NaNoWrongMo: Sod The Dragons

I was barely 21 when I spun the first threads of Khamsin.

I was still at Uni; had left the TA to join the Vike – I was hyped on my own fantasy and my first writings were an outpouring of everything I wanted to explore.

Ernest Hemingway said, ‘There’s nothing to writing, all you do is still down at a typewriter and bleed’ – and through my twenties, that held true. It was a celebration, a passionate outpouring of all the wonders in my head.

Returning to the World I created has taught me something epic: –

I’ve changed (well – duh!)

In the intervening years I’ve walked some dark places and some beautiful ones; my life is very different, my thoughts and needs and the way I express myself. I’ve adapted, grown – I can’t remember the last time I actually read a fantasy novel.

The change is most noticeable in Ecko – 15 years ago, he was comical, a jester (my friend Alan dubbed him ‘the psychosmurf’). Now, he’s older, darker, more sinister and a lot more vicious – capable of just about anything.

Setting and environments are different, too – I find myself increasingly distant from sauce’n’swordery. During my ‘NaNoWrongMo’, I set myself a very modest daily target that I’ve spectacularly failed to reach – but have managed sustained wordcount for the first time in years. And the more I write, the more poignant the intervening time becomes.

You’ll find a new Chapter here – I called it ‘Flesh’ – and there’s another one almost done.

Author Jaine Fenn (with bizarre serendipity, someone who knew me when I first started re-enacting and someone I re-connected with recently) summed up how I feel about these changes. She said: –

Sod the dragons, let’s PARTY!

This isn’t the chapter I wrote 19 years ago. I think it’s better – perhaps my NoNoWrongMo wasn’t such an FAIL after all.

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The Joy of Six

It’s taken me almost three months to add a further chapter to the rewrite of Khamsin – rather tragic, when I share that it’s beginning was written almost a year ago.

But it’s completed at last – an exploration of culture shock to bridge a chasm between two classic expressions of genre.

This one’s for anyone who’s tried to secure creative time against the demands of home, family and work. It’s for everyone who clings to a dream that ‘one day’ they will return to their chosen art – and it’s for everyone who’s woken up and gone ‘fuck it’ and dug their paintbrush out of the attic anyway.

It’s for the people who have helped me rediscover my confidence in this – particularly Mousewords, Teeg, and IAmKat. And it’s for words of encouragement from some unexpected sources.

My average word-count is worse than piss-poor.

But my imagination is awake and firing once more; images tumble, plot-lines weave, conversations develop. All I lack is time.

Learning how to write again is painful and an absolute pleasure… and I know that the more I persevere, the easier it will become.

The new chapter can be found here.

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Biting the Bullet

There are a dozen reasons why it’s taken me nearly 20 years to do this, and another dozen to explain why I’m doing it now – but they’re both long stories and this is kind of a long story already.

Its working title is – has always been – Khamsin.

It’s a novel about culture shock – about a strange person, in a strange place, asking for an agenda that no-one has to give.

It’s a novel about the implacable strength of blind faith – about believing you’re right when the rest of the world knows you’re wrong.

It’s a novel about microcosm and memory – about how who you are is made up from everything you’ve been.

More than anything, it’s a novel about passion – about how it can drive you screaming round the edges of insanity… and about what happens when you lose it.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s genre fiction and while I harbour boundary-pushing ambitions, I have a long way to go. Again.

The link is here.

If you’d like the explanation, you’ll find it in the footnote.

This has been an advertising post on behalf of Danacea’s Daydreaming. Normal geek service will resume after Salute on Saturday.


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