This paranormal suspense writer is withdrawing from National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). Literary victory was in sight, but at too great a cost.
In a previous year, I rushed my Nanowrimo novel and ended up with something that was 50,000 words long, but was so bad that I buried the book in a salt mine, the way I might have buried one of my characters, grumbling:
"You can scream all you like, I'm not editing you."
The reason: If I try to reach 50,000 words by December, I can be sure that I won't be producing the best writing I've ever produced ... unlike the 30,000 words that I HAVE successfully written this month.
I glance at what I've written to make important edits and to find my place and I see that some of my favourite elements are in this story in terms of content and tone. It has been hard work, with many 5am starts, but I've also had a lot of fun with it and it's alive now: the characters have stepped up and I have an idea of what will happen next, but I don't know how or if these things will really pan out. Whatever turns the story takes, soon it will be independent of me and I'll send it into the world to have new adventures with new people, hopefully you.
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I have 30,000 words of personal project written this month, which is 28,500 words more than I wrote (not including ghostwriting or non-fiction) in the first 10 months of the 2015.
In answer to the question 'how has ghostwriting affected my work', I've gradually and unintentionally doubled my writing speed. I'm now up to about 1000 words per hour. Vroom. Quality seems to be better than ever too, but I'll save judgement for my readers.
NaNoWriMo has afforded me some essential revision in writing everyday and in building and maintaining momentum, small, regular steps being more productive than massive leaps, which only FEEL more productive. The NaNoWriMo word count graph does not lie.
Congratulations to everyone who has made it to 50k or will do so in the next few days. I'm in awe and I look forward to reading some of your stories if you let us.
Congratulations too though to those who didn't reach 50k. I hope you had as much fun as I did and/or learnt as many lessons. I was disappointed at first, but there's really no need to be discouraged; the end of National Novel Writing Month needn't be the end of anybody's writing.
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I'm glad to start this new look blog with a post stating that after minor but fairly sustained effort I recently enjoyed my first lucid dream in two weeks. Hooray.
I attribute it's arrival to 3 things:
a) I really wanted to have a lucid dream.
b) I spent some time on a Facebook post in the Lucid Dreaming group and got into a conversation about people seeing numbers on their clocks, like 2:22 and 3:33 and even more impressively 3:45
I noted that a friend of mine was seeing numbers like this and it was freaking out at which point I started seeing them too.
There we had the power of suggestion in action and just remembering this and telling someone about it triggered something in my mind that presented me with a lucid dreaming experience.
My post went like this:
"I often wake up a minute before my alarm sounds, but I've not really been able to do this deliberately. It just happens. If I wake regularly at the same time, my body seems to just know when it's time to wake up, regardless of when I went to sleep.
"I once had a dream character tell me that my alarm was about to go off and then I woke up to find it was one minute before alarm time. Felt incredible. Brains and bodies are though.
"Maybe it's possible to sense a change in a device, in this case my phone, just before an alarm. I frequently used to know when my phone was going to ring and rather than being psychic perhaps I was just sensitive to the signal.
"Finally, similar to another post on this page, a friend told me that he was waking up at 2:22 and 3:33 and 1:23 etc during the night and that it was freaking him out. Within a couple of days, the same thing happened to me. I can't explain that, except to say that when looking for patterns you will find them and they can be fun ... or, unfortunately, frightening in my friend's case.
"I told my friend that he'd be fine unless he woke up, looked at the clock and saw that it was 6:66. I thought it was funny."
I have to say, that something like that did happen to me once. I was at Liverpool Street Station in London and the big flip clock overhead started flipping like mad and then settled for a few seconds on something like 68:66 and then continued flipping. Obviously I focused on 666! The weirdest thing was that it was busy and nobody else seemed to have noticed.
c) I signed up to http://dreamviews.com Note that I haven't yet created my profile and that I only read one dream before going to bed. It was as if the intention to lucid dream followed by physically doing something positive about it was the push I needed.
The dream itself wasn't very long. I remember that I was watching people in dream as if through a tunnel. On becoming lucid, the tunnel narrowed and narrowed and narrowed until I floated off into a non-lucid dream experience. I could feel my body in bed, even as I was standing in the dream, watching through the tunnel. Even as it was happening, I was mentally saying: Nooooooooooo don't go!
Next time I will be prepared with something to do while lucid, something other than just staying lucid. I'll give myself a goal, such as 'find the most beautiful landscape' or 'ask a character where my bouncy ball went when I was 6' (God, I miss that bouncy ball) or ***maybe I could just try to read something in the dream and see what happens to the text.
Any suggestions for lucid dream assignments?
Dean's Dream Journal
As a dark fiction author, I like to take some inspiration from my dreams.
"How to Remember Your Dreams" will help you with:
Exchange your front row seat for a starring role.
Available on Amazon.