Tuesday, October 27, 2015

NaNoWriMo 2015

Why write a novel in 30 days? The idea of writing an entire novel (or at least 50k of it) in 30 days sounds crazy. You might be a little crazy just thinking about it. October has been a hectic month for me, and now with my wedding two weeks away, time is even going by quicker. Despite time working against me (when it comes to blogging and writing as of late), I didn't want to miss out on writing this post before the start of November.
I'm here to tell you why I think writing a novel in 30 days could be the best decision you've made. And if you've already made the decision, I'm here to remind you why.
For nearly 7 years now I've participated in NaNo. Every November I've decided on a novel, announced it, and dedicated the entire month to it. Many times, especially in my early years, I failed terribly. 50k seemed like so much! I wondered if it was impossible for me to accomplish, and it was something only truly experienced writers could do. That's not the case. NaNo is actually the perfect exercise for your brain and your writing craft. The past four years of NaNo my novels have consisted of everything following Cursed With Power. Shadows and Embers was titled "Punished With Destiny" at the time when I wrote it for NaNo, and Thicker Than Blood was never "officially" completed in time because I submitted the novel past midnight. (Serves me right for not setting myself multiple reminders.) Last year, in 2014 I finally officially won with Bloodline Inheritance. I had already written some of the novel before the challenge, and NaNo helped me finish. After November I focused on edits and revisions. It was what finally pushed me to the edge and reminded me why I needed to finish my novel. I think it was honestly what helped me release the book in the normal timeframe that I do.
I've heard a lot of different ideas about NaNo. Some writers are against it; they think it forces too much out of a writer. And I can understand their view on that. Honestly I think the starting years of NaNo are the hardest. They challenge you in a way you're not used to, and the only person you have to hold yourself accountable is... yourself. It's scary, and 30 days feels like 2 days by the time you're finished. I say this because I'm the kind of writer that doesn't push myself to the extreme every day. I write at night, usually very late. The most I've done lately is nearly 5k in one night. I'm happy just to reach 10k in a week. And I consider this schedule I have for myself and the word count I manage to accomplish to be actually very forgiving compared to what my other writing friends do. Some writers can crank out 20k in a day. I just don't have the energy or time for that when I cannot write full-time. Nights or days when I'm off of work are my time to catch up.
You're right to think that NaNo isn't for everyone. For some it will be too demanding and frustrating. However, I will say I think you should give it a chance. I've done it every year for the past six years, and I don't regret anything. My very first year I wrote my entire novel on a typewriter -oh, what a mistake! But it's a learning process, and it's a challenge that has a lot to offer if you can stay dedicated to your goals. There are so many ways to succeed, and there's so many people, blogs, and advice on the internet to help you. There's word count charts of how many words you need to write each day to make it to 50k. It's not impossible, and even if you fail your first year or for a couple years... It's not winning that matters. Winning is to share with your friends and family, to show them that for 30 days you dedicated yourself completely to your novel. It's something to share and be proud of, and you have every right. It's something to learn from and to help others with in the future. What you take from this experience can help others in future years. It might not change the type of writer you are instantly, but it will help you grow. It will help you weed out the bad novel ideas and find the good ones. It will make you thankful for the other months in the year where there's no time limit.
I've written novels in 30 days because I love the stories behind NaNo and the writers making it a success. Through the failures and successes, everyone comes out in December a little different from where they were in November.

As I've mentioned previously I won't officially be doing NaNo this year due to my wedding and honeymoon. October hasn't been as successful as I wanted it to be, but December will be my NaNo month. I still have my own deadlines to work with, and by the end of December I do want to be finished with the first draft of Clara and Claire. But don't worry November is still a month I plan on writing as much as I can before November 13th (wedding day!). I'll be sharing my progress and cheering for those of you joining in on the madness this year.
So if you're doing NaNo this year, tell me, what's your novel? Share below in the comments; I can't wait to hear your ideas!
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Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Clara and Claire: Sneak Peek

I'm excited to share the first sneak peek of Clara and Claire. First off I want to thank everyone who's been supporting me through this journey. I meant to post this earlier, but better late than never. After this post I'll be writing for the remainder of the night, but feel free to comment with your thoughts and questions.
In case you haven't read what Clara and Claire is about, here's the working summary:
Clara Nasso witnesses an illegal act of magic the night of her 20th birthday.
The following morning two lives are changed forever. Claire Kanelos, the daughter of the head councilor, disappears. That same day Clara is kidnapped by a Council member and taken to the island of Ninmay. The island rumored to be filled with rich and powerful mages proves to consist of liars and mysteries.
Disturbing facts are brought to light, and Clara realizes the resemblance she shares with the missing woman. She hesitantly agrees to stay for one night, playing the role of Claire.
She meets Ezra, the only person who seems true to his word. He promises to be held responsible for her return home. However, can Clara ever leave when secrets are unraveled with each passing day? Might a killer walk freely and she be the key to Claire's survival?

Now as for the sneak peek... Here's a look into chapter three, and this comes directly from the book (no editing; just solely written as it is). It's possible in the coming months, especially when I finish the book, that this will change or alter slightly. Regardless, I hope this will give you a feel for the book.
What do you think? Are you excited to read more, and are you wondering what's happened to Claire? The entire novel is told from Clara's narration as she (and the readers) try to solve the mystery. 
As I've mentioned before the book is expected to release sometime in 2016. December and January I still plan on writing -and should be nearing the completion of the first draft. So probably later in the year I will release the book. In the meantime I can't wait to hear your thoughts. I'll be posting more little snippets and quotes from the book on Instagram. 
And since you're here, I've decided on the live Q&A. It will be live on Twitter (and probably Instagram too), and I'll post more about it tomorrow. My Twitter username is @LindseyReneeS and I'll be answering questions about writing, publishing, and more. Can't wait to hear from you!
Lindsey R. Sablowski

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Sneak Peek Tomorrow

The past several months I've been purposely keeping a lot about Clara and Claire a secret to my readers. Honestly, though, I've been dying to share something more about the book. The scariest part is that this is a new novel, a standalone, and after finishing the Magicians series... I want it to be amazing. I have to put a lot more work into this book than I already have, and it's scary knowing that -and also kind of thrilling. When I asked on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook about if people wanted to see a sneak peek... The responses motivated me even more!

So now that I'm feeling more confident and more convinced to share, I have an announcement to make. (And yes, I decided tonight at the last minute that I was ready to share it.) Tomorrow the sneak peek for Clara and Claire will be posted on my social media. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Google + etc.... you name it, and it will be there. I'm eager to hear your feedback, and if you want to join in on the excitement you can use the hashtag #WhereIsClaire or #ClaraAndClaire. Though I'm not even at the halfway mark of the book yet, I am dying to share something bigger than single quotes with you. And as always I'll be asking for your feedback throughout the day.
Part of writing Clara and Claire has been facing my fears as a writer and overcoming them. It's been realizing that no matter how many published books are under your name, you still can keep learning and improving. This novel may be my hardest challenge yet, and I still miss my characters from the Magicians series dearly. Every now and then they still carry on conversations in my head. Regardless, I am eager to show something more to you, so that you can start asking yourself more about the novel. Where is Claire and where has she gone? I won't reveal the secrets in this novel -and there are many-but I selected an intense short scene for tomorrow's sneak peek.
Later on this week I'll probably be hosting a general Q&A, so start preparing your answers. I'll most likely have the date decided by tomorrow. I need to find out if I'll be taking off on Friday, so I can have the opportunity to answer your questions. Whether it be about publishing, writing, or specific books in general... I'm open to it all. Cat questions? I will answer those too! I'll be returning with the official date for the Q&A shortly.
In the meantime get ready... A mystery is ready to fall into your hands. Can you solve what really happened to Claire?
Lindsey R. Sablowski