What I learned from NanoWrimo

I have never participated in NanoWrimo until now, and you know what I learned?

It’s grueling. I suppose it would be easier if I had no life besides writing, and I didn’t live with other humans, but I do and I do.

That said, I have to say I have some real respect for some of the people I was participating with. There were people that I participated with in a virtual write in on Facebook that were super cool and supportive. This lady was particularly supportive, and totally beat me by five days to the finish line! http://www.vs-holmes.com/

The other people? Well to be specific 3/4 of the people on my NanoWrimo friends list did not even finish. I can understand why, though. Cranking out a minimum number of words each day is not easy.

Here are the most important things I learned.

  1. The first thing I learned is that it is easier just to type stuff out than you think. Not everything has to be perfect right now; you can always fix it later.
  2. Sprints are fun! I didn’t get into any sprints at first. I felt very strongly about “Not wanting to turn this into a competition.” But when I finally just said “Why the hell not?” and did it, it was quite a bit of fun and increased my productivity a great deal.
  3. How much I can accomplish when I set my mind to it. This one is really important. It took me about fifteen months to finish my first draft of Spirit of Magik. Yes, there was revision occurring during that time, as well as world building, but if I had been working as hard as I did during this event, I am certain I could have finished it in half of the time.
  4. DO NOT TAKE A DAY OFF!!! About day nine or ten, I decided it was a good idea to take a day off, to recharge my batteries, etc. I was ahead of my NonoWrimo goals too. It was nice to have a day off. Then instead of gaining a benefit from that, I was completely stressed out for the next three weeks trying to play catch up. If you have a family, you pretty much have mandatory time off with turkey day anyway, and you don’t have time for any more than that!

Now, with all of that being said, I did do a few things before Nanowrimo started to ensure my success.

  1. I had an outline of my story. Without a firm idea of where I was going, I would have failed, period. I cannot overstate the importance of this to anyone considering participating next year!
  2. I explained to my family and friends what was going on a week or two before it started. “Sorry people, but I am going to be working my butt off, and I may not be sociable. It isn’t you, and I need you to understand and be supportive.” If a person isn’t willing to be understanding and supportive after you tell them that, they may not be real friends. I leave that to your judgment though.
  3. If you are writing in another world, be certain to have all the rules of this world laid out before hand. I used the world that I created for Spirit of Magik for mine (which I call Lenaria), but even so I still had to figure out some social rules that I hadn’t dealt with before. Even if your groundwork is well laid, you will likely find a particular situation you hadn’t considered while you are writing. A person can’t account for every situation, but you can at least get the big things out of the way.

I can’t guarantee every person will succeed if they follow what I say here. Success or failure is largely connected to your work ethic.

Work hard and you’ll succeed. That’s all.

There was one thing I did that reduced the number of words I cranked out per day. Each day when I sat down, I would read what I wrote the day before, and do minor revision/editing. These minor changes vastly improved what I wrote, and is largely responsible for me just squeaking past the finish line yesterday.

One of the people I was with during the virtual write in said; “Don’t edit! Just write!” While there is nothing wrong with this, I was also trying to polish it enough to send to test readers. This book is going to be a prequel to Spirit of Magik, one I hope to have on Amazon by January.

Here is my NanoWrimo page on the official site. You can see my stats, and you can send me a buddy request if you like. There is also an excerpt from the upcoming book Fugitive as well. (Please forgive the fact that it is still rough!)
Thanks for reading! I’d love to hear what you think in the comments!


Nanowrimo! Start your writing!

It’s November 1st! Yay! It is officially time for authors to start writing their butts off.

I didn’t participate in National November Writing Month last year. I was too busy finishing work on Spirit of Magik. Yes, I am working on the sequel, The Reclamation of Vox now, but I will take a short break to smash a related novella out for you guys. If I were to kill myself to finish Reclamation, my best estimate on finishing it is at least a year. So I decided it might be good to take a little break, and give you guys a novella from the World of Lanaria.

The story is related to Spirit of Magik, but it is a prequel, not a sequel. Anyone who hates prequels should complain to George Lucas. I promise there are no Gunguns to mess up my story, or plot inconsistencies to insult my readers intelligence.

Well, I am going to try to hit a minimum of two-thousand words a day, so I have some time to edit my novella. I welcome people befriending me on the Nanowrimo site also. My name there is Richard Cluff.

Also, I just purchased a cover from Ida Jansson at AmyGdala Art. I’ll post it on the Nanowrimo site in a few days. (After I get it, lol)

Here is the link to the site, if anyone needs it: Nanowrimo.org

Good luck to all of the participants, and thanks for reading! ^_^

Halloween freak promotion! *Free stuff!*

Well, why the heck not? Sales were down, and I needed a new trick to get some attention to my book. Everything sells better when it’s free right? So I decided to roll with that for a short time! Wheee! O.o

It will be free from 10-28-15 until 11-1-15 for Halloween. Grab it here: Spirit of Magik on Amazon.

And as long as I’m giving to you for free, at least a few of you “freeloaders” can write a review about it, right? AWESOME! 😀

Tell your friends! Tell them that I am holding your sexuality hostage, and I won’t give it back unless they READ MY BOOK AND REVIEW IT!!!

If you don’t, when you get them back they will have tattoos and piercings in sensitive places. Don’t mess with me! I’ll do it! First one will get a railroad spike! Bwahahahaha!

Edit: Mr. Cluff Has been hospitalized for stress for a short time, we’re certain he will be back to his usual self soon. Thank you for your attention.

Thinking about moving my blog

Originally posted on https://www.tumblr.com/blog/r1chard69 on 10/23/15

Hey there. I’ve had a blog for a while, and while I’ve enjoyed WordPress for the most part, I’ve noticed something disturbing; the blogs that they host require people to login to view them! That is a bit counter-productive, IMHO. I want people to be able to read what I write weather they have an account at that site or not.

This is what has lead me here, for a test post. I have had this account for a while, but it was mostly so I could follow some people so I could see more of their stuff.

Well time to post this, and look at the options on tumblr. I may start blogging here regularly!

Introductory price sale has ended

I decided when I published my book, (since it was my first book) that I would price it at .99 cents to get people to give it a try without much risk. So I did! The results were great, and I’m glad I’ve been able to introduce my work to so many people this way.

But all good things must come to an end, and so I have raised the price of Spirit of Magik to what I originally intended it to be, which is 2.99. But I don’t feel bad charging that for a book of 193,000 + words. That was a lot of work to write, re-write and edit and people can pay for that.

But fear not! There is already another promotion in the works, and I’ll come on here and tell you all about it in about a week. Until then, any who haven’t read it, you can find it here along with the great reviews!


Smashwords smashed!

I finally got my book into Smashwords Premium catalog on June 27th, yay! That was a bit of a task. Mostly because I was having a hard time understanding what the auto-vetter was complaining about. Essentially, the thing that had delayed me was using Libre Office’s table of contents generator. Doh. As soon as I quit doing that, I was good to go.

Thinking of using Libre Office instead of Microsuck Office? Here is a most fantastic guide to setting your book up by the Smashwords Style Guide: http://publishinginsider.net/smashwords-style-guide-for-libreoffice-openoffice/ I found it when I was super frustrated and googled “Smashwords Style Guide Sucks”, lol. (I was looking for a sympathetic virtual shoulder to lean on.)

I would have written and posted this here, but with the July 4th holiday, and family birthdays, we have had a string of out-of-town visitors. As well as a very sick lady coming home from the hospital. She is doing better now and doesn’t require the constant supervision she did when she first came home.

Reviews are coming in slowly for my book, but they are coming. Most of them are on Amazon, there is only one at Google play, and none at Smashwords yet.

I am now considering extending my torment and recording an audio version of Spirit of Magik. That will be an interesting challenge to read a 195,000-word document. My throat hurts just thinking about it! I have been trying to work on the next book too, but there is always something taking me away from it. I haven’t even had the chance to finish my Amazon author’s page yet! O.o

Well, thanks for reading. If you like fantasy, please give my book a try. Tell your friends if you want too!

Spirit of Magik is now available from Createspace!

Yay! I went through the proof copy I have and have made a few adjustments.

There is one odd formatting for my dedication (for some reason, even though it is completely centered now, it shows up as not centered on the Createspace viewer. This is slightly annoying, but I don’t know what else to do with it. What are you supposed to do when you move the text over on the page, but it doesn’t move at all on the previewer? I’m not sure myself.

Aside from that one complaint, I am very satisfied with the quality of the Createspace printing. The paper is nice and thick and so is the cover. It is a higher-quality paperback than you find in most stores.

I have added a few pages of information in the appendix as a bonus for people purchasing the Createspace edition.

There is nothing like holding a physical copy of my book in my hands. In a way, it is like all of this book publishing has become really for me.

The Createspace edition is retailing for 12.99, here. https://www.createspace.com/5552584

Spirit of Magik is now available on Google Play!

Well, I’ve done all of the stuff to get my book on Google Play. Here’s an overview of what that’s all about, this is a great guide.
That being said, according to Google, it can take up to TEN days for Google’s test payment to arrive. It may be a change since the article was written though. Fortunately, it only took three days for it to be processed for me, yay!
Here’s the link to Google play.

To keep myself from dealing with the random discounts from Google, I have doubled the price on Google Play to avoid this. Here’s a nice little article about the issue if you’re unaware of what I’m talking about.
Sorry, Google Play fans. If this is an issue for you, please contact google to complain about their random discount policy that screws authors. Any complaints to me will be deleted and ignored.

I honestly wouldn’t have even bothered to upload to google play, but a friend of mine wanted it there, so I did it. Anyway, it’s out, and if I make a few sales there, I guess it will have been worth it, Yay!

CreateSpace formatting, Done!

The work to make my book into a print book was tough, but not tough enough to justify paying 199$ to CreateSpace to do it for you. This article helped me, and I’ll be much more prepared for my next book.


I’m still waiting for it to process, but I wanted to share my small victory as well as the link above with anyone that is planning on making a printed book with CreateSpace.

E-book Edition available on Amazon!

Wow, I have worked so hard to get myself to this point, I can hardly believe it’s real now.

I was going to wait until I had the Createspace and other editions online to say anything, but my editor went ahead and bought one when I sent her the link to see if it worked, lol. So I figured…”Might as well put this out there now then!”

Here it is, at .99 cents for a limited time!


I can hardly believe this is actually real now. I’m not sure if I really feel like an author or what yet, lol.

I’ll be updating my blog as more options come out for sales channels.

The book series of the Dothranan Chronicles, starting with Spirit of Magik