Sunday, November 30, 2008


Oh my good God, I did it! I didn't think I would, even this morning when I had 3,000 words to go. But I did! Whoop! So first draft of Dorcas Grubb is now complete. You can see my NaNo page and look at my stats, plus read an extract of the first draft here.

The hardest thing I found with doing NaNoWriMo this year, well, one of the hardest things, was that I completed the story, wrote "The End" and everything, when I still had 6,000 words to write. So without that motivation to get to the end (as I had already done it), I found it really difficult to stay motivated. I think this is what has happened with Inter Vivos too - I have completed the first draft of that, but now that I have to go back and fill in some gaps, it's not as exciting anymore. I guess this is where discipline should take over, but I'm crap at making myself do stuff like this. So new resolution, I am going to write every day. I am not going to stick to a word limit per day, though I think a minimum of 50 words is doable, but I am going to add a stipulation that these words must be in the form of fiction (regardless of medium), and by that I mean does not include any planning, note taking, character notes, maps, or anything else that is not directly contributing to a short story, novel, play, etc.

Phew! And I'm going to be strict on myself.

Anyway, I am 28 years old, and have two completed first drafts under my belt. Not a bad position to be in, so long as I don't lose momentum, and I actually do something with them. I'm feeling good.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Almost There...

I am going to win NaNoWriMo this year, I am! I have two days, and 4,370 words, to go to hit that 50K mark. My story is rubbish, and I'm not sure how good the finish product is going to be at the end of this. My tummy hurts, I'm tired, and I want to do anything else other than sit down and write. Aargh! I will do it though, I must!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

sleep time soon

Right, I am blogging this just before I go to sleep (oh the joys of a BlackBerry). I didn't write any words for nanowrimo for three days, which meant today I spent three hours playing catch-up. And I got there, just. I had quite a nice night actually, listened to vampire weekend and David bowie, ate chestnuts, wrote almost 6000 words. Was good. I think I've written the end now, though I need to add one last sentence, but I'm still 6000 words short of my goal. I may have to go through and add weather. Only four days to go...

Thursday, November 20, 2008


I read this news story yesterday, and got a bit upset that Inter Vivos was completely stupid, and, for a futuristic distopian work of fiction, was out dated in regards to modern medical discoveries - why would people need machines to replace organs, when they could grow new parts using stem cells. I fell into a bit of a depression.

Then, today, I read this news story, and was filled with joy, as this supports the premise of my story after all, that people can survive without organs, and so my novel isn't outdated! Whoop!

Funny old news week!

And I know it really doesn't matter, that it's my world, my created reality, and I can do whatever I damn well please, but I do like to have a scientific basis as background to the happenings of the book.

A NaNoWriMo update: I am sad to report that I wrote bugger all yesterday. Not one word. This is not good. Am going to write oodles tonight, to try to get rid of the guilt monkeys.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Week Three, and I'm still slogging on...

My best friend, Jen, had a baby yesterday, her second, a little girl called Abigail Hannah. Luckily, she was born by caesarean - I say "lucky" because she weighed 9lbs 12 ozs! Ouch!

I've written just over 28000 words of my NaNoWriMo novel so far, and am on schedule - just. I've been finding it hard to sit still and concentrate for long periods of time, so I've been doing three sessions of thirty minutes a day, roughly, which allows me to crank out the necessary words for the daily target. I haven't been feeling particularly inspired writing Dorcas, to be honest. I think possibly that having had the idea in my head for an entire year has meant that it has not only gone off the boil over time, ie all that initial excitment has gone, but also everything I do write just doesn't compare to the grand masterpiece I had in my head. Although, I think I may have reached a break-through point yesterday, when I reached a bit of the story that I hadn't got planned out, and I regained some of that enthusiasm again when I started inventing things off the top of my head. However, today it's back to the plan again. Next year, I'm going to decide what I'm writing for NaNoWriMo two weeks before, and that'll be it.

At the weekend, I attended a SF and Fantasy writing course, led by Damien G Walter, and I think the course may have fixed the problems I've been having with the opening of Inter Vivos. I think the reason why I've been finding it so difficult to re-write the beginning is that there was no definitive inciting incident, nothing structurally that said "and this is what happens that motivates the rest of the story". Instead, there are several events that contribute, but this leaves the reader less engaged in the story. So after NaNo, rewrite number 3 of IV will begin. I am determined to get it finished!

I've also got a few ideas for short stories that I'm going to try to work on at weekends after I've finished my NaNo words. I really want to target some of the short story markets. Busy, busy, busy!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

"Dorcas Grubb" Extract

Just a very quick post to say that I've posted up a very small extract of chapter two from Dorcas Grubb on the NaNoWriMo website. I may post a different extract on here when I get time, but for now, you will have to be satisfied with this! :-) - under the "Novel Info" tab.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Lost Words

A few nights ago, my computer decided to have a bit of a spasm, and I lost the 400-odd words I had written. Not good when you're NaNoWriMo-ing, and every word counts! It was really annoying because I had to start again, but I couldn't remember exactly what I had written, and so had to write a poor man's version instead. And the sad fact is that now I'm convinced that my computer crashing has robbed the world of 400 words of literary gold, never to be accomplished again (oh it's great what memory can do for the ego!).
Lesson 1: save your work every two minutes, even if others start to think you have OCD. And for heavens sake, Back up!

A Dorcas Grubb update, though this probably won't mean anything to anyone, but Dorcas and Callum have just made their first journey in time together, back to 1485, to Leicester, to see Richard III at the Blue Boar Inn. Callum likes the idea of being a knight in shining armour, but Dorcas just thinks the place smells funny. The story is moving along, but I think that I've got too much stuff to include into one book. I think I may end up getting rid of one of their trips back in time. Also, I have no idea what medieval Leicester looked like, so if anyone knows, please contact me!

Bonfire night was a wash-out (literally), but thank you to Mekon and Hannah for coming over. Sorry I made you watch musicals til the early hours!

It was rememberance day yesterday, and I tried to get in a two minute silence before the phone rang again in my office. There's only a few people alive now who were actually involved in the First World War. I was watching the ceremony on the telly, and it just made me well up, to think that anyone had to be surrounded by all that horror and death, just because their government willed it.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Dorcas Rant

I'm on target for NaNowrimo, but I just don't feel like I'm getting into my stride. I've messed up the order of events already - which is easily fixable, I know, but it's just annoying and messy. Also, Dorcas isn't coming across how I'd like her to. Maybe this is because it's written in the third person. Oh, I don't know. Anyway, 8991 words and counting ...

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


A few pictures for you today. The first is a mock up of the book cover for Dorcas Grubb. Thanks to Morph for the photoshopping! I stole the picture of the girl from Flicker (via a yahoo image search) so if she ever finds this, sorry! But that's almost exactly how Dorcas looks in my head, which is a bit scary.
I'm up to 6,098 words, and it's still going well. I do think I'll need some help a bit later though, but will post on the forum about that.
It's quite exciting, because at the minute, I am feeling really optimistic, as the story is so full of possibilities. So I can day dream about agents, and publishers, and book tours and my book cover, safe in the knowledge that at this stage of the writing, it is still all possible. Apparently, this is a common feeling for week one NaNoWriMo-ers.
The second and third photos are from our latest office craze, courtesy of If you're bored, go have a go, it's hilarious. Anyway, this is what I'd look like in 1964 (left) and 1982 (right). In the 1982 pic, I look scarily like my mum on her wedding day!

Monday, November 03, 2008

First NaNoWriMo Update

I started this year's NaNoWriMo project, Dorcas Grubb, a few minutes past midnuight, as I don't trust my watch to be accurate. I'm at about 4,000 words so far, but I've not written today's quota yet, so should have 6k under my belt by this evening. The NaNoWriMo website keeps falling over though, which is not good, but I'm hoping that they can get it fixed before too long.

I've decided to refer to this novel as a "young adult" book, rather than as "science fiction", as I'm not sure after writing four thousand words how "sci-fi" it's actually going to be; I have a feeling I may end up treading into fantasy territory without meaning to. But I'm sure whatever I decide it will be for the best.

I may post an extract on here at some point, but I might not, depending on the quality of it!

I am really tired today, after the Son cast party, where I have learned that having 5 hours sleep as a 27 year old is not a good thing! So I'm going to head to the library in a sec and bang out my word quota and then go home for an early night.

I'll try to write something more interesting when I'm not so tired!