NaNoWriMo Success and a Very Bite-Sized Xmas!

NaNoWriMo

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Well, hello there! It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I know I’ve still kept my Reedsy short stories updated, but other than that I’ve been AWOL. The reason is that I’ve been participating in NaNoWriMo throughout November! For those of you who don’t know what it is, NaNoWriMo is a challenge to write 50,000 words in one month. It’s a lot… but, as of last night, I officially completed the challenge!

I am super-proud of myself for having ‘won’ this year’s NaNoWriMo. I participated in the challenge once before, and came away with my tail between my legs. The first draft of my novel is now 3/4 complete! I aim to maintain the pace I set during November, and hope to have a fully-polished manuscript at some point next year.

For those of you who are stats nerds like me, I’ve included a screenshot of my November writing stats to give you a bit of a chuckle. I flew back home to the UK to attend my brother’s wedding in November — you can clearly see this in the dent in my progress! But, I managed to claw my way back, tooth and nail! It just goes to show, no matter how far ‘behind’ you feel you are, if you put the work in, you can still succeed.

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A Very Bite-Sized Xmas

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And on to my next project! Back in October I wrote a little piece for my Bite-Sized Horror section for Halloween, consisting of daily ‘bite-sized’ 99-word stories. Well, this Christmas, I’ve decided to do the same! The title of the series is Yule Be Sorry: A Very Bite-Sized Christmas, and every day I’ll be posting a little section of it — all the way up until the 25th!

Unlike my Bite-Sized Halloween story, Yule Be Sorry will be made up of daily stanzas, to form one large poem. I think I did the 99-word story idea to death, and wanted to try something new! I’m not much of a poet — I consider myself to be more of a storyteller… but the idea sounded fun, so we’ll see how it goes!

When I finished my Bite-Sized Halloween piece, I made a post commenting on my lack of preparation in advance, and how if I were to ever do such a thing again, I’d plan it out ahead of schedule… well, that didn’t work out. At all. Mainly due to time constraints and other commitments (i.e. NaNoWriMo). So, much like the Halloween piece, this Christmas piece will be written on the fly, and made up as I go along.

Well, that’s about it, guys! I’m glad to be back, after a month away, and I’m super-excited to see where Yule Be Sorry: A Very Bite-Sized Christmas will take me! (Part one was posted this morning!)

So, look out for a man in a red suit, and keep your ears open for the jingling of bells — it may not be the jolly fellow you are expecting…

And Now, Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Programming. Sort Of.

Fair warning: this is going to be a bit of long, rambling post. Reflections on the past and plans for the future. 

 

Bite-Sized Halloween 2019 Thoughts

And that’s a wrap, folks! Halloween 2019 is officially over and November is here. That means that my Bite-Sized Halloween story has drawn to a close! If you’d like to re-read all of the parts, I’ve consolidated all of the posts into one short story — you can find it here!

I hope you guys enjoyed Charlie’s little Halloween tale. Considering that I mostly winged the story, I am actually quite happy with the end result! When I made the very first Bite-Sized Halloween post, I didn’t actually know where the story was going to go… I kinda made it up on the fly.

I think if I do this Bite-Sized Halloween again, I’ll definitely plan out the story ahead — so that I’m not just making up rubbish as I go along. I mean, I think Charlie’s story turned out pretty good, all things considered, but there are bits that I’m not too enamoured with. I’d have liked to have spent more time with Marion, to build on him as a character. I also felt that the ending was a tad rushed, as I realised I only had a few days to finish the story arc before Halloween… But it was an experiment, and I had a blast with it, so I’m not going to beat myself up about it too much. And based on the response, I think some of you guys enjoyed the daily snapshots of a larger story — so I definitely think I’ll do this sort of thing again in the future. Who knows, maybe I’ll do A Very Bite-Sized Christmas? We’ll have to wait and see what Santa/Satan brings.

And of course I’m a little sad that Halloween is over. It’s my absolute favourite time of year, and my partner and I dressed up and had a great time — we went out and partied a little bit, binged a fair few horror movies. It was lovely. Here’s an obligatory snap:

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Oh, and I can’t forget to mention the album that I wrote, recorded and released in the space of 30 days, which I think is a pretty good achievement. So, if you’d like to revisit Charlie, Marion, and the world they inhabit — but in the form of music — please be sure to have a listen. You can find Children as Ghosts on YouTube and SoundCloud:

 

 

 

If you like the tunes, head on over to my music-focused Facebook page and give me a like!

 

November, NaNoWriMo, and the Unfortunate Limitations of Being A Frail Human

And now, on to future plans! Following the conclusion of my Bite-Sized Halloween tale, I’d like to return to the previous rhythm of posting a new Bite-Sized Horror post every day… However, this November I am participating in National Novel Writing Month, aka NaNoWriMo! If you don’t know what NaNoWriMo is, it’s an annual creative writing project — participants attempt to write 50,000 words between the Nov 1st and Nov 30th. And if that sounds like a lot… that’s because it is. (It’s ~1,667 words a day.)

As I’ve got a large commitment, I think maintaining my previous standard of one Bite-Sized post a day is unrealistic. If I try to do both, I fear that I’ll crash and burn. Damn this frail human form, with limited energy! So, for November, I’ll be posting Bite-Sized Horror stories as and when I find the time to do so — my focus will be on my NaNoWriMo story.

Don’t worry, come Dec 1st I aim to return to the daily stories (and as mentioned, maybe it’ll be a Bite-Sized Christmas story arc). But until then, this blog may go a bit quiet.

And that’s pretty much all I wanted to say. So, if you made it to the end of this post, congrats and thank you for sticking with it! I hope you all had a lovely Halloween. To my fellow NaNoWriMo participants: good luck! I’m right there with you! If you want to buddy up on the NaNo site, here’s my profile: https://www.nanowrimo.org/participants/joshuainsole. And to everyone who comments/likes/gives me general support and encouragement — thank you so much!

Until next time… Have a good one!