Wednesday, 12 November 2014


November sees a flurry of writing activity as writers the world over sign up for NaNoWriMo - or National Novel Writing Month. The idea is that during November, you knuckle under and write every day - at the end of that time, you'll have at least a 50,000 word novel completed. A lot of my writing friend are taking part and I'm cheering them on from the sidelines as their word counts creep or leap in the right direction - up!

It doesn't suit everyone as a way to work. Chuck Wendig, whilst being adamant that writers need to write to succeed (which is obvious really, but you'd be amazed at how many of us say we're writers but faff about on Facebook or blog or paint bathrooms to avoid getting proper words down sometimes...), admits that such a structured, pressured way of working might not be for everyone. Quite frankly, I wasn't sure I'd have the self-discipline...

Anyway, this year, if you're a regular reader of the scribbles, you'll have seen I've been struggling to know what to do with the two complete novels I've written. Neither of them have that something special to make them stand out. Add to that a major flaw in how I structure my stories, which became apparent after the York Festival of Writing, and I reached a point where I had to decide whether to fix the flaw or start work on something brand-spanking new where the flaw would not appear. 'Cos now I know about it, it'll never appear again, right? Hmm...

NaNoWriMo seemed like a good opportunity to start a different project. I'd had an idea...a shadow of a new novel that I had actually planned out to make sure that flamin' flaw was not going to be there. NaNoWriMo might give me the impetus I needed to get stuck in. Problem was, I still wanted very much to self-pub one of my already completed novels next year - probably just a small print run and a digital version - see how it would be received by readers. I still love the story, you see, can't let it go...

As a compromise, I decided to adopt NaNoEdMo - National Novel Editing Month. I would work every day on that flaw as best I could, so the book would be ready to publish after Granny Rainbow 2.

And I've done it.

I'm now in the processing of listening to Dragon read it all back to me - and there's nothing like an inhuman digital voice putting the wrong emphasis on a sentence, or struggling with words it doesn't recognise because I've written an accent, to focus the mind on what you've written! Hopefully, I'll get the final chapters listened to before the weekend and then...

Then, it's going to a publisher who has seen a sample of the novel and asked to see the full MS. It's only a nibble, and might not come to anything, but there's hope. And even if it goes no further, I will publish it myself next year as planned - so I win either way!

After that, it'll be JaNewNoStar - January New Novel Start! Wish me luck.


  1. Good luck, Katherine, can't wait to read the published novel. And I love the idea of NaNoEdMo! My irregular work demands make it impossible to do NaNoWriMo but you've inspired me to set myself a writing challenge in solidarity with my friends who are attempting it.

    1. Yay! Perhaps we'll have enough of us to form a sub-group next year - maybe NaNoWriMo will adopt it as a formal addition to the writing-new-stuff approach?

  2. I think I'd rather attempt Movemeber than any of these November writing thingies, but wishing you loads of luck! Hope to hear good news before too long.

  3. Sounds like NaNoEdMo is a great idea and should be an event to suggest to the Office of Letters and Light - I could do with a bit of motivation on that front.

    What's the dragon you mention? It sounds neat!

    1. Dragon is my voice recognition package - had to get it when I had a bad arm over the summer, but it's just as good for reading my own work back to me as it is at taking dictation!