Is this an election year or something? I feel I’ve seen a couple posts about it recently. Does anyone know who’s running? I’m kidding, of course. You’d have to be living pretty far below ground to avoid the steady feed of politics this past year. This blog, however, is a politics-free zone! I just couldn’t resist having a little fun since today happens to be election day.

As you can tell by the title, the real purpose of this post is to talk about NaNoWriMo. ^_- If you’re not familiar with NaNoWriMo, here’s a brief primer. NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. It takes place every November, and is open for any and all authors and aspiring authors to take part. The goal is for each person to write 50,000 words towards their novel from Nov 1-30. Reaching that word count goal means you “win” NaNoWriMo. If you want to learn more, visit the site here:

Dragon's Bane Lo Res
Reflection: Dragon’s Bane (Book 4)

When I first learned of the event last year, I was taking a break between writing Harbinger of the Phoenix and Thorn of the White Rose. This year, however, I’m right in the middle of writing Reflection: Dragon’s Bane. Even though I’m a full-time writer, I know I won’t make the 50,000 word goal. I’ve found that I work best by cycling through three phases for each chapter before moving on to the next: detailed outlining, writing, and then editing/revising. It takes more time during the writing phase to work this way–and it’s definitely not conducive to achieving 50,000 words in a single month–but it significantly reduces the amount of time I spend on final revisions after the manuscript is complete. It’s just what works for me.

Still, despite knowing that I’m not going to “win” (I’ve set a personal goal of 30,000 words), I think NaNo is a great way to connect with other writers and it serves as great motivation to write a little faster!  If you’d like to be writing buddies, you can find me under author name RachelRSmith. I’ve posted a brief excerpt from Dragon’s Bane Chapter 1 in my novel information, too. (It’s from the unproofed first draft, so please overlook any typos and grammatical errors!)

Are you participating in NaNoWriMo this year? I’d love to hear a little about your project, your goals, and your progress in the comments! ^_^


  1. I’ve never won NaNoWriMo and I’ve done it three times before haha. I guess my slow writing style is also not conducive to NaNo. I may not win this time either, but I’ve already written more this past week than I have in any of my previous attempts. I’ll try to add you as a writing buddy later!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It always *feels* more productive to put pen to paper, but sometimes it really is best to let an idea rattle around for awhile. Like letting a stew simmer–the longer it goes, the more flavor it picks up. And that analogy has nothing to do with the fact that I’m making stew right now. ^_-

      Good luck!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You made me giggle. “Stewing” over the story now for quite some time but only this year did I do more than ‘think’ about it. Even now the thoughts I have are coming together in a totally different way than I had original thought they would. I have only written a couple of introductory chapters and already the direction the story wants to go is far different than I had imagined.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad I could make you laugh! I wrote and stewed intermittently on my fist book for 10 years before finishing it, so I understand where you’re coming from. The more I worked, the more things came together and developed, and sometimes even those unexpected turns ended up (surprisingly) bringing all the pieces together better than I could have if I had planned it from the outset. Good luck! ^_^


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