Friday, November 29, 2013

NaNoWriMo is as Easy as P-I-N

12:00 AM 1 Comments
Part of a special month-long event featuring writing tips and NaNoWriMo strategies from guest writers and fellow NaNo participants.

NaNoWriMo Strategy Guest Blog
by M A Capelson

 When I decided to enter my first NaNoWriMo Competition back in 2011, I naturally experienced a whole bag full of mixed feelings. The excitement was there, but there was also this unrelenting dread. ‘How am I going to be able to write so many words in such a short amount of time?’ However, as I thought more and more about it, I found myself beginning to construct a strategy of how to meet the problems head-on through a mixture of organisation and determination. I have been asked kindly to share with you that strategy which has helped me succeed in winning NaNoWriMo for the past two years. 

PREPARATION: I never like to jump straight into a project without giving myself time to plan. My last two successful NaNos both went through a stage of preparation before the competition began. Good preparation for me is to choose my genre and plot concept, generate the principal characters, and carry out some minimal research around my topic; all of which enables me to generate a rough guideline of what I intend to write. This preparation stage I prefer to carry out at least one month in advance, which allows me a decent amount of planning time. 

Choose your genre and create your main plot concept first. For the purposes of speedy, under-pressure competition writing, choose a genre that you are both knowledgeable in, passionate about, and above all, comfortable with writing. For me, that genre is Paranormal Horror. While I have plenty of other genres that I wish to experiment with, I prefer to save those for when I have more time to challenge myself. Once you have chosen your genre, you need to think about a main plot concept. What will you want to happen in your story? Create a significant event that your story will lead up to, and think about what sorts of consequences such an event will create for the characters caught up in it. For example, what sort of repercussions would there be for the friends of your main character if he/she were to suddenly disappear?

As for the characters, there is no need to go mad on creating them at this stage. While preparing for NaNo, I find it best to create rough outlines of a few principal characters only, for instance, so far in this year’s NaNo I only know the names of my main protagonist, her son and his carer. I have found that often secondary characters and incidentals have a tendency to introduce themselves as I am writing. Also, don’t worry about creating a title or character names that you want to keep permanently. These issues are not important in a first draft and can always be changed and developed later on.

At the beginning of October, go out and buy an A4 Notebook. This will be the book you use to organise all of your novel ideas into a guideline that is clear and easy to follow come November. Put into this book your plot concept, a few brief character studies and some general research notes. This research does not have to be in depth; just enough to give you a general idea of the subject matter you are writing about. For instance, my first NaNo, ‘Swansong’, is primarily set in an Insane Asylum. So during the planning, I did some basic research into the history of the British Asylum system. Finally, turn your notebook to the very back page. Here, list each of your chapters and roughly describe what you want to happen in each one. This will be your Chapter Guide. A Chapter Guide will be a crucial template during NaNo, as it gives you a guideline of your story chapter by chapter so you always know what to write.

INSPIRATION: While gathering together ideas and creating my planning guideline throughout October, I also like to gather together various things that inspire me to write my story. I watch alot of Films and TV programmes relating to my subject matter, and take notes of any points of interest that I draw from them. I also read books of the same genre by other authors, to get a feel for how my plot concept has been tackled by published and professional authors. 

Another good way to get yourself inspired for writing is to make an iTunes playlist. Collect all the music that reminds you of your story or helps you create an atmosphere, and play it quietly in the background while you write. I find that having a NaNo soundtrack helps me not only describe things in my story better, but helps me write faster as well. Finally, do a Google search for lots of images that make you think of your story. Perhaps there is a celebrity that you would want to see playing the part of your main protagonist, or a photograph of a place that looks perfect for your main setting. Print these pictures off and put them on a cork board, and hang it wherever you will be writing. You can then look at these pictures throughout November to help motivate and inspire you as you write. 

NANO A GO-GO! November is here. You have your planned guideline in place, you know your genre and the concept of your plot and you know what inspires you to write. Now comes the actual process of writing it all down, one day at a time. The first step to NaNo success is to break down that overwhelming 50k word count. NaNoWriMo’s website recommends that a minimum of 1,666 words can be written every day in order to make the target before we run out of November. 1,666 words is alot less daunting that 50,000. However, I prefer to write just slightly more. I usually aim to write no less than 2,000 words every day, which then gives me a comfortable headstart in case I have a day or two in which circumstances dictate that I cannot write. Another thing I prefer to do during NaNo is write my 2,000 words first thing in the Morning. That way, I have got that day’s portion of writing out of the way before my mind can get distracted by other things. I also find I have a much greater capacity for concentration in the Morning.

Lastly, don’t try to analyse or criticise your writing during November. Turn off that ‘inner editor’ and never read back what you have written until the competition is over. There is a time and place for editing and critiquing your story, and November is not that time. Don’t worry about how bad it might be, just keep pushing forward and remember you can always change that awful clichéd chapter or dreadful dialogue later.
So that is my strategy. I have used this process for the past two years and have won the past two NaNoWriMo competitions. I have two first drafts of novels ready to be edited and taken to the next stage, and this year, I will do it all over again. One last thing to remember, is that NaNo is meant for fun. Don’t sink under pressure, relax, and enjoy your novel!
About the author
M A Capelsion is a Historian was a passion for the dark, Gothic and supernatural. Her first NaNoWriMo novel, Swansong, a psychological horror taking place in a 19th Century Insane Asylum, is due to be published by the Internet E-Book Publishers Gold Orchid Publishing. Her contribution to this year’s NaNoWriMo competition is The Place Where It Happened, an American Paranormal Horror centred on Demonology.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

World Building for Sci-Fi and Fantasy Writers

12:00 AM 1 Comments
Part of a special month-long event featuring writing tips and NaNoWriMo strategies from guest writers and fellow NaNo participants. Today's post is from A. Wrighton, who was kind enough to let me reprint an article she wrote on her own blog in March of 2013.

The cool part about Sci Fi/Fantasy is that there are not a lot of rules when it comes to writing in the genre. We get to play with magic, space, and the unknown. Reality is flexible and ours to mold. It’s what some people might call “winning.” But that doesn’t mean there are no rules at all.

Some of the most quintessential rules in Sci Fi/Fantasy writing have to do with World Building. And they’re pretty much set in stone. If a writer should choose not to follow the rules of World Building, their story will lack believability, candor, and umpf. You can have the most well-rounded and well-written characters in the world, but if you opted out of World Building Rules… it’s going to flop. I’d bet you homemade cookies for life on it.

What is World Building anyway? Asked the historical/romance/literary writer.
It’s about creating a world – complete with government, clothing, plants, animals, food, drink, housing, weapons, languages, cultures, etc. etc. – that the story occurs in. And, for the most part, a lot of what you create as you World Build will never make it into your books in more than a simple sentence or two because that is all it takes to build credibility with your reader. Most other genres already have their world built for them – it takes place on Earth, with humans, at a certain time period that is already established and known. No surprises.

With Sci Fi/Fantasy – all bets are off. And so, here I offer some of my insight into how to World Build for Science Fiction and Fantasy stories.

Generating Your World Idea
You really need to have some sort of concept or idea before you dive into the very involved and time-consuming process of World Building. Otherwise, you waste your time and I know that time is valuable. That being said, make sure the idea you need to build a world for is fully developed. Orson Scott Card calls it “ripened.” I don’t like to liken my writing to fruit, but that example works well. Really well.

Summation: Have a well-formed concept that you are ready to elaborate and work on before starting.

Find an Anchor
I don’t mean a spaceship or tall ship either. I mean find a grounding.
I am of the firm belief that to achieve complete believability, a writer has to anchor their story to humanity and Earth in some small or big way. Are there stories that don’t do this? Yes. But they are harder to read and believe – they are harder to follow. Don’t make your reader work, they should be enjoying your writing not working with it.

It’s easy to go crazy with World Building but you need to realize there is a fine line between amazing hand-crafted worlds, and confusing worlds full of too much to let the story shine through. Anchoring with humanity and Earth means that the World you build has some foundation in Earth and humanity.

·         Gravity is almost always one of the rules that are anchored. Yes, you actually have to think about gravity and other phsyics/theories, especially if you are writing a space-based science fiction story.
·         Cultures and governments are usually anchored too, look at the Senate in Star Wars. It’s a Senate. It’s anchored on Earth’s Senate but twisted to fit the World of Star Wars.

·         Animals, plants, food, and drinks often transfer (with some modification which I’ll mention below). Why? Because you don’t want to burden your reader with too much work. Reading is a pleasurable experience and the more work they do, the less pleasure they have. A lot of fantasy novels anchor in medieval/renaissance Earth – with their ale, meal, breads, horses, and roses. Sci Fi novels can anchor drinks like beer, vodka, etc. etc. You can still morph and mold these anchors into your own world, but you need a grounded base.
Establish Rules of the Road Based on whether you are Sci Fi or Fantasy – you need to establish Rules. Rules are givens that are accepted as laws.

For example, on Earth, we accept that a Rule exists for gravity. Gravity keeps things right side up, so to speak. We also accept that the further away from the Earth’s atmosphere, the less gravity there is – which is why at a certain elevation, gravity weakens. Why do we know this? Because it is a Rule of Earth.
Your world needs rules too.

What kind? Here’s a short list just off the top of my head…
Sci Fi: Starflight, Hyperspace, Robotics, Cryogenics, Genetic Alterations, & Time Travel
Fantasy: Magic, magic, magic.
No one is going to believe your world exists unless there are limitations placed upon it.

How long does starflight take? How have your starships conquered hyperspace? What are the side effects of space travel? hyperspace travel? Can humans have robotic parts? How do those parts work? Can we alter genes? Can we time travel and participate? or just watch? What happens if we change something while time travelling? What is the cost of magic to the user? Blood? Hair? Youth? How does it feel to be injured by the magic? Who can the magic affect/injure/heal? Who can use magic? Why?

All of those questions must be answered and presented, in some fashion or another, in your work. You can opt for a lengthy paragraph or you can opt for a one sentence example in passing.

Example: The use of the fire spells tired her and made her skin wither and crack from the lack of moisture. She slathered on some salve and went about her business as usual. At least this time, the dryness wasn’t that bad – it only affected her hands – next time, it would be different.
Fail to establish, know, and educate on the Rules of the World and your believability and credibility will flop.

Know World History
Not just our world history, as that may serve as an anchor for some sort of conflict/war in your story, but your world’s history.
Does that mean I have to know how the Kings got to be Kings and how the Alien Senator is able to represent Earth in the Intergalactic Senate?
Does that mean you have to expound every last detail?
No, and I don’t recommend it. But if you don’t know your world, why should a reader trust in it?
Make a timeline, write in a journal, take notes, or whatever your method is but explain the HOW of your world. Every world has a history – even the foreign/magical ones.
Look at Narnia for example. That is one of the most intensely thought out histories of an author-built world I have read. Secretly, or not so anymore, I still check wardrobes for access points. I have since stopped checking paintings…

A Language by Any Other Name
Ah, yes! The fun part! When you write Sci Fi/Fantasy, you can create species of human or aliens or beasts that can speak and do speak their own languages. But, this comes with a few warnings.

·         When you create your world, realize that no matter what language your lead characters speak (Horse, Dragon, Wizard, Ancient Alien), their story is written in English because you write in English and your readers read English (or Spanish, or French, etc.)

·         Creating an entire language is hard. Tolkien did it because he was a genius at linguistics. Others have done it because they devoted hours of study to Latin and other languages. Don’t tempt fate if you don’t have that kind of background. You don’t need a whole new language. You can just explain that they are speaking in a different language and/or use Pavlovian tricks to train your reader to know when characters are speaking in a foreign language.
Example: Dref rubbed his antennae and sighed. He looked at his mother and spoke to her in their native Huvlovian tongue, the only way he knew how – while whining.
Example: “Who are you and what in the Devil’s name have you done?” He asked. She shrugged. His strange words were harsh and heavily accented. She had no idea what he was saying but she knew it was nothing pleasant. “I don’t understand,” she stammered, “can you understand me?”
·         Feel free to add in a few foreign words, but with one maxim in mind. This maxim is borrowed from Orson Scott Card, too. 

New Words Only with New Meaning
What? I can’t create a new word for horse?
Well, you can, but that goes back to the overly complicated and cluttered feeling your story might get.
Now, if this animal is similar to a horse, but eats meat and has pointy teeth and wings – I’d name it something new. Whorlek, perhaps?
What this maxim implies is that you need to choose your words wisely – the new ones. You can’t name everything in the world because then you’d spend dozens of pages explaining what they mean and how they look and what they are. Which, circles back to anchoring. Anchor in Earth, and you don’t have to explain what a cigarette or horse looks/feels/smells like (unless paramount to the story) unless it is radically different from Earth’s version. If it is, consider renaming it or giving it a nickname in a language of your World.

Push the Boundaries
Do it. Push the boundaries of convention and imagination. That’s why you write in these genres anyway! But do it responsibly. Do it so that your reader can enjoy your characters and their stories. Do it so that readers can understand the setting and rules of your World. Do it, but always be consistent in delivery. Explain anything out of the ordinary – or if the Rules of the World somehow change.

World Building is often overlooked until the writer is elbows deep in their first draft. Don’t leave world building to a rushed solution. Craft your world with the love and devotion you put into the words of your story. Know what your characters eat, drink, where they live, what they wear, how they travel. Know why there are two suns or three moons and what their effects are on the world.
Know your world, or doom it to apocalyptic failure.
Craft your world, or doom your story to the unread pile.

Note to the Writers
This is by no means a complete list. There’s just so much to explain and talk about. But, this is a little bit of insight into the core basics. Who taught me? My professors during my BA and MFA and all my reading on the craft of writing by the likes of Orson Scott Card and others. Is my education in World Building complete?

Not hardly, but I like to think that between my training and writing, I have picked up a few sound tips I can pass along to others.

I hope this helps!

About the author
A. Wrighton has been imagining flights of wild fancy since before she could figure out how to tie her shoes. Her love of writing, creating, and imagination has led her through a life full of crazy and amazing adventures. If you ask her, she’ll probably say there isn’t much about her that’s normal, and that is why she found her calling in literary romps.

By A. Wrighton:

Dragons and Runics Part I


At first, a collective power in the Seven Soleran Kingdoms made sense. United under the Council, they thought it would be the end of years of war and death. 

When the Council ordered the systematic murder of those capable of wielding magic - Runics - as reparation for their role in the Soleran loss of the Great War, no one thought twice of the order.

Except a few Dragonics - prestigious dragon riders - who defied the damning orders and instead demanded justice. But, their call for defiance came too late. 


Now, those against the Council's oppressive reign have long since been outcast to the fringes of society - their numbers and will dwindling. Alaister Paine, Commander of the Rogue Dragonics - an elite force of Resistance Dragon Riders - leads the quest for freedom and justice with little hope of success. 

On the eve of a political victory for the Council, Paine deciphers one of his predecessor's logs revealing that one Runic - a woman of untold magic - was hidden from the Council's grasp.

Find the Runic, and the Rogues will finally be able to enact a legendary prophecy meant to free Solera and bring justice back to its people.

Trouble is… they are not the only ones searching for the last Soleran Runic.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

An Open Letter to the Guy Who Asked: "You Write Novels?"

12:00 AM 2 Comments
Part of a special month-long event featuring writing tips and NaNoWriMo strategies from guest writers and fellow NaNo participants.

Dear Random Person I Met at a Party Who Asked Me About Writing Novels
by Gabrielle Prendergast
Remember me? I’m the author. Published author. You were moderately impressed until I let slip I write for teens, then you were back to being bored. Until I let slip I write in verse. That either confused you or gave you gas. It was hard to tell from the expression on your face.
And what do YOU do? I’ve forgotten. It was something like lawyer, orthodontist, logistical supervisor in charge of network optimisation and….zzzz Oh sorry, I must have dozed off. Do go on. You have a degree in something. Something you no doubt find more important and “useful” than my three degrees in English, psychology and writing. I’ve forgotten what your degree is in. I only remember that you applied said degree in the job I’ve also forgotten. I forget a lot these days. See it’s October. And the month after October is November. If you were a writer too, you’d know what that means.
“A writer, eh?” you said (possibly you were Canadian?) “I’ve been thinking about doing some writing.” I resisted to urge to tell you about my lifeling dream of supervising logistical network optimization. I just nodded blearily and fervently wished that someone, anyone, would bring me a flaming cocktail that I could use to set myself on fire.
“I might even write a novel,” you said. Just like that, with the casual tone of someone saying “I might order the clams” or “I might wear the seersucker suit on Wednesday.” I gritted my teeth and encouraged you as well as I could. That is to say I didn’t punch you in the neck. Or vomit on your shoes. “Do you have any tips?” you asked. “Like how I could write a novel?” I might have mumbled something random about software or cupcakes; I’m not sure. The room was starting to spin. I needed to pee. And something about a passing tray of canapes made me think of sticking toothpicks in my eyes. It was time to leave.
Perhaps you got the impression that I don’t give tips to aspiring writers or even that I don’t have any tips. I’d like to take this moment to set the record straight. I DO, in fact know, how to write a novel only I didn’t want to tell you, because your screams would have upset the other party goers. But someone needs to tell you. Sadly that someone seems to be me.
So here goes.
First, you need to find a hook. In a pinch, a large crochet hook (say a US size N/15) will do. But you’ll get a better result with something larger, sharper and (this is key) older. Rusty even. Something that was used to prepare Egyptian bodies for mummification would be perfect. Or a meat hook. Preferably one used in a murder. Once you have your hook you need to jam it forcefully up your nose. That’s right, your nose. And the force is required because you need to get past the brain matter that makes this task so onerous. What you are trying to hook is your soul.
Souls are slippery little suckers too. That’s why old storied hooks are best. Souls, especially the souls of writers, can’t resist a little history. If you jam your hook at the right angle, you soul should hook right onto it. You’ll know when you’ve caught your soul because the hook will begin to tug, like a fishing line. This is when you need to yank as hard as you can. Pull that soul right out of your head. Go on now, don’t be tentative. Give a good hard pull. Probably some of your brain will come with it. Don’t worry about that, just throw it away. It’s only frontal lobe, where reason and logic preside. You won’t need those to write your novel.
Once you’ve pulled your soul out you might notice it’s very wrinkly and untidy looking. So you will need to iron it. That’s right. Iron it. Again this is a step where history helps. So find the oldest hottest iron you can. One of those ones that needs to be heated in an open fire or on a pot bellied stove would be perfect. Lay your soul out on a flat surface, and iron it. Iron it good too. Burn marks are fine. It just needs to be flat. It hurts a little bit, this part. And when I say hurts I means it’s literally like hot ironing your soul. Because you are, in fact, hot ironing your soul.
You might discover something interesting as you iron your soul: it seems infinitely large. You’ll iron and iron and iron and seem to never reach the edges of a perfectly ironed soul. Most writers spend months or years on this task. A lucky few only a few weeks. Some take their whole lifetime. But one day, unexpectedly you’ll realise your soul is smooth as still water. And that’s when you know you’re ready to start writing on it.
Yes. You write on your soul. “But, no,” you say “I’m going to use Scrivener and then import all the chapters into MS Word on my Macbook.” No you’re not. It just seems that way. In reality, you will be writing your novel on your ironed out soul.
Remember what I said about the screaming? Are you feeling it yet? Still want to write that novel?
So, in order to write on your soul, you will need ink. And when I say ink of course I mean blood. And when I say blood I mean YOUR blood. And you can’t just cut a neat hole in your wrist or anything like that. The blood has to be heart blood and you can only get that by tearing your own heart out and squeezing it into some kind of container. Any container will do. It doesn’t have to be fancy. I use old yogurt tubs.
So now you have your ink. Of course you need a pen. This is another time wherein history helps the novel writing process. Old fountain pens are fine – the dipping kind not the filling kind. But they need to be stolen from dead people or stock brokers. Preferably dead stock brokers. Quills are even better. If you happen to manage to pull a flight feather off one of those vultures that eat the dead bodies in the Towers of Silence that would be awesome. Quills and pens that reek of dead flesh work best for some reason.
A flat soul, a tub of your own blood, and a carrion smeared quill and you’re ready to go. That’s all you need to write your novel. Oh, and an idea. But those are easy to come by.
Well, what are you waiting for?
About the author
Gabrielle Prendegast is the author of several novels for young readers including AUDACIOUS, a YA novel in verse published recently by Orca Book Publishers. A writer and teacher, she blogs and rants at and She also designs book covers at
By Gabrielle Prendergast:
Sixteen year old Raphaelle is that girl who says the wrong thing, who crosses the wrong person, who has the wrong hair, the wrong body, the wrong attitude, the totally wrong clothes. She can’t do anything right, except draw, but she draws the wrong pictures. When her father moves the family to a small prairie city, Raphaelle wants to leave behind the misfit rebel, the outcast, the vengeful trouble-maker she was. Reborn as “Ella,” she plans fit in at her new school, while her perfect younger sister goes to the Catholic girls’ school and her emotionally fragile mother looks for a job. 

But Ella might just be a different kind of misfit. She’s drawn to a brooding boy in her art class, Samir, and expresses her confused feelings in an explicit artwork. When a classmate texts a photo of Ella’s art to a younger friend, the horrendous fallout spreads though Ella’s life like an uncontrollable disease. Ella is expelled from school and faces pornography charges, her mother is hospitalized, her sister fails all her classes, and her distant father finally notices something is wrong.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Writing Descriptive Scenes

12:00 AM 1 Comments
 Part of a special month-long event featuring writing tips and NaNoWriMo strategies from guest writers and fellow NaNo participants.

Tips for Writing Descriptive Scenes
by Em Petrova

Painting a picture for the reader has never been so important. How many of you have picked up a book, hoping to immerse yourself in a new world, and been disappointed to find your imagination hasn’t launched off your sofa?
It might be the description in your story that’s lacking. As writers, we need to do everything we can to take our readers on a journey—and most of the time readers want to escape their own universe! So how can we help them do that? By adding some terrific description to our writing! Here’s how:
1.                  Use language that paints a picture. Adding colors and smearing them over the landscape of an ancient world will shoot the reader right into the setting. Help them to see the object, person, or world through your characters’ eyes!
2.                 How do the objects relate to each other in the scene? Details about each individual item might get tedious, but a comparison is rich with sensory responses. The carpet of grass is spongy underfoot, but Avery steps on a jagged stone—a stone that feels as big as a boulder under her sensitive arch.
3.                 Don’t let the reader know you’re being descriptive. A big information dump sometimes occurs in the beginnings of scenes. We learn about the setting in one fat paragraph—how it looks, smells, how everything sounds. What if you shatter this like a mirror and place the fragments throughout your story?
4.                 Don’t use too many adverbs or adjectives. Readers enjoy strong language—no wimpy writing allowed!
5.                 Don’t be too lyrical. Internal rhymes can get annoying, as does flowery language. Most modern readers don’t want to read Walt Whitman!
6.                 Don’t write lengthy descriptions of Aunt Mariam’s wallpaper unless later in the story, we’re going to see drops of blood spattered on said wallpaper. Watch out for irrelevant description.
7.                 Provide concrete examples. If your story is set in space, we need to see comparisons between those objects and the ones we know on earth. We have no idea what a mugala vaporgun is, but if you say it’s like holding a soldier’s heavy rifle, we can picture it better.
8.                Describing every little detail can be tedious. And often the reader enjoys a romp with her own imagination. We don’t need to know every last detail of a hero. If you leave a few spaces blank, the reader will create her dream hero in her mind!
Hope some of these tips will help with your next story. Thanks for reading!

Em Petrova
~hardworking heroes—in bed and out~

by Em Petrova:
 Zero to Love

Star-crossed lovers Magda and Monroe must overcome racial differences and fight off the evil Free Wills to save the city and their romance.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Dumpster Diving -and NaNoWriMo Week 4 Summary

12:00 AM 16 Comments
~~Today's snippet contains adult themes~~

On Sundays, I share tidbits of my works in progress as part of Weekend Warrior’s 8-Sentence Sunday. And since I'm currently participating in NaNoWriMo, I'll be posting a little weekend wrap-up at the conclusion of today’s snippet.

My NaNoWriMo project is a paranormal (erotic) romance titled DISARMING COWBOYS, book 7 of my Lone Wolves of Shay Falls series. After escaping her werewolf caveman last week, she's ducked into a local fair with no money to ease her hunger.

Invisible claws gnawed at Jayel’s stomach while she found herself watching a young couple with two tow-headed little boys. She and her twin brother had been taken to the carnival once, when they’d been about six. They were too small for most of the rides, and while Jayson had been quite put out about it, Jayel had been secretly glad. The giant rides scared her, whirling by so fast, and deep down she knew she wasn’t ready for such a big adventure.
She still wasn’t.
A teenage girl drifted past, pausing long enough to dump a cardboard tray of nachos into the garbage can beside the bench. She’d barely gone away before Jayel leaped up and peered inside the garbage can, greeted by the pungent odor of overripe food while weighing her level starvation against the various diseases she’d been risking by diving through the disgusting blend of abandoned fair food.
“Today has been one personal low after the other,” she muttered, wrinkling her nose while she reached in to pluck out a chip sitting on top of the pile.

So what do you think?

End of Week 3 -Heading into Week 4 NaNo wrap up:

Almost there! I expect to hit 50k with the next writing session, I hope. I would have finished already if I hadn't taken a day off to go see Catching Fire (which was awesome, by the way). 50k will not complete the novel--it's between 2/3 and 3/4 complete. So I'll keep on writing until the 30th in hopes the book will be finished by the end of the month. 

End of Week 3 progress:

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For more awesome snippets, check out 

I'm J. Rose Allister, wife, working mom, and the author of over twenty-five books. Somewhere in between one and the next, I love hanging out here on my blog and over on Twitter. Give me a comment or follow-I love chatting with people!

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