NaNoWriMo, day 18

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I thought that it was time for an update on my progress in this year’s NaNoWriMo.

As you might be aware, the idea of NaNoWriMo is to write 50,000 words during the month of November, which should be enough for a first draft, it will give you a plot and most of the background for a novel. 


I know, because I actually wrote “Ribbonworld” in November 2014, while I was off sick from work and had time on my hands awaiting surgery. In the end, it was finished off at 73,000 words in April 2015 and published in November. In 2015 I was busy with other projects and so didn’t take the challenge, this year I made sure that my schedule was clear.


As my project, I took a short story that has had a good reception and decided to turn it into a novel if I could. It was 1,220 words to begin with, hardly a scratch on the 50,000 I wanted to write.


The story was “Andorra Pett and the Oort Cloud Cafe,” my homage to the “Cupcakes on the beach” genre that one literary agent suggested that I should write instead of sci-fi. I thought that as it was a complete departure from my usual thing it would give me the freedom to write what I wanted, to just put down what came out instead of feeling restricted by the genre and by my self-imposed plot. I had no plot for this one, no idea where it would go. I was going to wing it.


If you haven’t read the short story, you can either download it here or click its name above to read it. Or you can take the plunge and get the full collection of short stories that it’s featured in here. (It’s FREE!)


Anyway, after 18 days, I have around 38,000 words done, so I’m coming along nicely, I think that I have the full plot, it’s developed as I went along and not necessarily in the way I expected. I think I know the end and unusually for me, I also think I know which character did what. All I need to do now, in the remaining 12,000 words,is complete the dialogue and scene setting and I’m done. I feel liberated by the simple act of just writing down what came into my head. In fact, at times I don’t remember what I wrote, reading it back was a surprise.


And I found the most amazing website, that I expect everyone else knows about, to design my cover. 

I normally use the wonderful Cathy Helms at Avalon Graphics to do my covers but this one needed something quickly. It will only be an e-book for the moment, assuming that I actually finish it and that it’s worth publishing.


The site is Canva, it’s very easy to use and full of great features, this only took me a couple of minutes (I expect you can tell!), and felt in keeping with the spirit of the story.


Once I have finished writing it and my editor had given it a wave of her magic wand, I’ll be asking for opinions and giving away some free copies of the first edit before the whole thing goes live. Stay tuned for details! And if you’re struggling with your own project, just let it flow and see where you end up. Good luck!

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