First of all, tell us a little about yourself.
I’m a spec fic writer living in Maryland. I’ve had work featured on the Dark Futures website in the past (see especially the Burned Lands series), as well as Phase 2 magazine. Most recently, I co-launched a new pulp magazine, Broadswords and Blasters that is currently three issues strong. The website also features a weekly article covering different aspects of “pulp” fiction and its descendants.
I’m also a participating podcaster for the Hollow9ine brand, mostly for “What Am I Watching?!”
How many times have you attempted NaNoWriMo? Have you succeeded in the past?
I’ve attempted and completed NaNoWrimo twice now. Once was back around 2002, where I wrote a fantasy piece, and last year when I wrote a cyberpunk novel. Both times were a slog, but I definitely feel like I ended up with a more complete manuscript the second time around. Not saying that it’s perfect by any stretch, but its less “better off at the bottom of a desk drawer worthy.”
What can you tell us about your current work in progress for this year’s NaNoWriMo?
I decided not to participate this year in NaNoWrimo as I’ve got a few other projects on the fire that I really should be paying attention to. I’ve two separate serials I’m working on (both fantasy based), as well as working on an outline for a dark space opera novel that I plan to tackle in full in 2018.
How are you keeping yourself focused and on track for NaNoWriMo? What advice would you offer to someone else who wanted to attempt it?
The best advice I can give is set your goals and keep to them. End of the day, you are only competing against yourself to see if you can churn out the words. And that’s the other thing. It is all about word count. NaNoWriMo isn’t about writing the best words, but just getting words down. If you can’t think of the exact word you are looking for? Jot down a word close to it. Getting hung up on a scene? Put in brackets and say something like [Infodump about history of molecular disintegrators goes here]. The ideal word goal is 1,667 a day. If you can, pad that out to 2,000 a day. November comes with enough built in distractions that it can be damn hard to write every day for the thirty days. Give yourself some wriggle room.
That said, intertia is also a thing. The more days you spend not writing, the harder it is to get going again. Likewise, the more days in a row you set out to write, the easier it gets. View it as an endurance test. You have to pace yourself.
Final piece of advice? End your writing for the day with a question to be answered. Stop writing in the middle of a scene, not the end of one. That will help you when you go back and have to keep writing. Rather than having to start by establishing a scene, you start your day by finishing a scene, answering a question. Stay curious about your own writing, and don’t get frustrated when it seems to be going off the rails.
If our readers wanted to follow you and your work, what would be the best way to do that?
The best way to do that is at my blog at mxgomez.wordpress.com. They can also follow me on twitter at @mxgomez78.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
When you’re done with your first draft, let it sit for a month (at least) before going back to edit. Give yourself some space from it. The holidays are stressful enough without looking at a manuscript you belched forth in a month.