JuNoWriMo Participant Interview EM Castellan

Here is another great interview from a talented JuNoWriMo participant EM Castellan.

Tell me a little about what you are writing for Junowrimo.

I am writing a YA dystopian novel which has been at the back of my mind for a while. BLACK ROSES is set on the American continent at the end of the 22d Century. A virus has wiped out most of the world population ten years earlier. The only survivors are Humans (who weren’t affected by the virus) and Immortals (who have survived the virus and been turned into supernatural beings). Immortals rule the country and its capital New Wentworth, while Humans live on the margin. However, a third category of people is caught between them: Keepers have survived the virus but haven’t been turned into Immortals. The ruling class needs them in their new society, making them targets for rebel Humans. Seventeen-year-old Nessa is a Keeper. To her, this Friday is just like any other day. She hasn’t planned that Humans would choose it to stage a rebellion, that her life would suddenly be in danger, or that she would fall in love.

Is this your first time doing this type of challenge?

Yes, it is. I hesitated a while before deciding to join in, for two reasons. First, I spend an average of 62 hours a week at work, which means that I only write between 30 minutes and an hour a day. Second, I am a slow writer: I cannot spill 1000 words onto a page in half an hour. So the prospect of having to write an average of 1667 words a day was quite frightening. But I still decided to do the challenge, as it is a great way to keep motivated and to interact with fellow writers.

How has it meet your expectations so far?

It has met my expectations because I am interacting with fellow writers and keeping motivated (sprints on Twitter are especially good for me!).

What was your writing schedule like this past week; time of day, # of words per day?

I have been writing every single day, in the evening after work. I am very pleased with that. My word count, however, has been lower than the required average of 1667 words a day. As of today my average is 1160 words a day. But I was expecting such a result.

Did you do any planning for Junowrimo?  If so what type of planning and how are your plans working out so far?

I did plan my story before the start of JuNoWriMo. I had a full outline, as well as a good idea of who my characters were going to be. As this is a dystopian novel, I also had a clear design for my world-building beforehand. So far I have been following my outline, which usually how I write.

What is your word count as of June 16th?

16935 words. And counting!

EM Good luck with the rest of the challenge!

For more information on EM Castellan, be sure to visit her at the following links:

Blog: http://emcastellan.com/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/EMCastellan

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/EMCastellan

JuNoWriMo Participant Interview James Eggebeen

It is the end of Week 2 of Junowrimo and I would like to introduce you to Junowrimo Winner James Eggebeen.

Tell me a little about what you are writing for Junowrimo.
I am writing the second book in my Fantasy Series. The first one Foundling Wizard is about a young Wizard whomeets a young Sorceress on his way to Amedon where he hopes to be trained. They find out that they are destined to work together to defeat the Evil Priests, who kill young Wizards, and take their power.
The second book is Wizards Education. Now they are on their way to Amedon when they get derailed by not only by the Priests, but a rogueWizard. The Wizard wants to keep them out of the hands of the Priests, but also wants to keep them away from Amedon, so he can take control of the Wizards Council. They have to face challenges that test their commitment to magic and to each other in order to survive.
 The web site for this series of books is www.loritwizard.com.
Is this your first time doing this type of challenge?
Yes, this is my first time doing one of these. I thought it would be nice to meet a few other authors and stay motivated to keep writing.
How has it meet your expectations so far?
It’s far exceeded my expectations. I’ve made a bunch of new friends, and even re-connected with one of my old writing group partners from way back when. (waving hi to Eden Maee) I love doing the sprints. The excitement and mutual support is great. I never would have made the progress I did without the sprints, and oh yes, the competition (waving hi to Angi Black).
What was your writing schedule like this past week; time of day, # of words per day?
I usually get up at 3:00 to 4:00 AM. I drive for an hour to get to the office and then take some time to write before my work day starts. I have daily overseas calls, so I start pretty early, but I usually manage to get in an hour or two before work starts.
It takes me an hour or so to get home at night. This gives me time to think about what I want to write. Once I get home, I usually write for at least another hour or so. With the sprints, it was more like two.
This schedule lets me really think through the scenes I’m going to write, before I finally sit down. I review all of the action and dialogue in my head while I’m driving. Then it’s just sitting down and writing out what’s in my head already.
Did you do any planning for Junowrimo? If so what type of planning and how are your plans working out so far?
When I found out about this (two days before it started), I stopped writing and planned out a lot of the remainder of the novel. I was already 30,000 words into it, but I had not detailed out the whole thing. I knew that I would need some solid plot and scene design, so I went ahead and created all the scene templates before it started.
My scene template is a file where each scene lives (I am a big Scrivener fan; don’t get me started on that!).
Each scene template has the following form:
Point of View:
What changes in the scene?
What is the conflict?
Why will the reader continue reading?
I lay these out three scenes to a chapter and template twenty four chapters.
I thought I had enough material when we started, but I ran out of outline by the end of the first week. I had to take some time to outline more, and then I ran dry again. The last few days, I had an epiphany. We read linearly but don’t have to write that way, so I plotted out the ending and wrote some of that, now I have to go back and fill in the middle.
I think that’s going to work out real well. Now that I know where it all ends up, I can drive the plot there. Of course, there’s a lot more work in revision than writing. I just love that part. You get to go back and drop in all the foreshadowing and hide Easter eggs all over the place for the reader to discover later. It’s a lot of fun.
You are the first to complete the 50,000 word count for JuNoWriMo 2012. Any advice for those of us still in the trenches?
Don’t worry about the word count. The words will come. Think about what you want to write, imagine it all in your head, and then make it come alive. That’s the secret to getting a lot written.
JuNoWriMo is about setting up good habits in how you approach your work. Get into the habit of writing on a regular basis. Turn off the TV and shut down your web browser for a while each day, and before you know it you’ll have written more books than you would ever have believed possible. 
Thank you James.  Congratulations on completing the challenge!

For more information on James Eggebeen, visit his blog sites at www.jameseggebeen.com & www.loritwizard.com.

JuNoWriMo Participant Interview A.E. Howard

Every week I will interview a fellow JuNoWriMo participant to get their take on the challenge while in the trenches.

Week One, I choose one of our talent Host – A. E. Howard (Anna)

Tell me a little about what you are writing for JuNoWriMo.
I’m writing the second book in a young adult fantasy series. The first one, called Flight of Blue is nearly finished and coming out in July. For a synopsis and excerpt of Flight of Blue you can visit my site: http://aehowardwrites.com/books.
This new book is called The Guardians.
Kai Williams has discovered all the Guardians including his parents have been lured inside time bubbles where minutes tick by so slowly, they don’t realize they are trapped. While trying to find a way to free them, Kai is stalked by a mysterious figure called the Dream Walker who attacks Kai while he’s sleeping and is bent on getting an object–a small skeleton key–away from him. Keeping the Dream Walker at bay, Kai goes to his friends for help. Together they find pieces that lead them on a quest for the secret cabinet of the ancient sorceress Belladonna and the powerful object she hid away before her disappearance, an object that will break the time bubbles and release the Guardians. Pursued by Name Monsters who have teamed up to fight them, will Kai and his friends be able to outwit the forces arrayed against them and free the Guardians? And will Kai be victorious in the war being waged for his mind while he dreams?
 Is this your first time doing this type of challenge?
No, I’ve done NaNoWriMo the last two years.
What did you learn from the last challenge that is helping you with Junowrimo?
I learned that you have to write every day. Even if you don’t make word count, you just have to keep writing even when it feels like you’re writing drivel and pulling teeth to do it. Re-reading prose from these competitions I’ve realized two things: 1) it’s probably not as bad as you thought it was when you wrote it. And 2) even if it is, no one’s going to see it, and you can start re-writing it after the month is over. I think you often have to write a lot of bad prose to get to the good stuff.
What was your writing schedule like this past week; time of day, # of words per day? 
I’ve been writing between 9pm and 12am (or so!). I have a 13-month-old son and he goes to bed at 9. It’s hard to get much writing done when he’s awake. I did take Sunday off because it was my wedding anniversary 😉 I’ve been aiming for 3k the nights I sprint lead (Tues, Thurs, Sat), and 500-1k on the days I’m not leading. It keeps my averages up, and lets me finish editing Flight of Blue on the off days.
Did you do any planning for Junowrimo?
I don’t plan. I create worlds and characters, and then I have some sort of starting scene in my head, and sometimes an ending one as well. I start with what I’ve got, and as I follow the character through the scene, I find out more of what happens. On Tues night, just before I crossed the 8k mark, Kai had a confrontation with the Dream Walker and suddenly started to put together some pieces of what he needed to do next. And I got to find out where the story was going. Now I have the major scenes lightly sketched, and I can’t wait to find out what happens next.
What is your word count as of June 7th?

After one week, it looks like Anna is off to a great start.  Good luck with the rest of the challenge, Anna!

For more information about A.E. Howard, visit her blog and follow her on Twitter.
Blog – http://aehowardwrites.com

Twitter – http://twitter.com/aehowardwrites

Make sure to pick up Flight of Blue, coming out in July.