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And the title goes to…

To recap:

After a few false starts and a couple of failed attempts, I began work on my first novel as part of National Novel Writing Month in November 2010. In no way did I complete the manuscript in a month’s time, as was the goal of the event, but I faced my fears about writing the novel and gave it a nice start.

The premise is a simple one and I’ve been wanting to write it for a few years now. I’d envisioned it in my head as a screenplay so delving into novel writing with the story was a nice and unexpected challenge. In my head, I’ve always called the story  ‘Crazy Sue,’ no matter which method of writing  I use to tell it. The plot is a fictionalized account of  my last year as an undergraduate, living with a needy and unstable roommate my best friend and I would refer to as “Crazy.” The title was nailed into my head as being permanent, so imagine my surprise when said best friend suggested “One Year Lease” as a better option.  I thought she loved the original title; we’d been referring to it as that for years so I was taken aback and hurt at the prospect of changing it. I decided to settle the matter the adult way and created a survey for this site asking my readers to choose the better title. Of course, I was sure ‘Crazy Sue’ would win, hands down, so I wasn’t worried. The title held a special place in my heart and there was no way I could sacrifice it. My readers would surely agree.

Turns out, I was wrong. The winner of the title survey was not my own, but my friend’s: One Year Lease. So, with resistance, I tried to refer to my novel with the new title. It was difficult at first, but  now, it’s grown on me and I love it even more than I loved ‘Crazy Sue.’

The new title, I feel, will allow me to branch out and tell a different kind of story: a story of two friends trying to survive their final year of college, instead of focusing on their situation with a roommate from hell, which can serve as a subplot. The new title will allow me to tell the story I initially wanted to, without the reader having a preconceived notion of what ‘crazy’ means.

I’m excited to see where this novel takes me. I have so many I want to write. Let this be a fantastic start.

Until next time,

The Accidental Blogger


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*Insert Title Here*

As some of you may know, I started work on my first novel as part of National Novel Writing Month in November 2010. While I did not meet the minimum word count, I managed to get a nice start on the manuscript.

The idea for this novel has been swimming around in my head for years and it’s always had the title  ‘Crazy Sue: A Semi-true Novel.”  The plot is a fictionalized account of  my last year as an undergraduate, living with a needy and unstable roommate.

Despite already having settled on a title, my good friend suggested “One Year Lease” as an option. Now, I’m having trouble deciding which title would work best. Luckily, they both sum up the plot fairly well.

I created this poll, the first ever for my website, to help finalize a title for the novel. I added a third option just for fun. The winner will become the final title for the manuscript.


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NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is over

Well folks, it’s official: National Novel Writing Month ended on November 30th. I was off to a great start, but by Day 4, things began to waver. First came a weekend job in Las Vegas, grading papers, family obligations and the biggest hurdle of all: my partner was offered a job in Oregon, which meant packing up our apartment and being without furniture for a week. Then came the actual drive to Oregon, moving things in, buying things we left behind or lost, trying to explore an unfamiliar city, etc. Before I knew it, November was over and my novel was only in its beginning stages.

I did not let that deter me, however, because the important thing is that I started my first novel. With a draft of four chapters (and a prologue) complete, I can move forward and keep writing. Although I did not win NaNoWriMo by finishing the novel, at least it’s off to a great start and I have something to build on for the months to come.

Oregon is a different experience from LA, and although I am only here until the 13th of December to help the hubby settle in, now that I can finally breathe, I hope to resume the novel and write as much as I can before my journey back to California. The fact that it actually feels like Winter here will be a true inspiration, I’m sure.

To anyone who didn’t finish, keep writing away. The start is all that matters; the rest will come easily. Don’t give up.

Write on!

The Accidental Blogger

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NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) officially begins!

It’s November 1st and for writers across the country, that means National Novel Writing Month has officially begun. I’m excited to have begun my first novel, and this is both harder and easier than I thought. I am the kind of writer who proofreads as he writes, but it’s nice to write with no inhibitions. I like letting the words flow without worrying that they aren’t strong or good enough. There’s always time to edit, revise, and rework after the month is over.

This is a fantastic challenge for a first-time novelist like myself, and I am excited to see where the month takes me. I hope I finish my novel by the 30th. It would be an amazing accomplishment.

Stay tuned,

The Accidental Blogger

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Writing One Page a Day

Writing demands motivation and focus; that much is obvious. But sometimes, it’s incredibly difficult to find that motivation. It’s easy for us, as writers, to want to write, but more difficult to actually sit down to write.  Distraction is everywhere , whether online – email, Facebook, Twitter, Google – or personal – phone calls, family, work – and it can take away from precious writing time. The task of writing a novel can seem especially enormous, but it doesn’t have to be.

We’ve all heard this advice, and it’s about time we follow it: “Write one page a day” to stay on track. Imagine, by  sitting in front of the computer for 20,30,60 minutes, with no distractions and just transferring the words that come to us onto the page, a 365 page novel can be written in a year’s time. Sometimes, a page just isn’t enough, and we can find ourselves writing 5, 6, 10 pages in one sitting, and the novel is done sooner that expected, or comes out longer.

But, of course, there are some hurdles that might keep the motivation away. So, if you’re stuck on the beginning of Chapter Two, for example, and can’t find the drive to continue, don’t let that stop you. If you know what’s coming next in the story, start on Chapter Three or Four or Five, or write the end of the novel if you have to. If you have absolutely no idea where the novel is going, form an outline to make it easier to figure out what comes next. You can always fill in the blanks later. It’s much easier to fill in blanks when the rest of the manuscript has already taken shape and you don’t have to block the motivation just because Chapter Two isn’t working at the moment.

A page a day will allow you to stay focused on your writing, and get that often dreamed about novel out from your imagination and onto the page. Simple advice we’ve constantly heard, but never follow.

So I leave you with the words of Paul J. Meyer – “Productivity is never an accident. It’s always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.”

Now’s the time. Follow this advice and write on!

The Accidental Blogger


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