NaNoWriMo changed my life!

We are approaching November, and for many writers it means the challenge National Novel Writing Month; for those who don’t know what this is, it’s an on-line ‘competition’ to write fifty thousand words of a new novel in the month of November – 50,000 words in 30 days! There are no actual prizes apart from the satisfaction of completing, although you can download a certificate, and there are various ‘goodies’ offered if you complete.

I have done it over the last three years, and from it came three novels, however this year I really am not sure I can add another writing task to what I already do. I am finishing off my next Thomas Radwinter book, I am blogging here and on our other writing blog, , and I’m working on other things too! Oh, and my two creative writing groups I lead, and the one I attend, and the Moving Dragon writing group as well… oh and of course there is my life outside writing!

So I am not sure… however I did come across something I wrote three years ago before embarking on my first NaNo experience! I have added notes to my original post:

National Novel Writing Month… November… I have signed up to the challenge of writing 50,00 words in a month… my novels are usually longer than that so I have no expectation to actually write a whole novel… but can I even write a decent chunk of a novel? 50,000 whole words…

  • I need to get to grips with my story about the Radwinter family and what happens when they try to find out where their family comes from – combining my interest in genealogy, my love of mysteries, and plenty of characters. Little did I know this would lead to five novels about the family!
  • There is the mysterious beginning of a story I found which I have no memory of writing, or even any idea of where it might be going… a lonely man is wandering around a river estuary then goes to the pub… that’s it. This still hasn’t gone anywhere, but I do go back to it from time to time!
  • There is a recent idea I have of two friends driving along a motorway when suddenly the driver sees something, swings over to the hard shoulder and jumps out and runs back along the carriageway and vanishes… This story-line was used in my Radwinter novel ‘Raddy and Syl’
  • I’m wondering whether to use this as an opportunity to write in a different genre… dare I try something historical, would I get bogged down with  panic about being accurate or anachronistic? Could I wrote a fictional account of the mysterious love affair of my great-grandparents, Louis and Lois? This is still an idea… I am hoping to visit Tasmania where Louis was born and lived; maybe that will inspire me!
  • … or a more recent historical novel could be set in the seventies based on my own life but made much more exciting! Maybe this will happen, but it’s a long way off… unless it becomes this year’s NaNo – hey, that’s not a bad idea!!
  • … a truly different genre would be steam punk which I have only discovered about two weeks ago but have never read (it’s a type of science fiction featuring steam-driven machines…) No, just no.
  • Fantasy seems to be fashionable, and I have read some I enjoyed, but there is such a lot of it out there, and some of it, sub-Tolkien is really rather awful and very clichéed Another big no
  • …or should I just wait until November 1st and see what happens? Well, this worked the last three times, so maybe…

I will keep you up to date… success, or failure, I’ll let you know! Yes, indeed I will!

So how did NaNo change my life? Well, it wasn’t just that it showed me I could do it, and was a good and much-needed discipline, it also launched my Radwinter stories, and the main character Thomas has become a big part of my writing life. As I mentioned I am just completing Radwinter V, and have ideas for Radwinter VI too! Oh and there is all my other writing as well… so many ideas!

Here is a link to my Amazon page where you can find all four Radwinter novels, plus my other novels too:

…and if you feel inspired to have a go at the National Novel Writing Month challenge, here is a link:


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