Charlie is a face-to-face friend of mine and although I’ve been neglecting her lately, she agreed to stop by for a day.  She looks all mild-mannered in this photo but I’ve got some pictures from Halloween and the Christmas Party that might show you otherwise.  (And you don’t see any of her tattoos in this photo either.)  She’s a wild child and she’s writing a fascinating book (that scares the bejeezes out of me) and will no doubt be a bestseller whenever she gets around to finishing it.

Lots of people dream about writing a novel but few put their ass in a seat and actually do it.  I’m so proud of Charlie for following her dream and actually doing it!

My name is Charlie Quillen.  First off, I too am a writer, however new I may be to the art, and I have a work in progress tentatively named Shutter Click. It is about a forensic photographer who, upon receiving a disturbing serial killer case that reminds her too much of her buried past, slowly loses her mind.  I would put an excerpt in here, but it may give you all nightmares.  It gave me one after I wrote one of the chapters about a murder scene.

Instead, I will talk about my writing in general, since that’s what you’re all here for!

I started out writing as a young kid, writing stories about my family and dogs and flowers.  As I grew older and developed my angst, my teenage mind formed dark poetry as its expression.  However, my “real” writing didn’t begin until I discovered NaNoWriMo two years ago.

My first NaNo was a bust, I only came up with one page of writing.  Yes, ONE page.  I didn’t understand what it meant to write THOUSANDS of words.  Especially thousands of words in one day!  So all I had was an idea and a page of writing.  That led me into the NaNo that just passed.  I talked to my writer friend here, Lisa, and she encouraged me after hearing my plot to write, write, write!  Thank goodness for her support!  I started writing that first day and only got 400 words.  I was desperately proud of those words, no matter how few.  It was a place to start.  And it was more than I’d written before.  The next day I reached 1,000 words.  I exploded with delight!

Unbelievable was the thought – ME writing 1,000 words.  I missed a few days here and there, and my goal of 50,000 words seemed to elude me even further.  Eventually I got back on the horse and reached 5,000 words.  Then I saw 10,000.  The only problem was NaNoWriMo was over.  Now I had nothing to push me.  But I kept writing!  It was amazing!  When I finally reached 15,000 words I had no words to describe how happy I was at  my progress!

I have since topped out at 16,650 words.  I stopped writing one day and didn’t start again.  Two months passed with no words.  Life was bleak!  I was swimming in a sea of plot holes and poor character development.  It’s pushing three months and I’ve only poked around at my writing.  Until I learned about MarNaNoWriMo!!  Yep, another month of writing!  So I started a new story to get my juices flowing.  I thought that maybe a short, fun story might liven things up.  I began writing on March 1st at about 8 pm.  I only got 143 words.  But again, it was a start.  The next day I wrote 1,300 words!!  I also had unknowingly started a prequel to my current work in progress.  Now I have two WIP’s and a great story going.  Sorry if I got off track a bit, I just get very excited about writing!!

I have found out how much work it takes to write, keep a blog, keep up with tweeting and tweets, and how important it is to network!  I write a lot in my blog about keeping your head up and reaching your goals.  If you’d like to read my craziness, head on over to Charlie-quillen.blogspot.com and check me out!  Also, I’m super new to this realm of writing, so if you have advice I’m up for taking it!  I keep up with tons of writing blogs to see what information I can glean.  And again, thanks to the super wonderful awesome Lisa for the privilege of writing a piece on her blog!

Check out Charlie:

@CharlieQuillen – twitter

Charlie-quillen.blogspot.com – blog

* If NaNoWriMo style writing events get you motivated, check these out!