Playlist: Track 2

This is another great song to go on any writing playlist, though probably only during the first draft. I think of it as the unofficial anthem of NaNoWriMo.

This is the only song on the playlist that’s there to make the act of writing easier. Everything else is about setting or plot or character. This one is just to remind me that writing the first draft is the fun part. And it is. For the most part. It’s everything that comes after that’s painful

For more information: Playlist page.


Playlist: Track 1

This is the sound of my opening scene. The last moment in the story where my characters still think that order still holds sway. This is the music that’s playing when the person who’s going to be the leader of my little group of sleuths finds out that something bad has happened to someone that she cares about.

This is a great song to have on any writing playlist because it’s like musical prozac.

When i’ve been down at my lowest ebb – and that is pretty fucking low – I have found myself self medicating with this song using the 24 hour version. That’s not a typo. That’s a link to a 24 hour long version of the video though the page is a bit buggy at the moment so here’s a link to a YouTube playlist of it.

For more information about what’s happening in here see this post and this page.

Using a Playlist

A while back I wrote a post about how I use playlists to create an appropriate head space for the novel I’m working on. Some people found the post quite useful. With NaNoWriMo approaching and a new novel in the planning phase I thought I’d share the project playlist and how I’m using it.

I don’t have a title for the novel yet so I’m calling it Project Cecil. It’s a nod to one of my favourite writers, Warren Ellis. When he’s working on something that’s under an NDA he gives it a code name so he can talk about it on his blog or his newsletter.

Project Cecil is the straight crime story I was challenged to write. I was having a lot of trouble with it but the process of building the playlist has already been really useful. It’s given me a better handle on my killer and on some of the themes that are probably going to come out. There’s 33 songs on the playlist in it’s current form and I plan to focus on 1-3 songs per post.

That’s the plan but since it might turn out to be as boring as all hell I reserve the right to drop it and post something else instead. The playlist is certainly not the only thing I’m going to be posting over the next couple of months. I have a lot of thoughts about preparation and writing a first draft so expect the blog to be heavy on writing stuff and light on Zeppelins until at least the end of November.

NaNoWriMo update

I have been super busy working on a new first draft for NaNoWriMo. This year has gone pretty well. I hit the 50,000 word mark in 18 days, which is the quickest I’ve ever crossed the winning line. I kept going and hit 60k today. I’m still writing because the story isn’t done yet. If I keep going at the current rate this will probably be my highest NaNo word count.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that I don’t really have a novel and that’s unlikely to change by the end of the month. What I have are a bunch of kind of connected scenes some of which probably deserve to stay in the novel. This one is going to take a lot of wrangling before I even have a coherent first draft.

But even that incoherent partial first draft is still good news because this is not the novel I thought I was writing and I think it might be a lot more interesting than the thing I was trying to write. Of course it could also be utter pants but it’s too early to tell.

And there are other bonuses to writing as part of NaNoWriMo. I got to go to some write-ins and met some people that I wouldn’t otherwise have met. They’re all lovely people and I’m glad I met them.

November blogging

As I write this November is almost upon us. That means that for 30 days I shall be working on a new novel.

I don’t know how it’s going to go. I don’t know if I’ll be able to blog. I may not have the spoons left for it while creating something new. If I do blog it will most likely be a sign that things are either going very well or very badly. My posts are likely to be short, grammatically haphazard and full of swearing. This might well continue into December due to mental fatigue.

Wish me luck.

The joys of NaNoWriMo prep.

I’m running out of time to have some sort of coherent outline for this year’s NaNo novel. The thing is mutating fast. It’s gone from being set in the present to being set in 1985 to being set in 2015, 1985 and 1785 all at once.

Characters are changing. Some of them are turning into complete arseholes. Some are developing unexpectedly tragic backstories. Some are growing spines I did not expect them to have.

The story is getting dark and developing an unexpected theme. Of course that could all disappear once I start writing the thing. It could all just dissolve into a soup of nostalgia and jokes about the terrible hairstyles of the 1980s. It could also end up getting painfully personal for me. I really did not enjoy being a teenager and that’s bound to come out.

I should also really be finishing the current draft of an entirely different novel while I still can but I’m not sure I can write an epic  3 stage fight scene and a denouement in the remaining 3 days of October.

The Annual October Panic Begins

In November I write a novel. Well, I write a first draft of a novel. I’ve done it every  November since 2004. It’s all because of NaNoWriMo.

If, for some reason, you don’t want to follow the link I shall explain. NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month. It’s an annual event where writers get together to write a first draft of at least 50,000 words in 30 days. There are local groups. Meeting other writers is encouraged. It’s how I met a lot of my friends. It’s a lot of fun when it’s not driving us all crazy.

All this means that it is now time for the Annual October Panic. It’s a lot easier to write a novel in a month if you have some kind of plan. So I should be using this month for outlining. But I’m also trying to finish the current draft of a novel (the sexy super-spy one). And I don’t want to get too into the new novel because then I’ll be bored of it by the end of week one. But I do want to have most of the plot sorted before I start. But if I spend too much time on it I wont finish the spy novel.

This is all pretty normal for me in October. What’s new is that this year my NaNo novel will be young adult horror. And I feel completely unprepared. I’m not sure about writing YA. It’s been a while since I was a young adult and I don’t think my experience is going to be useful. I love horror but I haven’t written straight horror before. My plot requires subtle which is not a thing I do well.

So, my loyal readers, here’s where you can help. Do any of you have any tales of real life things that scared the living daylight out of you. They don’t have to be supernatural, just creepy or scary. Do you have any unusual fears that you’re willing to share? Any family superstitions that you’ve never heard of outside your family? Any advice on writing YA? Stick it in the comments, or you could tell me via Facebook or Twitter.