Unboxed quoted Donald Maass: “Since this proposal has been so hard to write,
ask yourself whether you are telling the right story.”
focus on one thing, one plan, and then it implodes, fizzles to nothing. And
we stare at a blank screen.
and a stand-alone. Right now, my Carolina Coast novels seem to be my sweet spot. The characters of small-town Beaufort wave their hands to grab my attention just so they can introduce me to new neighbors. Neighbors with problems for the crew to fix.
Good, right? So, after Heavy Weather (Book 2) connected with readers, I knew I
had to finish the love story I’d begun in it.
thought it would be nothing for me.
3/4 had stalled. So, I reclaimed Book 4/3. Two more chapters in, and that one screeched to a halt. Oh, I
could write about 100 words a day, at which rate I’d finish one book in two
years. Two. Years.
Month, and the goal of 50,000 words in 30 days. With time off for the holidays,
right? My head hurt, but what if? I’d done it before when trying to finish Sailing out of Darkness. Could I do it again?
goal is a good thing, right?
problems with Book 3 had to do with the clutter of too many story lines? What
if I nabbed the most pressing one (that holdover from Heavy Weather) and started an entirely new book with it? And
what if I tried writing a Christmas novella using those characters? The thought
caught my interest. I pulled those chapters out (8K words) and… then?
children. As I can’t do that in the real world, I do it in my stories.
wrote itself. I went from 100 words a day to 4000 words, then to 5000 words. Every day. Add
these to the 8000 words I’d already slid into place and I had the first draft
of a 35K novella completed by Day 8 of my marathon.
happened to me before.
To imagine a new plan. To pay attention to the voices in my head whose story
cried out to be told.
I rewrote and polished and honed and sent it off to them again. Their edits
were swift and brilliant. I polished once more. And from my fantastic street team, four
angels offered their eagle eyes for proofing. While the manuscript was out with
them, I designed a cover, made a book trailer, and formatted the thing for
print and ebook. (I love Vellum, which formats ebooks for me.)
working so you could shake off the cobwebs and create something that actually
Did it involve a writing challenge like NaNoWriMo? And how did the shift work for you?
Normandie Fischer studied sculpture in Italy before receiving her BA, summa cum laude with special honors in English. Known for her women’s fiction—Becalmed (2013), Sailing out of Darkness (2013), and Heavy Weather (2015)—she ventured into the realm of romantic suspense with the release of Two from Isaac’s House. In early 2016, a novella, From Fire into Fire, will continue the Isaac House saga. Normandie and her husband spent a number of years on board their 50-foot ketch, Sea Venture, sailing in the Sea of Cortez, Mexico. They now live in coastal North Carolina, where she takes care of her aging mother. You can find Normandie on her website,Facebook, and Amazon.