Friday, 30 October 2015

State of the Tonks Address

I was musing earlier about how much I'd written this month. I had a vague inkling that it was one of my more prolific months writing wise (now that the dreaded thesis is out of the way—hurrah! Just the dreaded viva left) but I didn't really understand how prolific until I looked at the numbers.

With a day and a bit left to go I'm on track to have written 15,000 words during October, making it a pretty good month overall. Not my best this year, but pretty good.

Except, for possibly the first time in my life, the vast majority of those words have been for original fiction, quite a lot of which has been inflicted on an unsuspecting public. I'm quite proud of my output for this month wanted to take a moment to brag a little and point you in the direction of any stories that might have slipped under your radar.

October started off slow on the writing front. Mostly due to the fact I was on a cruise for the first nine days of it, but also partly because I was basking in the glory of having (finally!) submitted my thesis. When you've been working on a document for over a year it feels good when it's finally done. A little weird, but good. Nevertheless I managed to write a few words while ostensibly on holiday, but the real work started when I got back.

Since October 10th I have written three stories for the weekly whimword flash fiction competition. The prompts were Glow, Featureless and Hallow. I'm proud of all three pieces, but especially Glow, which was declared the winner that week!

In addition to this I cooked up 750 words of horror for a competition; results still pending on that one. When the results are announced I'll decide what I'm going to do with both the pieces I entered (one was written months ago) that is assuming I don't win, in which case they’ll be published elsewhere. Exciting.

Over on twitter the inestimable @FrogCroakley set up a SF story swap which has had a great response. Somewhere in the region of 60 of us threw prompts into the pot and the majority of us completed the task, resulting in something of a headache for Mr Frog. My piece is a slightly whimsical ode to some of my favourite childhood films and can be found over here.

I also sent in a bizarre spoken word piece (yes, spoken word; I know, with this voice) to the inaugural Lies Dreaming podcast. It's an eldritch tale involving Tim Henman and I'll no doubt post here when it's release to the world. Assuming they don't decide either the content or my voice are unsuitable for the general public.

I also wrote a triptych of flash pieces that I’m quite proud of, though I've yet to work out quite what I'm doing with them. They're a little to close to real life to be sci fi I'm not sure what else to call it. My big achievement though was the 4k words I wrote on a story I started way back in June or something like that, finally getting that done. That too was supposed to be a flash piece and is now sat at 6.5k words. Oh well, never mind; sometimes things get away from you. I'll be looking for a home for that in the near future too.

I went into this month wanting to be relatively prolific as a bit of a warm up for next month in which I will be attempting NaNoWriMo. This will be my first year but after two successful Camp NaNos under my belt I decided it was time. Next month I will be attempting a complete redraft of a novel I first wrote about 8 years ago. The original was a hell of an achievement at the time but I've improved a lot in the intervening years and it isn't really salvageable in its current state. So I will be starting again from scratch and looking to hit 50,000 words by the end of November.

With a bit of luck (and a lot of discipline) I'll be blogging here every day, recording my experience of NaNoWriMo. Possibly so that when I'm considering doing it again next year I have evidence of it being a terrible idea. Almost everything else is being put on hold for NaNo. I might do a whimword or two, but there are no guarantees.

And I still have a viva to sit next month too.

I keep pointing out that I'm not a sensible person.

After November? Well I'm crossing my fingers that my viva goes well and I'll be doing thesis corrections to submit before Christmas. Then it'll be time to look for a proper grown up job.

Writing wise my post November plans are to start sending stories out for publication, and finish my current works in progress. I have some exciting (and no doubt foolish) plans for next year and I want to draw a line under this year's efforts.


Keep your eyes peeled for more from me. My PhD is almost over but my writing career is just beginning. Just wait and see.

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