Thursday, October 31, 2013


Being as today is the first of November I thought this was the ideal time to make this post.

Following writers and members of sites and forums where writers hang out tends to make one aware of Nanowrimo, which for those who don't know stands for National Novel Writing Month.

This initiative started some years ago and the object of it is to write 50,000 words, a novel length work within a month. That month being November.

Nanowrimo started in the norther hemisphere and to hold the 'contest' in November makes perfect sense. It's the month before the Christmas rush of December and when the weather in the northern hemisphere starts to turn, so more time is likely to spent enjoying the great indoors.

It works a little differently in the southern hemisphere. November is when out weather begins to get good, and a lot of summer sports have either just started or about to. It's still possible to do it, though. You just have organise your schedule a little differently.

Nanowrimo has spawned a few best sellers. Both Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen and Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus began their lives as Nanowrimo projects.

I've never done the proper Nanowrimo as such and I probably won't do it this year, but I am going to attempt to hit the 50,000 word mark within a month.

I credit the idea of Nanowrimo as being what got me into the habit of writing daily and building a daily word count. I started off small, very small. I aimed to do at least 100 words a day and then increased it by 100 each month. I capped off at 1,000 per day.

To hit the Nanowrimo target you need to write 1666.6 recurring words a day. I'm not actually sure how you get .6 of a word, although some of the made up words I use in Realmspace may qualify, so you just kind of round it up and aim for 1,667 words per day.

Other people have said that one of the problems with this is when you lose a day or two and have to try and catch up. That could be an issue for me, although I'll do what I can to not let it happen. I tend to take weekends off, but that will go by the wayside for this month at least.

Why I said I won't be doing an actual Nanowrimo is that while I am aiming for 50,000 words in the month they won't all be in the one novel.

Realmspace came out at roughly 80,000 words and the sequel: Music and Mayhem, was 75,000 words. I'm now 47,000 words (did 1709 today on the first day of Nanowrimo) into the 3rd Realmspace book: Shattered Chaos, and that's probably going to come out near 80,000 words as well.

Wait! You haven't even got an agent for Realmspace and you're writing the 3rd book in the series? Isn't that a little risky? Possibly, and more probably a waste of time if I can't get Realmspace off the ground. However, yes there had to be a however in there, each book is self contained. There's no cliffhanger endings at the end of each book. No need to read on unless you really want to, and they have a main character, a concept and some settings in common.

I don't know that I ever intended to write more than one book, but once I started Realmspace and got a way into it I just knew there were way more ideas than I could ever fit into one book. So for me it was logical that once I completed the first one, I would start to write a second one and the third one was already writing itself once I got through the second one.

I could write a fourth, but I think after completing 3 of them is a good time to take a break. So when I finish that I'll work on some short stories. I have an incomplete one which serves as background for another concept the bunny bit me with some time ago and has managed to dredge up more recently. I can finish that and start the new idea, which is an urban fantasy concept that at this stage I call Foxwood, which Bronwen keeps whispering seductively in my ear about.

Posts may be a little sparse in November as I try to make my daily word count, but I will try and keep people updated on my progress as regards that score.

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