It’s NaNoEve!


NaNoWriMo is less than a day away. Are you ready? I’m not.

Well, I am, but it doesn’t count for much. I’ve gone in with a plan before and either had it fall apart or threw most of it away within the first few days.

I like to call myself a planner because I spent a lot of time thinking and writing things down before I start writing, but I’m not the sort of planner than sticks to the plan. I like making new plans all the time. I see what works and change accordingly. I wasn’t always like that and sometimes it would take my months to write just a chapter or two because I was fighting my own instincts about the story. I stopped doing that and my productivity has increased. I still lose time every once in a while when I need to stop and figure out what isn’t working and what needs to change to keep things moving forward, but it’s a much shorter and less painful process than forcing a story to be something it isn’t.

I’m just not sure if what I do counts as planning. Is it plantsing? I know I’m not pantsing. I know too much ahead of time for it to be pantsing.

Does any of it matter? Probably not. As long as I write my novel whatever I’m doing is the right thing. Having a label for my particular way of doing things is good for finding like-minded writers, but worrying about fitting into a particular box is more of a distraction than anything.

November is going to be a very hectic month without adding extra worries to my list. I’m still working on wrapping up The Dreams. There’s still at least a few chapters left to go so I’ll be focusing on that on top of writing a fresh, new draft of Inbetween.

It’s going to be a fun novel to write. Exorcists, demons, two worlds where magic works in very different ways… all good stuff if you ask me. I can’t wait to see where this draft will take me. I first tackled the original version of this idea back in 2007 and I’ve changed so much as a person and a writer since then I don’t know what to expect. I know I’m more confident in my writing skills than I was at 19 so I think things will be better this time around.

My patrons will be the first ones to see Inbetween. I’ll be posting my first draft every day during November on my Patreon. Sign up with a $1 pledge and you can see it all too.

Are you ready for NaNoWriMo? I think I am. Maybe.


Writing Progress October 24 – 30, 2016


October 24

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 197,517
  • Today’s word count: 1,188
  • Thoughts: Better! I feel like I’m getting back on track, and for once I feel like I know what I’m doing with this scene. It’s been a while since I felt that way. I always have a general idea for a scene when I plan to include it in the novel, but lately the general idea hasn’t been getting more specific. It makes it hard to write.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: More of the same or better. I need to wrap this story up so I need to keep having strong, productive writing days. Looming deadlines are usually excellent motivation. We’ll see if that applied in this case.

October 25

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 198,031
  • Today’s word count: 514
  • Thoughts: Not as good as yesterday, but I did make progress. I just wish I could wake up one day and have the energy and inspiration to finish it all in one go. I’m sure I’m not the only one out there that wants the ability to just dump a completed story out of their brain and into an actual written format.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: More writing. So much more writing. Let’s see if I can have a brain dump sort of day.

October 26

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count:  198,912
  • Today’s word count: 881
  • Thoughts: I’m getting there! The end of this story just doesn’t want to come out of my brain. Even when I know exactly what needs to happen I feel overwhelmed by the weight of  the whole story.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: The usual Thursday stuff. Writing. Revision. Probably a bit of panic.

October 27

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 199,950
  • Today’s word count: 1,038
  • Thoughts: I should’ve written 50 more words so I could say I hit 200,000, but I was just so tired when I stopped that I couldn’t imagine writing one more word.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: Hit 200,000 words and then probably freak out because the novel still won’t be finished.

October 28 and 29

These were interesting days. I worked on some revisions and did a lot of preparation of NaNoWriMo. On Saturday I went to a anime and gaming minicon and even did some planning for NaNoWriMo there. Unfortunately, this is not the sort of writing work that really translates to changing my word count numbers.

October 30

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 199,946
  • Today’s word count: -4
  • Thoughts: Yeah! Revisions! I finished up the revisions for this week’s chapter and got it posted. Then I fell back into my con-flu daze. I need to kick it before NaNoWriMo!
  • Tomorrow’s goal: Back to writing! I need to get my writing muscles warmed up before NaNo starts.

The Dreams: Chapter Forty Eight

the dreams cover

Cover by A. R. Shellnut

This chapter is interesting, in my opinion. I doubt it will be as interesting to you, but I went into this chapter with a first draft that was more of a rough outline. I tried to flesh it out some, but I don’t think I had much success. Once you see the problem in this chapter you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. Like most of the chapters lately, I’m imagining a huge overhaul on this chapter once I’ve stepped back from the story for a while and go back in for a third draft.

NaNoWriMo starts in a few days. I’ll still be posting the final chapters of The Dreams during November, but I’ll also be working on the first draft of a new novel, Inbetween. My patrons will be able to read the first draft as a write it so be sure to sign up on my Patreon if you want to see that.

With this chapter like every other chapter, I owe a huge thank you to my fantastic supporters.

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One Week Until NaNoWriMo

It’s almost here! It’s almost time for NaNoWriMo!


Wow! Time is flying! Can you believe the writing frenzy that is NaNoWriMo will start in one week?

I’m feeling horribly unprepared. Not only am I scrambling to finish up the final scenes of The Dreams before November 1, but I also don’t have a name for one of the main characters in Inbetween.

He had a name. Then I threw that name away and I haven’t found a good replacement. I’m doubting my decision now. I know it sounds silly to fret over a name so much. It can always be changed later. The name is just a symptom of the problem I’m having.

I’m changing things. I wrote a version of this story in the past, but it has a lot of problems. A reimagining and a rewrite should fix a lot of those problems, but I’m hesitating to change too much. I need to get over this mental roadblock and fast.

Maybe I will feel better about changing things once I start writing. Right now it feels like I’m a mess. I’m hoping I can get started and push those doubts to the side. All of this planning and preparation is just making me compare my plans with what I’ve created in the past. Once my new draft is underway I can forget all about the old versions.

In terms of non-writing NaNoWriMo prep I’m right on track. I have ideas for quick, easy meals and I intend to start off the month with tons of leftovers to heat up. I’m trying to decide on the perfect color of fountain pen ink for this story. Once I’ve settled on one (or two) I’ll clean out a couple of my pens and fill them with that color to use for notes during NaNoWriMo.

How is your NaNoWriMo prep going? Are you ready to go or scrambling to get everything ready in time? Are any of your characters requesting name changes at this stage?

Writing Progress October 17 – 23, 2016


October 17

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 193,592
  • Today’s word count: 1,276
  • Thoughts: I’m getting back on track with my writing training, but I’m not quite there yet. I probably could have hit 1,500 words today if I hadn’t run out of ideas. I have the big plot points ready to go, but every once in a while I run out of small details to fill in the gaps. It was too late to sit up and mull it over so I decided to sleep on it instead and missed out on the last 224 words.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: Write 1,500 words.

October 18

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 194,211
  • Today’s word count: 619
  • Thoughts: I didn’t make it to 1,500 words like I wanted, but I did make a decent amount of progress. I just wish I would have buckled down and tried to write earlier in the day. Some days I can make that happen and other days I’m so distracted by everything going on around me that I can only focus once the rest of the world quiets down.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: I want to work on improving my focus during the day and aim for 1,500 words again. Let’s see if I can make it!

October 19

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 195,128
  • Today’s word count: 917
  • Thoughts: I’m still struggling to get my word count up to my target of 1,500 on a regular basis. This has me a bit worried for NaNoWriMo. I want to believe that I’ll be able to write more words next month because it will be a new project and I won’t have all the baggage I carry around with The Dreams, but I worry that my discipline is not what it should be either.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: Revisions. More writing. I need to start hitting 1,500 words per day.

October 20

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 195,811
  • Today’s word count: 683
  • Thoughts: Today seemed like it would be more productive. I’m not sure what happened. I spent a lot of time writing but wrote fewer words. It happens sometimes, but I’m never happy about it.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: Revisions. Writing. More of the same, but hopefully better.

October 21

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 195,810
  • Today’s word count: -1
  • Thoughts: Today was a strange day. I didn’t sleep much and because of that I was too tired to do much more than work on revisions.
  • Tomorrow’s goal:  Hopefully sleep, post this weeks chapter and write!

October 22

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 195,914
  • Today’s word count: 104
  • Thoughts: Remember how I wanted to sleep? I barely slept at all. It pretty much ruined my entire day. I got the chapter posted and managed to bang out a couple words, but my body just was not in any sort of shape for taxing mental efforts or sitting upright in a chair.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: Sleep. So much sleep. And then so much writing. I think I can do it as long as I get a decent night’s sleep for once.

October 23

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 196,329
  • Today’s word count: 415
  • Thoughts: Better, but not great. I did get some sleep, but sleep debt is a very real thing. I’ve been working in a scene that probably isn’t the best for a tired mind. Being tired did mean it took me a while to realize that.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: More writing. I’m going to sleep and then I’m going to write lots and lots of words.

NaNoWriMo is just around the corner? Are you wrapping up any projects before the writing marathon starts?

Want to read about exorcists and otherworldly creatures? I’ll be posting the rough draft of my new novel, Inbetween, to my Patreon every day in November. If you want to check it out before anyone else be sure to become my patron before November 1.

The Dreams: Chapter Forty Seven

the dreams cover

Cover by A. R. Shellnut

This story is over 195,000 words long. Can you believe that? We’re closing in on the end now. I’m feeling a mixture of overwhelmed and excited. Today I’m just glad I’m posting this chapter on time.

I’m still aiming to finish writing The Dreams this month. The final chapter will be posted sometime next month or possibly early in December. Starting on November 1, I’ll be posting the first draft of my next novel, Inbetween, on my Patreon. Once The Dreams is finished I’ll start revising and posting the second draft of Inbetween here, but the first draft will continue to be a patrons-only thing.

With this chapter like every other chapter, I owe a huge thank you to my fantastic supporters. If you enjoy my writing please consider becoming my Patron.

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How Horror Fiction Can Make Us Better Writers

I read Stephen King a lot as a teen and I’d like to think I learned a lot from his style of storytelling. I will have to check out some more horror novels and see what I can learn to improve my own writing.

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Image via Flickr Creative Commons, courtesy of Frederik Andreasson Image via Flickr Creative Commons, courtesy of Frederik Andreasson

Since we are coming up on Halloween, I’d like to take a moment to talk about my favorite genre—horror. I can’t get enough of it. It is a genre that fascinates me simply because I believe it is the most difficult genre to write. Sure it was probably easier back in the days that movie audiences ran screaming from the man in a really bad plastic ant outfit. But these days? As desensitized as we have become? Unsettling people is no simple task.

That’s why I’d like to talk about it today because no matter what type of fiction we write, we can learn a lot from what horror authors do well.

Powerful fiction mines the darkest, deepest, grittiest areas of the soul. GREAT fiction holds a mirror to man and society and offers messages that go beyond the plot.


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Two Weeks Until NaNoWriMo


Time to panic?

Yes. Well, maybe.

A lot can happen in two weeks. A plot can appear from the ether in that amount of time. An idea can be scrapped for something newer and shinier in less than two weeks.

I’m just wondering if I can wrap up my WIP in less than two weeks.

I honestly thought I would be done by now. A weird combination of writer’s block and fear of success slowed my progress. I want to say I’m past that now, but I think it is safer to say I’m learning to manage those issues.

Usually deadlines are good for motivating me, but this time I’m doubting whether or not it is doing me any good to pile on the pressure. Those sort of doubts usually mean the deadline is working its magic. My mind is sneaky like that. If doubts start popping up my first instinct now is to suspect that I’m trying to get out of doing something difficult. I usually don’t set impossible goals for myself.

I’m going to keep going, of course. Even if I can’t do it for whatever reason I’ll be so much closer to the end if I’m racing towards it until November 1.

My only real regret is all the time I could be spending with my next project that is being eaten up writing the end of The Dreams. I still love The Dreams, but I want to spend some time with Inbetween without making my mind jump between two different worlds every day.

Speaking of Inbetween, I’ve officially committed to posting it day by day on Patreon. It’s going to be a perk available only to my patrons so be sure to sign up before November 1 if you want to watch my next serial novel grow from day 1.

How is your NaNoWriMo prep going? Do you have an idea for a story? An entire outline ready to go? Are you still struggling to come up with a name for your main character? Let me know in the comments!

What it Takes to Be a “Real” Writer

I love this. Real writers are people who write!

Pre-published writer is a much better term than aspiring writer. Saying you’re pre-published shows you have goals.

As for me, I think I’m in the very early stages of being a professional writer. I’m finding readers, learning to take myself seriously as a writer, and just barely starting to see results. Taking the leap from hobby to profession made all the difference in the world. I take myself seriously which boosts my confidence. The shift in mindset really did change the way I approach my writing.

Words have power so don’t be afraid to use words to describe yourself that make you feel confident and in control of your destiny. It can make a real difference.

Kristen Lamb's Blog


Since we are only a couple weeks away from NaNoWriMo, I thought this would be a great topic to discuss. If you don’t know what NaNoWriMo is? You aren’t a real writer. Kidding! Calm down 😛 .

November is National Novel Writing Month and it’s a fun challenge to see if we have what it takes to write a novel (50,000 words) in one month. Though the challenge is geared toward newer writers, I can attest that writers of all levels join in and it is my favorite time of year. Even though I have written millions of words and five books, I love being part of the challenge because of the creative energy new people bring to the table.

Countless folks will join the challenge just to try and see if they have what it takes to seriously pursue the dream of going pro. Fifty thousand words isn’t…

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