Nano Novels Get Published and Here’s Proof #5

It’s November and that means it’s NANOWRIMO. To celebrate my first Nanowrimo novel, Zero Repeat Forever being on the way to publication by Simon & Schuster I’m featuring many published or soon-to-be-published Nanowrimo novels over the month of November.

Today I’m featuring Sarah Ahiers who wrote her debut novel Assassin’s Heart during Nano 2011.


I’m a perfectionist.

Okay, no. Anyone who could see my office right now would know that’s a lie.

final_assassins-heart-coverBut it’s not really. I’m a person who does not like messy drafts.

No. It’s not for me. If the draft is too messy, then revising it will seem too much like some sort of mountaintop removal where I’m given only a soup spoon. I’m pretty lazy, so I’d probably give up.

But NaNoWriMo flies in the face of that sort of logic. Clean draft? Bah, says NaNo, and the NaNo participants and cheerleaders. Even the NaNo book says NaNo is not a time for writing carefully. No! NaNo is for wild abandon!

So what is a clean drafter like me (or you?) to do?


Use the opportunity to clean as a reward!

It goes like this:

In order to hit the goal of 50,000 words by November 30th, we need to write 1667 words a day. For some of us, that amount is easy. For others, it’s not.

But one thing that can help anyone is a reward!

So, if you are someone who’s inner editor will not shut up during NaNo, then you throw her a reward biscuit. Once you hit your word count goal for the day (for NaNo, this would be the magical 1667) then you are allowed to stop your writing and go back and edit whatever your little heart desires.

This way, you still make forward progress on your book (and hopefully emerge a NaNo winner at the end of the month) while simultaneously appeasing the inner editor.

And, when all is said and done, when the draft reaches those most magical of words, THE END, it sparkles like a nice, clean puppy that’s just had a bath.

So that’s how I’ll be tackling my NaNo this month. It’s worked for me for the last 7 NaNos, including my debut novel ASSASSIN’S HEART (HarperTeen 2016) and I suspect it will keep on working for me this year, too.

Good luck!

screen-shot-2016-10-30-at-6-37-32-pmBio: Sarah Ahiers has an MFA is Writing for Children and Young Adults from Hamline University and lives in Minnesota with a house full of dogs and critters. She has a collection of steampunk hats and when she’s not writing she fills her time with good games, good food, good friends, and good family.


Twitter: @sarahahiers

NaNo username: Falen1

ASSASSIN’S HEART Synopsis: In the kingdom of Lovero, nine rival Families of assassins lawfully kill people for a price. As a highly skilled member of one of these powerful clans, seventeen-year-old Lea Saldana has always trusted in the strength of her Family. Until she awakens to find them murdered and her home in flames. The Da Vias, the Saldanas’ biggest enemy, must be responsible—and Lea should have seen it coming. But her secret relationship with the Da Vias’ son, Val, has clouded her otherwise killer instinct—and given the Da Vias more reason than ever to take her Family down.

Racked with guilt and shattered over Val’s probable betrayal, Lea sets out to even the score, with her heart set on retaliation and only one thought clear in her mind: make the Da Vias pay.

With shades of The Godfather and Romeo and Juliet, this richly imagined fantasy from debut author Sarah Ahiers is a story of love, lies, and the ultimate vengeance.

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