NaNoWriMo 2011

A few weeks ago I wrote a post on scheduling creativity where I described a little about my failure to complete Camp NaNoWriMo in August.

Now it’s November and I’m trying again with the original and best NaNoWriMo. Whilst my project in the summer was an unplanned idea which I just tried to run with, this month I am working on a story I have been planning for over two years.

I have a substantial outline that covers the first 30k and a skeleton outline for the remaining 55k to take me up to my final 85k target. I also have substantial character, back story and set piece notes to work from.

I have written novel length manuscripts in the past. My semi-complete novel Hidden Talent is 70k in length, but it didn’t start our that way. It only grew to that length in the process of re-writing the initial 36k draft. I have a number of unfinished ideas that total more than 50k, which I wrote without planning.

This challenge will be something of an experiment too, into my preferred writing style and pattern. Am I a “pantzer” at heart or can I dicipline myself to write in a structured way?

I hope to know a lot more about my writing style and preferences by the end of the month. In the mean time, here’s a bit about the novel I’m working on.


Elliot Cross used to be a crime reporter with a large, well respected newspaper. That is, until the day his brother was killed by something… unnatural.

Consumed by guilt, Elliot left the professional world and founded Weird News. Now he tracks down tales of the paranormal, sorts the truth from the hoaxes and reports both.

When Elliot and his partner Samantha start investigating a simple report of spontaneous combustion, they quickly realise they have something more complicated on their hands; a supernatural serial killer. The police are unable to see the connection between the victims but Elliot and Sam get one step ahead.

But, when they intercept the killer and save a child’s life, they suddenly become the hunted. There’s only one man who can help them, renowned demon hunter Gabriel Cushing. The question is, can they find him in time?

I’m quite heavily involved with a site called The Great Escape. We are a collective or community of creative types producing films, fiction and comics. On Monday, we will be uploading our most ambitious project to date; Terror of the Killer Carnivorous Coat.

The idea for the novel Mime spawned from the fictional world created for the film. Of course I don’t want to give too much away, it is a mystery, after all.

Originally we considered making Mime a film, but some of the set pieces I envisaged were just beyond our financial and physical capabilities. So, I decided to give writing a novel a go, but that was a seriously daunting prospect since I had never seriously attempted to write a book before. I bought a notebook and I started brainstorming ideas and developing characters.

The hero of the film is Gabriel Cushing, a demon hunter. I decided early on that I wanted to introduce a new hero for Mime and the idea came from a prop. In one of the opening scenes of “Killer Coat”, you’ll see a magazine on Gabriel’s desk entitled Weird News. From that spoof magazine cover, I created Elliot Cross, paranormal investigator, journalist and editor of Weird News.

I have a hero, a heroine (Elliot’s colleague and photographer, Samantha) a villain and a sequence of events. Now all I need to do is get the words down on paper.

8 Replies to “NaNoWriMo 2011”

  1. I love the cross fertilisation of ideas that being a member of the Great Escape creative community has given you. The story sounds like it should be a good read.

    Best of luck with Nano, and getting a great manuscript out at the end.

    I hope you will still be able to live with yourself at the end, whether you turn out to be a pantzer or a plotter!

  2. Chrissey
    Good luck with your project. I am looking forward to being able to read the finished works.
    Thanks for sharing your dreams. I know you can do this and it will be awesome.

  3. Hey Chrissey – rock that Nano! You know this story, all the intimate details – just get it down on paper! (or screen- LOL!)

  4. Hey Chrissey,
    Just remember the whole thing is to have fun. Don’t worry about word count. Modfiy an old saying, look after the penny’s and the pounds will look after themselves. I’m one of Sel’s Rebels and I won’t get anywhere near 50k as I’m writing five childrens picture books and getting them sorted to go out. It’s just the words as I can’t draw for toffee but its about having fun at the end of the day.


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