11th of November 2018

I’ve only written 586 words today, but I like what I’ve done.

Something I’ve got to do is not be so rigid in writing scenes in order. Today is a fine example of that. I had an idea of a scene that I’ll be adding in in a scene or two, so I wrote a few lines of it so when I get to it I’ve got an idea of what direction I was going in with it. What I should really have done is just write the scene that was talking to me the loudest and then connect it all up later. It has helped wrap the current scene up though as I know where I’m going in the next few parts of the story. I know where this character is going and what her endgame is, but getting there was feeling a little dull. Hopefully this will give it a bit of spice it needs.

I’m at my last Write-In of the year tomorrow which I’m looking forward to. I’m not expecting to write much but I’ll try.


10th of December 2018

A blink and you’ll miss it post tonight. Between work and a touch of Christmas shopping tonight I’ve had a long day. I wasn’t able to get much written today, getting a whole 218 words done.

That’s all for today. Hopefully I’ll have more to add tomorrow.

9th of December 2018

I didn’t get the early start that I wanted to today but I still had a decent days writing, albeit it a slow day’s writing. I went out for a few hours with my folks, which involved a good forty-five minutes to an hour in a car both ways. So I managed to get about 800 words done then. Once I was home I flaked out for a little while and then wrote a blog post looking at my NaNoWriMo which you can find here. I should have written it sooner but my heads not been in it recently and I wouldn’t have done it justice.

Back to the words though. I did crack on slowly while watching some movies in the background and ended the day with 1218 words total on PE3. Today is the first day this month I’ve hit my 1200 word (per day) target. I am thinking I’ve got a slight NaNo hangover, but a few life events have popped up that haven’t helped. But hopefully this has helped get back in the rhythm of what I want to do with this story. I can see the path I need to take and I just need to sit down and get stuck into the journey to the end of this novel.

One thing I need to do is get better at the self promotion stuff. I was invited to contribute to the Ginger Nuts of Horror look at the works of the legend that is Alice Cooper. I was quick to nab the album Trash, you can read the post here. I was really excited to write this post. Trash is the album that made me fall in love with Alice Cooper’s work and I had a lot of fun writing this post and felt very honoured to be including in this look back at Alice Cooper. So please check it out, and the other posts in Alice In Summerland.

I was also interview by The Bold Mom website and boy was it fun to actually be interviewed. After it went live I realised that I hadn’t really done an interview like this before and Mar Garcia did an amazing job putting this interview together. You can read it here. I’ve just read through the interview again and it really is a beautifully put together piece. I know I’m a touch biased but Mar really does go above and beyond with what she does with authors and I can’t wait to work with her again in the future.

Please do check out those links. Both were a lot of fun to do. I’m gonna call it a night now and watch a movie.

NaNoWriMo 2018 Review

This years NaNoWriMo was a big success for me. I wrote 53,080 words all in all on my NaNoWriMo project. That’s an average of 1769 words per day.

I was above target every day of the month, especially early on when I had some time off from my day job that allowed me to get some good words down and get ahead of target. My best day was the 7th and that was a 4159 words that day. (I also wrote 580 words on PE3 that day as well, so in all 4739 words that day). The 17th was my lowest word day at 350 words for the day, but by that point I was a couple of days ahead and was able to afford a low word count that day and a few others.

This was my eighth NaNo and I do consider myself a veteran. This was my fourth win, but the first time I didn’t try to write a novel. Instead I wrote what I planned to be a collection of short stories. I started off with fourteen or fifteen ideas and ended with nineteen in all and worked on ten of those nineteen, and have ten stories I need to work on in the future. A couple are completed while others are not close to being wrapped up. Although I planned on short stories I think a majority of them will end up being at least novelettes and maybe a couple will stretch to novella length pieces. So I’ve got lots to work with going forward.

That’s one of the reasons why I’m viewing NaNo 2018 as a success for me. Another reason is I wrote everyday despite some days it being a torturous act, those were the low word count days. That was one of my goals for the month. Even if I did get ahead I still wanted to write everyday and try to make it a habit. I knew there was a good chance I would hit the 50k. Last year I didn’t because of real life weighing in but I was taking that into account for this year and something happening to derail my writing time was something that I was acutely aware of. Thankfully that didn’t happen and I was able to write on without anything seriously sidetracking me.

A big reason I decided on a short story collection was because in previous years I’ve got to a certain point in the story and hit a brick wall, hard. That would derail my NaNo and I’d have to figure out how to get past the wall while still trying to hit word count for the day. I’ve learnt over the last year that I write well when I’ve got a couple of projects on the go and can jump between them. So using that logic worked out really well for me. When I got stuck on one, I could jump straight into another one. Some were very hard on me as they had a lot of darkness and in some cases depravity. While another story had a scene where a popular character died and it was really hard to write the discovery of the body and then how this characters friends were dealing with the loss. While A couple of the stories were just fun!

Winning NaNo is defined by hitting 50,000 words, but to me thats not the only way to win NaNo. You win NaNo but just writing. Some people are not able to knock out that many words in 30 days, while others can smash it out in a day or two. For me it’s about getting words down and not going over them. It’s about getting the story told. It doesn’t matter if you write 50k or 5k. Just write.

Another goal I had was to be more proactive in my local NaNo region. I wanted to host write-ins, I wanted to be positive and supportive of the Kent NaNoWriMo community. They’ve been so good to me in the eight years I’ve been a member of the group, especially the previous five years where I’ve been active in the group. This year I really wanted to step up. I think I hosted nine write-ins, actually I think it was ten in the end. I tried to be helpful and encouraging in the Facebook group. I needed to do more on the actual NaNo website itself, but that I’ll do next year.

I didn’t just add words to my NaNoWriMo project though. I wrote, in total, 55,035 words during November. So I added 1955 on PE3 during the month. Granted, those words were a snippet here and there and that was about it. Nothing really solid was done on PE3, but I got some good foundation laid down and then have began to build on it this month.

All in all, NaNoWriMo 2018 was a big success for me. I wrote some good words, I spent time at Write-Ins with great people. I interacted on social media with more great people and was part of a fantastic community that all gather to try and smash out 50,000 words in thirty days.

8th of December 2018

Today is a good example of getting words down when you can. I cracked out 308 words on one of my NaNo pieces before work. I really like what I added to this story. It’s something that isn’t necessarily needed for the story but I think it adds to it and in all honesty it was a fun 308 words to write. I just let myself go and the words flowed very freely and I’m really happy with what I ended up with.

My plan was to then write this evening after finishing work and before going to a dear friends birthday party, but my laptop didn’t like the updates that were done yesterday and didn’t want to boot up properly. So by the time I got that sorted out it was time to leave. So no words on Penal Earth today. I’ve got a lot at home to do tomorrow but I’m hoping to get an early start and get words done before the day really gets cracking.

7th of December 2018

Good evening all. Today I have written 756 words on PE3. I wrote some in the morning and some this evening. I was at a funeral during the day, which was a good send off for my uncle.

When I did finish writing I went to check how many words I’d written (Scrivener tells you, how cool is that!), and I was dead on 55k. When I was at 50k I guessed I was about 20k off wrapping it up. I’m honestly not sure how much more will be needed till it’s done, but I think having it done at about 70k feels right.

The title of the story is likely to change (hadn’t realised it had been caught in the picture if I’m honest), but yeah I’m not a 100% on the title.

Right, I’ve got a present to wrap and then bed.

5th of December 2018

I had no time to write during the day today, but even if I did I didn’t have anything I could directly work on until I’d looked over PE3 and see exactly where I am. Which is what I’ve done tonight, and added 513 to that project. As it stands it is at 54244 words. I think it’ll get to about 70k but I don’t know for sure, that’s just a gut feeling.

I also spent a fair chunk of the evening breaking up the Pages file that I had for NaNo. I’ve now copy and pasted each story I worked on into it’s own file so I can move forward easier with them. It’s left me with ten different stories in different stages of completion that I need to work on. I have a lot fo work, and few of these turned out to be short stories but I’m really excited with what I’ve got to play with and am looking forward to the new year when I can really get stuck into some of them. I do have PE3 to get done before I can really commit to any of them, and I want to get my vampire novel sorted out before these as well.

So I’ve got a hell of a lot of content to be playing with over the next couple of years just from PE3, the vampire collection and this years NaNo.

Exciting times ahead.