Musings on NaNo

I’ve yet to officially sign up for this year’s NaNo, I’m still intending to (mostly) but I’m don’t feel quite ready to commit to it yet. I had been feeling quite positive about it, but I started reading Lavondyss by Robert Holdstock and slid back into apprehension. He wrote Tallis’s visions so seamlessly and although you know they feature heavily throughout the book, you never feel bored by their frequency, only anticipation of what otherworldly events will transpire. I need to build that but self doubt keeps stabbing me in the gut. I don’t know what I’m bitching for, I doubt there’s ever been a writer who was entirely self assured, including Holdstock. I’m not generally a reader of modern fiction and of the sci-fi I’ve been reading, the stories have been compelling but the style of writing hasn’t been to my taste. I’ve read Lolita a number of times over the years, primarily because of the way Nabakov wrote. From my very first reading of it, I thought it read like poetry written in prose. The language was never ornate but somehow still lyrical, something Holdstock mastered and I covet. I’ve yet to decide whether it’s a good or a bad thing to discover a writer that’s everything you want to be. As much as you can see “how it’s done”, the thought of not only recreating the style but doing so in a way that makes it wholly your own, is daunting. I really shouldn’t be worrying about this right now, NaNo’s for drafting, not creating a finished piece.

In other NaNo news, I’m actually going to meet up with some Leicester WriMos today. I don’t really do socialising anymore, especially with new people, but I thought it was probably about time I had another crack at it. I’m hoping that meeting up with other local participants will make the whole experience easier what with us all sharing a common goal.

Here’s to getting my shit together within the next 17 days and enjoying the company of people also plagued by NaNo nerves.


Writer’s Block? How to Get Your Novel Unstuck

Read, digest, repeat.

Kristen Lamb's Blog

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We’ve all been there. When we started off with this brilliant story idea we just simply knew this was the one. This story we would finish. This time would be different.

*insert screeching breaks* (pun intended)

Then we hit a wall. We simply can’t seem to move forward no matter how hard we try. We might even go through the Kubler-Ross Stages of Death and Dying.


Oh it isn’t that bad. I just haven’t had enough caffeine.


What the hell was I thinking? A romance? No one wants to read about love. Love is dead. Readers want diet books and recipes with kale.


Maybe if I just go add in some super clever metaphors it will all improve. Can one use emojis in fiction? I find smilie faces spice up my Facebook posts. Brilliant!

Tiffany was thrilled Dane asked her to dinner 😀 😀 😀 ❤ <3…

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Hate the Editing Stage of Writing? Check Out These Helpful Tools — Kristen Lamb’s Blog

This one’s a keeper!


Hey guys, Today Nancy Lin is here to help us with what might just be THE suckiest part of writing. But part of being a great writer, is also learning to be at least a good editor. We all need professional outside eyes on our work, and Nancy is here to help you get the […]

via Hate the Editing Stage of Writing? Check Out These Helpful Tools — Kristen Lamb’s Blog

Enough Already With the Nora

There’s 14 days left until the beginning of NaNoWriMo, I’m floundering badly and I can’t get that dreaded Nora Roberts quote out of my head, “You can’t fix a blank page.” Unsurprisingly it’s currently getting wheeled out a lot, with lots of other motivational gubbins. It’s not helping. It’s absurd that completing NaNo last year should fill me with so much self doubt and yet it does. I finished a Wilkie Collins biography a couple of days ago which has left me feeling wholly inadequate. If he wasn’t writing, he was thinking of new stories to tell or meticulously plotting one he had in the works. I wish I had half of his tenacity (and talent), hell, even a quarter of it would see me right. Perhaps the second NaNo is the hardest because of the pressure to repeat your performance. Last year does feel like a fluke and that the only reason I completed it was because I’d been working on the story in my head for at least a year. I knew where it was going, how it would unfold but I don’t have that with the story I’m thinking of for this year. I’ve made notes on what it’s all about but so far haven’t been able to figure out a timeline of events for it and have no idea of how it ends. I know I don’t have to have a masterpiece all planned out but I feel really uncomfortable with this level of uncertainty. The one thing I used to love about creative writing with Mr Mower, is that he gave us a first line to turn into a story of our own. I have a first line, a first line that had he given us, I would have been ecstatic about. I would have been giddy with ideas. When I think of it like that I can’t help but wonder what the fuck happened. I know back then all we had to produce was a few pages in an A5 exercise book, but I’m not even sure I could do that. I find myself asking not how did I do it, but when did I stop being able to do it? Maybe it’s a grown up thing. Maybe over the years life fills you with insecurities and beats it out of you. What I wouldn’t give to be back in Mr Mower’s class right now, huddled over over my exercise book and scribbling in excitement.

For Crying Out Loud: More on Writing Emotion by Lizzie Hermanson

Something I’ll definitely need to keep in mind!

Happy Authors Guild

So you’re curled up with a box of chocolates, enjoying your latest romance novel. You’re right there with the character, immersed in the action. Then a lone tear rolls down her cheek, and suddenly, you’re not feeling it anymore; for a micro second, you’re taken out of the story and something jars.

Sound familiar?

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