Challenging November

It’s November, Nanowrimo month. This year I decided to take up this worldwide challenge to write 50,000 words of a novel by the end of the month. There is no prize, other than the satisfaction of achieving said goal. For us writers, this is the kick many need to begin the first draft of a new book. What you write is up to you. No editing, no proofing needed. Just get the words down.

I have within the last few days of October, finally written those precious last two little words “The End” to Moon Stones, the second book in my “Stones” series, on unexplained phenomena and their investigation by Filton Shields. This has taken several years and many rewrites, not least because during lockdown Filton Shields and my mojo took a hike and little work was done. Now completed, so begins the major edits and read throughs, plus I still need to write up my author’s notes for the story as it contains and refers to several real events and scientific theories.

Rather than dive straight into editing, accepting the Nano challenge arrived at a good juncture for me to get back to the next book in the series, one already started, about 10,000 words in. Perfect timing. The plan is to write my daily word target early in the mornings, which is when I am at my best for writing, then spend the rest of the day on the final edits of Moon Stones, with the aim to have that completed also by the end of November – my second challenge.

As if that wasn’t enough, I am taking part in another writing challenge. This one is spread over a 10-week period and organized by Papyrus Author, the word processing package I use. I love this program as it makes everything about writing and publishing a book easy. Yes, there are other similar packages out there, but after trying this one, and liking what I could do with it, it is now the only one I use, for all my writing work. Far better in my opinion than Word for Windows. I’d never liked that one right from the outset; give me back Wordperfect any day, but that’s not going to happen. Like Word, Papyrus Author is subscription-based, but it is less costly, far more customer friendly and they listen, taking on board suggestions and needs of their clients.

The Papyrus Author challenge offers the prize of a year’s free subscription, so I thought it worth a shot. Each week they set a topic subject and prompt to write about. Sometimes a short story is required, other times only five or six lines. We are currently on the fourth week, which involves writing a short dialogue piece. Participants can vote on each week’s entries, the highest also winning a year’s subscription, with Papyrus Author choosing their overall winner after the 10 ten weeks. Again, this is great for that nudge to get something written, no matter how short, how rough.

Taking on three challenges at once (okay, one of these is self-imposed, I admit) might be pushing myself too far, but now the weather has turned cold and wet with early dark evenings I have no excuse, and you don’t know until you try.

And you know me, I do love a challenge. I can do this. I might not succeed in completing all if any, but I will give it my best shot. So see you on the other side of November.

And if any of you are doing Nanowrimo this month, I wish you good luck, and happy writing.

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