Monthly Archives: November 2013

Writing in the Sand about Authors for the Philippines …

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Instead of wittering on about NaNo this week, I wanted to join those telling as many people as possible about “Authors for the Philippines” who are running an auction until Wednesday, hoping to raise as much money as possible for the people affected by the typhoon.

Below, I’ve reblogged one of the lots up for auction, but there are children’s books, young adult and adult fiction, as well as things like having a character named after you in somebody’s next novel.

(I did reblog earlier about the highly popular Jill Mansell lot – 2 x advance copies of her new novel, wrapped in a page of her own handwritten notes, no less – but I got in a bit of a pickle and had to get my blog fairy-godmother to wave her magic wand and delete it – thanks Morgen!)

There are literary lunches up for grabs and even an “evening down the pub” event which has already had over 90 bids/comments/people forming “cartels” over it!

Please visit their blog for a browse. There’s bound to be something you’d like to bid on …

70: Three signed and dedicated Christmas Novels by Scarlett Bailey

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With Christmas coming up, what could be nicer than curling up on the sofa with a mug of hot chocolate and one of these three delightful Scarlett Bailey Christmas novels?
To raise money for those stricken by the typhoon, “Authors for the Philippines” are auctioning these and over 330 other lots of books and other writing related items and events until Wednesday 20th November at 8pm GMT.
Please visit their website and have a browse – you could do some Christmas shopping and support a very worthy cause …

Authors for the Philippines

ITEM: Three signed and dedicated Christmas Novels by Scarlett Bailey

Just For ChristmasMarried by ChristmasNIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS v3_4

BIO: Scarlett Bailey is the Christmas and fun loving alter ego of author Rowan Coleman and brings you warm romantic comedies with a festive flair. ‘Curl up by the fire and read this romantic tale of lost loves and new beginnings (complete with the world’s scruffiest dog)…you’ll read the last page with a smile on your face.’ Is what handbag.com say about ‘Just For Christmas’

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Writing in the Sand about Nine Naughty NaNo Ninjas …

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Right, so we’re nine days into NaNoWriMo and I’m a tad behind my target. This is where I start to need some plot ninjas to keep me going through the month. I’m glad I asked some friends to think some up for me, though of course, now they’ve done that, they’re going to want to see them written down somewhere, even if they don’t make it into the actual story. So (and don’t blame me – I didn’t come up with them!) here goes …Poss blog pic - notepad&pencil1 – Somebody in the story gets stopped for speeding, by a policeman who is clearly only interested in extracting a bribe …

Interesting. If I’d set this story in the UAE, where I set most of my stories, I wouldn’t touch this one with a barge pole! But as I’ve set it in a fictional, English, Midsomer Murders – type village, it could definitely provide a useful little plot twist.

2 – Either the hero or the heroine gets framed for shoplifting by a love rival …

Again, one I wouldn’t want to use in a Dubai setting (without time to research all the local, legal aspects of it, which I obviously don’t have, for NaNo). But for the purposes of my story – where things keep going disastrously wrong for the heroine – yes. I like that one.

3 – One of the characters becomes a victim of identity theft…

I’m starting to wonder about my friends! But yes, that has loads of potential!

4 – One of the main characters finds a lost toddler and has to look after it until the police come …

That’s one which could be used pretty easily. It could also start a new story thread, which could be woven back in, later on.

5 – A childhood nemesis returns/turns up to give one of the characters some grief …

Yep, another  possibility. And a chance to throw in a good chunk of backstory.

6 – Somebody turns up, mistakenly (or not) claiming to be the illegitimate sibling of one of the protagonists …

Hmm – that sounds to me like the basis of an actual plot rather than a plot ninja. But I could be wrong – I’m happy to be corrected!

7 – A storm knocks all the power out for an hour and a group of characters are stranded together. Without their hi-tech gadgets, all they can do is talk to each other …

Obviously inspired by last week’s storm. This would be a good plot ninja for writers like me who love writing dialogue.

8 – Include a messy incident involving a bottle of ketchup …

Easy enough. Although it won’t generate a huge amount of writing.

9 – Somebody has a catastrophe at the hairdressers …

Actually I’ve already got something of that nature planned for later in the story, with a bride-to-be in a spray tanning booth.

Some of these should come in useful as the month progresses. Next week we’ll be halfway through this year’s challenge and I’ll be checking in with some fellow participants to compare notes. I hope I’ll have been able to catch up …

Picture courtesy of Morguefile.

Writing in the Sand about NaNo 2013 – The First Few Days …

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IMG_1132-Edit-Edit copyAprilwithlaptopblogpicfinalWell, after my babbling on about getting ready for this year’s NaNo, I had a frustrating start – I couldn’t get into the website, to register! Some friends I spoke to were having the same problem, so I guessed there was too much traffic on the website and went shopping instead, to stock up on some nice, healthy NaNo snacks.

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November 1st dawned – Day 1 – and I still couldn’t access the NaNoWriMo website. Hubby, knowing the full extent of my technophobia suggested I might be doing something wrong, so I was (rather selfishly, I’m ashamed to admit) relieved to hear that I still wasn’t the only one. We knuckled down anyway and got on with the business in hand – Day 1 – Target – 1,667 words. Well, I managed 1,911 – trying to get a bit ahead of the game, as I know there’ll be days this week when I can’t spend long at my desk. Some of my Facebook friends managed over 2,000, leaving the rest of us with word count envy.

Day 2 – and Yippee! I managed to get into the site and register! Contemporary romance is my genre, and almost always international. For last year’s NaNo, I wrote a love story with a ghostly theme, set in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. This year, for a bit of a change, I’m writing a romantic comedy, set in an imaginary English village. That’s one of the great things about NaNo, you can wander out of your usual genre/sub-genre and try others on for size. Day 2 – Target – 3,334. Only got as far as 3,095, so with hubby home tomorrow (it’s a 3 day weekend here, this week) I’ll have to catch up on Monday.

Day 3 – I pretty much know what I want to write today and for the rest of the week, so is it too early to start thinking about plot ninjas?

 >Ask Sally #23 Plot Ninjas

quillersplace.wordpress.com

>A new question from my lovely friend, Womagwriter.What’s a plot ninja? I’ve seen the term on writing sites, and you say you’ve put some in your nano first chapter. Can you explain what they are…
As Sally Quilford explains, plot ninjas began as a helpful device for when NaNowers might start to flag a little. A helpful bod suggested they all have a ninja leap out of a wardrobe at some point in their novel! The idea grew and now any unexpected happening in the story can be a plot ninja. I’ve specifically asked some of my non-writer friends to think up some for me for next week. I’m looking forward to seeing what they come up with …