Tuesday, November 5, 2013

# Guest Blog # NaNoWriMo

Sage Writing Advice From an Old Lady

Part of a special month-long event featuring writing tips and NaNoWriMo strategies from guest writers and fellow NaNo participants.

Sage Advice from an Old Lady
by Mary Marvella

So, I'm sitting and waiting for the little kids to ring my doorbell and ask for candy.  This year I actually put on a costume. Only 1 kid came by until I decided to write this blog.  Then darlings came, and came, and came.

I started writing in 1991, after I left teaching. I had stories to tell and I was certain others would pay to read them. I collected rejections and more rejections. Want to know what I learned?

 You must write for yourself.  Following trends only works if you write incredibly quickly or if that trend lasts a long time.  

Don't know where to begin? How many people use that as excuse?  Before you sit down at your computer or grab your paper and writing instrument, think of situations, the more extreme, the better.  Invite them in while you load your dishwasher, or while you cook, or run, or ...

Jessie tripped over a zombie and ...  
I answered the door to my great grandfather who died ten years ago.
A mom wants her daughter to be valedictorian, but her kid ranks second in her class. What will that mom do about it? Would she threaten the student who has what she wants for her daughter or threaten the school officials or off the kid standing in her daughter's way? What if you want her to be a good person?
A man at your door says you were kidnapped at birth and you are heiress to a throne. 

Now decide who can star in your story. What does that person want and why and how will this event change his or her life? Find a character who needs anything but this situation. Toss that character in and see what happens.

Give yourself permission to write crap and do NOT sensor yourself in your first draft.

The first book I contracted this year, Protective Instincts, was the first book I wrote. Sam has premonitions he doesn't want.  So what if I make him need to use them or someone will die?

I Indie-published 3 novels and 2 novellas before a publisher wanted my first book. 

DON'T GIVE UP!  Reassess your goals. Times change.

By Mary Marvella:
Protective Instincts

They met because he had premonitions and she was in peril. But you will never believe why they fell in love. Paranormal romance at its best.

After mourning the loss of her husband, Brit Roberts manages to pick up her life as a teacher for a rural Georgia High school. Things are fine until anonymous phone calls turn creepy and her life is endangered. It's not until Sam Samuels, shows up to check on her that she finds a little peace.

Sam Samuels isn't just the father of one of Ms. Robert's students, he's a man with premonitions so strong, they make him ill. So when he meets his son's teacher and pain kicks in, he knows something's awry but can't put his finger on it until he interrupts an attempt to rape and kill the teacher. Sam makes it his personal goal to protect her, only he didn't count on falling for her.

Connect with Mary Marvella:
Mary Marvella Twitter: @mmarvellab  


  1. Thank you for being here to share your sage advice, Mary!!

  2. Hey! Heard there was a party over here! MM, you always have the best virtual favors at these shindigs. Pass the bubbly, and tell us more about how you create these hot hunky heros.

    MJ Flournoy -
    A Matter of Trust

    1. Thanks for stopping by, MJ! Hope you picked up some tips for writing hunks.

    2. MJ, sometimes my hunks just show up. Other times I start with a heroine and think of the man she would least need and most want.

  3. Never say die! You knew you'd make it, and so did I!
    Pass the bubbly...

  4. Mary, I love your extreme ideas. What a great tip. Thank you!


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