November is coming...

...And that means NaNoWriMo Fever

All writers sense it. For those not yet ready to jump in, it feels like ghost breath on the neck while someone unseen whispers, "Soon." Past nanoers can feel the echo of jittery tension sliding along their bones. And those intrepid wordsmiths revving up for the month-long novel sprint? Trembling calves. Giddy thoughts that perch on the windowsill of madness. Fingers that twitch, sweat, and ache.

Because it's almost time. Are you ready?


50 K Is Closer Than You Think

Freaking out a little? It's okay if you are--that's sort of normal. The good news is that you can totally do this. Especially if you keep this newsletter close, because I am stuffing it with everything you could possibly need to help with NaNoWriMo--before, during, and after. Just jump to the section you need as you write.

Pre-NaNo Planning

Whether you plot or pants, knowing a few things about your story and characters in advance is really important if you want to end up with more than fifty thousand random words. Here are two BIGGIE posts to read:

Nano Prep: Brainstorming The Hero or Heroine Before You Start Writing because the more you know about your protagonist, the better you can write them with authority. Everything they do, say, and decide should line up with who they are deep down. Get to know them before you try to write their story.

Planning a Novel: Character Arc In A Nutshell because a compelling story has strong bones and you should know what is motivating your main character every step of the way. (Don't worry, I've got a bunch of helpful checklists in this post to keep you on track!)

And some tools...we all love tools!

The Ultimate Character Building Toolkit can help you brainstorm your characters, so you can think about who they are, what their backstory is, and uncover their unique personality so they connect with readers.

My Pinterest Collection: I don't know if you are on Pinterest, but for a few years now I have been collecting the very best articles on all writing topics, all genres. Go HERE to see all of what I have, or try a few of my favorite boards: Showing Character Emotion, Setting Help, Relationship Issues & Friction, Fears, Wounds & False Beliefs, Writing Hacks, and of course, NanNoWriMo Resources.

 NaNo Tools & Resources While You Write

Got your bowl of skittles? Does at least one of your kids know how to cook Kraft Dinner? Well, if not, throw a box of cereal on the floor and hope for the best, because it's GO TIME.

The NaNoWriMo Triage Center because at some point you WILL get stuck. Ten words in or ten thousand, here you'll find SO MUCH GOODNESS. Stuck in the saggy middle? Characters running in circles? Have no idea what comes next? Click the link, friend, and BAM. Idea triage. You'll be pounding out the words with confidence in no time.

The Emotion Amplifiers free e-booklet/PDF, a little thing Becca and I put together. Like The Emotion Thesaurus, this ebooklet looks at "amplified states" that make your characters more emotionally volatile. Like when they are in pain, exhausted, or sick. Or they feel all tingly-distracted because they are attracted to a special someone. Whatever the case, this booklet shows you how to use amplifiers to put your character off-balance so they make mistakes. In other words, amplifiers can juice your scene with conflict and tension.

Pomodoro Timer. Seriously, I love this tool, because it breaks your writing time into 25 minute segments. What can you do with 25 minutes? A lot, I bet. Use this to keep your butt in the chair and your fingers keyed into the story.

One Stop For Writers. If you want a wonderland of description and ideas right at your fingertips throughout NaNoWriMo, this is the tool. Use the massive descriptive thesaurus database to get exactly what you need to describe a scene, a character, an event, a mood, an emotion, you name it, and then zoom, slip right back into the writing flow. TIP: use the coupon below to snag a 1-month subscription for $4.50.

Writer Igniter for when you need a Hail Mary. This great little tool supplies the Who/What/Where your story might need to get it to the finish line. Give it a spin! Or, try giving your character a meaningful secret. This can add depth to your character and add something fresh and interesting to the layers of your plot!

These helpful & unique checklists. You've probably seen my One Stop checklists on character motivation, body language, stages of attraction, goals, secrets, sensory settings, show don't tell, dialogue, mood building and more online. These can elevate your writing & SAVE YOU OODLES OF TIME, so feel free to pin, link, and share. 

The NaNo Aftermath

First up, celebrate! You're basically a rock star right now, whether you hit 50K or not, because each new word is a victory. You took on an amazing challenge. Be proud of yourself! Then, please, go shower. Brush your teeth. Try drinking something that isn't coffee. And a vegetable can't hurt either, just to remind your stomach of what they are.

Then, YEP, back to work. Just a tiny bit more, I promise. Learn What You Should Do BEFORE You Revise Your NaNo Novel. 

You really want this novel to STEEP, but while the story is fresh in your brain there's a few things you should do that will make revising this beast SO MUCH EASIER. Later. After you've recovered, and you have some distance.  :)


Ready To NaNo? Try One Stop For Writers For 1 Month At Half Price

Becca and I, along with Lee Powell, the creator of Scrivener for Windows, have spent the last 2 years building a powerhouse writing site called One Stop For Writers.

The character building tools, structure maps, timeline tools, idea generator, and massive descriptive database (12 descriptive thesauruses, including our books below) make One Stop a writer's best friend.

One Stop is crazy-easy to use...a perfect partner for NaNoWriMo.

Want to give it a spin? Just register for free and use the one-time code below to get your first month for 50% off  ($4.50).


Type this code into the coupon box on the subscription page BEFORE you select the 1-month plan, and your first month on this plan will be discounted to $4.50. (If you'd rather subscribe to another plan, the $4.50 credit will still be applied to your next invoice.)

Already have a subscription? You can use the coupon, too! Just apply this one-time discount to get $4.50 off your next bill.

This coupon expires November 30th, 2016 so snag your code now and activate it


 Have you heard? Two new volumes have joined our bestselling family. We're also working on another book for this series on Emotional Wounds. Stay tuned!


Angela's Super Six

Each newsletter I share six links to six amazing things I've found--articles, tools, and resources. So, without further ado... *drum roll*

The Ultimate Show, Don't Tell Description Toolkit: If show and tell description gets twisted up in your mind, you aren't alone. This post on description will help you a ton.

How To Vividly Describe a Setting That You've Never Visited: The worst thing we can do when writing about a real location is screw up on the details. Angry readers is something to avoid, so here's a ton of links to help you gather accurate detail from your comfy office chair.

The Character Evolution Files: Journey Through Character Arc: This series is 13 posts long, but WELL worth your time to read through. If you want to have a firm grasp of story structure and understand all the pieces of character arc, Sara Letourneau's series is the ticket. 

How To Deliver Critical Backstory Using The Setting: Meaningful backstory can be incredibly problematic, but the truth is, sometimes we DO need to show it. Luckily, the setting is exactly how we do it without dumping or slowing the pace.

Becoming Stronger Writers: The Best Ways We Can Elevate Our Writing Craft: A list of the best blogs, retreats, courses, books, conferences and more. Something for everyone, I hope!

Visceral Sensations & Emotion: If you don't have The Emotion Thesaurus, this graphic will help you know where to concentrate description to relay temperature shifts, tightening or loosening muscles, tingling, etc. that may tie into the visceral responses a character feels when experiencing a specific emotion. Very helpful!


Writing Experts

One last thing to mention. Writers Helping Writers has introduced a new Resident Writing Coach Program, meaning every month you'll see articles from our amazingly talented line up of writing coaches: James Scott Bell, April Bradley, Michael Hauge, C.S. Lakin, September C. Fawkes, Jennie Nash, Sara Letourneau, Roz Morris, and Jami Gold.

What a terrific opportunity for us to benefit from seasoned voices as they discuss aspects of writing craft. Stop by the blog, or subscribe by email so you never miss a post!


Whether you are trying NaNoWriMo or not, we are cheering you on.


 Wishing everyone a terrific month.

Here's to many words on the page, and maybe a few pumpkin lattes, a pumpkin loaf or two, maybe a few slices of pumpkin get the picture!

Happy writing,


Angela & Becca