I have edited 6000 words on this years NaNoWriMo story. I’m getting stuck into the story, mostly tidying it up but also trying to get a decent picture of how the story is going to play out.
I’ve started on a couple of short stories, one feels like it’s fizzled out while the other might end up being a novelette, but we’ll see.
We’re nearing the end of the year and I’m thinking hard about my goals for next year. This past year has felt like it’s been a preparation year, with the aim of getting a few pieces lined up for either publishing or submitting in the next two years. The zombie book will be published next year. Penal Earth will be pitched to publishers or submitted in open calls. Black Blood needs one more pass I think, and then it’ll be ready to go. The vampire book will be released in a serialised form on my Ko-Fi page, with the first story being released early on Christmas day. What is being posted on Ko-Fi is likely not the final draft, I’ll have it edited and then self-publish it in maybe 2024. I’m not sure yet.
I do have my goals for next year written out, but I’m not sure if I want to share them here just yet.
Right, that’s all for the night. Have an awesome time, folks!
I wrote 50082 words for this years NaNoWriMo, hitting the target at about 9:40 last night.
This years NaNoWriMo got off to a slow start for me, I didn’t get caught up until the 23rd of the month, then I had a couple of days ahead of the goal, then a couple of days behind and then I brought it home on the last day.
It was a month where I was feeling like I was chasing the goal each day. My lowest word daily count was 247, while my highest was 4026.
The month started off with a busy schedule at the day job which didn’t leave me much time for wrangling the words. I’d write before work, then during my breaks and then get stuck in after I got home. Most of the time when I was writing at work I’d not really be able to get really in-depth with the work, but I did manage to get some words down. These feel more like I was thrashing out a synopsis of the scene/chapter I was working on. I’ve now got a lot of little synopsis to build from.
Other scenes I’ve managed to build a pretty solid part of the story which won’t need much tidying up when the time comes.
Where I’m at now is I’ve got a lot scenes scattered throughout the document and I’ve got to start figuring out how to connect them all. I don’t think it’s as bad as I might be fearing, but there is a bigger problem I’ve come up against. Originally I saw this as a three book arc, but was worried I wouldn’t have enough to fill three books. Now that I’ve started it, I think I’ve potentially got a lot more than three books worth of story to tell. I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me with this one.
This story, working title ‘War Child’ has been one I’ve been wanting to tell for quite some time, but have been intimidated by it. I feared I wasn’t capable yet to do it justice. But after some encouragement from friends and peers I decided to dive in head first. I’m so glad I did. This is going to be one where I think I am going to be pushed as a writer. I’ve spent so much of the last year trying to get stories finished and ready to either self-publish or submit I’ve forgotten what it’s like to begin crafting a new world.
Away from the writing part of NaNo I didn’t get much chance to host or even attend write-ins. Between the manic work schedule at the start of the month and a slow cash flow it just wasn’t on the cards. The one I did manage to host turned into a solo session. Which was okay, I got words down. It’d have been nice to get a few faces there though, hopefully next year I’ll be in a better position to be the ML I really want to be. I don’t feel like I’ve had the chance to step up how I want to. Between Covid and non-writing matters that have cropped up I’ve not really been able to dedicate the required time and effort to it that I’d have liked.
What’s next? I’m going to continue with War Child, but I also need to get The vampire book ready as I’ll be releasing that via the Welcome To My Nightmare tier on Ko-Fi. So I need to pull my finger out and get that final pass of edits done!
We’re well past the NaNoWriMo halfway mark now, and I’m at 23246 words. So, about 5000 words behind. Quite happy about that. I feel like I’m staying in sight of the goal while still building a story. I think I’m going to end up with a lot of fragments of scenes when the month is over, but that’s a foundation to build from.
Strangely I feel like I’m stepping up a level with this one. It has a lot of moving parts and I think I’ve got a good handle on them all.
I’ve written a little differently today. I’ve knocked out about 1700 words but done it while laying on my bed with movies going in the background. Both movies are ones I’ve seen a lot and have been helpful because I can drop into them when I need a mental breather and don’t end up getting sucked into a social media blackhole. Which happens a lot when I sit at my desk and try and write after a work shift.
I also had a couple of hours between work and starting to write to relax a bit. Going straight from work to writing can sometimes prove difficult. Kind of like I’m putting too much pressure on myself, but putting that mental break in there seems to be working okay.
Good evening, folks! How are we all doing tonight?
I’m not likely to get the vampire book done by midnight tomorrow, but is it really the end of the world? I can multitask, especially in those early days of NaNo. The initial excitement of the month kicking off, that energy we all have as we jump off the start line like it’s a marathon and we’re sprinting over the start instead of taking a nice gentle pace from the gun.
I’m not going to try and get ahead early on like I normally do. Most years I prepare for the worst of loosing lots of days midway or at the end of the month, but this year I’m going to look at focusing on a steady pace and getting a good foundation of this story down. I’m going to try and push myself out of my comfort zone with this one. It’s one I’ve been wanting to write for a while, have even tried a couple of times, but haven’t felt competent as a writer to do this story justice. I’m not knocking my own abilities as a writer, I feel this story I’m going to need to dig deep, and go for a different energy to what I normally write.
Can I do it? can I make this work in the way that I want it to? Ask me in two weeks.
I’ve had two productive days, well the whole week has been productive to be honest. Although today got off to a later start as I had shopping and some errands to run.
I am making progress with my goals for this month. I’ve typed up the short story I recently wrote and will be looking to do the next edit pass before the end of the month.
The read through of the vampire book is moving nicely. I’m finding more little errors and continuity issues than I was expecting, but nothing major.
I’ve also started digging into the planning for Penal Earth book 2. I’m hoping to have this as a major project for 2023. I’ve got a number of stories that are either ready to go (zombie and Penal Earth) or very ready to go (vampire and Black Blood), and I really want to push to get those published or submitted one way or another in the next two years.
I still need to be writing though. Yes, I’ve got those four pieces to get out into the world, but I also want to get ready for what’s going to be published after those.
This surge of productivity, I’ve had it before and it drifts away. I’m tired of letting it wonder off when it sees fit. I’m working on figuring out what causes me to loose this drive I’ve currently got. I know it’s anxiety, self-esteem. Confidence. I’m better prepared for working it all out than I’ve ever been. It’s still not always easy, and it’s something that’ll take time. But I’m getting there.
I did a pretty solid 5 hours writing work this morning. I worked through an episode of the vampire book before getting some non-fiction done for an upcoming piece. In was a nice steady morning where it feels like I had a strong focus and was able to fend off life’s various distractions. I did stop here and there and had a slight break about 11ish but overall it was a productive morning.
This afternoon was a little more chilled then I’d planned but I’m listening to my body and that’s what it asked for.
Tomorrow I’m probably going to have a little bit more of an easy day. I’ve got some bits and pieces in GTAV Online that I want to get stuck into as I’ve not played much if it lately.
It’s been a nice steady start to this time off I have, and I’m looking forward to keeping this momentum going.
Just a short post tonight. I’ve had a few days where I’ve been fighting off a cold that I’ve been working to shift before the weekend. Thankfully I’ve made good progress with it. The unfortunate side of things is that I’ve not done a lot of writing. After work and stuff around home I’v not had a lot of energy to focus on writing. Now I’m feeling better I’m going to get back on track.
I’ve got some time off before NaNo starts so I think I’ll be able to get all the bits and pieces that I need to get sorted done before NaNo Starts.
This was my third EGX, but my first at ExCel in London. The other two were at the NEC in Birmingham. So a much shorter drive this time.
The first thing you notice when you walk in is the vibe. Even while standing in the queue to get through security and get our lanyards there’s an electricity in the air. The three of us are adding to it, especially when Stefan sees some of the PlayStation Access team.
We got our lanyards, much better than having just a wristband. They’ve an advert for House Flipper 2, which Steph got rather excited about, and we went into the event room itself.
There’s a lot to take in when you first walk in. There are a few folks handing out leaflets. Cosplayers moving around, not as many as I was expecting, but it’s Thursday and I’d imagine the weekend will ramp it up a bit. There’s a lot of folks in some amazing outfits. While not cosplay there is a lot that are themed as well as those that are just awesome. There’s all the gaming setups right there and they go throughout the space. Off to the left and towards the rear quarter of the floor is the vender stores. This is where we go first.
Now, my cash flow like many of us is shite at the moment so I only had a small budget but I couple of little bits went for a Mystery bag that was £25. Now, what I got in it I wouldn’t necessarily have bought, but I’m really happy with what was in there and it was definitely worth the money I paid for it.
I find I really enjoy looking around the vendors. As it’s a gaming convention most of them are gaming related in one way or another. There was a lot of anime as well, and strangely enough I noticed a lot of vendors selling pop culture themed swords at this con.
There’s a lot of people selling artwork based on video games and pop culture in general. Some of it I found mind blowing. The skill that goes into producing these pieces is amazing and I could have spent quite a chunk of money on those alone. There was a couple of DOOM ones that really caught my eye.
We explored the retro gaming section. This got the nostalgia going big time. The one that really got me was one called Dizzy Egg. Now I can’t remember if this was the exact game me and my brother had on the Sinclair Spectrum ZX as the one I saw today was on a different system. But I had a quick go, and died like four times! But it brought a big smile to my face.
I saw StarFox, Micro Machines, Halo 2, various Super Mario Brothers and Sonic The Hedgehog games. There was a few Batman ones, one of which Stefan dived into (he’s a big Batman fan) and so many more. Aside from Dizzy Egg I didn’t really play any as others were playing them while I was circulating, and honestly my anxiety was rising.
Steph did wait to play House Flipper 2 and she spoke to one of the developers of the game. I’d imagine seeing people queueing up to play and talk of how much they love the game you’ve worked your arse off must be good.
Now, my anxieties did get to me a little but not like they would have done before. I didn’t have to take a moment and regulate my nerves at any point, although a couple of times I did feel a little overwhelmed.
It was such a good day though. I was with two of my dearest friends, and seeing how much they loved it as well made the day even better.
So, I’m still struggling to get my arse in the chair and get some writing done. I did write a little before work and during my break yesterday, which was a start, but I still feel like I’m slacking off.
The why of that is a mystery. I think it may be a side effect of mental health. I was a little down recently and when I get like that writing tends to be put on hold, but I can normally get back into the flow pretty easily.
Away from writing, life is good. There are some big changes coming at work, but nothing that I don’t think will have a negative effect at work or on myself.
There is a lot going on in the world though. We’ve got Ukraine, Covid, Brexit here in the UK. Raising cost of living, rise of Nazism (I refuse to call them white supremacist. They’re nazis. Simple as that).
Here in the UK we’ve got a parliament that is in disarray. Our Prime Minister had to resign and feels like he’d already checked out before his successor has been chosen (not by the population of the UK but by the Conservative membership by the way). The two people who are the candidates to succeed him are both not very inspiring and honestly, much of the same. The opposition party is weak. So we’ve got a weak government (that is allowing raw sewage to be pumped into our rivers and seas) and a weak opposition. That’s not good for this country. Which feels more like corporations are being allowed to dictate policy when it should be the government telling corporations what they can and can’t do and if the corporations don’t like it, they can fuck off!
Okay, rant over.
In regards to writing and my lack of, everything above is just bollocks! It’s all just bullshit fucking excuses that I’m using to justify my lack of work. And bullshit is what it is. Everything above should not stop me from writing. When I’m down, use those emotions in my writing (writing also makes me feel good about myself, so why wouldn’t I do it?). The state the planet is in, the shitshow that is Westminster at the moment, vent that frustration into fiction. Or even a blogpost like this.
I’ve spent most of my life hiding from the world. Hiding who I am, what I think, feel and so on. Suppressing my own fucking voice!
I need to use it. I need to put it into fiction, I need to stand up for what I believe in. (For the record, if i have a racist, sexist, just generally horrible nasty cunt of a character in fiction; that’s not my voice. That’s me creating a character who is FUCKING what is wrong with so much of this world).
Okay, I’m going to shut up now and do some writing work.
Be true to who you are. Even when it’s hard, thats when we have to be strong and stand our ground.
I have not written much for the last couple of weeks. Partly because I’ve not been sleeping well and that led to a drop in my mental health. Nothing major, but writing was sacrificed so I could put more energy into family, friends, myself, and my day job. This isn’t to say I haven’t been thinking about it. I’ve solved a couple of problems I was having and I made sure to note them down.
One of the problems I’ve been fighting this last few weeks is imposter syndrome. That has hit me like a freight train. I haven’t felt this insecure about my writing in quite some time. A big part of it was finding a solution for a problem with the vampire series I’m working on. I’ve been fearing that it’ll need another huge rewrite and that dented my confidence. I don’t have the will to try and rewrite this series which has been in the works for well over a decade. I’d started working through it again last month, and got to two of the episodes and both need a lot fo work to fit into what I want to do. This led to a feeling that I would have to do that big fucking rewrite, and I’ve not looked at it since. I was torn between putting it to bed and moving onto other things. I was done. I don’t have the will to rewrite it again. A writer who is someone I have a lot of respect for keeps telling me to stop editing, and he’s right. I need to stop going over and over this shit time and time again.
But I now know how to fix it by making a few adjustments to those two stories which I felt wasn’t working. I’m a little mad at myself for not realising how to fix it sooner, because it’s such a simple fucking solution! Once those few tweaks are done I just need to go over the rest of it quickly to make sure the continuity works. Then it’ll be all but done! I do have a plan for what I want to do with this series, and not for nothing I want to move on.
Moving on includes Black Blood. This is another one that has been on and off the burner for a while. It’s one of those things where I know I can do better. To give you an example I’ve got a character who I Tell the reader is an arsehole. I know I need to show that more then telling it, and I can do it. I’ve just got to get out of my head that I’m a no good wannabe, and I can’t say I’m not until I put my work out there.
I know I can do it. I fucking know it! I NEED to get out of my own way. I’ve got to stop overthinking every single word I put down. It’s never going to be perfect, I’m never going to be happy with it. But I’m at the point where some projects I know I can’t go any further with. Like Penal Earth. Aside form one dinky little thing I need to add (literally one sentence) I’m done with it. I can’t make it any better. I need another pair of eyes on it. That’s an editor. I know who I want to send it too, but I don’t have the funds and I know they’re super busy at the moment. So I need to save the funds and send it to them when they’ve got the time of send it to another editor.
I’m gonna wrap it there, because I want to get cracking. I know what I need to do with the vampire book, so I’m gonna get it done.