Nicola Vincent-Abnett

Nicola Vincent-Abnett
"Savant" for Solaris, Wild's End, Further Associates of Sherlock Holms, more Wild's End

Thursday 1 November 2012


It’s the first of the month again, and time’s doing that weird concertinaing thing it does.

It’s November for goodness sake!

I’ve got a book to finish and another to begin, and the writing world is all a-twitter with Nano-Wrimo.

November is the month when a lot of writers and wannabe writers subject themselves to the agony that is producing a short novel or the backbone of a novel in a single month. I’ve been asked whether I’d ever consider doing this, and I’ve been asked whether the husband would do it, and I smile sweetly and I say that we haven’t and we don’t, and the simple reason for this is that we work a lot, and there simply is no way on Earth we can find the time to write fifty thousand more words a month than we already do.

We had a lovely supper last night with Ian and Katy.  The food was splendid, the company bright and fun, and warm, and we enjoyed ourselves immensely. At one point, we talked about our output. Ian is an artist, in serious demand, and he talked about a project that he’d had to complete fast. He talked about working at a rate that was incomprehensible to us, and he pointed out that he was simply practising his craft, that he knew what he was doing, that he was just doing his job and getting on with it, albeit he was doing ridiculous numbers of hours.

Then Katy asked Dan what his output was like, and we began to think in terms of numbers.

You know me. You know that I shy away from talking about word-counts, that I dislike quantifying work, that it’s about quality, that a daily word-count is essentially meaningless when a day’s thorough editing can bear vast amounts of fruit while adding no new words to a project. That said, the husband produces fifty thousand words a month every month, month in and month out.

I’m not in that league, I’m apparently idle for weeks at a time (although one man’s idle is another woman’s research and development period) and then it’s all work, all the hours God sends for eighty or a hundred hours a week; so, some months I might produce twice as many words as a Nano writer, before I discard a third of them.

I will be writing this November. I will be writing a lot, because I happen to be at that stage of a novel, and so is the husband, so let’s start the clocks, and see how we all do, but it isn’t official, and I’m not counting.

For those of you embarking on Nano-Wrimo, I’d like to wish you all the very best of luck, happy writing; do try to get some sleep, if you possibly can, and I’ll see you all on the other side.

Ready... Steady... Get writing!


  1. Giving NaNo a crack myself this year mainly for the social "we're in this together!" aspect that my own writing is sometimes lacking (I live in the stickiest of sticks in Cornwall and don't know any other local writers) but either way, I hope this is a fruitful writing month for you, whether that's r&d, editing or whatever.

    May your beverages never grow cold, nor be less than plentiful.

  2. I am in a similar boat; I write every month, and I have my own pace and practices in place, doing things the NaNo way would break me and I'd miss deadlines.

    However, I look at the NaNo party and feel like I'm missing out. I am very tempted to start tweeting my word count for the month anyway, with appropiate hashtags. After all, it's Novel Writing Month, not National "do it our way or else" Month.

  3. I did the November writing competition last year and oddly now, this November, that same Novel I did last year is now in its final draft! Needless to say I won't be doing Nano...something this year as too busy getting the Novel ready but it was an excellent start-up experience. 2 of my friends are having a go at it now and I hope they get the same results.