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PiBoIdMo and NaNoWriMo

I was thrilled when Tara Lazar asked me to be a guest blogger for PiBoIdMo.  I absolutely love this challenge!  My guest post is up on her blog, and includes the top ten reasons I think you should try PiBoIdMo. I'll share two of them with you here:

#7: You can tell everyone you’re busy with a challenge and need help with laundry and chores (shh…they don’t need to know it won’t take up too much time every day).

This one has a visual, thanks to my girls and Lolly!
And here's #10: If the above reasons aren’t enough to motivate you to join, you can win PRIZES…including critiques from authors and feedback from agents!

The agents are Jen Rofe and Kelly Sonnack from Andrea Brown Literary Agency, and Ammi-Joan Paquette, from Erin Murphy Literary Agency. What a great opportunity, especially since EMLA is a closed agency!

I wasn't sure what to do about NaNoWriMo this year.  I've worked so hard on the last MG I wrote and finally think I found the right place to start.  There are still things to iron out, but I don't think it's possible to have a gleaming first chapter until you finish a few full rounds of revisions.  I've spent so much time trying to perfect the beginning, I could use a good kick in the butt to do this major rewrite.  I've learned so much about my characters (and altered several traits since I first wrote this).  I have numerous new scenes to add, many to nix, and lots of work ahead.  But I really love this manuscript and believe it's worth all this work...and missing my first traditional NaNo since 2006.  

I'm going to take the advice of some writing friends and try to tackle a modified NaNo where I do a total rewrite on this book. I'm a little nervous, since I'm so used to having the words fly...but I can't just ditch this book in a drawer and cheat on it with a shiny new idea.  Have any of you tried doing a modified NaNo before?  I'd love to know how it worked for you.  Ani Louise has a great post about it here.  I've had to write more than one story before, because even though I tend to have a wordy first draft, some of my MG just don't hit the 50,000 word mark.  Sometimes, I've played around with several versions of the beginning, knowing it's one of the hardest parts to nail (and I have a clearer idea of where it should start once I reach the end).  This will be a totally new experience for me.  I'm thrilled that I won't have to miss NaNo this year, but am a bit scared about how this will work.  Guess I'll have to dig in and try my best and hope I'll be able to do a strong rewrite on a full MG in 30 days along with coming up with at least 30 new picture book ideas.     

I've posted lots of NaNo tips in the past.  Check them out here.  I've won every year since I took the plunge in 2006.  My record is 11 days, and most years I haven't used more than 14 or so days to hit 50,000 words.  Something tells me this modified rewrite will make 2011 my slowest NaNo ever...but even though I love watching the words fly onto my computer, I'm excited at the thought of having a much stronger MG by the end of November!  

Good luck to all of you tackling PiBoIdMo, NaNoWriMo, and JoNoWriMo!  
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( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 31st, 2011 02:34 pm (UTC)
As always, your girls are gorgeous! And my laundry pile situation is strikingly similar to yours!
Oct. 31st, 2011 10:10 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! And ugh...I hope your laundry mountain shrinks soon. I swear, the clothes must clone themselves in the hamper (and under my daughter's bed, in her closet, etc.)
Oct. 31st, 2011 03:59 pm (UTC)
Gosh, I’ve been looking about this specific topic for about an hour, glad i found it in your website!

Oct. 31st, 2011 10:10 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Good luck this month. :)
Oct. 31st, 2011 04:15 pm (UTC)
Mindy, I too am sorely tempted to just write a draft of a shiny new idea but my novel revisions take precedence. I won't be blasting through because I'm past the structural revisions and paying attention to details.

Hope yours goes smoothly and well.
Oct. 31st, 2011 10:41 pm (UTC)
Shiny new ideas are always tempting! Did you see the NaNoReMo thread on the Blueboards? http://www.verlakay.com/boards/index.php?topic=59434.0 The person who started it has a goal of 1000 words per day, but you can set it for whatever works for you. I'm still not exactly sure how my revision will work for NaNo, but since I have a lot of new parts to rewrite and the character traits/voice to work in now that I know it better, I'm going to try to apply it to NaNo. If you want, we can cheer each other on to doing as close to a full revision as possible in November!

Okay, I just decided to join NaNoReMo! I'll still give regular NaNo a shot...but I'm thrilled to know I can definitely do a novel challenge this month.

Thanks, Vijaya. I'm sending lots of good revision vibes your way. :)
Christy Handkins Evers
Oct. 31st, 2011 05:02 pm (UTC)
Good luck with NaNO
I'm doing NaNo a little different this year too. I"m brainstorming my back story and character sketches this year. I find that when I brainstorm the whole novel I just end up with a mess at the end that I don't know how to fix.

Good luck with your goals!
Oct. 31st, 2011 11:27 pm (UTC)
Re: Good luck with NaNO
Thanks, Christy! I hope your new method works great for you. I usually know the beginning, a main character or two (I build the sketches for most of the others as I go) and some idea of where it could end (which often changes, at least a little).

I can't wait to hear how it goes for you. Good luck. :)
Robin Lemke
Nov. 11th, 2011 06:08 pm (UTC)
Your girls are stunning, Mindy, and I'm staring at a similar laundry pile right now... but with no helpers. *wails*
Do you mind if I ask what kind of dog that is? She's beautiful and looks kind of pit bull-ish. I have a soft spot for pit bulls. :)

Nov. 14th, 2011 08:50 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Robin! My laundry pile is finally down (at least for a day or two). I hope yours is gone by now.

Lolly is a bullmasador--a mix of a bull mastiff (which can look a bit like a pit bull) and labrador retriever.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )


Mindy's head shot
Mindy Alyse Weiss
I write humorous middle-grade novels with heart and quirky picture books.

I'm an Administrator on the SCBWI Blueboard, the FL SCBWI Newsletter Editor and Critique Group Coordinator, and a proud member of From The Mixed Up Files...of Middle-Grade Authors

I've been married for twenty years and have two beautiful daughters, an adventurous Bullmasador adopted from The Humane Society, and an adorable Beagle/Pointer mix pup who was rescued from the Everglades.

I've been published in Highlights three times and placed in the 80th Writer's Digest Competition.


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