Nanowrimo Spotlight #9: J. Rose Allister-Fiction With a Passion

October 31, 2012

Hello there! It’s the night before Nano, and all through the house – well, among other things, I’m pleased to share this spotlight with you. With no further ado – J. Rose Allister!

What’s the most unusual part of your writing process?
The most unusual part is probably that I accidentally programmed my subconscious so that I can write while working or even sleeping.

One of the mental “show vs tell” exercises I learned in the early days of studying craft was to describe everyday objects without mentioning their name, shape, or color. A bouquet of flowers became “a brilliant burst of floral fireworks,” for instance. I was so passionate about writing that I started doing this everywhere I went–“showing” salt shakers in a restaurant, stoplights on the way to work, etc. Somewhere along the way, my brain took this over automatically in the background, whether I wanted it to or not. Soon, it began whispering more complex ideas, characters, and even scenes. Without knowing it, I had launched the committee meeting of voices a writer hears when pounding away at a story, but this meeting stays in session no matter what I’m doing. With a little tweaking, I found the sessions will continue while I sleep, working out plot points and such so I’m often “programmed” with the next scene when I wake up. I used to joke that if I could just give up sleeping, I could get my writing done. As it turns out, that wasn’t too far from wrong!

Where are your backup files?
I have found out the painful, highly aggravating way that backups are a must! I have my WIPs backed up to two locations, a flash drive and on Google Drive (formerly Docs). I do two because I have also found out the hard way that a backup drive can fail. I also used to switch between writing on my primary laptop and a much smaller netbook, so some backups found their way there as well. (Although my writer husband seems to have planted his flag on the netbook lately–it’s so darned handy to take poolside or wherever, maybe not as light as a tablet, but I like the keyboard much better.)

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Nanowrimo Spotlight #4: Monica C., Teen Blogger from Living Homeschooled

October 20, 2012

Well, the Nanowrimo Spotlight train just keeps on rolling, and today I’m happy to shine the spotlight on Monica:

What’s the most unusual part of your writing process?
The most unusual part is probably how I edit. I hate editing, and generally put it off as long as possible, meaning that I usually end up spending hours doing it all at once. After a basic spell check, I try to go and divide my work into sections, or chapters, depending on the length. I do not usually divide it up as I write, so that part comes later. Then, I edit one chapter at a time, usually attempting to do five or six in a day. This way, I can do a basic edit in a week or less. At this point, I decide whether or not a re-write is worth while, or if I should abandon the work, at least for the time being.

Where are your backup files?
I have my writing in two places: in a text file on my computer, and in Google Drive. I know it is probably not the most secure way to save them, but it works for now. I intend to get a USB flash drive before November so that I have another way to back up my novel,

What advice would you give to all your fellow Wrimos?
Set goals. When ever I start a new writing project, I set goals of how many words I should get done each day, week, or month. In NaNo, some goals are set for you (such as 1667 words a day), but I find it helpful to be even more specific. Such as, I should try to get 1,000 words written before lunch, and another 700 done in the evening after my homework is done. I often try to set goals just a bit higher then I then I need to, so that if it does not all get done I am not too far behind. Also, if I do get ahead that leaves a little more wiggle room for Thanksgiving, or another day when not much gets done.

Sneaky Ninja Question! If you went missing, who would notice that something was wrong first?
Probably my younger sister. We spend a lot of time together, and she would likely notice within a few hours if I was missing.


I am Monica, homeschooled high school student, blogger, reader, and dancer. I blog about homeschooling, writing, and pretty much anything else at I love to writing, and do it a lot. My first experience with writing came when I was seven, when I began publishing a four page ‘newsletter’ each month for my family and friends. I kept it up until I was eleven, and school started taking up a lot more time. It was a great experience, and one that really convinced me that writing was something I was meant to do.

I started NaNoWriMo last year with a few friends. I finished with 50,002 words, and loved it. I had always loved writing, but I had never really finished anything of that magnitude before. NaNo really boosted my confidence as a writer, and I have spent the last year working on various fictional projects (mostly short stories) in preparation for this November. I can not wait to start!

You can also find me on NaNo, and on Google Plus.

Thanks for stepping into my spotlight, Monica!

Nanowrimo Spotlight #1: Kay Proctor

October 13, 2012

Well, thank you very much to everybody who’s expressed an interest, and the Nanowrimo Spotlight series starts today! I’m hoping to run until November 30th, with as many as three spotlights going up per week, so there’s still plenty of room for other wrimo writers to sign up and get their interviews. First place in line goes to Kay Proctor, who’s also a fellow Six Sentence Sunday-er.

What’s the most unusual part of your writing process?
This is a difficult question for me to answer because I’m not very clear on what the “usual” parts should be. What is the norm for writer, anyway? But if I had to pick something, it probably stems from my love for concept albums and rock operas. I’ve found I have a tendency to find ideas for stories while listening to music. The series I’m writing now was partly inspired by one of my favorite CDs, and it isn’t the first time that’s happened.

Another place where I find a lot of my ideas are in dreams, especially the surreal, out-there elements in them.

Where are your backup files?
I work out of Google Drive. There’sa shortcut you can download to your PC, and an Android app that’ll give you instant access to anything you store in there. Not only does that mean I have an instant backup, I can work on my draft no matter where I am.

What advice would you give to all your fellow Wrimos?
You’re probably going to hear a lot of people give you advice on how you should start NaNo. Some will tell you that planning is key, that you should plot out every detail so that when you’re in the weeds on November 12th, you’re not struggling to remember what you should write next. Some will tell you to avoid planning at all costs, that doing so will set you up for failure because your mind will change in the middle of the month and you’ll get discouraged. I fell prey to one of these ideas when I first started in 2008, and decided to go the whole month by the seat of my pants. It just didn’t work for me. My advice to you would be not to listen to what others tell you you should do, and figure out what works for you in your writing process. Planning tends to work better for me, but you may want to go about things differently.

Sneaky Ninja Question! What social class, if any, are you a part of?
The middle class, I suppose. But I still live at home because I can’t afford my own place, and am working to pay off my student loans while switching careers in the process.

My pen name is Kay Proctor, and here is my blog:
I also run a food/opinion blog as The Bitter Baker:
I also have a twitter account: @CaffeineMondays.

Thanks for stepping into the spotlight, Kay!

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