Sunday, 12 November 2017

NaNoWriMo update

Twelve days into NaNoWriMo and I briefly hit writing fatigue. Last time I posted I mentioned about writing some longer stories for the collection. There was one story I was hopeful might get to around 10,000 words. Indeed it did and still it kept going. The story is set on an island did actually begin to wear me down. It is rather dark and was affecting my mood. I wanted it finished so I could move on. It finally came out at just over 15,000 words - so more an novella than a short story. I'm now thinking it's too long for the collection. Oh well, at least it bumps up the word count, though I've not added it yet. I have instead been adding other stories including previously written ones that fit the theme (about four or five) and those I wrote leading up to the start of NaNoWriMo.

As well as these I have been crashing away at the keys like a mad women and thankfully even though I have panicked that I'm running out of ideas something appears at the last moment. Last Sunday I had the most vivid and funny dream. It fitted the theme and when I woke up I almost kicked my husband out of bed to get downstairs and on the laptop to write it. It was just what I needed. I can't go long without humour so there will be a few slipped into this collection as light relief.

I have attended two workshops at the local library where we have discussed the highs and lows of this exercise as well as looking at finding characters and plots. We also had a post-it note session writing out scenes we would either like to write or were coming up in our stories. We were then asked to move the scenes around and see how that worked. How did it change things? I concentrated on one story idea that is in my notebook but as I wrote the scenes it was starting to develop into an Agatha Christie yet it felt flat. I had no enthusiasm for it. Maybe this is one story that will end up not being written. While I don't generally use post-it notes I do write scenes down (when I'm writing a novel) and then I pick the order, so similar thing really.

Way back in the spring I saw a call for Christmas spooky tales and I thought, yeah maybe I could write one of those. So I started it but stopped after three paragraphs and forgot about it. Yesterday I opened that file and threw myself into it. I may have missed the deadline for the competition but at least I'd completed it. I actually frightened myself a bit! It is based on something that happened to me and I told a friend. She said 'I bet you'll find a story in that.'  Finally, I have. Of course writing is a licence to exaggerate and change things a little and I've done all that.

When I began this venture I had a tentative title for the collection. That's changed now and I'm re-writing the blurb. Some of my stories are spooky but they are not only ghost stories. I have widened the criteria to include dark tales which cover the supernatural, myths and crime. I have pushed my writing further, gone down routes I have never explored before and that has also influenced what I'm choosing to read now (or maybe it began with the reading).

I have even chosen a cover for the collection. It's temporary and involved me looking through pages of free art online. It just helps to have an idea of where I am going, makes it feel real.

I've done my word count for today so I can take a break and head back to some reading.

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