Category Archives: Writing

Haunted and NaNoWriMo

How disheartening it is to suffer the inability to rack up the word count with NaNo so close 😉 Yep, that’s right, I sucked. But it’s okay. I had done almost no prep so my head wasn’t firmly in the story, at least that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it. And I am much better prepared for NaNo, which is only hours away now.

I can’t wait to start writing my boys. These last few hours I’ve been killing time by cleaning the kids rooms, and I have a couple of opening lines running around in my head to start with. Always nice to have a jumping off point, yeah? Once I post this I’m going to sit down with a couple of episodes of Firefly, my knitting, and then get an early night so I’m up at the crack of dawn to start writing. It will be the first NaNo in three that I haven’t begun writing at the stroke of midnight and racked up a decent start before it even feels like November, but that’s okay, I reckon. I’m getting old and need my rest now 🙂


New Blog Post at The Book Bunnies

Over at the Book Bunnies blog, I ramble on about NaNoing in the Southern Hemisphere.

My Progress on Haunted

Is decidedly slow. I’m very prone to distraction, procrastination… What’s new 😉

I think I need to re-examine my writing habits (and I’m glad I’m doing it now rather than waiting for November). I’m finding I write better lately earlier in the day, where I’ve always written best at night before. That’ll take some adjusting to, some earlier nights, some getting up at dawn O.O And some time management.

So after five days I have a very modest not-quite-3000-words. Oh, that sounds terrible! Yeah, that’s pretty terrible. I am going to make it up to 3k tonight, then change my daily target to 1k, and hopefully I’ll come out at the end of it with about 10k—which should do the job, I reckon, considering at 1.5k I was where I’d planned to be at 5k.

Yeah, I seem to be bare-bonesing it, which is fine. There’ll definitely be scenes I’ll add in when I rewrite.

I’ve started writing a bit early.

I had the beginning scene in my head so I kinda dived right in. Until Monday I’m just going to truck along adding a couple of paragraphs when I feel like it. I have around 1000 words so far and established a little bit of history and character. Lots needs to be fleshed out but I’m resisting the urge. Tonight I’m going to go back and add some more to the story bible. There’s a lot I’ve learned about my characters already. Plus I have a couple new characters who need profiles—and one needs a name (the bit I suck at the most).

One thing I’m going to have to keep in mind as I begin is the fact that this is a ghost story. It’s a bit of a slow build up before anything real happens, I just need to remember to place the hints consistently as I go. I’m also going to take this time to establish some stuff and lead the reader astray a bit before I get to the point.

Without boring anyone, of course.

I’m torn about whether to do any paranormal research or not. I’m a little reluctant to try to stick to any accepted ghost ‘rules’ rather than just winging it and establishing my own. I want to make up my own rules.

I do have a little medical research to do, but just a refresher as I’ve already got most of what I need from another story.

Overall, I’m feeling like I haven’t done enough preparation for the story and yet I’m itching to write. My issue might be with the slow build-up—I’m used to beginning in the middle but I can’t do that here. I’m itching to get to the juicy bits, but they are a way off yet. Hopefully that feeling will drag me through to the middle quickly.

The Birth of a Plot Bunny

While casually perusing some calls for submission I happened upon one looking for ghost stories. Calls usually do nothing for me, but this one made lots of little bells in my brain ring. So I’ve started pottering around compiling a story bible and a playlist for this wee baby bunny. I’m hoping it’ll come out around 15k if I can push it that far (which might be a mission considering my style).

But this also means that I have plenty of time to get it written before November and NaNoWriMo. I’m giving myself 5 days to plan it, then two weeks to write.

So far I have tragedy, angst, a little bit of a creep factor, a twist, and as long as my muse behaves, a HEA at the end. My characters have names but are still pretty faceless, so next on my list is checking out some photos 🙂

So far this story is working titled ‘Haunted’.

NaNoWriMo. Again.


Image by mikeymckay via Flickr

November is coming up fast. Again. The year has simply flown by. Again. And I’m gearing up for NaNo. Again. It’s becoming like Christmas, but without the bah humbug 🙂

I’ve got a couple different stories I could write this year. Doing some low pressure, laid back planning, and I’ll see what I feel like writing come November 1st.

Or I’m toying with the idea of hitting a random plot generator at 11.59pm on the 31st of October.

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Popping my Zombie Cherry

A writing group I’m a member of *waves @ plot bunnies* decided to have a wee low pressure gift swap this Christmas, in the form of a 250 word flash fiction. Those participating gave a prompt, these were dished out, and I wrote for Melissa using this prompt:

topic: christmas morning
setting: fresh fallen snow
character: flesh eating zombie

Now I’d never written zombies before, I don’t read zombie stories, my zombie experience is limited to a couple of Buffy the Vampire Slayer episodes and that movie with Woody Harrelson, so I went in completely green…and tried to do cute and fluffy.

Well that didn’t work.

So I went with this:

Filmy eyes stare at me through the windshield. Her shirt is torn, there’s a sickening yellow bite beneath the ruined sleeve.


She hunches over, clenches her fists and lets out an ear splitting scream.

Her feet cut a stumbling path in the fresh fallen snow. She screeches again, I expect the horde to return but this time I won’t have my mother to shield my eyes and cover my ears as they rock the truck and scrape the windows with blood-crusted nails.

A tall figure lurches into view. Every few halting steps his head swings to look behind him and I see his face. His eyes are dead and his lips are stained with gore.

Behind him, a tiny thing that trips and stumbles and jerks throws it’s head back and screams in infantile frustration.

Momma shuffles over to the tiny thing and tries to pick it up.

Three of them turn as one. Fingers stiffen into broken claws and they open their mouths. From each jaw-breaking maw comes a screech that hurts my ears.

I can barely see for stinging tears, I think my heart will explode from the fear, but I climb out of the truck and meet them, the deathly, deadly things that once were my Momma and my Daddy and my baby brother. I am alone, and despite the horror I want what they have, because whatever they are, at least they have each other.

I want to be with my family for Christmas.

Which is probably terribly indicative of my zombie experience. But it was fun doing something a bit icky, which I don’t do a hell of a lot, and now the cherry is popped. I can never say ‘I’ve never written zombies’ again.

I also offered up a prompt:

Topic – something has been or must be hidden
Setting – a church
Character – an emo kid

It was written by Tessa, and I could have kissed her it was so perfect. She even managed to give a hint of kink that she didn’t even know I had 😉 Thank you so much, Tessa!

Victorian Porn and Falling off the Face of the Earth

I’ve been writing.  The kind of story that takes me away from my housework and my social life (which consists mainly of friends and communities on the internet–yep, I’m a sad little monkey).  And it may also be the kind of story that I never share, and that’s okay, because there is a story inside that needs to come out, and I can’t rest until it does.

It’s somewhat of a companion piece to another story I wrote about a year ago, give or take. I’m enjoying the visit with my characters, seeing how they’ve changed and grown–or not grown, as the case may be. The reason I may or may not ever share this story is that it’s a bit of a personal catharsis. I find this ‘I may not ever share it’ attitude to be very freeing. Who cares if it’s complete arse, it doesn’t matter if that word isn’t perfect, or that paragraph is chock full of adverbs and participles, because no one but me has to see it. It’s an attitude I need to embrace more often in my first (or zero) drafts, and not just in the technical aspects, but in the story. I have a tendency to stress over what is and isn’t ‘done’ or ‘acceptable’ or ‘in good taste’, and it slows me down and it stalls me when I’m writing. And if I’m trying to twist the story to suit anyone other than the story itself, it invariably fails. But I keep doing it *eye roll*

Where was I going with this? Oh, right, disappearing. Yes, so involved with the story that I’ve fallen off the face of the earth. It’s okay, I figure I’ll be back sometime around Christmas, when I envision I’ll be done.

Oh, I have been doing a little reading. I’ve just discovered a couple of Victorian novels of gay erotica. Teleny, or The Reverse of the Medal is a true erotic romance, and The Sins of the Cities of the Plain is flat out porn. I found them both for kindle on Amazon for $1 each, and I’ve been devouring them when I get a chance to read.

Teleny (1893) is beautiful and I adored it. Sins (1881) is peppered with colourful expressions like ‘mancunt’ which had me in fits of laughter, but it’s very interesting for the Victorianness of it. I’m both a Victorian era enthusiast and a gay porn enthusiast, so both these books are just my thing.

NaNo, thank god it’s over!

A vastly different experience from last year, I really couldn’t care less about this years characters. Last year I was IN LOVE with my boys, this year, meh.

But, I’ll give the story a few weeks or months and then dive back in and do my best to salvage something from the madness.

In the mean time, I have some editing to do. 3 shorts to revise and edit (two of which have to be done in December).

Then I’ll be on to my ‘finish stuff’ mission. One of my unfinished’s has actually crawled back into my brain, so I might not be able to resist a little writing, and that’s fine with me.

And I’m gonna read some books, dammit! First on the list is Drawn Together by Z.A. Maxfield,  I believe it’s also top of Becca’s list for post nano, maybe I should poke her for a read along or something.

The End

Photo of the first page of All's Well that End...

Image via Wikipedia

I wrote the final scene of my nano novel last night.

I’d been stalling for two days, tearing my hair out about it, having no clue how I was ever going to get my boys out of an impossible situation. None of my options were realistic or believable. I didn’t believe them, anyway, so I couldn’t write them.

But I forced myself to put pen to paper (the handwriting process makes my brain work differently), and without looking at the scene I was in the middle of writing before I stopped, I took it up in the middle, and within about 200 words, I ended my book.

And now, because I know how it ends, I know how to fix all the weird bits throughout, I know everyone’s motivation, I know how to fill in the gaps, I know WHY the damn king sends his son and heir off with his boyfriend in the first place!

I feel so good. Now, whether this is a cop-out ending or not (which it could be perceived to be), I don’t care. I feel like it’s the truth. That’s why I was struggling the entire time, because I was striving for something that in my mind, just wasn’t possible.

So, yay!