The Great NaNo Rout of 2008

I’ve been trying to find the right word for what NaNoWriMo did to me this year. Defeat sprang to mind, as did disaster. Beaten and thrashed were definite contendors. But rout, with its combination of loss and resignation rolled into one, seemed the most appropriate. Yes, I know, there are still almost 3 hours left. And yes, I know I could just bang out 43,500 words or some such to cross the line…

In all honesty, I set out on NaNoWriMo this year without the faintest intention of crossing the 50k barrier, or coming anywhere close. Instead I have been pulling together a group of ideas I’ve been playing with for some time now, and that I did more work on at Clarion. NaNo this year gave me the impetus for about 8,000 words developing one aspect of these ideas further. So despite my NaNo failure, there is definite writing progress happening! Fragmentary and halting progress without doubt, but progress none the less.

I’m going to do a proper update on the writing front in the not too distant future.


Cory Doctorow Interview

Willing Science Fiction into Fact

Activist-novelist Cory Doctorow explains to Damien G Walter how he hopes his writing will change tomorrow’s world.

Cory Doctorow’s office lies behind a featureless, black security door in a north London side street, deep in a converted post-industrial warehouse, down echoing corridors and concrete stairways. It’s an appropriately “underground” headquarters for the activist-novelist, who is explaining to me why he’s not interested in predicting the future using science fiction, but influencing it.

Read more on Guardian books.

Shine On

Not that long ago, I made the fairly safe prediction that some enterprising editor would put together an anthology of optimistic sf, and lo! my prediction has come to pass…

Jetse de Vries to edit Shine, anthology of optimistic science fiction.

I’m going to go out on a limb and make a further prediction that this will be an anthology to look out for. To go all mystic for a second, there is an interesting energy around the idea of optimism at the moment, both within science fiction and beyond. If the Shine anthology picks up even an ounce of that (and I think it will), its going to be a fascinating read.

NaNo…its a bigger thing than the name suggests.

Almost one third into NaNoWriMo and I’m about 5500 words up on my novel. That is about 10,000 words off the NaNo pace, but I’m averaging 600 words a day, which given everything else I have been doing over these nine days is really not too bad. I’m also pretty happy with what those words say. I have characters. I have a plot. I have themes. I even have some quite nice prose going on in places. This is starting to look like a novel!

I’m not expectig to get to 50,000 words, but neither am I rejecting the possibility. But if I can carry on at this pace and quality, I’ll be extremely happy. I may also stop and revise if and when I get to 15,000, as its possible I might have located someone who is actually interested in reading them!

The Price of Victory…

…is eternal sleeplessness. It’s approaching 5am GMT and having watched Obama take one state after another and cross 270 in the electoral college, until now he is on 338 and very much the President Elect. The rumour is that Obama will be making his voctory speech soon, so sleep is not yet an option.

There were two stories in tonights election. One is the victory of Obama, and the other is the defeat of Bush. John McCain gave a speech so gracious in defeat that many people would remember the maverick McCain that seemed to disappear through the election. And remember that McCain was never the true candate being judged. George Bush and the hideous cynicism, selfishness and corruption his administration represented were defeated at this election.

Oh…here he comes…back in a tic…

Continue reading The Price of Victory…

Word War Clarion

The gauntlet has officialy been thrown, and four hardy veterans of Clarion 2008 have taken up the challenge! Thats right it’s…Word War Clarion!!

Over the next 30 days Daniel ‘Smoking Buddha’ Pinney, Gra Linnaea, Keffy Kerhli and myself, Damien G. Walter will be competeing to be the first to reach 50,000 words as part of this year’s NaNoWriMo. Competition will be fierce, but as with all great contests the real challenge is against ourselves.

So take your seats and place your bets ladies and gentlemen, Word War Clarion is underway.

Good luck one and all.