NaNoWriMo 2019, I’ve just put up my novel for this year

Nanowrimo graphic

As I have for the past few years, once again I’m going to try and put out 50,000 words.

The title of the novel will be “Betrayal”, though that might change as the novel progresses.  Sometimes a better title comes to me later on in the writing.

It’s another spy thriller, though with a slightly different angle this time, and I’ve spent the last few days working on an outline which is, to say the least, very general at the moment.

I know how it will start.

I know how it will end, or at least I think I do.  Having an end in mind is quite new for me because I tend to write and see where it goes, like being in the reader’s seat and not knowing what will happen next.

Over the next few days I will refine the cast of characters and then work on some of the introductory plot points.

Right now, as I’m writing this, I can see a rather dank prison cell somewhere in Moscow, where one of the main characters is languishing.

The other, in rather different circumstances, has just got through the throes of a semi amicable divorce and is considering how the next chapter of his life is going to be written.

That, of course, could change in the next twelve hours, after I’ve slept on it.

It’s now 2am here and time to get some sleep (or either pleasant or unpleasant dreams, depending on the character whose shoes I want to step into).

 

Am I making any progress?

It’s been a long couple of weeks in which I have been reassessing a number of my writing projects.

A few weeks ago I was sitting in front of the computer screen, the ever-pervasive cursor flashing on a blank piece of digitized paper, and finding words were not filling the lines, decided to revisit a few previous works.

Perhaps as a change in routine the house might have caught on fire, or there could be a major catastrophe with an earthquake coming out of left field, or family member or friend could have rung and told me they were in dire need of my help.

No one called, nothing happened, so it was back to plan B.

It’s not that I haven’t been writing, because when all else failes I have a series on the go called ‘Being Inspired, maybe’ which takes a photograph and I write about it, or whatever it conjured up in my mind.  I have SomNote on my phone, and when I want to write, whether at home, out sitting in traffic, eaiting for any reason, or idle, I write.

Then there’s my YA novel that I’m writing for my 16-year-old granddaughter, and which I’ve been toiling over for 4 years or so.  The other day I finally drew the quest map and aligned the text already written with it.

It’s finally taking shape and nearing the end.

I find SomNote excellent for just putting words down, emailing it my myself and rehashing it later.  It has basically been used to write the first 37 chapters on the novel.

But as for the other writing?

Strangers We’ve Become, the follow up to What Sets Us Apart, is done and at the editors.

The Things We Do For Love, a little story I wrote many years ago, had undergone a rewrite and is also almost ready for publication.  It will be categorized as Romantic Suspense, along with Sunday In New York.

My other story, the tales of PI Walthenson, private detective, is finished, and through two rewrites, and is now on a final edit before going to the editor.

After Zoe’s first adventure in ‘The Devil You Don’t’, she finds that the past she tried to leave behind had come back to bite her.  The second adventure is called ‘First Dig Two Graves’, because it is about revenge and whether or not it’s best served cold.

And we may or may not find out whether John’s romantic aspirations are fulfilled.

But, the spanner in the works?  NANOWRIMO where I hope to get another story underway.  It is a perfect opportunity to write another raw novel, to compliment the three previously done, and, when there are more hours in the day, I can get around to polishing and publishing.

So it’s the middle of the night, and I’m in a hospital

At what point does the journalist come out in a writer?

Quite often journalists become writers because of their vast experience in observing and writing about the news, sometimes in the category of ‘truth is stranger than fiction’.

I did journalism at University, and thought I would never get to use it.  I had to interview people, write articles, and act as an editor.  The hardest part was the headlines.

How much does that resemble the job of coming up with a title for your book?

Well, several opportunities arose over the last few months to dig out the journalist hat, put it on, and go to work.

Where?

Hospital.  I’ve had to go there a few times more in the last few months than I have in recent years.

And I’d forgotten just how hospitals are interesting places, especially the waiting room in Emergency.

After the second or third visit, I started to observe the people who were waiting, and ran through various scenarios as to the reason for their visit.  None may have been true, but it certainly was an exercise in creative writing, and would make an excellent article.

Similarly, once we got inside the inner sanctum, where the real work is done, there is any number of crises and operations going on, and plenty of material for when I might need to include a hospital scene in one of my stories.

Or I could write a volume in praise of the people who work there and what they have to endure.  Tending the sick, injured and badly injured is not a job for the faint hearted.

Research, if it could be called that, turns up in the unlikeliest of places.  Doctors who answer questions, not necessarily about the malady, nurses who tell you about what it’s like in Emergency on nights you really don’t want to be there, and other patients and their families, all of whom have a story to tell, or just wait patiently for a diagnoses and then treatment so they can go home.

We get to go this time about four in the morning.  Everyone is tired.  More people are waiting.  Outside it is cool and the first rays of light are coming over the horizon as dawn is about to break.

I ponder the question without an answer, a question one of the nurses asked a youngish doctor, tossed out in conversation, but was there a more intent to it; what he was doing on Saturday night.

He didn’t answer.  Another crisis, another patient.

I suspect he was on duty in Emergency.

Experiences as inspiration

At what point does the journalist come out in a writer?

Quite often journalists become writers because of their vast experience in observing and writing about the news, sometimes in the category of ‘truth is stranger than fiction’.

I did journalism at University, and thought I would never get to use it.  I had to interview people, write articles, and act as an editor.  The hardest part was the headlines.

How much does that resemble the job of coming up with a title for your book?

Well, several opportunities arose over the last few months to dig out the journalist hat, put it on, and go to work.

Where?

Hospital.  I’ve had to go there a few times more in the last few months than I have in recent years.

And I’d forgotten just how hospitals are interesting places, especially the waiting room in Emergency.

After the second or third visit, I started to observe the people who were waiting, and ran through various scenarios as to the reason for their visit.  None may have been true, but it certainly was an exercise in creative writing, and would make an excellent article.

Similarly, once we got inside the inner sanctum, where the real work is done, there is any number of crises and operations going on, and plenty of material for when I might need to include a hospital scene in one of my stories.

Or I could write a volume in praise of the people who work there and what they have to endure.  Tending the sick, injured and badly injured is not a job for the faint hearted.

Research, if it could be called that, turns up in the unlikeliest of places.  Doctors who answer questions, not necessarily about the malady, nurses who tell you about what it’s like in Emergency on nights you really don’t want to be there, and other patients and their families, all of whom have a story to tell, or just wait patiently for a diagnoses and then treatment so they can go home.

We get to go this time about four in the morning.  Everyone is tired.  More people are waiting.  Outside it is cool and the first rays of light are coming over the horizon as dawn is about to break.

I ponder the question without an answer, a question one of the nurses asked a youngish doctor, tossed out in conversation, but was there a more intent to it; what he was doing on Saturday night.

He didn’t answer.  Another crisis, another patient.

I suspect he was on duty in Emergency.

We are taught not to be selfish, but…

Today I decided to take some time out and read a few blogs, to see what the rest of the world is doing post-NaNoWriMo, and sometimes read some news that’s usually a few days old, not that I’m complaining.

And still working on the James Bondish piece that set my mind on fire.  Last I heard, I was just about to jump from a helicopter about to be hit by a handheld rocket.

I try to keep away from the news if it’s possible, but it comes at you from everywhere.  My browser somehow decided to allow notifications and every few minutes a little popout slides out from the bottom right corner and tells me what’s gone wrong.

Never any good news by the way.

And yes, I have Windows 10, but I can’t be bothered reading the manual to find out how to stop them.  Maybe, subconsciously, I don’t.

I never thought one man could generate so many headlines.  We had one, given the nickname, the human headline, but Trump, he is in a class of his own.

I used to like watching him on The Apprentice, believe it or not.

But again I digress…

I saw the word selfish, and it reminded me that, at times writers have to be.  There are only so many hours in a day, and after emails, blogs, reading, news, life, there’s very little time left to write.

So, we need to be selfish at those times.  I am because when I sit down to write, there shouldn’t be any distractions.  As a writer, I’m not seeking popularity, maybe one day that will come, but I’m in this writing thing because I have stories to tell and I want to get them down.  Nobody may ever read them, I may never rise above mediocrity, but I am doing something I love, and very few of us out there can say that unequivocally.

Most of us have a day job or something else that consumes a great deal of our time.

Oh to be a successful author like James Patterson?  But how does he do it?  I guess it comes down to hard work, and a little bit of luck.

And maybe, one day, if I work hard enough, some of it might come my way.

NaNoWriMo – Day 30 – Just crossed the finish line

That’s it for another year.

67,941 words written, but if I sat down now to read the novel, the post-it notes would get in the way.

Oh, there is so much revision to do!

But, at least I managed to write a complete novel in a month which is what I managed to do each year, and then worry about editing and refining for the next eleven.

Not looking forward to that job, no sir.

Of course, the ending is nothing like what I envisioned thirty days ago in the plan, but where does it ever once the characters take over.

Until next year or something momentous, I bid you all a good night.

NaNoWriMo – Day 29 – The finish line is in sight

And everything is going to hell in a handbasket.

The end I had all formed in my mind and ready to put down, well, I don’t think I should have gone to bed last night.

I had a dream.

Sounds a bit like a familiar speech, doesn’t it.

My dream wasn’t quite as prophetic, it was a new ending.

Damn.

Had I stayed up and wrote the damn thing as it was, I wouldn’t be here now, trying to pull down walls and re-cement them back together a different way, two hours before the official opening.

I could just scream!!!