Tag Archives: Nanowrimo

words, walking, ink and inspiration

It’s 15 days into NaNoWriMo, and I am comfortably on par which makes a rather nice change. Usually around this time of the year it’s summer for me and my brain has effectively melted, but this year I am on Scottish Seasonal Time, so I am rather enjoying the crispness, the colours, and the fact that every room in the house has a heater. (So not like SA, where I just froze in winter because no one believes in heated houses.)

I took a walk down to Inverkeithing today and I love how the seasons are so different. There’s no doubt that summer is well over and that winter has its claws out.

I love how these trees still have their very last leaves, like embroidery on a cuff. #autumn #trees

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The colours are what get me though: flame oranges and deepest reds, berries crimson, bright translucent red, clusters of white globes, rose hips like fat contented octopuses, the deep dusky violet browns of faded hydrangeas and the stark trees, black and silver.

#Autumn colour

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Inspired by artists like Jackie Morris and Emma Mitchell, I’ve been working on my drawing again. I’ve set myself to do one small nature study a day, and it’s quite soothing. It’s been giving me a sense of accomplishment to have actually drawn something, however small.

Daily study #art #ink #illustration #leaves #sketchbook

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I’m hoping that my drawing practice is going to help my writing. Art is about attention to detail, and good writing comes alive in the details, in the specificity of the language.  Here’s to creative cross-training and future results and present happiness.


DAY 7! And cookies were needed. Also, gin.

The first few days of nano (or fauxnano, or #100words, or whatever you’re doing to get through November) are always the easiest. You’re still fresh, full of zing! Held aloft on a wave of naivety and sheer clueless joy.

By day seven, that wave has crashed into the soggy shores of Bugger All This For A Lark, and your zing has gone the way of all things. Returned to the foul earth, trampled underfoot. I’m here to tell you it’s only going to get shittier. But that’s good. Because if you know now already that it’s probably going to be less fun than grating your face with a rusty zester, you’ll trudge on regardless, carving out terrible prose with a grim determination matched only by dying men trekking through the snow.

On the plus side, you probably won’t have to kill and eat your own dog, so in that sense nano’s a winner.

I’m not here to lie to you. Middles are the Worst. Week two and three are going to suck. Your plot is going to fall apart, your characters are gonna be dumb as fuck, and your dialogue will sound like it was written by a person who was raised by lemurs and has yet to meet and converse with another human. What is werds even.

This is normal. This is first-draft fast-draft suck, and it’s okay. You don’t have to delete anything, you just have to write a different scene, or tackle the story from a different PoV, or go all Tolkien and have your characters start singing a forty-nine verse song. You’re finding your way through the snow.

There are ways to get yourself through this. It being nano – you can have word wars, you can pick a word of the day and incorporate it into your scene. I usually find setting myself a 15 minute writing sprint can give me a fair number of words. A few of those scattered through the day can get me to my minimum.

Don’t read back. Guys, it’s Nano, no-one is expecting works of scintillating genius. At this point if what you’re writing is barely above See Jane Run, you’re probably golden.

Go. Have fun. Don’t die in the snow.




1667, or day 1

You can do this. You write more than 1667 words a day of utter pointless crap in the form of tweets, facebook status updates, and political arguments with strangers on forums.




The hitchhiker was bound and gagged

So all you nanoers, I am applauding you from the sidelines. Here’s to your first day being a most awesome flurry of wordage and that you have an immense amount of fun. Luck!


I’m playing around with a new hobverse book, provisionally titled The New Hob Book. (I have given up on this whole titling thingy) and current progress is 10455 words, which is pretty much where I normally run out of steam. I am planning on getting around that by doing something horrible to the character. Just thinking what nasties I can throw at him. I have left myself a note to kill someone, but I’ll probably not take that quite literally. Well, not yet anyway.


Ah well, onward!