Outlining for NaNoWriMO

So last night I started to outline my manuscript for NaNoWriMo. I decided to start this process using Google Sites. I have been using Google Sites for a while to write. It means that I have a collection of ideas and reference material that sticks around between my sporadic attempts and avoids the usual data loss that happens when I change my hardware or it dies.

I am still using the Manuscript app on my iPad but I always fear losing data on standalone devices, even though I can backup to Dropbox from within the application, I still have to remember to do that. On Google Sites its just always there.

The first outline question I have asked myself is, how detailed does this outline need to be? At this point I am looking at having a daily plan. I figure that it is better to have a detailed plan and not need it rather than write myself into a corner that I cant think myself out of in the time I have to produce 50, 000 words. This may prevent my turning out a pile of crap that is too much effort to edit into anything after November.

I have started to create a page on the site for each day and am planning to have the direction, plot point etc at the beginning of each page. I figure I can change it on the day if I come up with something better but I will at least have a starting point. I already have the main idea and major plot points written out. I am enjoying looking at the story as a whole and trying to find the most interesting ways to develop certain aspects of it or how to bring out aspects of my characters.

Joy. It is creative joy.

Good luck my fellow writers 🙂



I have signed up for NaNoWriMo this year. Deep breath. I don’t know at this point if this is even realistic. I would love to be able to get a large enough piece of work done so that I can spend time shaping it.

I seem to spend time starting but I don’t even get to a middle or end. Maybe I am not creating enough of an outline to work with. Or maybe this is like uni and without a deadline I dont know how to put pressure on myself to get this first piece done.

Only one way to really find out. Do it.

Good Luck fellow writers 🙂

Red Wine and a book review

The book club meeting for World War Z ( audio version) being reviewed over on cheesbugergothic,  ended up being changed, changed and changed again. Needless to say I missed the actual day and time but added my 2 cents worth anyway. While reading through the comments, some loathed the book and some loved it, JB shared with us his choice of red wine, Jim Barry’s 2006 McRae Hill Shiraz, being that I love wine, in particular red, I had to go look this one up and another commenter added Jim Barry The Armagh as a wish list item. We are now talking a $40 bottle and a $250 bottle. These people drink some expensive wine and I clearly don’t know anything about wine, apart from drinking it.

Speaking of drinking, I  had a recent discovery in the region of a locally produced dry red. There has been a winery that I have passed on a weekly basis over the past 8 years, it sits right in suburbia, no other winery’s around. I have often driven slowly passed, its just before a set of lights, and commented on how I should check it out. It has never the right time. Then there I was on a Friday night with a kilo of local freshly cooked prawns, procured from a place just down from my place of work, and I found myself sitting at the lights. It was finally time.

So I park up and headed around to what I through was the front, it did have the open sign, but on the door was a notice, please enter at back door. So I walked around to the back door. On this door there was a chain and padlock along with the sign, If unattended please go up to the house. So up to the house I went. It was a hundred yards away and looked like an old style home. I stood for a moment looking at the house for a moment, decided to not be a scaredy cat, and go knock on the door.

Hi Are you selling wine? – Something I have never asked when someone answered their front door.

Yes, oh isn’t the shop open? – she smiles at me from behind the screen door. Her voice thick with what I assume was an Italian accent

So the elderly Italian lady comes out and starts walking me back to the shop.

So ah what wine to you have? I ask

Do you like red?


How much do you want?

A couple of bottles? –  This got me a frown


How much is a flagon?


Great can I have a taste first? –  I ask this even though I now feel committed to buying something since I got her out here.

She opens up the shop, a wooden, paint peeling barn really. Inside it is cool, concrete floor. I follow her in a small way and down a couple of stairs. She goes across and opens the door to the street so we have more light. Then she takes a small glass and pours me a drink from an almost head height barrel, I’m 160 cm. Wine straight from the barrel. I drank it straight down expecting vinegar. But what I got was a light dry smooth red that went straight to my head. The glass was bigger than I had thought and it had been many hours since lunch. So I bought 2 flagons and headed home with a big grin on my face. Local wine and seafood was awaiting me. I had an image of a Lucille Ball style grape stomping, which made me laugh.  I was going to make my partner very happy with today’s gathering.


Good night and good luck fellow writers

What is real writing?

Tangible. That is how using the Manuscript iPad application makes me feel about writing my first novel. It has become tangible. I have character descriptions, chapters, research tools and a book graphic I open that has my name and manuscript title on. I have a real relationship with what I am creating, it feels real. I spent last night writing instead of playing Candy Crush Saga. I still sat on the couch, with my partner after the end of the day. Everyone fed, kids in bed, adults winding down. And it felt good.

I finally gave myself permission to just write. I have done as much outlining as I felt I needed to and so I am doing the fun part. Writing. I have given myself permission to not have a word count. I don’t have to write 2000 words a day. Writing is not my full-time job. I have a full-time job that I love and pays the bills better than most writing jobs do. But I still have this urge to write. It’s an urge I have had since childhood.

Turns out giving myself permission to write at my own pace, in my own time is all I needed to do. Trying to live up to other peoples goals and expectations gave me writers block. I wanted to approach writing as a professional does, not like it is a hobby, and it didn’t feel like I could take pride in what I wrote if it didn’t meet some professional standard. Bah Humbug. From what I have read Stieg Larsson wrote his books at night for fun. He thought about them, loved them. I want that experience. No I don’t think that will bring me the same level of success. I do expect that I will produce the best manuscript I am capable of. This is not a race, it is fulfilling a passion.