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NaNoWriMo 2017: Memories from my Future

A few years ago I entered a science fiction and fantasy short story competition and won.  It was an incredible feeling to be acknowledged for my creativity (this was pre- Wandering Words), and the story was something I shelved, hoping to come back to some day.

And that day is finally here!  I’ve chosen Memories from my Future to rewrite for NaNoWriMo – that’s right, I’m being a NaNo Rebel again.

For those who have forgotten my rebellious ways last year, a NaNo Rebel is:

a NaNoWriMo participant who chooses to write something besides a novel of at least 50,000 words.

So, what’s Memories from my Future all about?

Plugged into the prophetic machine known as FATE, Harriet Finlake is finally able to see her future, a flash of colour and sound that will show her a glimpse of her life to come.

But what if the future is not what she expected?

What if FATE shows her a glimpse of something else? Something dark and mysterious and terrifying… and the clock is already counting down the hours until it arrives.

My idea always worked best as a short story, and I’m hoping to spruce it up a little into a novella.  The title also worked three years ago, but I might give that a makeover too.  What will be interesting is that I wrote this originally with no regard at all for the science behind the machine.  I wonder how current me will tackle these issues – I’m certainly more meticulous about details in my old age.  We’ll see – I have 30 days to figure it out!  Wish me luck!

Who else is participating in NaNoWriMo this year?


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October 23, 2017

The Year of the NaNo Rebel

nanowrimoThat time of year is approaching, and I’ll be doing things a little differently this time.  We’re less than two weeks away from November, and that means late nights, comfort food hauls and playlists on repeat – yes, that’s right, it is NaNoWriMo once again.

Last year, drowning in character profiles and years of notes, I managed to write just over 20,000 words towards my novel, which at the time was titled The Soul Market.  The experience helped me an awful lot with my writing – it was this 20k that made me realise what was lacking from the story all along, and not long after I decided to start taking my writing a little more seriously.  Almost a year on, I have a completed first draft, and have made great progress with editing!

So, not wanting to miss out on all the NaNoWriMo fun, I’ve decided to join this year as a NaNo Rebel.  According to Wikiwrimo, a NaNo Rebel is:

a NaNoWriMo participant who chooses to write something besides a novel of at least 50,000 words

The term covers all sorts of writing projects, from non-fiction texts to blogging!  But I’ll be using the month to finish up editing, and hopefully have a completed novel I’m proud of by the end of November.

The end is in sight, and who knows – by NaNoWriMo 2017, I might be ready to start a whole new novel!

Who else is doing NaNoWriMo this year?

Happy writing!


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October 20, 2016

NaNoWriMo 2015: The End is Nigh

nanowrimoI have no excuse as to why I am behind on my word count. I could probably say something about how I’ve had a cold, or have been redecorating the house or Christmas shopping, but those things have only made up about 50% of my leisure time. As of right now, my word count is 18,983 – I’m not even halfway towards my target! The truth is that I don’t think strict word count deadlines are for me, and I’m OK with that. I have managed years of getting essays in on time and on the word count, but when the words rely on the fictional world I have created in my head, it seems a lot more challenging.

Nevertheless, I’ve learnt a few lessons about my story this November. So even though I may only reach 25k by the 30th, I’m still going to consider NaNoWriMo a success.

Firstly, I have discovered that I write my best material at night. I had a wonderful evening last week when I said to O, “I’m going to do a late night to boost my word count – will you join me?” So, after stocking up on writing nibbles (Toblerone, cheese savouries and Pringles), we set up for the long haul. O doesn’t actually write, but he played Dragon Age, which offered a good musical backdrop to my fantasy novel! I wrote over 4,000 words that evening, and finished the first half of my novel by about 2am. I’ve been working on my novel for years, rewriting and rewriting the opening chapters , and to have a completed first half felt amazing.

I also realised that even if I had finished the first draft of my novel, that it wouldn’t have hit 50,000 words anyway. In fact, I would have been lucky to hit 35,000. Either this means that The Soul Market was always destined to be a novella, or once it is completed I need to add some more scenes, share it with my friends and find out what is missing.

So I am disappointed, yes, but this month has refueled my passion for novel writing, and in that sense alone I can only consider NaNoWriMo 2015 to have been a success.

Has anyone else struggled with the word count? Any writing tips from budding writers?


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November 27, 2015

My NaNoWriMo Playlist

nanowrimoThis isn’t actually just my NaNoWriMo playlist; these songs are my go-to music for any time I am writing at a computer.  Some of these I associate so strongly with scenes from the book, that I would be truly gutted if they were not in the film adaptation (planning ahead).  Sometimes the lyrics touch me, other times the song just feels right, and there is something unknown about listening to it that sparks inspiration.

I’d also like to point out that I’ve seen about 50% of these artists live, and I absolutely love them – these songs are like classics to me, many of them favourites left over from my teen years.  Maybe this also has something to do with why they inspire me?

Pretty much all the songs can be found on YouTube for those wanting to explore them further.  I’ve included a quote with the ones that lyrically inspire me too!

  • Watch Over You by Alter Bridge – “I tried to carry you and make you whole, but it was never enough, I must go”
  • Hello by Evanescence – “If I smile and don’t believe, soon I know I’ll wake from this dream” (eerie… possibly the credits song for the movie adaptation, haha)
  • Relief by Bury Tomorrow – “And so please show me, what I’m meant to believe” 
  • Hollow Crown by Architects – “So far from home I need your voice to lift my lonely state of mind”
  • Fuel Up by Stornoway – “We’re all bound the same way down this long, long road”
  • Smooth (cover) by Escape the Fate
  • Welcome to Oblivion by Madina Lake – “You and me are gonna make it through, cause now we know there’s people like us”
  • House of Cards by Madina Lake – “You’ll be amazed at the secrets I keep”
  • Apologize (One Republic cover) by Silverstein
  • Demonology and Heartache by Atreyu – “I need no reminders, no more reminders, I’ll forget the past and lay it to rest”
  • This Flesh A Tomb by Atreyu – “I would stand, stand by your side, until the sun turns the sky all the colours I see in your eyes”
I also love listening to music from musical theatre and Disney; I like songs to have stories within them, which is why I have such a soft spot for rock music, I think:
  • Part of Your World from The Little Mermaid
  • Colors of the Wind from Pocahontas
  • The Phantom of the Opera

What songs are on your writing playlist?  I’d love to hear some recommendations!


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November 2, 2015

3 Ways I Am Prepping for NaNoWriMo

So you may have noticed that November’s Words & Geeks read hasn’t been announced yet. As I am participating in NaNoWriMo this year, I have decided to have a break for the month from the read-along to focus on writing instead.  I’ll post more about my general reading throughout November on Goodreads to compensate, as I have grown to enjoy live updates about my current read.

To mark the impending start of NaNoWriMo, I’ve listed the three ways I am prepping for it:

1.) Reading. I already know that I want my book to have a YA audience, as that is the genre which most interests me as a reader, so reading books for this age group is giving me some ideas about how to tackle certain topics.  I call it research…
2.) Writing out key plot points. I get a bit bored writing when I know everything that it going to happen. By having key plot points as guidance, I can still have fun shaping the spaces inbetween, while keeping the story heading in the right direction.
3.) Collecting inspiration. I am preparing a playlist on iTunes (I’ll reveal this at some point next month), making folders on my computer filled with photos, jotting down book and song quotes onto strips of paper.  I am surrounding myself with ideas and prompts, to get the creative juices flowing.

How are you prepping for NaNoWriMo?  Any tips of your own to give?  Good luck to everyone taking part this year!


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October 21, 2015

NaNoWriMo 2015

For the past few years, I have dabbled in NaNoWriMo.  The thing I have learnt in this time is that you can’t dabble in NaNoWriMo.  There is nothing more disheartening than starting a new story each year and then putting it on the back-burner by the 10th of the month.  So this year, like every year, I am taking the pledge to reach 50,000 words by November 30th.  The difference between this year and all years before is that I have a blog this time, and hate the idea of having to admit to you all that I have failed.  So, this is it, my famous last words: bring on NaNoWriMo 2015!

The novel I am choosing to write is actually one I have been writing on/off for a number of years now.  I have the advantage of already having some plans and notes written out for it, which should hopefully give me the kickstart I need.  In my head, the novel is complete – the characters all have names and faces, I even have the movie soundtrack sorted (just for fun) – but the tricky part is transferring the things from my imagination onto paper.  Is that not always the hardest part?

What is NaNoWriMo?

NaNoWriMoNaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, and runs every year from 1st to the 30th November.  The website offers buckets of motivation and inspiration, as writers from all around the world attempt this 50,000 word challenge.  More information about how it works can be found here.  The blog is also really interesting.

Anyone can join – the website is free, and offers the space to keep information on your book, and of course keeps track of your word count if you update frequently.  There is nothing quite like the satisfaction of seeing the word count creep up a little bit each day.

Is anyone else doing NaNoWriMo this year?  Follow my progress here.


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October 10, 2015