Sunday, November 11, 2012

A Book Won't Write Itself--by Linda P. Kozar

This month, lots of people at setting their phones on vibrate and making themselves scarce on Facebook and Twitter. Why? Nanowrimo.

I know it sounds like something off a Mork and Mindy episode. (Google it youngsters). But it's the real deal for would-be writers who are serious about achieving their writing goals.. According to their site, "National Novel Writing Month is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing on November 1. The goal is to write a 50,000 word, (approximately 175 page) novel by 11:59:59, November 30."
Here's the website.

As of 11:00 last night, the total word count of participants was 1,325,391,840.

And if you're interested, there's still time to sign up.

This is totally doable. The last book I wrote, Strands of Fate (www.creativewomanmysteries) was written in just four weeks. The publisher gave me six, but I worked out how many words I would have to write per day with allowances for certain busy days or days with previous commitments. 

Nanowrimo is great training for writers who want to make the leap into "author-hood". Once you write fifty-thousand reasonably coherent words in four weeks, you will have proved to yourself that writing a novel in the given time can be done, and that writing a novel is not such an impossible feat. You will also have the satisfaction of saying you finally finished a writing project instead of just talking about it.  

How many times have you heard people talk about an unfinished novel in their desk drawer or even in their head? "It's the great American novel I tell you. I'll put it down on paper someday . . ."

What if you got a contract for a completed manuscript and the publisher decided you should write two more books and make it a series? You'd be elated, of course by that big fat three-book contract.

But then the publisher tells you the timeline. Two months to write Book Two and Two Months to write Book Three. "I'm supposed to write two books in four months as well as work on the edits they send me?"


Panic sets in.

And then something happens. The calm, cool professional YOU comes into play. Experience tells you it CAN be done. Determination tells you it WILL be done.

Fingers fly across the keyboard. Thoughts whirl wildly. Dramas play out. Neurons fire.

This time you're not writing to win a contest. You are writing for your career.

Can you do it?

Start with Nanowrimo. Or with your own version. Make a pact with your critique partners. Hold one another accountable for a certain word count per day for a month or six weeks. Whatever you decide, whether it's 1,000 words a day or just 500--do it.

Your book won't write itself.

Linda Kozar is the co-author of Babes With A Beatitude—Devotions For Smart, Savvy Women of Faith (Hardcover/Ebook, Howard/Simon & Schuster 2009) and author of Misfortune Cookies (Print, Barbour Publishing 2008), Misfortune Cookies, A Tisket, A Casket, and Dead As A Doornail, (“When The Fat Ladies Sing Series,” eBooks, Spyglass Lane Mysteries, 2012). Her latest novel Strands of Fate released October 2012 (Hardcover/Ebook, Creative Woman Mysteries). She received the ACFW Mentor of the Year Award in 2007, founded and served as president of Writers On The Storm, The Woodlands, Texas ACFW chapter for three years. In 2003, she co-founded, co-directed and later served as Southwest Texas Director of Words For The Journey Christian Writers Guild. She and her husband Michael, married 24 years, have two lovely daughters, Katie and Lauren and a Rat Terrier princess named Patches.

Represented by: Wendy Lawton, Books & Such Literary Agency

Member of: CAN (Christian Authors Network), RWA (Romance Writers of American), WHRWA (West Houston Romance Writers of America), ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers), Writers On The Storm, The Woodlands, Texas Chapter of ACFW, Toastmasters (Area 56) The Woodlands, Texas. WoodsEdge Community Church, The Woodlands, TX.


  1. Wow! Hats off to your flying fingers, Linda! Writing "Strands of Fate" in such a short time is impressive! NaNo is a great inspirational tool - I wrote one of my books that way. Nice post!

    ~Nancy Jill
    Author of the Jillian Bradley Mysteries

  2. I am impressed, but I don't know if I could do it. My books are short, but they don't come together that fast. One of the advantageous to being an independent author. But then again I haven't ever tried it either. Hmmm....

  3. Impressive on your end. I've bombed NaNo twice, but that probably means I just haven't taken it as seriously as I should. At some point, I'm sure I will, but the "when" is an unknown.

  4. CIndy and Amberr, Try it! Sure it's a challenge, but even if you don't make the word count goal, you might discover something new about yourself. You might discover that 1,000 words a day is more your style. Or you'll decide that writing an entire book is entirely do-able. This is all about pushing your limits (and buttons at times) and attempting what might seem like impossible.

    Cindy--If you can write two or three novellas, you can write a book. Think of it that way.

    Amberr--You didn't bomb Nano--you took it on and I'm assuming you produced a word count. That's success! Give yourself a pat on the back, girl!


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