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Episode 6 Show Notes

Show Summary

One of Dianna’s (and most writers) favourite things about November is NaNoWriMo! As a winner of the illustrious event Dianna is going to provide some tips she has used in the past that might come in handy for anyone interested in giving it a go this year. There are many different approaches and when you look into nano you will see that it is a worldwide community effort. A buzz is in the air!

Dianna has teamed up again with Georgia Tingly to run a Competition on social media she is going to explain this more on the show.

It is free to enter and you might get a chance to win a free book.

Check out her page for more information:


Linking to Elara was a Q and A this week 

Some interesting questions have been sent in to the show and they have allowed Dianna to think a little more about Elara and share her answers.


Buffy Night

DR Who Season 11 episode 4 Review

Next week

Interview with Allie McCormack



Notes and Links

What is Nano?

NanoWrimo (Nano) Prep: 

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing. On November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 PM on November 30. Valuing enthusiasm, determination, and a deadline, NaNoWriMo is for anyone who has ever thought about writing a novel.

My Name on Nano is DL Nix if you want to be my Buddy

5 tips for Nano Success

1. Commit to yourself.

First things first, you have to register. Make a profile write a title for the story you would like to write, you can put Nano 18. Fill in your details.

2. Pick something that interests you that will pull you through to the end.

Let it grow from the bones of ideas, Pretty much everything can be fixed in December. Nano is a basic draft. Figure out what you like and go with it.

3. Share with the world.

Make some friends that are also doing nano or look online. They are going through the same thing as you so might have some advice to help out. Be proud of yourself for giving this a go and tell people about it.

4. Use tools to help.

Try word sprints. Outside Nano there are tools eg. No plot no problem book. Set yourself little rewards along the way. 

 5. Enjoy the journey.

You are taking your characters on a journey of growth and development. You are creating settings in your mind and sharing them with the world. That is one of the things that I love about writing. Find what it is that you like about writing? Find the heart in your story and try and make it beat.


Buffy Night

DR Who - S11 E04

Now I am a fan of DR who. I used to watch it as a young girl with my Dad (Baker Dr) and when it rebooted I would watch the new show with him every Sunday night. I now watch it with my kids on ABC IVIEW and we talk about it. I think that is something that is the most interesting about the show is that is takes you away from the mundane and int something fantastical but there are still core issues all over the universe. It really is clever writing and effects that pull it all together. It is fun and informative without being too serious.

This new incarnation of Dr, so far, had been quite impressive. I like that she isn't too secretive about her plans and ideas. She is happy to say when she is thinking it through. 


Lively unscripted discussion about the island itself, creatures, the queen, the beads and pearls, the original tribes people of the island and the magic system.

Trying to clarify all of the questions that came in through email and messenger.

If you have any questions please direct them to

Infinity Icon
Book Competition v2.png

Facebook Competition

Was Drawn on the 7th of November and our lucky reader was stoked with his prize sending us a picture of what he received.

He is one very happy new reader.

Huge Thanks to Georgia Tingley for her support and encouragement.

If you would like to pick up a copy of the book yourself it is available wide (not limited to Amazon).



Intro Music

Welcome to the Finding Elara Podcast. Building worlds with words and sharing those words with the world. A podcast for writers, world builders and creatives that would like to take a mindful look inside their creations. My name is Dianna and Elara is the world I created for a novel series. Together we will dive into the depths of mindfulness and explore world building in all it's diversity with this information we will find Elara.

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Hello and welcome back to episode 6 of the Finding Elara Podcast. In the last week I've been busy with more interviews for future shows tweaking my website and finishing up a first draft of the Christmas story I was telling you about. The story took me to a darker part of my own memories of Christmas when I was a kid. I really had to stop and think about what Christmas really meant to me through the different stages of my life how my expectations of the Festive season had actually changed and what does Christmas do to the family dynamic. I wanted to buy where the spark was for me where inside all the traditions and rituals you follow that is the actual Christmas spirit so I wanted to see where it fit for me. I wanted to grapple with that seed and idea mixing all of the research I've been doing and plant it at the core of the story I must admit it's very different from all of my other works I tend to get a little emotional when I'm struggling through problems within a story and my husband helped talk me out of it this time I'm fairly certain he thinks I'm crazy I thought that I had lead one of my characters into a hole and I was going to have to let him go and I was really sad because I developed in really well but I found that he might not have to leave. By talking about it with my husband I found a way around it which was really cool. I have to say it's probably a Dark Fantasy Christmas story. I need to start looking into rewriting editing cover design and all that jazz now I should have a to my beta readers in the next couple of weeks. It's very exciting and it feels very real knowing I'm definitely going to get this Christmas Story done. I don't want to spoil anything in the story but a welcome any questions you might have and I'm happy to answer them. After positive response from so many people about last week's interview with Georgia Tingley we decided to try little competition on my Facebook page I have a post about a free book you can guess what the book. You can guess what the book is, it's Justice by Georgia Tingley. All you have to do to enter is like comment and share. I'm going to pull a name out of the hat during next week show and I'll contact whoever it is about getting the prize to them I have seen it on the top of my other page DL Nix which is d l space N i x on Facebook if you like a chance to win just like comment and share.

This episode is released on the last day of October and that means it tomorrow is start of National Novel Writing Month also known as NaNoWriMo or as I like to call it, Nano. Throughout the month of November Nano takes place in homes workplaces libraries and writing ins all around the world the goal is for everyone to write 50,000 words each in the month of November which doesn't sound so bad if you say it really fast 50000 words. I'm quite excited that Nano this year as my hubby Joel is going to be doing with me because I have actually finished at a couple of times though I thought I'd share with you some tips I've learnt along the way and some of the experiences that I've had in the ones I've won and I've lost. My linking to Elara section this week I'm going to answer questions that I've been sent about the Elaran world and for Buffy night I'm going to talk about Doctor Who season 11 episode 4 episode Arachnids in London. I loved it I'm really enjoying the new doctor I think she's funny and sassy and she's still trying to find herself and I like that on with the show.

Music break

Okay so NaNoWriMo, if you are interested in Nano then you likely have already been bombarded with emails about Nano already. Now I have to admit that finishing Nano isn't an easy feat. But, if it's something you want to do and you do need to want it then it is achievable. My first Nano wasn't 2012 and I have one four out of the six times I've done it. Because it is a worldwide event the support systems that Nano has built in over the years is amazing. So I'm going to give you 5 tips that I've helped me in my Nano journeys.

Okay, So tip number one... commit to yourself.

First things first you have to register the website is I'll put that in the show notes just in case you forget the site itself is really use a user-friendly you just make a profile write a title for the story if you want to write start of that is you can just put down Nano 18 or something like that for now and then change the title later. Fill in some details about yourself you're going to write this story so therefore you are writer for the month of November this comes down a lot to mindset you need to believe that you have the story new for it to come out of you and if you believe it you will achieve it,

Number 2... Pick something that interests you that will pull you all the way through to the end.

I know so many people that pre-plan their novels and just write during Nano. It's Easy as pie for them, I'm an organic writer and I want to feel the story out I want to let it grow from the bones of ideas in my head I even surprise myself sometimes and if I plan it I just don't see that happening. Pretty much everything can be fixed in December is my theory as Nano is a basic draft. People who do complete Nano tend to fit into two categories a planner and a pantser, also known as an organic writer so that's me. I have said before that I don't really like to plan too much it take some of the passion out of it for me but others thrive in knowing what to do so you just have to figure out where you slot in. You might be somewhere in the middle as long as you're happy and you know roughly what you think you want to do you should just go from there. In 2013 I went in with the idea of a young woman who is lonely and I wanted to make it a romance I had my male protagonist and my female and my plan was just to get them together and have a happily ever after but unfortunately that did not work for me it end up being a murder mystery because there was so many things going on in the background in my head that ended up happy is serial killer stabbing people and yeah so romance is just not for me but each their own.

Number three... Share with the world.

Make some friends you can go on to Nano sites on Facebook on actual Nano itself there's buddies that you can team up with and groups and writings you can team up with but the best people are your friends and your family. Tell them that you're doing this they'll keep you motivated for the whole month if you have a personal connection with someone that knows that you're doing Nano they can actually be in your face and say hey how's your story going if you don't want to meet people though if you're a bit of an introvert and then that's ok to you don't have to make friends but do make sure that you tell someone don't keep it to yourself this an amazing feat the trying to accomplish when you register with the Nanowrimo site you have to select the area that you want to register to and when you do that you do get regular emails from that site so I'm else where in Australia and these email see you get tend to have some really interesting piece of advice that can help you out of a rut when you're in it just be proud of yourself for giving us a go and tell people about it.

Number four... Use the tools to help.

 I find that if I get out of my own way I actually put the words on the page. But if I stop and think about it too much I tend to hesitate and then forget what I was going to do in the first place so I found word sprints for me work really really well. There's a timer on the nano page that you can use the words sprints but really can just use stop watch and just say hey, 5 minutes.  You can have word challenges with other writers to stay motivated even outside now there is so many tools you can use, I bought the 'no plot no problem' book on my second year and I have used used it a few years. This really good because it's a couple of vouchers you can give to the kids so that they can fold the laundry and do the dishes well I'm writing. I also sent myself google rewards along the way Chocolate and chippies is normally. When I reach a certain word goal I get to have a piece of chocolate or i get my favourite type of chips or I get to watch an episode. Half way is a big one, 40 thousands a big one for me and then of course passing the fifty thousand. To actually complete Nano, you have to do 1667 words every day. You can do more one day and less another depending on what you actual schedule is. So think about it in advance if you do have better days write more. If you think that you are going to be busy on the weekend see if you can write 3000 extra during the week to try and get ahead. Everyday when you put your number count down on the Nano site there's a little bar chart and it is interesting to see how it goes up and down throughout the month. It can get a little intimidating when you are part of a big group, because you will see so many people with their amazing word counts and for me I tend to, the first week is a bit slow and then I pick up. You've just got to remember that everyone had their own journey and you need to follow what feel right for you. Also, you have so many commitments in your life and nohing it going to stop because you have decided to write a story in November. so you need to work around what you have. so if you have kids and you've got family commitments you've got work commitments. Just try and make sure that you make the time for yourself and you make the time to write your Nano story. Or, it just won't get done. In my years that I failed that's what the problem was. I was working part time doing shift work so I didn't actually plan properly so the writing just didn't happen. 

So Number 5... Enjoy the journey.

If you make it this big chore that you have to o a specific amount the n you're gonna get a little bit bored and probably a little intimidated when you fall behind. But you've made a choice to do this, you have taken your characters on a journey of growth and development and you are personally going through growth and development throughout the story you're creating settings in your mind and your sharing them with the world that is one of the things that I actually really love about writing just having what's in my head on the page reading it back to myself find what it is that you actually enjoy about writing see if you can do that more often to start with find a heart in your story and try and make it beat.

So that's all my tips I hope you find them helpful they were commit to yourself pick something that's interesting enough to pull you the whole way through share with the world used tools to help and enjoy the journey I can honestly say that I have no idea what I'm going to write about at this stage the day before Nano but I do have a few ideas they're all new ideas and I really I don't know what I'm going to settle with yet I tend to sort of feel it out in the first week but I'm considering maybe a fractured fairy-tales possibly something to do with water beasts or magicians looking into alchemy seen a few videos on alchemy lately I do like tales about dryads so maybe it'll be set in a forest I'm not sure I just have to wait and see and I'll tell you all about it as I go on my Nano journey this is a first time that I'll be working on two stories at once though so I know it's going to be quite hectic I'm going to be finishing up my Christmas tale so I can get it out and early December and working on my Nano story so that's going to be really interesting trying to find the balance there plus there's also the podcast I don't want to let you guys down I'm going to make sure I get my 1 Episode week so it's going to be really busy November but it's going to be fun and I'm going to be really creative I'm definitely up for the challenge anyway and with Joel completing Nano with me I'm sure that's going to make it make it interesting to have someone so close to me doing the same thing and as a surprise the other day Joel bought me a new shirt and you know no shirt which is awesome and you Nano cups I'm sure it's going to get some good used throughout November I hope that you found my tips helpful and it's a inspired you to either give Nano logo or they helped you decide that it is not for you I'm not involved with the people that run Nanowrimo I'm just a real big fan of Nano and what it does for writers in general and I checked me out as a nano buddy my name on Nano is DL Nix so hopefully I see you around the traps.

Okay so linking to Elara Q&A session. Thank you for all the questions that have come in again most of them have been by email but I've had a couple on Facebook which is really good I'm stoked the people at curious about what I've been making and they want to know more about Elara in the world that I created for the novel so I thought I would have let you know a little bit more the

Magic System Organic on the island it comes from the nutrients in the soil and the vegetables that they're eating but it takes a few generations for it to really settle in the people of the Island to have just come there so normally the exception corp. people they don't show any symptoms and they don't actually develop any abilities but they're still not allowed to leave the islands just in case they have ingested some of the organic matter and they might change in the future or the future generations might start to possess magical abilities and exception corp doesn't know how to deal with that so when you go there it is a one way ticket even saying that they don't really know what exactly on the island cause it one of the question was is the island sentient not at this stage I don't plan on having the actual Island speak to anyone I'm more leaning towards and magical realism standpoint I want it to seem real to the people reading and talking Island doesn't really fit into it but people with magic does for me so that's a bit weird people develop a bead inside their belly button when they hit the age of Puberty when they're born there considered magical beings because they can it's like their blood is magical then they go through a ceremony which puts the magic inside their heart and then the bead goes from the heart all the way down into the solar plexus area and then manifest outside the body when they hit puberty and then it for is out if falls out like a like a tooth but it's like a battery so you can still use it for a while until it turns tall white Pearl. The pearls themselves are magical it is something that's definitely a part of the magic of the island sorry the things my characters can do is telekinesis and I have one my characters doing a bit of telekinesis they can jump from one spot to the other but has to be places that they've been to before see this is some of the bits that I'm really still developing because my characters haven't been through that much I know roughly what I want them to do in my mind but I haven't actually had them do it so it's really flexible but in general it's the four elements fire air water soil and you know I watched a lot of Avatar when I was young so that's probably the general idea I'm turning my magic system from I'm also read a lot of epic Saga fantasies and they tend to have a have access to natural things in the world when it comes to technological advances and stuff then magic fails so I don't I didn't really make this world to advanced in that sense in the city at of bellicose itself the technology is quite high they have hover vehicles and stuff but the rest of the island and the islands about three times the size of Tasmania so the rest of the island is like stepping back in time except it's now it's all very natural people weear natural fabrics everybody farms for themselves they don't use vehicles they use horse and cart and that's because the landscapes changing again me saying the islands not sentient but the landscape does change and grow over over the seasons so speed hard to maintain Road systems when they're so isolated in the middle of the ocean.  

The Queen. The Queen is one person, Queen Madelaine Rubus of the Elaran Isles. She is an immortal soul who has been blessed by the original tribal elders of the island as the representative of all the humans that come to visit the island. They tend to have to go through her and she can sense when new people land on the island it is one of her abilities but without the mask itself. the mask is the thing that actually holds the magic for her Without the mask itself she's pretty much just a normal girl that's had a prolonged life. She has the body of an 18 year old and the face of and angel. But her mask covers half of her face and the mask is actually made out of crushes pearls from the original tribes people. When the elders of the Island pass on they have to hand their pearls in to the monarchy and the monarchy crushes them and adds them to the mask itself. But nobody actually sees the queen without the mask on unless she is in privacy because her face never changes and it can be quite intimidating for some people. The only safe place for her is in the city, When she's in the countryside she is really quite cautious of what she does and who sees her and what she's doing. So that's a bit more about the queen.

The Creatures themselves. So I mentioned the we have some shadow beasts that roam the island and they attack people who have the gift. They can't be captured because they are made out of shadows. They are actually a manifestation from the queen herself. It is a by product of her having the longer life. She builds up all the negative energy in the city and  from the not so good things she's done in the past and she manifests these beasts. They are generally cats but because they are made out of shadows you don't really see all of them. you just know they are cat like. So I don't really go into detail of you know, the type of fur they have and all that jazz because essentially they are made out of shadows in the form of a cat. They make cat sounds and they have claws that can scratch people the shadow beasts eat the magic. They sort of succubi the magic into themselves through their claws or through their touching people who have the gift themselves. So that's a little bit more about the creatures. But I am still working on it. Like I said before this is trying. This whole podcast is to get more ideas to help find Elara. 

So another question was about the original tribes of the island, where did they go? Well the original tribes of the Island were shape shifters, not all of them. There was 3 original, one of them was shape shifters, one of them was shadow shifters, and one of them manifested the beads so the gifted of the island are sort of an amalgam of all three tribes. Of course the queen has more of the shadow shifter in her blood therefore she can make the creatures but the only thing the gifted got from the shape shifters themselves was the health and the longevity of being that sort of being. They don't actually get to shape shift in the actual story itself. But, that mat be something that we will change along the track I'm not sure we will just have to wait and see.

They wanted to know about the creatures, the queen, the beads and pearls and the magic system. I hope I have answered all your questions if you have any more by all means please send them through or if I've confused you more just tell me how and I will see if I can try and clarify things and thank you for listening to the linking to Elara section.

Music Break

Buffy night

Music break

this week I want to talk about the most recent episode of Doctor Who season 11 episode 4 now I'm a huge fan of Doctor Who I've Doctor Who shirts I had Doctor Who posters I'm pretty geeky like that but I'm really enjoying this new doctor I know a few people aren't but I'm really enjoying the new doctor. I used to watch Doctor Who as a young girl with my Dad we used to watch it every Sunday since the reboot and when I was even younger we used to watch Baker the baker doctor and it was just something that we did together which was, you know, a good family memory so I think that's what I I take out of the spirit of Doctor Who. I now watch it with my son and it's a lot of fun to talk about things that come up in there besides things that you wouldn't normally think about and the good thing about this episode was there isn't there wasn't a nasty alien it was something that we created as humans because of neglect and because of not getting rid of our waste properly which you know he was in England and they'll giant spiders but it's something that could really happened so was quite interesting to consider and talk about what's really happening in the world and how we are developing disasters ourselves so I was talking to my son about it and he turned it to side with me on what he found interesting from the show so anyway what inspired me from

Doctor Who was that even after all these years they still find a way to tell their story in a relatable sense and make it interesting for the viewer.  And to end every buffy night. grr arrgh.

Music Break

Ok so that's the show for today. The Music from not an affiliate link, just a cool site for music if you ever happen to need free music. Anyway, I actually have a friend who is working on some new music for me for the show so I hope to have that soon. I can only imagine what he is going to put together at this stage but he's a pretty talented musician so I am sure it will be awesome. If you are thinking about joining Nano then please, I am more than happy to be your buddy so put in the request and see how you go. I hope I didn't confuse you too much with trying to explain things from Elara. Maybe I might need to break it up into bite size questions and give you small bits at a time because there was quite a few different areas that I talked about there. So it might have been a little bit confusing. 

Next week on the show I'm going to be talking to Allie McCormack. She is another author which is fantastic I've been a beta reader for Allie I've been a beta reader for Allie for a few years now I think I've read five of her books one that she's actually published she is an incredibly talented writer I love her style she's got so much experience behind her and you can really feel it in the words that she's using. So her bio is quite long but I'm going to read it for you to see can grasp where she's coming from okay. This is Allie's bio. I'm a disabled to vet in the US Army as a career I was a medical transcriptionist I've traveled quite a bit and lived many places living including a year in Cairo Egypt as an exchange student and a year in Riyadh Saudi Arabia under contract to a hospital there I was in Desert Storm and the Northridge Quake and I've tromped through chest deep snow before dawn to guard the buffalo from slaughter in Montana. I've been in the army including a short stint with NATO a postal worker, a security guard a legal secretary and a wrangler trail guide at it dude ranch. I've been a manager of a Greek delicatessen owned a motorcycle and driven an 18 wheeler I studied Arabic which I still speak some more fluently karate tap dancing and belly dancing. I was a folk dancer for many years mostly Greek line dances. I am an alumni of University of California Santa Barbara and the American university of Cairo and I belong to the romance writers of America and mensa.

So I'm sure you'll see what I mean there she's got a wealth of experience behind her and some of her styles with in writing a very immersive and fascinating and from her by you can tell that they tend to have a Saudi Arabian and Egyptian vibe them. She's got a thing for cats in one of her stories and the one that I'm reading at the moment of hers swansong has got a one of the characters does belly dancing and Greek line dancing so I'm guessing she has quite a different perspective than I do about those things having that experience behind her so it's going to be really interesting talking to her and I'm sure that you will gain something from our little chat about the way she includes mindfulness into her writing and how she goes about World building for each of her stories that's it for today but I hope you enjoy the show and you keep up the search

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