This plan was mostly successful, although I fell off the wagon a few times...
I wrote one short story at the start of May. I felt that I should add another story to the proverbial trunk before disappearing into novel-writing. The story was called The Great Debate and told of two people arguing about which is the best format for reading: paperbacks or electronic devices. It also contained a story-within-the-story called The Secret of Poy. The entire piece was written in rhyme.
I also vowed not to read anything, but this was derailed by the Birmingham Writers' Group Summer Competition. I won the competition last year and pocketed the £30 prize money, but the real prize was being crowned judge of the competition this year.
I therefore had ten 5000-word short stories to read, all based on the theme of Alternative Birmingham. It was a great privilege to read and critique the superb writing of my peers. The entries varied from sci-fi to fantasy, from contemporary fiction to steam punk, and featured ghosts, witches, fairies, aliens and tentacled creatures. I have chosen the winner and this will be announced when our group meet on 15 June.
But generally, the month of May was spent plotting, plotting, plotting. I now have the overall structure of my third Nephos novel laid out, along with major plot points and twists. It is going to be a whodunnit and I know whodunnit. My notebook contains over fifty new characters - coppers, criminals and a brand new Sheriff - all of whom I will be getting to know when I begin writing in June.
There is always a lot of anticipation before embarking on a new novel-writing adventure. It's like getting back in the water for the first time after watching Jaws. But JuNoWriMo begins tomorrow, so there is no time for jitters. I just need to take a deep breath and dive straight in...
As Neil Gaiman says: "You sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until it's done. It's that easy and that hard."