Wednesday, 28 November 2012

NaNoWriMo Day 28: Fishpunk and Flu


I’m writing this now through the fog of flu (well, probably not flu – I felt a little too warm earlier today so I’ve decided it might be, because I do like to overreact like that) and the general exhaustion of the last days of nanowrimo. I’m very, very close to the end now, only a couple of thousand words away, but unfortunately I’m having to think around a wall of snot and grimness, so everything is suddenly really bloody difficult.

            Typical, isn’t it?

            This is annoying, but I’m not too concerned. I’ve a good chunk of London-Under-Sea out of my head and on to the page, and so far it’s been an... interesting experience. I’m not sure I’m getting everything right, and sometimes bending the book to my will seems nigh on impossible – I have these things that need to happen, but the characters keep wandering off and doing other things – but I sense that the bones of it are there, at least. Isaac in particular has turned out to have an interesting backstory I hadn’t even guessed at when I started, and as usual with nanowrimo the sheer break-neck pace of writing (some might even say desperation) has produced some very weird stuff.

            Which is good. Weirdness is what this book needs. We’re talking about a distant future London, flooded with an alien sea and full of fucked up sea monsters, peopled with humans who are no longer quite human. I jokingly referred to this book as fish-punk when I started writing it, but the more I get to know London-Under-Sea, the more I like the term.

            Who knows? Perhaps my feverish lurgy-brain will help! Bring on the lemsip-induced hallucinations and I might even get this thing finished.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Holy Link Post, Batman!

Busy week, no sleep, too much sugar… my brain isn’t sensible enough to give you a big fat blog post today, but I do have a series of links I should wave about, and one of them does include a big fat blog post:


I have been guest blogging over at Graeme’s Fantasy Book Review, where I talk in a meandering sort of way about fantasy maps and my own journey as a fantasy reader.


The Dark Fiction Magazine Halloween issue is now complete, with excellent stories from Lou Morgan, Emma Newman, Adrian Faulkner and Joshua Malbin – all with a watery theme. I strongly recommend giving your ears this spooky and slightly damp treat.


The cover for Adam Christopher’s The Age Atomic has been revealed and it’s a corker.


Nanowrimo continues on its coffee-sodden way; I’ve popped up a rough synopsis for London-Under-Sea if you’re curious.


And that’s it! Hopefully next week I will have a more coherent set of thoughts for you, but for now it’s back to the word count.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

NaNoWriMo Day 4: Weekend Writing


Today’s writing mascot is Duncan. I imagine his writing advice would be something like: “In war, victory. In peace, vigilance. In November, too much caffeine and fingerless gloves.”

Historically I’m not very good at writing at the weekend. I have quite a strict writing routine during the week so my brain tends to flop into SUPER RELAX MODE on a Saturday and it’s a minor miracle if I’m out of bed before midday. Although I always have good intentions of getting some words down, by the time I’m dressed and awake, it’s time to eat dinner and slip into a food-induced coma.

This weekend though I have behaved myself. I’m about 2,000 words ahead of where I need to be for Nanowrimo, and London-Under-Sea is moving along at the pace I want it to. We’ve witnessed Esther’s troubling beginnings, had a quick swim around the submerged city, and met Isaac, who is smouldering in an angsty and brooding fashion. At the moment I’m feeling quite happy with where it’s going, and looking forward to seeing where this book wants to take me.

 How about you? I’d love to hear some Nanowrimo progress reports in the comments!

Thursday, 1 November 2012

NaNoWriMo Day 1: Mascots and Pigs


The first day of Nanowrimo is under my belt, along with half a packet of Percy Pigs and too much pasta, and I have to say it’s gone quite well.

            That’s not tremendously surprising, as the first day is always the easiest. Now, the third week, that’s a bitch, when you’re tired and you’ve forgotten what this was supposed to be about and you’ve bought so many packets of Percy Pigs that the people in M&S are starting to give you slightly fearful looks… but all that is a way off yet.

            I’ve had the opening scenes of London-Under-Sea in my head for a few months now, and it feels good to get them out onto the screen. With the characters walking and talking and generally getting into trouble they’re starting to fill out, to become real people, and the little details of the world are dropping into place. I didn’t know before I started writing this morning, for example, that Mr Tallow was actually quite liked by the children, or that the object Esther was remembering is a golden plate. I love finding this stuff out; it’s the joy of a first draft.

            I’m giving my eyeballs a rest now and ruminating on what might crop up on day two. I doubt I’ll be blogging every day, but I might just throw up the occasional update, more for my own reference than anything else.


Oh, and Grumpy Bear is today’s writing mascot. I should point out that the word next to him is “Sea”, and not… the other word.