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NaNoWriMo – Day 3

3 Nov
NaNoWriMo – Day 3.
 
I’ve just called it a day.
Daily Word Count=1730. Total Word Count=6230.
 
I’m currently 1229 words ahead of schedule.
 
That was NOT easy. Thank god for the list of stuff aboard the liferaft.

NaNoWriMo – Day 2

2 Nov
NaNoWriMo – Day 2.
 
I’ve just called it a day.
Daily Word Count=2,288. Total Word Count=4500.
 
I’m currently 1166 words ahead of schedule.

NaNoWriMo – Day 1

1 Nov

NaNoWriMo – Day 1.

I’ve just called it a day.

Daily Word Count=2212. Total Word Count=2212.

I’ve got ideas for future chapters, about 40% of chapter 1 written and at least 70% of the final chapter written too.

I’m currently 545 words ahead of schedule.

The “Lost” Novel, more info

13 Oct
Now I’ve had the time to give the contents of that bag a once over, here’s what actually exists in terms of that novel.
 
6 A4 PAGES of synopsis, all typed on the old electric typewriter I had.
 
Roughly 6 pages of handwritten things on the large lined notepad. It was clearly either a spare from Hereford or aquired via Jon in Unit Publications & Forms Store.
 
Somewhere in the region of 20 sheets of handwritten things (too nervous to see what they were) on small A5 sized notepad paper. A cursory exam says each sheet contains plot items and outlines.
 
This is stuff from (I found a fucking date!) 24th Dec 1991. So I was probably in my early days of Command Receipt & Dispatch then.
 
I’m not sure if anyone who isn’t a writer can understand what this is like for me, rediscovering this stuff. I genuinely thought it was lost during the move back home.
 
I’d declared it gone several times over the last 20+ yrs.
 
It’s almost like finding gold.
 
I recalled it being fairly detailed but even skimming the synopsis, I didn’t realise what level of detail I’d gone into. It’s pretty freaking deep.
 
Characters have names, descriptions, backstories, ages. Likewise for scenes, locations, quests.
 
It’s a cross between fantasy & SF. It’s a very blurred line between the two.
 
And it seriously deserves to be finished.

Nothing but news!

13 Oct

I am SUPER excited!

Why, I hear you all asking?

Because I found my very first outline for a novel which I started working on WAY back in my RAF days, so it’s over 20 yrs old.

It’s not in perfect condition but it’s more than legible so I can easily type it up at some point in the future when I’ve got nothing else to do. (This will be quite soon, more in a different update)

I was totally convinced that it had found its way into the bin when I moved home from the RAF so I am totally stoked to discover that it still exists and that I can still read it.

It’s from before I was seriously looking at being a writer, and I was in my 20’s so I expect it to be fairly pretentious and immature.

But it’s got an absolute crapload of world building, character development, background research (back when that meant going into the library, as it was pre-internet!) and all that literary goodness.

I already had the outline for “Space Musuem” and “Service Provider” so this means there are 3 possible novels in the pipeline.

Be afraid! Be very afraid!

How I wrote a novel in (under) 30 days

30 May

I’ve wanted to write a novel for most of my adult life, especially when I started getting more serious about my writing.

But here’s what scared me – the sheer length of the thing.

50,000 words is a lot of typing.

But if you break it down into chunks that the average human brain can look at without flying into a panic attack, it’s entirely possible.

So the first thing you’ve got to do is commit to the idea completely.

Here’s how I did it. An announcement over social media stating my intent, when I intended to do it and what the conditions were.

You can read the whole thing here:-

https://raymondwriteswrongs.wordpress.com/2016/03/05/an-important-announcement/

So I set a start date.

I then started to look at whatever notes I already had. Because I already had the idea for the story, it’d been a work in progress for almost 3 years.

Just the outline was over 3000 words. So it was pretty detailed before I ever started it.

But a mere outline isn’t a 50k word novel so I had to address certain issues, how I wanted things to unfurl as they went along. You do that by asking yourself questions then answering them.

You become familiar with the story, the characters and the world itself.

Once you’re happy you’ve covered everything that’s potentially going to happen in the story, get your notes into order and just wait until the start day.

Then start.

50k words in 30 days is 1667 words per day. For an average speed typist it’s about 2 hours of solid uninterupted writing every day. And if you ARE serious about writing a novel, there can’t be many people who couldn’t find 2 hrs in their day to set aside just for writing.

I had a full time job where I worked a 9 hr day, I travelled an hr to get there and home. So I didn’t have much free time. But I used what I had to the best of my ability.

I’d make sure I’d eaten, had a drink on standby and music to listen to for the whole period. Something different every day so as to not stagnate.

I’d just start at a set time (for me between 9pm and 10pm) then write for at least 2 hrs.

I didn’t make 1667 words every day. Most of the time I went over that easily. A few days I didn’t even make 1000 words, but I didn’t dispair. I would make up what I hadn’t written that day the following day.

It was a carrot to me, to not fall behind, to remain ahead as long as possible. On only 3 days of my writing process did I fall short of the 1667 mark.

I completed the novel in 28 days. But I wrote 50k words in 26 days.

But merely writing the novel is the start.

Then you have to spellcheck and proof. You have to read what you’ve written.

Because that was one rule I had. Never read what you’re writing as you are doing it.

It wasn’t all plain sailing the whole time. About 2/3’s of the way through, I felt like I was running out of steam and doubted that I could finish.

That was when I sought out fellow writers on twitter and asked for advice. And boy were they lovely, wonderful, helpful folks! They got me back on track and motoring again.

So don’t feel like your novel has to be just you versus the world.

Other writers want you to succeed.

Because the feeling of writing THE END is the greatest one you’ll ever get.

So what are you waiting for? It’s only 1667 words a day.

Novel update

28 Apr

Day 28.

6:28pm UK local time, I AM FINISHED!
I just wrote my first fucking novel!
Daily word count, 2425. Total word count, 54754.

Stick a fork in me folks, I am done.

Thanks to everyone for their words of support, I couldn’t have done it without you.

Day 15 into writing the novel

15 Apr

So it’s day 15.

There’s a little under 21000 words left to reach novel length.
But the challenge isn’t JUST to write 50000 words in 30 days.
It’s to write a novel. It’s to FINISH a novel.

I’ve still got so much left to do.
I’ve got to delay the King & his guards for at least 3 days. 1k?
I’ve got to get the twins to the fifth shelter. 1-2k?
That’s at least another 14 days walk, for an adult.
I have to get the prex away from that whole area too. 1k?
Maybe one or two encounters.
I have to write about the coup. 2-3k?

Maybe about 6k tops there.
Still things to work out yet then.

I’m over half way, but I am FAR from the finish line.

Wish me luck.

An important announcement!

5 Mar

Right. I’m posting this here so everyone who follows me can see it.
I had an epiphany this morning at work. Don’t worry, it wasn’t painful. I realised that in my life I’ve accomplished almost everything I’ve ever wanted to do.

ALMOST.

The only thing left on my list is to write a novel. Not to complete a novel, just have a bloody good try.

So that’s exactly what I’m going to be doing from April 1st to April 30th. I’m going to try my best to write a novel in a month. That’s 50,000 words (or more) to those who don’t know. Almost 1667 words or thereabouts ever day.

I’m posting the news here so I’m officially committed from here and can’t make any takebacks.

Here are the rules:-

By 11:59pm April 30th 2016 I (Ray Daley) must have written 50,000 words to have completed this task. There are no set daily targets, I might write more on some days than others.

If I haven’t completed 50,000 words by that point, I will have failed. But at least I’ll have tried and will have a better idea at what kind of writer I am. (Probably not a novelist, but we’ll see)

So what I need from you folks is the trust & belief in me to report my progress to you honestly. And I need you to support me by giving me the space & time to write in.

I may fail, but I’m going to give it my best.

Wish me luck, I’m mad as fuck for even considering it.

Apparently 3 novels?

14 Feb

So, after doing an inventory on my various “stuff” in the “to do” folder I knew there was at least one novel.
Maybe two, at most. There are actually three.
These three don’t include The Invisible Knight novel I started late into my RAF career that’s possibly somewhere in my room.
It might be in the room. I’m not 100% sure.

So what is there, actually?

A YA title. An SF title about the last 2 people. An SF/Horror/Survival title about a group surviving a crisis.
I don’t want to disclose titles or any more than I have as above.

3 potential novels though. Makes you think, doesn’t it?