Wednesday 25 October 2017

(vol 4) CHAPTER 08: "NaNoWriMo - This Writers Holiday"

I may now have my first book out, and I may have a mountain of 1st drafts, but it doesn't stop me from getting excited when this time of year comes round. NaNoWriMo, and all the new characters, new locations, and new plot twists.

November is almost the equivalent of a holiday. All my projects are like 'my place of work' with deadlines, cover design, planning, editing. But NaNoWriMo is a secluded hotel on a little known Greek island; just me, a loose plan, and 30 days of unknown.


I first started taking part in NaNoWriMo back in 2007. 

I'd stumbled upon it by chance and it was more of a 'I'll have a go' than a serious wish to be a published writer. I'd struggled for years to finish a project and NaNo was  just another half hearted attempt.

So I was as surprised as anyone when I managed to cross that 50,000 word finish line on my first attempt. I ended the month with a first draft novel in my hands. Not an outline. Not just the first few chapters. Not a short story. 

50,000 words. And I'd managed it in 30 days. Impressive, no?

So eventually, I became hooked and since then I've written and uploaded 400,280 words across 10 NaNo's, as well as 42,354 words for a couple of July CampNaNos.

Death Is Just A Day Job - 50,162

The Adventures Of Maxwell Cooper - 0

What A Hero Wants - 50,160

I Am Broken - 57,149

The Adventures Of Maxwell Cooper - 15,150

Dead Dollars - 2,173

Mighty Grey (Season One) - 58,185

2014 (Camp)
Tattoo: The Symbol For Strength - 20,460

Fractured Dawn (Season One) - 52,154

2015 (Camp)
Chris And Mike vs The World (1) - 21,894

Chris And Mike vs The World (2-3) - 51,113

Utopia For Pears - 64,034



So what will I be writing this year?

Well I originally thought, as I headed into my second decade of NaNoing, that maybe I could go back to one of my previous 1st drafts and attempt a rewrite. But NaNo is, for me, all about getting that first draft down. Rewriting is editing and should have time and care given to it. Not November.

So I decided against.

Next I looked at two previous NaNo's that never got close to the 50,000 finish line. DEAD DOLLARS failed because I was in a low point in my life and had a lot going on (job redundancy, house move, and child's early birth are top of that list). THE ADVENTURES OF MAXWELL COOPER failed (twice) because . . . well I still don't know why.

Because they are both fails, I worry that they will hang like an albatross around my neck. I think they will need to be dealt with when I have the time and patience to untangle them.

So I decided against these too.

Instead, I looked through my mountain of notebooks, going through all the unwritten projects I have. 

There was SAND POINT, an expansion of a 300 word story I put up at The Angry Hourglass a couple of years ago. It's a big project, one that spans decades, and it will need a hell of a lot of planning, so that was taken back off the table. 

There was fantasy/sci-fi project THE 13th CLAN, which is also quite a large project. I've been planning this one on/off since before I even knew what NaNoWriMo was and am struggling to find a good starting point, so it has been left for another time.

And then a forgotten project poked it's head up, one I'd started last year and left behind by mistake. SUPERGOD; the story of a guy fed up with the world and then finds he's been given incredible superpowers. And while he eventually becomes a world renowned super hero, the source of his powers comes back to bite him in the ass. It's been begging to be written for some time now and I feel like I'm ready.

Plus this years NaNo theme is . . .

. . . so that has to be a sign, right?

This one. This one IS for NaNo


So, it's one week to go. I'll be fine tuning the details in my spare time and getting a Scrivener file ready, but I'm going in with a loose plot and seeing what comes out on December 1st. Just like I do every year.

Let me know if you guys are joining in this year and what you're working on. Send me a Writer Buddy request over on the NaNo site here

And that's all really. 

I'll be posting regular weekly updates every Wednesday through November; word counts, writing disasters, and other non-spoilery stuff.

After that it's all about rounding out the year with work on my next project (more on that in a few weeks) and then planning 2018.

Until then . . . get writing.

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