Shiromi Arserio, British born author, avid traveller and editor joins us on this Black Friday to discuss her NaNoWriMo journey of 2011. I’m really excited to have the chance to host her since she just so happens to live in my dream location–the Pacific Northwest!
-Tell us about you:
I am a British writer and performer. I’m currently calling the Pacific Northwest my home, and loving every minute of it. In my “day job” I write travel and outdoor articles for both online and print publications. However, I also write plenty of science fiction and fantasy and run a Sci-Fi website called Inter-Galaxy Portal.
-If you’re a writer–professionally speaking–what is your “normal novel” pace? Given no restrictions on time, how long would you say it takes you to write 50,000 words?:
I don’t tend to write novels outside of NaNoWriMo, so it’s hard to say. I tend to write a decent first draft 5,000-10,000 word story in a month, but it varies depending on the story.
-This isn’t your first NaNoWriMo…tell us about your first time?:
My first NaNoWriMo experience was in 2007. I heard about it and knew I wanted to try it. My novel was a fantasy story set in the Regency Period. That year I was so new to it, I didn’t even really know about all the write-in’s and such. I did win that year, but I remember having to really “stretch” the story out.
-Since there is an end goal–which makes you a “winner”–did you win and reach 50k in your past NaNoWriMo’s? How many words total did you write (more or less or dead even)?:
I’ve won three out of the four years that I’ve done NaNoWriMo, and the year I didn’t win, I quit because I was in the process of mvoing and didn’t have the time for it. I usually don’t write too far over the 50,000 word goal, although last year, I did 50,000 words, but I’m only about halfway through that story.
-NaNoWriMo is a lot of work, so we all want to know, what initially inspired you to join the writeathon movement and then, what has kept you coming back for more?:
I had never written a novel length piece of work before, so it was a cool goal to try and achieve. Some years I’ve thought about skipping, but I’ve moved around a lot these past few years, and going to the write-in’s is a fantastic way to meet other people. The shared goal and the constant encouragement helps a lot. Last year, I even got to do NaNoWriMo with my 15 year old niece. We cheered each other on, and she won, which makes me so proud. If I did my novels without that support, like I did the first year, I would probably quit. The social interaction keeps me coming back for more.
-What were some of the things you taken away from past NaNo’s? Any lessons you’d pass on to a newcomer and things you’d personally do different this year?:
Definitely go to the write-in’s. The encouragement really is essential, especially if you’re surrounded by non-writers who look at you strangely when you tell them you’re doing this. Also, I always try to write a little extra over the daily word count, because life has a funny habit of getting in the way.
-What happened to your story–did you publish it? Junk it? Still working on it? (this is the place where it is A-O.K to mention a published book, if that book came from NaNoWriMo’s of the past):
Two are on the backburner right now. The first one I wrote badly needs some editing- it really didn’t need to be novel length. The second book doesn’t feel quite ready yet. As for the third, half-finished book, I plan on finishing that book, and releasing it as a serial online. I’m hoping to release the first part by the end of the year.
-What do you think your biggest personal challenge will be when it comes to NaNoWriMo this year? (examples: time, other obligations, consistency of participation, writers block)
I’m hoping to move to a new house soon, so between that, and the fact that I have a lot of short stories that I’m also working on publishing, it’s going to be a busy November for me.
-Since you’re obviously back for more–tell us–what prep work have you done for 2011 NaNo? Do you have a strong plot mapped out? Character development? What are you current plans?:
Honestly, I haven’t done much prep work, which is kinda bad, since it’s less than two weeks away. Unlike most of my stories, this one is one I haven’t mapped out. I will have to do some research so I don’t get writer’s block halfway through, but this year’s novel will be far more fluid than my previous work. I know who the main character is, and the general situation and tone I want, but that’s about it.
-Do you plan to keep working on this book/novella/script post-NaNo?
I hope to finish this one and self-publish it, but we’ll see. It’s too soon to say, I haven’t even begun mixing the dough, much less putting it in the oven to bake!