Of NaNoWriMo and Writing Tags

I don’t know what fuels me to go crazy on November by signing up for NaNoWriMo, but there it is. It’s happened again. I’ve decided I’d do it. Even though in all honesty if I was trying to write another full-length novel I’d probably die because yes. It’s overkill. I really need to work on editing my other novels before hitting up a new one.


Here’s a tag to stem the tide. Credits to Kristina’s video blog for this NaNoWriMo tag! I thought it might as well be an intro to my crazy world of National November Writing Month.

NaNoWriMo Tag

The Questions:

1. How many times have you done NaNoWriMo? – According to my account, six. This year would be my sixth time.

2. How did you first find out about NaNoWriMo? – Hmm…I know I’ve heard of NaNoWriMo years before I’d actually decided to take part. It was probably during college, though, and my writing during those years was shoddy at best. I really didn’t have the time! Big mistake on my part, but I’m glad I joined when I did.

3. What was the name of the first novel you attempted with NaNo? – I’d titled it “Falada” after the horse in the fairy tale, The Goose Girl. Because, surprise surprise, it was a Goose Girl retelling. “Falada” has since morphed into a story all on its own, and maybe I’ll dust it off and edit it once more so I can actually query it. This time, under a different moniker.

I learned a lot about horses writing this story...
I learned a lot about horses writing this story…

4. Give us a 1 sentence summary of what you’re writing this year. – Not so much writing, but editing. Severely editing. Like…pretty much half-rewriting this story. ATM, the title of my steampunk novel is “Amber and Tourmalines,” but yeah. It’s just a working title. My sentence summary:

Someone nefarious is blowing up airships, so one kingpin smuggler is having none of that nonsense and decides to take matters into her own hands by investigating the whole thing–and hiring a down-on-their-luck private detective.

5. What’s the best writing advice you’ve ever been given? – It’s always going to be “Write what you know.” It was something I’d been told in college, when I was often stuck trying to figure out how to start scientific essays. I think the advice is also fitting for fiction. I start each blank page just writing down what I know about my particular story. If I know a character’s motivation, I jot it down. If I know my setting the best, I plan an entire map on paper and start incorporating plot within the details of my world. If I know exactly what the next scene is going to do to my characters, I jot down outlines of the scene and fill in the blanks soon after.

Or this. Word vomit is good.
Or this. Word vomit is good.

6. Did you ever take a year off from NaNo? Why? – Yes. Well, officially, yes. Unofficially, I never really stopped writing. I did take a break in 2014, though, because that was the year I’d started full-time as a teacher. I wrote several short stories that year as my last “hurrah,” and wrote nothing I wanted to query or publish until the following year.

7. What’s your biggest inspiration when figuring out what to write? – Everything I read, really. Or play, or watch. The entire world is one damn inspiration.

8. Read us the first sentence from one of your novels. – Oh god. Um. Well, I mentioned “Falada” and briefly talked about “Amber and Tourmalines,” so I’ll pull the first sentence from my Arabian Nights-inspired novel, which I’d titled “Djinn Kissed”:

Daggers flew and scattered just as the music sped up.

9. Why do you love writing? – A question I ask all my creative writing students. They pretty much sum up why. I think writing is a celebration of words, and I like the taste of words in my fingers. I love reading it, I love the stories people tell. I love the worlds people create. Being a part of that kind of creation is a reward in and of itself, and it’s a type of fulfillment I wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else. Unless I were drowning in a sea of strawberry shortcake, of course. *cough*

Yosh. That was fun.

Are you joining in NaNoWriMo this year? Consider yourself tagged! And add me as a buddy!

9 thoughts on “Of NaNoWriMo and Writing Tags

  1. I almost pulled the trigger, but l have resisted. It’s not as if I don’t have plenty to work on, including my WIP. Teaching takes up so much time–as you well know, it’s difficult to imagine where I might find enough for Nano. I have to admit, however, that some of the local/regional write-ins look rather appealing. It would be nice to hook up with some local writers. Good luck, my dear.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! And if I didn’t already have a few people poking me about getting my darn story up and running, I probably would have refused NaNo this year. But there it is. I do have the benefit of not having to grade anything, considering four-year-olds don’t really do testing, lol! (Though I suppose I eventually have to deal with sorting through my creative writing students…but that’s something I can procrastinate until…December. Yep *coughs*).

      Sure we can’t tempt you back to the Dark Side of NaNoWriMoing? 😉


  2. I signed up for NaNoWriMo for the first time this year! Then my thesis took a turn, so my original story is going to wait until my academic life settles down, but I’m finishing up some fanfiction for the month, so that’s cool, too, I suppose (in a nerdy, fan sort of way). Good luck with your writing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, fanfic! I normally turn to writing fanfic when I’m stuck on a scene for my original stories. It’s so cathartic! And what fan fiction are you writing, if I may ask? 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It IS cathartic!! And I’m with you; I wrote a play and have written some short stories, but I happily fall into a fandom when I get stuck or if I’m low on recreational writing time.
        …and it’s for Dragon Age: Origins 😀 I lost my mind and it’s turning into part novelization, part fanfiction… but it’s a good time! haha I have a different tag on the NaNoWriMo site, so I’ll have to find you! (If that’s okay).

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Find away! And nice! I haven’t written DA fanfic just yet, but I’ve read SO MUCH since I’ve finished Inquisition. I have been getting into the habit of writing Mass Effect fanfic though.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Excellent! I actually just got into Mass Effect not too long ago (finally got there on my “games to play” pile), so I’ve been a bit the opposite – reading ME fanfics and writing DA ones.

            Dare I ask in which part of the ME story your fanfics take place?

            Sorry, I don’t mean to completely fangirl at you in the comments section here, but it’s so great to find someone else who loves BioWare on this site!

            You seem like a real-live author person, so you probably don’t need this, but if you ever want a beta reader, you are welcome to shoot me an email 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Pfft. I’m pretty much a fangirl as is, I welcome all fangirling! I tend to write drabble fics for the most part. Mostly Shakarians. Because um. I ship Shepard/Garrus quite a bit. Not that I’m against other ships. I tend to be open-minded in the Bioware realm.

              And aww, that’s sweet of you. If I fiddle with some fics I may have to take you up on that offer (and feel free to poke me as well).

              Liked by 1 person

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