Wednesday 26 November 2014

(vol 1) CHAPTER 42: “NaNoWriMo – Day 26.”


Only a few days to go and, while the writing is getting done, it’s becoming a bit of a tangle that might need a little more than a ‘hammer & chisel’ in the edit phase.

DAY 20 – 1367 words

Despite another driver attempting to take me of the road again tonight I managed to get home alive. A good word count achieved even if it didn’t cross the required total of 1667. Still, I have two short pieces completed that I know I can expand more once I get to the rewrite. Our hero meets a several new companions but at this stage of writing all my introductions are quick. I prefer to get stuck in with dialogue and action about ten seconds after people turn up but I’ll expand things and slow little moments down as I rewrite next month.

DAY 21 – 2032 words

Once more I had one of my slow days. And as before a fight scene, similar to the previous one with wolfs and a character death, suddenly escalated. I found myself creating a new monster (or monsters), a sort of mini villain for this part of the story and also I ended up rewriting two characters history’s and motivation.

I don’t tend to spend much time creating my characters in the planning stages of writing. I prefer to have just a basic sketch and about two lines of background. That’s it. I focus more on the story I want to write and let the paper thin characters come to life around it. Sure I can get 20,000 words down the line and discover our hero’s best friend is now driven by the death of his pet dog. But I’d rather go back and change a character to how he or she wants to be than force a character with too much planned details into a situation that they don’t fit.

DAY 22 – 1941 words

I started to wonder if I’d have any time to write today. As morning turned to afternoon and afternoon turned to evening I still hadn’t found the time to sit down with laptop. But, after dinner, I forced myself to not accept a day without any words going down and a muddled through.

Although my characters knew of the catacombs under the temple, I had never intended for them to go down into them. Yet the previous days writing left them with no other option than to flee the fight and seek another way out. But instead of them finding a tunnel and a secret exit on the other side of the forest I thought it would be more interesting for them to find a secret room with a treasure inside. This was mainly because people walking through a tunnel for twenty pages is boring but also because I really wanted them to all head back and discover just who was trying to kill them and why.

DAY 23 – 2030 words

Today went like yesterday but most of that was because I was not going to miss the final race of the 2014 F1 season. Coverage started at midday and I carried on watching long after the chequered flag had dropped when dinner was served. Once my son was in bed and everything was washed up I got to writing and somehow managed to pass my target with lots of plot and dialogue.

I did have an issue with certain characters leaning stuff at a point that I felt was too late into the story, stuff I hadn’t dreamt up earlier. But, like Abraham from the Walking Dead would say, “we don’t go back”. NaNoWriMo is all about powering forward and worrying about the kinks later on. Therefore this will all be worked out and rewritten in the edit.

On the down side, despite taking a crack at this week’s Angry Hourglass prompt for Flash Frenzy, I just found my imagination couldn’t come up with anything and so passed on that writing challenge for the week.

DAY 24 – 1526 words

I started a scene today but lost my way. After 300 words I thought it best not to slow down at this stage and so I skipped on to where I knew I needed that scene to end and just carried on. What I wrote next leads into the final part of this volume for Fallen Swords. It’s all about the mystery surround whole towns becoming mass graves. As I’ve built towards this I’m getting more ideas to plant the seeds during editing. I want more about the politics between two of the states and the civil war that is brewing.

DAY 25 – 949 words

Today carried on from yesterday. We meet a crazy man who has been living around the dead and we finally see what is happening to the people who were unlucky enough to escape the event that is wiping out town after town after town. Is it a curse or a virus or something much, much worse?
I know, but you’ll have to wait until next year.

DAY 26 – 2002 words

The scene that keeps growing had more added today with our main characters taking a big risk in their methods to contact the rebel leaders.


It’s been a real head spinner this last week. The best way to describe it is that the story feels like a map on one of those old RTS games like Command & Conquer. The whole map is blacked out at the start except for a little area around your base. As you move around the world you uncover more and more map. But there always comes a point when the map is fully uncovered and you see about seven different spots that would have been better to start from if you’d known they were there.

When I started the story I had a loose idea with several beats planned out, stepping stones I had to pass over. But as you flesh out characters, introduce new locations and uncover subplots, you see more and more of the world you’re creating and your brain can’t stop giving you extra ideas with what to do with it all.

I know I’ll be using this first draft as a more detailed outline come December. I will start again with a cleaner idea of where I want it all to go. I will slow down, build things in more detail.
Hopefully you guys enjoy what comes out the other side.


So as we near the end, there’s time for one final shout out to my NaNo buddies; Caitlin McColl (42396), David Graffham (27285), Casey Rose Frank (40821) and Rasha Tayaket (33651). Hope to see you all on the other side of 50,000 come Sunday. Good luck.

Also a big, big shout out to Adam Nelson (54175). Congratulations on completing NaNoWriMo 2014

See you in seven.

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