Dawn Montgomery

Head Down and Eyes on Target

In #amwriting on October 13, 2013 at 8:27 pm


Welcome to the first week’s update of Round of Words in 80 Days 4th Quarter of 2013. We’re in the home stretch. I’ve got less than three months left. My fourth quarter goals are pretty intense, but there’s a reason for this. I promise. ๐Ÿ™‚ January starts a new round of writing for book two of the Thunder and Roses universe. The first one took six months so we’ll see how book two goes, but I’ve blocked off the first half of the year just in case.

This is my first time as a sponsor for A Round of Words in 80 Days (#ROW80) since the first year and I’m stoked. Everyone is so fired up to get their goals done. ๐Ÿ˜€

My kids surprised me with their interest in joining me during National Novel Writing Month in November. I ordered their workbooks, downloaded the free PDF versions, and downloaded their lesson plans (you should check them out if you’ve got kids. The elementary school one lets them do a lot of their storytelling for NaNoWriMo through pictures). Hop over to their Young Writer’s Program if you’ve got a young one in the house. We also started a cute blog (I call it the monster blog) called Will Write For Cookies. Expect it to be silly nonsense. Two days ago SuperChef also took up the challenge. ๐Ÿ˜€ Looks like we’re going to be a NaNo family. ๐Ÿ˜€

So why would someone like me, someone who takes National Novel Writing Month as a personal mountain challenge, decide to write with the entire family? I learned a valuable lesson back in the Air Force which has stuck with me. Nothing shows you the ins and outs of something until you have to teach it. I’m getting back to my roots…the first time I wrote a story. When fear, frustration, and panic hits, I’ll be right there with them, holding their hands through the process. If we’re lucky, they’ll want to keep writing. ๐Ÿ˜€ At a minimum they might come to empathize with what it takes to create, write, and stay motivated.

I’ve also found some cool new programs to show you guys later this week.

I hope you all are doing awesome today. ๐Ÿ˜€ Happy Writing!

#ROW80 update


Goals this week (Sunday to Saturday):

  1. Three short stories forย That Magic Touch. Each story will be an experiment I’m doing where I’ll sell a small collection of shorts stories for 99 cents and give the readers a chance to pick what I work on next.
  2. 10k onย Shift the Night
  3. Feral Hunger moves to the back burner until Shift the Night is done.
  4. Dragons Never Lie I’m not sure what I want to do with this one this week. Everything I’m working on is pretty dark so I might need to lighten up a bit.
  5. Format and upload Ravenous

Weekend Goals:ย 

  1. The Captain’s Woman:ย Co-Written book I started years ago. My partner and I just picked it back up again and I’ve got a chapter to finish.
  2. Organize my new cramped office space. My research materials take up a lot of surface area. I didn’t realize how much until I had to pack it all into one tall bookshelf. Argh.
  3. Make PDF copies of the two workshops I attended last month. The steampunk one was INCREDIBLE. So many thoughts racing around in my mind. ๐Ÿ˜€

ROW80 Stuff:ย 

  • Make sure I stop by and give you guys some serious love! It’s the start of the 4th Quarter and I’m so ready to truck along with you all.

Iโ€™m part of a fantastic group called A Round of Words in 80 Days, and if youโ€™d like to see how everyone else is doing, check out the listย HERE.

Would you like to be a part of our writing challenge? Check out the rulesย HERE.

Keep Writing!

  1. Wow, and Kpow! You have a lot on as ever, but I’m loving that you family is doing NaNo with you. That must be awesome. I don’t know anyone interested in writing (apart from online) so I often feel odd and isolated with my cramped head and other writing related foibles. I bet you’ll all learn a lot in November 2013! Best of luck with all those goals too! Jeez, in awe. X

    • It’ll be really cool to have them try it with me. I’m hoping they’ll at least understand what I mean when I say that interrupting the writing time/sprint screeches my thoughts to a halt. LOL!

      I do online writing sprints/focused writing sessions with people all over the world. We use a chat room and I’m usually the one with the timer. If you’d like to give it a try, let me know! We’d love to have you with us. ๐Ÿ˜€

      *fingers crossed* that I’ll get it done. I’m trying something new this week so we’ll see if it helps me with the timed writing. I hope you’re feeling better! *hugs*

  2. great idea – didn’t realise the children could do it as well – the whole family suffering together! I like it:) all the best with your goals looking foward to those links:)

    • There was some mention about it last year, but I didn’t pay much attention to it. Then an article came out about a school doing it with their students. Each of the kids get 5 free copies of their print books from createspace if they meet their goal. I think that’s pretty awesome!

      Links are coming. ๐Ÿ˜€ Just putting together my list tonight. Hope to have it out later today or Tuesday.

  3. I tried to get my oldest to NaNo with me one year but it didn’t happen. Of course, they didn’t have those cool workbooks either. I may just revisit the idea with ALL the wee beasties.

    Wishing you a fabulous upcoming ROW0 week ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. My oldest is 7 and he loves to tell stories. He’s gotten into drawing pictures of his scenes and I’ve been trying to get him excited about writing them down. Will Write For Cookies, I love it and will definitely check it out.

    This is going to be a great round. ๐Ÿ˜€

  5. Last year the Boodle started writing a book with me during the NaNoWriMo, but he never got past the second page. We didn’t try the workbook or anything like that. He’s interested again now. And now that you’ve guided me to the workbooks he’s seen it and is interested all over again. And he wants to start a blog too…

    I guess we’ll be joining you and Zombieboy and Branman on your journey. And yes, I suspect I’ll be learning a lot too. Here’s to new experiences, Dawn. Thanks again for inspiring me.

    • I am so glad he’s inspired!!! My oldest boy didn’t make it past a paragraph or two last year. This time we’re all prepared. ๐Ÿ˜€ I’m looking forward to seeing how you guys do ๐Ÿ˜€ Happy NaNo and ROW80, Eden!

  6. It’s so great that your kids are doing NaNo, too! That should be lots of fun. And I agree–you learn so much when you teach something. Happy writing to all of you!

  7. Can you tell us more about the steampunk conference/workshop? And how do you balance so many different writing projects????? Thanks for the link on Nanowrimo PDF workbooks. I’ll check that out and wish you the very best of 4th rounds.

    • I took the steampunk workshop through Savvy Authors (http://ce.savvyauthors.com/) with the amazing Beth Daniels. She has a wonderful book out I recommend entitled Writing Steampunk (http://www.amazon.com/WRITING-STEAMPUNK-ebook/dp/B004ULVXJ2/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1381904948&sr=1-1). Joining Savvy Authors is relatively cheap ($15 for the year), but most of the workshops can be taken for less than $40 if you’re a non-member.

      To answer the different writing projects question…

      I try to counter a dark, angst-ridden book (novel) with some light-hearted and sexy comedy (usually novella or shorter). It’s like watching high stakes drama and then following it up with a favorite feel-good movie. There are times when the dark side of my writing gets overwhelming and I’ve found (over the years) that having some “writing candy” on the side keeps me writing instead of avoiding. So, on days when I can’t dig into the dark heart of my latest gothic romance (or adrenaline-packed science fiction erotic romance), I can play with dragons and princesses who forge their own paths and ignore questing rules or vampires who develop a fatal chocolate allergy after their undeath, etc.

      I’m struggling this week with the short stories because the word restriction makes storytelling a huge challenge. And I love it, but it’s exhausting. The good part about the shorts, though, is that I can pen them in my notebook when I’m curled up on the couch or waiting for my kiddo at school. It gives me a break from the writing chair.

      This is what I’ve learned about the way I write.
      1. I can’t write one novel without side projects or I get burned out on the book and want to torch it. I’ve lost months of productivity b/c I honestly believed the novel should have been the entirety of my focus.
      2. Having shorter works (25k or less) while I’m working on a novel is fantastic because I can celebrate when I get them done and not feel like I’ve had no closure for the four to six months it takes me to pen my longer books.
      3. I can’t work on more than one dark/angst-heavy storyline at a time because it exhausts me.
      4. Comedy is HARD to write, much harder than my darker stuff. On the other hand, I’m laughing a lot while I write it so it makes my day go by faster.
      5. I can’t work on more than one light-hearted piece at a time b/c they start to sound/read the same.
      6. So my maximum limit is one angst-ridden/dark book, one comedy, and a handfull of short stories. If I try for anything more I just spin my wheels for four or five days while I try to figure out what I was supposed to do.

      How do I get into the mood to write in different tones, especially when I work on two books in one day?
      When I finish a scene for the night, I jot down three things:
      1. what should happen next in the scene
      2. what emotion I want the reader to feel (b/c that helps remind me of what kind of tone I should use)
      3. what emotion the character is dealing with (and an arrow pointing to what I want them to feel later in the new scene)

      I do that for both books I’m working on and the next day I’m ready to go. I hope I answered your questions. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. […] Dawn Montgomery made a comment about ordering workbooks for her kids. Now I have two of the four wee beasties […]

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