NaNoWriMo 2017 and Where to Find Me

Blank pages can be much scarier than deadly enemies.

 

If you didn’t know already, I’m doing NaNoWriMo this year – I wouldn’t miss it! If you want to hang out, support each other, or cry together, here’s where you can find me during November:

NaNoWriMo’s site. Add me as a writing buddy: https://nanowrimo.org/participants/christie-stratos

YouTube. This year on Twitter, NaNo vlogs won by popular vote, so I’m doing vlogs for the most part and livestreams here and there: http://youtube.com/christiestratos

Here’s my ever-growing 2017 NaNoWriMo video playlist.

GoIndieNow. In each episode of This Week in Indies I’ll be giving you NaNo advice: https://www.facebook.com/GoIndieNow/

Facebook. More fun memes to come, plus progress and info sharing: https://www.facebook.com/christiestratosauthor/

Of course you can check out my See What I’m Up To page for more ways to connect with me! 🙂 So far I’ve managed to write 4k+ words and not a single one was on the novella (GREED) I announced on NaNoWriMo’s site. ::sigh:: As long as writing is happening, I’m happy!

3 Lessons I Learned As A NaNoWriMo YouTube Guide

Very serious moment from one of my NaNo videos.

Remember that time I was a NaNoWriMo YouTube Guide? I can’t believe it’s been almost a year since then! I learned a lot of great lessons from being a YouTube Guide, and I’m sharing them in my latest guest blog post on Writing Belle’s website: http://www.writingbelle.com/2017/09/award-winning-author-christie-stratos.html.

There are some lessons you learn only by making mistakes, and there are some you stumble into. I hope you enjoy my post about setting unrealistic goals with good intentions, impacting others positively by accident, and honoring your accomplishments.

Thanks for reading!

PROJECT FOR AWESOME: Vote for NaNoWriMo

Help NaNoWriMo get the funding it needs just by voting! Yes, you heard correctly – no need to register, log in, give personal info, or even donate. Voting is all we need to give NaNoWriMo the chance to have some of the funds raised during this year’s Project for Awesome.

project-for-awesome-2016-nanowrimo1

Watch my video to see what Project for Awesome is, why NaNoWriMo deserves funding, what the money will be used for, and a special guest appearance by outstanding Let’s Play YouTuber Veriax!

Watch and vote for my video: http://www.projectforawesome.com/watch?v=9JwtRGRZEPg

Watch and vote for all NaNo videos: http://www.projectforawesome.com/?search=nanowrimo

Thanks for supporting this worthy cause!

NaNoWriMo Videos Catch-up

Exactly 10 days left of NaNoWriMo! Now is the time to buckle down and make it happen. Here are some tips, encouragement, and helpful apps.

How to use word sprints to catch up, determine whether a scene will work in your book, and writer’s block:

When should you stop writing to do research – if ever?

How to change ideas successfully when the pressure is on:

Three writing apps to keep you writing on the go:

Everything you ever wanted to know about character arcs from The Writer’s Edge live panel discussion:

Here is my very first livestream on Facebook, talking about how to set an achievable word goal vs. challenge goals.

I hope these videos help you!

Official NaNoWriMo YouTube Guide!

If you haven’t already heard, I’m partnered with NaNoWriMo this year as a YouTube Guide! I did NaNo videos in 2014 (daily), 2015 (weekly), and now 2016 (twice per week). Wednesdays my videos will be hosted on NaNoWriMo’s YouTube channel and Saturdays I’ll have videos on my own channel. All of these will be added to my NaNoWriMo 2016 playlist for easy access. Here’s my schedule of videos:

screen-shot-2016-10-24-at-11-26-56-pm

I’m also going to do some short videos on Facebook that will be about a minute, give or take, and those will be different from my YouTube videos. Can you tell I’m pumped about this?!

Add me on NaNoWriMo’s site so we can be writing buddies and encourage each other.

If the blank page is something you’re not looking forward to, here are six tips to help you get past blank page syndrome:

It’s T-minus one day to November 1, so get your coffee stocked up and your notebooks at the ready. Here we go!

My NaNoWriMo Pep Talk with Go Indie Now!

Not sure if you want to participate in National Novel Writing Month this November? Hang out with Go Indie Now’s Joe Compton and me as we chat deadlines, goals, community, what “winning” really means, and taking it easy on yourself.

Add me to your writing buddies here: http://nanowrimo.org/participants/christie-stratos.

NaNoWriMo Novel and Temp Cover Reveal!

It’s October 3 and that means the NaNoWriMo site has been rebooted, and it’s waiting for you to announce your NaNo novel! So here I am announcing mine.

During November this year, I’m going to write a novella with the temporary title Greed, and here’s my temporary book cover, which I made myself and ended up really liking. I hope you like it too!

greed-temp-book-cover

I know, I know, my name needs to be bigger, but that will all come with refinement. There will also be a logo on the bottom right or left to indicate that this book is part of the Happy Endings Resort series. I’m aiming for 20-30k words, and the book already has a publication date of February 2017, so I really have to finish it during NaNoWriMo. The stakes are high!

Here’s a little excerpt from the book:

She drank from the ornamental fountain and her skin felt immediately better, rejuvenated. The fountain’s water wasn’t meant to drink, of course, but at this point it didn’t make a difference. Toxins, bacteria – it didn’t matter anymore.

The statue of Mary in the center of the fountain looked down at her.

Holy Mother, what must you think of me? Am I abhorrent? You could stop me if I am, couldn’t you? Isn’t it my children who are the abhorrent ones? Something allows me to do this, to be here again. I’ve forgotten the afterlife, so I don’t know if it’s your Son or His enemy who allows it. I am here either way.

She bent down and drank the fountain dry.

If you’re doing NaNoWriMo this year, add me as your writing buddy so we can support and encourage each other!

Monday Thoughts on Creativity: What is “Wrong”?

First of all, happy Monday! I hope your weekend top notch.

I saw this image and it really struck a chord with me.

creative-ife

 

This couldn’t be more true! I used to be very afraid of making a mistake while I was writing, which used to stop me and actually put a stop to my creativity for a while. What happened? I felt miserable with all my pent up ideas and creative energy. I had no way to express it that I wasn’t afraid of making a mistake doing. I talk about my feelings of fear and anxiety here in my very first YouTube video from 2014:

I couldn’t live like that any longer. I knew things needed to change, and they needed to change ASAP. I had to force myself, and while that seems simple, it took more doing than I had hoped. First I had to not be afraid of writing the “wrong” thing down in my notebook. The only way I could do that was to write everything, which fed both sides of myself. For my creative side, I wrote everything down every time I thought of something, whether I was sure of it or not. For my fearful side, I wrote multiple synonyms when I wasn’t sure what word to use so I could cover all my uncertainties, and I wrote titles for pages where I felt afraid of starting the page “wrong”. That’s a tricky way of not having a blank page. For both sides, I broke the lines of the page, writing in all directions, so that my creativity could flow freely and to drive home the point that there is no wrong when it comes to creativity. So you spent time writing a book you hate. You got it out of your system and now you’re moving on to something new. Maybe the book went in a direction you can’t get it back from. Find where that started happening and reinvent, now knowing where you don’t want to go with it.

Since NaNoWriMo 2014, I continue to learn how to better keep my critical side quiet – that is, until the editing stage. You should too. Don’t let anything limit you.

Locke and Keye Novelette Update!

NaNoWriMo is almost over, and while I had a major setback that meant I needed to restart the whole book, I also feel the book is shaping up to be something much stronger and more intense than I’d originally planned. My publication date has not changed: early 2016, so that’s a big positive. My motivation has risen since the rewrite began, and, against the general spirit of NaNoWriMo, I’ve done as much research as writing. I find that this works best for me – to research along the way – so why not follow the writing pattern that I know will create a book I’m proud of?

By the way, I share writing habits with the best of ’em:
lucille ball and meLook at those similarities. Okay, okay, Lucille Ball has a much cuter outfit and a vintage typewriter, but we’re both accomplishing things! Anyway, with a little coffee and a lot of chocolate, I’m making my way through Locke and Keye and enjoying it a lot more this time around. I won’t be done with this second book of the Dark Victoriana Collection by the end of November, but I will still publish on time. And that’s all that really counts, in my opinion.

By the way, have you stopped by for a chat on my NaNo videos? If not, here’s the playlist!

Plus, here’s a sneak peek at an unedited scene that may or may not make it into the final version of Locke and Keye:

NaNoWriMo 2015 Begins TODAY!

So begins the season of hurried writing! During this year’s NaNoWriMo, I’m writing the second book in the Dark Victoriana Collection, Locke and Keye. I won’t be doing a vlog per day this time, but I will be vlogging when possible as well as trying some new cafes that I’ll take pictures of and tell you about. There are a few I’ve been meaning to try for quite some time, and now’s the perfect opportunity to give them a shot!

Locke and Keye is a novelette, which means it will be between 7,500 and 17,500 words. My goal is to write the whole thing in November, or at least most of it, so that December and January can be dedicated to editing and proofreading. I’m going to publish this book in early 2016 and I have to say – I’m REALLY excited about it! It’s going to be quite different from anything I’ve read, similar to a journal, but with a twist. You’ll see!

I came up with a working draft of the book cover, although I’ll have a designer create the final cover, and it will look pretty different from this.

Locke and Keye Temp Book Cover Torn Page

 

Although Locke and Keye will be a standalone novelette, you will appreciate it a lot more if you’ve already read my debut novel Anatomy of a Darkened Heart. Grab a copy on Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Createspace, or even better, directly from me!

If you’re a fellow NaNo writer, friend me here and let’s support each other. If you’re a reader, I can’t wait to update you on my progress and spill some clues about my new work.

In the meantime, here’s my first video of the NaNo season. Enjoy!