We’re a officially a week into NaNoWriMo 2017 and it’s fair to say that I’m doing better than the previous three years I’ve attempted this writing challenge. For those of you who don’t know, NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is an online event where thousands of writers (read: people who can’t get enough self abuse elsewhere) attempt to write 50,000 words in 30 days. This roughly equals out to 1,667 words a day. The idea is to take a blank page and start a new manuscript from scratch. Write with abandon! Turn off the internal editor, chase your coffee with Red Bull, and pretend to remember what sleep feels like. Well, seven days into the process and I wanted to take a break from writing to, well write something different. Maybe my brain actually is turning to mush.
I’ve tried NaNoWriMo three times in the past and each time I didn’t finish. I think, if I remember right, the farthest along I got was 20,000 and change, but I never hit the 50,000 mark. This year, I said that was going to change. It worked out: I finished the third draft of a project and started the next step in the process for that potential novel, and I had a new idea that was ready to go. Except, in my own self-hatred way, I jumped the word count up from 50,000 to 75,000 so I could hopefully have the base for a full-length novel, attached a reward to it (video games yay!), and actually made an outline.
A couple things. As of writing this, I’ve logged 18,017 words for a daily average of just over 3,000. So, in that respect, I’m right on track with where I need to be. In the realm of having a novel written. . . Yeah, no. Now, I’ve written four novels, one of which is published, one is being shopped around, and the other two will never, ever, ever, bloody ever see the light of day. This is the first time I’ve written a full, detailed outline for a project though. And it’s pretty much meant Jack. Just yesterday, one of the major characters switched genders, so there goes that. The person I thought the main character would be closest to is actually turning into a secondary antagonist, and someone I had scripted as a minor, background character is now second in command.
And that’s just the characters.
Last night, I sat down to write and realized the previous ~4,500 words were wrong. That for the story to make sense the main character would have had to react to a situation completely differently. Why am I sharing what a mess this is? (Because I need a break from it) Just kidding. It’s actually because this is some of the most fun I’ve ever had writing and the first time I’ve ever really been able to turn off the internal editor. In previous years, I would have stopped and re-written everything that I know needs to be changed, thus failing NaNo. But because the only goal this year is word count (I will get you Dark Souls III. . . I mean 75,000 words) I made major notes to myself and continued writing as if those changes were already implemented.
It’s chaos but it’s fun. And I’ve been able to keep myself on track this first week by pretty much ignoring my social life. Though last night I did opt for the gym and only got around 1,000 words in but hey, what are you going to do?
Get right back on and keep going. So, I’ll try to check in next week, but till whenever I pull myself out of this project. . . Cheers.
I lit the first apple-pumpkin candle last night. It smelled as perfect as it did last year. And now, when I walk the dog, leaves are crunching under my feet and my New England air is crisp with fall. This is good. Not just because fall is the best time of year, but because there’s a good deal of chaos swirling around my writer world at the moment, and these two mile walks outside calm the seas.
First up - One Night in Salem is out and ready to go. Explore Salem over the course of four-hundred years through a collection of short stories all taking place on Halloween night. I’m thrilled to be a part of the anthology and can’t wait to read through the other stories picked for publication.
Grab a copy at the fundeadshop.com or on Amazon and check out the pretty cool (if I do say so myself) book trailer for the collection below. And, don’t forget, if you’re around New England, visit Salem on Saturday October 21st and come say hi to myself and the FunDead crew at the witch house. I’ll be there from 10-12 and then wandering around for awhile after so feel free to reach out via twitter @jigsawkid7 if you’re in the area!
Next up. . . Cover reveal! Pick Your Poison, the forthcoming anthology from Owl Hollow Press has had its cover revealed to the world. And you can’t see it. Just kidding, it’s right here (scroll down my friends). I'm more than excited to be a part of this project and prolong my working relationship with the folks over at OHP. Due out on October 16th, you can pre-order Pick Your Poison now from Amazon. It’s building up to be a solid collection wading through the murky grey area of the things that help us while hurting us. It's going to be great trust me.
So, there’s been some activity on my twitter account that tends to be rather vague and may or may not mention secret projects. I know, frustrating right? In reality though there’s nothing really happening and I’m just being sneaky to keep you guys all interested. . . HA! Just kidding. Or am I?
No, in all seriousness, scout’s honor, there is something going on in the background. And it’s not the project I’m just about done with. Nor is it the project I’ve outlined for NaNoWriMo. Hmmm, probably shouldn’t have mentioned those. Oh well. But, I can promise you, there’s something secret, (and it's really, really, really cool) in the works. It’s far from completed, but! The first of three stages has been successfully completed and phase 2 was launched today. So be on the lookout for plenty more vague, secret riddled tweets and messages (can you hear me laughing maniacally right now)?
Alright everyone, well until next--oh wait! I almost forgot. There’s one more thing. One more really really important thing . . . .
It's nearing October. But, before the greatest month of the year is upon us, I have one last going away present for September. It's a secret. . . And I can't tell you. Seriously. But! What I can tell you is that I really want to see the new IT movie, but since I'm a slacker and am only 430 pages through the book. . . Well, I guess that's not happening until it's out on blu-ray. Hopefully I don't float away before then. . .
It's been nice getting back into horror. Suppose I can thank some people in my writers' group for that. Cheers, everyone. I picked up two new horror anthologies, a best of the year, and Nightmares: A Decade of Modern Horror. Both have been good so far when I want a short fix on some solid words. Now if I could only get myself to crank out a few that would be great.
Just kidding. I'm actually doing pretty solid on that front. I hope to have a third draft of a WIP done for the end of October, and then, because I just don't know when to say no. . . I'm going to attempt NaNoWriMo this year. For those who aren't familiar, November is National Novel Writing Month and NaNoWriMo is the online community people can join when the attempt to scribble down 50,000 words in 30 days (rough 1675 a day to meet the goal). Unofficially, I've tried this twice. My commitment was, well, lacking. So I think this time, I'm going to get serious and give it a shot. Which means I'm likely disappearing in November. Drop off the grid which is fun to do from time to time. If anyone is giving it a shot to connect with me on NaNo's site - my tag is Benjamint374.
In the pure New England fashion, I'll be heading up to Salem on Saturday, October 21st. The good people over at FunDead Publications are doing a series of events for the upcoming collection One Night in Salem which will have my short story The House that Salem Feeds featured in it. So, if you're in the area, stop by The Witch House in Salem and come say hello. I'll be there from ten to noon. And would be up for bar hopping after if anyone wants to grab a beer. Check out One Night in Salem here. Pre-order bonuses have sold out, but the collection drops on September 30th so make sure you pick one up!
Well, till next time, cheers everyone!
Alright, so in my last post that lasted all of .7 seconds I promised a more in-depth update especially seeing as the year is half over and I haven't talked about the second quarter reading catalogue! And seeing as I just finished the best book I've read so far this year, I guess we'll start there.
My goal this year is to read 24 books and though I'm a little behind I am nowhere near as lagging as I have been in the past. I just finished the 10th book of the year which puts me at 42% and just two books behind schedule. When I last left off, I believe it was either with Agents of Dreamland or Rupert Wong and the Ends of the Earth. I could go back and look at the old post but I'd have to draft this one click out, find the post, yada-yada whatever. Okay so random fire two-sentence reviews:
Okay, now that we have that out of the way: things are progressing. Subs are out. Drafts are done. Good things be happenin! If you're across the pond keep you're eyes open. A member of the street team is country hopping through Europe and is planning on Emma Watson'ing a couple copies of the book. So, if you happen to stumble upon it wherever it is hidden, tag myself and Owl Hollow Press on social media and I'll reach out with something special to send you.