Thursday, November 16, 2017

NaNoWriMo in All Its Glory

I was asked on Quora about previous Nano novels, and looking back I realised I've had a very chequered Nano career. I’ve got a lot of finished (but mostly unedited) stories and a couple of unfinished ones and the quality really varies.

2004 The Coven.

A group of would-be witches get in over their heads and need help to get one of their own back from an alternate reality.

Mostly very bad, but with odd flashes of “where did that come from?”

2006 Another Way

A quantum computer becomes sentient.

Probably one of my favourites of all my books. It has a lesbian couple as the main protagonists, and two bedroom scenes. Mind you, one is a quarrel and one is a pillow fight, but still.

2007 Missing

A young child goes missing and his sister tries to rescue him with the help of her professor.

Very badly written and unresearched on police procedure. A few nice moments with the kid from his point of view.

2008 Magic Time

Three children go back through a portal into an earlier time.

Unfinished and probably just as well. I think I got 24k words before I ran out of steam.

2009 Space Escape

Something about rescuing sentient animals.

Even looking at the draft I can’t make sense of it. Not one of my better efforts.

2010 The Silver Flute

Claire falls through into an alternate universe where science is masquerading as “magic” and she finds a flute that is the key to opening the doors to other worlds. Will she fall in love and stay in the new world or return to her own? And how?

A very messy book but it’s my favourite because I loved the characters of Claire, the journalist with the temperament of a librarian, and Rhea, the innkeeper she falls in love with. Although it’s technically finished, Claire ends up with the wrong person and I want to rewrite it to the ending I really want.

2011 Timeless

A Mary-Sue character gets abducted by time travellers and after adventures in the future sets up her own rival time travel agency. With a cast including a clapped-out AI, blue and grey humans and an annoying cousin.

An OK story. As usual some fun parts and some less so.

2012 Saving Space Through Tessellation

When Sylvie's father is kidnapped from a secure science lab, her life is in danger as much as his. Can she escape from the confines of her school with the help of her two friends and rescue her father, who is being held on another planet in another galaxy?

Includes a man in a crocheted chicken suit and a random penguin. (It was just after Random House and Penguin merged. I really thought they should have chosen the name “Random Penguin”.)

It’s a bit of a schoolgirl romp and I had fun with it. It's also my favourite of all my titles.

2014 Marked

When Amy inherits a country cottage from her Gran she also inherits a mysterious book which turns out to be cursed. In trying to remove the curse, Amy sets free a demon who places his mark on her. Can she get rid of the mark before she succumbs to its power and becomes possessed by the demon?

Unfinished at 28k because I took the book in a direction that didn’t work. Not one I want to go back to.

2015 Twisted

Em's difficult home life makes her an obvious target for anyone looking for disaffected youngsters. A shady group who claim to be exploring a distant planet recognise her potential and enlist her for her science background. But what is really going in with the Asimov Foundation?

I don’t remember much about this one which is a bad sign!

One year I tried editing instead of writing. That didn’t go well. Some years I just didn’t write at all.

This year I won't know how well it's gone until afterwards. At the moment I'm putting off writing my story by blogging instead. At least I've written every day so far, except for a pre-arranged day off. Tomorrow is another day off. I ought to get onto my story now and stop playing online.

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

The Worst Story


This is how I'm keeping track of my word count. I've got two days when I know I won't be able to write so I'm trying to get ahead as much as I can.

I'm already at the stage of using up a lot of my preplanned plot, and feeling that this has to be the worst story ever.

My aliens look like large blobs of jelly, with many eyes on stalks around the top which are in constant movement. They  have complete rotational symmetry so they have no front or back; they have tentacles round their middles and stumpy legs. They can’t hear and they communicate by flashing coloured patterns over their skin.

I also have another set of aliens that look like Wookies, and the ones that look like crickets but are the size of a large poodle. The latter are companion animals to the Wookies, sort of.

It all seemed so logical at the time.

Friday, November 03, 2017

Day three of Nano

I've had three reminders to donate to Nano so far, so that averages one a day.

It was the constant demands for money that made me give up after 2015 and not write at all last year. This year I don't know if I'll donate because my main support is on Quora and Ravelry and not on the Nano forums which are well-nigh unusable.

I love the creativity of Nano but it's a pity that it's being turned into a mostly fund-raising event.

Nevertheless, I now have over 7,000 words written. It's been a tough one today. I wrote before checking any social media using mostly ideas I'd planned out over the last month and some I came up with on my bike ride yesterday.

Then I went out for a cycle ride hoping to come up with some more ideas but today that just didn't happen.

I'm going to be running out of preplanned ideas soon. I wonder what I'll do then.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Am I even a writer?

I usually call myself an “amateur writer” because otherwise I think people will assume that I plan to make money by writing. Nope. It’s a hobby.

Strange, because I don’t call myself an “amateur crocheter” even though I don’t plan to make money from it. I’m pretty good at crocheting - clearly not an amateur!

I’m not an amateur pedestrian, driver, or cyclist either; I’m just any one of those three at any time.

I wonder when “writer” got to mean “someone who makes a living at writing”. Or maybe it didn’t and it’s just me.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

It's that time again

The clocks went back today and the evenings will be dark now. We're getting into firework season and the cats will have to be kept in early. Xmas approaches and I've already missed overseas posting dates.

Only three days left to NaNoWriMo

Last year I ignored it and the year before I tried editing instead of writing. I didn't feel I gained much by either strategy. So this year I will again attempt to write a 50k word story in a month. Go me!

I have characters, a world, and some sort of shambolic plot. I also have aliens, lots of lovely aliens. I mean what's not to like?

I've looked back over past efforts and I liked bits of what I'd written. I have a particular fondness for the scene with the chicken suit and the random penguin.

I will never be a professional author because I'm not willing to put in the time and discipline needed but writing is my hobby and it's the chance to really get into it once a year.

I haven't made it to 50k every year I've tried so it remains a real challenge, and this month I'm starting a new volunteer job with Beanstalk, as well as having a lot of family commitments.

No one ever said it would be easy. Wish me luck!

Friday, October 06, 2017

The Fall

“Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness.”

Not here. Not now.

The wind whips leaves from the trees
In showers of red, orange, yellow.
They carpet the ground with softness, damp and yielding underfoot.

Horse chestnut trees scatter their spiky husks,
And here is a conker:
Round shiny treasure like polished mahogany
Sitting abandoned on the soggy leaves
But not for long.
Children will take it to its new home.

Now the rain comes
Sideways in the buffeting wind.
Head, neck, trousers cold and colder
As we run for home.

Later we look out through rain-flooded windows
Hot tea in hand
At the October storm that is stripping the trees
Naked.

What else will fall?

Autumn is not a gentle season
In England
Now.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...