November is NaNoWriMo, when hundreds of thousands of writers across the world try to pen 50,000 words in a month. Crazy, much? This is my third time doing NaNo and while I’ve never quite made the 50k, I have loved taking part each time. In fact, I love all things NaNo: the forums; the extra motivation that comes with having a deadline; the pep talks that land in your inbox from NaNo friends; gorgeous NaNo prints; even the word count tracker which generates a little graph of your daily progress.
It’s the end of week one and it has been an intense ride so far. I planned my NaNo novel this year, hoping it would give me an extra push to get to 50k. I have filled half a dozen A3 sheets with mind maps. This year I’m writing a dystopian science fiction story based 300 years from now in an over-populated world torn apart by scarce resources. My protagonist is 15 year old Londoner Suki (always helps to know your setting inside out for NaNo). In her world, the Thames splits London in two. North of the river is solely for rich Londoners, who can afford to pay for what they need to survive in this wreaked world. South of the river is where Suki lives with her mum, but she misses her dad, who for some reason has crossed to the other side of the river. Suki intends to find out why.
At 7k so far, I’m already behind target, but not too far behind to catch up. Twitter games such as #NaNoWordSprints have been brilliant at making me feel less alone when I’m writing until the early hours. Even so, it’s hard to keep motivated day in day out, especially after work or if the kids are around. I won’t give up though. And there’s always time for #FridayPhrases.
Most of you Twitter fiends will have clocked #FP already, which @amicgood initiated. Here is a link to her proposal. In a nutshell, the idea is to tweet a story or poem in 140 characters. Use the hashtag #FP to read and retweet other people’s work. You’ll find some of my most recent #FPs below, some of which were written for Halloween. Others are less dark.
Monsters live in the toilet bowl. He knew it. Toilet training as a baby took forever. Not flushing cost him his wife. But the monsters never got him #FP
‘Punpkins make great weapons,’ she said. He was tied to a beam in the barn, orange goo everywhere. A cut-out smile was the last thing he saw #FP
Playtime at vampire school. Speed demons in darkened hall. Hopscotch bloodied slabs. Humans pinned to the vaulted ceiling. Snacktime soon #FP
I feared the day I would love you. The solution was simple. You lie perfectly in a glass case. Now you will always be mine #FP
I long to swim in the sea again. I relive those days in my dreams. Sweet relief to forget the thrashing gilled monsters there now #FP
1st time he saw an escalator he was scared. Then he took off his sandals & watched them travel up the stairs. His name was Taufiq Two Brains #FP
Forty minuted of queuing. The stench of fried onions hung in the air. She snapped, swinging her handbag in circles. She needed that burger #FP
Bubbles and foam everywhere. She took off her clothes and slipped into the bath, smelling notes of lavender and bergamot. Alone at last #FP
Good luck to all you Wrimos out there. I’ll look out for your #FPs too.