14 days left of National Novel Writing Month. As a famous New Yorker that had some FRIENDS used to ask:

“How You Doin’?”

If you haven’t achieved your goal yet, then let LWI help you.

Win with L. W. I.

I’ll get that help out of the way first.



I will be there as often as I can to help you with:

  • Writing Sprints: Timed writing periods where you write as much as you can without editing or worrying about anything. Then you rest and we start again. I let rest happen or you tire out and give up.
  • Plot Needs: Do you need help with what a profession might do or a business practice is? I can help look it up quickly. I have even helped with what does a gun sound like to draw attention without it being fired or cocked or a bullet put in the chamber.
  • Encouragement: Sometimes you need someone to talk to. No, I won’t be there every moment, as I do have blogging and writing to do as well, but I will be there to do what I can.

I won’t tell you my word count but I’ll say this, you can’t base anything on the word count of someone else.

How can you get from where you are to 50,000 words?

I will tell you this, I hit 50,000 words in 8 days.  A lot of that came on a day on the weekend. That means you can do it in 14. Did I write every minute of the day? No. Did I write some of every hour? No.

I’ll repeat some of what I’ve advised before:

  • Don’t get bogged down in the details of what you are doing. Since this is a first draft and your goal is speed and word count, it isn’t about quality. In fact even if you were going for quality in a first draft, you would still end up doing at least drafts 2 and 3.

What does that mean?

  • WRITE!!!

Keep writing even if it doesn’t make sense. I wrote myself down paths I had no idea I was heading in and ended up using those directions to the story’s benefit.


I’ll tell you one thing I did and still do, because I’m actually going through my novel and doing some detail work and research.

  • I like a certain show that has a lot of episodes on YouTube. So what I do is write for a while until I get a little tired and then I watch a YouTube episode. Then I return to writing.

Don’t want to get to that tired point?

  • Set a timer.  if your computer doesn’t have one then use one online.


Do sprints using the alarm clock with or without friends. Sprints? Yes,  Do about 23 minutes and take 7 off, or you can do 26 minutes. You are thinking that is a lot of wasted time. Let me tell you something. If you do sprints where you take only 5 minute breaks your fingers are going to get so tired you will either end up having to quit OR you will be making so many mistakes you will get frustrated with your typing. I got to the point during sprints with a facebook group, which helped me get my word count, that my fingers didn’t want to move off of the keys to the other keys. It was awful.


NaNoWriMo Support Category.

There you will find some NaNoWriMo Tips articles. One of which is:


Remember to ask to join the group and I’ll do what I can to help you win.

Much Respect



Ronovan Hester is an author, with his debut historical adventure novel Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling due out in December of 2015. He shares his life as an amnesiac and Chronic Pain sufferer through his blog RonovanWrites.WordPress.com. His love of poetry, authors and community through his online world has lead to a growing Weekly Haiku Challenge and the creation of a site dedicated to book reviews, interviews and author resources known as LitWorldInterviews.com.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.


© Copyright-All rights reserved by LitWorldInterviews.com 2015


It’s the end of the ‘work’ week and I thought before we hit the weekend and more easily accessible writing time, I would do a little bit of NaNoWriMo talk.

As of the writing of this post, I am over 25,000 words on my NaNoWriMo book, Honor Bound: Monsters. Crazy, right? The thing is I wrote 13,000 of that on Wednesday. How?

Actually it took me a while to find that groove. I was stuck in research limbo over wanting a fact to bridge one scene of the book to the next scene. Yes, I hear some of you now, “Dude, that is stoopid!”

And yes, it was not quite intelligent. I got caught in a trap. A trap I knew to look out for and to avoid during a first draft of a work of FICTION.

My advice has been “Just write the freaking story.”

And I was “Stalling on a freaking point.”

Now to the how to get in to your groove.

5 Ways To Move Ahead In Your Novel

  1. Don’t get stuck on the finer details at this point. It is just a first draft.
    • How did I move from stuck to the next scene. I just went to the next scene. I knew where I was going, and I knew all I wanted was a simple dialogue scene with a touch of information in it, but I was too brain tired to get that part done, so I went on to where the ground was fertile, while making a HUGE note there was a need for a scene addition. And the great thing is, by the time I get back to that scene, I will know the characters even better and very likely have the information that I need to use in that scene. Or maybe, I will find I don’t need the bridge at all.
  2. Take a break. If you write and push through exhaustion you end up burning out and for some they end up in pain.  I do this too often, pushing. I did it Wednesday and suffered for it most of Thursday. I finally kicked back into the groove late in the day and put in a good number of words. I think begin half way to the NaNo goal isn’t bad. And when you do take a break what should you do?
  3. Leave your writing in the middle of a sentence or scene. This way you know what to pick up with next time. Walking away at the end of a scene or chapter is one of the worst things you can do.
  4. A big thing that helped me get my word count moving was being part of the facebook group for my NaNoWriMo Region. A bunch of strangers, or some are friends of each other, joining in and doing sprints. Sprints are when you write for 15 minutes as focused as you can and then time is called. You share your word count and people encourage and the like. It seriously helped me late last night. It got to the point my hands were so tired my fingers didn’t want to lift off the keys and move.
  5. A challenge buddy is also pushing me. I have one particular friend that is as competitive if not more so than I am about this. I’m not overly competitive but I like to use competition to help encourage others to push onward, and you get caught up in it.

I find it odd that last year only about 17% of those who signed up for NaNoWriMo actually finished it.  I think most of those not finishing never started, at least that’s my opinion. And if you don’t finish, at least get a habit going of writing.

Writing around 2000 words a day, writing a story that isn’t supposed to be read yet, isn’t that difficult. You keep writing and get yourself out of whatever you got yourself into.

Author and LWI Team Member Jo Robinson has a great article about Writer’s Block called Dodge Around the Blocks. Make sure to check it out for some more advice. Also the other helpful tips in the NaNoWriMo Support section might give you an idea to get you to where you want to be.

Ronovan Hester is an author, with his debut historical adventure novel Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling due out in December of 2015. He shares his life as an amnesiac and Chronic Pain sufferer through his blog RonovanWrites.WordPress.com. His love of poetry, authors and community through his online world has lead to a growing Weekly Haiku Challenge and the creation of a site dedicated to book reviews, interviews and author resources known as LitWorldInterviews.com.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.


© Copyright-All rights reserved by LitWorldInterviews.com 2015

Two More Sleeps to NaNoWriMo and a Little Prize or Two

Two days to go to NaNoWriMo 2015! Your NaNo month might seem like it could be a little hard and stressful, but actually it should be the very opposite. An entire blissful thirty days that you get to devote entirely and without ANY guilt at all to your writing. All other business relating to your Indie empire gets to idle along. What more could any scribbler’s heart desire? Don’t put off joining the NaNo this year because life is a little stressful lately. Rather do take part in it so that all that stress can be ignored while you’re banging away at your hot keyboard. That’s another great thing about being Indie. You get to give yourself last minute urgent jobs to do anytime you like. I am sorely tempted to push my science fiction series release back a month and join you all. Don’t tempt me! I’m already on the ledge with this one.

By now you’ll probably already have created your novel profile and synopsis. That will probably change as you go along, but that doesn’t matter – you still need to get that up on the site. It’s time to sit the family down in a row on the couch, and let them know what their extra chores will be for November. Don’t be shy – give them all away. It’s only one month and nobody will expire from doing a little bit extra. Twist the nose of any little voice that starts whispering in your ear about duty and so on. Don’t think of it as family neglect, but rather as a bit of excitement for everyone. Everyone, except your writerly self that is, can have a go at the cooking, which can really be an adventure – you might in fact discover that you are nurturing the next Jamie Oliver in your bosom. If they’re not as good as you are at having at dust bunnies, that doesn’t matter at all. If you’re into cleaning think of all the good stuff awaiting you in December. A bit of mess never killed anyone, so let it go.

One story. One month. That’s all you have to think about. If you don’t have an outline and are planning on pantsing it, don’t worry, the words will come! It’s all about you now NaNoers, so if you have any questions or need any help with anything, fire away in the comments. My apologies for being a bit slow to answer comments here recently, but I haven’t been able to spend much time online. I’m back here now though.

One final thing for today. For any of you joining this year, the first two of you who say, I WANT A COVER in the comments, and already have an idea of what they want, will get a free cover design made by yours truly. Then you have to finish the book, don’t you? At the end of the challenge, we’ll put up a Rafflecopter and all the challenge winners who want to participate will have a shot at a free cover as well as a gift copy of my how to publish on Amazon book and one on one help from me to put your new baby out there to start selling like hotcakes. So NaNo warriors – tell us where you are so far.

Finally, a very special doodle for you to print out and stick on the door, or anywhere conspicuous while you’re immersed in the worlds behind your eyes. Good Luck Guys!


#Writingtips Summary of wisdom from Jerry Jenkins (@JerryBJenkins). With thanks to Jane Friedman (@JaneFriedman)

Hi all:

I don’t know you, but I have recently been attending many webinars, on different topics. Recently (22nd October) I attended a free webinar organised by Jane Friedman that had Jerry Jenkins (21 times New York Times best selling author) as guest, on the Secrets of Storytelling.

I’ve read, listened to, and attended courses, lectures and seminars, on writing. And like all advice, some will resonate more with some people than others. Although the seminar seemed geared towards people who were trying to find their confidence writing (if there ever comes such a time) rather than seasoned scribblers, I enjoyed the personal wisdom and Jerry’s style of delivery, and I thought I’d try and bring you some nuggets from it, especially as I know that quite a few people are going for NaNoWriMo. I decided to try and make it less boring with images, but we shall see if it works…



Although most are self-explanatory, I thought I’d give a few pointers on some.

  1. Jerry Jenkins said that formulas don’t really work, as they make the story seem… well, formulaic, I guess. He referred to Dean Koontz How to Write Best Selling Fiction when talking about the classic structure. His brief summary was: Plunge your character into a terrible situation; everything he tries to do makes the situation worse; things look hopeless, and hero saves the day (by doing what he’s learned on the way).
  2. In reference to his previous point, he said that although you have to put your characters in extreme situations, it’s best not to start the novel at that point, because it’s better to build up the character so that the reader gets to care for him or her (or them).
  3. I think it’s self-explanatory. Don’t hit the readers in the head with a hammer, although for him, there’s always a message, otherwise there’s no novel.
  4. There isn’t always romance in all novels (or movies, it might depend on genre) but it’s very common. He gave many examples of not very original ways of introducing the love interest (although referring to movies, characters bumping into each other, blind date…), but it all depends on how it’s done.
  5. His advice, that I’ve seen in many places, is that it’s best to get the story down once you get writing, and not try to edit at the same time. He said that he’d edit first thing the next day what he’d written the previous day. In the case of NaNoWriMo, unless your brain goes completely blank and can’t remember what you’ve written, it’s probably best to keep going…
  6. Nothing to add (unless it’s a peculiarity of a character).
  7. I couldn’t find a colour that would show well, so I’m transcribing: Writers are readers. Read in your genre, but also read about the craft of writing. He mentioned quite a few of his favourite books, but the world (or the library) is your oyster.
  8. In discussing point of view of the character he reminded the audience that it’s like the camera we see the action through. He mentioned the most common (first person narrated in past tense, or third person limited), and noted that perhaps for somebody starting to write, first person might be easier. He talked about his own experience of struggling with one of his stories and how he heard a particular character talking in the first person in his head, and that was it.
  9. This is a very personal take on the matter, but he observed that sometimes other characters in the story might take over and run with it.
  10. He didn’t seem to be a big lover of flashbacks explaining the background story, as he felt they slowed down the action. In real life we get to know people gradually.
  11. This one sounds a bit zen, but he referred to himself as a pantser, and said that sometimes you might get to a certain ending through writing the story, and that’s a perfect way to make sure that it’s surprising to the reader, because it’s a surprise to you too.
  12. If you’re worried, you’re on the right track. He referred to this as the ‘Exponential multiplication of emotions’ equation. If you feel sad at some point in your story, the reader will feel the same but magnified. And if you feel bored… well, you get the gist.
  13. You’re not alone. His message was that if you get stuck, there are many places where you can get help, be it virtual or real writers’ groups (his comments were invaluable but…), coaches, books, other writers…

You can check Jerry Jenkins’s page here


He offers courses, including one he was promoting, later in October, but you can check his page and that of Jane for more information if you’re an interested (I have no connection with them other than attending the webinar, that was free).

Thanks to Jane Friedman and Jerry Jenkins for the the webinar and thanks to you all for reading. Do take care, and good writing. 

Olga Núñez Miret




Jen’s Top 10 NaNoWriMo Tips @JensPenDen

Here are Tips from a fellow brave soul, Author Jenna Willett-2015 NaNoWriMo participant.

Author Jenna Willett

Jen's Pen Den

Up until a few days ago, I hadn’t planned on participating in NaNoWriMo this year. I had planned on spending the month revising the latest draft of my current WIP. Unfortunately, my current WIP came to a grinding halt last week when I realized I’d made a fatal error:

I’d chosen the wrong narrator.

So, guess what? I have to rip up the majority of my first draft and start over.

*cue tears*

Okay, okay. Things aren’t that bad. Thanks to my methods of madness, I’ve already written a significant chunk of my new narrator’s backstory. Still, it’s going to be a lot of work. I need something–anything–to motivate me and push me to finish this new draft as quickly as possible.

After some hemming and hawing, I realized there’s no better motivator than NaNo. So, I’m signing up!

To prepare myself, and to help the rest of you who’ve accepted the daunting task of writing 50K words in one…

View original post 1,303 more words

Time to Kick the Critic to the Kerb

Even though finding a terrible review of any of your writing can slice your soul in two, and have you spending a week in your jammies going through super deluxe boxes of tissues, some of your own inner dialogue has probably been a lot worse at various points along the way. Perfection is something we all secretly wish for, but perfection in any pursuit, creative or otherwise is probably something attained only accidentally. NaNoWriMo November is fabulous because there really isn’t any time for agonizing over sentences, and you have a golden free writing ticket to bang away at your story without any exact sense of expectation for the outcome. If it sucks when it’s done, that’s perfectly alright. There will be lots of time for repair later.

If we could inject some of that good stuff – that happy, fearless scribbling – into our day to day writing lives, we’d probably produce more of our best work. In fact, I think that a lot of our best work gets deleted and never sees the light of day because of the stern critique we often subject our own writing to. I don’t think that I’ve ever read anything, no matter how much I loved it, that was perfect in every single respect. Maybe I found only a single sentence in a hundred thousand word book ever so slightly jarring, which made it not entirely perfect for me, but someone else probably loved that very sentence and found something else lacking in perfection.

Self-confidence is often in short supply in creative souls. We’re mostly quite an empathic lot – total softies.  Probably we have to be to convey feelings that we may not have personally needed to feel in our stories, so we’re overly sensitive to what kind of effect we have on others to begin with. Add to that the potential infliction of our very own creations on others who might hate it, or think badly of us for having the temerity to actually try and sell it to them, and you’ve got the perfect recipe for a pretty mean inner critic.

For all you NaNoers out there, prepare to tie that critic up with industrial strength rope in eight days time. Get out the duct tape while you’re at it so he can’t yell when you accidently pinch him as you toss him into the cupboard. Anything that flows from your fingertips for thirty whole days is going to be straight from your scribblers soul – no matter what it is, and what you’d ordinarily think of it. Write it down and leave it alone till after you’ve slept through the entire day and night on the first of December. And for those of you not partaking in any NaNo madness this year, how about you send that little guy who chuckles and sneers in your ear on a month long holiday anyway? Whatever you’re writing right now, save the critique till the very last month of this year, and have at that scribbling!




Only around 17% of the people who signed up for NaNoWriMo actually finished NaNoWriMo. Why the low percentage?

  • A lot of likely signed up on impulse.
  • Some even just plain forgot about it.
  • Then there are those who wrote 45,000 words and didn’t want to find a way of putting in another 5,000 because they didn’t think the story needed it.
  • And you have those who thought they had a 50,000 word idea and it was more like 15,000.

A big reason for those who were successful can be found in their preparation.

NaNoWriMo Dome of Preparation



You need to know what your story is about before that first day. You may want to do a YA Paranormal Romance but once you get into it you realize that the genre just isn’t speaking to you, or maybe even the story isn’t. You can easily sit and think, if you want to take that route, about the plot and how it will go.


If you’re certain of your idea and it might need some research for parts, maybe some historical event or a technical aspect, go ahead and get that done and out of the way. But also remember this is a first draft and you can wing it for now and change it later if you need to. But if a big part of your book is based on those little details, research now. A second draft of complete rewriting is never fun.


Know roughly where you will go from one chapter to the next. It could be once sentence, just as long as you know. This doesn’t mean you must stick to it, but it will let you know if you have a full length story or not.


One of the most difficult things for a book is determining names. It sounds easy and it may be for some, but I tend to do research into names to fit regions and ancestry. I want the names to seem as authentic as possible. A boy named Bubba who was born and raised in Paris might take the reader out of the story, unless you have a very good reason for his name being Bubba. That’s a bit extreme and very unlikely a case but I think it shows you what I mean. The same goes for restaurants.

One of the best things to do is base your character names on people you know and perhaps even the setting where you live, if possible. You can’t write any more authentic than the place you know.


This is the most important thing. Begin now to write during the time you plan to write for NaNoWriMo. Begin writing roughly 2000 words on any subject, but write. And don’t stop writing and walk away until you have that 2000 words. You are not only training yourself but those around you as well. They’ll know that during this time is your time and not to disturb you. If you have the habit you’ll be surprised how quickly you can write 2000 words.

More tips, suggestions, and writing habits to come, stay tuned!

Check out the NaNoWriMo Pinterest Board I’ve started. As I find articles, mine or otherwise, I’ll be Pinning them, and I’ve allowed some others to do so as well that I know will find some great things to contribute. And here is a quote from a pep talk on NaNoWriMo from last year.

Jim Butcher Sarcastic Pep Talk about Writing

To be my NaNoWriMo Writing Buddy, click


Much Respect



About the Author and a Winner of NaNoWriMo 2014!

Ronovan Hester is an author, whose debut novel Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling is due to release in December of 2015. He’s also a blogger and former educator who shares his life as an amnesiac and Chronic Pain sufferer though his blog RonovanWrites.WordPress.com. His love of poetry, authors and community through his online world has lead to a growing Weekly Haiku Challenge and the creation of  LitWorldInterviews.WordPress.com, a site dedicated to book reviews, interviews and author resources.  For those serious about book reviewing and interested in reviewing for the LWI site, email Ronovan at ronovanwrites (at) gmail (dot) com to begin a dialogue. It may not work out but then again it might.

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 © Copyright-All rights reserved by LitWorldInterviews.wordpress.com 2015

WHY GO NaNoWriMo? WHY NOT? 5 Reasons to take the plunge.

Are you nervous about writing 50,000 words in 30 days? That’s about an average of 1,667 words per day.

NaNoWriMo Badge Nervous

Sound like a lot to you?

  • If you blog, how many words do you write per day in your posts, comments, social media?
  • If you are a normal human, how much do you write in emails or on social media? Just think about your facebook exchanges.

I’ll let you in on a secret though; This isn’t supposed to be submission quality work. AT ALL!


You write and write and get your basic story and plot down with encouragement and a goal. You have messages from the community and great guest posts from published authors, even superstars in the publishing world, who give you tips about what to do. I want to say last year that Jim Butcher was one of the authors who joined in.


NaNoWriMo is a lot easier to DO and get started in than you think. You sign up and your good to go. There is no sign in blood commitment. There is no fee. There is no criticism. You get out of NaNoWriMo what you want to get out of it.

With NaNoWriMo you can have “Buddies” who will encourage you and you can turn to. You can see their progress which in turn encourages you and yours.

I did NaNoWriMo for the first time last year and P.S. Bartlett was my only buddy. But having that buddy was encouraging. We would email our progress, see each others progress in word count on the NaNoWriMo  site, and generally have that person doing the same thing we were doing. That person going through what we were going through.

Want to find me? Well, not too many people named Ronovan and my Author picture is the one I use there. I’ll be committing to NaNoWriMo in a big way this year. I will be attempting to get more involved in the community and whatever community we build here on LWI under the NaNoWriMo Support page and NaNoWriMo Support Articles.

And if you have a competitive type Buddy and you are competitive, then it’s game on!


It forces me to put thoughts into words and I don’t have to worry about quality at that point. All I have to NaNoWriMo Maledo is keep writing and flowing.

This year I am going to work on a book I’ve been promising my son I’ll do for a long time. Yes, I’ve had hugely legitimate reasons for not having done it yet, but now I’m going to do it. It’ll be something that will have his name attached to it because I sat with him one day while his Grandma was in an appointment we had taken her to and I had slowly nudged him through creating an idea. Now I’m combining his idea and my thoughts.


There is no failure in NaNoWriMo. So you don’t reach  50,000 words. Maybe you reach 40,000, but you wrote and you wrote. There is no judgement. Everyone is in the same boat and doing the same thing. Everyone gets it.


This is a world wide event. Sometimes regions compete against each other for fun, even cities. Last year my city competed against another one that is a rival to our college football team. I do believe we won. Not that we won anything personally, but it was an added thing of fun to the whole experience.

There really isn’t a reason not to try NaNoWriMo. It is a beginning for some, a yearly start for a novel for a lot of Indie Authors for their next published work, and a fun experience for those who love to write.

About the Author and a Winner of NaNoWriMo 2014!

Ron_LWIRonovan Hester is an author, whose debut novel Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling is due to release in December of 2015. He’s also a blogger and former educator who shares his life as an amnesiac and Chronic Pain sufferer though his blog RonovanWrites.WordPress.com. His love of poetry, authors and community through his online world has lead to a growing Weekly Haiku Challenge and the creation of  LitWorldInterviews.WordPress.com, a site dedicated to book reviews, interviews and author resources.  For those serious about book reviewing and interested in reviewing for the LWI site, email Ronovan at ronovanwrites (at) gmail (dot) com to begin a dialogue. It may not work out but then again it might.

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 © Copyright-All rights reserved by LitWorldInterviews.wordpress.com 2015

30 Tips for NaNoWriMo from @JessicaStrawser & About LWI Support.

It’s that time of the year, or almost. November. Writing 50,000 words in one month. We cringe at the thought, but have you ever thought how many words you write on your blogs, social media, and just general messing around online? Think about it that way and you would be surprised how books you’ve written. Here’s a way to get focused, bear down, and get it done. WITH SUPPORT.

NaNoWriMo Image

Here on LWI we’re going to have a page dedicated to NaNoWriMo. There will be inspirational posts you can comment on and receive feedback and support. If you need a pep talk, we’re here for you. Whenever we find something great we’ll share it and it will show under that dedicated page. So you visit here and click the NaNoWriMo tab/page in the menu and there you are. Our resident guru of Indie Authorship suggested we do something. I might be taking it over the top but I shoot for the unknown galaxies and your bound to hit a star somewhere along the way.

To start us off, here is an article from Writer’s Digest by Jessica Strawser. The beginning blurb is below, then click the HERE to go to juicy parts.

“Sometimes it’s a lone writer who’s been putting off a story idea for too long, and decides it’s now or never. Sometimes it’s a pair or a group determined to find out what they can achieve by sharing self-imposed deadlines and strong pots of coffee. Sometimes it’s peer pressure or curiosity about National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo.org), that challenge that rallies ever-increasing numbers of writers around the globe every November to band together in pursuit of a 50,000-word “win.”

Book-in-a-month challenges take all forms, fueled by all stripes of writers with all manner of motivations—make the most of that time alone in a borrowed cabin, hunker down for the winter, stop procrastinating, have something ready to pitch at that conference, prove to yourself you can do it, prove to someone else you can do it, get a fresh start—and in this hyperconnected age of 24-hour fingertip resources and networks, of tiny portable keyboards and glow-in-the-dark screens, they’re more popular than ever.”

For the rest of the article and the 30 Tips, click HERE.




Editor of Writer’s Digest magazine | debut novel, ALMOST MISSED YOU, coming from in 2017 | mother of two | book lover | repped by agent


About the Finder of the Article and a Winner of NaNoWriMo 2014!

Ron_LWIRonovan is an author, blogger and former educator who shares his life as an amnesiac and Chronic Pain sufferer though his blog RonovanWrites.WordPress.com. His love of poetry, authors and community through his online world has lead to a growing Weekly Haiku Challenge and the creation of  LitWorldInterviews.WordPress.com, a site dedicated to book reviews, interviews and author resources.  For those serious about book reviewing and interested in reviewing for the LWI site, email Ronovan at ronovanwrites (at) gmail (dot) com to begin a dialogue. It may not work out but then again it might.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.


 © Copyright-All rights reserved by LitWorldInterviews.wordpress.com 2015

Should You Write an Outline?

These next few weeks leading up to November will have lots of newbie scribblers looking for inspiration and writing advice.  Some authors kindly share their secrets to their success, and it’s always a good idea, and fascinating too, to read up on the different paths that led to famous writer’s successes, but not so much a good idea to stubbornly follow anyone else’s rules, without first finding out your own. They know the road to their success, but that won’t necessarily be the road to yours.  We all develop our own patterns and habits over time by writing the way we naturally do.  Certainly, try out various techniques, but at the end of the day, follow your own instinctive processes – write the way that makes you happy.  Find your own comfort zone – you’ll know when you’re there.

Outlines work for some authors, and they might go so far as to say that you can’t write a cohesive tale without one.  I sometimes do outline, but mostly I don’t.  I only have an outline for my science-fiction series, but it changes so constantly and dramatically as the characters show me what’s really going to happen, that I wonder if the time I spent creating it was a waste of time.  Looking at a couple of famous authors – Dean R Koonz never, ever outlines.  He says that he starts with two interesting characters and a brief premise, and that character development is never a separate task.  He says that for him, plotting resolves itself in the process of writing.  Me too.  He doesn’t write the whole book before editing though, and revises it pretty minutely as he goes along, so by the time he’s done, he’s pretty much done.  I don’t revise much as I go along, which works for me.  He’s also known for writing for twelve hours straight through, without eating lunch.  Owie!  Occasionally yes, but no way every day for me.  These things work for him, very well indeed, but they probably won’t work for everyone.

Stephen King also doesn’t outline.  In his book, On Writing, he says, “I often have an idea what the outcome may be, but I have never demanded of a set of characters that they do things my way.  On the contrary.  I want them to do things their way.”  I personally agree with him.  My writing comfort zone is typing the first sentence, and then seeing where my characters go.  I have written a few outlines, but for some reason they always end up being forgotten.  What works for me, or any other writer, doesn’t matter though, if you prefer knowing exactly where you want your story to go.  The best advice here is to outline if you want to, but if you don’t, then enjoy that crazy trip of allowing your story to happen to you.  Another quote from our dear Steve.  “Writing fiction, especially a long work of fiction, can be a difficult, lonely job; it’s like crossing the Atlantic Ocean in a bathtub.”  This is especially true.  Writing your stories comes from you.  It’s not a group activity with absolute written in stone rules.  Follow your own rules.

One final bit of Stephen King writing trivia.  He consistently writes ten pages a day (two thousand words) and will not allow himself to stop for the day until he has those words down unless there is a dire emergency.  This isn’t as hard as it seems once you get into the habit actually, and more is easy too when you find yourself on a fabulous roll.  Dean Wesley Smith suggests that an average word count of five and a half thousand words per day is doable, writing for eight hours a day every day for five days a week, and that he in fact knows writers who do this.  In this case I would imagine that an outline really would be essential.  He’s talking about writers of pulp fiction though, who strove to churn out their stories really quickly to support themselves.  I wouldn’t want to put myself through this sort of thing at all, so I follow my own pace, and my own rules.

I wouldn’t agonise too much about creating an in-depth outline, unless you particularly want to, for this year’s NaNoWriMo if you’re doing the challenge.  Have your general idea, plonk your characters down on the page, and let them show you the way.

To Outline or Not to Outline

Nearly NaNoWriMo Time Again

Did you know that Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, Wool by Hugh Howey, and Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, were all begun for one of the annual NaNoWriMo challenges? Anyone who says that NaNo is just a bit of silliness for wannabe writers might want to ponder that a while, and anyone who is finding their writing stuck or slow going right now might want to consider taking up that challenge this year. You can take it as seriously or not seriously as you like. It’s only thirty days, so the world won’t end if you don’t make your word count or if you absolutely hate what you wrote, but if you’re having trouble getting nice chunks of words down towards your WIP, this little challenge should get you going. I see that there is also a twenty percent discount to purchase Scrivener for this year’s players, so if you’ve been thinking about getting that, here’s your chance.

You can write anything you want to. It doesn’t have to be a brand new book. You can continue to write something you’ve already started, as long as you only add the newly typed sections for each day to your official word count. Only you know what you’ve typed, because NaNoWriMo don’t save your work when you go to add your daily count on the site, so it’s not possible for anyone to ever read it unless you publish it, so typos and gremlins mean absolutely nothing. In fact, the last thing you want to be doing is looking back every day over what you wrote the day before. Just zoom straight on through to the end before editing anything. Another fine lesson to learn for those of us who over edit as we write. NaNoWriMo cured me of that.

The whole premise of the NaNo is to write fifty thousand words of a novel in thirty days, which works out to roughly one thousand, six hundred and sixty seven words written per day. This is your rough draft, so it doesn’t matter if there are plot holes in there. You write around them, and then fix them later if you decide to publish the book. If you win the challenge, you get the badge for this year, and also whatever swag they have going as prizes, which can come in really handy too – like getting free CreateSpace copies if you publish your NaNo novel.

If you’re competing this year, remember to stock your freezers now with food that can just be defrosted for some November meals, and get lists done of chores that your family and friends can do to help you out for that time too. The site launches on the fifth of October. Zoom over to the NaNoWriMo site to sign up, and then create your NaNo novel project by going to My Novels under the NaNoWriMo tab from that date.


Brighten Up Your Future In The Present

“Why not dream big? One way to cast your anchor into the future while improving your mood for the moment is to plan something exciting, something positive, something that makes you smile. Maybe it’s a vacation, maybe it’s a night out with someone special or maybe it’s just some much-needed “me” time/ Make a plan, set a date–and then bask in the anticipation.”



How to come up with a book idea.

You have a goal to write a novel. Perhaps you want to do so in one month’s time. You are pumped and ready to go. You sit down at your keyboard and




You got it, nothing happens. Blank. Headache. Pit level feeling of nausea. Despair.

I know of what I speak. I think I just proved that. What do do about it.

How to come up with a book idea.

Thousands of books are unleashed upon the world every day. Therefore there must be thousands of ideas floating around out there somewhere. But you want yours to be original and not a copy of someone else. I get that, I really do. I actually avoid reading at times because I want my story to be my story.

How do I come up with ideas?

I’ve written perhaps . . . well we’ll say in the double digit numbers of books, ranging from children’s fantasy to adult paranormal detective. A lot of weird ideas float around in this bruised brain of mine.

  • I wrote a little girl a bedtime story that turned into perhaps 5 fantasy books.
  • A book I am working on now I found the bases of from a literary agent who said what they would like to see. It clicked with me and I in turn knew exactly who to use as a model for the main character, at least visually. And the story has gone from there and into more stories.
  • I took a prompt challenge to write a scary story, which isn’t my style, but the short story came out pretty good. I am thinking of expanding it.
  • I have  a favorite video game that I spun off into a YA science fiction/action novel.
    • This is probably an easy one to let yourself loose on. You know what you like about the video game and you have thought about it being real in your mind. Put that on paper, but of course change it up so it’s not the video game but your own world with your own names and creations. You are the hero or heroine or whatever. I wonder how many novels Zelda has inspired.
  • If you must, look at an old story, a classic novel, or your favorite book, and put it into a different setting. Take Gone with the Wind as an example. Take that and put it in the future and have the war be over some type of whatever that might be valuable or maybe a piece of land that whoever controls it controls all of the lands around it and thus controls that realm. Just make sure you make it your own story, names and all.
  • Write about yourself. Who do you know better than you? Turn yourself into a character and write a book about you. Perhaps you are a hero or perhaps you are named President of the USA. Think about that. What would you really do and include humorous things as well as serious. Be sarcastic if you like or very matter of fact about things you would do that just make sense to you to solve world problems.
  • Just looking around you, your friends, events that happen in your area, world events, relationships you have with your family, all of these things can be turned into books. For some you just turn the things up a notch or three. You amplify or pump up what is real and turn it into the fantastic and overboard type things. Sure you can keep it real if you like, but if you just want to have fun, have fun.
  • Is there an unfairness that you see that you want to change? Write about it and how it affects you and what you would do to change it.
  • Is there a recent national event that happened in your area? Write a book based on that and use your emotions and your knowledge of it to tell your point of view. It can be a work of fiction just based on the events.

There are a lot of ways to come up with an idea for a book. These are just a few and perhaps not even a great few. But I know people are sitting and thinking about writing a book and are frozen in place. Here’s the best piece of advice I can give you about writing a book, about getting that idea going. You ready? Write. You see that advice all the time. Write. The reason you see it is because when you start writing the thoughts start flowing and your brain kicks into gear. And guess what? If you don’t like what you write, who will know? You don’t have to share it. Write.


I hope this gives you a way to jump start your own thoughts into how you can come up with an idea.







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Living NaNoWriMo and the writer’s life

Surviving Living NaNoWriMo




I am thrilled and excited, vicariously, that is, by NaNoWriMo. Time does not permit my participation and thus prompted my thinking of time and what the participants of NaNoRiMo will be going through, which led to this post.

This is what I figure, this is a month of creating, not just the novel you are writing, but habits which will inform your writing life. So why not start as if you intend to continue.

 1        Fuel up

Let’s begin with an obvious and necessary element. Remember to eat and eat healthy. I know from personal experience, the excitement of jumping into a project first thing in the morning and before I know it, it’s way past lunch time, starving, grumpy (yep, that’s me) and less than productive.

So, take time to eat – it provides fuel to the creative mind of yours.


2          Rest

Have enough sleep. Not catnap (though if you need to, go for it) but solid sleep by which I mean sleep when your body requires it in uninterrupted blocks of at least 4 hours.

Optimal sleep patterns improves consolidation and organization of information. When we sleep, our amazing brain works to ‘cement’ the links and correlation of bits of information, which means for us writers, after a good night’s sleep, the way ahead becomes clearer, and it increases our capacity to re-interpret information to reach novel, non-obvious conclusions. And that my friends, is creativity.

Sleep helps us to handle stress better. Seems most appropriate for NaNoWriMo, does it not ?  🙂


3          Breathe

When you hit the metaphoric brick wall, or even when ideas and/or sentences are not forming as you please/wish, when you feel that frustration forming…stop. You probably know being agitated is not conducive to writing. Hitting your head against the wall can only give you a sore head… so do something else to get around that brick wall.

Stop and breathe.

I practice mindfulness. It is not so much meditation but rather a habit. It is a simple exercise but to master it requires practice.

Begin with this:- stay where you are, notice you are breathing, and focus your attention to it. Lengthen each breath … and feel the breath as you inhale and exhale.  Yes, the plot is still bugging you, the characters don’t seem right… well, let those thoughts go by and pay no attention to them, but instead on your breath for 5-10 minutes. Once you feel calm and centred, you are ready to resume.


4           Move

When you feel you are running out of steam, and you will no doubt during this period, move. Get up and stretch your legs. And while you are at it, don’t be a ‘walking worry’ or ‘stomping stress’. Alright, I stomp around when I am stressed, so I catch myself and re-set my system, often. Anyway, when away from the writing, go admire the flowers in your garden, frolic with the cats, cook a delicious meal savouring the aromas…do them mindfully that is, with attention. Don’t be distracted by the writing you’ve put aside intentionally.

I do mindful espresso making and drinking…there is something meditative about it. Perhaps I should clarify, I use a manual espresso machine and I love the manual process… it engages my 5 senses. Bliss! Not sure about the movement part except I do walk around my home with the cup of espresso, surveying my domain :-).

Any movement, large or small, re-energises.


5          Socialise

For this month while it may seem counter-intuitive given you have to write 50,000 words, it is probably more important that you take time to engage with your community.

Connect with your fellow writers, within or away from NaNoWriMo. By all means talk about what you are doing, discuss your frustration or your ideas… Writers have always had communities. When we hang around each other, we get inspired, we feel a sense of solidarity and identity…it is in communities that ideas are generated and shaped.

Creativity takes shape in a social context, focused socialisation sparks creativity.

So, remember to spend time with your writing friends.


LIVE this month of NaNoWriMo as a writer would, don’t just survive :-).

Enjoy, revel and flourish!


Wishing you well
– Florence


© 2014 Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

LWI #Tips for #NaNoWriMo and authors and #AmWriting people everywhere.

What kind of Literary oriented site would we be, an author centered environment without mention today of . .  .

NaNoWriMo 2014


I’m actually taking part for the first time. Other member of LWI are involved as well. A lot of us think it will be difficult, yet we do blogs where we write more than 1700 words per day on average. The challenge here is that we write those words in the form of a story that links together 50,000 words.

Here are links to tips from our LWI crew and one of our friends who has gone through this before.

From Author Jo Robinson:

NaNoWriMo Time

Get great Survival Tips from Jo, who should know, so read before you go.

From Author P.S. Bartlett:

Here is my personal list of advice for you for NanoWrimo

Another one who knows of what she speaks. Nice reminder to take bathroom breaks.


From Author Jenna Willett:

Jen’s Top 10 NaNoWriMo Tips

“I volunteer as tribute?” I have no idea what she means. I am frightened.


From me

Stop With an Idea

Basically stop writing for the day before your brain does.


There will be more tips as the days go by. Some good, and some perhaps just fun ones. Okay, and some fun good ones.

Good Luck To the NaNo people, and good luck to the writers out there who can use these tips just the same. Writing is writing.

Write like a NaNoWriMo and get that novel done.


Much Respect






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