Wednesday, 2 November 2016

No, no NanoWriMo



I'd like to wish everyone taking part in NaNoWriMo 2016 the very best of luck with their projects this time around, but sadly I won't be joining in the fun (or the moments of crushing, desperate defeat) this year. My last couple of NaNo attempts didn't work out that well, and with my writing career developing in a rather different way during 2016 (hello, comics scene!) I've decided that, this year at least, NaNo is a no-no.

I have a lot of love for that most literary of yearly events, I mean, my first (and so far only) novel was born from furious NaNo sessions. Its sequel, another NaNoWriMo project, is yet to be completed. I thin that after the experience with that first novel I needed to take a look at the way I structure my writing and how stories develop.

For now I am concentrating on comics and the music memoir, but the need to write prose fiction is still there – just a little subdued at the moment. That need is brooding in its dark cave, figuring out how next to approach something with a chunky word count without leading me to the same stumbling blocks I met before.



Writing is a constant learning experience. You can never know all of it. It's just not possible. What you can develop is the ability to take the seed of a story and help it to flourish. My comics work in recent months has helped me massively. The scripts are relatively short in comparison to prose, but the settings, dialogue and stage directions have to be laid out in such a way as to correctly convey your point to the artist, and then the reader.

This has really helped me to hone things a lot in terms of character, pacing, conflicts and resolution, as so much has to be shown visually as well as in the dialogue, and so once the memoir is out I may have to get started on a new novel.

Something fresh that doesn't come with the baggage of the universe I began with A Stolen Fate. Having said that, I'm determined that the sequel will be completed eventually, as the plot of it kicks large quantities of backside. Just not quite yet.

Life is in one of those states of flux where anything can happen, but once I find my way out of that uncertain vortex, then the next novel will come. And the next. And the next. So good luck, brave NaNoWriMo participants – You CAN do this, and this year I'll be cheering you on from the side.

Good luck.

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