Sunday, 27 November 2016


I did it!

Fifty thousand words written in 27 days. I have written a novel in a month and can now claim to be a NanoWriMo Winner of 2016.

Of course, it's not really a novel. 50,000 words is very short word count and it's far from being finished. I am only about two thirds through the plot so far. Bits of what I have aren't bad. Bits of it, written as I tried to get to know my characters a little better, would need some pretty severe editing and some of it needs to be culled entirely!

But none of that really matters because the essence of NanaWriMo is to write fast without fear or the self-editor's red pen at your back. When you undertake this challenge, you write for you without worrying about where it might be taking your characters or plot. You write when you really don't think you have any more words. You write every day no matter what your diary looks like because if you don't then the hill that you have to climb the next day will be even steeper.

Not many people finish. Last year, almost half a million writers began on November 1st but only 40,000 of them managed to log the full quota of words at the end of the month. That's because it's tough. There's no getting away from it. But it's like anything else, if you want something enough you will always find a way of getting to it. I have a little sign stuck on my wall. (See below.) This is my motto (although obviously I deviated from it slightly for November.) Perseverance and resilience. Isn't that what we teach our children? Well, it turns out that it's just as important for adults too.

So what next?

Well, I quite like Chrissie, Lucas and Paula and the imaginary island of Kinsay that I have spent the last month creating. I think I will go back at some point and start again with what I have so far and see if I can turn their story into a half decent book. But for now, I must return to the projects that I was working on before I interrupted myself. Lots of half finished projects is fun but it won't get me to where I'm going.

I shall award myself the rest of the day off and tomorrow I shall get back on with the job in hand, the editing of Postcards from a Stranger. So it's bye bye to The Lighthouse for now but thank you. It's been a blast!

Imogen x

Monday, 14 November 2016


'So, how's Nanowrimo going?' I hear you cry.

So far so good, thank you for asking. It's currently day 14 as I type this so we are almost halfway through. My word count stands at a healthy 27,792 which is 4,454 words ahead of where I need to be to finish by the end of the month. That might not sound like much to you but it's like a lovely, comfort blanket for me because it means I have a couple of days' grace  when I can get away with not writing anything and still not fall behind!

My favourite part of my Nano challenge this year is my world creation. This is the bit where the writer makes the action happen somewhere that is so visible to the reader in their mind's eye that they can believe it might be real.

I have created an island off the tip of Scotland. I have never actually been further north than Inverness so it's requiring quite a lot of imagination to paint my scenery. This is where Google comes in. I have images, wiki pages, sunset times, tide tables, ferry timetables, the lot. I have even dreamt up an airstrip which I think might pass muster and of course the lovely lighthouse which is at the centre of my story.

So maybe, when all this is over and if my story feels like it could have legs, I might go on an actual research trip up there to see how close my imagination is to reality. I might wait until the Spring however. Bit chilly for me in winter. I am currently binge-watching episodes of 'Shetland' whilst I do the ironing. I thought I might try Balamory next!

Imogen x