Category Archives: NaNoWriMo

Five Mistakes to Avoid in Your NaNoWriMo Novel from Grammarly

Avoid these Mistakes…

The folks at have put together this handy infographic to help you avoid these five mistakes in your NaNoWriMo novel.

Five Mistakes To Avoid in Your NaNoWriMo Novel Infographic

But don’t stop and look for them now. Wait until December or even January to proofread your epic tome. Get the words “on paper” first then proofread and edit in the coming months.

Happy NaNoWriMo-ing!

Week 1 of #NaNoWriMo is over – how did you do?

Week 1 of NaNoWriMo is behind us. I hear you breathing a sigh of relief. I am, too, well sort of.

How did you do? If your plan is to write 50,000 words this month, you should be sitting at a word count of about 11,667 (based on 1,667 words per day). But we all know that we have days where there aren’t enough hours in the day to accomplish that goal.

Week 1

I ‘fess up. I’ve not been writing 1,667 words a day. Most days, I only manage 500 or thereabouts. But as I’ve said in a previous blog post I’m only striving to write every day.

I’m pleased to say that I have written every day, which was my goal and at the end of week 1, I’ve written 5,906 words.

I hear you scoff at such a paltry number. To me it’s huge! After all, I’ve written every day this month. And so far I’ve stuck with the piece I’m pantsing. Things have been coming together for me on this piece really well so I’m happy to stick with it.

Today was another great day for me, but it falls into Week 2 so I’ll save my progress for another post.

How did you do the first week of #NaNoWriMo?






How do you #NaNoWriMo?


How do you? Does your writing process change just because it’s November and #NaNoWriMo?

My process definitely does. I usually write in fits and starts. And I use that term loosely. I write until I get bored with what I’m working on. Then I’ll go off and read for a while (like half a dozen books) before I even think of ‘putting pen to paper’ again. By which time, I’ll start something else.

So I’ve managed to write four days in a row and amass a whopping (tongue-in-cheek) 4,272 words.

I have two projects I can work on during NaNo. I’m pantsing the one that’s currently getting my attention.

The other I’ve plotted and outlined to death. But when I open that document up, knowing what comes next… I wonder at the wisdom of why is that in so-and-so’s POV? Wouldn’t it be better in someone else’s?

While I ponder those issues, I’ll continue with my pantsing. Or should I call it plantsing? Or plotsing? I know the ending – just don’t know how I’m getting there. But that’s the fun isn’t it? Knowing where you’re going and enjoying the ride and the surprises along the way?





Will YOU succeed at #NaNoWriMo?

succeedDo you have the desire, discipline, story to tell and most importantly, the motivation to succeed?

If you can check all those boxes, then you’ll have a successful month of NaNoWriMo-ing.

But how to you manage when you work full-time, be a domestic Goddess when you’re not holding down your day job?

It’s not easy but it can be done. I’ve not figured out a winning/working formula yet but in time I will.

The only thing I know is, after working on a computer for 8 hours a day, trying to spend a few hours writing at the end of the day, doesn’t work well.

So, since I have a laptop, I take it to work with me and grab a few minutes on my lunch hour. Today I managed about 45 minutes writing time and cranked out 552 words and before the end of the day, sketched out ‘what happens next’. That will make tomorrow’s work much easier.

I subscribe to the website and there are some excellent tips there to keep you motivated for the month of November.

Cheers and happy writing! Wishing my fellow #NaNoWriMo-ers success this month!


#NaNoWriMo – Day 1

Day 1 ~ November 1st

eureka moment

Day 1 of #NaNoWriMo went extremely well for this writer. As I said in yesterday’s post, I’m not aiming for the magic 1667 words per day. I just want to make myself write every day.

So how did I do, I hear you ask? Drum roll, please…

Day 1

How about 2350 words. Not a bad day’s work, if I don’t say so myself. And today also included three loads of laundry washed, dried, folded and put away and making a curry for supper.

Speaking of curry, it’s been simmering in the crock pot all day and it smells delicious.

Tomorrow will be the true test of my writing every day resolve. It’s back to work so will have to squeeze in words over my lunch hour and when supper is cooking. After that, my poor brain and eyes will be done for the day.

And this post is 163 words in length. Does that count towards my daily word count? I think so. #amwriting


#NaNoWriMo Eve…

It’s #NaNoWriMo Eve – are you ready?


If you’re this frazzled now and #NaNo hasn’t started, what will you be like at the end of the month?


T’is the day before #NaNoWriMo and all through the house…
No one is awake – not even your spouse.

Okay, so that’s a bit over the top but it is the last day before National Novel Writing Month (aka #NaNoWriMo) begins.

Have you girded your loins (perhaps an exaggeration), got your ducks in a row, an idea outlined, characters created and the like?

50,000 words in 30 days? I hear you gasp and quake with dread. But don’t think of it that way. With a mere 1667 words every day, you’ll reach that goal.

My goal for #NaNoWriMo is to write every day. I have two projects on the go – one which will only be about 15,000 words at the very most but with it and the other project (which is outlined to death), I could possibly come up with 50,000 words.  I figure when I get bored or run into a wall, or the voices in my head quit talking to me (yes, I hear voices),  I can switch off to the other.

Are you taking part in #NaNoWriMo? If so, I’d love to hear what you’re working on. Let me know in the comments.

Good luck everyone at reaching your writing goals!


Happy Hogmanay!

Dec 31st says goodbye to the current year in anticipation of what is to come in the next year. Known as New Year’s Eve in many countries, in Scotland, it’s a special celebration known as Hogmanay. Great street parties with entertainment take place in major cities. Edinburgh’s celebration is the most widely known. You can see what’s happening in Scotland’s capital to ring in 2013 here.

But before I pop the cork on the champagne, I want to take a look at 2012 and reflect on all the good things that happened to me during the year.

In early January, fellow Writers’ Ink member, Joe Mossman, and I did a spot for the local cable TV’s program, Readers’ Corner and talked about our group.

Joe Mossman, myself and host of Readers' Corner, Doreen Barnes
Joe Mossman, myself and host of Readers’ Corner, Doreen Barnes

A few days later, I was assigned my editor. We hit it off immediately which made the revision process a lot more fun. My gorgeous cover designed by Aidana WillowRaven was revealed here on January 18th.

My novel's cover created by Aidana WillowRaven
My novel’s cover created by Aidana WillowRaven

In February, I was honoured with my First Book award from the Ottawa Romance Writer’s Association.


March came and with it, I received the Versatile Blogger Award from associate reader, Susan Livingston. I had been an associate reader for myself since June 2011 and on May 21, 2012 (my son’s birthday), I became a featured author!

June brought about the new Melanie Robertson-King “brand” reveal.

website header
The weekend of Sept 14-17 (okay Friday to the following Monday – weekend plus) took me to Kansas for the debut of my novel… and best of all, I got to hold it in my hot little hands for the first time. It was brilliant meeting my editor, Carla, for the first time and my publisher, Vivian Zabel, and fellow 4RV Publishing authors Jacque Graham, Janet Brown and Galand Nuchols.

Janet Brown, me, and Galund Nuchols with our books that debuted at the Kansas Book Festival
Janet Brown, me, and Galund Nuchols with our books that debuted at the Kansas Book Festival

My short story, Cole’s Notes, that had been accepted for publication became available for the Kindle in Carrick Publishing’s first cross-genre anthologyEFD1 Starship Goodwords Cover – EFD1 – Starship Goodwords, and classed as literary fiction, no less!

Home from Kansas and the following weekend I hosted my hometown launch at the Wedgewood Retirement Resort in downtown Brockville.

IMG_0860 640x427

One week later, I embarked on a 21-stop 15-day blog tour starting off at and ending at Author Roast and Toast.

In October, I created a blog for my character, Sarah, and filmed another program for Readers’ Corner – this time talking about my novel,

readers corner

was invited to join Famous Five Plus and woo-hoo, I got my first 5-star review for A Shadow in the Past!

November came along and with it, my first kick at the can taking part in NaNoWriMo, and a number of appearances and signings – Ladies’ Night at Green Things Garden and Gift Shop, the Mallorytown Legion’s Christmas Bazaar and Bake Sale, and finally downtown Brockville’s Christmas Open House at Leeds County Books.

December and another signing – this time in Gananoque at All About Books Internet Cafe and I was awarded the Liebster Award by Joanne Clancy.

A great year for sure, and now I’m looking forward to what 2013 brings! So now that I’ve rambled on long enough, it’s time to pop the champagne corks and ring in the New Year.

champagne 5

champagne 4

Happy New Year! Happy Hogmanay! Or Happy whatever you call it in your part of the world. May 2013 be good to you and yours! Cheers!

My final NaNoWriMo update for 2012

I’m willing to bet you’re glad to see the end of them. I’m not a linear writer by any means and tend to write standalone scenes in separate documents and insert them later on. Nightmare you say? Sometimes it is… sometimes it isn’t. In this case it was. Multiple documents, a semi-started manuscript for the sequel to my debut novel. So when I was updating my word counts, I was only including my “new” words. What was there prior to Nov 1st, I always subtracted from my new total and that was the number I posted.

This past week, I had refrained from updating my word count on a daily basis on the NaNo site and now I’m kicking myself in the butt for not doing so. Not that my final total was overly impressive, but when you consider I had a busy month promoting my novel, taking part in events where I could sell myself and my novel, and working full-time (not making excuses), I’m thrilled I got as many words in during the month as I did.

Anyway, I managed 20,024 words which is more than I had at the beginning of November so I’m happy.

I love the idea of NaNoWriMo but with November being such a busy month with the lead up to Christmas, and taking part in BBC Scotland’s Write Here Right Now in February a number of years ago before they changed the format, I think NaNo would be a perfect fit for the after Christmas, winter doldrums…



A Long Overdue NaNoWriMo Update

For a while there wasn’t much happening on the NaNoWriMo front. My train of thought got derailed. Other commitments kept me from writing. But the ideas began percolating in the grey matter over this past week (amazing how that happens when you’re not run off your feet with other things) and so far this weekend I’ve managed to get 1984 words written. Sounds a little Orwellian, don’t you think?

Anyway, now that my feeble attempt at humour is out of my system, can I have a drum roll, please… I have cracked the 13,000 word mark. My total right now is… 13150! Yay!


More from the Legion Bazaar…

Photo courtesy of Ashley Adey Photography

In addition to books, promotional items, my bio and reviews, I took my laptop with me on Sunday. The idea behind that was maybe I could get some NaNoWriMo writing done. That didn’t happen. It was too busy – many distractions and people to talk to. However, I do think I look “authorly” here behind my laptop at my table. What do you think? Authorly or not?