To Nano or Not?

Next month is NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) which should now really be called InNoWriMo because the movement is now an international one. I’ve participated in the last two Novembers, each one successfully writing the requisite 50,000 words leading up to what exists as an unfinished over 100,000 word novel on my hard-drive. This year I’m busier than ever and in the throes of a fascinating course on Shakespeare and his world alongside all the usual pressures of family and work as Christmas rapidly approaches. Leaves me with a question to answer in the next two days – do I go for it again? If so, what do I do? Do I continue my previous story, ‘The Roar of the Lion‘ and see if I can finally finish it, or do I do something new – I have the beginnings of a sci-fi novel rumbling about in my head all of a sudden. I really shouldn’t do it, but I’ve got this nagging suspicion I’m going to dive into the heady waters of the NaNoWriMo sea and see what comes out at the other end…


Post NaNoWriMo Editing Begins

This morning I returned to my novel-in-progress ‘The Roar of the Lion’. Having written Part One in NaNoWriMo 2012 and Part Two in NaNoWriMo 2013, my first job was to stitch the content from these two sessions together, interweaving them to make them make sense as their parts were spread throughout the plot. Next up will be a read through before I return to write Part Three – in other words try and finally finish the story! That, however, will have to wait for another day. It certainly felt like it was heading towards a climax back in November before Christmas interrupted but we’ll have to see what it looks like now in the cold light of day. I used the fantastic program Scrivener to write the novel in. According to its statistics, it would be a 305 page paperback. Checking my bookshelf, I see that is about the same size as my childhood copy of the Hobbit. I wonder, should I get in contact with Peter Jackson to see if he’d like the film rights to produce a trilogy from it…

NaNoWriMo 2013

One month on and somehow I made it through NaNoWriMo with the 50,000 word count. Feels great! Not sure how I did it in one of the busiest months in my year with the build up to Christmas in full swing, but it was worth the effort. I have contrived yet again to not actually finish the storyline, but am determined not to wait until next November for a third go at it, but will try and get pressing on in little nibbles over the next few months to finish the first complete draft – keep me to that. In the meantime, to give me that smug feeling, here’s the graphic of my achievement. At some point I’ll get around to writing up my experiences this November properly, but for now, work to catch up on…


NaNoWriMo2013 Week 1

So that’s the first week of NaNoWriMo2013 done (National Novel Writing Month) and what a fantastic first week it’s been. At first I wasn’t sure whether or not to enter, but having toyed with the idea contemplated writing the sci-fi novel my novel was supposed to have been last year, only to end up returning to my book from last year’s effort. So far 10726 new words written taking the whole book to about 61,000 words. Having looked back at last years effort I have been surprised by it, there was more going on than I recalled, which is a good sign. What I’m finding concerning though is even with another 10,000 words past there are still vast swathes of the heart of the novel which I haven’t even touched on yet! Will I need a third year to get the first draft done? I do hope not… Still enough procrastination! Today is supposed to be my big push to catch up with the word count required to be on track for the magic 50,000 (missed the first couple of days having been away). Would be nice to try and get a little buffer in there too over the weekend, but I don’t see that happening for one moment. Verdict so far? Having a creative blast!

NaNoWriMo 2013 – to write or not to write….

Last year I took part in National Novel Writing Month – the challenge of producing in November 50,000 words of original fiction. It was a fantastic month, I thoroughly enjoyed the whole process, although it was demanding in time and creativity. I reached the target of 50,000 but failed to finish the book! My plan was to press on with it after Christmas – in my line of work December is not a time for extra work, there is more than enough to fill my time – but alas I never got back into the swing of it. This year, I wasn’t sure about doing NaNoWriMo again. To be honest, I paid for it in the Christmas run up last year, having not given that enough of my creative attention. But it was so much fun, that I was tempted… I found myself wondering, if I were to do it again, which I wasn’t, what would I do? A new story? If so what? Or pick up the old and press on. Simply thinking about the old again has led me to pick up the keyboard and start typing once more. I’ve entered my details in NaNoWriMo again and we’ll see what happens. I must remember though, wherever it takes me, not to lose sight of the rest of life at the same time!

If anyone’s interested in seeing what I’m up to, NaNoWriMo’s website is: and my personal page is: There’s also a word count tracker on the left hand side of this blog too.

A slow restart

Ok, so my plan to really get back to work on my NaNoWriMo started novel this month is a little slow off the marks. This is only the second day I’ve really managed any work on it, having allowed other interruptions to impede getting going. Excuses, excuses. To be honest, having been away from it for a number of months, it’s taken time to get my head back in gear and to remember what was going on! Still, a quiet evening tonight and I’ve managed to get the best part of a 1000 words down. That’s a start, now I need to simply press on and see where the story takes me. It was a surprise back in November that I ended up in Sierra Leone when I’d set off thinking I was writing a science fiction novel. Who know’s how it might all end…

Word Count: 51,188

Back to the Book

Back in November I took part in NaNoWriMo and wrote over 50,000 words of a novel set in Sierra Leone, ‘The Roar of the Lion‘. It started off thinking it was going to be a sci-fi novel but quickly became something completely different. It was a highly enjoyable process, and one I shall certainly do again. The story, however, proved to be much larger than the 50,000 words would accommodate, in fact it might only be half way through, and has since sat languishing on my desktop waiting for me to find some time to devote to it. Christmas got in the way, and I lost the habit of regular writing that NaNoWriMo encouraged. The New Year proved to be a busy one, fairly continually until just now when the last of the big projects for the year, The BIGPicnic, has just gone. Now at last I am determined to get back to it and see if I can knock it into shape, setting aside some time each day this month. Target: 500 words a day. Not as many as during NaNoWriMo where I was aiming for 1,500, but possibly more realistic for this month with some editing included.

Word count: 50135 total at the start of the day

Done it!

I'm a winner!
I’m a winner!

I’ve not been as much of a virtual presence over the last month as usual, and that’s because I’ve been taking part in NaNoWriMo this November, and I’m thrilled to have made it past the winner’s 50,000 word mark.

That said, although the novel is over 50,000 words, the story’s far from done, and there is a lot more work to go into the editing too. My next challenge, once Christmas is past and I have time again, is to press on and finish it.

In case you’re wondering, it’s tentatively called ‘The Roar of the Lion’ and is based in and after the civil war in Sierra Leone, and is the story of how three people with troubled pasts find ‘redemption’. A taste can be found here.