I’m pleased to bring you another guest post by a fellow author, please help me welcome Mia Darien to my blog as the final stop on her Deeper than Skin blog tour. Mia writes multiple types of genre fiction.
Romancing the NaNo Stone
I had heard about NaNoWriMo — National Novel Writing Month — for a few years.
For those who don’t know, it’s a month of utter insanity. You sign up to try to write a novel in one month, at least 50,000 words. It takes place in the month of November and the rules say you can’t start writing until November 1, although you can research and outline, and you have to stop on November 30. You have a page where you keep track of word count and people can track your progress.
For those years, I kept meaning to try it. I actually knew I could do it, because I once wrote 87K in three weeks, but I thought it would be fun. There are forums, and regional and local meet-up groups and motivational videos. November is always a busy month for me, so I just kept not getting to it.
Then, 2011 came. I had this story. It had been drafted as a novella some years before and had a thorny past with a near-publishing experience with a sketchy publisher, which I managed to avoid. I decided it needed to be overhauled and rewritten. I had done my research and wrote out the new outline, I was ready to go!
I couldn’t write it. I don’t know what my problem was, except a dislike of rewriting something I’ve already written, but I started and stopped four times. I wrote the same chapter four times!
In autumn of 2011, I had an epiphany. Maybe some accountability would help. If I knew people were watching, maybe it would make me work. I signed up for NaNoWriMo with “Deeper than Skin” and on November 1, I started writing. I took the NaNo spirit. I wrote and did not look back. I didn’t worry if it sucked. I didn’t worry about editing or revising or anything. I just wrote.
The first night, I wrote a couple thousand words. It was the same the second night. I kept this pace, until my husband got involved. He knows when he challenges me, I can’t not meet the expectation. So he told me… “Today, I want you to write 3K…” Then it went up to four, to five… and I did it.
I finished the story at 51,100 words on November 15. I had been updating my word count religiously while friends watched on and there it was. It was done. I set it aside and refused to touch it or look at it or let anyone read it until December. After then, I did my own content read-through and sent it to my Beta Readers. After the usual run-through, here I am, releasing it!
Not only did NaNo help me finish this book, when it might not have been written otherwise, but it has taught me the way to write. I knew it before, but it confirmed that you should write your first draft without looking back. Just write, write, write! It’s also taught me that I write better when I have a deadline and people watching, so I’ve started keeping a word count of current projects on my site.
It’s amazing what a little insanity can do for you, isn’t it?
Here’s an excerpt of Mia’s current release, “Deeper than Skin.”
For three years, the province of Gévaudan, France has lived under the terrifying reign of the Beast. The death count continues to rise.
It is into this Beast’s woods that Constance throws herself, desperate for escape from a life she finds more horrifying than the thought of her province’s monster. What she does not expect to find is a man.
Tristan, the half-masked noble from a neighboring province, is one of many young men come to hunt the creature. The last thing he expects to find is the beautiful Constance, but find her he does.
Can two wounded souls overcome the pain of the past and the trials of the present to find one another, amid a time of terror and blood?
Author’s Note: Half of all proceeds of this novel will be donated to charity. See Dedication and also the Author’s Note at the end of the story for more information.
Warning: This story contains adult themes and a scene of explicit sexual situations.
Hungry for more? Here’s a little more about Mia Darien:
Mia Darien has lived in New England all of her life and knows that no matter where she goes from here, New England is always going to live in her. Presently, she still lives in the land of snow and fast talkers, with her husband, her son and her pets. She writes a bit of everything genre fiction (horror, romance, mystery, fantasy and science fiction) and thinks it sounds like an odd joke: a unicorn, a space monster, and a pair of zombie lovers walk into a murder investigation…
If you’d like to learn more about Mia’s work, or about the author herself, visit her website.