Wednesday 3 December 2014

(vol 1) CHAPTER 43: “Fallout”


Another year down and another NaNoWriMo winners certificate under my belt.

DAY 27 – 5833 words

This is where it all happened. I had originally booked the 27th off from work because it would be the last day of November where I could be at home without the wife and son around. I’d always planned for it to be my emergency day should I ever get behind.

Unfortunately, due to the events of last week where idiot drivers felt the urge to exist on the same section of road that I was using, I suddenly had a lot of things to do on this day of days and all I could think of was how much of a waste it was going to be.

And yet somehow I managed to hit the single highest word count of my month and cross the finish line.

So . . . I dropped off my son at the child minders, rushed home to write 500 words before heading to the doctors. Once back I managed another two hours before the repair company came to pick up my dented Kia. I snuck in the final episode of Franklin & Bash with lunch before the hire car company picked me up so that I could collect my hire car. Once back from there at around 3:00pm I then managed another couple of hours of writing before the wife returned and we both went to pick up our son. Home once again I then powered on through until dinner with about a 1000 words to go. Dinner done, back on the laptop and, at about 9pm (and 100 words over) I validated my 2014 NanoWriMo entry.

That’s my fifth now but each one feels amazing for its own reasons, whether it’s because it’s the first, the most word ever written or a project that became a challenge, each NaNo is in itself a story, a victory and a fantastic memory.

DAY 28 – 251 words

I think that, other than last year’s Nano, I tend to drop off once I cross the line and this year was no exception. All I wanted to do the day after winning was watch TV and play video games.

Of course there was a small part of me that didn’t want any ‘zero’ days on my spread sheet so I started the final chapter of volume one just as a jumping off point.

DAY 29 – 582 words

A busy day out shopping with the wife and son left me exhausted so today was another ‘limp’ day. Finished off the epilogue I started the day before and called it a night.

DAY 30 – 908 words

If you win NaNoWriNo before the last day of November then it’s a bit like an F1 driver winning the championship at Suzuka but still having four races to go; the prize is already yours so it’s just about adding to your stats.

With the bare bones of volume one finished I used an hour of the afternoon to take a swing at the opening of volume two. I updated my word count one last time and that was all he wrote.


I can’t say that I’ve accomplished much in my life but these November writing projects are a big, big deal to me. Each year I get excited, scared, worried before finally find myself jumping up and down and feeling more than a little over the moon.

Yet unlike previous NaNoWriMo projects that get written, printed, put in a ring binder and left on a shelf to gather dust like Wheezy from Toy Story 2, I now have a self-appointed deadline to get something done more tangible from this.

I’m taking a week off from writing (except for this blog and perhaps getting stuck back into the various Flash Fiction contests I love). Then, it’s all about the edit. I’ll being going crazy with the read pen and making the changes that have been popping up in my head throughout the month of November. The plan is still to release bite sized chapters fortnightly on the blog and Wattpad beginning from February 2015. Hopefully people will read the tales and comment, helping me to shape the future of the world I’ve created (updated map coming soon).


And let’s not forget my NaNo buddies that have helped me keep a good pace this year.

Commiserations to David Graffham who seemed to have dropped off the grid about half way through and never exceeded his 27285. At the rate he was going I have no doubt he would have hit 50,000 easy.

As for the rest of the group it’s a big congratulation to Adam Nelson who crossed the finish line a week ago and kept going to end on 63456.

Rasha Tayaket looked like it was all lost before committing to two massive writing sessions and hitting 50020. It’s all about not giving up.

And a big thanks to the two wonderful ladies who, despite not knowing how much they were helping, were the closest to me the whole month and kept my pace honest for thirty days; Caitlin McColl on 50161 and fellow FlashDog Casey Rose Frank on 50040.

Hopefully see you guys next year to go through it all over again.

Image courtesy of Tamara Rogers


And finally a non-NaNo piece of news - Although I can’t remember exactly how it happened, several months ago I found myself joining a group of writers who call themselves the FlashDogs. To my astonishment these fine people have asked to include some of my work in a Flash Fiction anthology alongside several members of the various Flash contests I’ve been involved in recently. I’ve enjoyed the comradery that it brings by finally talking and being involved with people who are like me, people who love writing. 

I’ve mentioned before in this blog that I, like many writers, have spent a lot of time scribbling away in isolation, too scared to share. Since being taken in as a ‘stray’ my writing confidence has grown and the invitation to be included in the anthology will definitely be the crown jewel of my first year at trying to make it big.

The anthology itself goes on sale on 13th December and will be available to purchase on Kindle. I will have a lot more news regarding the book, the authors and the content next week so stay tuned.

See you in seven.


  1. The linear progression of your novel and staying on track with nano is amazing! Looks like you were right on target or above every day!

  2. I can't thank my wife enough for her support through the month. She allowed me to fit writing in around family life and I don't think I could have done it with out her.

    I'm also a very stat orientated person and I have my own spreadsheet that keeps me notified of targets and compares to previous years NaNoing.

    I was very impressed by your final two days. I managed something similar back in 2007 (although not quiet to the scale you managed). Spent two nights writing into the early hours of the morning for a 5000 and 7000 word splurge to cross the finish line at around 3am on the 30th. Was a very quiet celebration before shuffling off to bed.

    Congratulations to you again. Less than 11 months until NaNo 2015!!!