NaNoWriMo 2016 Word Count Badges

I made some little NaNoWriMo word count badges to keep me motivated. Please feel free to use them and share them around.

nanowrimo_2016_50k nanowrimo_2016_2000 nanowrimo_2016_3500 nanowrimo_2016_5000 nanowrimo_2016_7000 nanowrimo_2016_9000 nanowrimo_2016_10000 nanowrimo_2016_15000 nanowrimo_2016_20000 nanowrimo_2016_30000 nanowrimo_2016_35000 nanowrimo_2016_40000 nanowrimo_2016_45000 nanowrimo_2016_halfway

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It’s NaNoWriMo time again


Yep, another year has flown by and National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is once again upon us. I’ve updated my writing goal calendar for 2016, you can find the PDF links bellow. The generally accepted recommendation is to do 1667 words per day, while this is a great target generally, I find that Nano starts like a fire spurted with gasoline, the flame bursts to life and burns hard and fast at the beginning of the month, but, burns out just as fast. People often loose the passion that inspired them in the beginning and this is when failure sets in.

I find the best approach is to go with the souped-up fire, get as many words out in that first week, let it cool just a little by the second, with a few catchup days at the end of the week, because life will inevitably get in the way of your best laid plans. By the third week you will be cruising along, still with enough energy as you come out of the weekend, maybe with a few hundred extra words up your sleeve. Hopefully you’ve given yourself a little wiggle room which makes those last weeks a breeze with a thousand or fewer words a day dwindling down to practically nothing on those last days when your enthusiasm and energy are flagging towards oblivion.

This is what I’m hoping to do based on the reality that is currently my life – Tracey’s 2016 NaNo Goal

This is the usual recommendation of 1667 words per day – 1,667 words per day

And this is the hardcore, go strong right out of the gate – Go strong, or go home

And just in case you want your own blank form to print out – Blank

I also highly recommend having a plan, if not a completed outline for your novel, but then, I’m not a pantser, I find it waists a great deal of time, energy, and more importantly, words at the beginning of a project.

Posted in NaNoWriMo Tagged with: ,

Rock The Vault: Celebrating The Urban And Rural Setting Thesaurus Duo

Becca and Angela, authors of the Emotion Thesaurus, and Positive and Negative Trait Thesauri are back with their new duo the Settings Thesauri.

As we storytellers sit before the keyboard to craft our magic, we’re usually laser-focused on the two titans of fiction: plot and character. There’s a third element that impacts almost every aspect of the tale, one we need to home in on as well: the setting.

The setting is so much more than a painted backdrop, more than a stage for our characters to tromp across during the scene. Settings, when used to their full advantage, can characterize the story’s cast, supply mood, steer the plot, provide challenges and conflict, trigger emotions, help us deliver those necessary snippets of backstory, and that’s just scratching the surface. So the question is this: how do we unleash the full power of the setting within our stories?

Well, there’s some good news on that front. Two new books have released this week that may change the description game for writers. The Urban Setting Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to City Spaces and The Rural Setting Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Personal and Natural Spaces look at the sights, smells, tastes, textures, and sounds a character might experience within 225 different contemporary settings. And this is only the start of what these books offer writers.

In fact, swing by and check out this hidden entry from the Rural Setting Thesaurus: Ancient Ruins.

And there’s one more thing you might want to know more about….

Rock_The_Vault_WHW1Becca and Angela, authors of The Emotion Thesaurus, are celebrating their double release with a fun event going on from June 13-20th called ROCK THE VAULT. At the heart of the Writers Helping Writers site is a tremendous vault, and these two ladies have been hoarding prizes of epic writerly proportions.

A safe full of prizes, ripe for the taking…if the writing community can work together to unlock it, of course.

Ready to do your part? Stop by Writers Helping Writers to find out more!

Posted in Advice and resources, On Writing Tagged with: , , ,

5 ways writers use Instagram

5 ways writers use Instagram


  1. Photo prompts, these are great fun. Some are one-off like #maythe4thbewithyou and others will run for an entire month like#BooktoberFest
  2. Create your own prompt, it’s allowed. Look at how others are doing it, join in a few and then launch your own. Pick a topic that will bring in people relevant to your interest/theme etc, not something random.
  3. Comment, don’t just like. Likes are great, but comments are better. Again, it’s all about being part of the conversation.
  4. Ask questions when you post a new photo. Get people involved in your images by asking them a question like “have you ever done that, or is it just me?”, “Has anyone else got a similar photo to share?”
  5. Share your life, people want to peak into your windows and see how you live and work, so give them a little to keep them wanting more. This could be photos of your workspace, a blurry photo of your manuscript, the cafe you flee to on Thursday mornings, just make it a little personal without oversharing.

Bonus – If your muse has taken wing and headed out into the big blue room then scour Instagram images for a burst of fresh inspiration.

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5 ways writers use Twitter

5 ways writers use Twitter
  1. Hashtag search, you can find a great range of topics to read about and engage in this way
  2. Twitter Chats – #IndieChat#CreativeCoffeeHour, and #StorySocial to name a few
  3. Don’t just repost blog articles, try for something more personal like

    hey .@blotsandspots loved your point about tweeting conversation links

  4. Get involved in the conversation, talk to people, don’t just like their post, comment on it
  5. Search for experts, this is a great way to find accurate information from professionals regarding a wide range of topics you might be using in your stories. Find a deep sea diver, a neurosurgeon, a barrister or a stay-at-home-mum by searching for those terms and then filtering through to people. It’s also a great way to network with other writers.

BONUS: Twitter conversations can make a great stand in for your MIA muse. Find a random tweet and use it as a story starter. This is a great way to find a new characters voice.

Takeaway – get involved in the conversation, use the search tools to your advantage
What are some of the ways you use Twitter to enhance your writing?
Posted in Tools Tagged with: , , ,
Has anyone seen my muse
I am many things, among them mother, wife, daughter, sister, aunt, friend, spoonie and most emphatically, writer. Read More


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