NaNoWriMo – success!

Hurrah! And three cheers of whatever bilge you drink. I completed (or “won”, in NaNo parlance) NaNoWriMo 2012. And here’s a badge to prove it:

Winner-73x73 It’s a pretty little badge, and the eighth of its type that I have collected. Since 2003, I have failed once (can’t remember why), and I have not started it once (we were moving house during November, and therefore a little busy). So you could say I quite like these time / word count challenges.

So what? Good question. I’ve improved my typing skills over the years, and can now comfortable exceed 1,000 words of creative writing per hour. Unfortunately, that’s where the work on the ‘novels’ has stopped. 50,000 words do not a novel make. Nor are they, ever, good words. Some of them might be good words, but when put together, they don’t amount to a hill of beans. As one of my heroes, Ernest Hemingway famously said: “The first draft of anything is shit.” Oh yes. He must have been looking at my NaNoWriMo entries.

This year, I began three stories, all with a series character, and all with their feet firmly planted in the crime genre. And, unlike previous years, I’ve got to the end of the challenge (but not the end of the stories), and I haven’t fallen out of love with them yet. So the prospects for me actually completing them, and then moving on to editing, are pretty good. Watch this space. In the meantime, I will give my poor fingers a rest, until the next challenge!




NaNoWriMo – progress

NaNoWriMo is progressing. At the time of posting, I have written over 20,000 words across the two stories – “Speak No Evil” and “Trick or Treat.” They feature my series character, Detective Inspector Danni McGregor. So it’s going well. So far.

In addition, I’m doing a little bit of podcasting. It’s good fun, and involves a little bit of audio file manipulation to get rid of the “umms” and “errrs”. Of which there are many. If you’re stuck for something to listen to, head across to my podcast site > HERE <


NaNoWriMo – planning and podcasting

We’re less that two weeks away from the beginning of November, and the start of NaNoWriMo 2012.

I currently have three ideas for stories – one at least half-planned, and two roughly planned. More planning needed, and decisions to make. I have considered doing a double NaNo – writing either 100,000 words, or two 50,000 word pieces. I like a challenge, me, even if it does sound stupid when I’m sober.

I’m also doing a bit of podcasting – I’ve uploaded a short videocast .: HERE :. and there’s an audio podcast too, when I can find somewhere to host it.

So, today, I’m planning a bit more on the other two story ideas, and I hope to be able to make a choice by the end of the day as to whether I’ll be doing one or two, and which of the ideas I’m going to write.

Edit: my audio podcast site is .: HERE :.


NaNoWriMo (again) – shall I? Shan’t I?

I’m so tempted. Each year I do it, I look at what I’ve produced, file it away, and swear never to do NaNoWriMo again.

The problem is that it’s quite good fun, and it actually gets me writing. Of the eight years I’ve attempted it so far, I have “succeeded” seven times (which means I’ve written 50,000 words in the month).

This year has been a lazy year for me, and I’ve written very little. I have several pieces of writing at the “nearly finished” stage, but nothing that really grabs me, and makes me desperate to finish and edit it. And this is my perennial problem. I fall out of love with my writing, I think the stories are too trite and tedious, and the writing lumpy and pedestrian. And so … nothing gets finished.

However, I have an idea for a story, combining my love of cycling with a desire to tell a story in the psychological thriller genre.

I’m re-registered on the NaNoWriMo site, and girding my loins. This time, it will be good.



National Novel Writing Month has been here. I’ve done this for the past nine years, managing to complete the required 50,000 words of new writing seven times out of those nine. For more information, follow the link: NaNoWriMo

Strangely enough, the biggest problem is not completing the task. 50,000 words is a huge writing task, and if you’ve never written before, or only written a few thousand words for uni projects, it is a lot of hard work, cranking out that many words, and making the story make sense.

But once you’ve done, what then? There is a better than 99% chance that what you’ve written is nowhere near commercial, and maybe not even a good story. My previous six finishes have been of dubious quality on all counts, but this year … well, maybe it’s different. I’ll keep this blog updated with how it goes. Currently, my story (“Footprints”) stands at 50,752 words, and it’s by no means finished. Judging by the ideas I have for it, I estimate it will finish up at 80k – 90k words, which isn’t a bad length, considering that around 10% – 20% will get chopped, but more writing will come in as I develop the characters and plot more fully.