Tagged: creative writing

NaNoWrimo: Day Three

Words written…er, none. Not even on my essay (oops).


I did spend some time sorting out my plot. You might be thinking “WTF didn’t you do that earlier??!” and you’d be right, but doing NaNoWrimo was a very spur of the moment and I hadn’t really thought beyond chapter one originally. I do have an outline and I know what’s happening next but the more I think about what is happening next I realise there are things that need to happen first.

I have a good idea of my main character and one of the secondary characters but I have nothing sorted for the bad guy. At the moment he’s just a name and a vague description, he needs to be more. I think I’m going to spend the next couple of days sorting out my bad guys. I have a feeling NaNoWrimo is going to turn more into “Steph actually starts planning her novel”, but if I get it all planned and plotted out during this month that means I have a good basis to work properly on it. I don’t need to wait until it’s NaNoWrimo again.

Have a screenshot (btw, I bought Scrivener two years ago for my creative writing module – bloody brilliant programme! I used it to write my final essays on my children’s lit & history modules)

storyOh, BTW – won my FitBit. In six months time I hope to be lighter and have half a novel. Perfectly achievable goals!


NaNoWrimo: Day Two – An Epiphany was Had

Words written: 260 on novel / 637 on essay

I don’t know how to start my second chapter but I had an epiphany about the first.

When I was writing it originally it was for my final creative writing assignment so I was writing with a word count and a deadline in mind. Reading it back I feel the events at the end of chapter one are happening to too early in the novel. I don’t need my character to see the that the bad guys are in the area at the very end of chapter one because that means chapter two is all about the heroes putting together their plan to trap the bad guys, which means the story will end by chapter five at the latests. Not what I want.

Chapter One deals with the arrival of the ship on King William island prior to their patrol. I think I need to spend more time on the island. My main character is heading off to a brothel and encounters the pirates in the bar but as I’ve created various types of pleasure automations I’m wondering if my character should meet the pirates after he’s handed over some of his credits. Not that I’m about to write a sex scene, I’m just saying my character should get to have a bit of fun 😉

Also as I’m no longer writing with a word count of 3000, I’ve been going back over chapter one and taking my time in setting the scenes and describing things in more detail. I’m mildly concerned one of my female characters is too cliché but I think that’s because I’ve read far too many essays and criticisms of female characters that I’m allowing those thoughts to enter my mind instead of thinking about how my character works within the world and her role in my novel.

I wonder if I should actually call today ‘NaNoWrimo Day One’ as I didn’t start yesterday.

NaNoWrimo: Day One

Words written… zero

Saturday is not a good day to start as I have two shows today. It’s tiring and as I share a room with the front of house staff it’s not easy to grab a between shows nap. I also have a really bad cold.

Basically I have good reasons.

Tomorrow I need to start my 1000 word essay on ‘Northanger Abbey’. You might be thinking “pffft, that’s nothing!” but you’ve clearly never read ‘Northanger Abbey’ – it’s the literary equivalent of watching paint dry. It’s due on Thursday so I intended to get 500 words by 6pm tomorrow with the aim of making it to the minimum count by Tuesday. I have a rehearsal Tuesday and I’m learning a new spot.

Really this isn’t the best week to start writing a novel, even if I already have the first chapter done.

I did however play a bit of a mean trick on the ushers. On Friday (Halloween), I was in work for maintenance – at one point in the day there was just me and one other person on stage. I randomly took a photograph of the auditorium. As I took the photo, the maintenance guy moved making it appear that there’s a ghostly shadow in the photo. I haven’t told the ushers there really was a person in the photo yet…


NaNoWrimo: First Steps

Having slept on it I had a brief “oh shit, what am I doing?!” panic.

Then I decided to stop panicking and just get on with it. I do have time in the day, especially now that the show I’m working on is settling down into show-call and we’re pretty much done with rehearsals (apart from the understudies). In the five years I’ve been with the OU, I still have rubbish essay writing discipline (I have an essay due on the 6th Nov…haven’t started, but I have a good excuse what with technical rehearsals, dress rehearsals, previews and press night :P) but those times when I’m just trawling around reddit in the early hours of the morning? Yeah, I can attempt to write then.

So what am I writing?

My final creative writing assignment was to write the first chapter of a novel, it was ‘only’ 3,000 words but I did it and I reckon I have enough planned to finish the story. I like writing in genre, my first creative writing assignment I went with a noir piece, then two ghost stories. I thought about expanding one of my ghost stories but I’m not sure it’s something I can get 5,000 words out of let alone 50,000! I’m keeping it in reserve, in case I get really stuck though.

You could say I’m making it difficult for myself starting with a genre piece. That’s true, it’s not going to be easy but I’ve already done a lot of the world building and have a vivid idea of what my world looks like. I have a working title (it’s a bit shit, but I suck at titles) and my working synopsis:

title: Fire over Ice (told ya it was a bit shit 😉 )
synopsis: Following the Second Arctic War, the Imperial Airservice protects the sky above the North West Passage from pirates and the Empire’s enemies. During a routine stop over on King William Island, Lt Charles Crozier becomes aware of a plot to intercept a valuable trade ship which could have devastating implications for the future of the Empire.

Creative Writing Assignment 2: “The Fairweather Hotel”

The assignment was to write a short story. I decided to go for a spooky story.

“The Fairweather Hotel” by S. Dawson

Tom Christie pulled open the door to the Boar Arms, walked into the welcoming warmth and scanned the packed bar. He saw his friend, Chris Jones, seated at a corner booth and made his way towards him. Tom was in his early thirties, stocky with thick lightly curling black hair. He wore black combat trousers, a thick green fleece under his blue waterproof and heavy pair of walking boots. Chris was dressed in a similar fashion, a large rucksack resting at his feet.

Tom reached the booth and greeted his friend. They had been friends since university, sharing a common passion for hiking and the English countryside. This trip was the first they had been able to organise since Chris had married earlier that year and each had been eagerly looked forward to it.

They discussed their plans and examined the map before retiring to bed, ready for an early start the next morning.

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Creative Writing Assignment 1: “A Late Arrival”

This is the start of a detective noir piece that I was thinking about extending for a later assignment (then I read the rules and realised we can’t do that so this is just the start of a detective noir piece :P).

“A Late Arrival” by S. Dawson

Leaning back in my chair, I tipped back my whisky, savouring the burn as it slid down my throat and settled the fire in my stomach. Closing my eyes, I inhaled deeply on my cigarette and listened to the soft click-clack of Missy’s typewriter. There was a pause in her clicking, and I heard voices. My nine o’clock must be here, about damned time.

I looked up as my office door swung open, the early morning fog drifting in from the open window, diffusing the harsh overhead light, giving her an angelic look.

She was dressed modestly, knee length brown skirt with a slit half-way up giving a teasing glimpse of her thighs. Her stockings were silk, high end, shoes, too, must have cost a dime. Her blouse clung to her in all the right places, buttons straining over her voluptuous bosom. She had a vulnerability to her that screamed to stay the hell away.

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