NaNoWriMo redux

Well I did it – again. This year it took me 16 days to write a total of 50,848 words, as verified today by the Office of Letters & Light (organisers of NaNoWriMo).

This year – probably because of Twitter – I’ve noticed the backlash and the sniggers, from other writers, bloggers and the odd agent (I assume US-based) who feared her in-tray would be groaning after the ‘thanksgiving’ holiday with manuscripts from naiive NaNoers who believed by completing the challenge that they’d produced a ‘finished’ novel.

I tried not to read much of this crap – mainly because I didn’t want anything to distract me from what I was hoping to achieve – and no, my 50,848 words do not resemble a novel at all – how could they when I wrote them at the speed of light – but what I’ve come out with after only a couple of weeks is a vast creative resource from which a novel may emerge – there’s probably 20,000 words worth of scenes that connect – plus several short story ideas and quite possibly some poetry.

So, to writers I say, don’t knock it – see it as a month devoted to being creative. To bloggers who make it their business to write about the business of writing – well, carry on – say what you like about NaNoWriMo, but if it inspires young people to write (more about their Young Writers Scheme later) that can only be a good thing. To the agent who dreaded coming back to a sackload of manuscripts, don’t forget – writers are your business – without them you wouldn’t be an agent – you’d be doing something completely different. And finally, to fellow Nanoers who may be reading this – a huge YAY to those who have already finished and a GOGOGO to those who are still writing – and no, that doesn’t sound cool, but I really don’t give a sh*t!


New logo for The Short Review


Well, here it is: my new design for the The Short Review logo.

The Short Review celebrated its 2nd birthday today with the publication of the November issue: short story news, reviews and author interviews.

Flying …


My word count for today and to celebrate, I decided to create a Wordle. [Below].


If you want to create your own Wordle, that’s the link (left). This is mine:


Later on Day Four


Had another splurge – boosted my word count for today and stopped before I hit the wall. By concentrating on one character a day I seem to be able to get into their heads better with links to the other characters I can develop later. Still not thinking too much about it … want to keep my writing fresh and let the ideas come tumbling out.

NaNoWriMo update …


Fourth day in and I didn’t begin today until thirty minutes ago but am already 472 words up on yesterday with a total so far of 6060, on target for finishing 28 November. I’ve approached the whole thing in a much more laid back way – last year, my first – I’d no idea if I’d have the stamina or the words even to write 50,000. As it was, I wrote far more and in only three weeks, though once I stopped, that was it, finished.

This time I’m doing other things besides NaNo. Lots of people doing it have full time jobs, children – I don’t have those responsibilities now, so can afford to limit the time I spend writing and do other things like the monthly preparation of reviews and author interviews for The Short Review. Today I’ve prepared three author interviews, Richard Lange, Regi Claire and Ellis Sharp – make really interesting reading, oh … and changed the bed, done two lots of washing … umm, set up digibox with OH (it’s digital switchover day in Granada TV land) so we can watch all the programmes we’ve not been able to watch while we only had terrestrial TV. What has this all got to do with NaNo? Not a lot – but it’s so easy to use up time doing even minor domestic things. OK, now I really am going to stop and find out what my character is going to get up to next …

So here goes

nano_09_blk_participant_120x90.png… Day one of thirty fiction-packed November days in which I aim to reach my target of writing (at least) 50 thousand words.

According to my progress spreadsheet (sad geek that I am) I’ve completed 3% today – 1733 words of (for me who usually goes literary) surprisingly entertaining stuff.

I decided to list my genre – even though I hate defining fiction by genre – as mainstream. Thought it might free me up mentally, and it has. Thought I had no plot, plan or even character as such, and I didn’t, but within the space of 1000 words, I’ve put the MC in hospital, with a lycra-clad politician (he was a NaNo dare btw, not the sort of character I’d normally feel compelled to include), and a narrative of sorts emerging.

I’ve put a Write or Die progress bar (widget) in my sidebar because the official NaNo ones aren’t working as yet, so thanks to Dr Wicked for doing it! Good luck to everyone who’s doing NaNo too.