Thursday 29 November 2012

Nanowrimo 2012 - done it!

I did it, I reached my word total for Nanowrimo. Of course the novel isn't actually finished yet, but I can sort that out over the next couple of weeks :). Woohoo!

Now I can go have some lunch :)

Good luck to all those still typing away. You can do it.

Wednesday 28 November 2012

Den of Eek! was amazing

So yesterday was Den of Eek! and it was so brilliant. I haven't read my own work in front of anyone since school and I was as nervous as hell. Seems people who do it all the time get nervous too though, so we all bonded over wine and how scared we were of the room full of people. Everyone was lovely and it was so well organised.

For those who don't know, Den of Eek! was a horror short story show case organised by Den of Geek, the wonderful and most informative website for all things movie, book, comic and, well everything geeky. The event was in aid of their charity Geeks vs Cancer.

There were nine invited writers and then Den of Geek ran a reader comp for three more spots on the itinerary and I won one of them :). My story is called "Death in the Modern World" and is all done via tweets. It was much fun to read it out even though my mouth felt like the sahara on a bad day because of nerves. All the other stories were superb, everything from disappearing stairs through a phantom limb interpreted as I have never heard it interpreted before, to other technologically based horror, a wicked clock, doppelgänger, a moment with a vcr that should never be repeated and two historical pieces too.

There may be a podcast and an ebook of the whole event, but those were both maybes last I heard, so I will let you all know as soon as I hear.

It may have been a nightmare getting through London traffic (I don't do well on the underground so we had to drive), but it was worth every minute. Love doing it, loved talking to everyone, it was brill.

The organisers:
The lovely @SarahDobbs and @DenofGeek

The invited writers:
@claylittlewood @FinalBullet @cjlines @SarahPinborough @jamesmoran @newsmary @neil_jones @johannesroberts @exkevinmcnally

Us winners:
@JoffB @skippybe and @beren_writes (me)

Monday 26 November 2012

Well that was a weekend and a half

I'm writing a blog post first today (I've just come home from doing the weekly shop) because I have to put my head down and play catch up with my Nano writing. I managed to get my daily word count written yesterday, but our kitty died on Saturday morning, so that was a write off of a day. We gave him a good send off and had a mini-wake on Saturday afternoon and I didn't feel like writing again until yesterday evening.

Then there's tomorrow. I am very happy to be reading my 500 word ghost story at Den of Geek's Den of Eek! at The Phoenix in Cavendish Square, but I doubt I will get any writing done before hand. By tomorrow morning I am bound to be too nervous to concentrate on the next novel :). I haven't read my own work in front of people since school (and that was longer ago than I care to admit ;)).

So, that said, I best get to it :).

Wish me luck!

Monday 19 November 2012

Nano - back on track - phew

I have not been able to write anything for the past three days because I've been preparing for, or had the in-laws to stay. It was a fab weekend, but it put me way behind. However, I just poured out over 3.5K in a little over two hours to get back up to speed :).

The break actually seemed to help with the flow, surprisingly. Maybe my brain needed time to juggle some things around? Who knows.

If I can write the same again tomorrow I will be very happy and back ahead of the game again. Actually if I can write the same every day this week I will be most pleased. I still have one section where I don't actually know what to put in it, however. I know where it's set and the overall gist, but no idea what the details are. Once I do I think there are 10K words just waiting to happen :). I may cogitate on it this evening while Rob and I are clearing out our bedroom so it's ready for the new carpet coming Wednesday.

You never know, maybe I will find inspiration in the dust bunnies under the bed ;).

I hope all you other nanoers are doing well. *hugs*

Wednesday 14 November 2012

Nano - Day 14 and spreadsheet

You know I said I had the bad guys figured out yesterday; that may not have been completely true, but it is today. I know who the bad guy actually is now :). Yesterday I knew what they had done and why, today I know who too. I just had the most fun writing the big reveal! Scenes like that are always so exciting to put together.

Still haven't finished the big fight scene, but that's no shock.

Writing is becoming easier every day - I hope it keeps up. I hope all my fellow nanoers are also doing well. You can do it *waves pompoms*. Even if you are behind I bet you can catch up. Just break it down into little segments, even if you look at it as 100 words at a time. Be happy every time you tick off one little block. If I'm stuck I write a couple of paragraphs and then fill in my Excel spreadsheet to watch my total go up (I don't always put it in on the website because I don't want to help kill their servers :)).

BTW, talking of my spreadsheet, it basically mimics the nano web page, but it allows for having an initial word count, having variable days and a variable word count goal. It's a .xlsm file because it runs VBA. I find it very useful for all sorts of projects just to keep me motivated.

If you would like a copy it's available to download here.

P.S. Apologies if there are any bugs in it - this is the latest version where I added in the variable days and I've tested it as well as I can, but you can never be completely sure. I find the best way to use it is to take a copy, name it whatever the project is and then leave the original as it in case of irretrievable errors.

Please LMK if you find any bugs. Thanks.

Tuesday 13 November 2012

Nano - Day 13

Totally in the zone with Nano now :). The novel is going very smoothly and I even have the bad guy figured out - yay! I think I have just about all of it in my head now, so it's only a matter of getting it into the PC. Some of the smaller details will still just happen, that's the way I write, but all the important bits are sorted. This makes me happy because I'm not even half way through writing yet.

I have already kicked my word total for the day and then some so I think I am going to stop there until tomorrow. Give the whole new section I wrote time to percolate in the back of my brain and settle in properly. Because we have people staying this weekend I need to clean everything, so I think I will do some of that next, before going on to the other two writing projects.

My favourite scene from today was a completely off the top of my head scene with Charlie dropping a Spider-man reference and then having to explain it. :)

I can already tell that the hardest scene to write is going to be a fight scene towards the end. I've tried to start it a couple of times and nada, so I suspect that will be the last thing I write. It's like in my adult stuff it's usually the sex I write last, in the YA, it's the fights! Anyone else find fights hard? It can be so difficult to make them interesting and exciting as well as anatomically possible for all involved.

Still need a name for the novel. Hmmm... time to get the dictionary out :)

Monday 12 November 2012

Nanowrimo - day 12

Well I've finished my word count for today, now I just have to make up for yesterday's non-writing :). The end of this week is going to be a bad week for writing because I have so much else to do too, including the in-laws coming down, so I intend to try and do a lot at the beginning of the week anyway.

I am out of the chaos zone now, but that doesn't mean I'm writing in order because that would be boring ;). The details are all coming together in my head now and flowing nicely onto the paper.

Fav scene I wrote today involved Charlie being mothered by a dragon, and no, sorry, it wasn't Alexander.

What I don't think I've mentioned before is that the novel is not the only thing I am writing this month. I'm trying to finish Dark Reflections 2 as well as converting one of my fanfics to an original novel (an no I'm not just filing the names off - I'm creating a whole new universe and using some of the scenes and the premise which was original in the first place). The way I go about Nano is, on a normal working day, I try to get my Nano word count written in the morning (didn't manage it today because of the weekly shopping) and then writing and other duties in the afternoon. This means I don't get nano'd out with the main book. I'm very bad at staying focused on only one thing.

That there is my mind *points down*, flitting from one thing to the next. Seems to work for me though. I think sometimes I give my sister conniptions ;)

Thursday 8 November 2012

Nanowrimo - again

Yes, I've pinched this idea from my sister :). It actually seems to help to talk about Nano.

Still in the chaos stage today, jumping all over the place, but I was putting in more detail. I wrote a few sewing together scenes and some additions to other scenes which give them  more depth and substance. However, I'm very much still making it up as I go along and I still don't have a clue who the bad guys really are.

They now have an identity of sorts, as in they have been mentioned, but they lack substance or named characters. I also don't know how they link with the other characters I have created so far even though I know their most heinous crimes. It shouldn't take long now before my brain gives me the details. At the moment I basically have this in my head:

Favourite scene I wrote today has to be the one where Alexander got to be snarky at Charlie. Of course I always enjoy scenes were Alexander gets to be snarky :).

Wednesday 7 November 2012


Doing Nano has become rather a tradition for me. I used it to make myself finish my first Chronicles of Charlie Waterman novel, then last year I used it to finish the second one and so this year I am using it to finish the third one.

I'm aiming for 70k or there abouts, because that's the length these books seem to end up and they are a nice reading length. However, the difference this year is I didn't have the first 20K written. This year is total seat of the pants writing. I had a basic idea and the rest is all just happening.

Never fear, this is how I usually write. I am not an ordered writer at all. Sometimes I write down important points so I remember to put them in, but the way I write is very organic. At the moment I am in the throw it at the page stage. In other words I'm skipping from scene to scene just writing what comes into my head. I'm creating people and places on the fly with random scenes form the very first one to the very last without filling in everything in between.

The plot is still developing in my head and so far I have all the good guys mapped out and know exactly what they're doing. I know exactly what the bad guys are doing, but I have no idea who he/she/they/it are yet.

I think I am almost at the refinement stage where I will go back and start filling in important things like places and more about the characters to give them depth, but I'm not quite there. Maybe another couple of days of random writing before I get down to the details.