NIAA Progress Report #6 – It’s Done!

Yep, it’s done. The manuscript is as edited and finished as it’s going to get, and so we come to the end of the editing/”finishing touches” stage of the novel, and now on to the next big stage: submissions! I’ll begin with a barrage of simultaneous submissions to every agent I can find who is looking for mystery/thriller, as well as any publishers accepting unagented manuscripts to begin with. We’ll see how it goes . . .

For now, it feels great to be finally done with this manuscript I’ve been wrestling with for the last couple of years.  And now it’ll be back to working on and writing my other two manuscripts: the science fiction White Horse, and historical fantasy Wyrd.

And the final word count:    wordage

NIAA Progress Report #5

Well, it took a little while longer, but combined with my trans-Atlantic flying over the last couple of weeks, and some intense days of getting over jet lag and working away this week, I’ve reached the end of the edit of Nothing is an Accident.  W00t!  Now I just need to input all the changes from the hard copy, make the scene additions, fixes and changes that I made notes for while doing this edit, and once all that’s done, this sucker should be done and ready to show itself to the world!


NIAA Progress Report #4

The penultimate edit continues well into Nothing is an Accident, up to page 208.  I’ve been sticking with the goal of five pages a day on weeks when I’m editing, and this is leading to some good headway.  Later this week I’ll be hopping on a plane to England for my brother’s wedding.  What this has to do with NIAA is that my plan is to print out the rest of the manuscript in hard copy form and I hope to get all of the rest of the editing done while waiting for flights, and during these long 10-hour transatlantic flights, with the goal of having this edit completely done in a little less than two weeks time.  Here’s hoping.  I may even be able to start shopping this around to agents by mid Fall!


NIAA Progress Report #3

Progressed well this week with edits on Nothing is an Accident.  Past the hundred page mark, so almost a third of the way through the manuscript.  May even shoot for doing at least some sort of editing during the “off week” when I’m working on other projects, just because the editing is flowing along nicely, plus I’m getting hooked into the story once again and wanting to move along to work on what happens next, see what needs tweaking and editing, and continue to get engrossed in the story.


NIAA Progress Report #2

It’s been quite some time since the last progress report on Nothing is an Accident, which is the whole reason for this particular update and why I’m changing things around a little.  In my writing goals for this year I’d planned to complete a penultimate and final edit of the manuscript by the end of the year.  At this current rate, I was going to be lucky if I got half way through the penultimate edit when December rolled around.   I just wasn’t getting the work done week to week, as the other projects kept getting in the way.  Then when I switched to just working on White Horse, things should’ve gotten easier, but they didn’t.  I was doing plenty of writing but not enough editing.

I’ve now decided to go back to a similar schedule from earlier with working on one project one week and another project another.  Basically one week I’ll be working on writing White Horse, and on another I’ll be working on editing NIAA.  That way it will get done, which is the key.  My goal, just as it is with 500 words a day, Monday through Friday, with regards to writing, will be to edit at least three pages a day Monday through Friday on the particular week I’m working on NIAA.

And we’ll see how that goes.  And they’ll be the counter at the bottom of these updates (as well as on the site) to keep me encouraged and hopeful!


NIAA Progress Report #1

This is the first NIAA progress report.  NIAA, or Nothing is an Accident is a mystery/thriller novel I finished about two years ago and have been going through a number of edits since then.  At the moment I’m looking at doing two more edits: a thorough one with feedback from the Unwritten Writing Group, as well as my own notes; and then one quick last one which’ll be it.  Then it will be time to start sending it out.  I’m shooting to hopefully have this all done by summer or at the latest by the end of the year.

Now that I have White Horse well on its way, and Wyrd outlined and up and running, it was time to come back to the last few run-through with NIAA.

Today made some good progress, getting the two first chapters down and done to a place where I’m happy with them. Notes from the group and my own are helping to iron out that last details and confusing parts so it’s finished and complete.   Still got quite a ways to go, but the penultimate edit is in full swing.


It’s November and that means it’s another year for Nanowrimo, or National Novel Writing Month.  For those of you not familiar with it, it’s a website where you can sign up and then spend the month of November furiously writing a novel.  The aim of the game is to complete a 50,000 word novel by the end of the month and submit it to Nanowrimo, where they confirm you’ve reached the goal and you become one of the chosen members of Nanowrimo to complete that goal.

Lots of writers have differing opinions on Nanowrimo.  Some think it okay and harmless, while others detest it as something to force people to write quickly in a short amount of space and therefore churn out nothing of substance.  Me?  I’ve done Nanowrimo twice: the first time I completed most of my novel Kyra, and the second time I completed about half of my novel Nothing is an Accident.  I will say that if you have absolutely nothing to work on except a vague concept for a novel or simply an idea, you may have trouble completing the fifty thousand words; though if you have a roughly plotted and outlined book (like with Kyra), or some understanding of where your book is headed (Nothing is an Accident), then you can definitely not just make your goal, but also create a decent novel out of it.

The key to surviving and keeping your head and body afloat — at least I found — is to have a daily word tracker — I use an Excel spreadsheet — and that way you know exactly how much to complete each day to stay on target.  On some days I’d get ahead and be able to slack off a bit, on others I needed to catch up.  I also recommend making the goals a little higher than usual so that you don’t have to hit the final mark on the last day of the month.

Also Nanowrimo offers some nifty merchandise.  I got a t-shirt from them that lasted quite a while, and one of my favorite mugs with a guy holding a giant pencil and the words “Novelist Fuel.”

Regardless of how you view Nanowrimo as a catalyst to create a work of writing, it nevertheless makes one write, which is worth more than anything in the world when one is unable to, too lazy to, or simply not compelled to bother.  And for those looking for a worthy something to achieve in their lives, writing a 50,000 word story or novel or novella or whatever you want to call it is definitely something worth being proud of.

My problem was I wasn’t done with my book by the end of Nanowrimo, even though I hit my goal both times.  The hard part then was finishing my manuscripts without the constant pressure (or perhaps safety net) of Nanowrimo.  But I did at least learn some useful skills and ways of writing under a deadline for Nanowrimo that I greatly appreciate, and each time I start a novel now, I use a daily word counter . . . and boy do I feel guilty when I spend more time chilling out, having fun, or writing posts instead of writing the damn book.

Thanks Nanowrimo for making me a better writer in those aspects.