NaNoWriMo Victory (and returning to serials)

I told myself I wasn’t going to write tonight because, quite frankly, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo for short) kicked my ass. Thoroughly. We’re talking minimal sleep for the sake of hitting or exceeding par each night.

So I clearly lied to myself to write this because I was raised Catholic and wear that guilt like a damn cape. So here we are with me writing a blog post on my phone. Yep.

And I DID IT. I met my goal! I won NaNoWriMo! I concluded this year’s NaNoWriMo at 50,034 words and I feel terrific about such a victory. Here’s the details worth sharing:

  • A Princess, A Lich, and Some Murders (a tentative title) is an idea I’ve been playing around with for a while. Close to a decade at this point.
  • I had written about 100 pages of its true first draft some years ago, then scrapped it.
  • This story kept popping up in the forefront of my thoughts throughout 2020 until I decided it would be what I use for NaNoWriMo.
  • The most hectic night of writing resulted in me going into a workday with around 3 hours of sleep. Would not recommend.
  • The story is only about halfway done. I’ll be easing my way through the rest of this draft.

What next, then? The serials will return, right?

Yes! Of course! Just not this week. My wife’s birthday is Friday, and my focus will be on making her fantastic food and doing what I can so she has a nice, low key day.

The four serials so many of you have shown such love will return next week. Looking forward to resuming those adventures together, folks.

Stay safe out there and take care, folks.

Where have all the serials gone?

“Happy Friday!” is a thing I often shout across the void of the internet. It’s already almost halfway through November! How time certainly flies when the world is on fire and the President is actively casting doubt on the very bedrock of the voting process. Such fun.

By now some of you have noticed an absence of Fantasy Friday and Sci-Fi Saturdays. On the plus side, this reminds me that people are actually reading them – thanks for that! On the downside, it means I should’ve made up my mind sooner. I owe some explanation as to what happened.

November is National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. It’s that magical time of year during which people try to write 50,000 words – the equivalent to an average length novel. After taking last year off, and with a great deal of encouragement from my wife, I decided to tackle this beast of a challenge. During a Presidential election cycle that has been nothing short of off-the-rails. While also still working my day job.

I am not a clever man.

My original goal was to continue the serials uninterrupted, but it became very clear that was not going to happen within the first week. Writing novels is exhausting. I’ve been staying up past midnight to hit the average word count needed to make it to 50k by the end of November (approximately 1,667 words per day).

So what does this mean for the serials? Glad you asked, hypothetical reader. The serials will resume in November. I’m still working hard on ideas for them as their stories aren’t complete and some of the details are whim decisions.

Sorry to surprise folks with this sudden pause, but I promise I’ll make it worth it when they resume.

Stay safe out there and take care, folks.

Nearly NaNoWriMo, and More

It’s almost October? No, no. I distinctly remember August just ending yesterday or so. Right?

It’s almost October.

Oh. Oh no.

I posted a poll on Twitter asking which of a few ideas I’ve had rattling around in my brain for a while should be used for NaNoWriMo. All three were stories I have a special place for in my heart (and in numerous notes across numerous notebooks).

A Princess, A Lich, and Some Murders won, and while I’m excited I’m also a bit terrified. I haven’t worked on that story in several years, and this is a near-total reboot. Keeping the core concept, more or less, but revamping a lot of it with knowledge acquired from years of more writing, developing an understanding of the community, and so on. It’s a story I’m looking forward to writing.

The flip-side of this? This isn’t a story I just want to charge into without planning it out first. I’ve got my Kickstarter Edition of the Page One notebook ready to go for this…as soon as I start putting thoughts to pages.

Which brings me back to the fact that it’s already nearly October. Which means November, and NaNoWriMo, are practically here.

October should also be interesting for the serials. I’ve gotten into a relatively decent, somewhat bordering-onto-nearly-late schedule of rotating through the four stories. They’re terrific fun for me to share, and it seems like people enjoy them which is really just an added bonus.

The bad news? There is no real bad news just yet.

The good news? The plan right now is to write ahead in October so I have November’s installments lined up. The most work I’ll have to do is manually sharing on Facebook. Unless I make a Fan Page for my writing, which is something I’ve actively avoided for a while now because that requires a level of ego or confidence that I absolutely lack.

So November will be pre-written in October, but before then I also have a bit of Halloween spookiness in store for these stories. Tricks AND treats, folks. It’s going to be fun. Hopefully.

Meanwhile, I’m keeping busy and trying to stay sane through the continued horrors spewed forth from the Hellmaw that is 2020. Hope you’re all surviving, and perhaps even thriving, despite all of the excitement that 2020 has provided.

News, Present and Future

Happy nearly-Friday, everyone! Unless it’s already Friday when you read this, in which case Happy Friday! Or if it’s another day or if you’re a time-traveler, in which case I invite you to stop making things so difficult for me. What should’ve been a simple greeting became something far more convoluted because of you. Especially you damn time-travelers.

With that out of the way, some news about Misadventures In Fiction and my current projects!

If you’ve been keeping up with this page at all lately, you’ll have noticed I’ve settled into a regular rotation of posts – Fantasy Fridays and Sci-Fi Saturdays. I have two serialized stories for each, which I’m alternating (Fantasy Fridays switches between A Puzzling, New World and Wanted Adventurers, while Sci-Fi Saturdays consists of Warpt Factor‘s triumphant return and Follow The Ashes). It’s been a wild ride keeping up with those self-imposed deadlines, but I love the stories I’m writing and they’ve gotten quite a bit of love especially in these dreary times. I have each of them outlined quite a bit ahead, and so thankfully there shouldn’t be a hiccup for some time.

I say for some time because time is a strange, broken construct in 2020, and before we know it November will be here (and here I am speaking such a time-leap into existence). I made the mistake of suggesting I may participate in NaNoWriMo this year and my wife, Steff, has thrown all of her support behind that very bad idea*. To balance my sanity and not burn myself out, I’m deciding well enough ahead of time that I will be on a hiatus from all other stories during that time. Sure, I may jot down some ideas here and there, but I don’t think it would be wise. Additionally, a wise friend from Twitter (Nisha) suggested such a hiatus and she’s one to juggle projects with ease while knowing a writer’s limits. So great minds think alike, but also if I don’t heed her advise she might kill me in a short story. Which isn’t a bad thing, really? I don’t know, I lost my train of thought since it’s very nearly midnight and I work in the morning.

*NaNoWriMo eats me alive each time I participate, but that’s partially because I let it and I’m too hard on myself for not meeting the word count each day. Yes, I’m finally admitting to those things.

Now, as you’re reading this you may also notice something else different. There aren’t ads currently! Huzzah, yeah? I opted to take advantage of WordPress’s sale and so the domain name is mine until next July now and I also have an ad-free site. Sure, it could use work in other areas, but this feels like a step in the right direction for someone who often…neglects his site entirely.

At any rate, those are the serials I’m working on, but there are short story ideas ready to get drafted so hopefully I can share good news about those in the semi-distant future.

For now? Take care, stay safe, wear your damn masks when going out, and be sure to pause and find magic in the world when you can. It’s still out there, still brilliant, and available to any who seek it. Until next time, fellow Misadventurers!

The 2014 NaNoWriMo decision is…

Tonight is surprisingly devoid of Halloween-related goodness. No scary movies until tomorrow, as Brianne has coursework to focus on. Trick-or-treating happened last night ’round these parts. I’m not feeling particularly motivated to dig out any scary video games or read any spooky stories. Oh, and I’m starting to feel sick but I think that’s mostly thanks to this awful warm-and-cold alternating weather (get your shit together, Mother Nature). I’ll chalk it up to the stars being in a funky alignment or some witch putting a particularly unimpressive hex on me and move on.

It’s NaNoWriMo Eve after all, and there are thousands upon thousands of writers all over who are currently full of anticipation and anxiety for the next thirty days of self-torment under the disguise of writing. After a fair bit of consideration, going back and forth on the topic, I’ve decided to not go for the crazy glory this year. If I’m not doing a great deal of writing already, I can only imagine how much additional stress and frustration this will produce.

Best of luck to everyone who does participate.

The question of NaNoWriMo revisited

I hesitate to admit this, but apparently it’s almost November already. I’m fairly certain it was mid-July just last week, but perhaps time has gotten away from me. At least I didn’t somehow miss Halloween. Yet.

November means NaNoWriMo, which I’ve brought up relatively recently(ish). It’s that special kind of self-inflicted torture writers endure/enjoy for one full month, attempting to produce a 50k word novel before November wraps up. This is only appropriate as The Thanksgiving Food Coma usually spells doom for writers who have failed to maintain a moderate to intense level of daily writing discipline throughout the month. Nothing about NaNoWriMo is easy, from balancing writing against other obligations to fighting against the madness-inducing 50k final word count.

This begs the following question: why in the Hell am I thinking about throwing all caution (and reasonable thought) to the wind and giving it yet another go? It would be in the shadow of the ass-kicking, brain-draining Hundred Days of Blogging (which is so close to being over but still so far away). The holiday shopping season will be upon us too soon, and I still happen to work in a retail setting that is going to get absolutely stampeded. There’s also the small matter of my birthday happening at some point next month, which I imagine will involve plenty of its own distractions as well. I’m still considering it, though. Not a damn clue why. Brianne posed a reasonable question in response to me voicing my interest in tackling NaNoWriMo: “Do you want to torture yourself?”

Perhaps? On one hand, it could be a good way to really kick-start my currently-unnamed novel project. On the other hand, I know too well that working under pressure usually doesn’t make for my best creative moments (although, to be fair, it’s hit or miss because sometimes it lends to me producing my best work). I think the answer will have to wait until November. Around midnight, November 1st. We’ll see where this ends up from there and then.

Rolling with the punches

Or writing with the punches?

It’s been an oddly hectic time in my life, which is terribly frustrating since I’ve been all “Huzzah, graduation!  Goals goals goals ideas plans” and then life responds with, “Hey, Phil.  I see you have goals, ideas, and plans there.  Let me piss all over them.”  The big issue of sorting out student loans has really punched me in the face, and then there’s other things that don’t bear mentioning here (It’s my misadventures in fiction, folks, not my misadventures in sorting out life; that’s far, far less interesting, and you should all be grateful I’m not making those posts here).

I’m reconsidering my plans for NaNoWriMo, if only because it’s not entirely conducive to what I’m aiming for (I need to try getting my work out there for publication consideration, and though the challenge is totally awesome and horrifying, it’s not really jiving with everything else at the moment; I’ll probably keep with it in some way or another because I’m terribly bull-headed).

Right now the biggest plan is to get “Death at Teatime” out there.  I’m thinking I might dust off some of the things from early-summer, fix them up, and then share them because I realized I have no actual samples of my fiction on here and that goes against one of the major points of this blog.

Thanks to my followers, and anyone who happens upon this blog otherwise, for your patience and sticking with what’s been relatively erratic updating and an unfortunate lack of content.  Also, sorry that I’m sort of not sorry for the post that’s to follow.

NaNoWriMo’s here.

NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month for those of us who aren’t particularly fond of acronyms (Hi, my name is Phil and I take issue with abbreviating shit down to silly little phrases), has arrived like it does every year.  I mean, November does show up around the same time, generally speaking, and it’s not only marked by the turning of a calendar page.  As a mildly unrelated side-note, calendars in question should be on November, not December, and so I’ve got to very politely, but very directly, ask you all to shut the hell up with your Christmas cheer and wait one more month.  Much appreciated.  Moving on.

There’s that deep, unshakable feeling of dread everyone who has ever participated in NaNoWriMo feels as it approaches.  It should be noted, by the way, that it’s already almost November 3rd, and I’ve made slightly less progress on this year’s NaNoWriMo than I have on working out my income tax-related business.  I wish I were joking.  However, have I lost hope?  Slightly.  Will I let that be the slaying of my writery-dragon-beast-nonfunctional-metaphor?  No, absolutely not.  I will use that as fuel to kick ass, take names, and write what I assume will be really slap-dash fiction in the name of testing myself and seeing just how close to the edge of madness I can get without falling in (short answer: I’ve already been there and back; got the t-shirt, had souvenir photos taken, and I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone).

Here is my challenge to fellow writers: if you’ve never, ever tried National Novel Writing Month, give it a try.  Go for it.  I’m not saying hit the 50,000 word mark, as I’m well aware that life is full of unexpected impediments that leave us swearing and cleaning up messes and swearing some more (my life can, at times, be one long series of should-be bleeped expletives).  See where it takes you.  Maybe you’ll end up with something you look at and think, “Man, with the right editing this could be pretty neat.”

People who have been through NaNoWriMo before: join me in returning to it!  If you got to 25k words last time, go for 30k.  Or 40k.  Or maybe even the whole 50k.  Just give it another go, really, because misery loves company, writing loves company, and the two can be oddly synonymous with one another at times (except when there is bourbon involved in writing, in which case the only things suffering are grammar, spelling, and Microsoft Word’s spellcheck feature).

To those of you who started on time and are well into their National Novel Writing Month experience, I wish you the best of luck (with a side of “I hate you” because I totally should be where you all are at but I am instead sitting at the starting line with my metaphorical thumbs up my metaphorical nose).  To those of you who are in the same spot as me: let’s do this!  Updates will occur as possible, and I’m totally going to hit at least 35k this year because of reasons.

Edit, because I am le dumb: click here to visit the NaNoWriMo site for all the shiny information and encouragement you’ll need to get started.