Tag Archives: Novel

NaNoWriMo ‘10 – Day 28

nanowrimo_participant_08_120x240 Less than a month ago, I started writing NaNoWriMo with the insane idea of writing 50,000 words in 30 days.  It was insane.  It was impossible.  It was fun!

I have charted my progress here (almost) every day.  It has been quite a ride.


ML web_badge Of course, because I am never one to do things by half measures, I also decided to sign-up again as a Municipal Liaison.  Which means that I was responsible for the Port Elizabeth region.  Well, let me just say that that has been a blast.  Writing with some of the most awesome people I ever met, these guys have done me proud at every turn.

And what happened?


Does that answer your question?

I hit 50,000 words today, but my novel is nowhere near finished.  I am planning to try and fit in about another 2000 – 3000 words before Tuesday night.  As always, it has been a real learning experience. 

So thank you to my loyal reader(s?) for following me on this journey, and normal blogging will resume shortly, once I figure out what normal means.

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Posted by on November 28, 2010 in NaNoWriMo


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NaNoWriMo ’10 – Day 18

Day 18.  A very busy day.  I was in court until late, and only just had time to get ready for our write-in last night.  So I am not going to post my wordcount for today. 😦

One of the reasons I am writing so slowly is because, for the third year I am writing by hand.

Yes, I am writing all 50,000 words by hand!

Why?  Well to answer that question, I will now share something I wrote for the South African Romance Writers site last year.

50000 in 30 days is madness and we all need some way to make it fun for us as we do it, as with any writing. For you, that might be wearing a silly hat while you write, or rewarding yourself for every thousand words. For me, the way to make it fun, is to feel the old-fashioned delight of watching word after word appear indelibly on my page. It fills me with a sense of satisfaction like no other, even on the days I only write 50 words. Writing by hand makes me feel more like a writer, and less like a typist. It makes it feel more like creativity, and less like work. It lets me put the book down with a feeling of accomplishment at the end of each day, which I will never get from switching off a computer.

What makes writing fun for you? How do you keep it interesting for the time it takes to struggle through? Why am I asking so many questions?

As always, you can read more about my NaNoWriMo year here, or go see the full details on the site.

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Posted by on November 19, 2010 in NaNoWriMo


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NaNoWriMo ’10 – Day 12-17

Well, it has been a while since I posted.

I have had a heavy week, and a heavy weekend.  Last night I only got back to my home/office at about 7PM, and the last thing I felt like doing was writing.

So, I am at 27000 words right now, where I should be at 28,333.  Which is not too bad, but I have been chasing that day’s lead since Saturday.  I should have written harder last week after the wonderful victory of Day 11.

On the plus side, my story threads are starting to weave themselves into a plot.  As they usually do towards the end of week two.  I now know why my main characters brother is leaving the clergy, and what it has to do with the plot.

I also just realised that the novel is not satire, but well-disguised Christian fiction.

Who would have guessed.

For a day-by-day account, go here.  To see more about my novel, go here.


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Posted by on November 18, 2010 in NaNoWriMo, Novel


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NaNoWriMo ’10 – Day 3

Like all great writers of his generation, Jeffrey Deacon is fueled by coffee.  However, he can never understand why his coffee cup is always full, and yet always too hot to drink.  He starts talking to his coffee mug, in the belief that it is possessed.

His assistant, Sally, is less amused.

“Your coffee cup is not possessed, it’s insulated.”


“Insulated Jeffrey,” she took the mug out of his hand, drank the last of the steaming coffee, and tapped the side so he could hear the hollow echo.

“I got tired of topping up your coffee cup all the time, and you letting it get cold. So I bought you an insulated mug for your birthday.”

She handed it back to him, and he examined it closely.

“Insulated? They can do that?”

“Yes Jeffrey, it’s easier than having a coffee mug possessed.”

“Oh. Did I say thank you?”

“No, but I wrote myself an appreciative note, and signed it on your behalf.”

“Oh. Okay.”

He held out the mug.

“May I have some more coffee then?”

Time for me to go look for a possessed coffee mug as well I think.

For more madness, read my daily NaNoWriMo summary here, or go to my author’s page here.

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Posted by on November 4, 2010 in NaNoWriMo, Novel


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Editing again

As I mentioned in a previous post, I am busy editing two of my old manuscripts with a view to making one, coherent, novel out of them. 

With this is mind, I have been reading the drafts again, and I must say I am surprised.  My draft from 2005, Only Tuesday, has some interesting moments and observations.  On the whole the writing style is rather amateurish, and it is full of one-liners and amusing observations that seem more about the narrator showing off than advancing the story.  However there is one very compelling character, and I am trying to figure out how to transplant her from the novel into my next one.  Apart from that, not much worth saving.  She gets all the best lines I think.

My second attempt, from 2006, was much better.  By a factor of 10 I would say.  Don’t get me wrong, I made the Devil do it, is still a very rough draft, and the writing style needs a lot of work; but I am not  embarrased by it, and actually look forward to finishing writing it so I can see how it ends.  I even found it amusing, and laughed out loud in places.

Lessons I have learned from this experience:

  1. Everything they say about your first novel being crap is true;
  2. Once you get the crap out of your system, it is actually easier to write;
  3. Leaving the novel(s) for three years gave me a new appreciation for how much good was actually hidden amongst the bad;
  4. Nothing is scarier than thinking “I wish I had written that,” and then realising you did.
  5. Don’t edit while you’re writing, because there is a lot I would have cut from the book, that I now think I can use with a little work.

So watch this space, and expect news about I made the Devil do it, but only on a Tuesday

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Posted by on February 6, 2010 in Novel


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2010 project

I have been trying to decide what to do this year.  I wanted to keep the momentum going on my novel, but I also realise that what I wrote last year is a pale shadow of what should be in the book.  More like a plot-line than an actual novel.

So I have decided to take a break for a while from last year’s project, and re-open an old one; or two.

I am taking the half-finished drafts of the novels I wrote in 2005 and 2006 and tieing them together into one.  I made the Devil do it, which I gave up in 2006 due to illness, is a fairly compelling story, and I liked where it was going.  Only Tuesday, which I gave up in 2005 due to boredom, is pretty crap, but it has a lot of good dialogue and a few workable characters.  I will be scrapping the plot (plot?  there was a plot?) and working the material into the 2006 one to make it more rounded, then finishing it this year hopefully.

And the plus side?  Both novels were typed, so I don’t have to re-type it from my handwritten journals like I would with my latest novels.  🙂

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Posted by on January 18, 2010 in Novel


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NaNo 09 – Third Wheel

So I finished my NaNo Novel last weekend as I mentioned before.  And by finished I mean I reached 50250 words, and decided to stop writing.

2009 marked my first foray into the world of Romance Writing with Third Wheel.  In years gone past I have written fantasy and literart fiction, but this year I decided to take an idea for a short story that I had,and see if it would translate into a 50,000 novel.

Not so much. 😦


At about 40,000 words I realised that most of the action still had to happen, and the conflict was only really building.  I knew I could keep writing for another month and reach a climax at about 80,000 by new years.  However when I got to about 48,000 I realised I actually wanted to finish this thing as quickly as possible.  So I ran through the most important scenes, and came to my satisfactory end on November 29. 

Next year, when I have a little more energy, and inclination, I will try and expand the scenes, and see if it is worth saving.  But for now, it goes in the drawer to cool off, and I spend December trying to catch up with everything I have been ignoring for the last four weeks.


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Posted by on December 6, 2009 in NaNoWriMo, Novel


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