NaNoWriMo 2018 Build Up

Building up to this years NaNoWriMo has felt a little different to other years. Partly because I want to win again this year, last year got a little derailed by real world stuff. It’s also because I’ve decided to do NaNo differently this year. I was going to work on a military science fiction story I’ve got in mind. It would have been my third attempt at getting it off the ground but I’ve realised I’m not ready to write it yet. Aside from the fact I’ll need to do some extensive outlining I haven’t decided how I want to tell this story. There’s also the case that I don’t feel like I’ve got the experience and skill set to write it yet. I’d like to get a couple longer, completed stories under my belt before I tackle it.

Then I decided to rewrite my vampire story from a few years ago. This is a collection of ten stories that are all tied together, serialised I guess but they’re all in the first person perspective and for what I want to do with book two I need to change format. Now at one stage I was going to just rewrite it as a novel but then I thought I’d just write all the episodes in the third person point of view. That wasn’t sitting right with me though, some of these stories work really well as told from first person. So I spoke to my Beta readers and decided to do a massive edit, and keep some stories that are told from that first person point of view while I’ll adjust others so they’re told from the third person. I think this will work really well for this collection and give me a lot more freedom for future works in this universe.

With having changed my mind twice now, and not really having anything that I can get to 50k ready to go I’ve decided to work on short stories and novellas. If I try to run with an idea for a longer piece from one of my ideas I know it’s just going to crash and burn and I’ll spend the next five years faffing about with it to try and get it close to how I want it (PE3 is a prime example of this). This way I can be a lot more flexible. If I get stuck with one, I can move onto another one. If a story really isn’t working at all I can do the same. On the other side of that, if something catches fire I can just run with it and see where it takes me. It also works if I come across a submission call that takes my fancy as well (last year I wrote a story for Burdizzo Books second annual 12 Days of Christmas 2017 anthology during NaNo).

I’m hoping this way will help when I hit the mid-NaNo slump, and if life gets in the way it won’t be as difficult to keep putting words out because I won’t be having to think too much about bigger arcs and so forth.

There’s not long to go now, and I’ve got PE3 to be getting done before then. So I’m going to almost have a mini-NaNo before we kick off on the 1sr of November.

I hope all you other NaNoers out there are getting as excited as I am, and your preparation (however you do it) is going well.

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11-6-17

Just a quick post to end the day. I’ve finished the outline, or more accurately moving the outline into a Scrivener file and tweaking it as I go. It’s taken longer today simply because I’ve felt crap all day. I was hoping to be able to work through it but I was in too much discomfort. It’s done now though, and the writing begins tomorrow! 

Good Morning, Sunday – 11-6-17

These last few weeks have been a little weird. They’ve gone by quite quickly, but this lat week in particular has also dragged out somewhat. But’s thats because I’ve got a week off this week, and the week always drags before I have time off.

I’ve not got as much done this week as I’d have liked. My plans last Sunday to get the outline of a zombie story transferred to Scrivener after I’d done some editing didn’t happen, so I’ve been working on that this week. I’ve massively underestimated just how long it was going to take to transfer the data over. I thought I’d be able to just copy and paste most of it but I’m having to work on the outline and go into more detail with it. On the plus side I think it’s making the outline stronger. I’d really like to be ready to start writing this story tomorrow.

Aside from that I’ve been working on an outline for another Assembly story, which I’d like to think is almost done. It’s beginning to feel like I’m near completion.

All of this still feels like it’s going slow, but I’m reminding myself this is part of a process that’ll hopefully help the process of writing.

Good Morning, Tuesday – 6/6/17

So my plan to start writing my new novel has hit a little bit of a speed bump in that I thought I’d copy and paste all the details into Scrivener and BOOM! I could start writing. Yeah, it’s really not working like that. I’m having to think out my outline a little more than I had done, which has already sparked a few more ideas in how I’m going to write the story.

The outline I had I think is pretty good, but I’m having to think it through a little deeper now. Instead of having a scene which is listed simply as ‘s/he looking at CCTV as the rain came down’ Now with that scene I’ve assigned a character to it and with the character profiles I’ve created events that happen in that scene will work better and create a lot of conflict as the story progresses with this character.

So far I have only got the first chapter laid out. I was meant to go to the cinema last night but that has had to be postponed till next week, but I’m going to see Wonder Woman tonight with another friend. So I won’t get anything more done on it today, but I will be working on another outline during my lunch break and I’ll be back on this main one tomorrow.

Making Progress

After a very difficult week on a personal level Owen and I made some serious progress with the Space Watch yesterday. We’d batted a few emails to and throw this last week and wasn’t getting anywhere and made more progress in a twenty minute phone call on Friday night than we had done with a dozen emails. We arraigned that Owen would come to my house and we’d go through the draft, which we did. It took us about five hours (with a few interruptions here and there) but we got through it. I read it allowed and made red-pen notes for alterations as and when I saw them and Owen weighed in with plot problems, character details, and world building. All the disagreements we had on the story we’ve resolved and the only heavy lifting that is needed now is to re-write the final scene, and make the final edits. Owen wrote his version of the ending and we’ve realised that if we merge the one I wrote and his then we should have a stronger ending. I’m going to do that today and get it emailed off to him. Then once he’s okay’d it I’ll get it into the text of the story and then go through and make the edits we made yesterday.

The week as a whole has been a loss. As I said at the start of the post it’s been a bad week on a personal level, there has been a couple of good points to the week but I didn’t get much writing done at all. I did get some more work done on an outline for a story that Owen and I will be working on. The story itself is outlined, and now I’ve just got to work on character profiles, some world building details, and go through it and tweak a few things that have changed due to world building and character details that I’ll be adding. I did have a really good conversation with a few of my writer friends on Facebook about character gender in reference to one of the characters in the story and it really opened up some ideas that I’d never thought about and I’m going to run with one of them because I think it’s going to work really well for the character in question and give an insight to a species that is in this universe we’re creating. That said I haven’t ran the idea by Owen yet, so he may totally veto it. I think he’ll like it though.

I’m back in a period where I haven’t written anything for a few weeks again, and I’m getting twitchy about it. I’m actually thinking about moving this years NaNoWriMo idea to next month and start getting stuck into that once I’ve finished the edits on The Space Watch. It feels like a long time since I’ve just got cracking with something. Aside from the short story for an anthology submission I’ve not really written anything for quite some time which wasn’t working on already written drafts that needed work. I know all this prep work that I’m doing will pay off, and the editing is all part of the process but I’d like to just get some writing done. Hopefully I’m doing the right thing with working on outlines and when I have a first draft done it’ll be cleaner and more coherent and not need extensive editing.

That all said, time to get cracking on with my ‘to-do’ list for the day.

 

21-5-17

I’ve managed to get this edit pass on The Space Watch done and dusted. I’m now waiting on Owen as he wanted to re-write the ending. I’ve also got a list of details we need to clarify and we’re going to have to do a huge continuity check as well.

I didn’t do any outlining today though, now I’ve cleared this up on The Space Watch I can get stuck into that.

I did receive my copy of Dark Cities from Titan Books and edited by Christopher Golden. I primarily brought this because it’s got a Scott Sigler story in it, but when I saw the rest of the line-up it’ll be a no-brainier to buy whether Sigler is in it or not. Speaking or which, here’s the line-up: Nathan Ballingrud, Amber Benson, Kealan Patrick Burke, Ramsey Campbell, M.R. Carey, Nick Cutter, Tananarive Due, Christopher Golden, Simon R. Green, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Kasey Lansdale & Joe R. Lansdale, Tim Lebbon, Jonathan Maberry, Helen Marshall, Seanan McGuire, Cherie Priest, Scott Sigler, Scott Smith, and Paul Tremblay. Now that’s a damn impressive line-up and I’m looking forward to diving into it. Although I’m not sure where on my ‘to-read’ stick it’s going to slip into!

Right, I’m off to read for a while, but I’m back at it tomorrow, I want to get this outline done. 

18-5-17 (2)

A little wrap up for the day. I’ve followed the routine I mentioned in my post earlier and done some work on outlining at lunch time and then this evening another chapter on The Space Watch. I did it a little differently tonight though; I watched some TV and then started work at about nine this evening. I’ve wondered for a while that if I have a time restraint that I’ll be more productive. Tonight it has proved to be the case, but I’m also on a high from wrapping up season two of Sense 8. This show really blows my mind away. It’s so beautifully written, acted, directed, and produced that it’s a true emotional commitment to the show. There have been times during this season that I have been on the edge of my seat, that I have been jumping up and down and fist pumping and cheering the characters on. It’s very few shows or movie that get this response out of me, and Sense 8 is absolutely one of the ones that does and it’s near the top of my favourite all time shows. I cannot wait to see where they take the show from here on out.

I’m calling it a night now, I’m going to read a little before bed and then hopefully do it again tomorrow.