Nanowrimo Spotlight #16: It’s Just Sarah

Hey, friends and followers. Still having a great time in the Francisco of San, and I’ve got about an hour to get some blog stuff taken care of from my hotel room before heading off to the out of towners’ Meet and Greet dinner at Schroeder’s on Front Street. 🙂 So let’s give a big hand to Sarah as she steps into the spotlight!

What’s the most unusual part of your writing process?
My writing process is fairly normal, at least that’s what I think. I’m pretty much in the middle of the road when it comes to planning and pantsing; I do a little of each. I do have a habit of plotting and taking notes by hand and then typing the actual novel on a computer. I rarely outline anything on the computer, it all goes on paper. I love my notebook. It’s my reference book for everything novel related. I write with a pencil, since I tend to make many errors and change my mind about words. It helps me a lot when I make family trees and blueprints of the places where my characters live and work. When possible, I like handwriting the novel itself and then transferring it to the computer because I tend to add more length to it during the transfer.

Where are your backup files?
I have an external hard drive that I store all my important documents on. During NaNoWriMo I also save my novel on an USB flash drive and email the novel to myself.

What advice would you give to all your fellow Wrimos?
I think the trick to being able to write 50,000 words in thirty days consists of the happy marriage of two things.

1. Write with passion.
If your novel is “your baby” then you’re all set. You need to be passionate about your characters and their lives. You need to love sitting down with pen in hand or at the keyboard and writing for them. You need to see the scenes play out in your mind’s eye. Love what you write. Write what you love. If an idea hits you out of the blue and your fingers are itching to run with it, go with it. You should almost get an adrenaline rush from writing something you feel so strongly about.

2. Challenge yourself.
For some of us, the challenge may already be set with the 50k goal to hit at the end of the month. Ideally, your challenge will be challenging, but totally do-able. For example, last year I went back to my first love. Writing animals. I knew it would be easy to hit my daily word count since I was writing about a dog. I challenged myself by writing the novel in first person, something I rarely, if ever did. I emerged victorious at the end of the month not because I had won NaNo (although that was part of it) but because I had conquered my apprehension of writing in first person. Mix comfort and challenge for the perfect blend of triumphant winning.

Sneaky Ninja Question! What is your pet peeve?
Oh goodness, what a loaded question for me. I will narrow this down into the category of writing. My current pet peeve is how and why poorly written books become best sellers. I don’t know if this trend is new or if there have always been bum books selling out across countries, but it deeply saddens me. There is so much good literature out there and I hate that it is not being recognized for how beautiful it really is. There are books that I read that I just keep repeating the sentences over and over because of the way the words roll off of my tongue and paint brilliant pictures in my head. They give me thoughts to think about that would have never before crossed my mind. They give me new eyes. Reading and books create something so marvelous that I wish it were cherished more. Now I realize that writing and reading is pretty subjective, but I do feel like written word in America is becoming something unappreciated. That bothers me.

My name is Sarah and I am a twenty-one-year-old just enjoying the paths life has me take. Thus far, it’s been a lovely adventure. I was born and raised in the 50th state, Hawaii. I have been living in the Midwest of the US for the past two years. I am blessed to be able to pursue my dreams, one of which is becoming a horse trainer and is also the reason why I made the move.

I have been writing ever since I first learned how to write. This is my fifth year participating in NaNoWriMo and far from my last. My username is o0hawaiigirl0o. I am very excited about this year’s novel. The comfort will be in writing a story and characters that I’ve known for almost four years and the challenge will be writing a noir-type novel.

Along with working with horses, I enjoy photography, music, orcas, dogs, volleyball, and smiling. I lead a pretty active online life and blog about everything horse-related here: This Is My Brain On Horses and everything else in my life here: The Unexplored Land Of Adulthood.

Write on!


One Response to Nanowrimo Spotlight #16: It’s Just Sarah

  1. […] Here’s a cool thing to tide you over. I was featured on The Kelworth Files! It’s pretty sweet. Here’s a link to the post: NaNoWriMo Spotlight #16: It’s Just Sarah […]


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