Tag:

challenge

Looking Back On 2018

Gaiman quoteIt’s been a frustrating year writing wise for me. At the start of the year I was diagnosed with chronic fatigue, which meant my writing went nowhere for six months, while I tried out various solutions that would help get me back on track.

By mid-year I was starting to feel better, but the project I had been working on for NaNoWriMo 2017? Well, I’d fallen out of love with that. I’d had a crisis of confidence, thanks to the fatigue. What did I know about writing science fiction? I would be crap at it. I don’t have the attention to detail required for world building. Blah blah blah.

So, I decided to go back to the one thing I do know about; folklore. I thought a modern fairy tale would be right up my street. Turns out I was wrong. Really wrong. But maybe I needed to spend a few months sweating bullets over a story that was going nowhere to realise that actually my first instinct, for science fiction, was the right one.

So for NaNoWriMo 2018 I decided to dust of my project from the year before and have another crack at it. So far it’s working. I also decided to put my reservations to one side and open a Wattpad account, where I could showcase finished pieces and get feedback on works in progress. It does become a time suck every now and again, but I’ve made some great contacts with other aspiring SF authors and established a pretty solid critique circle for SF writers. I’ve also signed up for a 300 Word A Day challenge which will hopefully keep me on track in the New Year.

Whatever your writing plans are for 2019 I hope you find the success you’re looking for.

NaNoWriMo 2018 – An Exercise In Accepting Failure.

I do it to myself every year. Every year I sign up for NaNoWriMo, knowing full well that I’ll fail. I write for a living. When I get home at night, wringing an extra 1667 words from my brain, when all I want to do is eat and sleep is just never going to happen.

But at least participating encourages me to sit down and write, even if it is only a few hundred words a day. This year it also encourages me to rediscover my love for my 2017 project – The Regulator.

I fell out of love with it after a major case of writer’s block, and ended up on an ultimately fruitless dive in to the realms of fairy tale and fantasy. Choosing a project for NaNoWriMo that would not leave me banging my head against the wall in frustration forced me to face the fact that I’m not cut out for fantasy writing. Space ships and big fucking guns are way more my style.

So, I got a new cover sorted out, dusted off the file in Dabble, mended a few plot holes, tweaked a few characters and set off for the the stars once more. So far, so good. Now, if I could just nail the look for my main female character. Despite hers being the principle point of view I’m still a little sketchy on her look. Perhaps that’s something I need to place in the hands of fate. If I find her I’ll know I’m on the right track.

Challenge Season Is About To Begin

I admit I’m rather reluctant to do NaNoWriMo this year. I’ve never found it useful and the daily word limit required to hit 50,000 words is simply out of my reach when I have a full time job that requires me to write. By the end of my professional day I am frequently out of the mental steam required to squeeze another 1000+ words out of my brain.

So this year I’m taking a more laid back approach to the challenge. I’m starting with my Norse Mythology project, something I’ve already written 6000 words on, and in the run up to NaNoWriMo I’m entering the ChapterBuzz 10k challenge. This challenge is much closer to my writing speed – 350 words a day rather than 1667 – and as the ChapterBuzz authors put it on their website,

“By focusing on a relatively small number of words—instead of, say, 50,000—you’ll be able to put more thought into what you’re writing, and end up with a solid foundation for a great novel that you can build on over time.”

Fingers crossed that means I’ll have 16,000 words, or more before NaNoWriMo even starts. Yes, I know that’s cheating, but with no real prospect of doing 50,000 words in a month, this year I’m using National Novel Writing Month more as an incentive to write than an actual goal. That way it won’t be too upsetting if I only manage to crawl up to November 30th with 30,000 words under my belt.