The Last Time

As we head towards the end of the month, things have (on reflection) gone remarkably well. Next month is already well in hand, and there are plans on the table for April too.  However, it is becoming apparent that after yesterday’s post on the Novel, and some quite serious poking of said manuscript both Thursday and today, it won’t be finished by the end of February. In fact, if truth be told, it won’t be anywhere close to being done.


Rather reassuringly, it has nothing to do with me giving up and losing interest: in fact, quite the opposite is true. What I’ve now discovered is that what was the middle third of the action does not have nearly as much solidity and structure as was first believed. This means that I’m now laying down foundations instead of finishing decoration and placing furniture. As a result, my rather optimistic ‘yeah we can do this in four weeks’ now looks like a complete pack of lies.

It also means that pitching a work that’s not done seems a bit fraudulent, to be honest. So, I think we’ll pass on this one, make this work really solid and special, and then I can read the book I got on how to publish shiz and work from there. Right now, all that matters is to finish something. That’s the goal not yet achieved, the prize that matters personally more than anything else, and with a head full of fuzz as has been the case for the best part of a week thanks to menopausal hormone overload? That really will be an achievement.


So, next week’s WiP Day will be to get me to 80k with some actual structure. I’m working on the foundations until then. I’ve even altered the counter because honestly, it has to be done. I’m aiming for Easter to get this out to people to read, as in an Alpha Reader kind of way. March 15th is D-Day now, and I’m feeling supremely confident. No really, I am.


Watch this space. No really, cool stuff is and will happen. There’s no stopping me now 😀

Keep on Running

It is high time we did a NOVEL UPDATE.

As you can see, the words keep going, and as the header shows, we have a NEW COVER for the book. Yesterday, however, during editing, there was a bit of a bump in the road:

The trashing, in the end, has not lost much progress, but I have gone backwards, so the hope today is to work once I’ve written this and then after exercise, and then (again) tonight so when we hit WiP day on Thursday I have a fighting chance of getting well ahead of my goal. Day 15’s plan is 57k but honestly, I need to be closer to 70k if there is any chance of having a successful result. Then I have to be writing a pitch for this thing to see if I have any chance of catching the eye of a publisher.


What will undoubtedly be a better use of my time is buying the book these guys have written and guaranteeing myself a free one hour pitch, which I’ve now done. However, it will be useful to see if I can do the business without, so I’ll be putting my stuff together at the weekend. Until then, it is time to focus on getting the narrative on a path that seems sensible, sorting out the dialogue, and working to the final word total. Needless to say, I’m still insanely confident this is all gonna get done in the timescale, AND IT IS STILL FUN.


As long as it stays that way, everything is going to plan…

NaNoWriMo: Next Steps

As we discussed what seems like years ago, the plan with this year’s NaNoWriMo was never just to get to 50k words and claim success. There’s a lot to do, and I’ve been chipping away at the total since I claimed victory. The key this time around is that NaNo have provided new tools to allow people like me to set realistic goals for completion, well past the November cut-off point.


This tracker is great, and really very forgiving (as I’ve had to reset once due to time constraints.) It gives the Christmas period some distinct focus, when I’m normally just wandering around in PG’s gaming. I had planned to be finished by now, but then there was a ton of unavoidable RL stuff and now starting I have a month from next Monday’s a decent shout at the re-do. It also gives me time to pick through the work with a critical eye, rather than simply rushing to completion.


These trackers will be a real boon, because there is the ability to encourage other works to completion given a standing timeline. If I can make the process work with Contractus, I’m absolutely going to do the same with other work. For that fact alone, these new trackers have the potential to become an indispensable part of my writing routine.

NaNoWriMo :: 50 K DUN


Except… I’m not finished, not even close. I’ve provisioned two days next week to knock the last 20k or so off in a couple of sittings. I’ll make sure I commit to the Revision Camp that happens early next year. I just want to write more fiction now, not less. This entire process has revitalised my desire to tell stories, and will now serve to help me totally redefine how the Internet of Words goes forward. Mostly, I’ve enjoyed having to think again in a Universe of my own creation.

Let yesterday be remembered as the one which began the redefinition of my writing adventure. Let today be filled with the memory that I need to sleep better, and relax more too.

NaNoWriMo: Day Six

Nanowrimo 2017

Firstly, apologies for the backdated nature of this post, but scheduling is becoming a bit of a lifeline, both forwards and backwards through my existence. I have, effectively, become a time traveller, which I’ve often thought would be the only means by which everything I wanted to do would get done. Amazingly, this now proves to be 100% accurate. This post should have been written on Monday, but that was the day I rewrote a ton of other stuff, scheduled a bunch of pictures and had a PT session. Instead, it’s being fitted in between more Gym time, poetry and some Instagram faffing.


The main point of NaNoWriMo every year is to get people into the habit of writing consistently, to a deadline and to a word count. After you learn these techniques, nobody is then telling you that’s how to write everything. It is the same mentality that states there is more than one way to bake a cake, take a holiday, eat an apple or wear a shirt. Some things such as flying aircraft or splitting atoms require a very precise and well-documented set of directions. Writing, for a lot of people, is as much about instinct as principle. Once you ‘get’ what works best for you, being told this is bollocks and you have to do it this in a different manner is… well, not optimal.

The trick, as is the case with most things in life, is knowing yourself well enough to find the place and space that works for you. However, and this is vital, there are basic principles that need to be stuck to. This is the same framework that I remind my daughter of when she complains that her art teacher is being unfair when insisting she sticks to the principle of proportion and perspective. Once you’ve learnt the rules, then you get to break them. Understanding grammar, sentence structure, what’s surplus to requirement and what fiction needs to survive all have to be understood before you start fucking about with the presentation.


If I wanted to be more mainstream, for instance, the casual swearing would have to go, but I’ve spent so many years having to put up with that restriction that frankly now I don’t give a fuck. I’m not an educational website here, this is what I am, and that includes adult language and a Restricted rating on pretty much everything I write as fiction. Once you grasp that this is simply my means of taking the rules I was taught and setting fire to them? Everything’s cool. That means that I’m here to point out that this week I’m on schedule to complete earlier than anticipated, and that I’m not prepared as yet to let too much plot into the world.

However, I will be offering some asides to the process, which includes this one. If I’m too busy writing to write about writing, it is no longer an issue to go back in time to remind you how important scheduling can be, and that nobody is perfect. As long as everything gets done, you don’t let anybody down and everyone is happy? Frankly, in my mind, it doesn’t matter what order stuff gets done. If there are things that are utterly unavoidable then you use those as your markers, and simply work around them.

That’s what I’ll be doing for the rest of the month.

NaNoWriMo: Day Three

Nanowrimo 2017

Today was an unexpected day with company, as my daughter was given a day off school. That gave me a chance to play some games, relax a bit into the writing and sort out some outstanding gubbins. Mostly, the major task was prepping protagonists to meet for the first time. I almost got to the start of the chapter where that happens, but fatigue has told me it is time to stop.

Word Count at present is 7283, which is maintaining the over 2k a day. I’m planning to be at 50k by the start of week four so I can do the extra I need. I’m looking at 60k for the finish line. If I can keep this up, it is totally doable, but that will depend on me being disciplined and making time every day. Assuming nothing untoward happens with the rest of my scheduling, it is totally in the bag.

I’ll spend some time tomorrow to give you a better idea of exactly what this story is all about. For now, time for some much-needed shut-eye

NaNoWriMo: Day One

Nanowrimo 2017.png

I decided to go all stream of consciousness on your arses this month. Clearly, I’m saving all the best words, the biggest words and the strongest words for the novel, because YOU KNOW THAT’S THE POINT. This morning there was unexpectedly satisfying yoga pre-session, which amazingly helped with the formation of the opening salvo of action. I have my plot laid out: the major protagonists are already placed, their lives are drawn with more accuracy than has normally been the case.

I’m trying to imagine what everything would look like if this was a movie. I write my best work when it is clear and precise in my head, and in that regard, the opening feels the strongest of any I’ve written. Hopefully, there is enough mystery to keep potential readers engaged, without the need for further exposition. The main thrust of the action takes place in East London, which was where I spent a lot of very happy times as a child and where one of my best friends still lives. It’s a rich backdrop that works well with the incongruity of my real stage.


This is a story which, from page one, asks you to accept a completely different worldview than the norm: in that regard, messing with your head is one of the best things to do with words. I will completely screw you up, readers. It gives me an intoxicating sense of control that would never be possible in this bland, uninteresting reality. This is also a disaster story… homage to all those brilliant movies where you know what’s going to happen… except who survives to the end.

The plan each day is to keep going until I a) run out of time or b) get bored, because that never makes for good content. I’m certainly not sticking to a strict daily count either. If the urge takes me, away I’ll go.

This is the best start to the month I’ve ever had.