How to Know You’ve Finished Writing Your Novel

NaNoWriMo is a great time to get a start on writing your novel, but how do you take your rough draft you’ve written during NaNoWriMo and make into something that might be of publishable standards? In today’s blog post I’m going to talk about how you can go from first draft to a manuscript that is ready for publication!

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AuthorTube Christmas Tag 2017 (w/ Jessi Elliott & Emily Bourne)

Happy first day of December! I have to say, Christmas is one of my favorite holidays! To get into the Christmas spirit this year on AuthorTube I’ve enlisted the help of Jessi Elliott and Emily Bourne, fellow AuthorTuber’s, to re-create the AuthorTube Christmas tag! Last year Jessi created the tag and this year Emily and I worked with Jessi to create new questions and bring the tag back to life!

After you watch my tag video, be sure to check out Jessi and Emily’s video as well!

Tag questions:

What would your main character’s favorite Christmas song be?

Out of all of your characters, who would be the best gift giver?

What would be your MC’s favorite part about the holidays?

Your MC and his/her love interest step under a mistletoe. What happens?

Ho! Ho! Ho! Who’s on the naughty list?

How would your MC decorate their home? Tree? Lights? Giant blow-up santa?

Which character holds a New Year’s party?

What would be your MC’s resolution?

Does your MC have a Christmas tradition?

Who would be the number one person your MC would want to spend the holidays with?

What is your MC’s perfect holiday destination?

Which character is ruining the holiday photos with funny faces?

I tag Kim Chance, Kristen Martin and April Taylor.

 

9 Tips to Write More During NaNoWriMo

How’s NaNoWriMo going for everyone? If you’re like most, you may be significantly behind because, let’s face it, it’s hard to write 50,000 words in one month. Today I’ve gathered some of my favorite tips to boost your writing, not only during NaNoWriMo, but any day when you need help getting some words down on paper.

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Defeat NaNoWriMo Mid-Book Syndrome!

You’ve got 30 days to write 50,000 words. Today is day fourteen of NaNoWriMo 2017, which means that you should be somewhere around 25,000 words if you want to be on track to hit 50,000 words by the end of the month. While hitting the mid-point of NaNoWriMo is cause for celebration, I’m here to talk about what no one wants to really admit, and that’s the fact that you’ve come down with mid-book syndrome. If you’ve been watching my videos for a while you know that mid-book syndrome if what I call when you’ve hit the middle of your book and you’re just not feeling it anymore. Sound familiar? Let’s look at the symptoms:

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Get a Signed Postcard! – I am Mercy Anniversary

Yesterday was the two year anniversary of I am Mercy! I am Mercy is a historical fantasy novel that is a companion novel to Essence. It takes in 14th century France during the black plague during a time of desperation and dark magic.

In celebration of two years, I’ve decided to start something new. I recently created postcards that I’ll be signing and mailing out! I’ll be giving out the postcards for free to anyone who’s written a review of Essence or I am Mercy. Besides being signed, each postcard will also have a custom message written by your’s truly!

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NaNoWriMo Character Development #ProjectWriteTube [Giveaway]

November is National Novel Writing Month and in honor or preparation for many of you writing a 50,000 words novel in one month, I’m taking part in #ProjectWriteTube which a collaboration of YouTubers who are talking about the preparation of NaNoWriMo in the month of October. My video/blog post is just one of many created by other authors, so to watch all the YouTube videos, be sure to check out the #ProjectWriteTube playlist on YouTube:

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Writing Dark Fiction, Guest Post by TE Carter

Today I have a special guest for you! At my last book signing, I met TE Carter, the author of the upcoming over I Stop Somewhere. The two of us got to talking about our experiences writing dark fiction, so I asked her to write a blog post on her experiences and some of what she dealt with to write her debut novel. Learn about my experiences writing dark fiction by watching the YouTube video, or read the blog post by TE Carter’s to see what she has to say about the subject. Continue reading

5,000 Subscriber Free Book & #ChanceChallenge

It’s already the second week of September! How is that possible? My last semester of college has begun so things are a little crazy for me, so I wanted to let you know I’ll only be posting once a week until finish classes in December. On another note, by YouTube channel hit 5,000 subscribers! In celebration of having 5,000 amazing subscribers, I wanted to do more than giveaway a book to one person. I’m going to give a book to…well, anyone who wants one.

For five days, starting today, my second novel, I am Mercy will be available for free on Kindle.

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Witches and Cadets || BookCase Club August 2017

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Use the code Mandi15 to get 15% off your purchase!

The Summer on East End Tripple Moon by Melissa de la Cruz

After they cause a terrible accident at their old high school, twin witches Mardi and Molly Overbrook are sent to live with their “aunt” Ingrid Beauchamp in North Hampton, on Long Island’s mist-shrouded East End. Because the twins cannot control their powers, their father begs Ingrid to tame them over the summer, before the White Council exiles the girls to Limbo.
Trouble continues to bubble and boil when the girls meet the younger Gardiner boys, who are just as handsome and sexy as their older kin. But all is not as it seems. As Ingrid helps the girls learn to control their magical impulses, Mardi and Molly have just this summer to figure out how to grow up, how to love, and how to be a family.

Rites of Passage by Joy N. Hensley

Sam McKenna’s never turned down a dare. And she’s not going to start with the last one her brother gave her before he died.
So Sam joins the first-ever class of girls at the prestigious Denmark Military Academy. She’s expecting push-ups and long runs, rope climbing and mud-crawling. As a military brat, she can handle an obstacle course just as well as the boys. She’s even expecting the hostility she gets from some of the cadets who don’t think girls belong there. What she’s not expecting is her fiery attraction to her drill sergeant. But dating is strictly forbidden and Sam won’t risk her future, or the dare, on something so petty… no matter how much she wants him.
As Sam struggles to prove herself, she discovers that some of the boys don’t just want her gone—they will stop at nothing to drive her out. When their petty threats turn to brutal hazing, bleeding into every corner of her life, she realizes they are not acting alone. A decades-old secret society is alive and active… and determined to force her out.
At any cost.
Now time’s running short. Sam must decide who she can trust… and choosing the wrong person could have deadly consequences.

Find me on Instagram! @mandilynnwrites

Novel Outlining: Chapter Guides || YA Ink

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You’ve all heard me talk quite a bit about novel outlining. Over the years I’ve used a few different methods to get the same result, but what I haven’t talked about is how I also like to outline my novel while I write. When I outline my novels I start by making a simple chapter-by-chapter outline of my novel of what I want to happen. As I write each chapter, I go into more detail, answering the who, what, where, when and why questions. This means that whenever I write, I have two Word documents open. One of my actual manuscript, and another of my chapter guide. Once I finish writing a chapter in the manuscript, I hop over to my chapter guide and input the information there.

Why Does it Work?

Keeping a chapter guide keeps you organized in your story. You know what happened when and if you forget something you’ve written, you don’t have to jump back into the manuscript, you can just jump back to the chapter in your chapter guide.

The answer to What is the most important (in my humble opinion). If I can’t get a good answer to What, then that means I’ll have some re-writing to do when draft 3 comes along.

 

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Keep in mind that when you create your chapter guide, you’re the only person who will read it. Don’t worry about proper sentence structure. These are your notes. Use bullet points and write only about what’s important. This is not the place to write long sentences of description.

Side note: You don’t have to create your chapter guide as you go. Sometimes I like to use it after I’ve finished the first draft of my manuscript and I’m getting ready for draft 2. By going through each chapter and answering these questions, I not only see any holes in the plot, but I’m able to see what chapters drag on too much and maybe need a touch of excitement.

 

Download the template or find the template on Pinterest.

Do you think a Chapter Guide will help you craft a better novel? Let me know in the comments below!