NaNoWriMo 2021

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NaNoWriMo 2021

For all our community members taking part in NaNoWriMo this year, plus anyone curious! Share your progress, hopes, challenges and rally each other on! 

NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, but is now a global movement. On the NaNoWriMo website, it is summed up nicely:

"National Novel Writing Month began in 1999 as a daunting but straightforward challenge: to write 50,000 words of a novel in thirty days. Now, each year on November 1, hundreds of thousands of people around the world begin to write, determined to end the month with 50,000 words of a brand new novel. They enter the month as elementary school teachers, mechanics, or stay-at-home parents. They leave novelists."

For more information, see

Image courtesy of National Novel Writing Month.

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Hi All,

Well I met my Camp Nano 80k word target yesterday - (editing that total, not writing a new set of words) and am feeling quite cheerful - plus I have a new certificate for my notice board. So now I have got a revised draft with most of the structural edit points covered and a new version of my flatplan. I have no idea how many more iterations this thing will need but I have got to where I wanted to get to by the end of this month and am following a number of different editing frameworks - I do love a framework! - so I'm not sure what the next edit stage will be yet. 

To get here, I also submitted the previous draft to a few comps, 1 was rejected and two others are still in the hunt - I wasn't upset by the rejection so maybe this technique for numbing oneself also works? Fortunately, the first 5k hasn't changed much in my reorganisation so if they do want another tranche that shouldn't be a problem and I'm looking forward to getting out my scalpel for the next edit from tomorrow.

Is anyone else still doing Nano?  If so, good luck with it, I'm going to keep updating my words until 30/4 to see where I'll get to.

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Anyone doing Camp NaNoWriMo this month? If so, how did your Day 1 go?

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Right! in the past few days I've got myself going again and have been updating progress on the NaNo site, finishing the previous editing stage and getting ready to start the new one on April 1st. I haven't found it that hard to get going again (which makes me wonder why I was so reluctant earlier in the month) and hopefully I'll be more positive in April again. Is everyone else looking forward to April and pushing things on a bit? Down with self-sabotage and good luck to all.

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Hi All, Having totally failed to update my progress in February (despite having out-performed my goal I forgot to go back and update on the site), I am now refocussed on getting through another edit of my book this April and so I have signed up to review all 80k words during the month.  I've been very lazy this March so I'm hoping for motivation.

Fingers crossed. Hope to see others posting here too. 

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Just saw this on Facebook - I think I know at least one person in this group who will appreciate it! You are not alone ...


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Head's Up: Camp NaNoWriMo is next month!

I think I might go non-traditional and work on editing my manuscript!

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Totally OT, I was talking with my DH today about how much the internet has helped my writing, compared to when I used to write, 30+ years ago (I wrote two books, then took a 25 year hiatus to run a business)... Now I'm learning to do it properly, ahem...

See I have something called NOMINAL AHASIA, which basically means I lose the connection to NOUNS - though for some reason, I never forget the name nominal aphasia... The more tired I am, the less nouns I have! 

It's horrible when I have to introduce someone... I could know you for 20 years and go to introduce you and not be able to come up with your name!!  When I had to chair a meeting I would write everyone's names on a piece of paper (in the order they were sitting), so I could glance down and say "seconded by...", without pointing...

My DH used to finish my sentences for me, filling in the words... but he's quite a joker, and after 40+ years of marriage, he now finds it more amusing to see how long it takes me to find the word. 8-} ... 

It's NOT an age thing (though I'm a Senior next month), I've always had it... though for years I didn't know it had an actual name... And mine wasn't caused by any of the awful things that CAN cause it (stroke, brain injury)... but I did have brain surgery when I was a baby (soft spot closed in before I was born - basically, w/o surgery my brain would have been crushed), so, personal opinion, I think that might have caused it. 

Did you know there's also ANOMIC APHASIA, where you forget verbs? I don't have that one, LOL.

This came to mind, as I had a word glitch last night... I knew the word was there, just out of sight, I could describe it... not bullets, you know, the things that go in any weapon... a generic word... hello Google? synonyms for bullets... AMMUNITION, that's what I'm looking for... which is why I appreciate it when I post things, and the reviewer comes back with the word I was looking for but didn't quite find, LOL, which Rick is good at doing <wink>.

I'm doing a grammar check on a 2nd draft, before putting it away for a month (and then starting editing), and I'm finding plenty of "those three words mean this one word", where I've put in descriptions of a word I didn't realize I was missing until I read it over...

Anyone else have a glitch that affects their writing?

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So having been chastised by Jo for not posting recently (along with the rest of us slackers!), I thought I'd give you an update on my 'free' writing sessions that I won. I missed the first one as the link didn't work, but I've attended all the others so far. However, tomorrow's one follows what may be a full day of taking minutes, so I may be 'all typed out' and have to go back and do in in retrospect some time.

So far during the sessions, I've finished two short stories, written about two-thirds of another, and also written a non-fiction piece for a website that my partner and I run. I seriously lost my mojo for several weeks, though it's coming back now, thank goodness, but having these sessions to attend has meant that at least I'm writing something twice a week, for which I'm very grateful.

What's everyone else been up to that's kept them away from this forum?

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I also seem to be the only one who uses FILES (at least on this forum)... how do you guys upload a chapter? I know I've opened Word docs from other people, how are you dropping them into a post? Inquiring minds want to know!!

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Wow, I haven't been by in a while, but I see I was the last one to post... are you all busy?

I just dashed off something that had me howling with laughter the whole time... it is so NOT what I usually write, but I kinda like it... so if you have time, check out the first chapter. 

It's called WAKING UP DEAD, which give you an idea what it's about - subtle, that's me! I'll post it under FILES at the top of the screen...

FYI, it is NOT easy to write in the present tense, and keep all the tenses correct. I think I did it, but had to re-read it several times and still kept finding "missed one's"... especially as she also talks about past events, so they needed past tense... Let me know how I did!

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Quick style question... in my novel the protagonist can hear thoughts, so following Stephen King's example, I am doing those in italics, with brackets around.

My question is about thoughts... These are generally shown in italics, as mentioned, but are quotes always used? I can't decide which I like the look of better, so thought I'd ask what is common practice? I may have to go browsing in my library and see what others have done... don't think I've really paid attention prior to this! 

I'm thinking yes, quotes, but are they optional or mandatory? 

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Well, taking many of your excellent suggestions... I hope I've improved this...  FYI there is only one girl in the hunting party (Pacifica) - she's there with her father (her mother DN approve of her appetite for hunting) ...

Oh, and Rick, I forgot to mention ... when I was first writing the scene, I actually googled "what does a horse smell like", (seriously!) and grass was part of the descriptions given. However, I changed it to hay in this version, thinking it more likely in a stable than grass... 

Do the dashes work better than slashes?

No doubt an editor will still have a go at it... but I think it's tighter, and thank you all for the suggestions... I've included the entire scene this time, probably should have done that before to make it clear Milo could sense the boar's thoughts... 

Here goes...


Milo allowed a small sensing to cast out past the milling group. There were so many emotions, it was hard to filter them… so he blocked them and sought beyond them. It wasn’t the hunters he was searching for.

Maxim and Palmer flirted outrageously with Pacifica. Her mother would have been incensed, but her father, riding beside the King and deep in a discussion on horse breeding and the lineage of their respective mounts, didn’t notice. 

The party drifted apart, the King and his Yoemen pushing past the beaters, Pacifica, the Prince’s friends, and the younger hunters’ loitering farther back, down the trail. Milo let his horse have her head, and she eagerly followed the lead horses.

Pushing his senses farther, he felt the brush of something inhuman off to one side and slightly behind him. There was anger; scorching, distressed, and infuriated by the clamor of dogs and men. Something hidden, and watchful, growing enraged.

It was hard to pinpoint… not there… wait, perhaps there… then suddenly he knew. Milo spun his horse around as the young man who’d been staring at him earlier, poked half-heartedly into a thicket.

“WARE!” He shouted.

It was already too late.

Maddened by the noise and confusion, and disturbed by this final insult, a huge wild boar burst from the underbrush, swinging his formidable tusks. By luck it was too close to gore the beater, but sliced his arm as it knocked him roughly to the ground, where he lay stunned and bleeding.

For Milo, action slowed to crystal clarity. The sunlight intensified; the splash of blood from the beater’s cut hung vivid in the air; the smells of damp dog, perspiring men, musky boar, and the comforting hay-saddle leather-sweat odor of his horse grew more distinct. For a heartbeat all was locked and still… then battle erupted with the beast’s bellow of defiance.

The guards and nobles at the rear rushed in front of Pacifica, protecting the girl and blocking the swine’s mad dash down the trail, away from the beaters, and the King’s party beyond them. Their horses reared, and hounds suddenly broke onto the path, baying loudly and throwing themselves at the charging brute with sharp, shrill cries.

It turned angrily away from their outcry. Tossing its head, the enraged boar threw one dog over its shoulder, before stampeding back the way it had come. The dog’s high pitched yelp cut off as it slammed to the ground, and lay silent, while the remaining dogs harried the beast, nipping at its heels.

The young beater was getting to his feet, shaking his head and holding his injured arm. He swayed, looking at the ground, dazed and unaware of the returning danger.

Milo and his mare were already moving. The Prince held the horse’s mind. Perfectly attuned to each other, they raced down the path, directly at the rampaging boar.

Voices cried out from in front and behind, as collision seemed inevitable. Milo grabbed the beater’s arm. As the boar dipped its head to gore, his horse veered onto the grassy verge, just off the trail and he jerked the youth up, heaving him over the boar’s back as it stabbed upwards. The beast passed so close, the Prince felt the stiff hairs of its hide scratch against his boot.

The beater gave a bellow of pain as the swine’s tusk caught his thigh, opening a deep slice. Milo released him and he fell to the ground. Whimpering with pain, he scrambled to clamber up the nearest tree, ignoring the blood oozing from his wounds.

The young Prince reached out as he passed one of the huntsmen. The man’s spear leapt into his hand as Milo's horse spun around, and he urged her into a gallop.

This time the King’s guards faced the fleeing beast, shouting, spears at the ready. Blocked from escape once again, the boar turned, and came charging back at the Prince.

He heard his father’s cry above the other’s shouts, but dared not shift his concentration from the approaching encounter. Closer… Milo felt the mare’s terror, barely held at bay by her faith in him... Closer… Sweat lathered her flanks, but she never wavered.

At the last possible instant he signaled her to swerve aside, as he stabbed downward with the spear, piercing the boar’s eye and stabbing into its brain. Caught in the boar’s skull, the spear wrenched out of his hand, almost unseating the Prince. Grabbing hold of her mane, he pulled himself back into the saddle.

Momentum carried the fierce beast forward a few yards, scattering the Yoemen. It slowed to a halt, swayed, realized it was dead, and fell over on its side.

Around him, men broke into wild cheers. Milo flushed with pleasure as his father rode closer to clasp his arm.

“It appears my son has done us the honor of catching the centerpiece for his sixteenth Feasting Day celebration.” King Alaric shouted. The men cheered again. All but the Master of the Hounds, who knelt mournfully beside his fallen dog.