Knock Down Drag Out Write! Day 07

Current Word Count

Jason has 1,200.

Leah has 5,500

They should be at 10,800 (12,600 by the end of day 7)

In today’s episode, Jason and Leah talk about the end of Act 1.

This problem transitions to the middle of the book and gives the protagonist something to do (a goal), and a choice to make. It’s the first major step once the protagonist is on the path to the core conflict. It’s also where the stakes are significantly raised for the first time.

This quote is from


Knock Down Drag Out Write! Day 05

Jason and Leah incorporate one of Leah’s dreams into their fiction and Leah trash talks her stupid, no account, muse.

The story Jason is refering to involving “Little Men” is the author Paul Broks. Jason originally heard the story on Radio Lab.

Also, you can find us at if you search for Compulsive Creative.

Also, our couple discusses the benefits of a separation, and Leah threatens to ‘end it’ after all.

Novel Writing Day 3

Jason and Leah talk through their plot at the park. They later return and write it all out with whiteboards.

At this point they have planned out through Act 1.

Act 1

Act 1 is all about establishing characters, backgrounds, and rules of the universe within a book.

Book mentioned: Invisible Ink: A Practical Guide to Building Stories that Resonate by Brian McDonald

Knock Down Drag Out Write! Day 2

In day 2, Jason and Leah discuss their inability to meet their goals of 833 words a day (Leah stands at 431, Jason 100) because it turns out that neither one has agreed on a genre, enemy or ending.  It occurs to Jason and Leah that they may not know anything about anything, except for the fact that they are wading into deep, literary, doo-doo.

What genre are our writers writing?  What’s in a first act?  How do you insert a little fantasy into the story?  And what will Jason and Leah be willing to sacrifice in order to bring this novel in on time?

Word Count for a Novel

National Novel Writing Month website puts the number of words at 50,000 instead of the 40,000+ we mentioned in Day 1 of the podcast.


If you are interested in getting your hands on the random Genre generator, we will be giving it away to everyone on our mailing list. You can sign-up by clicking the red button bellow.
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  • Comedy – focus on humor throughout a story.
  • Crime/Detective – fiction about a committed crime, how the criminal gets caught, and the repercussions of the crime
  • Drama – focusing on an in-depth development of realistic characters who must deal with realistic emotional struggles.
  • Fantasy – fiction with strange or otherworldly settings or characters; fiction which invites suspension of reality
  • Horror – fiction in which events evoke a feeling of dread and sometimes fear in both the characters and the reader
  • Mystery – fiction dealing with the solution of a crime or the unraveling of secrets
  • Realistic/Historical – story that is true to life
  • Romance – focus on the relationship and romantic love between two people
  • Science fiction – story based on impact of actual, imagined, or potential science, usually set in the future or on other planets
  • Suspense/Thriller – fiction about harm about to befall a person or group and the attempts made to evade the harm
  • Tragedy – a form of drama based on human suffering that invokes in its audience an accompanying catharsis or pleasure in the viewing
  • Western – set in the American Old West frontier and typically set in the late eighteenth to late nineteenth century

Your Thoughts?

Do you think Jason and Leah’s approach is a good one?

How is your writing going? We would love to hear from you in the comments below.
We read them all!

Novel Writing Podcast – Coming Soon

Yesterday (November 1st) was the start of National Write a Novel Month.

This means my it is time to execute our Nanowrimo collaboration experiment of writing a novel with my wife in 30 days. It is a very lofty goal. To reach it, we will have to focus on moving the story forward and getting words on the paper instead of making it perfect the first time.

We already hit our first challenge. We didn’t have an answer to:

What is a novel?

Talking it over with Leah, we were not sure on what the criteria is for a book to be called a novel.

We looked at:

  • Word count
  • Number of pages
  • A Sense of permanence
  • The number of big words

Eventually, we agreed on using National Novel Writing Month’s official length requirement of 50,000 words.

This means we will be required to produce 1,666.66 words per day (50,000 words/30 days). Since Leah and I will be working together, we will split that daily word count to 833.33 words per day (1,666.66 words/2 of us).

At first I was feeling it was a bit of a cheat to have two people writing a novel. To make it fair, we are adding an extra challenge.

The Podcast

For the duration of November, I will be writing a novel with my wife and recording that journey with a daily podcast called Knock-Down, Drag-out write. The show will be up any day now. We already uploaded it to iTunes and are just waiting for them to hit publish.


The big answer is that it will be fun and challenging.

And who knows. Maybe our book will be successful or Leah and I can make a few dollars teaching others how to write novels. Anything is possible at this point. It is very exciting to day dream about the possibilities.

Want to write a novel over the next 30 Days?

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Prologue to podcast

Welcome, Welcome, Welcome!

In today’s episode, Jason and Leah discuss what their process for November 1st is going to look like.

They talk about things such as what they think a ‘novel’ really is, what shape their narrative could take, and also how they’re going to avoid arguments by literally drawing characters, settings, problems, and solutions out of a bucket.

What is a novel?

You can use your own definition, but Leah is going with 50,000 words.

Jason is sticking with The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America definition of novel as having a minimum of 40,000 words.

Automatic Scene Builder

Below is a picture of our buckets that contain suggestions on pieces of paper.

Plot Building Buckets

A Nanowrimo collaboration!

November is nigh, and scores of creatives are gearing up for National Novel Writing Month, or ‘nanowrimo’ to the initiated.  Right now fingers are twitching, minds are rolling, ideas percolate with coffee.  Find the website at to get more information and to sign up.

This year my husband and I are signing on to do a collaborative project!  I don’t know if this will actually help me finish a complete first draft or if we are about to create a literary hell in our happy home.  I don’t know, but I don’t care, I’m just too excited!  And if it does blow up in our faces I can just lay the blame on him, it was his idea.

We have nothing concrete as of yet, but the general idea is that I will write a character, and he will write a character.  It’s an exciting idea!  But how do we implement it?  How can we write the same story when we’re writing, in essence, separately?

I suggested we write several random ideas and drop them in a box.  Several boxes actually, labeled maybe Characters, Settings, Situations, and Actions.  Fill each box with examples and then pick a random scrap of paper from each so that you might end up with a sentence that could look like this…

‘A Ninja Penguin, in Mazatlan, loses the incriminating photos, and enters a motocross competition.’

That would give us an interesting jumping off point, don’t you think?  And since we are planning on writing at least two characters we’ll probably draw a second character from the ‘charater’ box so the original sentence will now read…

‘A Ninja Penguin and a Coroner, in Mazatlan, lose the incriminating photos, and enter a motocross competition.’

We have already agreed that our book will take the form of journal entries.  If you’ve ever read the book ‘Dracula’ you’ll have a clearer picture of what we’re thinking about.  The entirety of the action documented by the characters, each narrating an individual piece and doing their part to forward the story.

The way we envision it, Jason will write the first portion and hand it off to me to read.  After which I get to work on the next part.  It’ll be a challenge for me to forward the story and keeping it interesting while at the same time finding a way to, ultimately, bring about a satisfying conclusion.

Such are our plans; we’re excited to share with you what we come up with!

Collaborative Writing