Thursday, November 3, 2016

I'm not doing Nano, but...

My writing inspiration for this book
For those not in the secret club, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. All those people out there who know they have a book in them can sit down and crank out 50,000 words in the month of November. It has become a big thing, with many people joining in. If you hit the word count target the prize is an online sticker saying the recipient is a winner. And, of course, 50,000 raw, unedited words of something you might be able to turn into a decent book.

I signed up once, but didn't actually start. It works well for some people, since you get lots of online support from other participants, and some coaching from a few high profile writers. I think Neil Gaiman took part once, and Chuck Wendig did, as well.

But it's not how I write. I go back and edit what I wrote yesterday, to make sure I'm making sense to me, if not anyone else. In NaNo it's more like a sink draining. Write 'em down mind-dump style, and don't look back.

However, there's so much buzz around from people doing NaNo that I've hitched a ride, so to speak. I've got a WIP to finish. If I can add 50,000 words in a month, I'll very nearly be able to write a first draft The End. Mind you, that's a looong way from finished, but it's a milestone.

I must add a shout out to Beth Barany. She and her husband run writing courses. She has a mini-course that anyone can do for free. I took the lessons to get myself motivated in late October, and if you're thinking of writing a book, or you're like me - published, but with a stalled WIP - give it a go. You get one-on-one tuition from Beth as you post your lessons. The price is excellent - just some of your time. Here's the link.

So... progress is being made. I'm having lots of 'how am I going to make this work' moments. But that's writing. Some people may say the words pour out of their fingertips, but for me, writing is hard work. Thank goodness we don't use cuneiform tablets anymore.

As part of Beth's course I had to come up with an interim elevator pitch. What is my story about, what are the odds? It's going to change into a blurb in due course, but it encapsulates what I'm writing about.

When history professor Olivia Jhutta receives a distress call from her parents, in trouble somewhere in space, she returns to her home planet to find out what happened to them. Together with her grandmother and injured Confederacy Admiral Jak Prentiss, she sets out to find them. But she's not the only one interested in the Jhutta's whereabouts. The Helicronians believe Olivia's parents have found an ancient weapon which they can use to wage war on the Confederacy, and their agents secretly follow Olivia's every move. If they lay their hands on the weapon it will mean certain death for Olivia – and interplanetary war.

As usual with my stories, it's a mix of politics and history, with a romance thrown in. But before Jak Prentiss can have his wicked way with Olivia, she's going to have to learn to trust him.

Tell you what, churning out words is hard, but, yeah, it's at least a little bit fun.


  1. Greta, Thanks so much for the shout out about our free Plan Your Novel mini-course! Love your blurb! Look forward to reading it! Good luck with your Nano! We all do it differently. Just between you and me, I re-read each day's work before I write. ;)

    1. Yes, there's no set in stone way of doing it. And thanks for your lovely little mini-course


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