Autumn News and NaNoWriMo 2020 plans

This summer was quite a busy time for me and I never got around to doing a Summer News post for my blog. I think that was largely because all the news I had was in progress and happening, rather than being either upcoming or recent events.

Also, you know, 2020.

Obviously the big news was the Kickstarter in April/May and then the launch of Mime at the end of July. I am now officially a published novelist, yay!

I originally had several events planned for September, October and November, but events are not a thing that is happening this year. So my plans mostly involve me sitting around at home trying to achieve… stuff.

To that end, I’m planning to use NaNoWriMo this year to do a final push on completing Hunters. I had hoped to be further along with the book by now, but nothing has been straightforward this year and I’ve found it easier to focus on one thing at a time.

NaNoWriMo Plans

So where exactly am I with Hunters?

Well, actually very, very, tantalisingly close. I’ve got about 75% of the first draft, a solid outline for the remaining scenes, and a solid plan for some initial major structural edits. Once I’ve executed all of that I should be in a position to say the 1st draft is complete.

Then begins the first phase of editing which will be a substantial structural/developmental edit. Depending on how long the “finishing the first draft” part takes me, I’m semi optimistic I’ll also get a large chunk of this done during NaNoWriMo.

Of course, I don’t need another 50k of words on this project, so I will be taking part as a NaNo “rebel” this year. The goal is fixed as 50k words, but I will be counting new words AND editing progress, which I’ll measure as 1hr of work = 750 words.

I used to do a 1hr = 1000 words conversion, but I’m aware my concentration and focus are not on form at the moment. If I sit down to do an hour of work, I might actually be focused for 45mins of that. The lower conversion is to encourage me to stick at it for longer to hit my daily target.

I’ll try and post regular updates on my progress on Twitter during November, so if you’d like to follow along with my push to complete “the dreaded second novel”, follow me at @chrisseywrites.

Upcoming Releases

I have two new releases on the near horizon. One is a collaborative anthology with North Bristol Writers on the theme of Fire. Spawned from our Bristol Festival of Literature event for 2019, we’ve put together a fantastic collection of short stories and poetry. I’m inclined to say this is our best yet.

And I’ll also be putting out a free bonus short story that follows on from Mime, hopefully mid November. Date Night Jitters is currently with a copy editor and will go out as a free eBook for Kickstarter backers and newsletter subscribers.

More Writing Plans

Beyond all of that, I have the Kickstarter exclusive short story The Leigh Woods Wisp to finish, and then it’ll be time to plough full steam into books 0.5 and 3 of the Weird News series.

And yes, 0.5 means you’re getting a prequel novella! A Way to Make a Difference features Elliot in the immediate aftermath of the supernatural event that took his brother’s life, searching for a new direction. It covers his decision to start up Weird News and introduces the mysterious Jasper, his financial benefactor / silent partner in the venture, who I think will also be featuring in Book 3, but if not then definitely book 4.

I’m almost too excited to start work on Book 3, Wings because I just can’t wait to do more with Liam and explore his story. There’s still a lot to work out, so I can’t really say much about the story yet in case it changes.

I had a weird panic moment the other day when I realised how close I was to finishing Hunters and that I only had one book beyond that “mapped out” in any sense. Said panic moment resulted in me spending an evening giving some serious thought to the direction of the series and among other things I have now settled on what Book 4 will be about. So that’s exciting and I look forward to sharing more about that in a few months time.

While doing all of that on my core writing, I’m also trying an experiment with my fellow writers at North Bristol Writers. In an effort to improve our habits in terms of “finishing things”, we’re embarking on a six month program of prompt-based short story writing and editing. I will let you know whether we have all murdered each other by the end!

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