#NaNoWriMo – #NoNoWriMo

Every year I see writers coming together for National November Writing Month, which challenges all writers to write 50,000 words in one month. Let it be known, I have never actually (I mean officially) signed up for this challenge and I think I know why…

I’ve never signed up and yet, something about writers coming together to avoid social media and JUST WRITE always tugs me in and makes me think you can do this, too! However, the thing is… you really have to write the equivalent of 1,667 words a day, every day, for thirty days – and it is just not as easy as you think. If you don’t have the ideas pre-formed, I think pantsing that amount in such a time has got to be hard. If you’ve also just finished one project and are working on a new one for #NaNoWriMo, that’s going to be testing because there is only so much creativity one can produce. You have to have breaks between projects no matter what anyone says. There’s only so much in the tanks.

For me, November is busy enough. Everyone wants their books edited in November because they want to give people books as Christmas presents. In the past, I was a journalist wife’s, a widow of sorts, waiting for him to emerge from the 14-hour days of November and the night shifts spent getting the Christmas magazines out of the door – so I might have had time to write every night back then. However, since he’s changed careers, we actually have date nights now in November, and it’s GREAT!

Another thing about November is that it is one of the darkest months of the year!! Truly. Everybody in the northern hemisphere is on a bit of a downer, because the seasons are changing and the jumpers are coming out. Maybe writing is the escape some people need in November, or maybe 1,667 words a day is the stress you could just do without. I personally don’t believe you can force yourself to write a structured amount every day. I either get 5,000 words out in one day, or I get nothing at all. I have to be desperate to write in order to write, that’s how it works for me.

However I do love the idea that all writers are beavering away at once and magic is multiplying across the land with all these writers casting their writerly spells everywhere. However, I just never find it practical to write like this in November. It just never works for me. Last year I did write 50,000 words in a month but it was 30,000 on one project and 20,000 on another.

This year, I’m up to my eyeballs in edits and just cannot manage it. It’s just not happening. My instinct tells me the words I’d splutter would end up scrapped in a later edit. That happened last year with Unfurl. I was trying to use #NaNoWriMo to complete this book and 75% of what I wrote got scrapped because I just didn’t have the uuuummmmppphhhh there. I was forcing words.

Goodbye NaNo, maybe next year. We do have a strange relationship, don’t we? 😉

But hey ho, while I’m not writing on the laptop, my mind is still conjuring the next projects to come…

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The Editing Arm of Sarah Michelle Lynch

An editing arm has been added to “Sarah Michelle Lynch”, click right here to find out more. It’s all simply explained but my email address is there if you have any questions/queries. I’m not accepting any more projects this year, but I do have openings for early 2016.

I got asked the other day, “Wouldn’t you rather just write all the time and forget editing?” I guess I sometimes ask myself that, too, but my answer was, “No!” In fact my long-term goal is to embrace a bunch of writers under my wings (so to speak) and build something a little bigger than an editing business.

The thing is, just sitting down to write, write, write is too much pressure. Besides, isn’t editing just getting paid to read (that thing most if not all writers love?). Obviously, editing involves much more than just reading…

A few writers read UNBIND, the first book in the Sub Rosa Series and were so impressed, they contacted me, asking if I would edit their books. It’s crazy because that isn’t even the most tightly edited novel I’ve written, the next ones are…! I guess that just proves how each book is a learning curve and each book has its own beating heart to try and train and/or maintain.

What I’m working on right now is an anthology a writing group sent me. I’m proofreading it which makes a nice change for me. Normally I “deep edit” books which means considering how the whole thing can be tightened up. So proofing is a holiday, in comparison.

One of the books I just finished working on is Where Did Your Heart Go? by Audrina Lane. A self-published novel with an existing audience/fanbase is something I’d never worked on before. I worked to maintain the essence of the book, keeping the most pivotal scenes/lines intact, while also reshaping Audrina’s words without cutting their personality away. It was a unique book with diaries/first/third person – but in some respects I think that’s why some people choose to self-pub – because you can go outside the box and break the rules a little. Live a little, if you like. Now I’m seeing selfies of people holding her first print run of that very book and I see the smiles on her face and those of her readers. So, no, I don’t hesitate when people ask, “Wouldn’t you just rather write?” NAH! Because then I wouldn’t appreciate it when I do get to write. I might complain about the balancing act sometimes but as a good friend said to me the other day, “Don’t lie, you love your life.”

Yes, just a bit.

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Happy author Audrina Lane!!

Revealing my 11th novel, Beyond Angel Avenue . . .

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Last week, I finished my edits on this book, Beyond Angel Avenue. I have been very secretive about it and only my husband has known I’ve been writing this book. He told me not to write this book but I went against him because I HAD TO WRITE THIS BOOK. I held off on this book until it was impossible to ignore and for the best part of this year, I have been writing it in the back of my head.

For readers already familiar with Angel Avenue – yes, you’d be right – this book is a sequel. In fact, I never thought I would write this book. To explain more, here is a note I’ve inserted at the beginning of the book which explains everything…

Dear Reader,

I wrote Angel Avenue two years ago and never, ever intended on writing this sequel. The first book was such a hard novel to get over and I suppose, in a way, that might have been because there was still more to tell. For the past year, I’ve had Warrick whispering in my ear, telling me a brand, new story – which also clears up some of the mysteries of Angel Avenue. I wrestled with whether I should tell this story because Angel Avenue is so special to me and I didn’t want to ruin that with a sequel that just didn’t measure up.

I have loved every, single second of writing these books. I’ve written many books but these ones mean so much to me and I can’t even tell you why. The story is based where I live and is imbued with the love I feel for the city I met and married my husband in. I’ve tried not to waste too many words on location because I like to think this story could happen in any town or city, in any country.

What I can honestly say is that this is “The End”. I knew it for a certainty the day I typed those words at the very end of this book. That day, a very red-eyed mother went to pick up her daughter from school, knowing Beyond Angel Avenue is the underscore of this particular chapter in my writing life. When I wrote Angel Avenue, it was one of the happiest writing experiences of my life. It was a lot of fun to write. However, Beyond Angel Avenue is a different beast and delves one layer deeper. I cried absolute buckets writing this second book.

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What I want to add to this is that Beyond Angel Avenue delves into some issues very personal to people in my life. In due course, I will be uploading the book to Amazon for pre-order complete with full synopsis.

N.B. Angel Avenue and Beyond Angel Avenue will retain these covers for the eBooks but the paperbacks will now have artistic wraparound covers instead and I’ll be revealing these in the coming weeks too.

All that is left for me to stay is stay tuned. Beyond Angel Avenue tells the story of Jules and Warrick as they navigate married, family life together. But as with many of my books, nothing is what it seems, and life throws them a curveball I never saw coming either.

COMING DECEMBER 22ND…

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VISIT AMAZON TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT ANGEL AVENUE…

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News and Updates

Happy summer holidays to all parents out there currently pulling their hair out! That includes me! 😉 Hoping to make the most of the holidays, just as soon as I shift this end-of-term-itis!

I have a few things in the pipeline at the moment so before I disappear to enjoy the summer, here we go…

I just wrote an exciting piece for an erotic website called frolicme.com and it has been very well received. Watch this space, it should be out fairly soon-ish! Check out the website and keep your eyes peeled.

The first 5* reviews of Unleash have started to come in…

5.0 out of 5 stars The petals fall on this fabulous, fast paced trilogy!, 19 July 2015
This review is from: Unleash (Sub Rosa Trilogy Book 3) (Kindle Edition)
The concluding novel in the Sub Rosa trilogy grabs you from the very first page and does not let up until you’ve read the final word. This book is from the perspective of Kayla, Chloe’s best friend and a character that has had a turbulent past, closed off to the notion that love could be her’s. But as she loses her heart to another flawed character they are able to start to mend. Coupled with this super, sexy love story is the continuing way that Claudia is trying to control their lives in her own evil way!
Will love conquer all, will Claudia gets what she deserves? All I can say is that the twists and turns of this plot will keep you turning the page long into the night. It is fast paced, beautifully written and you really feel like you are emersed in the characters lives. Towards the end I wanted to slow down, savour my final encounter with Chloe, Cai and Kayla. I didn’t want to say goodbye.
These three books are so worth reading and now you can do it without the wait in between. They will leave you breathless so don’t wait to buy, grab them now and fall in love!
5.0 out of 5 stars Unleash the secrets 22 July 2015
Format:Kindle Edition
Unleash is the third instalment of the Sub Rosa series, so far the series has been filled with mystery and suspense and this final instalment is no different.

Book three brings Kayla Tate to the forefront, delving into her background and relationships. Kayla has featured in the two previous books as Chloe’s best friend, she has supported Chloe through the trials and tribulations of her relationship with Cai Matthews but it turns out she is more involved in the mystery than we realised.

Kayla is a strong and feisty woman, having a troubled past has made her the woman that she is today. Whilst following Kayla’s budding relationship the ever present Claudia Matthews weaves her secrets and lies in everyone’s lives. Is Kayla strong enough to unleash the lies and finally solve the mystery?

This is a fast paced book, and the author has done the story justice, how she was able to keep on top of the web of lies I have no ideas but I was gripped!

This series has had me in suspense and the ending is perfect! I have to re-read this series to see if I have missed anything, or if the truth is hidden within the pages.

This is a sexy, mystery that you will not want to put down!

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Don’t forget the first book in the series is just 99pence/cents (click images to buy):

99 cents

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KAY (4)

I have a few editing projects on my plate at the minute and editing for other people is something I am going to be doing more and more of come September when my daughter starts school full-time. More details to follow on that soon. Currently I am fully-booked.

FABIEN: THE SERIAL will conclude with one, last short novel, called I’m Yours, Fabien. Estimated release date for this is Autumn 2015 and I will release the three instalments as one paperback soon after that.

I do have more books to write this year and I am looking forward to seeing what I can come up with next but for now I am going to enjoy my summer, reading, baking and hopefully catching some rays!

I am also planning to re-release my science fiction series, UNITY, at some point but more details on that are to follow!

If you are a blogger/reviewer who would like to review any of my books, just get in touch through my FB page: www.facebook.com/SarahMLynch

Sarah’s Books on Amazon: author.to/sarahmichellelynch

Some more new reviews…

The Sub Rosa Trilogy is one you’ll start and not be able to turn your back on, if the reviews and messages I’ve had from readers so far are anything to go by! It’s only a couple of days now until I reveal the cover for the third book, UNLEASH, and so it’s a good time to start getting stuck into the series with the first book UNBIND. ??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

ONLY today I received this review of UNFURL and this bit of the review pretty much sums up what the series has in store:-

Finding not truths, but in fact more layers of lies, Chloe and Cai weave through a complex story of shame, guilt, abuse and love that seems to visit all hidden facets of human behaviour. With gangsters and art, deaths and secrets, revelations and love, Unfurl truly is a masterpiece from Sarah Michelle Lynch. One to be damned proud of!

An alternative name for this book though that came to mind was UNLOCK, for when the petals of this story do unfurl, complete with UNBIND, the doors of this thrilling piece unlock. You can almost hear the key scrape as it turns, and the characters follow its course to the inevitable yet captivating conclusion.

In short. Yes! I loved it!

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Read the FULL REVIEW here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/review/RIDZCYIY2ND3Q

If you’re looking for a series to get your teeth stuck into this summer, this might be it. This has sex, secrets, lies, deceit, death, destruction, mystery . . . and so much more to come!

Keep up to date with the latest news by following this blog sarahmichellelynch.wordpress.com or by giving the SML fanpage a like or following me on Twitter @SarahMichelleLy

Readers of romantic mysteries in particular do not want to miss out! Download today!

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Being Held Hostage By a Book!

The bane of my life at the moment seems to be trying to find a happy medium between writing and interacting with readers – not to mention all the other stuff!

Sometimes, as an author, you end up getting so wrapped up in writing or even reading a book, you neglect everything else! It is a common complaint. Sometimes after a drought, when the flood comes, you’ve just got to go with it. You just don’t know when the impulse is going to return. You have to listen to the voices.

There might be one year where you barely write anything and another year where you cannot bloody stop writing! It seems 2015 is the latter for me and I have got stuff coming out of my ears! Only problem is I haven’t got time to be all things to all people – unsurprisingly certain areas of life have to go on the backburner. For me, it always seems to be social networking and chasing reviewers that gets neglected.

HOWEVER….! The current work in progress, which has been an up and downhill journey for me, is now in official first draft status. I honestly didn’t know which way this book was gonna go – it was such a toss-up all the way through. It’s about a journey of discovery that rips the heroine apart and leaves her a different person to the one she started out with.

For once, I’m not dreading the editing of this one. I’m really, really looking forward to it! Kayla Tate has been such a joy to write! I adore her. I don’t know if it is that the last book in a trilogy is always the easiest because you’ve got the big points already covered, but this book has just been one of those where I’ve just had to ride the highs and lows and it’s somehow worked out good in the end – thank all that is good for that!

The story from Unbind and Unfurl continues into Unleash and my, have we some revelations to come…

I’m aiming to give Unleash a tentative June release, but we shall wait and see…

UNFURL – PROLOGUE

COMING SOON!!

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EVERYDAY I WOKE, and I was nothing. I went to sleep, and I was less. When I opened my eyes to the world on my 21st birthday, it wasn’t a day to celebrate. It was the same as any other.

I lifted my head to look at the blinding, ignorant world outside the window and felt an instant need to spew. I ran from my bed to the toilet and evacuated my guts into the bowl.

Everyday, the same.

I swallowed hard and panted as I rested back against the cold tile. I couldn’t keep doing this to my body, I knew it. Breaking myself down just so I could build myself back up, fuelling the demons just so I could kill them again in the ring.

The cycle, perpetual.

I stood and walked back out into the apartment she bought for me. At the window, I looked down on Brooklyn and Manhattan beyond that… and I felt, nothing.

Nothing.

On my skin and in my hair I detected more than one female aroma, though the memory of all that was a blurred recollection. I pressed my hand to the glass window and held myself up, the urge to vomit still there.

In my stomach I felt empty and in my heart, there was less than an ounce of anything. My vision was skewed by rainbows of light that weren’t on the spectrum and I didn’t recognise the reflection that stared back at me in the tinted window.

The night before, a Friday, I’d partied hard. Nothing unusual.

I didn’t vomit because of the drink, but because I indulged on everything to excess.

Everything.

Everything that was bad. Everything I didn’t want, but had to have anyway.

I threw my sack of shit body into the shower and burned the entrails away, from my skin at least. From my exterior, just not the inside.

Inside, decay and desolation remained.

I walked out for some breakfast—some orange juice and oatmeal—and picked up my mail as I walked back into the building.

Back in my apartment upstairs, I noticed a parcel amongst the junk—and was surprised to find it contained a number of legal documents. I had only moved in a couple days ago but Jennifer’s people had seen to all the admin on the apartment, so what this was I didn’t know. I feared the contents, unsure what was going on. I didn’t know about this kind of stuff. Since moving to New York I’d never had to worry about anything monetary because Jennifer had always taken care of that for me.

I scanned through and noticed the lawyers on the letterhead weren’t the people Jennifer used. I deduced I had become the owner of some other property and was convinced there had been some error. I called them and said, “You sent me all this stuff but I think there’s been a mistake…”

There hadn’t.

This, was genuine?

I signed a couple of things and personally returned the papers to the lawyers’ office on Third Avenue, first thing Monday.

I asked ‘Turner, Ace and Patrick LLP’ who’d done this for me? They wouldn’t say; they couldn’t disclose a benefactor who’d asked to remain anonymous. All that they’d say was that he had an unusual look.

In exchange I got handed the keys to a potential enterprise that was all mine and though I was suspicious, I went to inspect it anyway.

I walked around the empty space and envisaged how the building had been used before. There were too many tall windows to count and some of those industrial tube lights in the ceiling. It was clearly meant to be used as gallery space but needed work. Doors hung off hinges, damp lurked in places, the floors were a mess and the brick needed repairing—in fact it needed knocking down and starting from scratch! The place didn’t just pose an aesthetic challenge, but a structural one too.

With plenty of wall space available, I should’ve just bought a couple cans of spray paint and made it my own, called it art—had the hoards come through and pay to see the inside of my shattered mind.

I frequently dreamed of bleak landscapes… burning effigies. Bloodied and battered faces and piles of rotting corpses. If I unleashed my mind, who knew what I might create? No doubt something akin to the inside of her mind, something controversial enough to warrant a craze.

No, no! I had to switch that impulse off. It would be a place to sell photographs, not a canvas for the paintings that refused to erase themselves from my burnt vision.

It would cost a bomb just to keep the building standing, so I needed to find work—and fast. As I absorbed my surroundings, she texted and asked if I liked the apartment, my birthday present from her. I thought about my reply for a long time before I finally replied: It suffices.

I thought my response cold, to the point, unquestionable. Succinct. Nothing for her to chew through and spit out.

Moving out of her place on Fifth Avenue had been a long time coming. I never brought women home—I kept all that at the clubs. However, she brought her lovers home with her; men, women, multiple partners. It caused too many arguments between us.

So this gift—the gallery—definitely wasn’t from her. She only ever gave to receive and never without motive. She wouldn’t hand over a gallery in secret, it wasn’t her style. She was all about the showy gestures, all about the control.

This gallery wasn’t her idea. Whose, though? I couldn’t be sure.

As I wandered my own floors and checked out my new patch, I saw a chance. Possibility. Somebody out there wanted me to succeed. Who? I didn’t know! Yet someone could see in me some sort of potential. I had to believe that.

During the days that followed I returned to the gallery again and again, drawing up plans of what I would do with the place if I had money. I didn’t tell Jennifer I was in possession of a gallery but she found out anyway. She knew everything. She had spies, everywhere. She scoffed, of course, warned she would decimate any attempt of mine to make good on such a venture. I didn’t let her snide comments get to me because I had a gallery and that meant someone, somewhere, thought well of me. From then on, I would be better. I would.

I poured my liquor supply down the sink, this simple act already distancing me from who I didn’t want to be. I flushed my pill packets, too. It was time. I didn’t like that stuff and now I had something to work toward, I couldn’t be doing that shit anymore.

What more could she do to hurt me, anyway? There was no mortgage to sabotage, no reputation to ruin. My gallery, like my work, was the pits. Yet it had room for growth and she couldn’t touch that, even though she hated it.

I just didn’t know what lay in store for me.

If only I knew then, what I know now…

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Read the first book in the series for 99 cents or 99 pence. Unfurl will be available, very, very soon!!

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Reaching 100,000 Words and Knowing…

…you now have another novel. That recently happened for me. It’s a point where you feel achievement, also a point where you know there’s much more work to do!

Often the story of creation is a story in itself, one you feel loathe to tell, but might be just as important as the work you’re creating.

A lot of my books centre on psychology and it’s something I have always been fascinated by. The human mind and its strengths, weaknesses and possibilities are why we write after all. I’ve found with my recent books, 100K is around about the stage I find myself with a first draft. In the first draft I’ve told myself the story, and now instead of telling it, I need to build upon what I’ve already established and embellish the events that make sense of the mystery. It is time to slow it down and explode the smells, sights, feelings, thoughts and dialogue… et al. So in other words, I need to ensure the reader can see exactly what I see.

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????When I was writing UNBIND, the prequel to the novel I’m currently writing, I didn’t want to put a label on the complex psychology of one person in that novel. I still don’t. We all know mental illness is a complex thing, a grey area, and I consciously created a character you can’t put into one box or another. Going forward into the sequel, I had a job on my hands to keep away from that box and still not put this particular person into one category or another.

So when you’ve written about difficult topics in the past (i.e. issues of the mind), you feel like you have to find different ways of exploring those avenues…

I probably would have made myself ill in trying to keep UNBIND at just the one book. I know that sounds freaking crazy!! There was too much story and what I took out of UNBIND, I did purposely, so I could write a whole other story in UNFURL. No way is the sequel a retelling of the first book or a rehash. It’s not the same book, it’s got its own plot, yet some bits elevate and expand upon UNBIND. As an author, it is the hardest thing to know your characters and to try to write their stories without ruining the suspense.

UNFURL came to me so thick and fast and when I read it through last week, I felt the arrangement set into place inside my mind and I knew after that… I knew what I had left to do.

Yet still, the mysterious character I’ve alluded to in this blog is more than just a victim. She’s so much more. She’s an enigma, a mystery that will never be solved. She’s an artist and what I hope I am doing with UNFURL is showing how and why we use art. Why, even, we need art, and what it evokes in our souls.

Cai, our hero, is a dual artist – a photographer and a painter. He has the same gifts his mother mastered – and more. The purpose of Cai’s point of view in UNFURL is to explore that struggle we share, as artists, during the process of creation. A pain that is necessary to produce something that actually speaks to other people.

Instead of focusing on the label, then, I tried to focus on the confusion and mindset of a person who refuses to be misunderstood or even, understood. There isn’t even a middle ground. There is an unrealistic place where things make sense and another place, a worldly place, where nothing makes sense. Basically, there’s an artist who had her talent ripped from her… and her ability to create was tainted. Imagine if you’re born to create, and you just can’t. The reasons are hard to bear, but must be.

I wrote about life as art in another blog and I’m trying to follow through on that with UNFURL, a book that doesn’t play by the rules but when knotted to UNBIND, side by side, makes sense and yet, whether an injustice can be ever be truly resolved, we may never know…

As a writer, you know, anything can happen during the editing process. It’s a miraculous, thing, editing. Maybe like Rorschach in Watchmen, whose mood changes constantly, whose mask expresses him better than his own face, a writer can keep trying to paint the truth but only the reader can give the book its truth. So like an artist trying to paint a picture, I’m trying to use the tools (words) at my fingertips to explain what creation feels like, to explain why creatives need creation and what could happen if someone born to create had that ability tragically stolen from them.

Perhaps that’s why a novel is a novel and why sometimes, you can write all those words, only for one truth to come out of all of it.

It’s a work in progress… for sure!

(Hopefully this was an annoyingly spoiler-free preview)!

#NaNoWriMo – THE VERDICT!

I’ve been writing fiction for three years now and this is the first time I attempted November Writing Month. I admit I have been doing this unofficially because I have a couple of projects on the go and it was a test to myself to see what I could do when really pushed. Could I write 50,000 words in one month? That was the test.

Well, I have written at least 60,000 words this month… I’ll explain…

I am currently quite deep into my ninth novel, Unfurl, which is the sequel to Unbind. Unfurl had its claws in me before November 1st dawned so my first aim with November Writing Month was to see how many words I could add to the novel in one month. Well, I added around 39,000 words to that book.

At around 39,000 words I knew in myself I was burnt out. I knew I had reached a certain barrier and there was no going beyond that. Unfurl is a planned 120,000-word novel and yet when I reached 89,000 words… I knew that was it for me, for the time being. I am a writer who listens to my gut and my gut was telling me that if I continued on, I would be writing a load of air. The thing is, the novel in question is a slap-bang-wallop thriller and when you’re writing this kind of book, it is mind taxing on every page. Every sentence. The only other book I’ve written that was like this i.e. slap-bang-wallop… was Beneath the Veil, now The Radical. Unfurl will be the type of book where you simply cannot put it down… you simply have to know what evil lurks beneath the pages. It is an evil I was reluctant to explore in the first book, Unbind, but I have someone to do justice and their will is bidding me to tell their story.

So I gave up at 39,000 words and moved onto something else. I wrote a little vampirism (an Xmas novella) and because that was already pre-planned in my head and a lot less complex than Unfurl, it was easy to churn out and actually a great relief after the aforementioned block of stuff I had given to Unfurl. 60K words to two separate projects was being kinder to myself than forcing 50K words into a novel I knew I needed a break from. As a seasoned writer, you know your own strengths and limitations and gradually, you work out what works for you and what doesn’t. Be kind to yourself, sometimes, something just isn’t meant to be.

Writing, writing, writing… with just a wing and a prayer… is not a bad method. Sometimes writing freefall as I sometimes term it, or by the seat of your pants, can help spring an idea you never would have thought of. Writing with no onus other than to get the words out has its benefits, but also its drawbacks too. I know from those 39K I added to Unfurl, I will be scrapping around 10-15K or re-writing a hefty chunk of it. I have now had a period of reflection; I’ve given the editing side of my brain enough chance to absorb and consider – reflection is invaluable when creating a novel. If you have a period of reflection during which no regrets and no doubts emerge, then you know that work is done. If however you realise it all adds up but not as perfectly as you would like, you know you have more work to do.

I suppose what I am surmising here is that NaNoWriMo is good but only for experimentation purposes. Even a seasoned writer such as myself was tested to meet that 1,600+ words a day quota required to complete the task. Though what I often ended up doing was writing 500 words most days and on good days, when an idea was straining to get out, I might have written a healthy or indulgent 8,000. I am a mood writer, like some people are mood readers, and sometimes I have to wait all day to be able to get my precious writing time in. After working and looking after my husband and daughter, the idea has to be good for me to want to write, otherwise I am too tired to struggle with something that I am not quite feeling.

Word count is irrelevant, however. I firmly believe that. A story will be told in how ever few or many words it needs to be told in. I advise writers who take part in NaNoWriMo to step into the experience with the knowledge that what they write in one month is very likely to need plenty of work afterwards. You might even *shock horror* just want to put it in the bin. Yet the experience might have been worth it for exactly that – the experience. I also advise that if you don’t finish NaNoWriMo, it isn’t because you’re not good enough to be a novelist, it’s just that the story you were writing at the time wasn’t meant to be written so quickly or in so many words, or so few in my case. As I said, Unfurl will be around 120K when complete. If not a little less, maybe a little more! It will have as many words as it needs. I have said things in the past that my future self has disproved, so you know…

I can honestly say, I found the NaNoWriMo experience helpful but I won’t pressure myself to take part in this again. Especially when half the battle of being a writer is connecting to your readers and having enough time away from the laptop to actually generate the content and ideas that make your novel what it is… i.e. an enjoyable reading experience which doesn’t give away the fact that the writer rushed, struggled or compromised themselves during. Readers can tell, they can always tell.

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