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Susanne Winter Posts

NaNoWriMo 2017 – Day 8

I had another rather derailed day with a doctor’s visit, and some other things that filled my mind to a point where there wasn’t much space for the novel. I do have a bit more of a feel for it, which is good, but not quite enough.

I’m still hoping to start writing tomorrow, or maybe a little later tonight. There’s still ninety minutes until bedtime.

I have to say that this has been my least productive NaNo ever so far.

Not giving up yet.

NaNoWriMo 2017 – Day 7

I had high hopes of finishing all the planning today.

Well, I had a good start but then the day got away from me.

Still, I decided to count the words I’m writing in my character sketches, plot idea, and settings towards my NaNo-goal as well. It is a mild cheat. I’m still hoping to crack the actual 50,000 words this month with novel words only but if I can’t I’m good with this as well.

So tonight I wrote 578 words.

Mind you, this is the day I should have had 10,000 but then the month isn’t over yet.

In all my waffling over process I turned to Rachel Aaron’s book, „2K to 10K“ again, and am now following her very sensible suggestions. Today I finished Step 1: Get Down What You Already Know, and got started on Step 2 which is the basics of plot, character, setting, and genre. I’m fortunate that worldbuilding on this one will be very light, I’m going with now and here with a little magic thrown in.

I’m hoping to write a little more tomorrow but I’m still in the walk-around-and-think stage of the novel, unfortunately. Which has to be followed by the writ-things-down-and-think stage.

NaNoWriMo 2017 – Day 6

I am at that point in the process of dreaming up a story where it’s hard to gauge if I’m productive or not.

I spent some more time reading about story structure and character, and I had planned to start doing the exercises in Holly Lisle’s „Create a Character Clinic“ (affiliate link) but then I found myself dragging my feet, and procrastinating like crazy.

Let’s just say that I have now taken care of all the admin stuff for my day job, and some household tasks that had been due for days.

And I found that I was stuck yet again in the whole novel-writing process because I couldn’t decide if I should plan or not, and how. I am pretty sure that planning and outlining is a very good thing – up to a point. But I will never be the person who invents a whole new language and several worlds with back history for centuries. That’s not how I tick. I usually make that kind of thing up as I go. For me more planning is definitely the way to go for now.

And I really wanted to do the planning just so because I’d like this to be the start of a new series, and one that will stay interesting for some time, and so I want to get it right. I also would love to write a novel that does not need two years of revision. I want to write fast and well, and have a finished thing after a reasonable amount of work.

The thing my husband reminded me about, the one I keep forgetting, is that I’m not a complete newbie. I’ve been writing for quite some time now, and the manuscripts where I made my really stupid beginner mistakes are sitting right over there in a desk drawer. So maybe, just maybe, there’s a reason why I tend not to do the exercises in the writing books I read. I know I could. No problem. It just doesn’t feel like doing that exercise will help me in finding the story I want.

So I’m thinking that maybe the detailed outline is not my thing after all. I have an idea of my main character, and today while doing the dishes after breakfast I got an inkling of the murder victim. And her daughter. And how the paranormal element might come into it.

I’ll sit down tomorrow morning and write some of it down. And then maybe I can get back to writing first draft soon. Without having to put myself through a ton of exercises, and worksheets and such.

Still pretty exciting this.

NaNoWriMo 2017 – Day 5

Well, a funny thing happened this morning.

When I woke up around 5.30 I had dreamed a new character for a novel. Which does happen.

Since I was so behind on writing – what with the zero words yesterday – I had my laptop sitting next to me so I could start writing right away, first thing in the morning.

And then something in me snapped.

And I decided not to write the novel I had planned.


Now normally I won’t advise doing this. Every story feels like crap occasionally when you’re writing it but this time I was not feelint the love at all. I had researched a few more novels in that chicklit/ weight loss/ midlife crisis genre (if that even is a genre – it should – but it might not be), and I had zero motivation to read any of them.

I still think the idea works, and would be fun, and the main character is cool, I only just don’t want to write this kind of book.

So. Change of plans.

I spent the day mostly sitting around thinking about an idea for a new series. And I read „Story Genius“ (affiliate link) some more. And bought Holly Lisle’s „Create a Character Clinic“. Over the next few days I will, um, develop (yeah, that’s the word I was looking for) a series of paranormal cozy mysteries. This time I’ll actually start by creating characters and a world, and an outline first.

And then I’ll write it.

And if things go really great I might even win NaNo but then I tend to be rather optimistic.

Getting a book I love to write out of this might just be a little more important to me than „winning“ NaNo.

Still. I haven’t given up yet. I can always do that later.

NaNoWriMo 2017 – Day 4

And another fun day!

On the bright side I did get the podcast episode published. And I was really glad that I hadn’t moved the recording to today because today – my voice was basically gone.

Now I do know that I have a hard time playing music when I don’t have a voice which is ridiculous but today I learned that I can’t really write fiction without my voice either.

Also I have a headache and an aching throat all day.

All of this makes me think about the advice I read about author blogs that no one wants to read about how hard it is to write. Well, I’m still thinking it is more like moderately hard but today there were no words. And every day with no words is making the rest of the month more interesting and colorful.

I also tried to research books that might be similar to the one I’m attempting to write and found that a) this does not seem to be a genre, which I find weird (but then maybe I looked in the wrong place), and b) every single sample and book I downloaded was one I just couldn’t read. Not that they were necessarily bad, it’s just a kind of book I dislike so much that I don’t want to spend time on it. Huh.

My husband said I needed to invent a new genre. I am a bit doubtful about that. But I’m thinking there must be something I’m missing because I know there are books that deal with the same kind of themes I want to touch. Only I seem to have looked in the wrong place.

Which is completely okay but it made me think for a while that maybe I don’t want to write this book after all.

On the other hand that thought seems to be a normal part of my process. There are people who are just so passionate and enthusiastic that they think their book is the best thing since sliced bread most of the time, and then there are people like me who have an idea, think, „This would be just so cool and awesome!“ and then lose all their enthusiasm for most of the process. Usually when I pick it up weeks later I like it again but while I’m writing it? Not so much.

I’m working on it, though. There must be a way to condition myself to love the process as well.

Unfortunately positive thinking doesn’t seem to work on me. Every time I tell myself how much I look forward to writing this, and how awesome this will be, and how much fun I feel like a kindergarten teacher talking to my inner teenager. It’s eyerolling all the way.

Well, there’s always tomorrow.

And if not it won’t matter anyhow.

NaNoWriMo 2017 – Day 3

Still feeling sick, still procrastinating. And another thing to throw me off my game in the morning. Nothing serious but something that was occupying my thoughts.

That’s the thing with creative work, you need your mind to do it, and when that is elsewhere creativity is harder.

But I did write another 1,513 words.

I’m still way behind, and I’m also hoping to write some more after dinner (just like I did yesterday, and then I fell instantly asleep at 8.45).

Well, I will manage 50,000 words this month at least. Seems like it will not quite be a walk in the park.

Being able to write fast doesn’t really help if you don’t spend time writing. Huh.

NaNoWriMo – Day 2

So that was a bust.

I think I declare this to be a sick day.

I barely have a voice, and I have started coughing.

Most of the day was spent helping my son get ready for his trip, though, and then sitting next to my phone waiting for updates on his progress. He arrived safely, managed to step on the bus in the wrong direction, and then get off at the wrong stop. It was a realy nailbiter.

He has arrived safely now, but somehow I’m still not in the mood for writing.

So word count still stands at 2,032. Not the 20,000 I had hoped for by now.

I knew it was a stretch goal, didn’t know it would be that hard.

NaNoWriMo 2017 – Day 1

So today was all about procrastination. I think I’ve heard Sarah Painter (of the excellent „The Worried Writer“-podcast, and the equally excellent book, „Stop Worrying, Start Writing“ (Amazon-affiliate-link) call herself the „queen of procrastination“ but I might be the empress.

Mind you, there were lots of very important reasons for not writing more. First I did actually sleep in – which I never do – , also I’m having this bad sore throat and cold, and then my husband was set on making lasagna for lunch which meant we both were working in the kitchen for two hours (yes, his cooking is a bit excessive; it is rather delicious, though). Then I helped my son choose furniture for his new room which took quite some time as well. I can tell you, the choice of cheap wardrobes on IKEA is appaling. Who needs a wardrobe with just a rod for hanging stuff and no place to put sweaters or t-shirts or anything? In the end we decided on just getting a dresser instead. Since he wears jeans, tees, and sweatshirts exclusively his needs to put things on hangers are rather negligible.

And then I took a shower, and then it was already 5.30. Yes, in the afternoon.

And then my husband wanted to mop the kitchen floor. (I was sitting in the kitchen at this point.)


I prevailed. I sat on my butt and started writing, and after 42 minutes and 37 seconds (why yes, I’m using a stop watch) I had finished writing 2,032 words. Phew.

Of course I’m hoping to get some more in before I go to bed in an hour.

And of course I know that that was a freakishly high word count for that short a period. But the opening scene of the novel is based on a personal experience, so it was somewhat easy to put myself in the main character’s shoes.

The opening scene so far starts with this:

“Come on Maya!” my husband shouted from above me, “You can do this!”

Yeah, right. How I hate people telling me what I can and can’t do. Every breath was like fire in my lungs, my heart beating so fast that it felt like it would jump out of my head, and my legs felt like jelly.

Of course I had hoped of hitting 10K today but that doesn’t seem to have happened. On the other hand when 5 pm came around and I still hadn’t written a single word I became a little worried, and feared that I wouldn’t write a single word today.

So yeah, 2,000 words is not too shabby. But now I’ll disconnect from the web and write a little more.

Doing NaNoWriMo again this year – and I’m excited!

So I’m guessing that you all know what NaNoWriMo or „National Novel Writing Month“ is. If you don’t, click the link, I’ll wait.

Now intially I wanted to be all sensible and not participate this year. Instead I planned to finally finish the trilogy I’ve been working on. Then an idea hit me, in a completely different genre, of course, and I decided to write a novel in November after all.

My initial – very insane – plan also involved blogging the novel as I write it but I have to admit I had a change of heart. No live-blogging of rough draft. Sorry. But I’m guessing we’re all better off if I just write the story first, and then go over it at least once before I let anybody see it.


I still want to let readers participate in the marvelous adventure that is writing a novel real fast. So not only is there a widget in the sidebar that let’s you see how much I wrote, I will also try to post here often to talk about the process of writing.

The other insane thing that I had planned to do was trying to write 10,000 words a day for the first five days of November. I am rather doubtful that I will actually manage to do that but I’ll try anways.

So far I have procrastinated on outlining very successfully which means instead of a finished outline I have plans for three scenes already. And 2 1/2 more hours this day to get more.

The novel is called:

Chocolate is not enough

Guinness cupcakes with Bailey's whipped cream


Married with a kid and about to turn 40 Maya decides to turn her life around:

This time the weight will come off!

Of course life has other plans.



Stay tuned…

Fall Reading 2017 – Herbstlesen: Day 9

Good morning! I actually was so busy doing nothing yesterday evening that I forgot to post another update (sorry). And when I remembered the wifi was already turned off. (Because of the teenager in the house (and because I don’t have any discipline at all) our wifi turns off at 9 pm sharp so that certain people don’t stay up way too late because of the internet.)

I did end the day watching “Star Trek: The Next Generation”, the first episode ever where we see the Klingon home planet and learn more about Worf’s family, that was very good.


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I still haven’t finished „Murder Over Mochas“* but I guess I will do so today, only one more hour to read. I’m still waiting for something surprising to happen but I guess it will pretty soon. When you only read a minute here or there things always seem to move slowly. But then there are books where it’s completely impossible to only read a minute here and a minute there because they are so captivating. But then that’s not why you read cozy mystery.

So I’ll just read more of what I read yesterday, unless I finish the mystery real quick and start something new. I just realized that I had bought book three of the Bobiverse novels and have never read it. It’s a pity when there are all these great books coming out, and I snap them up the minute I see them, and then I completely forget about them.

If things go according to plan I might also spend some time thinking about the novel-to-be. But I bet I’ll be procrastinating instead. I’m really good at that, even.


Update 12.00:

I spent most of the morning refreshing my blog in the browser because I couldn’t access it. Finally I caved and conteacted support. It seems that the IP-address I was using was denied access by mistake. No fun.

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At least I can participate now.

So far I have talked a lot to my husband, and a little to my son, and have read very little in „Murder over Mochas“. I only have one hour of reading left but if I don’t read I won’t be able to finish.

But first the making of lunch.

Update 5 pm:

Lunch was good but not as good as I had hoped. We had pasta with shrimps. And alcohol-free red wine. Which I don’t like. Alcohol-free beer is okay to drink if you don’t expect it to taste like the real thing but the wine is something I don’t care for at all.

Afterwards I did the dishes, and then I sat down to knit gauge swatches for my next sweater and finally finished reading „Murder over Mochas“. It is a cute book but didn’t really grip me. No idea if I just wasn’t in the mood, or if it’s the book’s fault. I feel like I enjoyed the other books in the series more.

Also I’m not getting anything near gauge for the sweater. So I will need to knit yet another gauge swatch with a still smaller needle. I sould have listened to my intuition. It told me that I should knit this yarn with a 2 mm needle but of course I had to go ahead and try bigger ones first. Knitting gauge swatches always feels like it takes ages. But that must be an illusion because a gauge swatch isn’t that big.

So I went back to „A Shifter’s Fevered Heart“* by Chloe Adler. I’m still at the beginning, and so far it’s going nicely. I’m not sure I’m in the mood for that one, though. This might be one of those days where I skip from book to book, never quite settling down.

I’ve also been doing some vague thinking in circles for the novel but vague thinking won’t get my outlining done. That doesn’t look promising at the moment. But first I’ll make a little music, just a bit of warm-up, and then we’ll see.

I’m guessing dinner will be early today as well because of the clock change.


Update 8.30:

 So we’re almost at the end of this year’s fall reading in October, and since my wifi will turn itself off in a short while this will be my last update.

I did make music for a bit, and had dinner, and then my son and I watched an excellent Star Trek episode, and then another excellent „How I Met Your Mother“-episode while I was knitting the last gauge swatch. At least I hope it will be the last one.

Now I’ll change into pajamas, brush my teeth, and read some more.

It was a nice set of weekends with all the reading and blogging, thank you, Winterkatze, for doing this.

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