Hello everyone. Yes, I know it’s been a while. But I have lots to tell I’m glad to report.
As I reported in my last blog post way back at the end of October, my plan was to take part in the National Novel writing month run by www.nanowrimo.org. An event known on Facebook and Twitter as #nanowrimo. I am glad to report that I took part in the event throughout November, though I did not complete it as intended. The plan was to write 50,000 words but I only managed 26,000.
Still, the entire experience was one I would definitely recommend to any budding writer or current writer looking to boost there creativity. The event forces you to concentrate on writing, even writing for the sake of writing. Quantity is better than quality, the idea being that you complete a 1st draft then spend the next while perfecting what you manage to write in the tight time scale.
26,000 words was not what was required to ‘win’, but it certainly gave me a lot to think about and has set a solid foundation for Haldred Chronicles book 4. The main characters, major plot points and scenes have all been formed in one way or another. What is needed now is some time to properly connect them all together and fill in the details, particularly regards the descriptions.
A lot of the writing was often just dialogue between characters, to be filled in at a later date. But that’s part of the fun! Letting you set things up so that later you can go back and fill out the details; updating descriptions and making the scenes truly breath.
I had a lot of positive experiences during November as the challenge went ahead. For example, I noticed certain activates I’d been doing in my life influenced my writing. Obviously every writer will take some kind of small influence from there own life in writing, but during Nanowrimo this seemed to be heightened due to the challenge to put words on the page. One example was my experience with the boxed set of all the seasons of the TV comedy series Frazier in my DVD collection that played in the background whenever I was writing. I have found that some of the humour in book four has been influenced by the Frazier style of comedy; that unique sort of dry sarcastic wit. Indeed, one of the characters I can say with confidence is definitely my own take on Frazier Crane, though given the setting he is sufficiently different not to just be a direct copy.
It was a fantastic experience as well due to the community involvement. The multiple forums on the nanowrimo website were highly active during November and before, offering help and tips as well as places to brag / encourage. The topic posts were a treasure trove of helpful material from ‘how do you escape a burning building’ to ‘dress sense of the 17th century’. Anything and everything could be covered and when you asked a question, however obscure, someone somewhere on the boards would be able to answer it for you, often very quickly. For those interested, the forums are still up and the community still very active. Go take a look!
The experience was further enhanced by the writing buddies system.
Before the event began, I was able to connect with a number of like minded individuals in order to encourage each other, share work and comment. This provided a more personal connection for developing the story and putting words on the page. Constantly these writing buddies encouraged me to ‘keep writing!’. They were part of the reason I got as far as I did.
I must send a particular big congrats to my writing buddies BriegeH, Daireen, Eimi111, Erin Funk, GabzWritez and ValkyrieMist who did successfully complete the challenge. Good job all of you! I assure you, I am immensely jealous J.
I may not have completed the Nanowrimo challenge, but I have certainly benefited from the event and now, the future is clear for books 3 and 4 to grow. The plan will be to return to book 3 in about a months time and finish it. Before that, I will continue for another month on book 4 and fill in a few more of the scenes. I want to leave book 4 in at least draft 2 form.
Book 3, ‘Tales of Larrick City’ will then be finished and I will look to release it in the first quarter of 2014.
Once again, my thanks to all my writing buddies on Nanowrimo and everyone who encouraged me in completing the challenge. Thank you so much! Good luck with your own endeavours.
Till next time.