Marji Laine: Faith~Driven Fiction

. . . Authentic and Intense


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National Novel Writing Month

It comes around as often as November, and for several years when I was just beginning, I took part every year in the great determination called NaNoWriMo.

Determination is actually a good description of the month-long event. Novelists from all genres will do everything they can to complete at least 50,000 words in a new novel. They celebrate at write-ins, have routine meetups and word-sprints. They even connect with writing buddies to provide challenges and encouragement.

And it just so happened that a new story was bugging me just in time to participate.

In all honesty, I’d intended to write the third book of the Heath’s Point Suspense. This is a story that I’d written as a serial almost a decade ago. It needs complete replanning and rewriting because it doesn’t work at all for a novel. I struggled with it throughout the entire month of October, trying to force the elements of the story to work. They resisted. The very last day of the month, I asked the Lord to please bless my working through the story. To help me have a clear idea of the plan.

I immediately had the words “Giselle’s story” enter my mind. Wait … no … Giselle’s story is the sequel to AIN’T MISBEHAVING. I’m nowhere near ready to write that. I barely know the two main characters in that book, as though we’d been introduced but hadn’t chatted at all.

Still, the impulse stayed with me. I was convinced I was supposed to spend this month working on CRY ME A RIVER, the second book in the Dallas Duets series. I only had one day to plan, so I started writing everything I knew about the story.  The hero – I didn’t even have his name – is a cop and he stops Giselle and gives her a ticket. That was about all I knew when I started a week ago.

The video became the birthing of a brand new story. I carried around the sticky-note pad for a couple of days, jotting down every scene idea that came into my mind. Yesterday, I compiled all of the ideas, added a little here and there and the story was complete.

As hard as it was to plan the Heath’s Point Suspense, the new Dallas Duet just poured out. In fact, I even have a novella idea that connects the two books together. I so love these characters and I can’t wait to tell you more about them!

 


New Tools

PrintAs an educator, I always believed that the most important thing that a teacher could have is a tool belt of all sorts of ideas to help kids learn. Like a handyman’s tool belt has the right tool for the job, so the teacher had to find the right motivation to stimulate the process for each resistant learner.

And so is true for me this month. Not a resistant learner, but a stressed out and Continue reading


#5 Top Benefit of NaNoWriMo

nano budsWhile I’m engaging in this month-long contest, I’m sharing some of my favorite things from NaNoWriMo. Yesterday I shared #6 on my list. Today, the benefit I’m thinking about is the connections I’m making.

I always thought that writing had to be the most Continue reading


#6 Top Benefit of NaNoWriMo

Author or WriterYesterday, when I shared my #7 benefit, I also explained what NaNoWriMo is. Standing for National Novel-Writing Month, the program challenges authors to complete their novels or at least 50,000 words of it before the end of the month. This translates to about Continue reading


#7 Top Benefit of NaNoWriMo

NaNo CrestNaNoWriMo (naa-noe-wry-moe) stands for National Novel-Writing Month. Yes, that’s a real thing. And I imagine that somewhere around the time that November was adorned with this auspicious title, a group of writers got together and began challenging one another to complete their novels during the month.

However NaNoWriMo got its start, it has Continue reading


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NaNoWriMo Sacrifice

2013-Winner-Vertical-BannerI LOVE November. Last year, I wrote almost all of the 100,000 word contemporary romance that I just handed over to my agent. The year before that, a romantic suspense that is currently in play.

I love the challenge. Love meeting new people. Love logging in my words at the MBT NaNo Challenge as well as the main NaNo website. And I TOTALLY LOVE spending October planning out the novel to the last detail. One of my favorite things.

This year I’m viewing NaNoWriMo differently. The last few months in Continue reading