Tag Archives: national novel writing month

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:


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

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Filed under Moonday mania, Nanowrimo, Nanowrimo, writing craft

Nano Envy

Moonday Mania

a blog about writing for everyone

nanowrimo badgeIt’s November and it’s time again for thousands? millions? of people to start writing their novels with Nanowrimo. (National Novel Writing Month). Sadly, this year I will not be participating (too many edits on Prince by Blood and Bone, book two in my fantasy romance series) but next year I am determined to be ready with an outlined novel and have the time and energy to get it won! WOOT!

The funny thing about not doing Nanowrimo this year is that, even though it’s completely my decision, even though I have tons to do and no time to really devote to writing anything new during November, I still have Nano Envy.

I want to be Nano-ing. I am missing out on all the fun. All the writing parties, the prizes, the enthusiasm. I want to be curled up like Jo in Little Women,  pen in hand, stocking cap on, scribbling away on my fantastic work of fiction with little thought to literary merit. Writing whatever wild mysterious story pops in my head, just because it’s fun.

That’s the magic of nano. You can pre-plan your story, but you are perfectly able to wing it. To sit down and type without fear or constraints. Without fear of judgement. Without planning on having anyone look at what you are writing. That’s why I think everyone, readers, non-readers and all kinds of writers should attempt Nanowrimo. You never know until you try how difficult it can be to get words on the page and how exhilarating it is when they flow like a river from your keys to the page. Even if when you go back and  read them in December they aren’t quite as stellar as when you wrote them.

I first attempted Nanowrimo when it was in its infancy. The internet was a rough place, everyone used “Got Mail” and no one had even heard of Facebook. I didn’t sign up on the site, I just tried to write, but kids and life interfered and I didn’t get very far. But it planted a seed. Maybe I could do this. Someday. Maybe I could write an entire 50,000 word book in a month.

Well years later and several completed books later I have yet to write that many words in one month. But last year I wrote over 30,000 and that’s pretty good. Two months like that and you have a novel. One month of that and you have Goldi and the Bear, novella extraordinaire! What could you do in one month of writing?

Have you ever attempted to write a novel? What did you learn about yourself? Did you wing it or did you plot out the entire book?


Filed under Moonday mania, Nanowrimo, Writer's Journey

Five Necessities for NANOWRIMO

Moonday Mania

a blog about the craft of writing


National Novel Writing Month. It’s coming up and this year I am at least signed up. Crazy, I know. I’m working full time for at least three of the weeks in November, and there is a good possibility I’ll have edits for my upcoming novella Snow and the Seventh Wolf, but I’m still going to try. Here are some of the things I’m doing to prep.

1. Informing my family that I will be crazy.

What Should I Be For Halloween?

This is number one on my list. Making sure my husband knows I will not be responsible for any food preparation, laundry, or cleaning of the kitchen counters, once November strikes.

2. Storing up on coffee, chocolate and wine.

I hear that stimulants are the way to go, but since I won’t be shopping I need to be sure the house has coffee, and lots of it. But I’ve also heard that for those late nights, when the brain has turned off, the only thing that really keeps those words flying on the page is wine. So I’m heading to the liquor store. Once again, not shopping during November.

3. This not shopping thing is going to blow my Christmas prep all to hell.

So be it. I will not be the crazy woman at the stores on Black Friday, if I have to have something, I’m sending the husband. Alone. If you’ll be in our area and shopping that day, be prepared for an insane man with a long list and an attitude. I’ll be home with the wine.

4. Did I mention the chocolate?

Chocolate HeartsI think I’ll head to Costco for a bulk package of Nano Chocolate, then I’ll have to hide it somewhere the rest of the family will never think to look. I’m running out of places, but the linen closet might still work. I tried the dryer, that’s no good.

5. Yoga pants

Comfortable clothes are necessary, and since I really shouldn’t answer the door in my penguin flannel PJs I think I’ll shop this month for some super comfy, but fashionable, yoga pants. This way my sister in law will not be sending in crazy pictures to the people on “What Not to Wear”. (And she’d do it too)

That’s it. I’ll be ready this year.

Oh yeah, I’m also plotting my story ahead of time. If you’d like some hints on how I do that check out my post on Snowflaking HERE.

Are you attempting NANO this year? What sort of things do you require to write 50 thousand words in a month? Do you actually think I can do it? Want in on the pool?


Filed under About the Author, Moonday mania, Snow and the Seventh Wolf, Writer's Journey, writing organization