NaNoWriMo 2013 – Halfway Freebie!

Christmas Past Owen Adams

I said when I crossed the 25k mark that I’d be having a little eBook freebie, and here it is. Christmas Past, the first book I published, will be free for the rest of the week on the kindle store. Check it out at the links below:

In the UK / In the US

We can not solve the problems of Religious Extremism without addressing Moderate Religious Belief.

I was tweeting a little about this earlier, but twitter isn’t exactly the medium for communicating anything that can’t be clearly expressed in 140 characters, so I’m writing up a more coherent version here. 

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A few thoughts on Moderate vs. Fundamentalist Religion.
GodKnowsWhatIsRightForYou
Of course, what’s right for you could turn out to be very wrong for someone else.

It always fascinates me that groups like the EDL are anti Radical Islam and Pro Moderate Christianity, with no regard to the relationship between the two. (Of course, their anti-islam stance is little more than racism, so I’m not surprised they haven’t given it much thought.) Still, I see the same attitude a lot, people who shout about Religious Extremism but attribute no blame to the foundations laid by moderate religious belief.

Take, for example, people who oppose abortion on religious grounds. This might be phrased as a single stance, “God says Abortion is wrong,” but it’s a sequence of beliefs that arrive at an extremist conclusion.

There is a God.

He talks to us.

When he talks, he gives moral instructions.

One of those instructions is that abortion is wrong.

Each belief is reinforced by the one that comes before, and you can not challenge the final belief without challenging the foundation it is built upon. Unfortunately, the first three beliefs in the sequence are not limited to extremists and would probably be shared by most self-described Moderate Christians.

If we as a society condone the first three beliefs, even if we don’t share them, we endorse taking our ethical values from an authority figure that can never be challenged, debated, discussed, but most of all, can never be demonstrated to be existent, ethical, or effective.

If we endorse the foundational beliefs of Religious Extremism, if we agree that it is reasonable to take moral instruction from a believed God, with what authority do we challenge those who take morals we do not like? Their God, after all, is just as valid as that of the Moderate Believers.

Blogging 101

Cruella_de_VilWell, I finally did it. I stuck with a blog to 100 posts.

I’m an old hat at the internet, I’ve been making websites (terrible, terrible websites) since my first year of High School and I’ve been running blogs since LiveJournal was relevant. But in the past I never stuck with my blogs, maybe they were too trivial, too personal or too specific to last long. The Owen Adams Project has always been different though, I put my name on it and I decided to write each post as if it were an important piece of writing in itself. What started as a simple way to promote my work has become a place where I can share ideas, discuss my work, or moan about Man of Steel. 

This isn’t actually my 100th post, I’ve been so embroiled in NaNoWriMo that I didn’t notice my last post was actually the big number. Still, it has been a lot of fun sharing this blog with you.

Here’s to 100 more posts.

NaNoWriMo 2013 – Day 19: Time is Running Out

PaulMcgann Eighth DoctorGood Morning, my fellow WriMos! How are you novels this fine day?

I know I’ve been a bit short on updates since somewhere in the middle of Week 2, but I’ve been crazy busy and my novel fell a little behind. Any spare time has been going on playing catchup, and unfortunately I’m still behind. There’s still time to pull ahead and my confidence is scuffed but undamaged and so I’ll be racing to the finish line in Week 4 with the rest of you. Though, I’m working on Day 30 so I might be pulling a few all nighters for an early finish.

So, how is my novel going? Well, I jut crossed 25k in my first session today. It’s a landmark, even if it is late. I said I’d be running an eBook freebie to celebrate, and I am. More info on that later. The novel itself is interesting. The first draft suffers from one of my common NaNoWriMo weaknesses in that it currently reads a lot like hastily written sessions stitched together. Of course, my first drafts always look like that, but in November they’re even worse. I have a feeling I’ll be expanding on a lot of stuff when it comes to rewrite, and possibly re-emphasising some characters over others. My plan was pretty cliché when I started it, but as I’ve gone on I’ve found better perspectives on my characters, and I really like the arc my protagonist is travelling. Other characters are a bit more slapdash, I have subplots and scenes that are interesting to write, but currently just run parallel to the main plot. I might find some way to tie them together well, but it’s likely they’re going to get cut in rewrite. And of course the prose is currently totally devoid of subtlety, show don’t tell, and readability, but that’s part of the first draft fun.

As to Freebies. I crossed 25k today and so I’m giving away Christmas Past as a special Half-Way celebration. The promo starts tomorrow, and will last for four days. I’ll post a proper announcement hear and on all my various social networks then, but for now you can click through to Amazon (US / UK) and see if the book captures your interest. I wrote this back in Christmas 2011, and I’m still really proud of it.

As usual, I’d love to hear how your own NaNoWriMo is going on, so if you want to leave me a comment or hit me up on twitter. Feel free.

NaNoWriMo 2013 – Day 12: I’m Going Through Changes.

Lisa Simpson and her LaptopAs we reach Day 12 of every writer’s favourite event, a lot of you will be nearing the halfway point. I’m a little behind the target average still, but the gap isn’t getting any bigger so I’m not too worried. I’m actually around the 1/3  mark and my novel has gone through some changes. I expected my character to have travelled further in the first act, but I’ve found their journey a bit pacier and more introspective than  I imagined. I’m probably going to tighten that up and make things a bit more tense in the edit, but for now I’m looking forward to starting Act 2. I’ve introduced a few characters that weren’t in my plan, and I’m liking them a lot, but I don’t know how big a role they’ll play in the conclusion.

Also, I’ve decided when I hit the half-way point, I’m going to celebrate with a little eBook freebie. More word on that when I get a bit closer.

How is it going for the rest of you?

NaNoWriMo 2013 – Day 6: Playing Catch Up

ClarkKent at TypewriterIt’s Day Six of NaNoWriMo 2013 and we’re almost at the end of our first week!

It has been a mixed week for my novel with the first few days spent trying to find time to write around a busy working weekend. I managed to squeeze a session in on Monday but most of the day was spent celebrating with my partner because her cancer went into remission exactly five years to the day. It was a happy day, if not a productive one.

So, Tuesday was the first day I could really sit down and push the novel forward. I didn’t try to catch up with the recommended average all in one day; this early on it just isn’t necessary and I didn’t want to burn out before the second week. Instead, I aimed to write around 2k in three sessions of around 700 words. This is a good strategy for me as 700 words in around twenty minutes is a natural session for me, and with a breather between each sitting it means I can clear the whole day’s goal in under two hours. A daily target of 2k won’t clear my shortfall immediately, and after another working weekend I’ll need to step up, but it does clear the gap without stress.

Today has been a bit hectic, both my partner and I are taking part this year so the domestic duties have been ignored more than they should have been. I spent most of the morning catching up with the laundry and making sure I’ve filled the bin for bin day etc. As such, I only managed to squeeze in a session in the morning. After writing this post I’ll be pushing through another two sessions before bed and I should get to my 2k without too much trouble. Tomorrow, I will probably try and push it to 3k so I’m not completely behind before I go back to work.

So, in summary, I’m behind but I’m not concerned. I’m going to write 1k on work days and 2k during the rest of the week, this should average out neatly enough for me to cram the finish without going too crazy. On the more creative side of things, I was a little unsure about my novel at first, but it’s starting to take a shape and a tone that I like. My only concern is that my supporting cast seem to be much more interesting than my lead characters who are clichés at best.

As always, I loved to hear how you’re getting on in the comments. Are any of you pulling your hair out yet?

NaNoWriMo 2013 – Day 3: I Didn’t Plan For This!

Batman with a Blank PageI’ve just finished a session for Day 3 of NaNoWriMo 2013. I’m currently only averaging around 1000 words a day because I’ve been working the last three days, but I’ve the week to myself for the next four days so I’ll have plenty of time to get ahead. Obviously, I’m not very far in yet, but I am starting to get ideas and develop scenes past my original plot outline. This can be quite good, but I don’t want to reach 5000 words without really kicking the main part of my plot into motion. Tomorrow I think my main focus is going to be to hit 6000 words and really have the first act set up properly. By the time I reach 10k I want to have the built the first act into something with real drive to it, in time to conclude at around 16k. When I hit that point, I’m probably going to re-read my plan a bit and compare it to my progress so far. See if a revised outline will be a good thing.

How is everyone else getting on with their novels?

 

NaNoWriMo 2013 – Day 2: Now it gets tricky.

all-work-and-no-play-makes-jack-a-dull-boyWe’re on to day two of NaNoWriMo 2013, and for me this is often the most difficult day. During your planning, I often get a really good idea of how the story will open, from there things get a little more vague, and so Day Two is often when the real work begins for me. If Day One is about writing out all the anticipation, Day Two is about writing out the nerves. Laying the foundations for new pages and exploring ideas that perhaps weren’t in my plan. I’ve already written a quick 1k today, and I’ve introduced a new character, an new subplot and fleshed out the world of my novel a little bit more.

How are you finding your Day Two?

It Begins – NaNoWriMo 2013

ImageI just completed my first session of NaNoWriMo 2013. Much excitement all round. It was a little over 700 words, and I’m returning for two more sessions before I have to head to work this evening.

It was a bit of a nervous start as I had yet to come up with a basic idea until this morning. I had planned to go in with minimal prep this year, but I had at least expected to have an idea before day one. As it is, I like the idea I have a lot. It’s a little bit Young Adult for my tastes, but the story is actually based on something I’ve been kicking around for a while. It’s the type of narrative I’ve wanted to explore for a while, and I wanted to shut off my cynical side this year and just explore some cool ideas for 30 days.

If you’re thinking of doing NaNoWriMo this year but haven’t decided yet, as always I completely recommend it. The whole point of the activity is to jump right in, so don’t worry if you’re nervous. Just pick an idea you’d love to write for 30 days and hit the ground running.

Right, it’s back to work. Let me know how your novel is going in the comments.