No Plot? (No Characters? No Setting? No Time?) No Problem!

Camp NaNoWriMo 2013Those who have been following my fiction writing career know that I’m a fan of writing marathons. I’ve participated in four since 2010: National Novel Writing Month 2010 and 2012, and Camp NaNoWriMo, June 2012 and  April 2013.

Organized by the Office of Letters and Light to encourage creativity, NaNoWriMo challenges participants to write 50,000 words (about 175 pages) in 30 days. The novel can be any genre, in any language. There is no prize for winning, except for bragging rights. In fact, you have to buy your own “Winner” T-shirt. There’s absolutely no guarantee that the novel will ever be published. A NaNoWriMo novel isn’t even long enough to interest most publishers. Although there have been successful novels that are roughly 50,000 words long, most commercial novels run from 65,000 to 100,000 words or more.

So why do it? For many people who have always wanted to write a novel, NaNoWriMo is the kick in the pants they need to get going.

But say you don’t have a month to spend writing a book. How about a week? Yes, 40 Hours.

Can a book be written in 40 hours? I’m about to find out, because I am one of 100 writers chosen to participate in How to Write a Book in 40 Hours.

The system for writing an entire book in 40 hours was developed by International guest speaker, author, philanthropy consultant and Rooney International Scholar Getrude Matshe. Her speaking career started in Norway 1989 and for 12 years she has worked in the IT industry as a systems analyst, systems support manager and project manager. Getrude immigrated to New Zealand in 2001 with nothing and is now the director of three successful companies.

Getrude is passionate about helping people achieve their full potential and find their individual life purpose. She is passionate about individuals’ success. If that includes writing a book, Getrude is determined to help make it happen. And fast, before you lose your motivation.

In a way, the concept is similar to the NaNoWriMo marathons. The deadline pressure simply doesn’t allow for hesitation or second-guessing.

Getrude extended an invitation to try out the process and received 150 replies from around the world. She chose 100 writers and aims to get them all over the finish line. Here’s some of the participants and their projects.

S.D. Light is twenty one years old and was born in Bangor in Wales where she still currently resides. She published some novellas under another name in early 2013 and is now setting out to publish her first Young Adult Novel entitled the Pageant and the Problem. She aims to help girls unlock their inner beauty through this romantic yet dramatic love story. Keep up with S. D. at,  on Facebook at and Twitter at or on her Website,

Sherri Ziff is a life coach in Hollywood. She’s writing about society’s toxic obsession with fame and how to fight it to life happily in anonymity. See more on Facebook at!/sherriziff or on her Web site at

From Indiana, Tony Fiorillo is president of Asset Management Strategies, Inc. and his book Asset Management Strategies will offer advice and tips for “worry free investing in today’s market.” Find Tony on Facebook at!/tony.fiorillo.56

Kate Hovat from Minnesota is an online marketing specialist. She writes romance and “romantica” (romances on the racy side) under the name Cynthia Rome. She’s aiming to get her latest book, Sweet Surrender out by August, 2013. Find out more about Kate on her Facebook author page,!/author.cynthia.rome.

A science teacher, Montessorian and parenting counselor, Elaine Winchester lives in Petone, New Zealand, across the bay from Getrude, Elaine grew up in Central Africa but has roots in Finland and Britain. She’s drawing on her background for her book which will be part memoir, part family history.

Lorraine Spencer’s novel will contrast contemporary exploration and development in Alaska against a background of native cultures. And werewolves.

Other writers are from Australia, New Jersey and New York.

The King's Ransom by Devorah FoxAnd Texas. That would be me. I’m working on The King’s Ransom, the sequel to The Lost King. At the rate I’m going it should be out in July 2103…maybe even June! Check back here or find me on Facebook for the latest.

About Dee

"What if?" Those two words all too easily send Devorah Fox spinning into flights of fancy. Best-selling author of “The Redoubt,” voted one of 50 Self-Published Books Worth Reading 2016, and three other books in The Bewildering Adventures of King Bewilliam epic historical fantasy series. She also co-authored the contemporary thriller, Naked Came the Sharks, with Jed Donellie. She contributed to Masters of Time: a SciFi/Fantasy Time Travel Anthology and has several Short Reads to her name, including Murder by the Book, A Mystery Mini. Born in Brooklyn, New York, she now lives in The Barefoot Palace on the Texas Gulf Coast with rescued tabby cats ... and a dragon named Inky. Visit the “Dee-Scoveries” blog at
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