Write A Novel In 60 Days With Dabble Kickoff Event

Hank Garner
October 4, 2022
April 20, 2023

Hank Garner 0:01 
   And we are live welcome everyone to this special edition of the story craft Cafe podcast. Live stream tonight we are kicking off, it’s kind of a pre kickoff meeting for our writer novel in 60 days with dabble challenge. This is something that I just dreamed up about a month ago. And then I emailed some of my best friends and said, Hey, guys, I’ve got this idea that I want to do. And I don’t want to do it alone. Why don’t you come on and do it with me and Josh Hayes and II and garner and Amy Hale and Lauren Moore, we’re all just, you know, ready to go on this crazy journey with me. And what we’re going to do, I’ll just kind of give everybody a really quick introduction. dapple, who sponsors the story craft Cafe has been a sponsor of NaNoWriMo for a number of years and we love nano and you know, nano the the, the idea behind it is to write at least 50,000 words, because that’s the kind of entry bar for novel length work is 50,000 words. And you do that in November. So in the whole month of November you What’s that come out to anybody done that it like 16 170 Something words a day, I think it is or just pulling it off the top of my head. But you know, if you’re gonna succeed at nano, one thing that they tell you is that you should prepare ahead of time. So I was thinking, what if we had a month to prepare, and then a month to, then with the preparation that we’ve done, get those 50,000 words. Now some people that may look like a full month of preparation and a full month of writing? Some people it may look like a couple of weeks of prep, and then six weeks of writing, you know, we’re not being dogmatic about that. But I was just thinking, what if we took this great concept stretched it out a little bit to encompass. And the challenge that I that I gave these guys was let’s let’s come in with a fresh mind and go from idea to plan to first draft in in two months. And, and everybody said, that sounds like a lot of fun. So here we are. And yeah, 16 167 words a day. Mr. beanies Biddy Bond said, Oh, there

   Josh Hayes 2:35 
   you go. Bam. Yeah. Thank you. I won. I fail. Yeah.

   Hank Garner 2:39 
   Right. So um, so anyway, I’m Hank Garner. I am the the chief evangelist at dabble and the podcaster. extraordinaire. Ian is an English teacher, a middle school English teacher who has written a number of short stories II and this is your first long work that you’ve committed to that right?

   Ian Garner 3:03 
   That’s correct.

   Hank Garner 3:05 
   Okay. No. Pressure, you know, this is just what we’re that’s what we’re here for. Josh is the author of several science fiction and military sci fi specifically novels and you also back in the day. I remember when I first fell in love with your work. Josh was when you wrote that series and forgive me I can’t remember the name of it, but you’ll correct me. The the one that was the retelling of Peter Pan.

   Josh Hayes 3:40 
   Second star it’s unpublished now but yeah, second star.

   Hank Garner 3:42 
   Yeah. I love that. I love what you did with it. And since then, has you have you know, your military sci fi especially, is just really taken off and, and you’ve honed a niche there for that. And so that’s Josh. Hey, thank you. Appreciate me, Amy Hale. Probably the the person other than Ian that I have known the longest in this group. Amy and I go back over a decade with some other work that we used to do. We could talk about that later. But Amy has has found this really interesting niche in romance with a little fantasy and some kind of supernatural stories. Welcome to the challenge, Amy, thank you. And Lauren Moore, editor extraordinaire and one of the keystroke medium stalwarts. Lauren is, is one of the best editors that I know and she brings a really interesting skill set to the challenge, but Lauren has decided to write her first novel length work. You’ve written some nonfiction before, right?

   Lauren Moore 4:53 
   I have and also i co wrote a novel with Richard Fox, which is out there and then I’ve got an Other Western romance that’s on my hard drive and not published not released to the world, yet, but this is my family, my first gonna be military fantasy,

   Hank Garner 5:10 
   military fantasy Well, writing with Richard fox that should get you special gems and your crown and heaven are something

   Lauren Moore 5:22 
   that taught me a lot. And now this, this will be this will be on me. And I’m excited for the challenge and also that we have this whole structure here to kind of keep each other motivated and do to do this as a team to take on this challenge as a team. So I’m excited.

   Hank Garner 5:38 
   So, Lauren, I know that we’ve, we’ve said that we’re, we’re, we have tried to not do much planning ahead of time. But I think we all had been kind of thinking about what we want to write. And the book that I’m going to write, I’m using some characters that I had already created in a town that I have already created. And so I’m coming in with some things already known. And I’ve got to work out some plot things coming up. But Lauren, have you thought about what you’re going to write? Did you say military fantasy? What? What does that mean? Yeah,

   Lauren Moore 6:15 
   so this will be a novel that will be set in my friends universe. And they already have a series going on. But it’s a series that I have not read yet, but it is a very expansive, immersive universe. So right now I am in research mode. I am listening to the books on audible. If I had my druthers, I’d be creating an encyclopedia right now. But we are getting short on time, we’ve got like a little more than a day before this starts. But right now I’m just kind of like soaking myself in their universe. I’m taking notes. I’m trying to figure out what this world is like, with these characters are like, my, my character that my book is going to be centered on is kind of mentioned a couple times and she’s kind of a mysterious person. So my task should I be able to complete it would be to take on this one character and create a whole novel that’s about an incident that’s again mentioned in another book, but I have to like flesh it out and create the whole story behind that. That incident.

   Hank Garner 7:25 
   Love it. Amy, what about you? What are you thinking that that you might get up to?

   Amy Hale 7:31 
   Ah, well, to be honest, most of the stories that I write, I’ve been thinking about forever. Yeah, you know that they hit you, you know, in the middle of the night or whatever. And you think about them and you you obsess over them and wonder for months and months, sometimes years, I’m the one that I’m actually considering going with is it’s a ghost story, because I really love the paranormal stuff with my paranormal romance. And then I just finished I wrote my last book was a thriller, and I kind of like getting into the darker stuff. So I think I’m gonna go with a full fledged ghost story, based off of something that kind of happened when I was a kid.

   Hank Garner 8:10 
   Oh, I love it. I love it. Ghost Stories. You know, there’s something that I just absolutely love about a story that that mixes real life with a little fantastical. You know, kind of the things working behind the things that those kinds of stories just really get me get the wheels turned on. So I can’t wait to see what you come up with. Josh, you are kind of in the middle of writing a series. I think you’re you’re finishing up book one right now is Am I understanding that right?

   Josh Hayes 8:48 
   Yeah. My series is called weaponized. It’s a completely new universe. For me the first book, just today I crossed about 120,000 words and probably hit like 131 35 before it’s done. I was hoping to have that done before we started this. But it looks like it’s not going to be completely done. But I’m just going to start Book Two before book when it’s done and it’ll be fine. I’ll make the I’ll make the time because I’ve got to I just looked at my my idea of file for book two and it looks like I’ve got to scrap like half of it because the stuff that I changed in book one. So I will be writing the second book in my weaponized series called it’s called weaponized wrath. The first one is weaponized fury. And it’s it’s basically military sci fi slash a little bit of spy thriller.

   Hank Garner 9:42 
   I love it. So that’s funny because you would think, Oh, Josh is coming in and he’s gonna write book two he’s got a world already fleshed out. He’s got its plot devices in play. And then you’re you’re going into book two having to restructure are some plotting stuff because the story went somewhere that you didn’t expect it?

   Josh Hayes 10:04 
   Yeah. 100 as well they the finished product or the the manuscript where it sits at now looks nothing like the last half of my outline. Like it absolutely, like, about two months ago, I realized that where I was going was not where I wanted to be. So I had to scrap, like 20,000 words, I added a plotline and then took it in the direction I needed to go. Well, I’d made the plans for Book Two before I made all those changes. So now I’ve got to go back and re stitch it.

   Hank Garner 10:35 
   Okay, I’m gonna come back because I want to talk about that in just a minute because we’re going to talk a little bit about plotting, and in you have always been my plotting hero. And yeah, you know, I talk about my friend Josh all the time, who is a stalwart plotter and planner, and you’re talking about something that people say, you avoid if you’re a proper planner, so I want to come back and talk about that in just a minute. Ian, what do you plan?

   Ian Garner 11:03 
   Alright, so my plan is do ya high fantasy novel because as a as a middle school English teacher, that’s what I feel like I know best. And I’ve always loved Celtic mythology, mythology, really, I’ve got loitering swords hanging up on my wall right behind me, actually. I’m more taking the idea of St. Patrick. And you know how the story goes, he drives all the snakes out of Ireland and all that. Well, I was doing some research and the word that they use for snake in the old Celtic might be a mistranslation for Dragon. So my idea is, what if St. Patrick gets kidnapped by pirates, and he finds that Ireland is completely overrun by dragons. And he joins a group of Druids who teach him how to fight back against the Dragon Overlord, something like that. Take our money. That is

   Hank Garner 11:57 
   cool. I’m here for it. I’m here for the story that I’m writing. I wrote a book a few years ago called writer’s block. And it was about a an author who was very successful. And he had written a series of books. And he was he was trying to deliver the final book in a series. And due to life situations that happened, he developed writer’s block, and he couldn’t get through it. And the story is not so much about his writer’s block is it is about him, working through the the emotional baggage that he had, that gets him to the place where he can get through that so and I’ve had the most feedback from readers about that character. So I thought this would be a great character to explore earlier in his life when he’s first breaking in or trying to break in. And, and I’ve got this little town that I’ve created that’s been in a number of books that I’ve written, called Western Mississippi, it’s a made up town, but interesting things happen in this little town. So I’m going to write a murder mystery, which I’ve always wanted to write like a real murder mystery. That’s, that’s, you know, like Agatha Christie ask. And, and it’s something I’ve never written before. And, but I’m taking characters that I know already in a place that I know already. And then, you know, killing people and finding out what happens. So that’s, that’s what I’m planning on doing. Oh, man, I’m Amy. Are you a planner or a pantser?

   Amy Hale 13:44 
   I call myself a pantser. I used to be 100%. You know, pantser. But I have learned to at least plot the main points, and then, you know, take off from there. But I always know my beginning and my end, it’s always the middle. That’s just a little fuzzy. But yeah, I kind of combined the to

   Hank Garner 14:13 
   Gotcha. While we’re talking to you, Amy. Em 655 said, what sort of plot structure for the ghost story, a traditional Western structure? I’ve heard. He showed tin Ketsu. I know I just murdered that. Is it for that sort of thing. Do you have any, any input to that question?

   Amy Hale 14:35 
   At this point? No, because it’s really just starting to form and I’ve got to kind of sit down and figure out the best. The best way to tackle it. And I think that’s going to depend on a lot of different things. So at this point, I’m not really sure yet what I’m doing. I mean, I’m totally like, no clue at this point.

   Hank Garner 14:54 
   I love it. I love it. Lauren, do you have any opinions? About plot versus plant or pantsing versus planning.

   Lauren Moore 15:06 
   Yeah, I love planning. I love planning, I love to know where we’re going to go, who these characters are, what the world is, what the conflict is how the different conflict threads are going to come together. And the audience that I’m referring to has really high expectations, like they, they really love a well crafted story. So in order to get this book published, and to make those reader hat readers happy and engaged, I feel like this has got to be really good. So I’m planning on spending a lot of our time, the next 60 days planning and plotting it out, what I’m going to do is I’m going to figure out what the major plot points are, and then just start fleshing it out on my Word doc, and get all my beats out there. And then when I start writing it, I’m just going to flesh out those beats. And if I get to a scene that I’m really inspired by and excited by, I’m just gonna go ahead and write that. And then keep on building on from there. So I’m thinking about writing this outline, kind of like a painter might like, add more detail, add more color, add more color, add more layers, and I’m going to do that in writing form. That’s my plan. Anyway, we’ll see how that actually happens in the next 60 days, we’ll find out our friend,

   Hank Garner 16:31 
   Steve bowyer talks about the onion method of writing, writing something and then going back over and adding more texture and, and adding and adding and adding until, you know, a 500 word scene becomes 2000 words or something by just adding get a texture onto that. And I’ve always liked that analogy.

   Lauren Moore 16:54 
   Yeah, that’s the exact idea. And I’m going to have two main point of view characters. So I’m going to need to get to know both of those characters. One, she’s kind of nerdy. She’s a little bit like me and the other one. I’m going to use Dan Crenshaw as a character study. So I’ve got his book, I’m going to be reading this as part of my research, and trying to get some like ideas of like, well, how would How would a seal think in different situations?

   Hank Garner 17:28 
   Will there be an eyepatch in your story?

   Lauren Moore 17:33 
   It’s a good idea. He is gonna be wounded. So I don’t know what the wound is yet. I’ll find out. But yeah, maybe me.

   Hank Garner 17:44 
   I love it. Ian, what are your thoughts on planning versus pantsing?

   Ian Garner 17:50 
   It varies from moment to moment. I like to take what I call the Jack Sparrow approach to everything where I just make it all up as I go, but make it look like I planned it all out from the very beginning. So no one doubts the brilliance of it, I will be making an outline, just bare bones outline because I need to know where the story beats are and where I can build up to it. But I still want enough of a liberal approach where the characters breathe on their own. I do know that I’ll be using some of my d&d and video game knowledge, how parties grow, because I don’t want Patrick doing everything all by himself with us to kind of grow into maybe like an ensemble story. So as far as planning all of it out, I have bare bones, the most bear, but I will probably spend all weekend long. Eating my words and planning so much more than this.

   Hank Garner 18:51 
   Josh, you told me several years ago now you said, because we were having a spirited debate about plotting versus pantsing. And, and I’ll have to dig the show up where we talked about it and listen to the actual conversation again, because I’m sure that the legend of it has grown in my mind. Oh, it definitely has from what the original conversation was, but But you told me you said everyone outlines, it’s just are you going to outline your story before you write it? Or are you going to outline your story after you’ve written it? And then, you know, try to find some cohesive, coherent structure that runs through all the babble that you’ve written? And that has always stuck with me that there are the Yeah, that there. There is a plan that comes into all writing is just you know, where do you plan and I like to know where the story I’m writing is going to end before I started. I don’t always know how I’m going to get there but I always know the ending. I In a lot of times, I’ll know the final scene. And, and there’s a, there’s an emotional there’s a payoff. And I’m writing toward that payoff. Yeah. And I don’t always know how I’m going to get there, but I know where I’m going. And then a lot of times, I will, I like to write two or three chapters just to kind of get to know the characters and kind of figure out who they are and kind of what they’re going to be doing in their normal life, so that I can then stick them in a tree and then set the tree on fire. But so in this challenge, I’ve been trying to think about how I can be a planner and, and how I can be more consistent with that and more consistent is not the word I’m looking for be more intentional. Yeah. And, and this is a, this is becoming a real stretch for me. This is forcing me to sit and think ahead of time, instead of just thinking through my fingers. And, you know, thinking as I write, what do you think, Josh? What how did your opinions about planning form? Does? Is that just what comes natural to you? Or was there an experience that taught you that this is how, what works best for you? How did you come to the ideas that you hold?

   Josh Hayes 21:36 
   Those two things. It’s funny, you mentioned the the payoff at the end of the book, like getting there and having that know where you’re going feeling, it’s the same thing as outline just smaller, on chapters. Because if you have an idea for your chapter, and you write to that idea, and you hit that idea, and you’re like solid, I nailed it. And also, when you do that, and you get to the end of what the chapter is, but you haven’t hit the thing that you needed to hit on your outline. So now you have an extra chapter that you need to write to hit the thing that you wanted to hit on your outline, but whatever. I have always been a planner, my outlining has grown in the way that I do it. Over the years, I co wrote a series called turnover with Richard Fox, the same Richard Lauren has worked with, he’s a good friend of mine. And his outlining method was very different from mine. And he would his process is basically you just start with an outline in Word and just write the scene. And then when that idea for the scenes is done, you go to the next one, then the next one, the next one, almost like doing story beats, right. But he will put in brackets where he’s telling himself this not might not be true. And so he keeps author’s notes in his outline, because the outline is basically the narrative of the story, the way the characters are involving it. But then he has other notes to himself to remind himself, this is not what it needs to be you need to allude to something else. And he does that through his whole story. There’s some times where he gets excited about a scene and I do the same thing, I get excited about a scene and I have a whole conversation in the outline with no dialogue tags, or Nothing, I just use, like j dash, whatever and say what it is I use the character initials and all that stuff. So my outlines typically are for 100,000 word books, probably like 11,000 12,000 words, maybe longer. I like to know where I’m going. And I say that, but I did like a 9000 word outline for the first weaponize book and thought for sure that’s what I wanted to do. And I got halfway through and had to scrap all of it. But to Susie’s point, the over planning, my, my outlines are detailed, but I am not married to it at all. So if something happens in the writing that I’m like, That is way cooler than what I wrote in the outline, I can I have no problem getting rid of all of it and just doing it again. And I’ve told this to several people, and they, they’re like, you take all the joy out of writing when you plan all of it and there’s no experience. Like Well, you have to pants the outline, right, I pants the plan. And so like that is the that is the experience, right? And everything else is just color. It’s like Rob, Lauren was saying, doing a kind of a painting painters method. It’s a outline is just the sketch and then all the rest of the words is just color.

   Hank Garner 24:40 
   Yeah, I get that. Yeah, I’m 655 said if I can write a novel in 30 days, I can rewrite a novel in 30 days when tackling tackling. A complete rewrite planning and plotting are effectively the same. And that kind of goes back to that idea that that that Josh had about the everyone finds that narrative thread, you know, it’s just are you going to do it at the beginning or the end? And right? I guess that’s just the difference in mindset. When? Amy, you in the ghost story that you’re writing? Do you have characters in mind? Are you, you said that, that you have an experience based on something that is close to real life that happened? How are you going to begin to kind of flesh out your characters? And do you have any insight that that you could share with us for kind of discovering new characters in the new work?

   Amy Hale 25:51 
   Well, like one of the characters is actually going to be a house I used to live in. I mean, that, that the house itself is almost going to be like a character, I think. And then there were some neighbors that I will probably base some characters off of. And then of course, me and my siblings, you know, have to rework that a little bit. But there was some weird stuff that happened at this house. So I it’s just, it’s given me a lot of ideas to take it and just run with it. But you know, you know, pulling from real life is a great way to, to come up with some crazy stuff, because sometimes real life is crazier than fiction.

   Hank Garner 26:37 
   Absolutely. And that character development is one of the the funnest parts of writing to me is, you know, because we all experience this cast of characters in day to day life and finding ways to pull in this character trait and maybe mix it with this character trait, and then maybe mix a little bit of yourself in there with it. You know, that’s one thing that readers don’t readers always look for a character in your book that that is representative of you. And more times than not all of the characters are representative of you, and, you know, different shades and different sides. And that’s always fun to play with.

   Amy Hale 27:20 
   Yeah, I agree.

   Hank Garner 27:22 
   ENs, as a school teacher, are you going to find a way to incorporate students or faculty members?

   Ian Garner 27:36 
   You know, I hadn’t considered that too much. There’s probably one or two students I might put in there, just do the ones that give me the most trouble, I’ll probably make them one of the minor antagonists or something I don’t know. I will probably share the progress with my students, as I’m writing kind of get some of their feedback to see what they would like to see in the book, because they are the target audience. So that can get them as a captive audience in my class. And I already say, Hey, so what do you want to read? Well, when I’m writing this thing, what do you want to see, that would be a really huge benefit. And maybe I can give some bonus points. Like, if you write a perfect essay, I’ll name a character after you or something like that. Make it a cool group activity, get them to buy into it.

   Hank Garner 28:22 
   That’ll be a lot of fun. And, and you have to share those interactions that you get from them. Josh, when when planning out the grand scope of a novel, how much do you plan up characters? I heard Brandon Sanderson talk one time about that he likes to plot out the plot, but sometimes allow the character development to to come about a little more about pantsing kind of discovered the characters as he writes them, but he knows what these characters are going to do, but maybe not all of the character aspects. How do you feel about character development?

   Josh Hayes 29:08 
   So that is one of the things that actually I I don’t typically plan, and that is something that 100% usually comes out in the writing of the narrative. For instance, I have a character in the book, his name is Edwards. And in the book, I needed a medic. And so he just happened to be the medic in the book. And then it hit me about halfway through the book. Why don’t I make him a religious guy, I don’t have a religious guy in there. But then I had to go back and change to make a big point of him not swearing, because in a scene at the end, he swears and I want that to be like really impactful on his character, but that I didn’t plan it out that it just it just happened. And that happens when Most of them, like a lot of the beginning chapters are all plot, and the characters are there. But like the cardboard characters that you don’t really know anything about. And then after, like right now, while I’m writing the end, I’m going back and filling in chapters in the beginning where I’m like, Okay, I know who this person is. Now, I can do this in the beginning, and it and it sets up things later on. And a lot of that stuff is just fluid as I’m writing it.

   Hank Garner 30:30 
   Love it. Carol had a great question. Any suggestions for writers who work full time at another job and would like to write a book, I think almost all of us have other jobs or other responsibilities that we’re juggling, on top of our writing passion that we’re pursuing, how to how to y’all juggle, you know, taking care of your daily responsibilities while also writing, and especially, you know, some people take a year or two to write a novel. But we we have a window that we’re operating in? So are there any things that you have developed over the years that you think might help you in this challenge, or just in writing in general? Lauren, will start Yeah,

   Lauren Moore 31:22 
   yeah, my biggest battle is in focus and intention. So when you’re creating a scene, and you’re you’re doing creative writing, it’s not like writing an essay, where I’ve got my my essay outline and my plan for all of my points. And then the words just kind of flow from the argument I’m trying to make and the evidence that I’m building, this is creative writing. So I might have like a general idea of what’s supposed to happen in the scene. But I don’t know what the characters are going to say. And where I need to have prose and description and stuff like those words have to flow, and to untap that I’ve got to have my mind clear. So a couple things I’ve noticed that can help is one, a daily habit. So I’ve got my time, like, Oh, it is five o’clock in the morning. So I’m not going to make the choice about whether or not I’m going to write it. This is just my my writing time that I found works most consistently every day. So I’ve got that time, I’ve got that place kind of carved out and figured out and I can just kind of set to task of writing. And that just helps a little bit. I mean, maybe, maybe all I can get is a few sentences, but I’ve accomplished feeding the habit for that day. So and then other other responsibilities can interrupt and I can move on with the rest of my day. But I know that I’ve got you know, for Tuesday, I have my Tuesday writing space and writing time allotted and figured out. Then the other thing is, I know social media has somewhat fragmented my attention and my focus recently so I know that starting October first it’s not October 1 yet, but starting October 1, I’m gonna have to like like really put some limits on allowing my attention and focus to be distracted by other things like social media. So I’ve got to pick and choose and I choose keystroke medium, I choose editing, which is my full time job, I choose my family and I choose this book and I’m gonna have to just kind of pare away a lot of the other stuff for 60 days. Let’s do this. Love it.

   Hank Garner 33:27 
   What about you, Amy? You’ve you’ve written 40,000 books, how do you juggle you know, the getting the words in while also, you know, maintaining your relationship with your husband, John and your kids and, you know, other responsibilities? How do you manage it all?

   Amy Hale 33:46 
   Well, I’ll admit, it was a lot easier for me for several years because it was my full time job outside of you know, kids and family and all that. More recently, at the beginning of the year, I started working full time due to other events that created the need for me to go back to work and so now I am trying to relearn some habits to make sure that I get my writing time and and that definitely has been a struggle for me I mean after working for myself for like, you know, 1015 years it’s a little harder to get into the groove of working for someone else but but very very much like what Lauren said, setting aside time to write this is my dedicated writing time. And listen to you know, the house is on fire or someone’s bleeding, nothing interrupts my writing time. I’m setting specific moods like if I know I gotta go in or write a sad, a sad scene, if I know that’s what the focus is for today. I get the right kind of music go on, I set the right kind of environment. And I just get at it and you know, sometimes the words flow really easy sometimes it’s like pulling teeth to get them to you know, sounds I may not get very many words out, but at least I got something out. And I think that’s the right anything as long as you’re doing something you’re taking steps forward, you’re gonna eventually get it done. Some days are going to be great other days are gonna suck. But it’s just getting the words on paper because you can’t fix something you haven’t written yet. And I think that’s been usually when people ask me for writing advice, that’s the first thing I say just write it, you can fix it later. It doesn’t have to be perfection. Perfection is the enemy of progress, especially with writing.

   Hank Garner 35:27 
   Yeah. And remember, at the end of this challenge, this is the challenge to get a first draft written, we’re not talking about a pretty draft, we’re not talking about a draft ready to send to an agent or to upload to KDP. Or, you know, whatever your preferred method of publishing is, this is first draft. And then we’ll worry about editing and all of that later that that all comes later. But you can’t do anything. Until you get that first draft finished. Ian, do you have any strategies that you’ve been thinking about to make sure that you stay on course,

   Ian Garner 36:02 
   yes, controlled chaos. My life is early mornings are a little difficult, because I’m getting ready for work early morning. So what I’ll do is any free time, but I haven’t worked, which is few and far between, I’ll just brainstorm how to come up with ideas like, like the whole, the whole researching, like with dragons fit in that that was a work idea. So what I’ll do is I’ll come home. And typically, I might play the Xbox for maybe like an hour. And I’ll just pare that down to the writing time instead, you know, I was mowing grass the other day. And I turned the mower off. And I walked inside of historic scribbling down notes like a madman, grab some water and went back out finish York work just fine. Whatever time in your day that you have to get these ideas out. Just make it work. Just love it. It’s got to get done. Just

   Hank Garner 36:56 
   got to get it done. You know, Amy talked about having that that time as a full time writer. But even when you have when that is your sole job, you still wind up juggling the response, there’s a lot of things that come along with being a writer that have nothing to do with writing. And, Josh, you with your work with keystroke medium, and now you’re working with 1000 books and writing. There’s a lot of writing stuff in your life, that that doesn’t necessarily have a lot to do with you actually writing. And this is something that I struggled with for for eight years doing the author stories podcast is that sometimes you can get so busy doing good stuff about writing, that you’re not writing yourself, and, you know, working with dabbled now, which is a dream job that I absolutely love. That’s still job time. And then there’s writing time. So you know, those are things that I’m going to have to make sure that I set time aside as well each day is do you have a time each day, Josh, that you like for writing time? Early in the morning? Late at night when the kids go to bed? Where do you find time?

   Josh Hayes 38:21 
   I absolutely hate writing before the sun comes up. But that’s when I write right before the sun comes up. I hate getting up in the mornings I hate waking up when the alarm. But my best words are when I’m half awake and sipping coffee and the steam smears my glasses, and then I can’t see what I’m writing. Like literally, I’m like, glaring at the screen typing in the morning. And those are my best words. And then when I’m wide awake at like one o’clock in the afternoon, I just sit there and look it up like this. And nothing comes out. And I don’t know if that’s because for years before I went full time as an author, and now I still do a full time the eighth on stuff just kind of part time. But you know, I’d have to get up before my day job. So I would plan for two hours. Because you always say I’m going to get up and write for an hour and then you plan for that hour. But that hour really isn’t an hour the hour of writing is like an hour and a half of awake time because you’ve got to wake up you got to get your coffee or tea or whatever. It’s not actually an hour. So yeah, I always plan for two. So I would have at least an hour and a half to get going and get words done and tried to get 2000 words in that hour and a half and then go to work. And so I think just that doing that for three years. Just made my brain do all the good words in the morning. I can usually go till about noon. And then at about noon, I’m done. My brain doesn’t want to work anymore. So I go and do a thon work or kick on the Xbox and but what I’m going to be doing now is I’m going to be doing all the real writing real Writing the finishing Book One stuff in the morning. And plotting and planning is my that’s my jam. That’s my math, I will sit down and plan a book for like eight hours straight. So starting on the first that’s I’m going to be doing that in the afternoons and then the evenings just sitting down and ply. I love planning books. If I could plan books for a living, I would do that for sure.

   Hank Garner 40:24 
   Yeah, there’s something you know, you said that you hate writing before the sun comes up. But there’s something about when you do the thing that you don’t want to do. And maybe in a time, that’s hard. In a way that’s hard. There’s a great documentary came out several years ago, it’s called, it might get loud, I think’s the name of it. And it’s it’s three guitar players. It’s Jack White from the white stripes. It’s the edge from YouTube and Jimmy Page from Led Zeppelin and three guitar players from three different generations, three different styles. And they just talk about playing guitar for anyway, it’s, you know, it’s nerdy in that way. But in the beginning, Jack White, makes a guitar out of a two by four. And he nails down a pickup. And he, you know, stretches a guitar string across this two by four with a bottle as as a bridge for it. And in and he talks about in the documentary, he talks about finding guitars that are out of out of tune and out of shape, and having to work at making something of it. And he, he says there’s like a biblical analogy of you know, that God said that you had to work the soil to make something out of life. And he said, There’s something about having to work at something that makes it more special when you get something out of it. And that’s a really nerdy thing to pull out of that documentary. But that resonated with me when I heard that, that there’s lots of things in life, when you have to struggle at it. And you have to, when it’s when it’s not the time of day that that is convenient. Those are when magical things happen. A lot of times when you put the effort in when you don’t want to true. Anyway, that’s my sermon for today. Just I’m going to if you’re in dabble in the the top right here, there’s a goals and stats section. And if you hit the little gear there, you can put a deadline. So for my project, I put a deadline of November 30. And my word goal is 85,000 words. And I know we said that the barrier for this challenge is 50,000 words. So as long as I get the 50,000 words, and my plan that I’m in good shape, but my ultimate goal is 85,000 words for this because I did some research on the genre that I’m writing this in and 85,000 words is kind of the sweet spot of that. So I plugged that in. And oh, and I want to show you all this. You can also put in days off, so maybe I want to take Saturday, every Saturday off, I can just click those off days, and then go over to October and take every Saturday off. And then save those changes. And then right up here, it tells me today’s goal is 14 148 words. So every day, I need to hit 14 148 words, if I’m gonna get that 85,000 words in the 60 days. So and then it tells me I’ve written 1016 words so far at 3984 remaining of my 85,000 word goal. So anyway, some little things that that might help. And then the plot grid. And we can talk more about this letter. I’ve started kind of laying out scenes that I’m going to write kind of what some of the key plot points are, that I’m looking at who the characters are going to be that fall into those scenes where those scenes take place, and then sort of an inciting action that’s going to happen in that so then if I if I work out these cards for that then when I go into that scene then those note cards that made show up here and I can click those open and see what I wrote for those. So just a

   Josh Hayes 44:54 
   glimpse about that wants your tutorial there because I had no idea you can

   Hank Garner 44:58 
   what’s added in here Joshua,

   Josh Hayes 45:01 
   I’m glad that I want you had you showed me that because I had no idea you could do that with a blog feature

   Hank Garner 45:06 
   absolutely is. And this is something that Jacob, our CEO, and I have been talking about the last couple of days, especially he, he even gave me a challenge to think in terms of scenes instead of chapters. I’ve always thought in terms of chapters like this is going to happen in this chapter. And a lot of times I’ll have two or three different scenes and a chapter. And he challenged me to think in terms of scenes, and then figure out where the chapter breaks are after the fact. And so that’s something I’m thinking about. And yeah, we’ll see kind of what that what that brings about. But anyway, those are some of the initial things that might be helpful in the in the using dabble to write a novel in 60 Days Challenge. Also, we dabble normally has a two week free trial for any one of you can sign up and you can use that bowl for for free for two weeks and see if you’d like it. During NaNoWriMo, we extend that free trial from two weeks to two months. So if you’ll go to dabble writer.com, create an account. And then on October 1, which will be Saturday, if you will register@nanowrimo.com and then link your dabble count to your NaNoWriMo account. And I’ll post a an article about how to do this over on storkcraft dot cafe. that two week free trial will extend to two months. So if you want to join this challenge with us, and not sure if if dabble is right for you yet, you can you can try the entire challenge and and see if you like it, and we think you will. But anyway, go to story craft dot cafe. And you can do that as well. Guys, Amy E and Josh Lauren. I’m excited for what’s going to come out of this next couple of months. I’m excited about the books, you guys are going to write and having, you know, friends there to hold me lovingly accountable. And I’m excited.

   Josh Hayes 47:26 
   Yeah, it’s gonna be fun.

   Lauren Moore 47:29 
   Yeah, thanks for setting up this challenge. It’s kind of always been the back of my hand in my head, like I want to write I want to write but now this is gonna like put my nose to the grindstone. And I like how you know we on the internet at story crafts, and a keystroke at dabble, we’re going to be doing this together and checking in on each other through the podcast and through your newsletter and through the Facebook groups. So I think this is exciting, and we’re gonna make it happen. I can’t wait to see what it looks like.

   Hank Garner 47:58 
   I know it’s gonna be great. Um, go over to story craft dot cafe. There’s a Google form, that we posted a sign up where if you want to join us in this challenge, go fill that out. It’s just, I just asked a couple of questions. What’s your email address? What are you planning on writing? You know, do you think? And would you like to join us on a podcast some time to talk about your progress. And so this will just help us to all stay connected through this. And for those of you who said that, that you would like to join us on a podcast, then maybe you’d like to come and join us in one of our Hangouts, talk about the story that you’re doing. We’re gonna be talking, you know, over this next couple of months about the victories that we’re having struggles that maybe we’re coming up against, and, you know, we’re going to help each other out through this. So thank you, everyone that’s joined us in the chat. And in the live audience, we’re also going to be releasing this next week as a podcast at the story craft Cafe podcast. So go over and sign up. Even if you come in a couple of days after the first of October, there’s no you know, there’s not a cut off there. You can join in anytime. And, and we look forward to seeing you. Amy Hale and Josh Lauren. Guys, thank you so much for joining us tonight and we will all be in touch. And I’m excited to check in with you guys again.

   Ian Garner 49:30 
   Thanks, buddy. Thank you. Looking forward to it.

   Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Hank Garner

I am the chief evangelist and podcaster here at Dabble. I began writing and publishing around 2012, and podcasting shortly after that. I have recorded more than 1500 author interviews and love to talk about writing and the creative life. My main focus now is sharing Dabble with as many people as possible and encourage them to share the story that is in each one of us.