NaNoWriMo – In search of a Trade Wind

I’ve totally run out of steam. The novel I started to write with such enthusiasm has turned dreary. I’m sick of my characters. They’re stuck in the Doldrums 5 degrees south of the Equator and it’s boring, boring, boring.

I just read Scott Westerfeld (author of the Uglies series) and his Pep Talk on the NaNoWriMo website. He states that writers can get stuck in a “childhood ontology” seeing the world in terms of cats and dogs rather than zebus, tardigrades and parasitic wasps. (Apparently there are around 20,000 varieties of parasitic wasps in the world – would you ever have guessed it – so which one would you choose to write about?)

I take his point. I realise I’ve been writing a cutesie ‘Famous Five go to New Zealand’ thing and I need to grow up and get real. My characters need more complexity, more grit, more acne. They need to smell a bit. They need to act maliciously or stupidly or bizarrely or in any way that takes them away from being so darn nice.

Sue Woolfe in her inspirational book on writing fiction, The Mystery of the Cleaning Lady, dares writers to tackle the subjects that scare them. She suggests writing the stuff that is almost impossible to contemplate. This makes me wince. I make a living out of being a mild-mannered librarian. Dare I delve into the deep, dark recesses of my psyche? Well, I believe I’m going to have to if I want to write a story that’s going to be of interest to anyone other than a twinkle fairy.

The whole thing sounds scary, but the wind’s suddenly picked up. I want to get to my laptop and start writing. I don’t think I’ll descend into splatter fiction or post-apocalyptic horror but you never know. It will depend on which way the wind is blowing.

To all fellow WriMos out there – may a creative gust fill your sails and blast you over the finishing line!

Fiction frenzy mini book sale at Central Library Tuam

Some choice booksBOOK SALE. Two words designed to make me aquiver with anticipation.

Come along to our Central Library Tuam, Saturday 24 November and Sunday 25 November 10am – 5pm and have a browse of our selection of fiction at a budget friendly $3 and $1 for kids books.

Four words for you – Get. in. amongst. it!

Christchurch – this week in history (19 – 25 November)

21 November 1865
Provincial Council buildings in Durham Street completed. The complex of buildings was architect B.W. Mountfort’s masterpiece. He had survived a professional disaster soon after arrival in New Zealand when his first building, a church in Lyttelton, had proved structurally unsound and had to be demolished.

22 November 1986
Visit by Pope John Paul II (the first head of the Catholic Church to visit New Zealand).

22 November 1987
“Trans Alpine” express train designed specifically for the tourist trade, begins its daily run from Christchurch to Greymouth.

25 November 1913
700 “specials” (special constables enlisted mainly from farming districts) occupy Lyttelton to allow “free“ labour to work the wharves. In spite of this provocative action, there was no serious violence in Christchurch or Lyttelton throughout the strike.

25 November 1940
“Holmwood”, en route from the Chathams to Lyttelton, sunk by German raiders. Passengers and crew were taken aboard the German ships, and eventually made their way home 2 months later.

More November events in our Christchurch chronology.