This is part of my NaNoWriMo Series.


With less than a week to go for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), the fear has begun to set in. I don’t know why because when I made the decision to use November to write, I felt sure that I was doing the right thing. Since then, the world has decided that November is also a month for chaos. So, amidst cottage renovations (yes, finally) a midterm break, 4 birthdays, a partner on weekend call and other commitments, those 1667 words per day are starting to scare me a little. To calm my nerves I did start a bullet journal, in fact, I started two. One for planning and creative writing; the other well lets just say that, that one is for my mind to throw up on its pages.


NaNoWriMo – Outlines


In October I started moseying about the NaNo forums and reading other authors approaches to outlining their stories. I had a Google Doc with my outline for chapters and titles and test pages and I’ve been using October to mull it over and thrash out my idea. Then I started looking at it a little more seriously and applying my outline to a few of these methods below. I did not go into The Snowflake method, that one at the moment, well, it scares me as to what I might discover. If you are interested in learning more about any of these techniques just click the links below.




  1. Subway Method
  2. The Beat Sheet – Blake Snyder
  3. The Three Act Outline
  4. The Snowflake Method




I slowly began to realise that if I wanted to write my 1667 words a day then I would need to expand on my chapters and I was going to need a little more help. Enter Scrivener. Scrivener is a beautiful software program for writing and within thirty minutes of using the demo and following along the introduction video, I knew it was exactly what I needed. It instinctively knows how my mind works. Right now I have my chapter headings and topic outlines all in there along with my research and photos and all those bits and bobs I have been holding on to but still those butterflies in my stomach are fluttering and slowly as November 1st creeps closer, I am beginning to get more and more nervous and I can’t quite pinpoint why.


Hops & Claws

I had immense fun while writing and recording Hops & Claws for all of you. I enjoyed the world-building, character development and seeing where their lives would lead. For me, Hops & Claws was also a world I could escape in to. However, I didn’t enjoy the looming deadlines and trying to work through tech issues for people who don’t listen to podcasts normally. Writing for audio and writing for print is also very different so Hops & Claws are currently being re-written and they will come back I promise, I can’t just leave the fate of Twill Town in the hands of a nonchalant bunny and that grumpy tabby cat now can I?


NaNo 2017

The piece of writing I’m working on for NaNo 2017 is vastly different. I spent a long time trying to work on a one-sentence summary and it stumped me because in my head I couldn’t quite figure out how to sum it up? How do you sum up a life? That is the question I had while writing a eulogy. How do you sum up ninety-six years of a life in less than ten minutes?  For me, this NaNo is extremely personal and more about writing out thoughts. A lot of people deal with grief by writing it out as it helps to form cohesive thoughts around something akin to catching shadows. My fifty thousand words may never see the light of day after November but I will feel so much better having worked through the process.

Trying to place my writing in a genre is also difficult for me as the term ‘memoir’ doesn’t quite feel like it fits but I suppose as the month rolls by things will begin to become more clear. Another worry, as my husband pointed out, is that it’s harder to write when emotionally involved, so one of my problems with reaching my goal will be the emotional rollercoaster of November. But how bad could it be, after two babies 16 months apart and that hormone rollercoaster, I can face anything, right?

I’ll leave you with my attempt at a one-sentence synopsis:

“Death, love, war and a fondess for sherry, this is the story of ‘M’.

I hope you enjoy this November series, pop back on Friday for a fibre related interview!





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