Sunday, October 30, 2011

Write First Pre-holiday Writer's Challenge

JAN BROGAN: Okay, time for much promised Writer's Challenge.

OH GOODNESS, WHAT THIS TIME? It's shorter. Only four weeks. Mostly so I can slip it in before the holidays start.

HOW IS IT DIFFERENT FROM NANOWRIMO? - (The National Novel Writer's Month writers challenge of producing a 50,000 word novel in only one month, going on roughly the same time.) It's much less ambitious.

WANT TO KNOW MORE? There is nothing to stop you from doing both challenges at the same time, and if you can't keep up NaNoWriMo, you'll still be light years ahead of the rest of us at the Write First Challenge.

HMMMM....?? This challenge isn't so much about output, it's about creating a healthy work habit. In the Write First Challenge, you have to write six out of seven days of the week, and you must write at least two pages before you check your email or surf the web. If you are researching something germaine to your story, you are allowed to go online, but may not depart for EVEN A SECOND from your work research. And you still have to produce two pages.

WHAT IF I HAVE OTHER RESPONSIBILITIES? Like a day job? Then go ahead, check your email all day long and do whatever you have to on the web for your work, but when you come home and get ready to write KNOCK IT OFF. Use your email or your daily dose of The ONION or the Huffington post as a REWARD for getting your two pages done.

WHY WOULD I EVEN CONSIDER THIS? Well, In one month, you'll have about fifty pages written. You'll get to whine, complain, or extol the virtues of the Writers Challenge every Sunday in the JR comments page.

WHY ELSE? Because we are giving away prizes!!


If you post at least three times (on different weeks), we enter your name in raffle and the winners get one of the following books:

Royal Blood by Rhys Bowen

Dead Head by Rosemary Harris

a US galley of No Mark Upon her by Deborah Crombie

an ABM of The Other Woman by Hank Phillippi Ryan

A prize will be given for the most inspirational comment: One Was a Soldier by Julia Spencer Fleming.

And a prize for the most brutally honest: a copy of Asking for Murder AND a copy of Deadly Advice by Roberta Isleib.

All these copies are, of course, signed.

The challenge technically ends Sunday December fourth - which is the last day to post comments on the comment page. I'll announce winners the following Sunday, December 11th.

Sign up in the comments page all week, tell your friends, and please, TWEET like mad!!


  1. We don't have electricity here, so our cable is down and I can only connect to the internet until my phone batterie dies so if you don't here from me later......


  2. Well, okay. I'm in. Great company, great prizes...darned good arm-twisting. First I shall line up 30 or so great excuses, and kill off one each day until The (bitter or sweet) End.

  3. All right. I think this might be doable. I tried NaNoWriMo last year and just simply couldn't keep going for the 50K words. Two pages a day? I can hopefully keep up. Thanks for a new challenge!

  4. I'm in! Not for the prizes but for the glory. And because misery loves company.

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  6. I'm in, too. But only for the prizes. LOL

    Well, and for the discipline, too. I sorely need it, so thanks for the invitation.

  7. IN! I wouldn't miss this for the world. It really helps me on so many levels. And I enjoy the Sunday "evaluations" of the week. I agree, Molly -- great company! Holly I'm glad you're with us, too. Was it misery to trash those 100 pages? Don't know if I could. Thanks Jan, as always! Hope you all get your electricity back quickly.

  8. I'm in, I'm in!! (Not for the prizes as that wouldn't be fair) But because that's a fraction of the pages I need to write every day, and if I can do that first two, first thing, I can usually make the rest. Thanks, Jan!

  9. I'm in..although today can't count since i've been busy getting the tree branch out of my kitchen (fell through skylight.)

  10. I'm in, for the prizes AND the kick-in-the-butt.

  11. I'm in. This is my 8th NaNoWriMo but I really need to get the writing done first thing in the morning. You all keep me doing that during the challenge but I'm so bad after the challenge is over. I really have to make this kmy daily habit. Prizes are nice but I need the discipline.

    Hope all get you power back soon, your damages repaired, etc. Been there and it’s not a good thing.

  12. Hank says: IN IN IN!
    But can i count today since I already checked my email?

  13. Okay. I'm in. I'll probably fail, and I'm one of the Day Job folks. But I'm going to try! (Even at Crime Bake, gulp.)


  14. Oh, yeah. When do we start? (When DID we start?) Or am I not a careful reader?

  15. I'm in! Thanks for the kick-in-the-butt writing challenge. Repeat to myself, I can do this, I can do this...

  16. I'm doing the #$**ing Nanowrimo thing again this year so I'm in on the this challenge. If I get a few hundred words done in the AM, it will only help me with the bigger word count thing.

    And I hope that the habit sticks.
    Supposedly it takes 28 days to form a new habit, but I think that's optimistic.

  17. Jan, ack on the power and internet! Hope all returns soon.

    I'm in. But I intend to cheat. A little. Okay. A lot. I must have my #1k1hr fix. I can't get motivated without the kick-in-pants start I get from the #1k1hr challenge on Twitter. I do two or three of those each morning and average around 2500 words total. Two pages? Easy peasy.

    If you haven't heard of #1k1hr, the goal is to write 1000 words in 1 hour.

    Oh, lordy. My spam word? endwally. It's late. I'm tired. And I just splorted Diet Coke out of my nose.

    I'm also doing NaNo because I'm a glutton like that. Write on!

  18. I'm in! The RSS feeds always come a day late! My problem (and does this comment qualify for brutally honest?), I've read all the prizes except for Deborah's and Hank's books that are listed (I've read their other ones--these must not be on the shelf or barely there?).

    Liked the EQMM mention by Bill Crider in "Blog Bytes." :)

    Like Jan's New Year's challenge, I need the reminder and the nudge!

  19. Jan, did the Writer's Challenge begin yesterday (Oct. 30th)? If so, is it too late to join in?

  20. Is it too late to give this a go?

  21. Have been participating - writing two pages starting on the 31st. Write First is a personal challenge that fits for me.

  22. I'm in on this. I try to do something like this each day anyway. Anything to help with discipline.

  23. Molly's 11/06 filing: Traveled from the Florida tropics to chilly D.C. on a one-way ticket. Disenfranchisement and a strong desire for thermal underwear are real boosts for compliance with the challenge rules.

    Comforted myself -- and my page count -- by sending e-mail inquiries to my characters, along with instructions to "reply all". Most have caught on. Note: Yes, there are such things as dumb questions. Write well, Everyone! ~m