Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Planners vs the Pantsers: the NaNoWriMo challenge!

This doodle-in-poor-taste came from a throw-away comment someone made!

Attack of the Pantsers
*the slow, grinding caterpillar treads of procrastination and the occasional barrage of inspiration*

NaNoWriMo* came into my vocabulary around the 20th of November last year, and not having a clue what it was I Googled it but discovered I was too late to sign up for 2014 challenge. Being able to get 50,000+ words down on 'the page' by the end of the month was not a possibility. However, I vowed that 2015 would be the year, so, I did it. I 'm there. I signed up mid October. But what the hell am I going to write about? A novel, duh. This is, after all, *National Novel Writing Month (get it now?) But 50,000words in 30days? That means a religious 1,664 words per day. Doesn't seem like much but I know there will be days when I just wont look at the Work In Procrastination and it will become no more than a pipe dream, smoked for a momentary pleasure of what could have been.

Charge of the Plan Brigade
*Trumpets sound*
In order not to make a right old fool of myself(if I haven't done so already with the doodle), I am attempting (in a haphazard pantsery sort of way) to plan my novel and thought I'd let you in on my thought processes purely for your own entertainment! (Feel free to mock, but don't do it to my face until November is up cos I'm likely to bite your head off until I've got this damn book down!)

  • Got my word per day ratio. I will probably use it for counting how much I am lagging behind but at least I knew I had to monitor it.
  • Built a history for the world created. There was mention somewhere of needing 100 years of history before the time you are writing in! (A-hem...)
  • Formed clear blurry character profiles. I know if they are good guys or bad, but that might change in the middle of the story, it depends. Their reactions in different situations? What food they eat? Their habits? Let me get some life into them first dammit!
  • Have one or two (or even more) bits of action that I want to include, written in notes. Boy meets girl and falls in love. There is conflict between them. It is resolved. THE END. No, I'm not writing a romance, but I figured that if Mr Gaiman can claim that all his stories are about love, (see the foreword to Smoke and Mirrors) I thought I'd do the same and see if his talent and luck rub off on me.
Um...I think I actually have quite a good idea (that's far from objective, of course). This story, which has a working title of 'Island Hopping...'on the NaNoWriMo site, has been in my head for far longer than I like to admit. Every summer, my key writing time, I attack it again and hope to wrestle it into something that resembles a novel. This summer I dealt with a smaller chunk and turned it into a short story which then went on to win RRPI's Deserted Island Contest. That's given me the incentive to finally tackle the bomb blasts of inspiration that litter the battlefield like 7,000 word corpses and see if I can breathe some life into them. (Are you sick of the battle analogies yet?) So the crux of this is, I shall be posting my joy and sorrow here over the coming month, all moral support welcome. I have never written anything this long, this fast before so let's see what happens...

Other news:

My award winning story 'The Night Before' has been accepted for the Far Horizon's anthology 'Forever Hungry'! Very excited about that!

If you want a small fright for Halloween look out for 'Jack Be Nimble...' coming to on Friday 30th October. 101 words of horror!

Fox Spirit Books, publisher of 'The Girl at the End of the World' which includes my story 'Vanquish', was awarded the Best Small Press by the British Fantasy Society this week! Go Fox Spirit! You deserve it! Look out for more of my work in Fox Spirit in the New Year in the Fox Pocket 'Reflections'!


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