Fall Writing Challenge :: Oct / Nov / Dec

 Welcome to the Fall Writing Challenge from The Write Focus. 

We focus on productivity, process, craft, and tools. October is Preptober for November’s National Novel Writing Month, known commonly as NaNoWriMo. December will include the steps needed to turn November’s rough draft into a publishable work.

That’s our focus here: inspirations to keep you writing and knowledge to solve your writing issues along with guidance through the publishing process. We’re for newbies who want to become writing pros and veterans who are returning to writing after years ago.

October is PrepToBer.

October 6 ~ Challenges / 2:68 / E 81

Accept Challenges, and one of the best-known and widely-utilized writing challenge is November’s National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo.

The goal of any challenge is to stretch yourself beyond where you currently are.

Here at The Write Focus, we’ve created our own writing challenges. Back in April of this year, we had a daily podcast challenge, presenting information that formed part of our daily writing challenge in April of 2019 (before the plague!).

Also last year, we started this podcast. Gearing up for the podcast and discovering how to do it had challenges that match to those that writers also confront. Here’s a break-down of the main areas for this week’s episode:

1)      The constant supply of content ~ the writer’s bane of steady working

2)      Knowing your market ~ know the genre and the audience

3)      Know the parts of the challenge ~ For the podcast, each episode has five separate segments. Each segment matches to a type of writing we have to do when we rough out a manuscript, draft it, then present it for consumption by an audience.

4)      Find the distribution system that works for your brain and your aesthetic and your marketing plan.

5)      Knowing the right equipment and tools makes the job simpler.

Accept your own challenges. Overcome your fears. Prep for NaNoWriMo, and go into that challenge with all your passion.

October 13 PrepToBer Part 1

It’s PrepToBer, preparation throughout October for the National Novel Writing Month in November, the biggest writing challenge in the world.

Don’t be left out when all your writing friends are sprinting and tracking words.

October handles all the PrepWork because November is writing only, 1667 words per day to reach the goal of 50,000 drafted words.

What do we do in this week as preparation?

·         We need to develop our situation, our primary characters and their conflicts.

·         We also need to set the guiding theme that will become our teaser.

·         Finally, we need to develop the 7 Major Scenes that every novel needs.

Our work this week will alter a bit—and sometimes greatly as we actually draft the novel. Reference the links below to previous TWF episodes that delve more deeply into this work. The episodes are part of our summer series on craft, Discovering Your Novel.

The majority of this episode offers writing inspiration from Remi Black, entitled “Into the Labyrinth”. It plays with the metaphor of a string unrolled by Theseus when he confronted the minotaur. We writers, of course, are Theseus, the minotaur is our writing projects to conquer, and the strings are our methods to tackle our project.

The Basic Story Sketch with Characters and Theme

1) https://eden5695.podbean.com/e/250-foundations-a-discovering-your-novel/?token=31c5c2068e94fc41c9283e67d56ab446

2) https://eden5695.podbean.com/e/251-foundations-b-discovering-your-novel/?token=57cb2e8662c8fc4d61202a672eebaf2c

The 7 Major Scenes

3) https://eden5695.podbean.com/e/252-foundations-c-discovering-your-novel/?token=a8c423948546dd10641f30795afafcc6

4) https://eden5695.podbean.com/e/25-foundations-d-discovering-your-novel/?token=6a0b0808ddd343c60d76a814e4480cc1

October 20 PrepToBer part 2

This week’s episode continues PrepToBer, the prep work for the National Novel Writing Month in November for the greatest worldwide writing challenge, 50,000 words in 30 days.

October contains the intense prep work because November is writing only.

We have the prep for this week with links to the appropriate episodes from our summer series on the writing craft.

Envisioning B https://eden5695.podbean.com/e/256-envisioning-b-discovering-your-novel/?token=232cf6da3539468700b1568a76bc3602

Envisioning C https://eden5695.podbean.com/e/257-envisioning-c-discovering-your-novel/?token=3cc70d54b1165afed6c89220c8190144

Writing Motivation, to keep you plugging through this month of hard creativity, is part 1 of M.A. Lee’s “13 Steps for Dancing to be a Writer.”

October 27 PrepToBer part 3

Last opportunity to finish ideas and sketches for the manuscript: November is writing only, no idea work.

Move responsibilities (bills, errands, etc.) to workable areas then schedule for Thanksgiving! Get that out of the way, and you will not panic later.

Prepwork includes Secondary and Tertiary Characters.

Secondaries: The link takes you to the July 28 episode of our summer series on writing craft. https://eden5695.podbean.com/e/258-envisioning-d-discovering-your-novel/?token=380864294b09b5a7ec1144e0b3763e77

For the third-level characters, use this link for August 4: https://eden5695.podbean.com/e/259-envisioning-e-discovering-your-novel/?token=703cd03aab5ae3941a6ae9ed8b906d15

Motivation from M.A. Lee is the final part (2) of “13 Steps for Dancing to be a Writer.”

November 3 :: 4 Books Recommended for Every Writer's Reference Shelf

First, we check in with the November Writing Challenge. 2nd, our main focus: 4 Books Recommended for Every Writer's Reference Shelf

We present the book's purpose and the reasons we recommend it, and how it will change your writing life.

November 10 :: 3 Essential Tools for Every Writer

What are the 3 essential tools for writers? No, it's not sticky notes ~ although I couldn't live without them. It's not writing software ~ although many people swear by their favorite software and hardware. The 3 Essential Tools are not the usual suspects. They are, however, like Mighty Mouse because they come to "save the day" and our writing business.

This week's episode begins with a check-in for November's writing challenge. Then it's on to our essential tools.

The 1st is boring and requires you make a new habit as well as no longer consider IT geeks as gods. The key is to remember that our writing projects are Intellectual Property.

The 2nd tool requires Promethean thinking one day of every week ... and sticking to it. We work SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.

3rd focuses our whole writing business and keeps it front and center. Multi-taskers find this tool essential to keep everything moving toward success ... and to help us pick up the pieces when our writing walls come crashing down.

November 17 ~ 3 Recommended Films Every Writer Should Study

1st, check-in with the November Writing Challenge.

Our focus ~ the quickest way for writers to study the elements of story ... is FILM! That's right, movies. Topics in this episode include A] why do we study through films, B] what are the elements of story to study, and C] how do we know which films to study.

Films to choose ~ any that are popular, either in book or film for, but hopefully in both forms ~

* We recommend Jane Austen's Persuasion, with Amanda Root and Ciaran Hinds, better at presenting interior character stresses and desires.

  • The dance
  • characters we love to hate
  • the motif of travel
*Our second recommendation is Last of the Mohicans, with Daniel Day Lewis.

  • conflict with Magua, with his goals, motivations, and desires revealed scene by scene
  • the foil to Nathaniel
  • Redemption of a character
*Our third recommendation is 13th Warrior, a flawed film that still manages to teach lessons for writers.

  • the importance of a logical progression of events
  • the story arc of Stranger in a Strange Land
  • mentors
  • theme of Deception
Finally, we briefly list the process to study films.

November 24 ~ 5 Writing Crimes to Avoid

1st, we check in on the November Writing Challenge.

2nd, we celebrate our 75th episode for 2021. That 75 episodes by the last of November comes from our weekly podcast as well as the daily April Podcast Challenge. Look for another podcast challenge in 2022, maybe in April or maybe the Dog Days of August Podcast Challenge.

3rd, we have a Gratitude Giveaway. Listen to the podcast for the rules and guidelines.

This episode focuses on the 5 Writing Crimes to Avoid.

  • Signaling :: 4:54
  • Window Dressing :: 6:39
  • Boring Details :: 8:40
  • Lack of Continuity :: 10:21
  • Head-Hopping :: 12:03

Next Week & Inspiration :: 15:43

December 1 ~ Gifts for Writers

Welcome to the Gifts for Writers episode of The Write Focus.

What are the best gifts for writers? Mont Blanc pens? No, too personal. Bookcases? No, impossible to wrap. Cute and quaint desk supplies? No, too practical. An inspirational plaque? No, too consumerism. Maybe a pedometer to make them health-conscious? No, stop nagging.

The Focus offers the three best categories of gifts for writers; it’s up to you the gift-giver to determine the specific gift.

These may be impossible to wrap and shove under the Christmas tree, but the writer will thank you for months on end.

  • 01:18 = We start with the November Novel Writing Challenge check-in.
  • 05:12 = Gratitude Giveaway
  • 06:05 = Picking Gifts for Writers
  • 08:35 = A Gift that Touches the Heart
  • 10:11 = A Gift that Inspires the Soul
  • 11:00 = A Gift that Motivates the Brain
  • 12:43 = Next Up & Inspiration


Dr. Linda Edelstein's Writer's Guide to Character Traits 

National Novel Writing Month Welcome | NaNoWriMo  

Dean Wesley Smith’s 1st Blog on Heinlein’s Rules Heinlein’s Rules: Introduction – Dean Wesley Smith

D W Smith's Writing into the Dark

Christopher Vogler on the Archetypal Story Pattern The Writer's Journey: Mythic Structure for Storytellers & Screenwriters: Vogler, Christopher: 9780941188135: Amazon.com: Books

Think/Pro: A Planner for Writers tracks your word counts throughout the year. Undated, so you can start any time, drop out then pick it back up as your life allows. 

Word Count Tracking / Log: If you are completely electronic every day of your life (I'm not), then you can find numerous trackers. NaNoWriMo used to have a way to log words and upload portions of your manuscripts; they got rid of that, the last time that I looked. (M.A. Lee says).

Listen on your favorite podcast site:

YouTube direct link to the Discovering Your Novel playlist: https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLXi3M_aM-d7IjuIS4daWlkiT4jRvRmnUM

My favorite podcast is Podbean. https://eden5695.podbean.com/

Then we have Apple https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-write-focus/id1546738740%20

Spotify https://open.spotify.com/show/4fMwknmfJhkJxQvaaLQ3Gm?si=0GFku2PbShWXiDhRp7JaDQ

Content copyright is 2021, Writers Ink Books.

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