GtPGKogPYT4p61R1biicqBXsUzo" /> Google+ Author Guest Post: S.R. Ellis + free download! | I Smell Sheep

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Author Guest Post: S.R. Ellis + free download!

NaNoWriMo: A Survival Guide

For those of you eagerly anticipating Halloween, I don’t blame you. Halloween is the absolute best. I think even more so for those of us in the sci-fi/fantasy community since it is just another excuse to cosplay. But, for the writers out there, Halloween is just the last 24 hour period until their wills shall be tested, their determination tried, and their souls crushed into oblivion. It is the final day before National Novel Writing Month begins, and their social lives end.

For those unaware, NaNoWriMo is every writer’s best dream and worst nightmare. The goal: 50,000 words in the month of November; that is an average of 1667 words per day. So on one hand, an author could theoretically have a full first draft done in just one month if they stick to their routine. On the other not-so-awesome hand, the task could prove to be too great and their failure imminent.

Halloween is the prep day, the countdown day, the last chance for the writer to turn back before the sleepless nights stressing about word count begin. So while the kiddies are out trick-or-treating, or the common folk are grinding in the club to some techno remix of “Monster Mash”, many a writer will be holed up in their favorite creative nook with a brain full of ideas waiting to let loose on that page.

Last year was my second NaNoWriMo, which ultimately transformed into my first novel, After Life, Inc. It was a rough go, and I didn’t make the full 50,000 words. I did, however, get more than half way there, which was the best thing that could have happened for me. The first year I attempted this beast my computer crashed after about 20,000 words.

Therefore, Survival Tip Number One:


Flash drives, extra copies of files, printed copies, hard drives just for your manuscripts. Do what you must for your own peace of mind. Myself? After the computer crash debacle of 2010 I didn’t want to risk another atrocity happening again, so I long handed my first draft of After Life Inc. I wrote about 35,000 words on four legal pads then switched over to the computer out of sheer exhaustion and early signs of tendonitis.

There is really only one more tip I can give for those attempting this wondrous challenge:


Don’t think about writing, don’t dream about the word count growing and growing; just make it happen. Even if you’re spewing jibberish, just keep on writing and eventually you can turn it into something awesome.

For me, my first draft does not anywhere near resemble the final product that is After Life, Inc. I added another twenty thousand words, cut characters out, changed character names, but what did I have? A base line. And that, my dear writing comrades, is the best thing you can ask for.

So there you have it:

Oh, and have fun?
I guess that’s important too.

If you want to learn more about NaNoWriMo visit

And, if you would like a FREE copy of After Life, Inc. head on over to today only for your free download!
Book Description:
The After Life program was created to defy death. People no longer die, instead they are chipped and uploaded into a computer program to live out an eternally blissful existence.
Joshua has been confined to the After Life program for over 100 years and is put in charge of showing new arrival, Clara Jean, the ropes of living and surviving in the program. Clara Jean soon realizes The After Life program is not the peaceful utopia she was promised. Anyone under the age of 30 is a Minor and forced into slavery, expected to obey the Elders' every command without question or complaint. Joshua and Clara live in Pod 223 with 5 other Minors who now are the closest thing Clara Jean has to family. Together, Pod 223 begins the revolution to dismantle the most tyrannical corporation in Earth's existence and in doing so discover themselves and what they truly stand for.

About the Author: 
S. R. Ellis resides in Charleston, SC. She is a television nerd, movie fanatic, sci fi geek, comic book enthusiast, and general follower of all things awesome. She likes hippie music and rap. 
twitter: @shaylawesome


  1. Sounds like an interesting sci-fi. I'll have to check it out. Thanks for the great post :)

  2. I read about this writing na no write mo thing each year but I've never participated.

  3. Thanks for the guestpost, and I wish you lots of luck and success this year!