The ghosts of NaNoWriMo past. 2020. The year of The Syk’m.

NaNo was a success for me in 2020. In the end, I managed to write 51865 words of my next story. As always, there’s a mixture of feelings, relief and amazement that I actually managed to finish and sadness that I will be leaving the characters that I’ve come to know over the last four weeks.

To be honest, I found it a lot harder this year. I think it was because I was writing in a new style to my usual Sci-fi and I had to learn the rules of my creation as I went along. There was so much that I couldn’t use, the technology of the setting was entirely different and the characters were the first aliens I had ever tried to portray. I found that some of the constraints imposed by the world-building made the story that much harder to get down, although I also found that aliens have powers that can come in handy and give the story a very satisfying twist.

As you might already know, The Syk’m is a fantasy adventure, set in at least two worlds. As it says right at the start,

They were the threat of my childhood, the thing that made us all obedient. Behave, or The Syk’m will come and take you away, we were told. And it worked, we went to bed, put out our lights, stopped our shouting. Because we were young, we believed in The Syk’m, creatures who watched over us and could do unimaginable things. But it turned out that they weren’t the only monsters.

 And with a first paragraph like that, I felt a little bit of pressure to deliver.

You can read the first draft of Chapter one by clicking here

I also tried a new writing technique, I dictated a lot of the story onto my phone, using the speech to text feature in Microsoft Word. I hoped it would increase my writing speed and while it was convenient to get my ideas down when I wasn’t close to a keyboard, it brought its own set of problems. More about that in another post.

I now intend to put the story away for a while to let it mellow in my mind.

I need a cover image, the trouble is, I can’t find anything that remotely comes close to what I want. I guess I need to find a good designer and brief them, once I have a better idea of the message I need it to convey.

At the start of next year, I will revisit my manuscript, probably re-write a large amount of it and with a bit of luck, I’ll end up with a story that can start the journey to publication.

Update for November 2021

The Syk’m was edited, and beta read. Following that, I added around 20,000 words to the story.

It was published in October 2021. I found a fantastic cover designer, Jen Parker at Fuzzy Flamingo who got the concept immediately and gave me this image.

I’ve already had some great reviews, like this one,

All my publications can be found on my Amazon page,

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