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NaNoWriMo 2012

Way back in 2006 I was struggling to finish a novel—any novel—so I decided to do NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) to push me past the opening chapters, which is where I always used to stall. It worked so well that I did it again in 2007, and those two drafts formed the basis for my first two novels, The Alchemist of Souls and The Merchant of Dreams. They had to be practically rewritten from scratch, but writing them had proved to me that I could indeed finish a novel-length manuscript in a short period of time.

Fast forward to 2012, and I’m trying to finish the first draft of The Prince of Lies, the final book in my Elizabethan trilogy. This is the first all-new book I’ve written since 2007, and I’m still finding the drafting process difficult. My first draft prose is better than it was six years ago (thankfully), but wrangling a novel-length plot doesn’t get any easier! And since the book is pencilled in to be published in November next year, I need to get my skates on!

I’m therefore doing what you might call an “unofficial” NaNoWriMo, in that I’m not starting a project from scratch (one of the “rules” insisted on by NaNo-purists), but I do hope to finish it by the November 30th deadline and it will take me approximately 50,000 words to do that. We have a large NaNoWriMo group here in Cambridge, and joining in with them always gives me a buzz (I’ve used NaNoWriMo in the intervening years to get me through revisions and editing).

Anyway, I probably won’t be online much for the next month (apart from weekly blog posts and occasional @MalCatlyn tweets, which I can schedule ahead of time), so I’ll see you all on the flip side!


Adrian Faulkner

I’m the same. I’d always planned to write the first draft of my next novel by the end of the year and NaNo was conveniently at the right time. I have a large number of words already written, although I may rewrite (as I am known to do). Still to do a full novel by January will require more than 50k a month (especially if my habit of rewriting and rewriting continues)

Plus I get a chance to support unpublished writers, many of them on their first NaNo


This will be my first NaNoWriMo, and I’m pretty much doing it for the same reason – I’ve never finished a novel and I’m really hoping this will be the kick in the pants I need. I always get inspired and start, and then get stuck. I’m also trying my hand at pre-plotting because the only thing I’ve ever actually finished is the first draft of a musical – for which I wrote a synopsis and revised it four times before I wrote a word of the script. I think I’m actually a plotter at heart, but I’ve been beating my head against the wall trying to be a pantser. Time to try something different. 🙂