Tuesday, August 22, 2017

New Website, Blog and Gearing Up For NaNoWriMo

Hey everyone!
I have a new website. You have visit it by clicking the link www.RochelleBradley.com. It has all my author information like...soon to be released books. Yes, that's a thing. It will be happening this year. Stay tuned for the preorder.

My new blog can be found here BLOG. National Novel Writing Month is coming in November. This year I will be posting daily visual writing prompts along with encouraging words. Hope you'll join Wrimos world wide as we write fifty thousand words in thirty days. You'll find the details on the Nanowrimo site. Check my blog daily during the month of November to help you get word count.

Thanks for checking in. Happy Writing!
Rochelle Bradley

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Congratulations Dayton Ohio Wrimos!

Dayton out wrote the Cincinnati region in our first ever regional word war. Congratulations are in order to both groups for writing over 16 million words combined. That is an incredible feat!

Dayton also out donated the Cincy group by $55.00. Great competition between the neighboring regions. Dayton is looking forward to some kind of ode, poem or other creative work dedicated to Tippy the three legged cat (Dayton's lovable mascot). Happy writing Cincinnati and congrats again to Dayton!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

NaNoWriMo Is Over: Finish That Novel!

Some people will breathe easier and some will go through withdraw. My after-Nano plans are simple: finish The Companion. I'm about 75%-80% done. I should be able to accomplish this in a relatively short time now that my characters are speaking to me.

This story is based on a dream I had years ago. I actually wrote an outline (of the dream), character list and four chapters of the story. Even with this preparation and thinking about the dream weekly, when I sat to write I didn't feel it.

I believed my characters were being stubborn. I didn't feel the chemistry between them. The switch from third to first perspective threw me, computer problems frustrated me, family and ML duties pulled my focus away. I shouldn't have blamed my characters they'd been speaking to me from the beginning. Vanessa Warsaw tells us: 

I had to get away. So I left. I quit my job and ran away from my family. I loved the job but my family…

This is how she started her story and everything is how I dreamed it with the exception of one thing: she quit her job. Didn't see that coming. Leave of absence-maybe. Vacation-most likely. Quit-no way!

As my hero and heroine began interacting, the subtle flirting started and he was able to crack her shell. I continued working through the chapters I'd already written then I found an excerpt that Vanessa had written in a journal. Hallelujah! My character's voice in first person of all things. (thank you past self for giving into the first person urge)

Here is the original journal passage:
I left home to be alone, to have silence and what did I do? I sabotaged my chance at solitude by opening my mouth. My good sense was thrown out for a challenge. What is wrong with me? The irony is, I came out here to get away from people and then I got myself saddled to one. Not just anyone, a man! Although, I will say he has surprised me so far. He hasn’t whined or complained about anything. He hasn’t made any crude remarks. This alone, almost gives me hope in mankind. Almost.

Losing my privacy wasn't a total loss because I did experience some things I could not have experienced alone. Today, I played in the ocean as a child, carefree of all things adult. I would not have done this by myself. Alone, I would’ve walked in the water or sat in it and enjoyed it but being with someone is a completely different experience.

The sunset this evening was beautiful. The blue sky faded into pinks, orange and violets. Clouds were lined with vibrant pink and gold. Words cannot describe the striking beauty. How can I define my feelings? The peacefulness of the night will haunt me. Yet, I did not encounter this alone. Only he will understand these words as pictures.

Even now my characters continue to surprise me. Things like a wedding dress bought years before by a dying mother and impromptu shopping trip to the tropical island jewelry store, while they weren't planned, fit organically into the plot and story line. Vanessa and Cole, thank you for taking an active part in your story.  

I plan to work in December to finish The Companion. While my daily goal no longer is 1,667 words, I will endeavor to write every day. 

Wrimos, I challenge you to do the same. Finish your story. No one can do it but you. Happy writing!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Jumping In With Both Feet Without Really Looking: Just Like My First Quilt

In 2002 my maternal grandmother passed away suddenly and as the only woman in my family without a sewing machine, it was decided that I should have hers. I had never really used a sewing machine but accepted it as a material connection to a woman I admire and miss daily. A few days after receiving the machine I just up and decided to make a signature quilt for my mom’s upcoming 50th birthday. Did I mention that I had never so much as threaded a sewing machine, had no idea how to make a quilt, and her birthday was less than six months away? Yeah, that’s how I do. There is something about crafty things – I jump in with both feet without really looking. It’s also how I have amassed a large collection of hobbies and crafts!

And that is how I’ve come to NaNoWriMo.

I have no plan, except I will write 1667 words per day for the month of November, am committed to attending at least one write-in per week (Please say hi if you see me at one!), and will do most of my writing under the watchful eye of my lifecoach, The Agnes.

I have no prep, except I signed up on the NaNoWriMo website, joined the NaNoWriMo:: Dayton Facebook page, and will attend the Kick-Off Party (is there an end of the month party?!).

I have no outline, except a vague notion of writing something kind of autobiographical because people tell me I should but also kind of fictional because I’m a pragmatic daydreamer and… why not write the story however I want? I created and use the hashtag #UDoUBooBoo because I’m all about honoring who we are at any given moment and celebrating every single day who we are becoming. So maybe I’m a little zany, out there, and quirky but I’m jumping in with both feet without really looking

Dandelion in Bloom – autobiographical fiction 
NaNoWriMo Newbie – First year!
I learned about NaNoWriMo from my dearest friend Cindysama in Indiana who has been talking about this for a few years and this year I wanted to support her in reaching her goal. As I looked into it more, I realized I wanted to give it a try.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

NaNoWriMo - It's My Thing!

Zach says,"You should be writing!"
In mid October, fellow ML Styrch and I gave a Nanoprep mini-seminar for the Antioch Writer's Workshop. The week leading up to it, I became nervous. I hadn't stood in front of a group and made a speech since speech class in college- and that was about bra types (fun class and I got an A). The night before the seminar I verbalized these concerns to my husband. "Why are you worried? This is your thing." That simple statement bolstered my confidence.

He's right. NaNoWriMo is my thing.

My NaNoWriMo story began in 2008 when I was first introduced to it by a friend. I love the challenge of nano. The first few years I remained isolated and didn't attend any functions. Oh, how that has changed. Now I plan the write-ins and parties. This will be my ninth year participating and my second year as a municipal liaison. I've also participated in several camps.

Through NaNo, I've defined my genre. Alone, I couldn't decide if my stories were chic-lit or paranormal w/ a romantic arc but other writers helped me discover I'm a romance writer. I love HEA (happily ever after).

Through NaNo, I have developed a sense of community and made lifelong friends. Several of these friends meet monthly if not weekly. We hold each other accountable. Remind each other of our goals and work out plot or timeline problems together.

These writers- published and unpublished- have encouraged me to get out of my writing box, to meet the world, venture to conferences, enter contests, learn to edit, take online classes to perfect craft and find my voice.

Wrimos take advantage of word sprints, writing dares and writing crawls. The Harry Potter word crawl seems to a favorite and the pub crawl got me through a mid November writing slump two years ago. You can find these things and many more in the Nanowrimo forums. Dayton Wrimos can be assured that they can find nightly word wars on our Facebook page. Since becoming an ML, making daily word count has been a struggle. I become very social at writing events and my word count suffers. Online word wars have been my saving grace. Most nights someone suggests a starting time and we write as fast as we can for fifteen, twenty or thirty minutes. All those words add up and I can usually hit my daily goal when I'm behind.

For years, I've heard the motto: Write in November, Edit in December. I hate that red squiggly line telling me something is wrong. I don't know how much time I've wasted hitting the backspace key. Last year, I succeeded in turning off my inner editor. Okay, maybe I didn't turn it off completely, only muted it (stuffed it in the closet and locked the door). Resist the urge to edit as you go. If necessary, rewrite the same sentence three different ways but keep going forward. National Novel Writing Month might turn into Rational Navel Whining Mouth but just keep writing.

Nano has expanded my boundaries as writer. I usually thrive during November but due to computer issues at the start of the month (curses!) I fell behind, way behind. I struggled to stay motivated. It took me awhile to hear my MCs voice, but when I tuned in she spoke up loud and clear. Now I'm on track (thanks to our nightly word wars!).

My advise to you as you get near the finish line...whether you've written 10K, 25K, 50K or even 100K... Keep writing! Only you can give birth to that story in your head. Only you can nurture it and make it grown to a full length novel- So don't give up! Keep writing!

Keep in touch with me:

Facebook Author Page
Twitter: @AuthorRochelleB
Google Author Page

Happy writing! ~Rochelle

Monday, November 28, 2016

Failing NaNo Isn’t the End

I’ve known about NaNoWriMo for awhile now. Maybe ten years. Maybe less. I signed up for an account six years ago, but I never participated until last year. I thought maybe I was finally ready. I’ve written two novels. I have a collection of short stories I’ve written. I know what it takes to complete a novel and I wanted to finish my current WIP, so I thought NaNoWriMo would be the perfect opportunity to do so.

I started out strong. But I failed. I failed hard.

I don’t remember how many words I ended up with last year. All I know is that failing NaNo stung a lot more than I thought it would.

And yeah. You’re going to feel bummed if you do fail. But you’re starting a novel. Do you know how many people want to be an author? Some statistics say up to 90% of Americans want to write a novel. But how many actually do? And you, fellow WriMo, are one of the few who did pick up a pen (or open up a word processor) and you started writing.

Failing NaNoWriMo shouldn’t discourage you. It should empower you.

Those words sitting in front of you right now? Guess what? They weren’t there before. And that’s however many words you have toward your book that your neighbor probably doesn’t have. They’re just dreaming about writing a book.

Here in America, November is a crazy month. If you’re a student, there’s school to write around. New fall shows are on. The holidays are starting up. New fall book releases are coming out! There’s so much stuff that keeps tempting you away from writing.

There’s other less hectic months in the year. You can create your own personal NaNoWriMo and finish your work. Or don’t NaNo. Sometimes the stress of trying to meet this lofty word count (especially if you’re a new writer) is really daunting. You see the vast number of words and you wonder, “Can I even write that many words?”

So if you think you’ll fail NaNo this year, don’t worry. You got this. You will finish the story that you need to tell. I believe in you because it took me another two months to finish the first draft of my WIP. Sometimes stories want to take their time getting told and that’s okay.
Official NaNo name: bellesfairytale
Title of 2016 Project & Genre: The Guardian | YA Fantasy
Years Participated? Camp? 1 | 0

How did you find out about writing for NaNo: The internet. Probably something I read on some sort of social media platform

Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Awesome-ist Trip You’ll Ever Take (because making up words is okay during NaNo)

Official NaNo name/region: bhoney, Dayton
Title of 2016 NaNo project and genre: Breakout, YA horror
How many years have you participated? I have done NaNo 5 times and Camp NaNo 8 times.
How did you find out about writing for NaNo? I’d heard other writers talking about NaNo, but didn’t really know what it was. I finally decided to look it up and see what all the fuss was about and knew I had to give it a try. Of course, that was like 2 days before NaNo started so I didn’t have much time to prepare, but I decided just to dive in and hope for the best! LOL

I get asked a lot what advice I would give aspiring writers. My biggest advice is to find out what method works for you, whether you’re a plotter (someone who outlines and plans it all out before starting) or a pantser (someone who writes by the seat of their pants and discovers what’s going to happen as it goes) or a mixture of the two. Either way, I find the most motivating thing for actually finishing a project—whether it’s flash fiction, a short story, or a novel—is to have a deadline and accountability.

NaNoWriMo is one of the best resources I’ve found for this, and it’s one that I recommend to all aspiring writers. Not only is it a great motivator that provides accountability and a deadline, but it provides companionship with other authors and turns the novel-writing experience into a wild, crazy roller coaster of writing fun. If nothing else, it’s nice to hang out with other people who won’t look at you funny if you say something like, “I just found the coolest way to kill someone!” And if you’re competitive, like I am, you can turn that to your advantage through things like word wars—you get the thrill of winning and it pushes you to write on your novel at the same time. Win win!

Seriously, though, NaNo is the tool that enabled me to finally finish a novel for the first time. I’d tried for years to write a novel, only to stall out midway through. For me, the push to get the first draft down as quickly as possible without stopping to edit is key. I tend to be a perfectionist, so once I get started editing and revising, it really drains my energy for writing the rest of the draft. I always remind myself of what NaNo founder Chris Baty says—you can polish crap, but you can’t polish what’s only in your head. Getting down that first draft, no matter how rough it is, is a HUGE step.

I know a lot of people who want to write a novel, but who never manage it. Starting is the easy part—it’s always fun to start a new project! It’s finishing that’s hard. By establishing a word count and a deadline and knowing people are going to ask me how my progress is going, it’s just the pressure I need to stick with it and get it done, no matter how many other distractions or cool ideas may present themselves (and there are always a lot!).

For this reason, my true goal for NaNo is actually to finish the first draft of the novel I’m writing, however long that ends up being. I push myself to go beyond the 50,000 word goal so by the end of the month, I have a complete novel. I do this because I know that once the deadline’s passed and the pressure is off, my motivation to finish the book will drop off, too, and I just can’t bear to have another unfinished novel on my hard drive. LOL Luckily, I write YA instead of epic fantasy, so I normally just have to hit 70,000 words or so to finish my first draft—though I did have one that was 110,000 words (trying to get that done in a month nearly killed me, LOL).

NaNo has really changed my life. It’s allowed me to fulfill a lifelong dream of finishing a novel, a lifelong dream of seeing that novel published, and it’s provided friendships that still encourage and support my writing to this day. It’s one of the best journeys I’ve ever taken and I hope it will be for you, too. Good luck!