ROW80 – Round 4 – Check-in #21

Ok, why does the time between Sunday and Wednesday seem to FLY by? Lord. I can’t believe it’s time already to update you on my ROW80 progress but here we are. You can find a list of my goals here.

Work In Progress Goals:

So, the ever fahbulous Jenny Hansen (with some backup from the beautiful Tameri Etherton) gave me a little push this week. Ok, so it was more like a giant shove off a cliff where Jenny begged and pleaded with me to JUST WRITE SOMETHING already?!?!?! I LOVED IT! She kicked me in the ass, instructed to do a character interview, and sent me on my way. She told me that I have at least 3000 lines of crap to spew out before anything even worth looking at gets on the page…so get at it. Tameri followed up with a “she’s right Natalie…get to it!”

THANK YOU ladies!!!! It was just the shove I needed and I took your encouragement straight to heart, ran home, and got to it.

  • 1 hour on WIP (goal: 5 hours/week)
    • 569 word start on my character interview
  • I didn’t chat with my ROW80 Sista, Nancy J. Nicholson but we’ve kept up with blog cheerleading!
  • I reported on my ROW80 goals on time.

The character interview felt a bit weird. I started out by coming up with the questions myself (I am a trained a reporter after all, right?!?!?!) but I kind of stumbled a bit. It sounded like me asking a question and me answering them. No character voice was coming out really defined. 

That’s ok. I went online and grabbed the first 100 character interview questions I could find to at least take “my” voice out of the equation for now. I just started working through them. I’m still not feeling it 100% but it’s coming and I have faith in the process. I’m just going to stick with it. Regardless, I gotta get those 3000 lines of crap out so what the hell, right?

Thursday I have scheduled another hour for this and I’ll continue with a few hours on the weekend. I am pumped! Thanks again Jenny (and Tameri)!

Blogging Goals:

  • Blogged 3 days (4 posts – as of later this afternoon) including this post
  • Read, commented, retweeted/tweeted on at least 15 blogs.

How is your ROW80 progress going thus far?



  1. Woot! I agree with Jenny and Tameri and I’m glad you did it. Even if you’re not feeling it 100%, it’s better than nothing. You go girl!
    Keep it up and you’ll do great 😉

  2. You’re so awesome it blinds me! You’re welcome for the kick in the pants, although all the credit needs to go to Jenny. She really had you thinking hard about what you should start with… I just swooped in at the last minute, ate the best dessert, drank the last of the wine and swooped out again calling it the best part I’d ever been to. Not that I’ve ever done that in real life, it was a metaphor. Really.

    I’d love to know the questions you got for your character study. I have some and you’re right ~ a few feel really strange to answer. Maybe those are the ones we need to look harder at, or chuck in the bin. Don’t stress it too much. I’m 300,000 words in and I’m still finding out stuff about my MC. She’s way more complicated than I ever thought she could be and I like being surprised. So don’t feel like you have to ‘know’ everything about her before you start writing. Let your characters grow and mature along with the story.

    You’re doing great, Sweetums! Keep at it and don’t let Hubby distract you too much. You know, with all that wiggle wiggle wiggle dance practicing.

    • Awwww Tameri – you ROCK!! Love it. Thanks so much for the fabulous compliments, vote of confidence and cheerleading. I really appreciate it and value it.
      I will email you the questions I got off the web. I just wanted a jumping off point and I think there great to get me thinking and getting to know my MC. I think as one voice starts to ring louder than the others (that sounds sooo bad) it’ll get easier and feel better. LOL!
      300K…OMG I am sooooo jealous – that’s ahhhmazing!!! Girl, you are rockin’ it! 🙂
      LOL – I’ll try but it’s hard with all the wiggling….LOL!!!

  3. I was never able to do the whole character interview thing for exactly the same reason: can’t answer my own questions trying to take on the voice of the character. Just a step too far into the “artistic” mindset. 🙂 I downloaded Jody Hedlund’s character worksheet (, which looks more like a resume (or CV). This worked wonders for me because I’m more of a calculated right-brained planner and then I left the left-brain get to work when I’m actually putting the words down.

    Congrats on getting some words down!!! Jenny is a star too for keeping us all in line. 🙂

    • Fahhhbulous Nicole – thanks so much! I am off to download it and give it a whirl. Sounds right up my alley!
      Yes, that she is.
      Thanks for the congrats. My plan at this point is to just keep writing and see what happens. 🙂

  4. You’ll get a lot more done if you just dare to be bad. (And “bad” often turns out to be much better than you thought, too.) So your friends are right — keep going.

  5. Love this post, Natalie! I’ve been there. So great that you have friends who’ll kick your butt. ROW80 sounds like a wonderful group.

    • It’s so good to know that I am not alone. 🙂 And yes, I feel very blessed to have friends who are honest and care enough to give me a good ol’ kick in the butt. Lord knows I need it from time to time. 🙂

  6. Great job on just writing something! Sometimes we can spend so much time plotting it almost becomes a crutch, a reason to put off the real work. Eventually you just have to jump in. Good luck!

  7. Yea!!!!!!!!!

    It’s about time somebody kicked you in the butt! LOL!!!!

    I’m telling you Natalie, you’ve got to come join us over in WWBC. You will not believe how much easier it will make things for you. It’s more than goals. It will teach you how to structure your story, build your cast fo characters, and write the bloody thing.

    I’m challenging you to do it girl! (Okay, don’t hate me.) 🙂

    • I am definitely strongly considering WWBC in January. It sounds fantastic but I fear I need to have a more definied/choosen story idea. Maybe with my character stuff between now and January, I’ll have something ready to go for January and if so, I’ll be IN! 🙂
      I could never hate you Karen!!! LOL!!!

  8. I’ve never tried a character interview. I’ve been writing character bios, though. The interview idea sounds interesting. I am doing that butt-in-chair, hands-on-keyboard approach to writing this week. It’s amazing how much you can get done that way. Sure, some of it’s crap. But sometimes, you write something really great. And there’s always that beautiful word: editing. Good luck, Natalie!

    • I am going to do a bio as well. I think it’ll be super helpful. Butt-in-chair, hands-on-keyboard – love that! Very productive. Thanks for the fahhhbulous vote of confidence and sooo true, eh?!?! Jenny said it was better to have something to work with than nothing to look at. 🙂

  9. Congrats on stepping out of your comfort zone!!! Getting the weirdness out is just part of it. I’m so proud of you, Natalie!!! Woot! Woot!

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