NaNoWriMo Roundup: Seasoned Authors Share their Secrets

About kristipetersenschoonover

A ghost story writer who still sleeps with the lights on, Kristi Petersen Schoonover’s fiction has appeared in many magazines and anthologies; her traditionally published books include a short story collection, THE SHADOWS BEHIND. She was the recipient of three Norman Mailer Writers Colony Residencies and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College. She serves as co-host of the DARK DISCUSSIONS podcast, as founding editor of the dark literary journal 34 ORCHARD, and is a member of both the New England Horror Writers and the Horror Writers Association. Follow her adventures at

Posted on November 5, 2013, in News. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Hey, how are you doing with your novel? I am doing fairly well this year. I like this year’s book better than last year’s because of its simplicity. I’m writing it in entirely verse. What surprises me is that I did NO PLANNING but I am not really freaking out over not having an outline or anything that even resembles one. The chapters are short and some look like poetry. I would say that none of it is poetry at all, its just this way to be easier on MY eyes. I enlarged the typeface. Just one of those consequences of having Stage 3 kidney disease and needing to lie down a lot. Need to have a nice big screen perched on a bedside table so I can be horizontal with a keyboard and my dog, Puzzle, in bed with me. It’s cuddly this way. Julie

    • That’s awesome that it’s going well! All that matters is that you’re having fun and that you’re happy with it to the point at which you can’t wait to get up and write every day. I NEVER have planned a Nano novel…I’m a pantser all the way. I find it leads to much better surprises, and “hot messes” can always be re-written, cleaned up, and rearranged later. For me, it’s more important to be raw.

      I’m doing okay, not going as well as I’d hoped. Then today I figured out that the last few times I had super-fun with Nano, from 2004-2007, was really before I had lots of other stuff — as a writer — on my plate, like blogging and all this other crap. Back then, all I had was me, other aspiring writers, and a keyboard. I miss those days…but I’m super grateful for what I have! It’s time for me to think of Nano a bit differently, and that’s what I’m doing this year. I’m behind, but I’ll get it done. This time around, it’s just not going to be as easy.

      Feel better and keep pounding away!

      • I’m about on track, I get ahead then I’m behind, then ahead again. Not particularly worried. The first time, I was way ahead right away, wicked worried that someone would ruin it all for me and I’d be out of commission (sectioned for a week and stuck someplace, or whatever) so I felt the need to get ahead, “just in case” of such emergencies. Now that I’ve ditched “mental health care,” I pretty much don’t have to worry about some therapist breathing down my neck with daily threats of “sectioning” me or calling the cops on me.

        What I try to tell people EVERY SINGLE DAY is that this threatening is NOT WORTH IT! It isn’t “care”! It’s babysitting! It’s supervision! It’s roping in poor people and keeping us in line.

        Kristi, everyone should just do Nano. Then no one would be sick at all. There is no such mental sickness they talk about. It’s all the imagination of p$ychiatry, so they can stay in business and Big Pharma can continue to make money selling pills and keeping people lined up at the pharmacy. It’s a big hoax.

        So if every month were November, we’d be able to put this segment of the medical field out of business. Right?

        AS you know…you are a writer of scary stuff, and for whatever reason, those docs die weird deaths and I have outlived most of them.


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