Oh, hello. Didn’t see you there, amidst all the dust. Well while you’re here, stay and read a while.
This blog’s been a bit dead, but I haven’t. The bad news is that, after this post, it’s probably going back into hibernation for a while: but this time, it’s definitely coming out of it. It’s coming out of it with a bang. If you’ve read and enjoyed Faerie Eleison, or even if you just enjoy my writing style outside that work, it’s a bang you’ll want to be around for.
And I can tell you when that bang will happen.
April 2017’s Camp NaNo is over, and with it, my tenure as a London Municipal Liaison for NaNoWriMo.
Camp itself was neither as good as I hoped, nor as bad as I feared. In my 20k (20.022k to be unnecessarily precise), I got the first draft of The Kingdom of Light done, did a character meme on it that was strangely obsessed with babies, and started planning November’s story. It’s a bit self-insert-y, but this was a serious year, so the next year doesn’t have to be. Right?
With that done, I want to talk a little bit about leaving the role.
Salutations, blog reader(s)! Today I’m going to share with you some of what I think makes a good ML – that is, a good regional leader for National Novel Writing Month. (ML stands for ‘Master of Literature’. Or rather, it doesn’t, but it should.) I think that’s an area I can give some insight into, having been a London ML for two NaNos and three Camps now.
I got carried away in the last two entries. Talked about me. And here’s the thing: hardly anybody on the Internet cares about me. And that’s okay, because I care about hardly anybody on the Internet. They’re just faceless online entities, as I am to them.
What they care about is insight I can give, interesting things I can provide a window into. That’s not writing a fantasy novel, there are hundreds of would-be fantasy writers dotting the Internet, blogging their little blogs. But there are only four London MLs, as things stand. I think perhaps I can type something of interest on that.
So. If you want to be an ML, what skills should you have?
Last entry was a bit gloomy, wasn’t it? Gloominess doesn’t really suit the current weather. If you’re in the south-east of the UK, or indeed in many other parts of the country, you’re being exposed to some glorious spring sunshine.
After the first week-and-a-bit of Camp NaNo, can I deliver a slightly more weather-appropriate blog entry? I’m pleased to say that yes, I can.
Camp NaNoWriMo is just three and a bit days away, gents and ladygents! Sharpen your pencils! Tap the sludge out of your keyboard keys! Shake down the writing-focussed areas of your grey matter! Prepare for another whirlwind rollercoaster writing extravaganzoh for God’s sake.
Look. I have a confession to make. I am a London ML, and my role is to make sure people are looking forward to Camp NaNo as much as possible. But here, away from prying eyes, in the comfort of my own blog (that is publicly legible but you wouldn’t know it), can I admit something?
I’m not looking forward to it much myself.
Hold onto your hats, blogmongers. Has ol’ Balla got a controversial piece in store for you today.
Well, not really.
That was a statement, not a question.
Well you should have phrased it better then.
I phrased it fine. It ends with a full stop, it’s a bloody sentence.
Then you shouldn’t have started it with ‘has’.
Look, which one of us wrote 10k in the 28 days of February again? (Oh look, a wiggly thing with a dot underneath, wonder what that means.)
Both of us, because we’re the same person, you half-crazed devilishly handsome git. Now are we going to do this blog entry or not?
Yeah alright. GOD IS BORING.
Are you a fan of Steven Sondheim, dear reader? I couldn’t care less for most musicals, me, yet he subverts that in fine style. This line is a corruption of one from Into The Woods, a fine example of what can be done with the genre when you step away from the clichés that La La Land seems to have returned to form.
This is, as promised, my monthly update on my writing. How’s it gone? In short, well… and not so well. I’ve reached, exactly, my monthly goal of 10k, using my NaNo-aping spreadsheet that I’m so proud of. That’s not bad, mere months after the slog that is NaNoWriMo! But in doing so, I’ve made a massive great mistake.
This, ladies gents and ladygents, is why you don’t write without your plotting materials.