Five Steps to Writing a Romance Novella in Two Weeks #amwriting #writingtips #ASMSG


Can you write a romance novella (20,000 words) in two weeks?

You bet!

Here are my five steps to writing a romance novella in only two weeks:

1- Create a writing plan. Before becoming a published author, I was very disorganized. Being the creative-type, I just went with the flow and wrote when I felt like writing. This doesn’t work when you have a goal of writing 20,000 words in ten days. So, I enlisted the help of my husband (totally organized) and together we created a writing schedule. Since I don’t write on the weekends, I only had ten days to work with. Each day, I had to write a minimum of 2,000 words.

Confession: There were some days when I only got 1,500 words done. The next day, I made up the missing words by writing 2,500 words. I didn’t stress when I came up short on a day. Stress breeds writer’s block and no one wants that.

2- Block out time and turn off all distractions. I know this is hard to do nowadays but it helped me immensely. I wrote from 1:00 – 5:00 pm every day. I made sure the phone was turned off and that I had all of my other to-do’s done before lunchtime. I shut down social media and email so I wasn’t distracted. I made sure I had my water bottle nearby and had music on to get me in the mood. I even put on a hat that I called my “writing” hat to get me ready to write. When I had on my hat, I was in writer-mode.

3- Keep a notebook of notes you can jot down character names, story-arcs and ideas. I found this crucial when I was writing. I was able to flip through my notes and keep writing. My notes allowed the ideas to flow out of me quicker onto the page while staying focused on the plot.

4- Have a few accountability partners. This is one of the most important steps. Time is limited and you have a goal to reach. You need your own cheering section. Halfway-through, I started to lose momentum. My brain was tired and I started to doubt my ability to reach my goal of 20,000 words. I reached out to my three accountability partners and they boosted my spirits.

5- Celebrate when you achieve your goal. Before I started writing my romance novella, I told myself when I finished I was going to celebrate. If I was going to work my fingers (and muse) to the bone, the least I could do is get something in return. My husband decided to cook me a gourmet meal with my favorites (lobster, steak, garlic mashed potatoes and creamed corn) when we finished. The image of that meal kept me going, even through the rough patches.

It took me two weeks (intense writing boot camp) but I did it! I wrote a romance novella in that stretch of time and it’s one I’m extremely proud of. In fact, that same novella is featured below.

 

PTSOL

 

Title: Planting the Seeds of Love: A Novella

 

Author: N. N. Light

 

Genre: Contemporary Romance

 

Blurb:

Torn between two men, Sally must follow her heart and decide if love will lead her to the city or the countryside.

Twenty-Two year old Sally Rayton returns to the family farm she deserted four years ago to bury her grandfather. Her plan: to settle her grandfather’s estate and return to her life in the city with her boyfriend, Trevor Mattson.

Her childhood friend, Jack Smith, has other ideas.

Jack convinces Sally to transform the farm into a brewery and fulfill her grandfather’s dream while keeping the Rayton Farm in the family. Sally works side-by-side with Jack while Trevor is hundreds of miles away in the city. The more time she spends with Jack, the stronger her feelings are for him.

When Trevor shows up to propose to Sally right before Christmas and finds her in Jack’s embrace, she must make the biggest choice of her life: true love.

 

PTSOL teaser 1

 

Excerpt:

“Jack, thank you so much for the lift into town,” a woman replied behind Sally. “Let’s grab some lunch before we shop.”

Sally froze. She stared at Linda who shook her head. What was Jack doing with a woman in town?

“Here, let me take your coat, Emma,” Jack said.

Emma? mouthed Sally to Linda.

“She’s the daughter of Lonnie and Mary Beth.” Linda gave Emma the look-over and scoffed, “She can’t be a day over sixteen.”

“What do I do?” Sally panicked. Normally she didn’t care what Jack did or who he went off with. Curiosity got the better of her and she turned around.

Emma stood five foot three with curly blonde hair and innocent green eyes. Her figure was slim with curves in all the right places. Sally narrowed her eyes as Emma stood on tiptoe to kiss Jack on the cheek.

Fuming, Sally turned around. Linda chuckled.

“What?”

“You better tone down your jealousy, darlin’. You’re shooting darts everywhere.”

Sally gritted her teeth.

“I’m not jealous. If Jack wants school girls kissing him, what do I care?” She took a deep drink of her coffee, draining the cup. She slammed it down.

“Simmer down, here they come,” whispered Linda. She waved to Jack while Sally swore under her breath.

“Well, fancy meeting you two here,” Jack drawled.

Without looking up Sally retorted, “I told you I was coming into town today.”

Linda kicked Sally’s leg under the table. Sally plastered a smile across her face, greeting Jack and Emma.

“Yes, what a coincidence.” Sally noticed Emma looping her arm in Jack’s and snuggling closer.

“I was on my way into town to pick up those parts we ordered for the tractor when I ran into Emma walking by herself in the snow.” Jack smiled. Emma squeezed his arm.

“He pulled over and offered me a lift into town. Isn’t he a gentleman?” cooed Emma. Jack patted her hand.

Sally’s chest constricted at the sight of the two of them acting all couple-y. She stared into his twinkling eyes. Oh God, is he laughing at me? Emma can’t have him. He’s mine. Wait what?

“So,” Linda broke the strained silence. “I have to go powder my nose. Emma, would you care to join me?”

“What’s that?” Emma looked confused.

Linda laughed. “It’s the bathroom, dear sweet child.” She stood up, untangled Emma from Jack and guided Emma away from the table.

Jack sat down.

“What’s with you today?” he asked.

“Nothing.” Sally cleared her throat.

He raised an eyebrow.

“Really!” A few diners turned to stare. Sally flushed with embarrassment. She didn’t mean to talk so loud. She looked everywhere except in Jack’s direction.

Jack observed Sally as she fidgeted, first with her coffee cup then with the silverware. His gaze unnerved her and she practically jumped out of her chair when he placed a hand over hers. Electricity flew up her arm while warmth filled her core. Butterflies raced around her stomach, only she didn’t feel sick; she pulsed with life, like never before.

“Sally…look at me.”

Sally shook her head.

“You’ll only laugh at me.”

Jack’s thumb caressed her hand gently, causing her breath to hitch.

“You know I’d never laugh at you. Laugh with you, definitely, but never at you.”

Sally lifted her gaze to meet Jack’s loving eyes. He slid his fingers between hers, never breaking eye contact. Sparks flew between them. He moistened his lips with a flick of his tongue. Her gaze dropped to his lips.

“Please tell me. I’m begging you,” he whispered.

Unable to think clearly through the fog of desire, Sally tilted her head to one side. Her skin vibrated with heat while her nerve-endings jumped at the slightest caress.

“Tell you what?” she whispered. Her throat dry, her breathing shallow, she wet her lips with her tongue. She was under a spell and everything fell away except for Jack’s passionate eyes.

“Tell me what my wasted heart needs to hear.” His eyes flashed. “Tell me Emma made you jealous.”

Sally started to nod but Emma interrupted.

“What are you guys talking about in hushed tones? Crops and stuff?”

Jack groaned. He dropped Sally’s hand as if it burned him, causing the water glasses to jostle.

 

 

Buy Links:

Available at Amazon Worldwide exclusively and it’s FREE on Kindle Unlimited: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01581XM50

 

Paperback: https://www.createspace.com/5697490

 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26134330-planting-the-seeds-of-love

 

 

Author Bio: N. N. Light is the husband-wife writing team, commonly known as Mr. N and Mrs. N.

Mrs. N. has been creating stories ever since she was little. Her grandfather remembers when she was two years old, she would stand at the top of the stairs and tell him a story filled with emotion (and in a language foreign to him) with her hands on her hips. Let’s just say she was a born storyteller.

They’re blissfully happy and loves all things chocolate, books, music, movies, art, sports, trains, history, cooking and baking. Their mantra is to spread the Light.

Most of the time you can find them on Twitter or getting new ideas on how to spread the Light on Pinterest. They’re a proud member of ASMSG, Independent Author Network and Marketing for Romance Writers.

In addition to being authors, they’re also book promoters/reviewers, social media marketers/influencers and the owners of N. N. Light Author Promotions. They both love books, have ever since they were young. Matching up books and readers is something that gives them great pleasure.

 

They’d love to connect with you either via email or via these various social media sites:

Website: http://princessofthelight.com

Blog: https://princessofthelight.wordpress.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/nnlight

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/NNP_W_Light

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/nnlight

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/n-n-light/90/1a7/902

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/118060034268079734144/posts

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/nnlight

Independent Author Network: http://www.independentauthornetwork.com/n-n-light.html

 

 

International Humour Writing Competition in Honour of Mark Twain #writers #writingcontest


For all you funny writers out there:

A great contest and the best part is that it can be something that has been published before! YAY!

MRS N

BRIDGET WHELAN writer

Mark Twain

Against the assault of Laughter nothing can stand  — Mark Twain

This is the second annual competition organised to raise funds for the Mark Twain House and Museum in Connecticut USA and entries are welcome from around the world.

Humourous essays and stories can be up to a generous 7000 words long AND you’re allowed to send in work that has already been published. Your submission can’t have won a prize in a humourous writing contest before, but that’s the only restriction. Entry fees are on the high side at $22 for those 18 and over and $12 for 17 and under. At the time of writing $22 was roughly 20 euros or £14.25 . However, the prizes are reasonable wads of cash.

PRIZES

•      1st Prize: $1,000 (Adult), $600 (Young Author)

•      2nd Prize: $500 (Adult), $400 (Young Author)

•      3rd Prize: $250 (Adult), $200 (Young Author)

•      Three Honorable Mention Prizes: $100 Gift Certificate for the…

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Seven Things You May Not Know About My Writing #ASMSG #IARTG #amwriting


Snoopy Good Writing

On Monday, my good friend, Barb Caffrey, tagged me with a new fun blog challenge: Name seven things people probably don’t know about your writing, and link back to her. If you like writing, baseball, science-fiction and fantasy books, please go check out her blog. She’s fabulous!

Okay, here are my seven things people probably don’t know about my writing:

  1. The first story I ever wrote was about a princess who escaped her ivory tower and became best friends with a purple dragon named Patsy. I know, the name could use work and I was a rebel even back then. I wrote it for English class and got an A+. Ahhh, my first review. 🙂
  2. I have a hard time writing in the company of others. That’s why I can’t write in a coffee shop or surrounded by people. I feel self-conscious and my muse shuts down. I have to be alone with no prying eyes peeking over my shoulder.
  3. I get distracted easily. Thus, no television on but music is a must for my writing environment. If there is something that catches my eye, I have to force myself back to my writing. Otherwise procrastination takes hold and I’ll never get anything done.
  4. I free-write a lot. For most of my blog followers, this is not new information. I talk about the freedom and flooding of ideas that happens every time I free-write. The act of just letting my fingers do the talking is one of the best ways my characters emerge.
  5. When I was 16, I won first prize in a poetry contest paying tribute to our veterans. I won $50 and was invited to be on a float. I spent the money on books and politely declined to appear on the float (painfully shy).
  6. I use life experiences to create real, honest characters in my writing. I’m a firm believer that life is filled with inspiration.
  7. I got caught up in the “proper way” of writing the past year that I lost my writing fire. I listened to many people who told me I was doing it wrong. The thing is that each writer has his/her own writing style and I have my own way of telling a story. It’s what makes me unique. I’m happy to say that I am back to writing in my own style and happier than I have ever been!

A few bonus facts about me:

  • I love to read books. It’s a passion of mine and I continue to discover new authors.

  • I love to bake goodies and my new favorite thing is to add boxed chocolates to brownie batter and bake. It adds such a depth of chocolate flavor and sophistication.

  • I’m a happy positive person, most of the time. Sometimes I get frustrated and tired but then I give myself a shake and am happy again.

So, here comes the fun part… tagging fellow writers. I wanted to pick people I loved or people I have just met. So here it goes:

Kevin Cooper

Faith Simone

Kylie Betzner

Nicholas C. Rossis

Jacquie Biggar

Linda Brendle

As Snoopy says, “Good writing is hard work”!

MRS N, the Writer

Fight or Flight #amwriting #ASMSG #IARTG


My strongest memory of a fight or flight moment is clear in my mind, as if it happened yesterday. The bible study group had wrapped up and I was talking with my friend, Sue. I don’t remember what we were talking about but I kept looking at Paul. Paul was a few years older than me and I had the biggest crush on him. We were good friends but I wanted more. I thought he was the man I was meant to be with.

Our eyes met and I looked away, blushing. Sue nudged me.

“What are you waiting for?” I looked up and smiled.

“I could never ask him out. What if he turned me down?” I whispered. “Besides, I’m playing hard to get.”

Sue nudged me and pointed with her eyes. I followed her gaze to find Paul walking towards us. I adjusted my clothing and flung my hair back.

“Hi Paul,” I said when he was close enough. “Great bible study tonight.”

“Thanks.” He leaned in close and whispered, “Can I talk to you outside for a minute?”

“Umm, sure.” I shrugged and followed him out to the back yard. It was a warm evening. I watched him as he paced back and forth. He stopped mid-step and took a deep breath.

“I have to be honest with you. You’re a good friend and I…” he started.

This wasn’t a good start. I looked at the garden behind him and wondered if there was an exit. Flight was the only thing on my mind.

I started to speak but he interrupted me. He held up a hand.

“No! Please don’t. Just listen while I explain.”

I nodded, knowing this was a bad sign.

“I’m a firm believer in the Bible and I love the Lord. I’m going to be a missionary soon and I know that marriage is not in the cards for me.”

My stomach took a nose-dive. My head started to spin and I fought the urge to pass out. This man, whom I loved with my whole heart, was turning me down. The more he spoke, the more his words invaded my soul.

“I don’t want to date you.”

“I never asked you to pursue me like this.”

“I could never be happy with you.”

Every sentence ripped my heart to shreds. I hadn’t pursued him; I had a crush on him. Pain tore through my limbs and all I wanted to do was flee. My feet, though, wouldn’t move. It’s like I was a bronze statue.

When he was finished, he half-smiled. I was a skeleton and he smiled?

“Are you done?” my voice squeaked. I cleared my throat.

He nodded.

I turned on my heel, not saying another word, and went to go find Sue. She was my ride home. I had to get out of there. I had, by some miracle, not cried in front of him. But the tears were coming and fast.

“Let’s go,” I managed to say.

Sue nodded and paled.

We walked out and I made it to the car before collapsing in agony. I gave into the pain. There was no fight left in me.

© 2015 N. N. Light, All Rights Reserved.

This was inspired from The Daily Post and today’s prompt: Write about your strongest memory of heart-pounding, belly-twisting nervousness: what caused the adrenaline? Was it justified? How did you respond? Link: http://wp.me/p23sd-384

 

Fight or Flight

FLASH FICTION: Kate’s Plea #ASMSG #IARTG #kidlit


Snow falls softly outside the window next to a dining room table. Dark walnut trees a stark contrast to the white snow. A brown-haired nine year old girl sits at the table doing her homework. Books spread all around her and her feet sway back and forth. She glances up to look at the snow.

“Wonder when mom will be home?” she asks the empty room. She looks around and shivers.

The phones rings and she reaches for her cell phone.

“Hello?”

“Hi baby, it’s Mom.”

“Oh hey, are you on your way?”

“Not yet sweetheart. I have a late business meeting. I think you’ll have to make dinner for yourself.”

The little girl sighs but says nothing. Late again. Does she love her job more than she loves me?

“I’m sorry, Kate, it couldn’t be helped. I know you understand.”

A single tear spills down Kate’s cheek. She wipes it away angrily.

“Kate? Are you there?” her mother’s voice sounds concerned. She would sure feel bad if I died or something. Maybe I could choke on this pencil.  Kate raises her chewed up number two yellow pencil to her lips but puts it down on the table with a shrug.

“Yeah, I’m here. I’ll make up one of those frozen dinners.” Kate sighed. I hate being alone. When I grow up, I’ll never leave my children alone. I-I-I won’t let them think they are a burden to me or that my career is more important than they are.

“Good. Did you do your homework?” Kate reaches over and closes her history book.

“Yup. Just finishing up now.”

Kate hears muffled voices and rolls her eyes. Why can’t I have a normal mom?

“I have to go now, sweetheart.” Her mother giggles like a little girl. Kate hears her mom shoo someone away. “I miss you and will give you a kiss when I get home.”

Kate hangs up the phone. Mothers aren’t supposed to giggle. Mothers are supposed to be adults and adults certainly don’t giggle. Kate’s stomach growls and she heads to the kitchen.

In a falsetto tone she says to no one in particular, “What would milady like to order for dinner?”

She turns her slim frame to the right, as if she was an actress in a play.

“I would like meatloaf, mashed potatoes and gravy with corn.”

“As you wish, Miss Kate.” She bows.

She giggles as she opens the freezer and pulls out a frozen dinner. She preheats the oven and turns on the television.

I will never giggle when I am an adult.

© 2015 N. N. Light All Rights Reserved