Getting Ready for NaNoWriMo

Well, it’s almost November. Last weekend I had a fabulous time in Lake Placid with my husband, sort of a last minutes of “us” time before the insanity of winter. Once again, I’ve chosen to participate in NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month. Last year, I participated in two events. In Plain Sight coverI went to Boot Camp in April 2013 and wrote In Plain Sight  which was released in August 2013 by Crimson Romance.  Writing a 56,000 word novel in a month seemed like an impossible task on the first day, but when you break it down, it works out to less than 2,000 words a day. For a verbose person like me, that was easy. I wrote the book my way, editing as I went along, adding in the word count accordingly.  Since I worked on my own, I had no one breathing over my shoulder to hurry me on. As you may know, I’m self-chained to my computer at least eight hours a day, so sticking power isn’t an issue.

A friend suggested I participate in the Entangled Smackdown last year. Entangled provided an editor with tips to get you going. Unlike the last time, this time I was part of a team. I registered with NaNoWriMo to get my daily word count tabulated, but I also logged on to Savvy Authors each day to keep up with things there. This writing experience was different. It began with the need to complete a GMC (Goal, Motivation, Conflict) sheet and a beat sheet, a type of plot graph for the novel, as well as a one page synopsis. I almost quit at that point. I am a true blue pantser. I do not plot the books. I select a title, and let the story come to me from that. I name my characters and let them flesh themselves out for me, and I never do a GMC or Beat sheet. I seriously doubted my ability to so so because I generally have no idea where the story’s going until I get there.

EchoesofthePast_MEDIn addition to the pre-participation items and the “lessons”, I was to participate in daily group activities–answer a question, tweet encouragement to the members of my team, join in daily sprints, and post my totals for the day, calculating the points I’d earned for the team. The hardest part was not editing as I wrote, one thing I constantly do. I’d chosen to write my novel with the Ignite imprint in mind. Because I’m so pig-headed, I stuck with the task and completed the rough draft of Echoes of the Past, 88,000 plus words, a romance suspense with paranormal elements and Native American flavor.  It took me about the same amount of time to complete the edits for it, but Echoes of the Past  was published in July 2014 by Secret Cravings Publishing.

There it is. I participated in NaNo twice and wrote and sold two books. I was definitely participating again. There were things that drove me crazy about the Entangled Smackdown last year, and although all the pre-writing stuff isn’t for me, I know what it is this year and have a leg up on it. The rules for NaNo are explicit that nothing can be started until November 1, and I’m a stickler for rules, but I’ve taken the time this week to lay out my story. I’m looking at a contemporary romance this time, short by my standards at 55,000 words. I’ve targeted the Love Struck imprint. The bonus to Smackdown is that the winning team gets a shot at a contract  with Entangled, so if I win… If not, as was the case last year, I’ll submit to one of my other publishers.

So, with the rules and guidelines in mind, I’ve started planning it out. What will my NaNo book be this year? I’m looking at Yours, Mine, and Ours. 

Here’s the basic idea, but you can be sure it’ll change once the characters get involved and have their way. You can count four things though. I will set the scene as I always do with lost of description so you’ll feel as if you’re there. I will use humor to spice up the dialogue and move the story along,  I will create a love story for the ages as I’ve done before, and the happily ever after ending will be well-earned.

Temporary About the Book 

tropical IslandParadise Island, where all your dreams come true.

When MJ Summers checks into the Paradise Island Resort alone on what should have been her honeymoon, the last thing she expects in to be found naked in the shower by Paul Davis, her brother’s best friend and the bane of her teenage years. Discovering the hotel double booked the room doesn’t help, but since they practically grew up together, she agrees to share the holiday with him—one room, two beds.

Paul’s experiences in Afghanistan have changed him, convinced him that sharing your heart with someone can only lead to pain. MJ is a far cry from the girl he remembers, but he’s determined to fight the attraction if it’s the last thing he does. Unfortunately, he can’t quite tamp down the rescuer side of his personality. When  a vicious tropical storm brings back the nightmares he thought he’d left behind, MJ  already terrified of storms seeks  to comfort him and herself, but one thing leads to another and a long, stormy night neither of them will ever forget.

Driven by guilt and shame, Paul leaves the next morning before MJ awakes. Broken-hearted, ashamed of her wantonness, and mortified at being dumped again, MJ returns home only to discover she’s brought back more than the tacky souvenirs decorating her new house. Convinced, Paul doesn’t want her and wouldn’t want their baby, she prepares to go it alone, protect her teaching career by inventing a military husband currently deployed. Unfortunately, fate has other ideas in mind and sooner or later, the truth will out.

When MJ and Paul meet again, things get more complicated than ever. How is she ever going to make this right? Can she convince him and herself to give love a chance?

I’d love to know what you think of the new story idea. Post your comment for a chance to win a PDF review copy of Coming Home, Book One of the Talking a Chance on Love series from Misty Matthews, my alter ego.

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About mhsusannematthews

Finally retired after more than 30 years as a teacher! Now, I get to spend my time gardening, enjoying my grandchildren, and writing. I finally completed the number one item in my bucket list and Crimson Romance published my first novel, Fire Angel, in April 2013. Since then I have sold 24 other manuscripts to date and don't plan to quit writing for a long time yet.
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