Sunday, November 2, 2014

NaNo, yes? Or Nano, no?

It’s that time of year again…when writers who are in for a huge challenge enter the National Novel Writing Month during the whole month of November.  I don’t know who originally decided November would be a great time to plug away on a computer in an attempt to come up with 50,000 words, but I have to say it’s not always the best time of year to suddenly become less available to your family.

That being said, I have taken part in NaNoWri Mo two separate years now. I won with Best Kept Secrets but ended up short on the monthly required word count with Ties That Bind

So I had to make a decision this year…enter for the third year in a row and hope for the best?  Or pass up the challenge and just write as I find the time during, or even after the busy holiday months finally end?

I guess I’m just one of the thousands of writers who are just crazy enough to take on the challenge – I decided to join.  I have two books I’m ready to get started on, Jorja Matthews #4 and a young adult book I’ve decided to finally write.  For NaNoWriMo, I decided to stick with Jorja #4 (haven’t figured out the name just yet) since it’ll be easier to get my word count in after having just completed the third book in the series.  I’ll begin the young adult book sometime after the New Year, I think.

I will admit…I’m not sure if this will be a good month for me when it comes to finding time to write.  I’m still finishing with Ties That Bind, the third book in the series – although it’s pretty much complete.  I’m just formatting the book so that I can order a proof for review and I plan to have it ready and available to publish sometime this month.  But I’m also completing my second short story, titled 1111, and I’m formatting it so that it will also be published this month in paperback and as an eBook. 

If I have any real complaints about the writing process, I guess formatting my books for publishing would be it.  The time and effort it takes to format my manuscripts so that they can be published both in paperback and in eBook form is a bit time consuming and also frustrating because there are many steps I always seem to forget about until I’m stuck trying to remember how I did it so well the last time.  It can be so simple, and yet so difficult, all at the same time.  I think it’s because there is just too much involved, after the book is written and edited, before you can really say your book is truly ready for print.  Just little things like tabs, margins, font size and type, headers/footers (hate them!), widows and orphans, extra spaces, extra returns, section returns, and beyond…it never fails that I forget to do something or something I do changes something else I already thought was perfect.  And this time I learned something new, about the program wanting to keep all the lines together so that if I had any large paragraphs, they automatically ended up on another page by themselves, leaving the previous page only about half full…that took me some time to figure out.

However, this does mean my books are that much closer to being ready for print.  I’ll be receiving proofs for review soon and then I’ll make any necessary changes before committing to actually publishing them.  In the meantime, I’ll fit in whatever writing time I can so that I can do my best to make my goal of 50,000 words on my next book!  

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