By Dominique Aleesha
ID Johnson, author of Racing Hearts, Ashes and Rose Petals, and more
Despite the adversities of 2020, NaNoWriMo, also known as National Novel Writing Month, hit off with a great start this past Sunday, November 1. Currently, nanowrimo.org includes over 798,000 active novels and has an additional following on Instagram, with as many 23,000 posts for #Nanowrimo2020.
Many publishers, like eGlobal Creative Publishing Inc., have also gotten their writers involved in month-long writing programs too. eGlobal is an e-publishing company based in Western New
York that manages an original English-language publishing program, which partners with online platforms (e.g. the AnyStories app, Mangatoon.mobi, Dreame.com, Tapas.io, Webnovel.com) to distribute authors’ works to domestic and international audiences. The publishing company has developed its own month long Author Boot Camp to teach novice and veteran writers how to write a 50,000 word romance or paranormal romance novel for the web-novel market, with help from a biweekly Writer's Salon (centered on helping writers hone their craft), a two-hour crash course, and a workshop with trained editors. At the end of the boot camp, participants have their novel published, receive an advance, authorship credit, and a royalty share on the finished novel.
When asked about her own experience with the boot camp, the published author and editor, ID Johnson had to say this:
What was the book you wrote for the Author Boot Camp?
The web novel I wrote for the author boot camp is called Racing Hearts: Will the Actress Marry Him? It is unlike anything I’ve ever written before, but it was a lot of fun, and eGlobal supplied me with a great editor who is also a web novel expert, so working with her was an amazing experience.
How did the program help you refine your writing and find other writing opportunities? Since completing the training, I approach the beginning and ends of my chapters much differently. Web novels are different from regular novels in that you have to grab and keep the audience’s attention, [so] this means having an exciting incident in every chapter, keeping chapters short, and sometimes going way over the trope when writing a web novel. It can transfer to a traditional novel in a few ways, particularly in setting up and completing chapters. I used to split my chapters when I got to the point where something had concluded. Now, I leave enough of a cliffhanger to keep readers turning one more page.
This year, I have published two series (Ashes and Rose Petals and Nashville Country Dreams) as independent novels as well as on web novel sites utilizing these strategies. They have a lot more drama in them than my regular novels—sort of like soap operas. It’s definitely a different way of writing for me. While I don’t write all of my novels with that high drama, I do “get in after the action has started and get out early” as I was taught during my web novel training. This essentially means: try to start the chapter at a point where something is already happening and leave the chapter with something unresolved.
I have also written web novels for SofaNovel and GoodNovel, since completing the boot camp training. I write under the pen name Bella Moondragon for both of those sites. My books do very well on SofaNovel, one of them even winning a recent contest, and Mage of Wolves on GoodNovel was just signed to an exclusive contract with the site.
How did your writing change from when you first did NaNoWriMo in 2014 to after completing eGlobal’s Boot Camp in February of this year?
As I said above, I pay more attention to the driving factors that are going to keep readers turning pages and stay engaged in what I’m writing. I also think more about what all of the possibilities for what might happen next in a novel might be, not just what a person might expect to happen next. Nothing is off the table anymore, even if it seems a little wild or crazy.
What are you doing for NaNoWriMo this year?
This year, I’m working on a novel called The Fairy Queen Awakens. It’s a young adult romance about a fairy queen, Moira, who has had a spell cast upon her to banish her from her kingdom for a thousand years. Her true love, Rex, is the only one that can bring her back. It’s a complicated plot, but basically, he’s already had one chance to break this spell and screwed it up royally. Seventy years have passed since then, and another chance is approaching. If he doesn’t help her realize who she is and keep her safe from the dark fairies who want to kill her (again) then he’ll have to wait another seventy years to have another try.
Click here to learn more about eGlobal’s Author Boot Camp and ID Johnson’s work.