NaNoWriMo 2018

To NaNo or not to NaNo…that is the question…for today’s post…

Questions about NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) always hit me with bouts of indecision at this time of year.  And it’s usually the same two questions: 1) Should I participate? and, 2) If I do, what should I focus on?

This year, these two questions are giving me a lot to think about, though I hasten to add, the first question has always been answered in the past with a “yes”.  That being said, I’m going to bore you anyway with this year’s deliberations…

Today’s random photos are all inspired by the element of water…

Should I Participate in NaNoWriMo 2018?

As I’ve already mentioned, in the past I have always answered this question with a “yes”.  I’ve joined in the yearly writing challenge for the last six years and learned a lot about how I write and what works for me.  Last year’s lesson was tailored writing sprints, but I digress.

This year, I’m suffering from exhaustion.  It’s been an issue I’ve had all year long, but instead of resting like any sane person would, I pushed myself harder in an attempt to work through it / ignore it.  I’ve now got to the point where that is no longer an option, and I’ve started to close down many of the projects I’ve been working on to create the time and space I need to recuperate.  This in itself, would be a sensible reason not to do NaNo this year.

However, even if everything stopped tomorrow, I would still be writing.  I, like most writers, write every single day.  So whether or not I sign up to NaNo, I will be writing.

NaNo has become an important part of my writing year, and I think I would be quite disappointed if I skipped it, even once.  This means I think I will be participating again this year, unless I find closer to November 1st, I’m really not up to it.  For now, I’m full of positive thoughts – always look on the bright side of life, and all that…so to the next question…

What should I focus on for NaNoWriMo 2018?

This is the question that stumps me every year; I think hard about it for two weeks, pick a project, plan it for a week and then change my mind the following week, only to pick something else on the 1st November. I’m so very indecisive.  I have so many ideas for stories that I want to write them all right now. But, I hope to avoid these shenanigans this year with a little prep and planning.  Whatever I pick, I’m going to stick with it, because an over-active, over-anxious mind equals exhaustion.

Last month I completed my latest novel, Oathbreaker (if you didn’t already know!).  75,000 words over 38 writing days produced the best first draft I have ever written.  It helped, I think, that I completed it from start to finish – hell, it helped that I actually completed it at all.  I have dozens of novels on my computer, in various stages, but only a handful can be described as complete – and it’s not just novels, but novellas and short stories too!

Anyway, back to Oathbreaker.  When I sat down and started writing it, it was supposed to be a standalone short novel, but as the story unfolded, it became clear that was never going to happen.  Now it’s a novel trilogy, and I’ve already had people interested enough in it to ask when will they be able to start reading book 2!  Not a bad result from a first draft!

It makes sense then that my next project should be book 2.  The problem is, I’m just about to make a start on it but NaNo doesn’t begin for another 27 days.  My project could be the Oathbreaker trilogy; I start book 2 now and finish what’s left of it in November, and should I need more words, I could start book 3.

But there is part of me that says pick a different project for NaNo and let Oathbreaker take care of itself (book 1 will also need editing at some point…).  Surely it will be simpler that way.  So what else could I work on for NaNo?  Earlier in the year I was working on two unfinished novels.  They each need 20-30,000 words to complete the first draft.  There are also a load of half-finished short stories awaiting some attention.

So I guess my options are:

  • 50,000 words on the Oathbreaker trilogy
  • 50,000 words split between the Oathbreaker trilogy and a few smaller writing projects
  • 50,000 words split between unfinished novels
  • 50,000 words split between unfinished novels and short writing projects
  • Or start a  completely new project

It looks like I’ve got a lot to think about.

Wow.  That was a long post.  If you’re still reading, I’m both surprised and thankful 🙂

So what are your thoughts?  Any wise words or suggestions to impart to this indecisive writer?  Are you joining in with NaNo this year?  Do you know what you are focusing on?  Let me know in the comments.

And, should you wish to add me as a NaNo writing buddy, you can find me over on the NaNoWriMo website by searching “Sammi Cox”…

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At the Crossroads of Life

 

I’m standing at the crossroads of my life

Wondering which path before me

Is the right one

.

They all look the same

There is no visible sign

Separating one from the other

.

And yet, I must make a choice

I cannot stay here

Dithering forever

.

Indecision rules my heart

Confusion clouds my mind

Anxiety rises; I don’t know what to do

.

Tears well up in my eyes

I’m lost and lacking direction

My life, a roadmap of mistakes

.

Past failures begin to take hold

When a sudden strong breeze shifts my perception:

What’s been has gone; start afresh

.

And that, I decide

Is what I’ll do


Written for Weekend Writing Prompt #12 Indecision

Impatient Earth

It seems a little strange, a little out of step, to be writing about spring when autumn is slowly claiming the natural world where I live, but while I try and fill the last few remaining empty chapters of the Outcast anthology, I must work with the relevant prompts…

“Impatient Earth” was written in response to Weekend Writing Prompt #45 Spring


Winter had quickly given way to spring. The snow had melted and as the earth warmed, nature awakened, almost impatient to put behind it the death and the darkness of the colder months.

Suddenly the world was alive with early season colour. Trees were in bud. Delicate pink blossom clung to boughs until an eager breeze dislodged them, sending them dancing through the air like a spring snowfall.

Daffodils, snowdrops, violets, and primroses pushed their way through the recently roused earth to bloom above ground in sunbeam yellow, rich cream, snow white and watercolour purple.

And so the wheel turns….

Oathbreaker

If you have a moment, please have a read of my latest novel.  It’s currently available to read for free via Wattpad…Click the book cover below for the link…Thank you so much for your support ♥

~ Oathbreaker is now available to read in full on Wattpad ~

Longlisted for The Wattys 2018 – 31 August 2018
* * * Shortlisted for The Wattys 2018 – 14 September 2018 * * *

Summary

Eleri, priestess of the Green Lady, has waited for so long to marry her tribe’s champion, Celyn. Finally, the date is set for Midsummer’s Eve, when the tribes have gathered in the valley to celebrate the longest day at the stone circle perched up on the hill. But nothing is as it seems…

A glimpse of a bird circling over the stones foretells of doom…and maybe even death.

An oath is made. An oath is broken. And Eleri’s life changes forever…

*

Oathbreaker is a story inspired by ancient history, mythology, and the landscape. Set in the Iron Age, where there is no distinction between history and mythology, and where magic is as real as the ground beneath your feet, Oathbreaker charts the journey of Eleri, Priestess of the Green Lady, and the unusual quest she finds herself forced to make…

If you enjoy historical fiction, myths and legends, fantasy, adventure and romance, you might enjoy this too…

A Spring Enchantment

Fera had been looking forward to the Spring Fair since the end of the Winter Market.  Beneath clear blue skies, the sun shone bright and strong, making it feel unseasonably warm for this time of year, but who was going to complain that the weather was better than it should have been?

As Fera moved in and around the crowd, she couldn’t help but smile; she was mesmerised by the noise and bustle of activity wherever she looked.  Then, above the calls of traders and the chattering of gossips, she heard it, soft and distant at first, but as she pushed her way through the throng, it became louder and louder until suddenly she found herself at the front of semi circle of people.  Before her a man a few years older than herself was strumming on a harp.

It was as if the world had stopped.  There was nothing except the music, nothing except the musician’s fingers strumming the harp strings.  Time faded away, lost all importance.

Was this magic? she wondered, before the very thought disappeared, chased away by the enchanting melody.

When the music finally stopped, she realised she was the only one still there with the musician.  The market traders had packed away and gone, the crowd too, though they would no doubt return for the evening entertain.  But just as that thought crossed her mind, she noticed that it was dark, day having given way to night many hours before.

Naturally, the young woman began to feel self-conscious.  Why should she remain when others had not?  Instead, all she could ask was, ‘Why did you stop playing?’

The musician smiled.  ‘Because the spell is at an end.  The charm is cast.  There is no more music left to play.’


 

A Half-Memory of Somewhere

 

The rain came down in sheets, but that didn’t stop me from walking out of the door with no coat on, my feet bare.  It only took a few seconds before I was drenched.  And yet I didn’t care.  I couldn’t feel a thing.

There I stood, in the middle of the lawn, in the dark, in the rain, looking up at the night sky.  If anyone was to see me they would think me mad, though I was pretty certain I wasn’t.

As the rain lashed my face and plastered my hair to my scalp, I remembered a time before.  I’m not exactly sure when, but before now.  Before this.  Before everything I knew with certainty.  When things were less distinct and more blurred.  Imprecise and ill-defined.  You understand me?

I had a strange memory – a half-memory – of the darkness and of the rain and this overwhelming sense of peace.  That, coupled with the knowledge that I knew of a place beyond the clouds, near the stars.  A place I had been.  Out there.

So what do you make of that?

Maybe I was mad, but that wouldn’t stop me from searching for it.  Just in case…