Why I’m Not Doing Nanowrimo This Year

For the second year running, I am not joining the magnificent, brave and crazy people that give up their Novembers in the pursuit of a novel. I love Nanowrimo, and even now the notion of not sitting down on November 1st and banging out that first 1667 words rips at me. Some very good friends of mine are doing it this year, and I hate the idea that I can’t join them.

Last year, I made the excuse that I simply had too much else to write. That was true then, and it’s even more true now. It has been an intense year for me. I have finally got off my butt and started getting my writing out into the real world, and it has brought me opportunities and put me into contact with people that I wouldn’t have thought possible nine months ago. That momentum has to be kept up.

The main reason for not doing Nanowrimo in 2012?

This year, I’m not writing a novel. I’m publishing one.

In conjunction with new start-up Verse Publishing, the people behind The Dead Files anthologies, I’m releasing Satan’s Schoolgirls, the first book I ever wrote through Nanowrimo. It’s been extensively proofed and edited, and has an eye-popping new cover by a talented new discovery, Stella Sampson. It seems appropriate that I should be doing this now, for a couple of reasons. It closes the loop on Nanowrimo. No-one should write a book and just leave it on their hard drive. Get it out there. Nowadays, there’s no excuse not to at least try.

And of course, what better time to release a horror title than Halloween? That was Leading Man Clive’s idea, and it’s a little bit of marketing genius. Remarkably, we’re on schedule and will be ready to go before the 31st.

So, I really felt that I needed to focus some time and energy on Satan’s Schoolgirls, and give it the push it needs. It’s a work that I’m incredibly proud of, a sleazy, nasty grubby chunk of exploitational horror that I’ve always pitched as Quentin Tarantino’s Belles Of St. Trinian’s.

Keep an eye open for further announcements early next week. And prepare yourselves for the ride.


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Writer. Film-maker. Cartoonist. Cook. Lover.

3 thoughts on “Why I’m Not Doing Nanowrimo This Year”

    1. Thank you, Mike! I would say your best bet is to write little and often. To win Nano, you have to do 1650-1700 words a day. That feels like a lot, but if you break that wordcount into three or four sessions per day, you only have to do 5-600 in one run. That’s a lunch, and maybe an hour or so at other points in the day. Much more doable. I do a lot of writing in my train commute on the way into work.
      Don’t worry about quality at this point – just get it down, and do all the fancy stuff when you come to revise. If you hit a sticky point, try jumping forwards in your story and you’ll often find the solution will come to you in the heat of writing something else.

      Above all, take care of yourself. Get enough sleep, eat and drink properly, try to make a little time for friends and family. And I recommend signing up to one of the regional forums – they’re a great place to get support, advice, or just offer an ear when you need to bitch!

      Best of luck, and happy Nanoing!

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