Doing 50k in a month

Some of my writer friends are stunned that I can write a novel in a month.  They don’t understand how I could do it.  I guess it is hard work, but it can be done.

I like to write, I love having the tight timeframe to work in also, and SoCNoC (or NaNoWriMo for the northern hemisphere) is a great opportunity to write solidly for a month.  Basically I have an idea that I want to work with anyway, and would have gone as far as to plan it out chapter by chapter and down as far as key scenes.

From there, it is a case of working out the numbers.

There are 30 days in June, if I am going to write every day, I need to write 1666.66 (or to make it easier 1667) words per day.  If I type 35 words per minute, I can type 2100 in an hour, so basically an hour a day of solid writing will accomplish this task (and if I do 2100 words per day for 30 days, I will have 63000 words.

But I have a son, two step sons, and a husband, so weekends are out.  And one of them is a long weekend for Queens Birthday weekend, and as it turns out, the Tuesday afterwards is teachers only day at school, so that is 10 whole days out of my schedule – Yeah nice aye!

So number crunching time again – 50k divided by 20 days = 2500 per day for the days that I can write.

OK, little more than an hours typing – but if you are passionate enough about the story, you will keep typing until you find a natural place to stop.

As of yet, I don’t really know what I am going to write… that is still to be decided, but whatever the decision, I will be looking forward to writing it.

Another reason I can do 50k in a month – most of the stories I write are fantasy based, I don’t have to worry too much about the location, the characters, the setting, themes etc.  If I was writing a historical novel, it is a different story, but I have recently blogged about this.

So writing 50,000 words in a month is achievable, it just takes discipline, courage and above all, a really good storyline!

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Interview with Jason Warden

Jason Warden is one of the contributors of the Masters of Horror Anthology.  You can visit his site at ShadowCast Audio.

What was the inspiration behind your story Once Seen?

My story was inspired by a combination of several H.P. Lovecraft stories, but mostly just the overarching theme of his work. That being, in my view, that the quest for knowledge may lead to our own demise.
How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing for about ten years, writing well for about a year, and writing Horror more or less the whole time. More and more often, whether on purpose or not, I find myself including some form of Science Fiction in my Horror.  

 
When did you first decide that Horror was your thing?

I’ve always loved Horror, it has always resonated with me as a particularly powerful medium because fear is the basis for almost every decision we make in our lives. Feeding off that and playing into it only seems natural to me.

 
What other genre do you enjoy?

Science Fiction, Bizarro/Surreal, Speculative

 
Do you enjoy scaring people? 

I do, as a kid in a small town we didn’t have a lot to do, so we made our own fun. Often that consisted of sneaking out at night and tying objects (usually a purse) to fishing line and setting it in the road.  It wasn’t long before someone would stop to investigate, at which point we’d pull it away. There are few things as great as watching someone jump out of their skin.

 
What is your darkest fear?

Loss of self or to say it another way loss of free will.

 
What are your writing goals?

To be a recognized and regularly published author, if not in the mainstream then within the genre.
   Do you have a novel on the go? Short Story?

 I have the makings of a novel and many many short stories that are working on me, or rather, that I’m working on.

You can read Once Seen in the Masters of Horror Anthology, out April  2010.

Genre – continuing on…

I’m not one to bang on or flog dead horses, but I just wanted to talk about genre – again.  This time, more about where my writing is going.  I know I said that my writing is more character driven than genre driven, but lately I have noticed that my writing is getting darker. I have been exploring my dark side, and I don’t mean the force or anything Star Wars related…

Metaphorically and literally, my writing has gotten darker.  My stories are taking part in a dark place or time, with dark characters and dark undertones.  Which seems strange really, and totally the opposite of who I really am.  But I am happy enough to explore this, I think because it allows me to extend my own limited knowledge.

One of the stories I want to write is gothic in nature, but takes place on a snow planet.  Yip, can’t get any whiter or lighter than that, but the context of the story is dark – the characters have dark secrets, hidden identities, dark undercurrents. I can’t really explain why I want to do this story, other than if I don’t, I know the main character, Vyvica, is going to get very vocal soon, and she is a bolshy woman, no someone you want to cross.  Exploring her will be interesting, and I also find that while I am pushing my own boundaries in writing when I explore a new area, I also end up extending my characters, making them different than they imagined (Okay, maybe I am mad, but they do talk to me, and tell me what they like and don’t like…)

My current soon to be ex trilogy has a character in it, who was essentially evil compared to the rest.  But after lots of debate with fellow writers, I came to realise that evil is only a word.  It is the character of the person that makes them evil.  So I have removed references to evil, and given him a reason to be bitter and twisted (which was there all along) and made it darker, so he is a character with more depth as a result, and although he has evil intentions, he is no longer evil – just misunderstood (only that is a desperate understatement, but I am working on it!)

I am enjoying where my writing is taking me at the moment, and will continue to explore it until I move onto my next growth spurt, goodness knows what that will be!

Genre – Hot Topic

My friend Cassie recently did a post on Genre, and how she was feeling trapped into writing the same genre every time she wrote a story.  Which made me think about my own writing.

While I don’t like writing chick lit, or murder mystery or anything more mainstream, I can’t say that I am stuck in any particular genre either.  The first two (four if you count each separate story in the soon to be non existent trilogy) stories I wrote were fantasy, because that was what the characters insisted on.  But the next one I want to write is more historical – it is still fantasy, but it is also based on mythical fact from ancient Greece, so a bit of research had to go into the story.  The one after that, well who knows, it all depends on who will pop up next I suppose.

What I suppose I am trying to say is that I am not driven to write any particular genre, I am driven by my characters.  Tycelon and Delonia were definitely Fantasy, as are Fabyan and Danya – although their story is more of a romance than action as in Chrystias.  My characters invade my life for the duration of writing.  I lived with Tycelon for close to 6 months, and now while I am editing the story, I can hear him in the background, not as forceful as he used to be (Boy was he forceful!). 

Currently, I have Medusa fussing around in my brain, trying to make me see her as a real person, which she no doubt was at one stage in history, all myths started with a base in reality!  While I haven’t concentrated on bringing her into the light of day yet, I can hear her giving me little snippets of information about her character, her mannerisms, her personality that will be reflected in the story, and hopefully I will be able to do her justice.

So I don’t feel trapped by any particular genre, I suppose it depends on the setting the characters give me, and if one should turn up who wants to be chick lit, then I guess I will have to write it – it had better be a good story though!

MoH Anthology

Here it is, the cover.  The book itself won’t be available until April, date still to be advised, but it is coming (via Lulu.com).  I can’t wait! 

Yes my name is on the cover because I am one of the editors of the book.  I also have a story inside.  Also inside are the following stories:

1) Joseph Mulak – Wounds
2) Angel McCoy – The Barnes Family Reunion
3) Carole Gill – Truth Hurts
4) Cassie Hart – Its all in the cards
5) Marty Young – Fireflies of the Bushfires
6) Jennifer Brozek – Cost of Job Security
7) Scott M. Goriscak – Home Sweet Home
8) Karen Johnson Mead – One Day
9) Lee Pletzers – Teeth
10) Bob Morgan Jr – Ladies of the Scale
11) KK – Visitation
12) Larry Kokko – The Clifton house
13) Jason Warden – Once Seen
14) William Cook – Devil Inside
15) Richard Barnes – Something unpleasant
16) Mark Edward Hall – The Fear

All of the stories are bone chilling and terrifying in one way or another.  If you like a good thrill, you will enjoy these stories.  Dark and Disturbing they are.

Over the next few weeks, I will be interviewing some of the writers and posting their interviews here.  If you have someone in particular you would like to hear from, or a question you would like to ask, please feel free to leave a comment.