How to Tackle NaNoWriMo: My Advice To You (Day 2 of Countdown)

FRIENDS ARE THE BEST! INVITE A READER ON YOUR JOURNEY WITH YOU.

Making the big decision to commit to writing a 50,000-word tome in 30 days is a PRETTY BIG decision to make.

togetherNow that you have done that, and have decided to take my advice on just writing whatever comes from your imagination, and flies out of your fingertips like magic sparks, allow me to offer you token number 2 that I learned in my experiences.

TIP 2. Have an honest friend (One who will be straight with you if your plot is not great) to support you by reading your daily progress. (This person is not writing, ONLY reading.)

One of the biggest attractions of  NaNoWriMo is the worldwide support system that a writer becomes apart of for 30 days.  I read an article, a few years back, out of Writer’s Digest. That entire edition was dedicated to, you guessed it, NaNoWriMo, and it likened this experience to running a marathon, and how being surrounded by strangers with the same goal helps each runner keep pressing forward.Mag Cover

I believe that is sage, to have that kind of support, HOWEVER, that is not what I mean by having a friend come along with you…obviously, because I said that already, twice.

In the first 2 years that I participated, I had a friend who I sent my daily progress to.

This helped in several different ways:

  1.  I had an audience who kept an eye on plot points and pointed out mistakes for me if I got off track.  By them pointing out my mistakes, it saved me time in the future with revisions AND it enabled me a quicker movement back on track with the progression of the story.  She also tended to print out the pages and make copy edits all on her own. PRICELESS!
  2. Because they were invested in the story (They kept reading because they liked the plot) they acted as a dog on my heels, nipping when I wasn’t writing fast enough. This is encouraging because their desire to read more was a sign that they were enjoying the story, which meant I wasn’t writing a bunch of crap.  (If they didn’t like it, they said so. Again get an honest friend for the journey, not one who likes everything you do just because.)
  3. Having to send my daily progress gave me a sense of a more immediate goal to work toward. When there is a feeling of expectation, you are more willing to perform without coming up with a ton of excuses and reasons to not follow through.

So if you have time (and you do) find a friend who loves to read, is honest about what they read, and who will give it to you straight as they read.  As Ecclesiastes 4:9 says:

 Two are better than the one, for they enjoy a better reward for their toil.

Enjoy your journey, and as always, happy writing! And if you somehow missed my Token number 1:

TIP 1. Write anything. Let your imagination take control. (Click HERE for full article)

TIP 2. Have a reader who will look over your daily progress with an honest reader’s eye, and give you feedback. 

BONUS: Check out my debut novel, NEXUS GATE 4037: THE ANIMAL, my first published piece born from a 30-day writing marathon like NaNoWriMo, both in eBook and Paperback.

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eBOOK AVAILABLE NOW ON AMAZON!

“I believe myself that a good writer doesn’t really need to be told anything except to keep at it.” ~CHINUA ACHEBE

How to Tackle NaNoWriMo: My Advice To You (Day 1 of Countdown)

In less than a week, November 1st will be here, and a mass of heroes and heroines will be born from the typing fingers of those who have bravely taken up the challenge to write a 50,000-word novel in 30 days.

First, let me say congratulations on being brave enough to challenge yourself with this. I have participated in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and each year I have come away with a fantastic body of work (that yes, needs editing and revision) that I can be proud of.

Now, let me clarify, I have not officially done the NaNoWriMo with the whole registration thing (which I totally recommend because they have some great rewards for those who complete the 30 days with 50,000 words or more.) Why? Well, because I tend to use any 30 day month, June being the month of choice, to tackle my writing adventure.

November, June, September, April, any of these months will do. They all have 30 days, and they all afford you the chance to learn something new about yourself and your writing craft, and most awesomely, to walk away with the foundation of a novel or a completed novel before you enter the next calendar month. And thus far, I have walked away with several novels and series ready for revision.

Q. SO WITH ALL OF THAT SAID, WHAT DID I LEARN AND WHAT CAN I SAY AS A WORD OF ADVICE FOR DAY ONE OF THE COUNTDOWN TO NANOWRIMO?

A. I learned that, for me, there is NO SUCH THING AS WRITER’S BLOCK.

There are several reasons why we “think” we are blocked, but the truth is we always have something to say, we just have to allow ourselves to say it. Check out my  post on my sister site, I Came for the Soup,  “Are You Listening.” It highlights one of the reasons that keep us from achieving written awesomeness.

My advice…

TIP 1: Sit down and write something. Close your eyes and let your fingers do the talking. If you are relaxed and just let your imagination do what it does, the words will come, and something magical and fulfilling will happen. Don’t psych yourself out with all the overthinking. Breathe, type, breathe, type, breathe.

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AVAILABLE NOW ON AMAZON!

Go to Amazon.com to check out NEXUS GATE 4037: THE ANIMAL, my Second NaNoWriMo piece and my very first Indie Published Novel!

“The first draft is just you telling yourself the story.” ~TERRY PRATCHETT

 

3 Reasons to Write That Novel: Wisdom from the Writer’s Journal

I believe that everyone at some point in their life journey has made the statement, “I think I should write a book.” While many have said it, very few have actually embarked on the actually journey when you think about it in terms of the ratio of ‘said’ versus ‘done’.

Now, having completed several tomes myself and published my first novel, Nexus Gate 4307: The Animal, currently available in paperback and ebook on Amazon.com, I have to admit that writing a novel from start to finish isn’t the easiest thing to do BUT it doesn’t have to be as difficult as many of us make it out to be.

Most of what causes the process to be difficult are:

  • Over-thinking: Rather than letting your creativity guide you and dance with your imaginative muse, you think the story into knots to the point that you ware yourself out even before you’ve even begun the actual writing process.
  • Lack of confidence: You put too much stock in what others will think of your creative work and often assume what they will think will be negative.
  • Perfectionism: You concern yourself with the idea of the ‘finished product’ and expect perfection from a work in progress when the first several drafts are actually just your beginning stages.
  • Thinking its already been done before/ Someone took your idea: You choose not to share your spaghetti sauce with others because someone else has already made, marketed, and sold spaghetti sauce…you get the picture.

These four are definitely creativity-killers not just in the world of writing but in the world of doing just about anything that poses a challenge but holds interests to you.

What are the cures to these nasty bugs:

  • Think less, do more: Enjoy the journey and don’t worry so much about the ending destination, especially not in the beginning stages.
  • Believe that trying is worth it even if you ‘fail.’ (Failure is relative.): The joy of simply having accomplished any creative goal is worth pursuing regardless of if you choose to share it with others or not. It simply lets you know that you can.
  • Remember that no matter how sharp we are at our craft there will always be a flaw: There is beauty in imperfection and often where there is imperfection our brains will either appreciate the quirk or fill in the gap. Some of the most highly funded books still have flaws in them.
  • Your idea is unique even if it resembles someone else’s…how many vampire stories are out there? I rest my case…sorta.

Now that that’s out of the way, it’s time for you to leave the ocean of ‘sayers’ and become part of the flock of ‘doers.’ It’s time for you to WRITE THAT BOOK!

“Many Great Authors began their writing careers in meeting their own imaginative and literary need. Perhaps that ‘book’ you crave to read, but can’t seem to find, rest deep within the soil of your imagination. Perhaps it’s time you begin to bring it to light! Write the book!” ~ Candice Coates

Octavia E. Bulter is a celebrated Science Fiction author. Her success grew from watching what she said was a terrible Science fiction movie and saying to herself that she could write better than that, and you know what? She did.

3 REASONS TO WRITE THE BOOK

1.WHY should you write that book: If a concept has been playing like a movie in your mind for more than a month (or even a week) you should give it life, even if you are the only one to read it.

And don’t worry if you thought up a great storyline only to find that someone else has tried something that seems similar. Here is the reality, many people have shared ideas and they’ve never even discussed them before.

As I said, there are so many vampire novels out there with the undead being in love with the living. Or think about how many mail-order bride romance novels there are. Similar concepts but if you’ve ever read any of these, you would find they are vastly different.

It’s called a niche within a genre.

So write your book because your idea is worth sharing.

2. HOW should you write that book: I recently read a book by Mark Batterson called Chase the Lion. (Great book!) In it, he describes his concept of using the 80/20 rule when it comes to writing. I liked what he had to say BUT I kind of have a similar but different view of it.

Putting it in my own words, 80 percent of finished work is better than 20 percent of daydreaming about it. Daydreaming without any work done will only lead you down a rabbit hole of nothingness where you let in those four creativity-killers.

Let your first draft be just that, a first draft! Go on and misspell a few words, dance over correct grammar, and use ‘to’ in place of ‘two’ too many times. It’s okay. Goodness, even let the plot slip a few times.

Your job during the 80 is to bring the bones and muscle of the story to life. The skin and clothes will come during the rewrites. Yes, there will be rewrites…at least three.

Putting down the words even with the mistakes is HOW YOU WRITE THAT BOOK! You get out the 80 percent and then weave through the 20 percent during second drafts, editing, and beta.

3. WHEN should you write that book: NOVEMBER 1st of ANY YEAR is a great time to write that book or to at least get it started. Why? Because that is NaNoWriMo, the National Novel Writing Month. Check out the official site here www.nanowrimo.org.

Participating in NaNoWriMo gives you the chance to connect with other like-minded creatives who are running toward the same goal, like a marathon except you are using computers and being pretty sedentary…and probably packing in the calories instead of burning them but that’s beside the point.

The point is you will have a platform to gauge your progress and be encouraged by that of others.

Me, I like to use June as my Novel Writing Month, but any 30-day month will do just to get you started. That is when I finished both Nexus Gate and Warden (coming out Winter 2020).

Just get started. Write that Book! Why? Because it’s in you. How?  By sitting down and doing it. When? Right now is a good time to start!

WRITE THAT BOOK!

If you don’t see the book you want on the shelf, write it.” ~Beverly Cleary

 

* Revised from original publication on icameforthesoup.com December 18th, 2015, by Candice Coates

Nexus Gate 4037: The Animal Now Available on Amazon in PAPERBACK!!!

Friends and fellow Genre Jumpers! The day is now upon us! NEXUS GATE 4037: THE ANIMAL is NOW AVAILABLE in PAPERBACK and ebook on AMAZON! NG 3D Front 2

(Forgive all of the capitalizations, but this lady is HAPPY!!!!)

You have GOT TO GET THIS BOOK! and not just because I say so, but because others do.

“…This is one wild ride, with time travel from future to past and back again. Enter the year 4037–the past–where the future makes a point of studying what’s already happened without interfering unless absolutely necessary. Vivian’s time surveillance is thrust into chaos after the disappearance of her husband in the nexus of time and the unwelcome appearance of ‘Tucker’ John from the year 1837…the year he was supposed to die. Thinking he’s been abducted, Tucker raises all sorts of a ruckus while bearing an uncanny resemblance to Vivian’s missing husband. Vivian must protect her time surveillance, keep the past she presently lives in and the past of humanity from falling apart. She’ not sure she can mourn the loss of her own John Spruce and hold on to her sanity in the face of a controlling, damaged, and twisted man from a past best left in the past all while searching for the cause of the tampering that led to their dangerous predicament. You really have got to get this book!” 

Here is another 5 Star review from a reader:

…Candice Coates’ ability to make you love a character you know you should hate is impressive. Vivian is a strong female lead whose drive is well-balanced by her compassion. And if there was one villain you should love to hate, you’d think it would be Tucker John. Nexus Gate 4037: The Animal is only the first book in this series, but Candice Coates has already gotten the series off to a dynamic and thrilling start…

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Head on over to Amazon and get your hands on your own copy, be it eBook or Paperback. Hey, why not get both?!

If you know anyone who has a love of science fiction and time travel, suspense, and alternative history, then this is definitely the book for them.

And if you aren’t already, be sure to FOLLOW me here, as well as on INSTAGRAM and FACEBOOK!

In the meantime, here is a quote from the Animal himself, Tucker John, Nexus Gate 4037: The Animal,

“I swear fo’god before all this is said and done, you gon’ find out why they give me the name Tucka’!” ~TUCKER JOHN

 

A Dangerous Dance: Flash-Fiction & Art for Day 2 of #Inktober 2019

The icy rush of adrenaline that shot up Eeva’s spine rivaled the biting cold of the water that lapped around her ankles and hand.  She stared into the pale eyes of the alpha male, his white fur reminding her of winter. It was then her father had died thrusting her into the role of provider for her home. She was eldest after all.

Provider. The title should have been her mother’s. But the brutal loss of her beloved had thrust her into a mindless ring sorrow that had rendered her little more than a child. The pressure from the burden that weighed upon Eeva’s shoulders had often driven her away, deep into the darkness of the wood.

Hunting had been her excuse but something far more thrilling had been her pursuit.

Legend held that if one prooved worthy, they could become one of the Winter Tribe–the White wolves that could, at whim, be beast or man and lived close to an eternity of years. When Eeva first set her eyes upon the pearlescent fur, locked gazes with the alpha whose fire gaze seemed to set her soul ablaze, she could not help but pursue him…even as he stalked and pursued her.

It had been nine months now, secret meetings of distance nearness, he disarming her with the glint in his eyes, ever closing the space between them as he dictated her steps.

It was a dangerous dance. One her father had failed to master.

But now as she felt her being seared by the cold of the water as if flames were burning away all that she once was, she knew she had mastered the steps and would this day be one of the Winter Pack.

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Dangerous Dance Cover

*This is Day 2 of #Inktober 2019. Tonight, I chose to not only use my custom prompt words for my story and inked art, but also to use the official Inktober list words to help move my short story along. 

I do hope that you have enjoyed it, and hopefully, we will have something new tomorrow!

 

Popcorn: Micro Fiction for Inktober

It was never a good thing to allow desperate hunger to be sated by a present, but less than acceptable option. Sure the pain would ease or better be dulled by the lying lull of fullness and satisfaction, only to come back with a vengeance and a demand for retribution for the red herring that was dealt like the perfect dish.

Him…he was the red-herring or more so like popcorn, the kind gotten from the concession stand at the rundown theatre. He looked oh so tempting when out of reach, but turned out to be perfectly stale, over salty, greased down with imitation butter, and served hot with enough flaky kernels to make your gums pray mercy and beg for a dental hygienist.

Sad thing is…that is the price one pays for popcorn. Sadder still, many of us will never stop eating it.

Popcorn
“Yellow Dinner” Day 1 of Inktober 2019 (Unofficial word prompt list)

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Photo by Mc Jefferson Agloro on Unsplash

*This is my micro-fiction piece, done as a companion to my first ever Inktober illustration. My list was acquired from @alexandradikaia on Instagram. My unique word combination for this day is “YELLOW DINNER.” 

On Amazon ONLY!: Nexus Gate Publishing Decisions & Inktober News

Hello, Genre Jumpers! This month of September has been a loaded one. With starting to work from home, building a workable creative rhythm and schedule, getting NEXUS GATE 4037: THE ANIMAL formatted for paperback publication, and a list of other things, let’s just say this woman is tired, but in a good way.

Here is what’s going down.

NEXUS GATE PAPERBACK ONLY ON AMAZON

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eBOOK & PAPERBACK AVAILABLE NOW ON AMAZON!

After weeks of disputing with Barnes & Noble about ISBN ownership, I have decided to ONLY publish on AMAZON. I apologize for any inconveniences that I have caused my hopeful B&N readers but Amazon is simply the best option for me and my book at the moment.

I have to say that I have had a great level of peace concerning this decision and have gleaned a lot of useful knowledge for my next indie publication coming in the Winter of 2020

 

So if you are ready to get your read on with Nexus Gate, head on over to Amazon and make all of your reading-dreams come true!

I’ve ordered my author copy and will share that soon, as well as a personal paperback from B&N, just to do some comparisons on final products.

WHAT’S THIS INKTOBER BUSINESS?

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This image is not my property, and by sharing, I am in no way assuming any ownership.

Being that I am not only a writer but an artist, I am planning to participate in my first ever round of Inktober, created by illustrator, Jake Parker. Although I am going to try my hand at doing prompted sketches, I am also going to attempt to create some micro-fiction to go along with each picture.

This is mighty ambitious BUT I need to stretch my creative muscles and this seems to be the best way to do so.

I’m also not using the official Inktober list, but another that was created by an illustrator I follow on Instagram. Their list is set up to create a more personal set of daily prompt words and I really enjoy that concept.

I am imagining making really cool pieces and stories to share here on my site and eventually my online store, which will be coming soon as well.

SO RECAP

  1. The paperback of Nexus Gate will ONLY be sold on Amazon, as well as the eBook
  2. I am going to make some art and new micro-fiction in October!

Thanks for journeying along with me and I look forward to reading your reviews on my debut novel!

~Candice, The Genre Jumper

If the plan doesn’t work, change the plan but never the goal.” ~UNKNOWN

*Photo by Siora Photography on Unsplash

 

Indie Publishing Hiccups…and What Not

Hello friends,

Our date for the paperback edition of NEXUS GATE 4037: THE ANIMAL, my debut novel from 2018, goes live on Friday, October 4th! I would be lying if I said I wasn’t excited about all of this even in light of the hiccups I have had in making this work of fiction physically available to you, my readers.

WHAT? WHAT HICCUPS?

So, it appears that somewhere along the lines of formatting and squaring things away for printing, that I ran into some trouble with my ISBN number.

Quick digression. If you are considering going the indie/self-publishing route with your writing, good for you! That is fantastic. Just make sure that you purchase your ISBN numbers form the ONLY legit vendor of ISBN’s in the US and that is Bowker.

Back to the hiccups…

It appears that made the ‘mistake’ of making my book available for mass distribution on Amazon, since that was the first platform I uploaded my novel to, and in so doing, I made my ISBN number unusable for self-publishing on any other platform, namely Barnes & Nobles.

BUMMER!

Now, this could be remedied in a very easy way, and that is for me to use another of my ISBN numbers in order to publish the same book on B&N’s platform.

Allow me to just say that in doing the math, taking not of the royalties I would receive for the same book, which are nearly 50% less than what I would get from Amazon, I have decided to scratch the idea of using another ISBN number on that platform.

Let me be clear though, what has happened to me, was strictly a rookie mistake in that I did not read ALL of the fine print several times over.

NG 3D Front 2The fact is you can use the same ISBN on different self-publishing platforms as long as:

  • The books have the same title
  • The same interior information and formating
    • Page numbers
    • page color type
    • are the same dimensions/ size
  • The same cover

The soup gets a little thick when you allow the book to be released for mass distribution on either platform (I believe) making it unusable on the other.

WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO NOW?

Being a person firmly anchored in faith in Christ Jesus, I know that although He didn’t cause this roadblock, that He is more than able and willing to use it for my good! I am expectant that much good will come out of this, that I will gain much valuable knowledge from this specific situation, that will aid me in my next publishing adventure coming WINTER 2020.

As I wait to hear back from B&N for other options available to remedy this current problem, I continue to get things all square on Amazon and explore my other distribution options with other indie retailers.

The goodness in all of this? I don’t know a single person who doesn’t make purchases from Amazon.  So win-win, right?

Right!

So, the party goes on. Paperbacks for all on Friday, October 4th even if they are only available on Amazon.

~Candice, the Genre Jumper

When life throws you a rainy day, play in the puddles.” ~UNKNOWN

 

*Photo by Water Journal on Unsplash

 

Nexus Gate 4037 Paperback News & Other Musings…& it’s About TIME!

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Hello, Genre Jumpers! Candice here, and let me tell you all that I am BEYOND excited to be connecting with you once again.

It has been a long season away, but it was filled with learning, growing, and planning for things that are right on the horizon, things that I am super excited to be sharing with you today.

First, I want to thank everyone who showed their support and purchased an eBook copy of NEXUS GATE 4037: THE ANIMAL. It is such an honor and privilege to share the imagined worlds that live in my head and heart with others.

For those who have YET to purchase, there is still time and not only time but an additional format option to choose from coming in October.

NEXUS GATE 4037: THE ANIMAL PAPERBACK COMING FRIDAY OCTOBER 4th 2019

NG 3D JPEGIt has been a long time coming, but each step and each moment has been worth the wait! NEXUS GATE 4037: THE ANIMAL will be in PAPERBACK!

WHEN: FRIDAY, OCTOBER 4th, 2019

PRICE: $16.99

PREORDER: TBA

WHERE: AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE

 

I have worked really hard, and with the love, support, and guidance of other indie authors, especially Rachael Ritchey ( go and check out her site AND her books! ) I have been blessed to get where I am with my indie-publication journey.

Learning about formatting, not only for eBooks but paperback, has taught me a few things. One, patience is indeed a virtue and two, you really don’t have a clue how to use Microsoft Word until you have gone through the fire of formatting a document for publication!

I laugh about it now, but I tell you, I broke sweats in the cold with my attempts of making my manuscript publishable in both the eBook and paperback.

WHERE YOU CAN PURCHASE NEXUS GATE 4037?

While PAPERBACKS will be available on both AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE, the EBOOK will only BE AVAILABLE ON AMAZON.

Starting sometime in September, NEXUS GATE will be joining KINDLE UNLIMITED! For those who are already subscribers to KU you will get to read NEXUS GATE for FREE for a season.

FOR THOSE WHO DON’T OWN A KINDLE BUT WANT TO READ THE EBOOK, no worries!

As you may already know, both Android and Apple, have Kindle Apps that enable you to download Kindle Books you’ve already purchased from Amazon and onto whatever device you have the App running on.

Here is a HOW TO video for those of you who have struggled with the logistics of the Kindle App. CLICK HERE! The video is less than 3 minutes long and is short and sweet and straight to the point.

That’s our news in a nutshell! More goodies are coming this FALL so be sure to FOLLOW me here, as well as on INSTAGRAM and FACEBOOK!

In the meantime, here is a quote from the Animal himself, Tucker John, Nexus Gate 4037: The Animal,

“I swear fo’god before all this is said and done, you gon’ find out why they give me the name Tucka’!” ~TUCKER JOHN