The Merry Writer Podcast: Episode 028 Now Live!

The Merry Writer Podcast | Do you participate in NaNoWriMo? | Episode 028 | Podcast | Creative Writing | RachelPoli.com

The Merry Writer Podcast

The Merry Writer started as a hashtag game on Twitter and Instagram. Hosted by Ari Meghlen and myself, The Merry Writer Podcast is a fun, friendly show about all things writing and bookish. Join us as we ask all the “write” questions.

Episode 028: Do you participate in NaNoWriMo?

In this week’s episode, Ari and I are joined by my sister, Kristen Poli, where we discuss all things NaNoWriMo. Be sure to give it a listen through the YouTube video below or any of the links below.

New episodes are published every Wednesday at 10:00 am EST (2:00 pm BST). Please subscribe to the podcast so you can be notified when a new episode goes live. Also, give each episode a “like” wherever you enjoy tuning in. It’ll help the podcast grow and we’d really appreciate it!

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About Kristen Poli

Kristen Poli

Kristen Poli is a writer specializing mainly in the fantasy genre and is passionate about creativity, gaming, dogs, and chocolate. You can find her on Medium and her newsletter, A Positive Spin.

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Let me know your thoughts about the episode in the comments below so we can chat! Please feel free to share this post.

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Camp NaNoWriMo: Week Four

We’re in the final stretch! April was a fast month.

Camp NaNoWriMo: Week Four | Creative Writing | Writing | Cozy Mystery | Mystery | RachelPoli.com

I say this about every time I rewrite George Florence and the Perfect Alibi, but I have to say it again – this draft is coming out so much better than previous drafts!

While I’ve gotten into writing slumps, I’ve never lost passion for this novel. I’ve had novel ideas and have been excited about them before. I write them, edit them once or twice, and forget about them. Sometimes, I don’t even get to the editing stage or don’t even complete the first draft.

George Florence is different though. He came to be in January 2011 (if I remember correctly), so it’s been nine years. I’ve written and rewritten countless drafts and, as I said, even though I get into writing slumps here and there, I’ve never lost my passion for this novel, for this series. I love these characters and I can’t wait to publish them someday. (Someday, hopefully, soon.)

With that said, I think I’ve made more progress in this draft than I ever have before. I won’t go into too many details (it’s confusing and… well, spoilers) but my characters did me a favor.

I know, usually, they run amok and argue with me every step of the way. This time was different though.

A lot of ideas I had for this book (for the series as a whole) have continued to exist in this draft but they make a lot more sense. The major plot point, however, hasn’t changed. Yet, I always had a hard time connecting the dots.

Well, guess what? This past week, I wrote a chapter. My characters had a heart-to-heart (totally unexpected, I was just trying to get some words down) and – lo and behold – their heart-to-heart lead to a major breakthrough in the case. That breakthrough was the one piece I needed to complete the puzzle of this mystery.

They did it and it actually makes sense.

Needless to say, the novel is going pretty smoothly. I reached 50,000 words on the novel on April 23rd, so I reached my goal for NaNoWriMo. I’m still writing 2,000 words a day, but I did skip one day. I’m still taking that as a win.

Daily Word Count

Day 21: 2,200
Day 22: 2,820
Day 23: 2,058
Day 24: 2,036
Day 25: 0
Day 26: 2,232
Day 27: 2,231

I’ll reach 60,000 words today. Let’s see how far I can go with this draft before the month ends. I hope this month has been a productive writing month for you as well.

Are you participating in Camp? If so or if not, what are you currently working on and how’s it going? Let me know in the comments below and let’s chat. If you enjoyed this post, please share it. 

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Camp NaNoWriMo: Week Three

We’re already nearing the end of this Camp NaNoWriMo session and the month, believe it or not.

Camp NaNoWriMo: Week Three | Creative Writing | Writing | Mystery | Cozy Mystery | RachelPoli.com

This was another good week for writing. In some ways, I don’t know where this manuscript is going. At the same time, George Florence and the Perfect Alibi is the best it’s ever been.

I’ve noticed a lot of differences between this draft and previous ones, that I decided to talk about in a separate blog post in the future. For now, here’s my word count for the week.

Daily word count

Day 14: 2,018
Day 15: 2,163
Day 16: 2,042
Day 17: 2,069
Day 18: 2,027
Day 19: 2,028
Day 20: 2,514

Are you participating in Camp? If so or if not, what are you currently working on and how’s it going? Let me know in the comments below and let’s chat. If you enjoyed this post, please share it. 

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Camp NaNoWriMo: Week Two

We’re already two weeks into April, into another Camp NaNoWriMo session, if you can believe it. On Easter, April 12th, I was proud of myself for writing every single day. Normally, I get ahead and skip a day or two, but I’ve kept up the routine. I thought I had been writing every day for about seven or eight days before I realized we’re farther along in the month than I thought.

Camp NaNoWriMo: Week Two | Creative Writing | Writing | Mystery | Cozy Mystery | RachelPoli.com

Week two of Camp went well. Honestly, the week flew by for me. I stayed productive and on the routine with my writing. Normally, week two is a bit of a slump for me. My mind is tired from so much writing and it’s hard for me to get any words down during the second week.

It wasn’t like that this time. I’m not sure why. Maybe the routine is working for me. Maybe it’s because I haven’t written in such a long time. Maybe it’s just that it feels good to get back into writing my mystery. I’m not sure. I’m not complaining though.

Something I try to do every NaNo session (that almost never happens) is write at least 4,000 words on Saturdays. My daily goal is 2,000 words and I have more time on Saturdays than any other day of the week, so I try to double it. It allows me to get even further ahead and is an extra boost. I didn’t do it the first Saturday of this month. I have no other reason other than I forget. I’m pretty sure I wrote my 2,000 words and then played Animal Crossing: New Horizons for the rest of the day.

I was able to do it this past Saturday though, which was good. The story is coming out great so far. I’m sure I’ll think differently about it when I start editing, but I won’t knock it for now.

Daily word count

April 7: 2,467
April 8: 2,051
April 9: 2,021
April 10: 2,124
April 11: 4,118
April 12: 2,109
April 13: 2,237

Overall Total: 30,501 words

Camp is going well this month. I think I had a more successful week this week than I did the first week. So, that’s something I’m glad.

Are you participating in Camp? If so or if not, what are you currently working on and how’s it going? Let me know in the comments below and let’s chat. If you enjoyed this post, please share it. 

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Camp NaNoWriMo: Week One

Another session of NaNoWriMo is upon us. It feels like just yesterday was November and yet, at the same time, it feels so long ago.

Camp NaNoWriMo: Week One | Creative Writing | Writing | Writing Update | Mystery | Cozy Mystery | Novel Writing | RachelPoli.com

No prepping for me

I normally spend the entire month of March planning and outlining what I’m going to write for Camp NaNo in April. I didn’t do that this time though. One reason being that March through the entire world into a tizzy and things have been weird. Writing wasn’t exactly on my mind, but I thought about it once in a while. Such as, “I should really figure out how to tackle Camp next month.” But that’s all it was – a thought.

It wasn’t until the very end of March (meaning March 30th and 31st) that I really starting thinking about Camp NaNoWriMo. I knew what I wanted to write, but I wasn’t entirely sure how to go about it.

Preparing to write draft number… I’ve lost count

I guess I should say rewrite instead of write. I’ve been working on book one of my cozy mystery series, George Florence and the Perfect Alibi, since 2011. I’ve written and rewritten it so many times, I’ve lost count. Each draft is drastically different from the previous and I think I’ve finally gotten it this time. (Although, I think I might have said that about the last draft.)

I lost count, but I’m pretty sure this is the seventh or eighth “first” draft. So, I guess you can say I’m on draft 1.7 of the book. Sure, let’s go with that.

When it comes to writing a mystery novel you need to have the case solved yourself first and I think I’m going through the motions of investigating with each draft I write. Every time I write I get that “ah-ha” moment of figuring something else further in the case or I connect a character to another or something similar. Which, is a good thing.

With that said, I decided to rewrite the first draft for Camp this month. (I’m hoping this is the final “first” draft.)

During Camp NaNoWriMo

I have the series as a whole outlined for the most part. I’m sure things will change with each book I write and there are still a few things I need to figure out. I also need a solid outline for book one since it’s changed so many times.

With that said, my goals for the month are to complete the first draft, have an outline of the first draft (I’m working on this as I write), and have a clearer outline for the series. We’ll see how it goes. So far, it seems to be going okay.

Daily word count

April 1: 2,509
April 2: 2,340
April 3: 2,241
April 4: 2,055
April 5: 2,180
April 6: 2,049

Overall, I’m keeping my steady pace of writing at least 2,000 words a day, which is about a chapter for me.

It feels good to get back into the swing of writing. I hope it continues beyond Camp.

Are you participating in Camp? If so or if not, what are you currently working on and how’s it going? Let me know in the comments below and let’s chat. If you enjoyed this post, please share it. 

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