Champion’s League

NaNoWriMoWe figured as NaNoWriMo has now finished, we’d better blog about it. And it’ll cover up the fact we haven’t thought of anything else to blog about. But ssh, that’s our secret 😉

We didn’t want to do NaNoWriMo this year. Well, we did, because we’re ultra competitive Type A personalities, but we had nothing planned. We’d been suffering from our first case of writers’ block, which terrified us. In 17 years of writing, we’d never experienced it. We’d published Soul Asylum at the beginning of October, we’d been too busy planning for Halloween to even think of a novel and out of desperation to work, we decided to redraft Scott the Zombie instead of writing stories for our next Valentine’s release, Bad Romance. We finished editing Scott 5 days before NaNo was due to start. Add this with no plans (we’re not joking. Our only plan was that they were the 4 horsemen of the Apocalypse) no defined characters except one – hell they didn’t even have names and the night before NaNo, we were still discussing whether Death should be a guy, a girl, or guy and girl twins.

So would anyone in their right minds write a novel under these conditions, let alone take part in NaNo? No.

But that’s what we did.

In fact, we were still deciding on Death after we’d written the words ‘ Chapter 1’. And Death was in the opening scene! We went for guy and girl twins in the end then had to research various death deities of the different mythologies to choose their names. So you can see how well prepared we were. But at least we knew what font we wanted for our chapter headings in. Priorities, people.

Is it possible to write an entire novel this way? Yes. It’s how we always do it. Each chapter is like a new story and even as we type the chapter heading, we have no idea what the hell we’re going to do. This may sound terrifying to those who plan every last detail, but we like the freedom it gives us. You only have to watch our Calamityville episodes to know we enjoy the thrill and adventure of getting lost. We never set out for the Deaths to be a bit psycho, or for Famine to be a bitch and Pestilence to be the nice one. War already had a personality – he starred in our unpublished short story, Six String Hearts. But the characters took on lives of their own and we’re grateful to them that they were happy being left to develop by themselves.

After all this set against the novel being born, are we enjoying it? Hell yeah! Ok, the first ten chapters were hard. We wanted it to be a gritty, dark, urban book and having written a couple of these, we know they’re the hardest to write. As much as we love writing description, it doesn’t come as easily as dialogue. We were trying to figure out the characters and battle our way through a maze with no map.

Then something happen which we didn’t foresee – it became funny. Famine, in all her bitchy glory is hilarious. Though it’s that uncomfortable laughter that says you shouldn’t laugh because she’s being nasty, but you can’t help it. Her put downs belong in a ‘Little book of Insults’ that is always ideal for a present. Her banter with War is so much fun to write. The gritty, dark, urban book merged into a horror comedy and suddenly writing it was easy. We’ve finally found our niche.

We’d aimed to hit 50K by day 17. Last year, our first NaNo, we hit the 50K on day 17, purely because we were going to North Wales for three days and wanted to reach the target before we went. We finished NaNo on 80,368. This year, we wanted to beat it. Not just beat it, thrash it. See above note on being Type A personalities.

We didn’t reach 50K by day 17. We did it on day 19. Immediately forgetting that target, we set our sights on the next one – beating 80,368. Ryan had this formula on Excel which told us we wouldn’t do it. Glaring at Excel and grabbing another Red Bull, we vowed to prove it wrong. Last night we uploaded our final word count. 95,427. Now to finish the book…

NaNoWriMo certificate

2 Comments

  1. What an accomplishment! I am excited to hear it is a dark comedy. You ladies have such a knack for humorous dialoge. I just re-read “Long Live the Queen” from Disenchanted and I laughed out loud all over again:D

    • aw thanks! LLTQ does seem to be a favourite amongst people. It was also the best story to write. We tried making Bleeding Empire pure darkness and a gritty urban story but it was so hard to write we gave in and let the humour take over. We’ll add the dark bits in during the redrafts.


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