Camp NaNoWriMo Excerpt

I’m in the midst of Camp NaNoWriMo, working on the first draft of another music fan-related novel to follow up Front Row. For some reason, writing in April is a lot harder than writing in November, like I’m used to. To hopefully keep myself accountable, I wanted to share an excerpt from what I have so far:

Braden appeared after Markus, and the volume intensified. Despite the heat, Braden wore full-length jeans and a tight black T-shirt. Aviator sunglasses hid his bedroom eyes. He put his microphone to his lips. “Damn, Markus. Is it hot out here, or is it just me? Ay yi yi.”

Appreciative screams answered Braden’s question for him.

“I think I’m wearing too much clothing.” Braden latched the hem of his shirt with his thumb and pulled the fabric up, revealing the perfect ridges of his eight-pack abs. Girls lost their minds all around the lido deck.

Markus tried to direct the attention back on himself. “Braden just doesn’t know how to dress for this lovely weather we’re having. How do you like my shorts?” Markus’s board shorts were bright pink with musical notes, stars, and skulls scattered across them. On his head was one of his signature bandanas—this one was black with a typical western print, and a straw cowboy hat sat atop that. A tank top with large, gaping holes for the neck and arms showed off his much scrawnier physique.

“Were you guys going to start the show without us?” The precocious (even at the tender age of 39) voice of Skylar blared out of the speakers, and the blond hunk sauntered out and draped his arm over Markus’s shoulder. “I see Braden’s already gotten the strip show going.” He waved at a few overly excited fans jumping up and down a few rows back.

Luc and Vaughn, arguably the lesser popular members of the band, trailed Skylar and rode the wave of the screams from his fans.
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What I Learned at the UW Writers’ Institute

I just got home from the UW Writers’ Institute in Madison, and I should probably be sleeping. With my book party on Friday (check out the pictures on Facebook) and an unfortunate reaction to food Saturday night, I’m exhausted. But I’m also exhilarated from all the inspiration and support from this weekend.

I missed Thursday and Friday’s sessions, which is too bad. They had a lot of good material, so maybe next year I can make a long weekend out of it. I’m going to list my five takeaways from each session I attended. People like lists.

Saturday Keynote: “Setting the Stakes, Hooking the Reader” – Ann Garvin

  • Where is the love?? Need to make the reader care.
  • In the hook, you need to define what are the stakes, and why do we care?
  • To the reader, every sentence is an audition for the next sentence.
  • If have to get through writing a section just to get to a section you’re more excited about, then you need to think about changing it. You should be excited about every section.
  • Cliché hooks include waking up from a dream, internal thoughts, and basically anything you’ve read before.

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IMGP1425-web-199x300 Come join me at the W J Niederkorn Library in Port Washington! I’ll be talking a little bit about how the writing process has gone for me, answering questions, and reading an excerpt from Front Row. I’ll also have a few copies on hand if anyone would like to purchase one. I’d love to see you there!

Also, for the 21+ crowd, there will be an after party at Sir James Pub up the road. The beer selection can’t be beat, the bartenders are awesome, and there will be drink tickets you can redeem for a signature cocktail named by you! Vote on the name here! There will also be karaoke at 9:00 if you’re into that sort of thing.