Nanowrimo 2017: Liftoff

It’s November and it’s National Novel Writing Month again. Trying to keep things as simple as possible, I’ve decided to use Google Docs exclusively this year and’s site to track my word counts. My basic plan is to put in three pomodoros on work days and aim for a minimum of 2000 words written. At the end of each writing session, I’ll revise what I’ve done. At the start of each working day, I will read over what I did in the previous couple of days. The idea will be to get as much revision in as possible while I go along. On the weekends, I will read over what I’ve done that week, polishing it if I have the time. If I fall behind on my 1667 words per day average word count, I’ll use the weekends to try and catch up.

I am using Dean Wesley Smith’s Writing into the Dark method, just for a change because I wanted to surprise myself. In a nutshell, this consists of starting with a character in a situation and seeing what happens. You make things up as you go along, and loop back to keep things consistent. It’s the opposite of what I would normally do. I am an outliner and a planner but hey, if you can’t experiment during Nanowrimo, when can you do it? At the moment, I have the vaguest idea of a plot and a setting and I’m finding things out as I proceed.

So far I have an opium-smoking wizard and his surly bodyguard watching hungry children fish corpses out of the harbour for food. As always when I write this stuff I wonder what dark place it is coming from. It’s grimdark, very, very grimdark. The setting is a tropical sword and sorcery hybrid of Singapore, Bangkok and Hong Kong. Something terrible is happening and our heroes are investigating. This book may or may not be set in the same world as my Kormak novels. There are certainly shared elements, blights, wraithstone amulets, elder signs. Aspects of Lovecraft’s Dreamlands and Clark Ashton Smith’s Zothique stories are creeping in as well.

Anyway, I managed 2750 words this morning. I am curious to see what happens next. This being Nanowrimo, I will do my usual thing and post regular updates of my progress.

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  1. Good luck!

  2. William Duckett says:

    Reminds me of good ol’ Chronopia where public sanitation was handled by ghouls.

    • That sounds like a plan, William. And Chronopia – that’s going back a bit!

      • William Duckett says:

        For me it was the beginning. I was ten or so when my parents bought me the rulebook, and it was my first contact with fantasy beyond the standard high fantasy stuff like Eddings that my (non-English) school library stocked. How time flies when you have fun.

        • Indeed! I think I have a copy of Chronopia packed away somewhere. I should dig it out sometime.

          • William Duckett says:

            I have been curious for some time now if there is any chance of a copy of your original English manuscript, draft or notes for Chronopia having survived. Seeing as how you travel frequently and the publisher ceased operations in the late nineties, I would assume that it has been lost somewhere along the line.

          • There might be something somewhere but I am not hopeful. It was many moons and many computers ago, in the age before cloud backups.

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