Fast drafting mindset on Day 1 of NaNoWriMo

Today is day 1 of NaNoWriMo.

Which means thousands and thousands of people are setting out on the crazy journey to write a 50,000 word novel in one month.

That’s 1667 words a day.

Which is awesome. Crazy awesome.

Good luck to all the writers. You got this. Buckle in and get to work.

I didn’t plan on doing NaNo this year, partly because I’m 25k into a novel already and partly because I’m juggling a lot of projects right now and didn’t know if I could handle that time commitment.

I was only thinking 30k :p

But I was on my game this morning so I did a nano wordcount before work, to cheer on those who are doing it.

I got 1830 words. It took me five sprints of twenty five minutes a piece, writing with focus, to get there.

You can see it unfold on twitter.

That’s about 2.5 hours, and most of it done in the morning.

A Nano Mindset

For those if you reading and thinking “1700 words a day is insane, matt, I could never do that!”

I hear you.

It does seem scary. Part of the magic of NaNoWriMo is how it teaches you to face that fear.

What practicing novelists learn early on is that half of doing your words every day comes down to mindset.

Everyone has their own take on mindset, but essentially it comes down to this:

  • Keep going
  • It’s good enough
  • You can fix it later

I have a theory that every writer reaches this point in their mindset at some point in the writing of a long project.

The key to winning nano is getting there faster than everyone else.

On day 1, if possible. Abandon perfectionism and just focus on putting one word after the other.

The key to finishing a book at all is just getting to the end of the rough draft. In November every year, that’s what nano is all about.

NaNo provides both community and the structure of a fixed deadline to help you get there.

Take advantage of it if you can!

And as always, fail forward. If you don’t win nano, you still have half a novel in your lap.

Finish it.

Then do it again!

Keep going

Don’t stop here. Let me be your gateway drug.

Here’s some more good advice from writers I admire. Read the threads!

A Halloween Story for Video Game Lovers


Halloween GIFs - Find & Share on GIPHY

If you’re looking for a delightful little Halloween treat, check out my urban fantasy story, Magick Mirror. Originally written for a Halloween anthology and inspired by Super Nintendo RPGs, it takes place in high school, where our hero’s unusual attire on the the school bus on Halloween morning is mistaken for a costume.

And he can’t tell anyone, because the game his life has become now has consequences.

Maybe reading that will help keep your hand out of the candy jar—at least for a little while.

Here’s a little more about the story…


Magick Mirror

When was the last time a character in a video game stepped out of your TV?

Anders is just an ordinary high school teenager suffering from a painful breakup and trying to drown his sorrows in video games. But when a rare Super Nintendo RPG he bought at the flea market comes to life, he is sent on an extraordinary quest.

A wizard grants him the power of the Magick Mirror. But is that enough? Does Anders have the heart of a true hero?

One of those days…

Well shit, today was just one of those days where it seemed like everything was going against me.

Got locked out of a password tool this morning due to a stupid auto-fill by the OTHER password tool. Lost 30 minutes there trying to get back in. No luck.

Then something in my standing desk electronics got messed up, so the desk will only move down now. *sigh* Lost 15 minutes trying to fix that and then gave up. Still need to look into it.

And tonight the overhead interior light in my Jeep Wrangler got stuck on. As in, won’t turn off when I’m driving. Instead of going to write (like I was trying to do), I spent an hour trouble shooting that before just pulling the damn fuse for the overhead light. Guess I’ll be taking the jeep into the shop in the morning.

And on top of it all I only did like 250 words this morning because I had to finish up the section of fence we started, rip out the rest of the chainlink fence around that side of the house, and then do as much client work as I could fit in.

Even though I did get some stuff done, it feels like a wasted day when the world’s against you like that.

I’ve still got to finish a writing workshop tonight. Only 100 words on that so far and I need 300 minimum. I can manage 200 words. Then I’ll troubleshoot the desk for fifteen minutes before I call it.

Tomorrow’s another day, thank the gods.

Quick note

Just a quick note to hold the streak. I spent the whole day building a fence and am more physically exhausted than I’ve been in months. No new words today but I will get back on track tomorrow. The fence is looking awesome though. Photos when it’s done!

Busy Saturday

Spent the first part of today reading and writing. Doing sprints online with a writer friend, I managed 1200 words on Translocator 3 and even got to the gym before 1pm.

Then, after lunch, I did some marketing for my books—setting up new advertising and making images to use in some of the ads. Here’s one of them, as an example (these are for BookBub ads).

The Auriga Project ad

And lastly, my dad and I are replacing the chainlink fence at my house with a wooden fence. So he came over, we ripped out some of the chainlink, and then went to Home Depot and got supplies to start building the new fence tomorrow. Metal posts, cedar planks, quick-dry cement, screws and fasteners.

I’ve never built a fence before, so this is going to be an adventure 😀 Fortunately my dad is good with construction projects and he has a plan.

So plenty of work ahead of me in the next couple days. On the bright side, I’m at a great place with Translocator 3 so the words are coming fast and easy and I should have no problem maintaining this pace. At this rate, (knock on wood) I should be done the first draft by mid-December and be able to send it to my editor before the end of the year.

And the fence much sooner than that!

Reading: Half a King

Why on Earth did it take me so long to crack open a Joe Abercrombie novel?

I burned through Half a King in two days, reeling and obsessed.

A “fast-paced tale of betrayal and revenge,” as George R.R. Martin puts it on the cover, this fantasy novel is swift, dark, subtle, cunning, and brutal.

Half a King tells the story of Yarvi, second son of the king of Gettland, who was born with a crippled left hand. With half a hand and the scorn of his family, he feels like half a man, and is stunned when the murder of his father and older brother shift him unexpectedly onto the throne.

If half a man can’t even stand up to his peers or hold his own in a fight, how can he expect to rule a kingdom?

Yarvi resents the position his kin’s untimely death has put him in. No one around him seems to think him remotely capable of doing the job, least of all himself. But that’s just the start of his journey. When a quest for vengeance takes an unexpected turn, Yarvi must first prove himself worthy before he can claim his birthright.

I highly recommend this one if you like medieval fantasy, or stories of vikings, or reading about ruthless cultures steeped in war. Read this one if you’re a student of human nature, because the characterization is spectacular.

I don’t know why it took me so long to read a Joe Abercrombie novel, but I’ll definitely be returning to his world soon.

Like my reading recommendations? Buy Half a King on Amazon and support this blog and Joe’s books at the same time (through Amazon’s affiliate program).

Last chance at two free SFF book giveaways

Greetings, goblins and gremlins!

It’s been another day in the word mines for yours truly, with not much news to share, so I’m choosing to take this blessed moment of calm to remind you that this is the last opportunity to receive six free ebooks, and enter to win two different bundles of paperbacks for your home library.

One offers prizes in multiple packages, all awesome indie books, all signed by the authors.

The other is a collection of 52 bestselling paperback books from the top science fiction and fantasy authors working today.

And as always, both are great ways to discover new authors you may fall in love with.

Honestly, you can’t go wrong. But be sure to read the terms and walk in with both eyes open. As with everything in life.

Last week for both giveaways. Don’t wait!

Happy binge reading. – Fall Sci-Fi Signed Book Giveaway

Sci-Fi Bridge Signed Book Giveaway – Ultimate Paperback Giveaway

Enter to win 52 sci-fi & fantasy paperbacks! Escape to another world for an entire year and enjoy this whopping collection of novels, from classics and bestsellers to new reads. – 52 Sci-Fi & Fantasy Paperbacks