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Friday Giveaway: NaNoWriMo Edition

We have winners! Heather wins this week’s $10 gift certificate prize. A.M.K. and June M. both win copies of Naughty & Nice. I’ll be in touch by e-mail. Thanks, everyone, for playing along!


It’s Friday again, and somehow also November. Help! Time is speeding up!

I had a good week, knocking out another 15,000 words on my work-in-progress despite the gnawing in my gut as I followed Hurricane Sandy news with the rest of the world. It’s haunting to be in the midst of writing a novel set in New York City while seeing footage of the neighborhoods you’re writing about with no power, buried under several feet of water. But of course I’m grateful to have that sort of problem, and I spent much of the week counting my blessings.

That is, when I wasn’t freaking out about my book. Which I do a lot. It’s part of my writing process. Which reminds me — November is National Novel Writing Month! This is good news, because it means I’ll have a lot of company for the 45,000-ish words that remain to be drafted.

My Twitter feed has exploded with #nanowrimo tweets, many of them linked to posts extolling advice on how to draft a book. Can I tell you a secret? They make me twitchy. All writing advice makes me twitchy. Just knowing that people are out there, giving advice, makes me want to chew off my fingernails. I see advice, I read it, and I panic. Shit! My book doesn’t have [a plot / real conflict / passionate characters / the right number of words in it]! I am doomed. DOoooooOOOOMmmed!

So, yeah. I’m not going to give you any advice. But I will say, if you want to write a novel, write it. That’s all. Just write it. Don’t worry about getting it perfect because you won’t. You can’t. But just putting the words down on the paper might change your whole life. I wrote my first novel two years ago, and it certainly changed mine.

In other news, I have a book out on Monday! How did that happen? It’s not too late to preorder Naughty & Nice, thereby ensuring that your copy is delivered sometime early in the wee hours of Monday morning. Links are here!

There. *dusts off hands* My self-promotional moment is over, so we can turn to the giveaway question:

Did you ever want to write a novel? If so, have you tried? What was it about? Do you still want to? What’s stopping you?

Answer one or more of these questions in the comments for a shot at a $10 gift certificate to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or iTunes — winner’s choice. Two runners-up will get a copy of Naughty & Nice on Monday morning. I’ll choose three random winners Saturday morning & send an e-mail to let you know, as well as announcing the winners here.

46 thoughts on “Friday Giveaway: NaNoWriMo Edition

  1. I’m signed up for NANOWRIMO this year!! I’m excited and a day behind because of work travels but I’m going to try it! So- yes I have wanted to write a novel and I still want to and I’m trying!!

    Can’t wait to read your short story in Naughty & Nice!!

  2. I used to think about it when I was a lot younger. I just don’t think I have the ability to write a good story, so I shelved that idea and am content now with just reading everyone elses books.

  3. When I was in grade school I wrote books weekly. The only problem was they were just copied off whatever book I just read. My Wizard of Oz knock off was hilarious. Wish I had the chops to write, but I am an excellent reader, so I guess I’ll stick with what I know. Don’t listen to anyone telling you how to write a book, you have it figured out already. ;-).

  4. I’ve written a handful of smutty novellas but I’m currently working on a NaNo project that’s more *category*. Children’s librarian with severe anxiety (and hot pants!) meets hometown boy-made-good construction/developer type, sparks fly, hi-jinks ensue…awkwardness, deflowering, hate-sex…HEA.

    I aspire to wonk.

    (PS. You cannot be dooooomed, you are made of awesome. And I have it on good authority that awesome is doom repellent.)


  5. I’m doing NANO! I would love it if you guys buddied me. My username is Ninkey on the NANO site. Please find me and lets encourage each other!

    Last year, my first time, I wrote a romance about an insecure single mom and a do-good politician loosely based on the Cinderella fairytale. Still revising it.

    This year I’m writing an urban fantasy romance about a girl who has an awful talent. With the barest contact she can see people’s illnesses: diabetes, heart defects, cancer. The problem is she’s powerless to do anything to help them, in fact she often makes things worse. The hero is a buddha-like being, with levitation and telepathic abilities, and the ability to heal. He’s sent as her guide and teacher, but then…bow chicka wow wow!

  6. Yes, I’ve WANTED to write a novel, used to dream that I married a cowboy, lived out West, and wrote outside under that huge blue sky, then I’d remember, I don’t write. 🙁

  7. Yes I’ve always wanted to write a book. I have characters, plots and scenes run through my head. I’ve actually sat down and started typing. I’ve never finished because Im too lazy to sit down and actually commit myself to such an overwhelming project. Plus I’m afraid of failure lol

  8. Yes writing a novel would be cool. Right now i just write scenes….maybe some day I’ll pull them all together to make one story.

  9. I kind of want to write a novel. I haven’t tried yet. I have an idea, but I haven’t gotten pass the idea. I kinda know what I would like to write, but it might just make to my blog and that’s about it. I just need to get pass the idea and create a plot and story line.

  10. I always have stories rolling around in my head. Pictures trigger them. And the story takes off. All sorts. But writing them down….thats a whole different world.
    You make it sound simple. Just write it down. But writing down feelings. Colors. Circumstances. Movements. Writing them down, with words. When the person reading cant see the expression on a face. Or hear the music. The writer must explain it, describe it.
    That is where the pitiful, good, better and best writers are divided.
    When I read your writing….and I can feel the sadness, despair…the happiness….humor….romance and sensuality…….when I smile because I think its funny before I know the character thinks its funny too. Thats because you wrote the best words in the best order.
    Thanks for writing yours down, Ruthie…So glad you do it.
    And the same goes for Molly & Stefanie….:-)
    Looking forward to that book!!

  11. Yay on your new book! 🙂 And no, I don’t have any intention to write a book. I really love to read and have so since I was little but there is no creative bone in my body when it comes to writing. I’ll leave that to my favourite authors. 😉

  12. 1. Yes, I’ve wanted to write a novel.
    2. Yes, I’ve started it! Two chapters written, dreadful so far, but hey, that’s what the editing process if for.
    3. It’s about the adventures of a young woman who has been trained since childhood to spy on and influence the government of an oppressing nation. Sort of a Mata Hari type.

  13. First of all, I pre ordered Naughty & Nice and I can’t wait to read it. So many good books coming out this Monday and I’m thinking maybe I should call in sick and stay home and read LOL

    I never thought about writing a novel.
    Sometimes I’ll read a book and think how I would have change a few things in the plot but I never felt a need to write anything- I rather read than write.

      1. It’s super busy at work now since we are getting closer to end of the year so I have a feeling I won’t call in sick on Monday because all my work will be waiting for me on Tuesday 🙁
        I’ll just have to keep buying lottery tickets and dream of winning LOL

  14. Nope, can’t say that I have ever wanted to write a book. I would rather sit back and read them. I am not creative enough to write them and applaud all you authors who continuously come up with new ideas to keep us readers entertained. I’m not sure what I would do without you!

    Good luck to everyone writing this month!

  15. I would never have the courage to write a book. Right now I’m happy to get to read all these wonderful authors and their stories, and then talk about them in my reviews.
    Would love to read Naughty and Nice! Plus anything else you have in store for us! Thanks Ruthie!

  16. Oh, sure I wanted to write a novel 😉 For years I was convinced I would actually write one… But if you’ve read L. M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables and Emily of New Moon books, then I have to say that when it comes to writing I’m more like Anne and that’s why I’ll probably never write a novel. I’ve dabbled in writing some little things and I really, really like the idea of writing, but I’m not an Emily-type of writer, for whom writing is it, is everything and who just can’t not write. (But I certainly resemble Emily in the overuse of italics 😉 )

  17. Hi

    Years ago I tossed around the idea but I don’t think I have the talent. I am leaving the stories to the wonderful authors I read that take me to other places.

    Thanks for the chance – love your books


  18. I write books in my head, but I’m way too lazy to write them down. Also, they’re really stupid.

    I hope the recent events aren’t going to mess with your story. Like poor Christine Lavin with her “Subway Series” album and 9/11. Worst. Timing. Ever.

    That reminds me, still have to donate some money to the Red Cross. Hub is doing blood, I have none to spare. 😉

    1. “Also, they’re really stupid” made me laugh.

      I should be fine with the series despite the hurricane — but I was going to write one scene at the Irish Hunger Memorial in Battery Park City, and I decided not to because I *do* think it was or is underwater, and I’m not sure what state it will be in come 2014. Still, all considered, not a bad problem to have.

  19. I have absolutely no creativity and so I can honestly say that I’ve never felt any desire to write a book. My lack of vision just makes me admire authors all the more.

  20. No I’ve never tried to write a book. I wrote a chapter for a contest once and it gave me a new respect for authors because it was much harder than I expected, even though I had many queues I had to stick to to continue the story (or maybe that was part of the problem?). Also it was really difficult to stick to the word count. If I ever do write a novel it will undoubtedly be too long and I will need a ruthless editor! For now I’ll stick to blogging. Writing reviews is challenge enough.

    hankts AT internode DOT on DOT net

  21. Hi Ruthie! I’ve wanted to write a book since I was a little girl. I used to write stories when I was in elementary and middle school, but I could never get through the first few chapters. Writing would be my dream job–if I had the talent lol! All of the wonderful writers that I’ve met online talk about the “voices” they hear, and their characters speaking to them. Alas, I have no voices 🙁 I wish I did!

    1. I have *no* voices. I always liked writing in school but felt like I had no ideas, so what would I write? Then I started reading a lot of category romance and had one (paltry) idea, so I thought I’d give it a go. It turns out that the PROCESS of writing actually GENERATES the ideas. Soon, these flat little characters start shambling around like Frankenstein’s monsters! So maybe you should try again. 🙂

      1. Thanks Ruthie! I feel like I don’t have any ideas either. How in the world do writers put together these wonderful, complex stories? But I guess it wouldn’t hurt to try, thanks for your response 🙂

  22. Hi Ruthie, I’m reading About Last Night and enjoying it very much … and my name is Catherine, a wonderful choice of heroine name, I think. I did try over this past summer to write a romance novel. I actually managed to start two: one a contemporary and the other an inspirational. I stopped at a little over 12 000 words for each one. It was both exhilarating and maddening, which, come to think of it, might be a good way to describe a romance novel! It was a torment, but a lot of fun and I’d love to finish them. Alas, a very demanding job got in the way come the fall and I had to put them aside to make a living. I miss them, though.

  23. Oh, you’re too funny! you are NOT doomed and your books are AWESOME! Follow your instincts and write what comes from the heart! Wait… Was that advice? Lol! Nah, just words of support.
    I wish I had the talent to write a book, I rather read yours. I have thought about it, but at the moment I’ve got my hands full, but hopefully some day I’d like to write a memoir just so my kids can read about my experiences and they can share with their kids. I think that’s as far as my creativity will take me.
    When I get the chance, maybe New Years goal, I’ll start writing a journal, to get myself writing, or maybe a blog. Maybe I’ll follow the guidelines from the NaNoWriMo….;) We’ll see…
    I can’t wait to read your next one. You always have great stories to share!
    buzzetta (at) hotmail (dot) com

  24. I have not tried to write a novel. I might try one of these days, but right now, I just don’t have any ideas. Besides, I would be afraid I would accidentally rewrite a combination of some of my favorite books, lol. I do want to start writing maybe in a journal or a short story sort of thing.
    manning_J2004 at yahoo dot com

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