Vision of Escaflowne

It’s an older anime from 1996. A great story, awesome Mecha designs and killer music from Yoko Kanno (who also did stellar music for Macros Plus). The first soundtrack disc that was released was titled “Over the Sky” It’s been a huge help for me in writing my Nano project.

If you’re an anime fan & haven’t seen this series, do yourself a favour & check it out!

Escaflowne Opening

Nanowrimo Day11 Update

So it’s now day 11 or Nanowrimo.

When I first mentioned I was going to be joining the insanity, I had quite a few doubts about being able to accomplish it. In fact, if I’m totally honest, I figured I’d be washed out before today. But guess what, I’m on track!

Today’s goal was to be at 18,333 words. I’m at 18,524. I know, not way ahead, but still, ahead. I’ve sat my butt in the chair and wrote new words every single day. Something I have never done before. And every single time I sat down, I had something in mind to write, so I didn’t spend hours staring at a blank screen and give up.

In fact, I’ve written more words on this work than I accomplished in the first four months of The Veil.

So I’m on track and feeling good. This book is going to be longer than 50,000 words, but I’ll have at least that before the end of Nanowrimo, I’m sure of it.

So that’s my quick check-in. I’ll do some more as I go. Wish me luck!

And if you’re doing Nanowrimo too, good luck to you 🙂

Letting Go of Reality…

While The Veil contains fantastical elements, it is set in our modern world. So I haven’t had to create physics or biology. I’ve had to keep a lot of the story rooted in reality so the reader can buy into it. But I realise this has created a problem.

My new work that I’m prepping for Nanowrimo is a fantasy set in another world. But I’m still thinking in terms of how machines work, how we fuel our vehicles, how our own history in Medieval society functioned. I realised last night that I’m severely limiting myself.

I don’t have a lot of experience in world-building. It’s also starting to dawn on me that I haven’t exercised my childhood imagination since, uh, childhood.

What a horrible thing we let go of. I watch my youngest son who is unhampered by my adult weight of bills, parenthood, social graces, etc. To him, no world is too far away, no imagining embarrassing or too outlandish. I really need to get back to that. I want this book to fill readers with a sense of wonder and joy. Actually, I think even more than that, I want it to make me feel that way.

I suspect that this is the only way to make this story work. And I am desperate to make it work. As much as The Veil felt like the right book to write, this one feels like the book I must write. But it’ll only happen if I let go.

News of My Death Has Been Greatly Exaggerated

Wow, a month and a half since my last post. You’d think I’d forgotten this blog existed.

Truth be told, I just haven’t had much to share with the world. The Veil has stalled in edits. I mean, it’s getting there, just a lot slower than I had hoped. But with all things The Veil, I shouldn’t be surprised. That book has always taken longer than I hoped. And perhaps the reason is that I’m not ready for it.

I had a lengthy discussion via email with a fellow writer named Regan Leigh. We were comparing notes on the YA series we had in progress. As I outlined the scope of The Veil, I realised that this thing is big. Maybe too big. With every edit and passing day, I seem to throw more into it. At present, I have 1 book written, another book started & plotted, and two more books with very rough outlines. And that doesn’t even end the blasted thing!

It dawned on me that if I self-published The Veil Book One, I’d be making a deal with my readers that the series would be completed and done so in a timely fashion. Am I ready to dedicate myself to seven years or more on one series? If I’m honest, I’m not. Regan gave me some sage advice; Set aside The Veil until I learn to manage my writing time more efficiently. Stick to more standalone stories until I’m more proficient at organising my thoughts and then I’ll be able to write the Veil series.

It made sense, but was scary at the same time. Because writing a book, it’s like nurturing a child. And when you’ve finally got it to a point where it can walk, stand and think on its own, it’s hard to let go. But I know I need to do that. I’m just not ready to tell that story yet.

Which is not to say writing it was a waste of time. I’ve learned a great deal from it. I’ve also gained the confidence that comes from knowing that I have finished a novel.

In a convenient twist, an idea for a book struck me the other day and I’ve fallen in love with it. It’s a fantasy. I’ll be doing some world building and telling a single story in the one book.

And to push myself to the limit, I’ve signed up for Nanowrimo.

If you’re not familiar with it, that’s National Novel Writing Month, which is in November. The idea is to write a first draft of a novel equaling at least 50,000 words within the month’s time. That works out to approx. 1,667 words a day. Which is a lot more than I’m used to.

To get ready, I’m planning ahead. That’s right, the pantser/write-like-it’s-chess boy is planning ahead! Because that’s one of the lessons I’ve learned from The Veil. The better I had planned a chapter, the faster it was to write. I did have days where I hammered out 2,000 words in a single session. If I plan a whole novel, I’m hoping I can do the same.

During Nanowrimo I’ll be doing more frequent updates here on the blog. Yes, I do intend to breathe some new life into this poor, neglected corner of the web.

I feel great about this new book. It feels like a winner. Hopefully I still feel that way by the end of November.