Facets of a Muse

Examining the guiding genius of writers everywhere

Autumn in Writersville


Ah, it’s my favorite season (followed closely by spring). The weather is comfortable, the sky is brilliant, the leaves are changing, and the garden is winding down. The worst part about autumn is knowing winter is coming. I can do about a month of winter, maybe two, before I start going crazy.

Now’s the time I’d normally spend putting together my outline for NaNoWriMo this year. I say normally, because I’ve already done my NaNo for the year–in February. Yep, 50k+ words in 28 days. That doesn’t mean I’m going to blow off NaNo in November. I figure, the point of NaNo is to write every day. It’s about this time every year I’ve lost that habit, and I need a refresher course.

This year, I plan on spending the time revising my WIP (written in Feb). I tracked my stats in February, so I’ll post those to the NaNo site, but I need to do a major overhaul, and NaNo is the perfect excuse/incentive to do so. I seen a few fellow writers post about maybe doing NaNo this year (Emily, I challenge you!) I’ve said it before: I feel the most important reason for doing NaNoWriMo is to develop the habit of writing every day. If you don’t, it’s a lot harder to hit the 50k word goal line.

Granted, if you don’t hit 50k, no one’s going to stop by your house and hang a “Loser” banner or anything, but it gives you a target. Bonus, if you do hit 50k or more, chances are you’ve got a rough draft of a completed novel on your hands. Just think, writing a novel in a month. Sure, it’s crap–it’s a rough first draft–but no matter how long it takes you to write a book, you’ll have to revise it (unless you’re George R. R. Martin, but that’s why it takes him years to finish his books).

Join me and the other 100k writers on a NaNo Noveling journey. Now’s the time to lay out your plans for your NaNo novel. I never used to outline, but the first year I did NaNo, I outlined a fresh story, one I hadn’t been mulling over in my head. I was surprised at how well it helped me develop the story. Ever since, I’ve taken October to outline my NaNo novels and do some research. Some writers just “pants” it–write by the seat of their pants. It works for them, and might work for you as well.

October is also Halloween. Okay, technically only the 31st is Halloween, but it seems like the foreplay lasts the entire month. I know people who celebrate Halloween like we celebrate Christmas: jump in with both feet at the beginning of the month and fill every day with little bits of the season. One writer has her Halloween mystery on special this month. Another writer has an October tradition he calls Macabre Macaroni.

I don’t get caught up in the whole H’ween thing, but I think people who like the season have a lot of fun with it. I’ll settle for colored leaves, Honeycrisp apples, and hot mulled cider (I’ll take hard cider if it’s available). Enjoy the new season, and enjoy your upcoming week. I’m off for a run, then the Vikings’ game. They’re taking on Denver today.


Author: Julie Holmes, author

A fiction writer since elementary school (many years ago), and NaNoWriMo annual participant for over a decade, I have been published in small press magazines such as "Fighting Chance" and "The Galactic Citizen". I write adult mystery with a touch of romance, mystery with extrasensory elements, contemporary fantasy, and epic fantasy, and I'm represented by the fabulous Cynthia Zigmund of Second City Publishing Services. My debut novel, "Murder in Plane Sight", has been released by Camel Press (an imprint of Coffeetown Press/Epicenter Press). In real life, I am a technical writer and empty-nester with a wonderful hubby, one cat (what writer doesn't have cats??), two dogs, six chickens, and more chipmunks, squirrels, and rabbits than any garden should have to deal with. My garden, our hobby farm, and Nature's annual seasons are some of my muses.

13 thoughts on “Autumn in Writersville

  1. Thanks for the nod. I enjoy the same bits of October you do, bird migrations, first frost, and those wonderful fall colors. I also enjoy the Halloween bits.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ahhhhh, I’ve been called out! OK, OK. I’m committing. There’s gotta be a first time for everything, right? So here goes nothing!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for the shout-out to my Halloween mystery novel. I love this month. Not just for the things that go bump in the night but for the glimmer of bright orange pumpkins, the taste of caramel apples and the crunch of dried leaves underfoot. I’m going to miss NaNoWriMo this year, but I might undertake it just for the idea of doing 50K in a month. I’m presently working on book 2 of my Point Pleasant series, so I don’t have something new to start in November, but I might try and

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Ooops! I hit post before I was ready, LOL.
    Anyway, I might try to add 50K to my WIP in November. I can’t imagine that month rolling around and not participating in some manner!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’d be a great opportunity to add to your WIP. The weather’s cooling a bit now; the trees are about a week or so behind with their colors, but the predictions are for spectacular colors this year. Can’t wait! I’m thinking I may need to bake up some pumpkin bread this week. Mmmm.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve never tried the NaNoWriMo challenge – mostly because the timing hasn’t lined up. Except this year it does. Hmmm. So, I might just heed the call.
    Happy October, Julie. Enjoy the falling leaves and pumpkins and hard cider 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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