A Novel in a Month? I Don’t Recommend it. Here is What I Do Recommend

(photo courtesy of Maria Kim)

It’s better to take the journey and experience all the beauty along the way than to muse about shortcuts.

You can write 50,000 words in a month, but you will not have written a novel, you will have put words onto a ream of paper.  Yep, I have an opinion about the idea of NaNoWriMo. I get it, we need to encourage people to write, but let’s also encourage people to make meaningful art. We have enough things encouraging us toward immediate gratification, but we all know that evolution doesn’t consider word count.

Here is what I do recommend. Get a daily writing routine where you challenge yourself to write about the event that impacted you in that way that the movement of the glaciers impacted the face of the earth. Put somebody on notice like your therapist, priest, Granmama or whoever else is inclined to help you through a growth spurt, and start writing. What ever is left in your wake, will be meaningful for the rest of us, and where you end up will likely surprise you with its newness, grace and beauty.

If you start now, and write everyday, the journey might take 9 months to a year to get to the first draft, but what ever the word count, you will be a transformed creature when it’s all said and done.

Use The Soul of the Full-Length Manuscript as your travel guide. You have to DO the whole book, but Part Two begins The Stepping Stones Exercise,  which comprises 29 of the book’s 55 writing prompts and leads you on a life-journey of raw material for the full-length manuscript.  See details below.

Available at Your Local Bookstore and Online at

The Full-Length Manuscript Workshop Sept. 10, 2017 – May 6, 2018

The Full-Length Manuscript Workshop

9 Months of Sundays


2017 – Sept 10, Oct 8, Nov 5, Dec 10,
2018 – Jan 7, Feb 4, March 4, April 8, May 6

The Full‐Length Manuscript Workshop takes the novice and experienced writer from the blank page, through the emotional, psychological, and spiritual experience of creating raw material from a person plot while combining the unorthodox use of craft to bring the manuscript through to the first draft of a full-length literary work of fiction, memoir or poetry.

Fee: $950 **Payment Plan Available Upon Request**

 Request a Registration Form

Write-In Saturday June 17th 9am – 1pm

photo by Maledine Grey
Write-Ins at LaVenson Press Studios:
Saturday, June 17th 9am – 1pm
These are 4 hour sessions where we do a short inspiration and go deep into 4 hours of quiet writing in an aesthetically pleasing space. Snacks, coffee and good company provided
Click Here to Request a Registration Form

Women’s Writing Intensive June 4 – 25, 2017

Women’s Writing Intensive

4 Sundays  3-6pm
June 4th, 11th, 18th, 25th
Create a short work of fiction, memoir or poetry by pulling your writing up from your emotional and psychological base. This workshop will supply you with tools to give your writing artistic depth. For 13 years The Women’s Writing Intensive has led women on adventures of utilizing life-plots to make good literature, much of which is now published work.
Fee $250 includes healthy meals from the garden to help you eat well and write well.

May 24th Reading Quail Ridge Books Raleigh

Readings w/Writing Exercise from
The Soul of the Full-Length Manuscript: 

Zelda will share exercises from the book and talk about the journey of teaching and writing that led to writing The Soul of the Full-Length Manuscript
Mar 24th – 7pm Quail Ridge Books – 100 Lassiter Mill Road, Raleigh, NC – (919) 828-1588