NaNo 2019 starts tomorrow

Yes, I am joining NaNoWriMo this year. If you don’t know what that is, well, thousands of writers join up in November with the intention of writing 50,000 words in 30 days. It is a great way to get the bare bones of a manuscript down on paper–or the start of one at least. The trick is to write, and not to edit as you go. This is the one thing I have a problem with, but I will try hard to conquer this little issue. 😀

But…

I am not doing the full NaNo. In other words, I am not aiming for 50,000 words. I want to write another Cat and Mouse adventure, which is a book for young readers. I am aiming for 15,000 words or there abouts.

NaNo starts tomorrow. I am ready and willing to get started. In four weeks, I WILL have the first draft of Ghost at the Cemetery completed.

Thinking about NaNoWriMo 2019

I have officially and unofficially participated in NoNoWriMo before, but had to go into the archives of my website to find out when the last time was. It is a shock to find out that it was in 2007–12 years ago! I am gob smacked by that discovery.

In the years including and preceding 2007 I had completed NaNo twice officially. The first time was a disaster and put me off doing it again. Looking back, even though I managed to write the 50,000 words in 30 days, I felt totally washed out and the manuscript I wrote was terrible. Now I know I was not sufficiently prepared and that put a lot of pressure on me. Totally my fault. 

Then I believe a writing colleague talked me into doing an unofficial challenge, which we called a mini-NaNo. I successfully completed two of those in different years. Both times I felt good about the result and I didn’t suffer mentally or physically.

Then, I completed the second official challenge successfully in 2007 and this time was happy with myself and my writing.

I never joined the challenge again. Didn’t even consider it, for reasons I cannot explain or remember.

Last week I saw a mention of the 2019 NaNo challenge and something sparked in me. I want to enter the challenge. Officially or unofficially, I’m not sure yet. My next writing project will not be 50,000 words in length so I know I cannot reach the goal. This makes me think I’ll need to bash out the words unofficially. But, I could attempt to write two chapter books in the official time frame. If I can do that, I could join the thousands of other writers officially. 

To do or not to do, that is the question.

To be honest, I have a hankering to go official. Bash out two manuscripts in 30 days. How sweet would that be?

However, being realistic, my head is saying “slow down, you don’t want to burn out now that you’re writing regularly again”. It’s true. I am writing most days and I’m loving it. I don’t want to lose that, not ever.

I think I just talked myself into doing an unofficial 2019 NaNoWriMo, with the added thought that I might start work on the second chapter book if it happens naturally. If not, no pressure, no problem.

It’s a shame the NaNoWriMo website didn’t cater for a mini-NaNo because I would love to join the offical buzz.

House on the Hill -first draft finished

Exciting news!

The first draft of House on the Hill is complete. This is a book for younger readers. More information will be revealed at a later date. But for now, the manuscript will be put aside for a short time before I return to it and start the revision process.

Feeling satisfied right now. 😀

Moving on to the Next Writing Project

With The Land of Miu series complete, I can now move on to other projects. The next manuscript I want to work on is Domino Effect.

Having released three books for young readers, I now turn to writing for adults. Forget “cutesy” or “fun”. Those terms will not relate to my next book. Think more in line of dark, confronting and thought provoking. Domino Effect is dark fiction. The theme is depression, grief and suicide.

I know these three words well. I’ve lived them. Now I write about them. Some readers will read the book and turn away because they don’t understand. Others will read and weep tears of knowing and I hope my words will touch and help them believe they are not alone. But I’m not really aiming my words at those two groups of people, there’s another group I’ll be speaking to; and I hope my fiction will help them in real life. Regardless, the message for all readers will be clear.

The first draft of the manuscript is already complete. In fact, the first edit is done too. I am working on the second edit at present. There will be more edits to follow. But I expect the book will be published later this year. Watch this space. 😀

Cover Reveal & Pre-order Special Deal

It is with great pleasure that I announce The Lion Gods will be released for sale on 1 June 2018. At this stage it will be available only as an ebook — epub, mobi (for kindle) and pdf. The print version will be available at a later date, which is yet to be confirmed.

Today, I want to offer two things:

1. The first look at the cover for The Lion Gods.
2. A pre-order special deal.

Drum roll please…

I present the cover for The Lion Gods…

As mentioned, the ebook will be published on 1 June 2018 and will be available from most online ebook stores in due course. However, if you pre-order the ebook from me — within the next three weeks — you will get not only The Lion Gods, but also the first two books of the series thrown in for free. And, to make the offer even sweeter, you will pay just $1 for the lot.

Yes, for $1 (Australian dollar) you will get the complete set — The Land of Miu (Book 1), The King’s Riddle (Book 2) and The Lion Gods (Book 3). This offer is only available through this website and will end at midnight on 31 May 2018 Australian EST.

Place your order now and be one of the first people to receive and read the full series.

How? Simply go to the pre-order purchase page for The Lion Gods, pay your dollar and download your confirmation entitling you to the three books. I will email your ebooks to your nominated email address between 29 and 31 May 2018 (depending on number of orders received).

 

Go to Pre-order Page

 

The Lion Gods Moves into Stage 3 of the Editing Process

I know it’s been a little quiet here lately. I’ve been busy editing The Lion Gods. Gone are the days when the website and my online presence took up all my time. These days, I write (or edit). I think I’ve got my priorities right … finally.

The second phase went well. I love the end results; which has to be a good sign. Yesterday, I printed the manuscript and will commence a line edit in coming days. Possibly tomorrow.

Today, I get a well-deserved rest day.

Editing: Phase 1 – Listen!

The Lion Gods has entered the first editing stage. Everyone does things different. My recommendation is to do what feels right for you. Normally, I would read through the story first, making notes as to problem areas such as random sub-plots that go nowhere, scenes that make no sense, and other ‘jump out and smack you in the face’ sections of the story and/or character plots.

This time I thought I’d try something different. I thought I’d use the text to speech function on my laptop and allow the computer-generated voice to narrate my manuscript back to me. I set the voice so it wasn’t too slow as that would be mundane and could easily put me to sleep. 😀 Yes, the voice is monotone and emotionless, but that worked well as it helps make problem areas really stand out. Actually, I was surprised by how well it works. I’d be listening to this expressionless voice just speaking the words at an even pace and suddenly weird stuff would be said and I’d think “Ah, what’s that supposed to be” or if the words were right “that sounds awkward”. I’d make a notation in my notebook and, I must say, I have a (big) list.

I’ve listened to the entire manuscript in this way, making notes. And now I’m ready to go into Phase 2 – Fix Up.

Writing Notebook or Virtual Notebook

In my last post I reported that I have finally finished writing The Lion Gods. That was on 13 February and I have put it aside for two weeks before I start the editing phase.

But what have I been doing in the meantime?

Well, some years ago a friend showed me how to use a wiki for research notes. At the time, I used pbwiki because I was into Linux. However, when I returned to Windows I moved to Tiddlywiki.

Over the last ten or so days I’ve reconnected with wiki note keeping. PBwiki is online and whilst that is great for easy access from anywhere, I now prefer to install Tiddlywiki on my laptop for private use. (It’s amazing how tastes change over the years.)

In the thirteen years since I first started using a wiki, the base wiki system has improved and morphed into something I wasn’t used to working with. So, I downloaded Classic Tiddlywiki, which I believe is the best, but that’s just my opinion. You may feel differently.

I have been using a notebook for my writing research and notes. I have many of them. All of different shapes, sizes, colours and uses. I have them for planning a specific novel, for publishing notes, for writing tips in general and general research. It works fine, but they are bulky and take up room that I really don’t have now that we’ve downsized.

I remembered Tiddlywiki and decided to transfer my writing notebooks into virtual notebooks. I could have one wiki with everything, or I can have several wikis for specific things just like I have actual notebooks. The choice is mine.

And now that I have two screens, I can open the wiki of my choice on one screen and write on the other. I can refer to the wiki when I have a senior moment and can’t remember the character’s favourite thing or what the object was that they found, or what their sibling’s name is. Or I can open my publishing wiki if I want to refer to a checklist when doing edits or special notes when preparing an epub, or whatever. Then I can go to my general research wiki and find out what I discovered about riding a horse or archery or survival in freezing conditions, etc. It’s brilliant.

The other great thing about using a wiki, is that I can keep it up to date. Old notes can be updated easily, incorrect information deleted. I won’t have to flip through heaps of pages trying to find the reference I’m looking for. And I’ll have a neater workspace in general.

I should have done this years ago. How do you keep track of your writing research and notes?