It’s the most wonderful time of the year…

I hope you all just saw the title of this post and now you have that song stuck in your heads.

And I’m not even talking about Christmas!

There are now less than two weeks to go until National Novel Writing Month, aka NaNoWriMo, aka the one month of the year I can be relied upon to actually write rather than procrastinate about it. Yay!

I’ve blogged many, many times before about why I love NaNoWriMo – an online challenge to write 50,000 words throughout the month of November that has grown enormously over the years, from just a few people in the US to thousands of writers worldwide.

I’m not going to go into the numerous reasons why it’s fantastic, just go to the NaNoWriMo website yourself to have a look around and judge for yourself. Just hear this: I’ve participated in seven NaNoWriMos so far, and written 497,512 words during the challenge months alone. It’s all there under my NaNoWriMo profile, check it out if you don’t believe me.

The point is, there are two weeks to go. Am I ready? Am I buggery.

But the Folder of Doom says otherwise.


Isn’t it beautiful? It was actually a much smaller, purple plastic folder up until very recently, but the poor thing couldn’t cope with the sheer volume of paper it was expected to hold. There are reams of close-lined paper; actual dividers to keep it all in order. I know, this is most irregular for typically-disorganised me.

Usually I do all my novel-planning on the computer, either in endless Microsoft Word documents or on Evernote. It’s the one way I can keep everything coherent without losing everything in my somewhat messy house and even messier head. But this year I thought I’d be different; let’s face it, I thought I’d like a break from having to find plug sockets everywhere I wanted to sit down and ramble for a bit. My poor little netbook isn’t so hot on the battery front nowadays.

To my great surprise, this whole ‘writing by hand’ business kind of stuck. My novel this year is going to be very different from my usual efforts – third person instead of first person, far more of a literary drama than a chatty chick-lit or young adult sci-fi. Meticulously plotting everything by hand, no delete button or cut-and-paste in sight, has really helped me actually think about what I want to say this year.

I’m not going in all guns blazing, firmly in the head of my main character and ready to shout my mouth off in literary form. This time I’m being more tentative, more careful; I’m going to use my own voice to tell a story. It’s a story about fictional people, yes, people whose minds I’ll be dipping in and out of like a creator has every right to. But I’ll be the one telling their stories: they won’t be telling it themselves.

It’s hard to get that into words (which bodes well for the actual writing part of the month, I know). It’s a departure for me, and although I have my reams of notes, I’ve got a lot of trepidation whirring around. This will test me as an author, and I may yet get one week into November and decide I need to give up and finish off last year’s effort (which is still, of course, clamouring for attention).

I’m so excited for it anyway.

And what exactly am I writing? I’ll just leave you with a title. A working title of course, but a title nonetheless…

The Hummingbird and The Timepiece

(see, I can totally be enigmatic when I want to be)

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