Playlist: Track 4

This track relates to another character with a traumatic experience of near death by drowning. This character however has developed a much more twisted relationship with water.

This character was much younger when they nearly drowned and the memory has mixed with hazy memories of watching The Little Mermaid while recovering and led them to romanticise the experience.

The song reminds me of the way that mermaids and sirens are used as symbols of dangerous women and their deadly attractions by a culture that pathologizes female desire. It’s also very chilled out which handy for a NaNoWriMo playlist.

Playlist page.


Playlist: Track 3

This song takes me into the psyche of one of my main characters.

This character has traumatic memories of nearly drowning. This person also often feels like they are metaphorically drowning in their own body and sometimes feels the pull towards non-existence that is not quite being suicidal but also not quite not.

The drowning experience forms a link with another character that I’ll be touching on with the next track.

Playlist Page where this all gets explained.

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.

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.

Obligatory New Year Post

As we bid farewell to what has been a shit show of a year it’s time to look back on the year that’s gone and look forward to the year yet to be. Simultaneously. Which makes for a sort of temporal cross-eyed squint.

My year has been fairly shitty in every respect except for my writing. It was a year of mental and physical illness for me and mine. We’re facing a worsening financial situation that is unlikely to get better over the next couple of years. The ongoing horribleness continues to be both horrible and not something I can talk about here.

But I finished a novel and some people seemed to like it and I managed to send it to Agents. Ok so none of them liked it but that’s still better than last year. I worked on a couple of older novels and wrote a new first draft. The Fife NaNoWriMo group finished in the global top 50 for average word count and was the top UK region.

I’m not going to talk about the continuing midden fire that is global politics. But I might write about my confusion about Donald Trump in a future post. I’m not going to talk about all the talented people we’ve lost this year because it’s just too sad. The world is poorer for their passing.

What worries me is that there’s no evidence that 2017 is going to be any better. Most of the things that are wrong will continue to be wrong or get worse. About the only thing I can say in its favour is that it’s one year closer to the day when theses times will be a curiosity for the history books. Always assuming that there are still books.

No resolutions for me. I don’t trust resolutions. I am renewing my commitment to get something published but that’s no resolution. I’ve started the year as I mean to go on. I tried a new craft beer, I started to crochet a baby blanket for my husband’s sister, I’ve written a blog post and I’m listening to some great music.

I’m not going to make any predictions for next year. But I will say that eventually things will get better. Even if that eventually is measured on a geological time scale.

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.