NaNoWriMo Wrap-Up: My Own Progress

It’s over. The Word-God is sated, the Panic Jar has been put back in the darkened, blood-stained cave where it once came from. So how was it for me?

My Project (s)
I hit 77k this year, the first time I’ve done less than a previous year but really that was for the best. I wrote a couple of short stories, some small scenes for Lightning’s advent calendar which will take place during the final release of Lightning Season One. That may mean little, but you’ll all see one day. I also wrote two novellas. They… don’t entirely suck. They need fixing. They are Lovecraftian murder mysteries. I tried reading works of Agatha Christie and HP Lovecraft beforehand and that didn’t go brilliantly. I started with the early Lovecraft which isn’t great and the Poirots I read were the short stories which weren’t really all that satisfying. Still, once I realised it was the end of October and I had done little prep, I set to it.

File 15-12-2015, 19 48 27
These are my scenes in virtual form, I do have them in actual index card versions, too. I worked out the timeline from a previous comic book incarnation, then the timeline from the murderer’s POV, then I moved the scenes around, cleared up some things and because this is NaNoWriMo and there’s a space for it, I made a cover…

Burnt Offerings.jpg
It’s not good, is it? This is why I have a cover artist (did I tell you lately how I have a cover artist?) I wanted a human figure burning, specifically a woman but try not having a sexualised woman on fire… apparently it’s pretty much not possible.
I started strong but there were a couple of things which didn’t move as fast as I’d like, a suspect needed to get tagged in a little more and I don’t know how clear the mystery is. I’ll review it in a year or two when I’m able and see what worked, what to change, then redraft it. This is what NaNoWriMo is for though.

File 15-12-2015, 19 18 23
Then I got two weeks into NaNoWriMo and realised that I was nearly done and without the scenes for the second novella. I knew the culprit, the setting, the introduction, the ending and the weapon, but not anything else. It was set in a school reunion and I spent part of a write-in using Fiasco playbooks to make randomised relationships between a dozen people. I then put their relationships up on my whiteboard, added random names to the roles and started fleshing out backstories. It was glorious seeing them all come together and I’m sure in a second draft they’ll all pop even more. That story was done in a worryingly short amount of time and at nearly 10,000 words less than the original. I think I hit the beats and moved on too quickly.

File 15-12-2015, 19 17 20
With one week left I was presented with the option of starting a third novella in this series; one with a reality show gone awry, or stop and edit. Sanity prevailed and I stopped to edit. And play Dragon Age: Inquisition. And Rock Band 4. Winding down so much meant that leaving NaNoWriMo felt like less of a wrench and less jarring than in previous years. Last year I didn’t write for most of December, but then I’d hit way too many words.

Anyway, that was me, a fairly standard NaNoWriMo, some work that needs a lot of messing about with and a few short pieces I need to edit and put up. That’s about it for me but more importantly, how about the Brighton Wrimos? Well that’s going to be part two…

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