Still pounding away over here


Between work and NanoWriMo, not a lot of time is left to spare for things like sleep or blogs. Despite some setbacks because of work, I’m currently on track still to finish 50k by the end of the month. Hard to believe it, but I’m already at the 25k mark. I know this novel will exceed 50k before the first draft is done (that’s just the goal for November), but I’m still pretty pleased with this progress.

Some might ask, if I can do 50k in November, why can’t I do it every month? I’d be able to finish multiple novels a year, meaning sooner or later I’d either be able to find a publisher or have a decent enough catalog to start self publishing with.

The first thing to understand is that what I’m writing right now isn’t reader worthy. It’s like a sculptor taking the first pass at a block of granite. When I finish this draft, you’ll be able to see the shape of the story, pick out where the nose, eyes, and torso are, but you won’t be able to tell if the sculpture is winking or not. That level of detail will take a few more passes, whittling and refining.

Anything I produce that quickly is bound to need more work. As for why I don’t do this every month, that’s easy: it’s exhausting. I’ve written 25k in 14 days, namely by squeezing any free time I can find when I’m not working or doing something with the family. If I tried doing this more often, I’m pretty sure I’d either alienate my wife and kids, or keel over in exhaustion. And while I would produce a lot more words leading up to it, death tends to curb future writing. Not always, but usually.

OK, I’m off to get some rest. Many words written this week. Now to rest brain until I write more.


Prepping for next month


Ah, that crisp clip in the air (or so I’m told by folks back east). The overwhelming scent of pumpkin, cinammon, and all manner of spice saturating stores. The knowledge that in less than a week, I shall give up the ways of civilized man, cast aside my razor, and go native. It can mean only one thing my friends – it’s time for our annual NanoWriMo!

You may be wondering how I plan on participating if I’ve already started a novel. Wonder no more! As is often the case, I tend to spend the first 20k or so of a writing project exploring the voices of the characters, who they are, what they want, what they are facing. Some writers do complicated character sheets and plot outlines. Me? I write the first 20k or so of a novel to see where its going, what story it wants to be, and then take a breather. Sometimes I plod ahead and just make notes. Sometimes I start over, using the first draft as a guide (and then write until I drop).

For the sake of NanoWriMo, I’m doing the latter. I will be starting over on Chrysalis, using what I’ve discovered so far as a guidemap. My goal is to do more than the required 50k – it seems only fair given the initial note draft I have.

Because I will be focussing on that 1,667 words a day minimum, blogging will probably be back down to “less than frequent.” I will probably post status updates, and may squeeze in a few posts about workflows, process, etc., but for the most part I plan on keeping my head down and my fingers tapping.

And of course, as I do every time I take part in NanoWriMo, I will have my last shave on Halloween, and will not shave again until this novel is done. I may not shave after, either, but that’s a decision that can be made later. I realize this also coincides with Movember, a time for raising awareness of men’s health issues, typically by growing a mustache/beard. While I may accept the facial hair growth for both, the real reason, between you and me, is I’m trying to save time from shaving to add those extra few words to the opus maximus. And for Movember, I guess.

Avert your eyes, I’m sharing a trunk novel


Learning to write is like learning anything else – best achieved by repeated attempts (aka failures), with the knowledge that each attempt makes you better.

A Mountain Fell From Heaven is one of those stories. I have no shame in writing it, though as time has distanced me from the writing, I know it’s not quite as stellar as I thought when I wrote the last words. But sharing is caring, and the only way to move forward as a writer is if people can have a chance to read what I’ve written so far, if for no other reason than to know how much I’ve improved in the future.

So, over at Inkitt, I’ve posted the first six chapters (so far) of AMFH. In posting, I realize the story takes a little too long to get going – something I think I’ve improved on in recent novel projects. For that, I apologize. But if you’d like to take a peek – and perhaps even lend a vote – you can find it here