT TO BITS! I can’t wait to share it, and the book’s blurb. I will place this one on Kindle Unlimited too, as I am kinda liking it, I’ve never used it before as an author only as a reader.
So what did I learn about NaNoWriMo and How To Be Successful?
In all honesty this…
- Outline your story early, before the 1st of the month so you have all month to just write.
- Write…edit later. As in don’t spend days and days and weeks going over the same chapter, or scene to get it ‘perfect.’ That can be done in December, or the next month. Honestly, just write…write..and yes write, get your idea into chapters and make progress. Do not edit a thing….yet. 1-30th is to write.
- Work with other writers. This is probably the biggest learning curve for me. In the past, I have done the ‘caves’ as NaNoWriMo call them. Where via their website you are allocated into a group, with writers around the world. Historically for me this never really worked, as I would not log on everyday there, and if I did I would miss most of the conversation as it happened. As, it’s not like instant. You jump in where you can, based on your time zone. So you kinda miss the ‘vibe’ , unless you’re in the same time zone and let’s face it we all write at different hours. I found that a FB messenger group worked so well, as it’s instant messages and it’s linked to your phone so really you pick up the group’s shenanigans as they happen. *Giggles*
- Go at your own pace. For me it was helpful to have a set word count to try and hit per day. However, some days I could not even find it in me to switch on my laptop, let alone write. I’m the kinda writer that writes in bursts! (unless I really have a serious deadline). For example looking at my history on my stats, one day I’d knock out 5,000 words one day 87, then a few days later 3,000 words ( LMFAO). I don’t have a consistent bone in my body it appears, it varies. Go at your pace and if you are a ‘burster’ like me, and write when the hell you like at say 4.00 a.m in your pajamas you write 100 words. Or, all day Saturday and not a thing until the following week, so be it. but just try to keep up. If one day you can’t write then catch up the next time. Don’t let ‘ today’s word count target’ get to you mentally and throw you off, or leave you stressed. Writing a novel or even short story is personal, needs time to get the creativity going. Inspiration calls at the oddest times, I had inspiration for a story in the bath, I had to jump out and grab my notebook before I forgot it, then get back in the bath. Even washing the dishes things come to me, I just giggle. It’s ‘weird’ like that, so one day you may not have the juice to hit the words, but a few days later you do. That’s okay to be a little erratic with the process.
- As I said, this whole writing thing is a personal experience, for me inspiration flows the deeper I get into the plot , if I am not co-writing a story and restricted to how much I can babble on for. I move from my outline, hence the above 50,000 words for the story. I would say, don’t be afraid to move in the direction your characters pull you, or talk to you about going in. ( Yes, they talk to me sometimes and kinda push me to write them certain ways). I actually have a surprise red herring murder, that I never planned until the last week of NaNoWriMo- this week, but it developed the story so if you get pulled, that’s great! Just write it and edit out what you want later.
- Some progress is progress. Even if you don’t claim your badge and write the full 50,000 words as the challenge. Don’t let this be the goal, let the goal be ‘to complete a project’. And if that does not happen, hey you started it and December is the month to wrap it up, and get it published in the next year. DON’T AND I MEAN DON’T beat yourself up for ‘non-completion’ , ( I have done this all the time) as with writing just writing ‘Chapter One’ is a start.
- Don’t rush, you’ll only write a really sub-standard story-line, and not be at your best. Make every word count.
- Ladies, save your manicures until after this challenge is over, my nails are a mess! The keyboard has chipped them away nicely! So this weekend, it’s about fixing them up.
- Just stop writing when your tired, ( or your false lashes start to irritate you) which ever applies, or come first! *Giggles*. Overall, don’t push yourself too hard, it won’t be your best. It’s okay to become ‘drained’ and need no step back, no shame.
Happy writing in the last two days those that are still in for 2019’s challenge let me know how you’re getting on. Drop a comment!
I am so proud to join forces with more than thirty five female romance authors of colour around the world, between November 2019 and January 2020 to show case our work to bring some #blackgirlmagic and #browngirlmagic to the world of fiction. Women in general have had it hard historically, and sometimes we still do have to fight hard for our voice to be heard.
In the literary world the female voice of colour is underrepresented in books, as characters, and also as published authors by the big publishing houses. No one can dispute that. It’s a fact when it comes to finding agents and approaching publishers ninety percent of the time women of colour are pitching characters that reflect what we would would like to read more about, for example crafting leads with darker skin, and females reflecting what we see in the mirror, or just our experience as people of colour to people who many find it hard to really understand or even try to understand a different point of view, as they are from a different background and it’s not ‘normal’ to have a lead hero or heroine with skin darker than their own. So therefore the agent and publisher loves to feedback that they ‘can’t connect’ with the characters or stories. There is also a serious case of a lack of agents of colour to open the doors to diversity for us. Therefore what chance do women of colour stand when our work is rejected left, right and centre because 1. the ‘gatekeepers’ don’t reflect us 2. or wish to try and take a ‘risk’ by understanding something different 3. we are seen as just ‘urban/street lit writers’ like we can’t write different mainstream genres with no drug dealers, gangsters and baby momma drama.
Many talented and bestselling female authors of colour have spoken out about the unfairness with getting our voices heard by the bigger publishers. Such as New York Times Bestselling Author Ms. Alyssa Cole. A woman of colour herself who has managed to kick down the door to the big five publishers, as a romance and Sci-Fi author and make a real name for herself as a successful author with characters outside of the norm, and has vocalised her experiences loudly.
Let’s not forget women of colour who are writers don’t just write about characters that reflect us, we can and do include characters from ALL backgrounds if we want. We can cross over. So in order to spread the word, love, diversity, and #blackgirlmagic and #browngirlmagic between November 2019 and January 2020 I am heavily invested in supporting my fellow female romance authors of colour around the world in this group. I urge you to test drive a new author, a female author of colour she could be Black, Hispanic, Latino, of mixed heritage, Indian, Asian Chinese or something else magical with free books up for grabs on the below link. You’ll be transported to StoryOrigin and see a wonderful array of books to grab. What are you waiting for? Take a peek…
Yes!!! I have met and exceeded my word count goal for this novella length book twice now! And I still am not quite done yet. Week two’s check in this morning, I hit 30k words about thirty mins ago. I am pleased, and feeling very motivated.
Last week I mentioned that I have a plot idea that kind of moved things around a bit, so this is what I am crafting now, hence the increase in word count assumption for this story. I think it will be anywhere under 40k for sure for this novella. Then I can’t wait to knock out 10k on my other story. I am more than half way done in terms of the story telling, and at the ‘pulse of the story’ where things heat up, move quickly and tension builds!
It’s also a great day today as it’s my son’s sixth birthday, he lost another tooth this week which he did not swallow this time. But he has been a bit ill with fever this week. It’s that time of year. This somehow as not stopped writing progress, as when my son is ill he is a lot like me all he wants to do is sleep it off. So while he has been home from school snoozing, I’ve been attacking the keyboard as a sick baby means no ‘day job’ for me…so I may as well write my heart out.
The group of writers I am doing National Novel Writing Month with this year are doing well. We are all making progress in some shape of form, one of them also has a sick child too over the other side of the Atlantic. What’s funny is the same day her child got sick so did my boy. I said to her, her child’s cough flew across the Atlantic and got him LOL.
How is everyone doing so far, day fifteen into the challenge? I hope this week ends on a high note.
Well I have to say guys, this year’s National Novel Writing Month has probably been my most successful in all the years I’ve taken part! Wow. Maybe it’s helped as I am in a group with other authors around the world I know, love, and talk to everyday on messenger.
So, I have met and exceeded my original word count limit. I guessed that the plot for my third Romance Set In Paradise series novella would be about 25kish words, and hoped I could jump over to finish off my romantic crime thriller full novel, no such luck I’m already on 26K words in, and the plot thickens LOL. So I will increase it to 30-35k or anywhere under 40k and let that be that.
Some people may think, “well Kim you know, you can’t really put a limit on a story before you’ve even written it.” Yeah, I kinda see where you’re coming from, but for me I kinda can…if that makes sense, don’t ask how I can roughly guess by how I wish to tell the story where the word count might be.
As I am over and not done, I will keep writing. What’s also interesting is that this story, has turned a little from just pure steamy, romantic and yes suspenseful. Last night while I was talking to the other writers in my team about ‘what do you call a novella length story’ just before, an idea for a twist in the plot dawned on me. And it’s not that ‘pretty or romantic’ it’s rather sad for one particular character. But, really helps to develop my main characters… yeah, you probably guessed I’m about to kill someone off… not the most romantic thing to do either for a romance in Puerto Rico with all that sunshine and good vibes. But, they are going out with a BANG if I keep this idea.
So overall, I am loving NaNoWriMo this year 2019’s attempt will be a success I think. I may actually complete a project during the month, and not go over. My only drag is that I really wanted to complete two! One that’s still half done, but one is good enough for me.
I will self publish this one, and I aim for January 2020 for book three of the series. The name is still a mystery even to me, I keep going back and forth.
I must also say I am not a fan of the new interface on the NaNoWriMo website itself, I don’t really like it that much.. meh. What do you think?
If you’re strapped to your keyboard too this month, I wish you luck and success with your project. Let me know how you’re getting on? I Hope week two starts off well.
Just a quick “hello, what’s going on” from me, before I start dinner and then knuckle down to tackle another chapter, and touch base with authors as distant as the Caribbean I am working with this year to see what they have done today…or maybe have not done. I’ve found some days I am full of motivation and write sooooooooo much. Other times I can’t be bothered to open up the laptop and end up catching up so I don’t fall behind. Typical me!
Good luck all.
Well, let me just say straight up I have never read a dark romance, and I have never read any of this author’s work. I picked up this book via Facebook, which is fast becoming my go to place for new reads. It’s free on Kindle Unlimited, I thought why not experience something new today. I had such a unique reading experience with this genre and author, let’s get into it!
One Forbidden Encounter That Changes Everything!
This is a dark short series of a submissive’s first time attending a luxurious BDSM ball. Caroline is under strict orders not to play with anyone other than her Master, but when she notices a smoldering hot Derrick the attraction is instant and all-consuming. Can she make it through the night obedient to her Master or will she forever be changed from one forbidden encounter?
This Special Edition includes Chapters from Derricks Point of View that You Can’t Get anywhere else! Plus Bonus Content of Deleted Scenes and an Alt Endings
40k not including bonus content
Kim’s Review 4.5 Eye Opening and Enjoyable Stars!
Like I said, this is a new genre and author to me. I never really have known what to expect with the dark romance sub genre. I got introduced to a brand new world, take on romance, and what the BDSM world could potentially be like. This was a very interesting view point for me as a typical romance reader to experience. Overall I was intrigued, I wanted to know how things would pan out. Here’s what I liked
Characters> There are some nasty ones, some super freaky (sexually) ones, and some loveable ones. The author’s main man, I did swoon over in a ‘typical’ romance reader way. I loved who he is deep down, even though he is a dominate in this crazy world of submissive and dominate relationships. I found the author was able to really show his POV well, and how he differs from the norm. The main female, I also felt rather sorry for, given her back story. These two were really what really kept me reading. I just had to know what would become of them. The other characters also did surprise me, in a good way too.
Story line> Was very interesting (to me as a reader), it had twists, turns, unexpected events even a murder! Whoooo, I must admit as soon as I opened it I was drawn in very quickly, and found it hard stop reading. The story line to me was rather unique on its take on romance. On one hand, I experienced a ‘forbidden love’ story, but this was all wrapped up in a very erotic, and in some places twisted underworld too. Also, the story line of romance fell between two people who have a very non traditional relationship, a dom and sub.
Writing Style- I will always fall for a well written first person written story. I found that the story told in first person brought me closer to the feelings, what was happening and really helped me to want to keep going.
The Ending- was totally not what I expected, I imagined with dark romance that a HEA may not be something to expect possibly. I liked how it ended.
Overall, I recommend this book to those who wish to experience a different take on the romance genre, or current dark romance lovers. Those who are new to or love the more higher heat levels of romance, classified a ‘erotic’, over and above steamy. Note that if you are easily offended, some kind of prude, can’t take a little sexual liberation or same sex sex scenes skip it, and skip your one star review as well. I felt very refreshed from this read. I enjoyed the different take on the romance genre and the fact that even though the story is set in a ‘sexual world’ and yes, there’s lots of it it was not ALL of it, or all this author showed readers. There is an underline soft love. I would read dark romance again, and I would read this author’s work again I do feel intrigued by this sub genre, and the world the author showed me. Yeah… an enjoyable and eye opening 4.5 stars.
Free on Kindle Unlimited, go grab a copy!
Prompt> Write six words about what you think the future holds for you then expand… okay I’ll put this out to the universe to hear my wishes. Six words> Healed, Happy, in Love, Successful, Writing.
Healed> by this I mean I am finally healed and now in a very good place, for me personally from about the age of 30-ish ( I’m 36 at the time of writing) I have been on a journey. Life was turned upside down and back around again. I went through a lot I feel I really did not need to. Now I look back, I can understand exactly why it all happened and how it help me to move forward. Sometimes the ‘Universe’ disrupts your path, to grab your attention and put you on another one that’s better for you. That’s fine looking back, at the time it can be a living hell. For me I had to completely revamp myself from the inside, and also life to get to where I am now. And trust me no one, and I mean no one will come along and ‘disturb the peace’ I’ve found now!
So, for the future I hope to remain fully healed and never have to experience the drama I did before.
Happy> Who does not want to be happy? While I am happy, I hope to continue to be happy. Mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. I cracked the mentally and emotionally and spiritually, so I started to work on the physical. Personally I have been doing a hell of working out at home to my DVDs, as I stopped and really like to start my day this way. I used to a lot before I was going through ‘living hell’. This summer, I have been killing it with Pilates and dance based exercise ( I love to dance). I also discovered PopSugar fitness on You Tube. I lost an inch off my waist very fast in just a few weeks! I’ve always been a UK size 12-14 US 10-12 dress size, but now I look better I think with just an inch gone from my waist. It’s amazing what 20 mins a day each morning can do. I also hope that my family remains happy too, and we are at peace.
In Love> Hey, I write steamy romance stories (sometimes), of course love is a big thing for me, I read about it I love all the romance genre, and hope maybe I’ve found the right person and it blossoms into a very meaningful relationship. When you start a new relationship you never know which way it will swing but you remain hopeful, even if there’s a rocky start or there are some challenges. I’ll be honest and say I am an old romantic ( no surprise there hey), so to me even if a person suffers a broken heart in the worst way I believe we should still believe in love, regardless. Build yourself back up, and move forward hopeful. I also think that it is very important to love yourself before you can love anyone else, have a clear idea of what you want and don’t waste your time if you find someone who does not show you what you want or worse deserve. Don’t hope they will change, if they don’t fit the bill f*ck them… you like me? Treat me right it’s that simple.
The older I’ve got the more I have taken this attitude towards how I allow men to treat me, and how I treat others if I like you trust me you’ll know. If you’ve pissed me off… yeah, trust you’ll know also. I’ve learned to be straight forward when it comes to love. Also writing all these complex love stories has also allowed me to reflect and think, ‘damn what drama I’ve caused for these characters, love should be so simple’. So Don’t waste your time, find someone who is on the same page and be patient for them to come along.
I remember when I suffered my first major break up I was probably about 21-22ish, at the time do you know I actually went celibate and refrained from sex and men all together until I found a decent guy, worth my time and my goodies 🙂 My girlfriends thought I was crazy, at that age your hormones are raging but to me I had such a broken heart, the thought of a man close to me was just off putting… So I partied hard with my girls, and really threw myself into my work and it paid off I had a wonderful time in my earlier 20s. Fast forward it happened again, this time I did not do the celibate thing but I changed my attitude to who I give my time to big time, and in a funny way that heart ache set me free and really helped me learn something very important, today at 36 I am thankful for both of them.
So in a nutshell, here’s hoping that this relationship that does not end, and if it does let it end before we get too wrapped up in each other…. please, I’m too old for this messing around LOL.
Successful> Success can mean a lot of different things to different people, just getting through the day can be success in someone’s eyes, while someone else wants millions in the bank. For me, I just want to see my son grow up to be the King I am raising him to be, and do well for himself, write some good stories, live a happy and fulfilled life. As I write this, this is all I could hope for. I feel that I am now in a space where success is not about money so much for me it’s more about achieving the goals I set for myself in life, one at a time.
Writing> Well, I write all day, every day it’s a day job for me now. But I want to focus more on my actual own stuff I want to write, rather than what I am being asked to write. *rolls eyes* that said, nine times out of ten I do enjoy what I am asked to write or translate into English so I should not complain.
And that’s my six word story future…
What’s your six word story?? I’d love to read it.