Calliope Writing

Final Call to Win Prize Packs in Honor of NaNoWriMo!!

All you WriMos are aware: it’s November 30th, the last day of National Novel Writing Month. This means two things (if you’re in Eastern time):

  • You have 9 hours and 59 minutes to reach your 50,000 words and declare yourself a NaNoWriMo 2016 winner (if you haven’t already).
  • You have 9 hours and 59 minutes to enter the two giveaways I’m sponsoring in honor of NaNoWriMo!

Let’s Discuss Those Giveaways

The Writing & Reading Treasure Trove has everything a lover of books and writing could need.

nanowrimo giveaway goodies

To enter this giveaway, visit this link and follow the instructions.

The Book Lover’s Paradise prize pack is full of what avid readers love: BOOKS!

nanowrimo giveaway books

And guess what?! Each prize pack will include one extra item not listed in this post!!

What are you waiting for? The giveaways end tonight at 11:59 p.m. Eastern time.

NaNoWriMo Is Almost Over…

Now what?

Here are a few tips to help you get through the post-NaNoWriMo blues – and to help turn your first draft into a kickass book.


  • First off, if you haven’t reached that coveted 50,000th word, keep writing.
  • Once your first draft is completed, set it aside for at least two weeks. In my personal and editorial experiences, I’ve found it essential for writers to get some distance from a project before jumping into revisions. This will allow you to view the book with a fresh pair of eyes when you pick it back up weeks or months later – and be better able to spot plotholes or other issues. Not sure how to put your first draft down? Catharine Bramkamp has some great tips in her article “Go Ahead – Ignore Your Novel!
  • Focus on the big stuff: character or timeline inconsistencies, plotholes, improbabilities, lack of tension/conflict, pacing problems, voice/tone inconsistency, etc. Make a list of the concerns you have with your current draft. Then go to work revising and rewriting to correct those problems. You may find that you create several drafts during this stage – that’s okay! In fact, that’s better than okay – it means you’re doing all you can to make your book as awesome as it can be.
  • Once you have a book that feels complete, enlist the help of beta readers. No, I’m not talking about relatives, friends, or even acquaintances. To learn more about the importance of beta readers, check out Aislinn Lavoie’s blog post “Are You Ready to Take the Publishing Plunge?


  • After you’ve received criticism from your group of beta readers, have assessed it, and have made necessary changes, it’s time to hire a professional editor. I, of course, highly recommend my editing services (learn more about them here). But if you opt for shopping around, know that an editor shouldn’t have a problem doing a sample edit on the first several pages of your manuscript. This and a phone call to discuss your goals will ensure that you find the ideal editor for you and your book.

And that’s it for now, folks! I hope your NaNoWriMo is/was a successful one.

As always, write on.

P.S.: I’ll see you soon to announce the giveaway winners!

How to Survive Hitting NaNoWriMo’s Halfway Point

 It’s officially the midpoint of National Novel Writing Month: November 15.

By the end of today, you “should” have 25,000 words plastered on paper or screen. That sounds a little overwhelming to me – and I know I’m not alone.


Successfully Getting Over the Midway Hump

To help you get over the hump that often pops up for NaNoWriMo participants around this time, I’ve compiled a list of articles with invaluable info.

Virtual Event – Don’t forget to respond!

If you haven’t joined my virtual event on Facebook, there’s still time!
The second part of the event can be found here. Be sure to “attend” if you’re taking part in NaNoWriMo – I’ll begin sharing writing-related tips and articles on this second part of the event beginning tomorrow, November 16. Until then, I’ll continue posting in the first part of the virtual event, which can be found here.

Two Awesome NaNoWriMo-Inspired Giveaways

Love books and writing tools? Want to win some?! Then you obviously want to enter the two giveaways I’m hosting in honor of this crazy month.
Enter the Reading & Writing Treasure Trove giveaway here, and enter the Book Lover’s Paradise giveaway here. Want more info about what’s included in each prize pack? Check out this post, which outlines the specifics.

Need Some Inspiration?

It’s been a rough week, especially for those of us in the USA.

The following short film, Prophet, is both timely and thought-provoking. Give it a watch and be sure to share it if you dig it. You can also follow Prophet on Instagram and Facebook.

Readers and Writers: I Love You (GIVEAWAYS)
November 7, 2016, 11:26 am
Filed under: Books, Giveaway, Literature, nanowrimo, Reading, writing | Tags: , , , ,

As you surely know, NaNoWriMo 2016 is well underway. Participants who are meeting their daily writing goals have jotted down over 11,000 words – amazing!!!

And then there’s me: the prototypical Libra who let her indecision get the best of her. I got sidetracked and unenamoured with my story around November 3 and am now working on outlines for two separate projects. I use the word “working” loosely. Because those outlines are currently very, very sparse.

nanooutmo national novel writing month

So, while I still plan on celebrating NaNoWriMo and encouraging and supporting those who are taking part, my personal goal for the month has changed: I just want to create two incredibly detailed outlines by November 30.

Send me all the good vibes and juju you have.

Now for the rockin’ news…

I’m Giving Away Kickass Stuff

In honor of NaNoWriMo and its goal (encouraging creativity and writing), I’m hosting two giveaways, both of which will run through November 30 and both of which will include a note from yours truly talking about how flipping awesome you are.*

Book Lover’s Paradise Giveaway


nanowrimo giveaway books

This prize pack contains the following:

  • The Glass Castle, Jeannette Walls (read about it here)
  • Middle Passage, Charles R. Johnson (read about it here)
  • Plague of the Dead, Z.A. Recht (read about it here)
  • The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All, Laird Barron (read about it here)
  • The Seren Cenacles, Warren Norwood – AUTOGRAPHED! (read about it here)
  • A one-of-a-kind book journal from Ex Libris Anonymous – Winner’s choice!

For a chance to win the goodies listed above, enter the giveaway here.

Writing & Reading Treasure Trove Giveaway


nanowrimo giveaway goodies

This prize pack contains the following:

For the opportunity to win the treasure trove described above, enter the giveaway here.

What are you waiting for? Get those entries in! (Hint: You can come back every day to enter.)

*Giveaways are limited to United States residents, due to the cost of international postage and the contents of my bank account. The two lucky winners will be announced December 1. More details about that announcement to come.

NaNoWriMo: Scarier than Halloween and Just as Much Fun

Look what day it is…

november 1 nanowrimo

It is officially National Novel Writing Month, a.k.a. NaNoWriMo.

Not sure what I’m talking about? As I explain in Palmetto Publishing Group’s blog post:

NaNoWriMo begins November 1 and runs until 11:59 p.m. on November 30. The goal? To write a 50,000-word novel in this span of time.

If you plan on participating (as I do), following are some tools and resources to help you along the way.

Join Me on This Magical and Chaotic Journey

I committed to participating in NaNoWriMo 2016 in August, so even if I wanted to bow out, it’s a little too late for that now. For that and many other reasons, I want as many of you as possible writing alongside me – and I hope to provide you all with some support, encouragement, and laughter along the way.

First, join my virtual Facebook event, which can be found here. But if you want to stay away from Facebook (or if you don’t have an account), that’s okay! There are several other ways you can connect with me:

  • Buddy up with me on the official NaNoWriMo site! My profile can be found here.
  • Follow me on Instagram and/or Google+, where I’ll occasionally post about my NaNoWriMo progress.
  • Follow me on Twitter, where I’ll be regularly tweeting my frustrations for the world to snicker at.
  • Check out my “NaNoWriMo Resources” Pinterest board (shown below). I pin a variety of articles and images, ranging from motivational quotes to shut up your inner critic, to questionnaires and checklists so your characters will be as complex and realistic as possible, to useful facts such as how a person’s body will react when hit or punched in a specific spot.

For the Writer Who Gets Distracted Easily

I fit this category to a T. I’m a master of procrastination and distraction…and I was stoked to discover Cold Turkey’s tool for writers, which “runs fullscreen and basically turns your computer into a typewriter until you reach your specified goal.” That goal can be time- or word count-based.

Even better news? It’s free! But if you want a little something extra, for a one-time payment of ten bucks, you get bonuses like soundtracks and themes.

*Please note that I am an affiliate with Cold Turkey, and if you choose to purchase, I will receive a kickback (which I’ll use for books…obviously).

For When the Dreaded Writer’s Block Invades

Offical (and Super Helpful) NaNoWriMo Resources

Word SprintsWord sprints are timed bouts of writing that can be amazing for getting your muse ready to rumble. NaNaWriMo offers personal and group sprints. I plan on scheduling a couple of group sprints – I’ll be sure to let everyone know the details well ahead of time so you can join in!

Pep Talks. This collection of pep talks is no joke. If you become frustrated or overwhelmed during this process, visit the pep talk page and get amped up to write again.

ForumsThere is always tons of action on the NaNoWriMo forums – take advantage of it!

Enough Procrastinating. Let’s Write.

I leave you with a passage from one of Daniel José Older’s pep talks. It resonated deeply with me – maybe it will strike a chord with you, too.

Writing begins with forgiveness. Let go of the shame about how long it’s been since you last wrote, the clenching fear that you’re not a good enough writer, the doubts over whether or not you can get it done. Sure, the nagging demons will come creeping back, but set them aside anyway, and then set them aside again when they do. Concoct a hot beverage, play a beautiful song, look inward, and then begin.

Are you ready to get started? Set aside some time later today – at 4:00 p.m. EST, specifically – to participate in a virtual NaNoWriMo write-in here. If you can’t make it today, comment below with how you plan on becoming a NaNoWriMo 2016 winner!

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