NaNoWriMo 2013 – Planning, Prep, and Execution



So, it is almost time for NaNoWriMo. This being the internet, it is only a matter of time before one or more published author misses the point entirely and drops the evergreen observation that “for them, every month is NaNoWriMo”. Yawn.

I’ve only been playing the last two years, and it has been an interesting progression. In 2011 I sat down with zero idea of what I was going to write and 50k of pure fantasy adventure waffle came out. It was a panic-filled month full of “OH GOD WHAT NOW” moments and silly names including one shout out to World of Warcraft in the form of Captain Placeholder. I had enormous fun with trying to escalate the story by refusing to hold off on revelation. This guy is actually working for the bad guys? Revelation at the end of the chapter and then have a betrayal that makes things even worse less than 15 k in.

Not the best way to write a novel, for me at least. I ended up scrapping almost all of it.

2012 I wrote most of the first draft of Gunslinger Symphony, which had a premise, a beginning, some major plot points, and an ending. It made it much easier to write, although I tied myself into knots at points trying to connect up the parts of the story.

So, for 2013 I’m trying to be even more organised. October is planning and outlining month, with all the ideas going into notebooks and a Scrivener research/template file. I picked up a couple of books of writing exercises (hat tip to Anne Lyle for suggesting Rock Your Plot which is both cheap and useful). Ideally by the time November rolls round I’ll have a good idea of where my novel is going and writing it will just be a case of finding the right words to do it with…

…in other words, I’m leaving the hard bit until last.

Predictably, I am registered on the NaNoWriMo site as mygoditsraining and always have time for more buddies.

So what’s the novel about?

The Court of the Dead

Glasgow, 1847. Progress has turned the city into an industrial powerhouse, but the population has swollen close to breaking point. People are dying, and the air is thick with rumours of ghostly followers – damned souls – that dog the heels of those out after dark. The grave-diggers are busy, and the trade in relics – the bones of the dead – is brisk.

Isidore wants nothing more than to ignore all of this. He knows better than to listen to street preachers, that carrying bones in your pocket is the surest sign of a mark. But Isidore van Helmont is a thief and a forger, and to stay clear of the law he must risk his sanity and his life to help the police catch a killer – a killer whose methods and goals are tied deep in the newest industry of all: the spirit world.