Category Archives: Nanowrimo

When the Writing Gets Fun, the Writing Gets Easier!

Moonday Mania

a blog about writing romance

In the news:

Silver : A Sexy Shifter Fairytale Romance, released on all channels on April 15th. WOOT! Otherwise all I’m doing right now is writing!

Now here’s the blog:

I always cringe when I see the question: What’s your favorite part of writing . Or the reverse: What do you dislike about writing? The reason I cringe is because I struggle with all the pieces of writing, whether it’s fantasy romance, shifter romance, or paranormal suspense. And yet, I still love all the pieces of writing every single one of those sub-genres. Go figure!

Romance Writing and I have a love/hate relationship.

I’m the same way about getting into the pool. I don’t want to get wet! And yet, when I get into the water, I don’t want to get out. When I’m writing I don’t want to sit down and dive into my romances. I’ll find any excuse not to do it. And I have lots of legitimate excuses. But once I get started, I realize, it’s not so bad. In fact, it’s fun!

I’m really enjoying writing book 4 of the TALES OF THE BLACK COURT.

tales of the black court a fantasy romance collection books 1-3I’ve been away from this series, and writing fantasy romance in particular, for far too long. I hadn’t planned on taking so long to get the SEXY SHIFTER FAIRYTALE ROMANCES out, but life happened and it took six months longer than I’d planned. Ooops! I thought I’d be writing this book, Siobhan’s story, in November. Sigh. (You can read about my big epiphany that I’m not a super hero HERE.)

So, by the time I got to the point where I had to sit at my computer and type real words, I was feeling very anxious about getting into the water again. It had been a long time. What if I couldn’t swim?

Surprise!

Writing this book is amazing. 🙂

I’m truly having fun diving back into my world of elves and witches and magical romances. Yes, I still have that moment of “I don’t wanna!” But once I start writing it’s going super smoothly and I love the story. I think what’s making this fantasy romance more fun than the last is that I’ve had a lot of time to think about what’s going to happen, so the words pour out. I don’t know everything, but I have a good plot. I knew the beginning and the ending and I’ve had some nice surprises from my characters along the way.

Score!

I’m so excited about it that I’m ready to order a cover and get the book out on pre-order, so be looking for that announcement, if not here then definitely in the newsletter.

So, what makes writing fun? Having a roadmap, knowing where you’re going, and deviating when you see a nice place to picnic.

Hope you are all having fun this spring, getting outside into the lovely weather (when you have it), taking spring breaks, and reading lots and lots of fun fantasy romance! WOOT!

***

Author Bio:

Jessica Aspen

Jessica Aspen has always wanted to be spirited away to a world inhabited by elves, were-wolves and sexy men who walk on the dark side of the knife. Luckily, she’s able to explore her fantasy side and delve into new worlds by writing paranormal romance. She loves indulging in dark chocolate, reading eclectic novels, and dreaming of ocean vacations, but instead spends most of her time, writing, walking the dog, and hiking in the Colorado Rockies. You can find out more information and read about Jessica’s paranormal romances at http://JessicaAspen.com

To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s newsletter and get your link to download your exclusive FREE book, please click HERE.

Rogue Enforcer by jessica aspen

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Filed under Moonday mania, Nanowrimo, Nanowrimo, Tales of the Black Court, Writer's Journey

Camp Nanowrimo Update: Tales of the Black Court #4

Thursday’s Bite

a blog for the fantasy romance fan

It’s spring! Time for baby bunnies, green grass, and romance (wink, wink). It’s also April and time for Camp Nanowrimo.

Now for those of you who know me you know I am a Nanowrimo fan. National Novel Writing Month is the time all us crazy people try to write fifty thousand brand new words on a brand new book in thirty days. It makes November particularly challenging if you live in the USA and have a week of Thanksgiving vacation and food prep for the last week of the month.

But I digress…

Because this month is actually Camp Nanowrimo wear the sun is hot and the living is easy and you can set your own goals. But I’m a crazy person, not just because I’m a romance writer, but also becasause…I’m a romance writer.

This camp Nano I am setting my goal at…FIFTY THOUSAND WORDS!!!

Okay, okay. So I’ve tried to hit 50k before in 30 days and never done it. And it’s not November. And I have a lot to do this month. But I’ve also been dying to write Book Four in the TALES OF THE BLACK COURT, and I want to write it all this month. 🙂

Now, it’s going to be around 80-90k words, so writing it in all one month when the most I’ve ever written is 32k (when I wrote Goldi) is not going to happen. But, I really think I can hit 50k. It only takes writing 1,667 words per day for 30 days.

And it’a  fun book to write. It’s full of romance, and magic, and elves, and more romance. There are super sexy scenes and scenes of adventure. Why can’t I just have fun, and write it fast?

Well, guess what? I can!

So far I have written 13,346 words in six days. SIX DAYS!!! I’m ahead. 🙂

Will the entire book be written in a month, not likely, but I should have most of it done by the end of April and then it’s an easy hop, skip and a jump to May. I won’t tell you when I think it’s going to be done, because I’m not going to jinx it. But, it’s coming. WOOT!

What are you doing this month? Are you writing away with me? Are you dreaming of summer and planning your summer reads? Planning to be on the beach? Leave a comment and let me know.

***

Author Bio:

Jessica Aspen

Jessica Aspen has always wanted to be spirited away to a world inhabited by elves, were-wolves and sexy men who walk on the dark side of the knife. Luckily, she’s able to explore her fantasy side and delve into new worlds by writing paranormal romance. She loves indulging in dark chocolate, reading eclectic novels, and dreaming of ocean vacations, but instead spends most of her time, writing, walking the dog, and hiking in the Colorado Rockies. You can find out more information and read about Jessica’s paranormal romances at http://JessicaAspen.com

To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s newsletter and get your link to download your exclusive FREE book, please click HERE.

Rogue Enforcer by jessica aspen

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Filed under Nanowrimo, Tales of the Black Court, Thursdays Bite, Writer's Journey

What’s In A Badge?

Moonday Mania

a blog for the goal setter in all of us

Do you hit your goals?

As you all know I’m a super goal setter. I don’t always hit all of my goals, but I feel that without setting them, I wouldn’t get nearly as much done. And, another thing you likely know about me, I’m a big fan of National Novel Writing Month, or Nanowrimo, as it’s affectionately called. So I really like when my goals and Nanowrimo coincide. And this year, I’ve been planning writing my next fantasy romance around Nano, so they dovetail nicely.

I try to do this every year, but some years fate intervenes. Like October 2013, when my parents were flooded out of their home in Boulder, Colorado. My November got entirely derailed because my October got derailed. But I reset and that year I skipped Nano altogether. Oh, I think I tried, but I didn’t even sign up on the page. Life was just too upside down.

And that’s okay.

But I think I should get a badge for thinking about it. 🙂

“Badges, we don’t need no stinking badges!”

Badges are a Nano perk. They are silly computer images that keep you going from goal to goal. I love when I hit a goal and a badge pops up! It’s like being a Girl Scout all over again. Every time you hit a goal, you can get a badge. They even start you off with a few, just for fun!

Pantser Badge Planner Badge Tell the world!

Participent Pep Next Generation

I’m a planner now, so I’ve earned the planner badge. Not that I’ve started outlining yet, but I will!

And I’ve told the world that I’m participating in Nanowrimo and writing another fast paced fantasy romance in the TALES OF THE BLACK COURT.

Donate to NaNoWriMo and earn a Badge!

You also can earn a badge when you donate to Nanowrimo and I’m planning this year to donate 10% of my gross income from books I sell in November. Nanowrimo is a fabulous free place to start writing, and they have an amazing out-reach program to get kids writing in the classroom. My kids had fun writing at night in the library at their school write-ins. Literacy for all!

Do you love badges? What about stickers and other non-intrinsic rewards?

Leave a comment below and let me know if you love to reward yourself with stickers, smiley faces, or Nano badges. I love that kind of thing. Do you?

I’m donating 10% of my gross book sales from the month of November to Nanowrimo! WOOT!

Author Bio:

Jessica Aspen

Jessica Aspen has always wanted to be spirited away to a world inhabited by elves, were-wolves and sexy men who walk on the dark side of the knife. Luckily, she’s able to explore her fantasy side and delve into new worlds by writing paranormal romance. She loves indulging in dark chocolate, reading eclectic novels, and dreaming of ocean vacations, but instead spends most of her time, writing, walking the dog, and hiking in the Colorado Rockies. You can find out more information and read about Jessica’s paranormal romances at http://JessicaAspen.com

To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your free book, please click HERE.

 

Author web links:  

Website: http://jessicaaspen.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5759763.Jessica_Aspen

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JessicaAspen

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JessicaAspenAuthor

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/jessicaaspen/

Join the Jessica Aspen mailing list! Get the scoop on new releases, sales, plus the chance to win ARCs and participate in special giveaways.  When I send you an email, there’s always something in it for you! To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your free book, please click HERE.

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Filed under Moonday mania, Nanowrimo, Nanowrimo, Writer's Journey

Camp NaNo 2015 Winner!

Moonday Mania

a blog to celebrate the little things

camp nanowrimo 2015 winner badgeI did it!

For the very first time every I’ve hit an official NaNoWriMo goal. Now I’ve hit personal Nano goals in November. I wrote GOLDI, A Sexy Shifter Fairytale Romance (formally GOLDI AND THE BEAR) during NaNoWiMo and hit 30k in one month. But in November you’re supposed to hit the 50k mark to win. And I’ve never done that. Ever. But this year I set my July Camp NaNoWriMo goal at 20k, and I hit it!

My Camp Nano 2015 Compass shirt is on it’s way!

You have no idea how exciting this is for me. I’m able to post the WINNER badge. WOOT! And for years I’ve been saying when I won NaNo I’d buy a t-shirt. I’ve watched cool t-shirt design after cool t-shirt design go by and not purchased any of them. Even when they go on clearance and my cheap little heart says, “Look! It’s on sale!”

WOOT!

Maybe this year’s the year because I’m really on a roll with my writing speed and focus. My health is finally at a spot where I know what makes me feel good, and what doesn’t. And I’m driven to get these books done. It felt so good to write the last chapter of SCARLET, knowing that it will be part of my release efforts this fall and part of the SEXY SHIFTER FAIRYTALE ROMANCE series. I can safely order the cover and start promoting it. Of course, it still needs major editing, but that’s manageable.

Having two series is a lot of pressure.

I know the fans of my Sexy Shifter Fairytale Romances want to see the next books. I’ve heard from them over the last few years and they want more. So I’m thrilled that I’m writing faster and able to give them more. But I know the TALES OF THE BLACK COURT are dying to know what happens next. So writing faster is a win win for both series. And then there’s my mom, who wants more Haunted Holidays. And that’s coming too, because I love those books and have ideas like crazy for more Pierce men and ghosts.

So, that’s why I’m so thrilled to be back at my old writing speed of 20k in a month.

Since I’ve hit 30k before, I’m expecting to do that again soon. And who knows. Maybe this November I’ll do the 50k. I really want to, since my Nano project this November is the next TALES OF THE BLACK COURT, and I’d love to have a rough draft done by the first of the year.

So…if I’m not blogging as much as I used to. Or you don’t see me on Twitter or Facebook, you’ll know why. I’m working hard at doing what you all really want me to be doing. Writing!

Have you ever had a slump and fought your way back? Tell me your story. I do check my comments. At least that’s one thing I haven’t given up on. 🙂

Author Bio:

Jessica Aspen

Jessica Aspen has always wanted to be spirited away to a world inhabited by elves, were-wolves and sexy men who walk on the dark side of the knife. Luckily, she’s able to explore her fantasy side and delve into new worlds by writing paranormal romance. She loves indulging in dark chocolate, reading eclectic novels, and dreaming of ocean vacations, but instead spends most of her time, writing, walking the dog, and hiking in the Colorado Rockies. You can find out more information and read about Jessica’s paranormal romances at http://JessicaAspen.com

To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your free book, please click HERE.

 

Author web links:  

Website: http://jessicaaspen.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5759763.Jessica_Aspen

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JessicaAspen

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JessicaAspenAuthor

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/jessicaaspen/

Join the Jessica Aspen mailing list! Get the scoop on new releases, sales, plus the chance to win ARCs and participate in special giveaways.  When I send you an email, there’s always something in it for you! To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your free book, please click HERE.

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Filed under Goal Setting, Nanowrimo, Writer's Journey

Increasing Writing Speed…Five Minutes At A Time

Moonday Mania

a blog for the writer in all of us

It’s the end of July and I’m nearing the end of my Camp NaNoWrimo challenge. This time around I set my goal at 20,000 words for the month. And as of this writing I need less than 3k. For the first time ever, I will hit a Nano goal. WOOT! I may have to buy a tee-shirt!

Boosting production

Over the last two years I’ve spent more time editing my works than writing them. At least I think so. It seems like the writing takes a certain amount of time and the editing takes two to three times as long. So how can I increase my productivity? I have so many amazing plots swimming around my head. Just the other day I came up with a concept for a fantastic contemporary series. But I have three series already in progress. Wait, I actually have four because I have one I’ve never published. When am I supposed to write a new one?

The solution? Write faster.

I’ve already looked at this before with RACHEL AARON’S 5K TO 10K, and that really did help me at the time. With Rachel Aaron’s system you look at when you are most productive and where you are most productive and start there. And I did that. I love writing in the morning, after I’ve woken up, had my coffee, taken the dog for a walk, and had my shower. So, nine am. But…what’s happened since I figured that out is that my schedule changed. Time that I am most productive is now the time I have to be at my job. That’s a bummer. So my writing speed has dropped. I’m struggling to hit 1,500k per hour. And I’m struggling to find a consistent time to write.

Enter 5,000 WORDS PER HOUR: WRITE FASTER, WRITE SMARTER, by Chris Fox.

That’s right. You heard me. 5,000 words per hour.

Now right off the bat I know I’m not going to hit that. And I don’t want to sound self-depreciating when I say it. Chris says in order to hit the 5k mark you have to use dictation. And I’m not ready for that. Yet. Give me some time. No, what I want to do is hit 3k. Consistently. If I hit 3k per hour on a daily basis that would mean I could put out a novel in a month and still have time for that pesky editing in the other 23 hours of the day.

I could still have time to cook my healthy meals, exercise, take care of my kids, parents, dog, cat, and my husband. WOW! Doesn’t that sound amazing?

Sprint! Sprint! Sprint!

Chris starts you off with sprinting. Now I regularly set my timer for 45 minutes and write, but he suggests five minute sprints and to time yourself. He even has a free ap (only for the ipad or iphone) that will help you do this and keep track of your sprints. Chris has you write for five minutes than multiply by 12 to get your Words Per Hour. So I decided this weekend to commit to five minutes every morning. After the first cup of coffee. Or maybe the second.

What’s the benefit of five minute sprints?

  • Well, for one thing, they are very doable. At first I griped about doing even five minutes first thing in the morning. I’m not awake. I don’t have time. I need my coffee. (Okay, that last one is just pathetic. You can drink coffee while sprinting, although it does slow your time).
  • I was surprised to find that my speed was pretty consistent the first three times I did it. Right around (or below) 1500 WPH. I seriously thought I’d at least hit 2k, even though I’ve been writing at 1.5 k for my longer sprints, I always do 45 minutes. So 2k should be my speed. But it’s not.
  • You can really do a nice comparison with consistently using five minutes. I hadn’t thought about it before, but by cutting down the time I’m measuring and only focusing on writing for five minutes, I can really focus on the speed. And why I’m not writing faster.
  • Chris says that by using the sprints you can increase your overall time. And I can see that. When I do the sprints I’m really aware that I’m still going back and fixing my spelling, or plot, or whatever. You can’t do that and write fast.

So it’s off to my Monday morning sprint!

I’m committed to trying five minute sprints for a month and seeing how they work. If nothing else I’ll get an extra 138 words in per morning. But maybe, just maybe, I’ll increase that speed and hit that 2k mark by the end of the month. I only need an extra 29 words, or so. And if I quit fiddling, I know I can do that. And look at the difference that would make.

138 wpm x 31 days= 4,278 words per month

166wpm X 31 days =5,146  words per month

That’s an extra 868 words per month, in five minutes per day. Imagine what that would do if I applied this to all my writing?

How fast do you write in five minutes? Want to find out more?

Time yourself and see how fast you write. It’s eye opening what five minutes can do.

You can listen to a fantastic podcast with Chris on the Rocking Self Publishing Podcast HERE. And you can find his book on Amazon HERE. It’s super short, packed full of good information, and only $2.99

Stay tuned to see what happens next! I’ll be letting you know how its going and if Chris’s other steps help me gain extra words.

Author Bio:

Jessica Aspen

Jessica Aspen has always wanted to be spirited away to a world inhabited by elves, were-wolves and sexy men who walk on the dark side of the knife. Luckily, she’s able to explore her fantasy side and delve into new worlds by writing paranormal romance. She loves indulging in dark chocolate, reading eclectic novels, and dreaming of ocean vacations, but instead spends most of her time, writing, walking the dog, and hiking in the Colorado Rockies. You can find out more information and read about Jessica’s paranormal romances at http://JessicaAspen.com

To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your free book, please click HERE.

 

Author web links:  

Website: http://jessicaaspen.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5759763.Jessica_Aspen

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JessicaAspen

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JessicaAspenAuthor

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/jessicaaspen/

Join the Jessica Aspen mailing list! Get the scoop on new releases, sales, plus the chance to win ARCs and participate in special giveaways.  When I send you an email, there’s always something in it for you! To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your free book, please click HERE.

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Filed under channeling success, Moonday mania, Nanowrimo, Writer's Journey, writing craft

Early Bird Gets the Worm, But Not Before My Coffee!

Moonday Mania

a blog about writing

Updates:

I’m working hard on my new Sexy Shifter Fairytale Romance for Camp NaNoWriMo as well as working on finishing up polishing RED, the first book in the series (formerly titled LITTLE RED RIDING WOLF). I’m also working on cover sheets to send to my cover artist for the first four books in the series and I’m looking forward to reissuing the first three books in this romance novella series in the fall. Followed fast by the next three novellas.

I’m also working on getting my first three fantasy romances in the TALES OF THE BLACK COURT into a boxed set. I have the cover and it’s fantastic! (Cover reveal to come soon) But the formatting is driving me crazy, I may have to farm that out, but my budget says “Noooo!”

Now onto the blog:

I used to think I was a morning person, and then I read about all the authors who rise and shine at five in the morning and start creating their books. Crazy! These people actually get up an hour early to cram in writing BEFORE they do things like: go to the day job. Can I say CRAZY again?

So, am I a morning person?

Me at five am

Not a pretty sight at 5am

I rise and shine somewhere between 5am and 6am, without an alarm. Unless I’m super tired, then I’ve been known to sleep in until 7. Most people would define that as a morning person. But I’ll give you a hint. I have serious bed-head when I roll out of bed and I desperately need my coffee. In other words, no one wants me writing sexy shifter romance when all I can think about is coffee. You can picture the dialogue.

“Oh baby, I can’t stop thinking about you.”

“That’s nice. Is that coffee I smell?”

“Forget the coffee, let’s make mad passionate love.”

“Um, sure. After the coffee. And breakfast. I’m too hungry to think about anything but bacon. And coffee. Is the coffee ready yet?”

I can do emails, and once I wake up I can edit, but actual creative work, where I think about plot and motivation and backstory? It just doesn’t happen that early.

If it’s not 5am then what is my most productive time?

I think my most productive time is after I’ve been up, had my coffee, taken the dog for a walk, showered and dressed. And that puts me at 9am. Right when I’m supposed to be at the day job. When I do get to work at 9, I’m great. Words flow, things get done. I’m a powerhouse until noon and my lunch break. But that doesn’t really work with my day job who expects me to be at work from 9 until noon. Sometimes even 1pm, or 2.

I get home after work wanting lunch and a break. I have time then, it’s just not my natural work time. It’s the afternoons when my body wants to catch up for that five am wake up call. And sometimes…I fall asleep in front of the tv when I should be writing. Then the kids come home and I’m distracted by life, errands, and cooking dinner. So when am I supposed to squeeze those quality words in?

Find your time.

It doesn’t matter about all the excuses. I want to write, so I need to find some other productive time. I’m lucky in that I’m working part time now. The idea behind that was supposed to be that the other hours in the week I would be writing. But it’s only working out that Fridays are a writing day, because I usually don’t work then and I push everything else to other days of the week. TGIF!

What am I going to do about it?

I honestly don’t know. I have a few ideas though.

First of all I’m going to be working less hours for the rest of the summer, so I think I can devote Wednesdays as well as Fridays to writing.

Second of all, I’m leaving the house to do it. Summer is when my kids are home a lot, so if the house is full, I’m outa here!

And third, I’m going to try writing at least a hundred words in the afternoons that I am able. Thursdays and Mondays tend to be packed, but there is a possibility that Tuesdays will work out. And if I get into that habit, maybe I can also squeeze in another hundred on the tougher days.

When are your most productive hours? Have you ever tried to chart them? What did you find out?

Author Bio:

Jessica Aspen

Jessica Aspen has always wanted to be spirited away to a world inhabited by elves, were-wolves and sexy men who walk on the dark side of the knife. Luckily, she’s able to explore her fantasy side and delve into new worlds by writing paranormal romance. She loves indulging in dark chocolate, reading eclectic novels, and dreaming of ocean vacations, but instead spends most of her time, writing, walking the dog, and hiking in the Colorado Rockies. You can find out more information and read about Jessica’s paranormal romances at http://JessicaAspen.com

To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your free book, please click HERE.

 

Author web links:  

Website: http://jessicaaspen.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5759763.Jessica_Aspen

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JessicaAspen

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JessicaAspenAuthor

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/jessicaaspen/

Join the Jessica Aspen mailing list! Get the scoop on new releases, sales, plus the chance to win ARCs and participate in special giveaways.  When I send you an email, there’s always something in it for you! To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your free book, please click HERE.

 

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Filed under About the Author, channeling success, Nanowrimo, Sexy Shifter Fairytale Romance

Camp NaNoWrimo Check In -or -How to Write Two Books At Once

 

Moonday Mania

a blog for the goal challenged in all of us

Ar you Nanoing this April with Camp Nano? I am. I’m participating in Camp NaNoWrimo by writing my fourth sexy shifter romance. And not only does this one have bear shifters and a twisted fairy tale, but I’m doing something cool with it. I’m actually splitting the fairy tale romance into two books. How do you do that? Let me explain.

Two books, but one fairy tale means that there will be two romances, each participating in the same fairy tale retelling.

This fairy tale has two sisters, so I could have written a longer romance with one main couple and a sub-plot with the other sister, but that’s not what I’m doing. Instead I’m writing two novellas each with it’s own heroine, hero, and romance plot, but since they share the fairy tale, they run concurrently!

What fairy tale is it?

I’m not quite ready to share yet, but I’ll give you some hints. It has two sisters and a bear shifter. I’ve changed it to have two bear shifters. Not only so could we have two hunky men, but when I wrote the Goldilocks story it had three bears, but only one got a happy ending. Sad. We couldn’t leave them single for too long, could we? No way! Now each of the guys will be settled down with their own happily ever after.

So, how do you write two books at once?

Well, you really don’t. What I’ve done is loosely plot the two books, but as I write the first one I’m changing and adding to the plot structure of the second one. They’ll fit together nicely this way. The plan is to write the rough draft of romance one, and then let it sit while I write the rough draft of romance two. This way I can change the second one to fit the first one, and vice-versa. Neat huh?

Putting it all together.

When both rough drafts are finished I’ll go back to book one and polish it’s draft and then I’ll do book two. This way I should be able to catch errors between the plots. My goal is to send them to the editor at the same time so that she’ll be able to do the same thing-go back and forth between the books as necessary.

Where did I get my inspiration for writing two books that have intertwining plots?Twin of Fire

Twin of Ice by Jude Deveraux

While I’m sure other people have done this, my inspiration is Jude Deveraux’s books, TWIN OF FIRE,  and TWIN OF ICE. I read them years ago and they are some of my favorites.

I loved the way the twins switched places and ended up in each other’s plots trying to fool each other’s heroes and I’ve always remembered how clever she was to have thought of the idea. When I decided to twist a fairy tale with two sisters, I definitely wanted to try it.

And no, mine aren’t twins, so no switching. I thought about it, but if you want to read that plot twist you’ll have to read the original mistress of romance, Jude Deveraux.

Author Bio:

Jessica Aspen has always wanted to be spirited away to a world inhabited by elves, were-wolves and sexy men who walk on the dark side of the knife. Luckily, she’s able to explore her fantasy side and delve into new worlds by writing paranormal romance. She loves indulging in dark chocolate, reading eclectic novels, and dreaming of ocean vacations, but instead spends most of her time, writing, walking the dog, and hiking in the Colorado Rockies. You can find out more information and read about Jessica’s paranormal romances at http://JessicaAspen.com

To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your FREE book, please click HERE.

 

Author web links:  

Website: http://jessicaaspen.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5759763.Jessica_Aspen

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JessicaAspen

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JessicaAspenAuthor

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/jessicaaspen/

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Filed under fairy tales, Moonday mania, Nanowrimo, romance, writing organization

Get A Log Line Baby!

Moonday Mania

a nano-istic blog

NaNoWriMo PARTICIPANT 2014 graphicI’m starting NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) today. Okay, it should have started on Saturday, but I couldn’t really start then. I had plans. And I’ll be blogging more about how that works with Nano next Moonday Mania, so check it out. We’re Nanoing romance all month on Jessica Aspen Writes!

So, how do you keep your focus and end up with a terrific story at the end of the month? Kristen Lamb knows. You need a log line. She wrote a terrific blog last week about why people fail with their stories and how even bad stories can get made into movies. Check it out:

http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/2014/10/29/write-a-terrific-novel-nano-minimize-revisions-improve-odds-of-finishing-and-publishing/

What is a log line? It’s your elevator pitch. The one thing you should be able to get out of your stumbling mouth when that famous agent, editor, author asks you when you’re waiting in line for drinks at the bar, “So, what’s your book about?”

A great place to learn about log lines and writing that story idea down is by checking out author Randy Ingermanson’s Snowflake Method. If you follow me at all you know I’m a big Randy Ingermanson fan. I love the Snowflake method and it’s perfect for Nano.

You start with a character with a goal. It’s that simple. Frodo needs to get the ring to the mountain. But Randy suggests you put it into non-specific terms. Small, underestimated hero takes powerful evil ring across an entire world, facing great danger and discovering the meaning of loyalty and true friendship.

Okay, that’s more than the fifteen words Randy recommends, but you get the drift. Let’s winnow it down even farther:

Underestimated hero takes powerful evil ring across an entire world and discovers the meaning of true friendship.

Still more than fifteen, but I like it, so I’m leaving it.

Write it down on a sticky note and put it where you can see it when you write.

And that’s how you do a log line. And how you keep Nano and the end of the 50K in your focus.

Do you use log lines in your writing? Can you winnow down your favorite stories to just a few words? It’s actually a fun game. Go ahead and try it!

Author Bio:

Jessica Aspen

Jessica Aspen has always wanted to be spirited away to a world inhabited by elves, were-wolves and sexy men who walk on the dark side of the knife. Luckily, she’s able to explore her fantasy side and delve into new worlds by writing paranormal romance. She loves indulging in dark chocolate, reading eclectic novels, and dreaming of ocean vacations, but instead spends most of her time, writing, walking the dog, and hiking in the Colorado Rockies. You can find out more information and read about Jessica’s paranormal romances at http://JessicaAspen.com

To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your free book, please click HERE.

 

Author web links:  

Website: http://jessicaaspen.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5759763.Jessica_Aspen

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JessicaAspen

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JessicaAspenAuthor

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/jessicaaspen/

Join the Jessica Aspen mailing list! Get the scoop on new releases, sales, plus the chance to win ARCs and participate in special giveaways.  When I send you an email, there’s always something in it for you! To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your free book, please click HERE.

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Filed under Moonday mania, Nanowrimo, Nanowrimo, writing craft

NaNo-ing Along

Moonday Mania

a blog for anyone struggling to write

It’s Camp Nano time and I’m writing! Or I’m trying to write. I got a great start last week.

camp nanowrimo participant 2014Mary Guida (ML Guida) and I went up to her cabin and did some plot work and writing and by the end of July 2nd I had over four thousand words. And then I had come back down off of the mountain and pick up all the things I’d let fall by the wayside so I could go away. Like, the day-job, my kids, and my parents. That took all of July 3rd. And of course I took July 4th off. It was a holiday and the house was full of people and we went to my friend K2’s house for fabulous homemade ice cream (she had dinner there too, but the ice cream was phenomenal!) and fireworks.

Long story short I found myself way behind by July 6th.

Grr.

So, why didn’t I sit down in the mornings I had free and write?

I’ll tell you why.

I didn’t have enough of this story pre-planned.

I’ve been busy getting my blogs written, getting THE GHOSTS OF CHRISTMAS PAST ready for publication, and busy with the day job and life. Plotting has taken a backseat because, let’s face it, it’s hard. It’s tough to know where I want this story to go. I know the beginning. I have my fairy tale. I know my hero and heroine. I even have the ending down (and boy do I have a whopping surprise for the ending of this book!) But I’m missing the big fat pieces that go in the middle. And that is tricky when you are sitting down with the goal of pounding out 1400 words a day.

No, it’s actually 2400 words a day because I’m heading to RWA and I know I won’t write there.

No, it’s really 3,000 words per day because now I’m so far behind I have to race to catch up!

Zounds!

So how do you get over falling behind?

I’ll tell you what I did. I spent Sunday morning plotting and working on my Snowflake. Now I have the next four chapters outlined and I have some other pieces put into place. I’ll need more if I’m to succeed at this. I’ll need to spend an afternoon next week working on the next section, and then another day working on the end, but I have enough to get writing. And the more I write, the more this story comes together, the more I get excited about it.

And I am excited about it. 🙂

While I dreaded sitting down and working on the parts I had no clue what to do with, those first four thousand words flowed like melted butter on popcorn. MMM. Nothing better. And now that I have the next section? It’s on to snacking time!

Are you participating in Camp NaNoWriMo? You don’t have to work on a novel or even set your goal at 50,000 words. You can work on anything writing related and set whatever goal you want to. It’s camp!

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Filed under Moonday mania, Nanowrimo, Writer's Journey, writing craft

Picking Up After Ourselves on Elaine Cougler

Wednesday Jump-In

Congratulations to my Goodreads Giveaway Winners! WOOT! Ten print copies of my brand new, fantasy romance, The Dark Huntsman, will be going out to ten lucky winners in the mail this week. WOOT!

Today I am a guest on Elaine Cougler’s blog HERE and since she writes anything but paranormal I wrote a fun little post that dog lovers and writers alike will enjoy. I love to read a variety of authors and Elaine’s book The Loyalist’s Wife is burning a hole in my Kindle waiting for me to have the time to really dig into some historical fiction. I figure that will be November at this rate, when I go back to the day job and writing becomes very difficult for me to accomplish.

Tomorrow I start a brand new blog hop with the October New Release blog hop. Tons of new authors for you to meet, all with brand new books this month. Like me! And there will be prizes available, so check back for a non-paranormal Thursdays Bite, tomorrow.

And speaking of prizes there is only one week left to hop to the rest of the authors on Sam Cheever’s Trick or Treat Blog Hop. There are TWO grand prizes in that hop, two Kindle Paperwhites! As well as lots of books and goodies, including a print copy of The Dark Huntsman! Click HERE for details.sam cheevers trick or treat blog hop

Now on to the blog.

UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE

Prince by Blood and Bone, A Fantasy Romance of the Black Court will be back from my editor this week! WOOT! That means I need to get a jump on my Christmas novella, The Ghosts of Christmas Past. This was supposed to be a 20-30 k novella when I started it and as of now it has topped 35k. I think it will be closer to 40k by the time I send it to my editor and if it hits over 40k it is no longer a novella. It will be a novel. But a small one.

What is a novella? Isn’t it a small novella?

Typically a novella is defined as a fictional book between 20,000 and 40,000 words. Anything over 40k is considered a novel. But when you consider that The Dark Huntsman, and Prince by Blood and Bone are both 85,0000 words, is it fair to count a book that is half their length as a novel?

Well, the answer is, yes. But I would consider anything under 65k a short novel. Most short contemporaries, think Harlequin’s traditional little books, are under 65k. They are novels. And NANOWRIMO (National Novel Writing Month), which is coming up soon, considers a 50k novel to be a complete work.

Why is that?

NANOWRIMO braceletsTraditionally novels used to be shorter. In the times of expensive paper and ink and handwriting a book a fifty thousand word novel was an amazing accomplishment. It still is, it is just easier to achieve now that we have computers and e-readers and the cost of writing and production has dropped to just about nothing. But actually sitting down and writing that novel is tough. Thousands of people attempt NANOWRIMO in November, I’ve tried it several times, and most of us fail. That’s right. Me, who writes long involved novels, has never won NANOWRIMO.

It’s hard!

It’s really very difficult to write a novel and to do it in November is (for me) very tough. I work and there is a holiday, which helps some people because they are home and not working, but for me it means EVERYONE is home and not working and my house is crowded and noisy. Not my favorite writing environment.

So this year I am not attempting NANOWRIMO, but I would love to encourage those of you who are. I will be looking at my editors’ comments for both Prince by Blood and Bone and (hopefully) The Ghosts of Christmas Past (should it ever get finished). I will be formatting both of them and bringing them to production so that by January they will both be out and about and available for consumption.

Actually, I’m planning on the Christmas novella on being available for consumption much earlier than January, but today a lot depends on my long-suffering editor’s schedule, since I’ve bumped it up twice due to Jury duty, flood, and just general not getting it done. See, it takes at least two months for me to write a 35k novella. Writing 50k would be a huge challenge. But I’m up for it! I still would love to complete NANOWRIMO some time and I think next year I will plan my year around it. I’ll make sure I have a plot ready to go and outlined and all my other projects are on hold for November. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll kick everyone out of the house for Thanksgiving and get to writing.

HAH!

Are any of you planning on attempting NANOWRIMO? What have you done to make sure you can accomplish this Herculean feat? Have you prepped your loved ones to expect no turkey or stuffing on Thanksgiving? Have you finished your Christmas shopping early? Is your house clean and ready for guests at the drop of a hat so you can focus entirely on your manuscript?

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Filed under Bloghops, channeling success, Nanowrimo, Nanowrimo