Tagged: NaNoWriMo

Girth Loinhammer Book Coming 2018!

Dungeon Lord lovers rejoice: I’ve signed a contract for another book, and this one features none other than Girth “Meatthrust” Loinhammer himself. Just look how happy he is!

Artwork by Joe Wright

If you’re subscribed to my newsletter or a regular at the open mics I read at then you’ll have known about this for quite a while, but Aperture Editions are now on board to publish Girth Loinhammer’s Most Exponential Adventure, the massively interactive Dungeon Lord story that I’ve been working on for the past year and a half. This thing’s huge: it’s currently 150,00 words in total and it’s still not quite finished. The version available online only includes half the content. There’s a lot I’ve held back. Continue reading

NaNoWriMo 2016

It’s got a little overshadowed by Ten Little Astronauts and Craft Keep, but yes, I’m participating in National Novel Writing Month again this year! However, I’m not writing a novel this time around. I’m continuing last year’s massively interactive fantasy story, Girth Loinhammer’s Most Exponential Adventure. The upshot of this is that although we’re only six days into the event, and although I only really got into it on Day 3 myself, the project is already more than 60,000 words long (50,000 from last year, plus 10,000 words of never-before-seen storylines from the past six days).


The only way I could get the entire flowchart into one image was to set up multiple monitors, and even then I had to stitch two screenshots together.

Continue reading

Camp NaNoWriMo Complete

Winner 2016 - Web Banner

The Sundered Crown is now beyond my Camp NaNoWriMo goal of 18,000 words (actually closer to 19,000 by now) and I’ll be sending out the second chapter to my newsletter subscribers tomorrow (May 1st). If you want to read the rest of the story but haven’t signed up already, now’s your chance! I’ll be sending out a chapter a month as part of the regular newsletter for the next six months or so. If you’re not yet caught up with the first, publicly available one, you can read it now now right here on this very site.

It would be difficult to offer an actual blurb for this without spoiling the next couple of instalments–I’ve been writing with serialisation in mind from the beginning–but I think it’s safe to say that the story of The Sundered Crown covers both the episodes of Marcia’s life as it is now and the events that shaped the very world she lives in.

Where my first NaNoWriMo work, Face of Glass, took place in a prehistoric fantasy setting in which magic was rare and fickle if it existed at all, The Sundered Crown takes place in a world that has been heavily influenced by supernatural forces and can not survive without them. It’s made for an interesting project to tackle this April, and though I’ve still got some work to do finishing off the story and polishing each chapter, I hope it’ll make for an engaging read over the next few months.

If you’d like to subscribe, here’s that link once again. There’s no need to sign up for notifications (unless you want them): each chapter will come at the end of the usual monthly newsletter.

The Sundered Crown

Chapter One: The Watchtower

It was a marvel to see the White Queen paint. Marcia watched as the brush drifted across the surface of the paper, leaving no mark: its bristles held only water.

There was a knock at the door.

Marcia looked to the queen, and was answered by an almost imperceptible nod. Stepping neatly over to the door, she opened it.

“Your Majesty,” said the general, bowing deeply as he stepped inside. “We have repelled an attack at Hobnail Pass, but the lines will not hold.”

The White Queen traced the brush across the paper with extreme care. Marcia closed the door, then once again took up her place by the queen’s side, examining the paper with silent interest. There was no hint of her mistress’ work but a faint glistening of water in the light.

The general took no more notice of the queen than she did of him. Marcia observed him in one of the queen’s three grand mirrors as he strode over to a map laid out on a nearby table, cluttered with painted wooden models representing various companies and legions. The general scowled, removing a few dusty pieces and rearranging several more.

The queen dipped her brush in the little cup of water and dragged it back and forth quickly across the top of the paper, catching the little beads of liquid as they formed. She stared out of the window at the garden below, comparing this scene to the one she had formed. With a quick flick of the brush, she made an adjustment.

“It is my opinion that we must give up Wieseberg.” The general proceeded to shove a line of figures into place with a straight edge, then formed them into a swooping curve with a pudgy hand. “The city is of little strategic value, but eliminating this salient would shorten our lines considerably. The surplus troops here could be…”

“Give up the pass,” said the queen, dabbing carelessly at the paper.

“Your Majesty?”

“Give up the pass.” The White Queen folded her hands on her lap and turned to the general. “Our foe is determined to have that ground no matter what the cost. We will not be so foolish.” Continue reading

Camp NaNoWriMo and Free Face of Glass


I’m planning to tackle Camp NaNoWriMo in April, so this seems as good an opportunity to offer everybody one last chance to get my 2012 NaNoWriMo novel, Face of Glass, for free. I’m doing this as part of a Virtual Book Fair, which ends tomorrow (March 3rd, 2016). After that, the book will only be available through the usual (bookstore) channels.

But back to the main thing: Camp NaNoWriMo. Though I’ve participated in (and finished) the main November event three times now, I’ve never even attempted one of the camps before. Partly that’s because the timing isn’t as convenient (they run in April and July, and my Julys have other commitments), partly because the idea of setting my own word count goal just doesn’t appeal as much as tackling a straightforward 50,000 word novel.

However, this year I’ve already got a project in mind (and subscribers to my newsletter may already be able to guess what that might be). It’s unlikely this project will warrant a word count of 50,000 words, so in this case the set-your-own goal works out just fine. If nothing else, I’ll be glad to have NaNoWriMo’s word count statistics available to me, since they do a great job of making it obvious how productive you’ve been so far, and how much more you need to put in to hit your target by the end of the month.

Is anybody else planning to tackle this event? I gather that one key difference between the November NaNoWriMo and Camp NaNoWriMo is that writers are sorted into cabins. Though I’m quite happy to just shuffle myself into a random one, it would be good to team up with people I already know.

Girth Loinhammer’s Most Exponential Adventure

It’s Day One of National Novel Writing Month, and so far I’m on track to reach my goal of a 100,000 word interactive story by the end of November. At this rate I’m actually expecting to exceed the word goal by a considerable margin, but only because it’s proving more challenging to keep passages short than to let them grow to however long they need.

I got the idea for this story while on the way to a Halloween event yesterday, so it’s maybe not as well planned out as it could be. Still, with 16 of the 512 planned alternate endings already finished, it seems to be going smoothly so far.

The Lash of Khgharghag

Find the work-in-progress here, if you dare.

It’s worth noting that I’m prioritising complete storylines over early branches, so at the time of writing your only option for the first five passages is to sit in the dungeon moping. However, there is already a lot of variety after that point. Enough that I hope people won’t be disappointed by this very early version of the work.

Also, if you’re doing NaNoWriMo yourself and would like to add me as a buddy, my profile is here.

Flash Fiction Month Win and NaNoWriMo Plans

I’ve just discovered that I was the Week One winner for this year’s Flash Fiction month!

Needless to say, I’m pretty chuffed about it. Despite having originally just joined on a whim (as the introduction to my first book [which I put together before I knew there would be a series {or how to use nested brackets} and now feels kind of weird] says), FFM has become something I really look forward to each year. As an event, it hits the perfect balance between being challenging and frivolous, and it’s a big part of the reason I write flash fiction at all.

I’m also chuffed because the winners for weeks Two, Three and Four are all people I’m glad to see get a mention for something FFM-related. Their names have all turned up in my collections at some point or another–usually as part of some kind of community/collaboration challenge–because these are (some of) the people I’ll look to when that sort of thing comes up:

:iconintelligentzombie:   :iconjoe-wright:   :icongdeyke: Continue reading

MA Finished; Fun Begins

I’m done! I handed in my dissertation earlier this week, which means the entire MA course is all wrapped up. Besides getting the dissertation mark back, that is. If I’ve worked out the numbers properly, then my final result will depend entirely on that one 20,000 word story and its accompanying rationale, so at this point I’m trying not to think about it too much. The work’s all handed in, so there’s no point fretting.

Instead, I’m thinking about where I’ll go from here.

The main thing will be trying to find less a job and more a career. One good thing about the MA besides the actual instruction (and the degree itself, provided nothing goes horribly wrong) is that it’s helped me focus on one particular area I want to get into. I’m planning to look for a job writing for games, possibly through QA testing, which I hear is one way into the industry as a whole. Having done a fair amount of interactive fiction at this point, as well as writing for one game that’s since reached quite an audience, I figure that games could be a good niche.

With that in mind, I’m hoping to do a lot more interactive stuff in the very near future. I’ve actually got one new interactive piece ready right now: Project Pandora 2.

Project Pandora 2

It’s a direct follow-on from the first Project Pandora, so if you haven’t had a go at that yet then this would be the time. I’m hoping that some of the technical workings of the Project Pandora series will prove useful for my NaNoWriMo project this year. As I was far too busy to tackle the event in 2014, I’m planning to make up for that this year by producing 100,000 words instead of the usual 50,000. However, in order to make that goal not-totally-impossible, I’m planning to cheat by producing an extremely large non-linear story rather than a start-to-finish 100k novel.

I’m still not absolutely set on how that non-linear story will play out–I’ve got a whole bunch of mutually exclusive ideas in mind–but I figure that it’s beest simply to go into November with whatever idea I’m happy with at the time. I will probably be doing a significant amount of planning maybe a week ahead, though, as it’ll be extremely important to know when the reader will be making major decisions and when those decisions will pay off (or come back to haunt them. It’s all good).

In the meantime, I’ll be working towards getting my fourth flash fiction anthology together, and I’m aiming to have it on sale very soon. Currently, I’m planning to make the book available on the 10th of October. That’s barely more than a week away! There’s still a lot of work to be done (not least choosing a title and creating a cover), but it’s been long enough since Flash Fiction Month itself that I’d like to get the collection together as soon as possible.

Finally, though I’ve finished all the work for my course, it turns out that I’m technically still enrolled at the university and could remain so for some time. As far as I’m aware, that means that my access card should still get me into the buildings and even let me use some fairly impressive audio equipment. I don’t know exactly how often I’ll be able to spare the time, but ideally I’d like to record some stories and maybe even put together an audio collection.

So that’s pretty much it. I’ve finished my course, Project Pandora 2 is now available, and the new book should be coming out on the 10th of October.