Creative analysis, Writing

I am a NaNoWriMo “winner”

National Novel Writing Month Winner 2021 banner.

Rather than leave it more than a year (like I did in my last post where I talked about National Novel Writing Month) I decided to update this side of New Year. So, yes I met the 50,000 words goal for NaNoWriMo for my novel Sunder (working title). And there was a joyous outcome from this year’s NaNoWriMo experience, considering my previous attempts:

I don’t hate what I’ve written and want to finish the story and redraft it!

Seriously, after writing over 150,000 words across three different NaNoWriMo years, it’s nice to finally have something I want to go back to and finish.

Next steps

I haven’t done much work on the story since November finished, but I am still jotting down ideas on what to do to keep the base story moving.

I think having a reasonably detailed (by my standards) outline has really helped. It’s taken me a while to find a tool I like for that kind of thing and I’d say that Scapple from Literature & Latte is my go to at the moment. I’ll make some notes in something like Evernote or in a physical notebook, especially world building stuff, but getting those plot points down is definitely something I like doing with a visual tool.

So, I’m probably going to start looking at the story again with a view to finish it in the New Year (I’m crafting a lot for the holidays, making gifts for loved ones, so writing has slowed down for the moment).

Once the draft is complete, I’ll be printing the lot off and editing sections by hand, taking myself away from my PC initially. Why? I found the process worked real well for me when I wrote and redrafted a feature film script for my final Masters project at uni.

Am I going to seek out an agent and/or publisher?

I think it depends on how I feel after redrafting the story.

It needs finishing, additions, redrafting and editing, and I know that very well. I’m definitely not feeling precious about what I’ve written so far but I know I need a full draft before I do any redrafting or refining. At some point, I should also probably see about trying to get it proofread too.

And there will be a point where that full draft is in a state I could try shopping around.

I’m not actually keen on self-publishing as a default, but I know that option is there for me if I don’t get anywhere with more traditional routes.

Additional next step…

I also need to properly go through my winners’ goodies from NaNoWriMo. I think I’ll be treating myself to the newer version of Scrivener with the voucher code that’s been provided. I’m still on a really old version of the software and was kinda waiting to see if I could succeed at NaNo before paying out for an upgrade as I suspected there would be a money-off code in the goodies 😅

I have actually got a copy of Scrivener 3 that I’ve been using for occasional bits of content at work. Mainly bigger pieces and script work (I actually used the comic script template on it the other week and was happy with how it auto-formatted the short comic script I wrote for a 4-panel comic strip). But it’s a work bought piece of software and not my own.

Anyway, I need to make sure I back up projects and settings. Apparently you can have both versions installed at the same time, so I will be taking advantage of that as I move from old to new.

Until next time

I haven’t made much headway on my reading list since my last post. But I’ve got over two weeks off for Christmas and New Year’s, and I’m almost done with making gifts. So, I’m probably going to be reading, gaming and knitting something for myself while I chill out over my break.

Speaking of knitting, I tend to binge watch shows when I knit and I think I am probably going to need to talk about Prodigal Son here and on Nerds Assemble soon. I watched the whole show this past week.


I never really stopped writing fiction

A laptop keyboard

I haven’t updated in a while, I get that. I’m not about to make any promises here about increasing my blogging output, but I thought I’d come here and tell you all a thing.

I have written a lot over the past three years

I’ve written almost a million words of fiction in the past 3 years. It wasn’t commercial fiction, it was and is fanfic/fanfiction.

A couple of things led to this, in no particular order…

  1. Becoming a fan of Supernatural in 2015
  2. Pulling out of National Novel Writing Month in 2014
  3. My grandmother dying in 2014
  4. Becoming part of Supernatural fandom culture in 2015
  5. Stress

Fanfic writing, an activity predominantly occupied by people society would identify as female (while individual fanfic writers may not), is something I’ve previously described to myself as junk food writing.

This I’ve come to realise as I adjust to a major life change this year (I started at a new company this year, first switch in almost 6 years), is an unfair assessment.

Writing fanfic is more like the writing equivalent of stew. It’s filling and warming, making you feel good on those days that you need something to help you feel good.

And the feedback you get for posting fanfic is mostly like really well made suet based dumplings. I say mostly, because there are still terrible dumplings (commenters) out there.

But I’m not just writing fanfic

February saw me reach just over 10,000 words on an original novel. I’m hoping to have a complete first draft by the end of the year.

But I don’t think I would be writing it now if I hadn’t had the reassurance of my regular fanfic readers (yes, I have fans) who have really enjoyed what I’ve written over the past few years, and who have confirmed that my writing in general is enjoyable to read. Writing can also be a really lonely process, but fanfic writing is in this nice place where it’s as lonely as you make it. So I’m using some occasional fanfic writing to reassure me that I do definitely have skill and ability as a fiction writer.

Oh, and I’m not writing the next 50 Shades that is definitely not my kind of thing when it comes to something I’m writing as commercial fiction.

What’s the novel about?

It’s a sort of urban fantasy, southern Gothic thing set in Cornwall. I don’t want to get into specifics here as of yet.

I will also have to extensively rewrite the first few chapters after switching from third person limited to first person. Joy.

Will you hit a million words of fanfic this year?

Quite possibly.

Creative analysis, Writing

people dancing sketch v2

(That’s a sketch I did on Sunday.)

Yep, I’m taking the plunge and participating in NaNoWriMo this year, even heading off to my local kick-off meeting today. Look, I’m all registered-up in order to track myself for the month.

The novel is called Compromised Systems and is inspired by 1984Synners and V for Vendetta. It’s all planned out, chapter by chapter.

I am maybe a little nervous.

If I do manage to finish a draft of my first ever complete novel, then I’m hoping to get someone else to proof it for me before putting it together for digital self-publication.

I’m taking part in NaNoWriMo this year