Monthly Archives: October 2013

Happy Halloween and Nanowrimo Eve

Happy Halloween to everyone! I plan to go trick or treating with my daughter who will be Doctor Who. I really should have painted a large cardboard box blue and followed her around as a Tardis. Afterward, I’ll try and take a nap before watching the clock so I can start on Nanowrimo 2013.

I’m very happy that WordPress has chosen to include me in a writer’s roundtable on Nanowrimo. They quoted me in an article  – Additionally, they will have some more quotes on the Daily Post.

Final preparations for Nano beginning will include going to and making sure I’ve updated my information and accepted buddy requests. Smashwords, an e-book retailer, has a special nanowrimo promotion  going on, and I may sign up and participate in that. They e-publish your nanowrimo book and promote it. Here’s the link. Beyond that, I’m probably going to do some outlining (mentally at least) and write the first scene of my novel in my head.

At the moment, I’m planning on doing a superhero piece this month inspired by several friends and lots of old Hero System Champions games. We’ll see what ultimately happens after midnight tomorrow.

Be safe trick or treating! Happy Nanowrimo prep to all!


Preparation for Nanowrimo

As the countdown continues to November 1st, I’m doing my best to get ready for novel-writing. For me, there are a couple of steps that I will be taking to make sure this year starts out well.

Love an idea and outline it –  I want to have an idea and usually I have two or three on that last day. I like having two in case I suddenly have cold feet about the one I decided to do. I’ll do some preliminary research on locations or any trivial facts that I need to get the first day off to a fantastic start. In order to write 50,000 words, I really want to make sure that I love the concept and that I have a basic outline written out. The outline might get thrown out after day 1, but it helps me to have a plan so I don’t run out of momentum. I need to make sure that I love the idea because at some point when I’m trying to write 50K in one month, I’m going to hate trying to write this book. I need to love the novel enough to get over my lack of desire to sit at the computer and type. 50,000 words is a lot of writing.

Support Group Activated! – For me, this means warning my family and friends that I’m doing nanowrimo. It’s always good to tell those close to you what you are planning so they can support you through the process. Recruiting a friend to write along with you can help as well. Before I finished the Crimson Hawks novel in 2009, I fell 10,000 words behind the pace. A buddy of mine was in the same situation. He called me and we both agreed to push each other and do a little extra every day and catch up. Unfortunately, he didn’t finish his book, but he certainly helped me finish mine. Friends have two seemingly opposed jobs: They help make sure I have time to write, and they need to pull me away from the computer before I burn out mid-month. 🙂

Noveling Supplies – A good friend of mine asked me if I had enough caffeine ready for November. It was a valid point. Personally, if you are going to stay up too late increasing your word count, I recommend water and fruit juices as opposed to soda or energy drinks. Coffee and tea work in moderation, but over-caffination (sp?- yes, I know but it should be a word) tends to run me down in the long term. Nanowrimo is a marathon, not a sprint. My writing mentor once told me that you won’t fall asleep if you have to go to the bathroom so drink lots of water. Hydration also keeps the brain working. There’s nothing wrong with a favorite snack as well, and I like to have a notepad around. Writing on paper can change my mindset and help me get through sticky plot issues. Besides, my eyes get tired staring at computer monitors.

Sleep – Of all the things I’ve listed, this is the most important. Just about everyone writes better when they’ve had more sleep. It doesn’t always feel that way, but trust me, sleep is essential. I try to get extra sleep if I can before November 1st, and I almost always take a nap after trick or treating to brace myself for midnight.

There is a lot of good advice out there for potential novelists. Take a look, see what you find, and decide what works for you!

All the best,

Harry (Vashar on




Nanowrimo Time is Near!

Well, it’s almost that time again, that wild crazy month where I write 50,000 words in a month while still having a day job, being a dad and doing all of those other things that life throws at me.

It’s a wonderful, miserable, creative time.

I strongly urge anyone who has ever thought about writing a novel to go to and sign up.  Take thirty days and do everything you can. Write without worrying about punctuation or plot. Give it a try. You might surprise yourself.

My first attempt was in 2008, and it was a miserable failure. I think I got about 8,000-ish words done (the official number was used for a blog that word press is putting out – I just can’t remember right now). I was rather disappointed with myself. After all, I’ve been a freelance writer for years, and I’ve written 17,000 words in a weekend before. Nonetheless, the piece that I created was eventually completed and became Souls of the Everwood. The link takes you to the paperback copy. The great part of it all was that I failed at writing a novel in November 2008, but I stuck with it in the months that followed and still got a novel out of it.

In 2009, I decided to try nanowrimo again, and I was determined to prove something to myself. Suddenly, James Markson came to life, and he dictated the first Crimson Hawks novel, a swash and buckle fantasy adventure. It was a rough ride, but I finished. I won. It was a spectacular feeling, and I truly love In the Service of the King. I wanted to create a fun, light read, and I think I accomplished it. I really need to finish the second one.

For 2010, I wanted to redeem Krueger and the cast of Souls of the Everwood and prove that I could complete a Krueger novel. This was the novel that I finished at 11:45pm on November 30. I was SO far behind that last week that I still don’t know how I finished it. I had to work too. I finally had that novel published this year, a sequel to Souls of the Everwood, titled Balefire and BrimstoneI got to introduce a new character and explore Krueger’s soul a touch more. I have an outline for a third book tentatively titled The Fall of Ostburg. It’s going to be about all the dark things that Krueger left behind at the end of Souls of the Everwood.

I’m hopeful that my efforts in 2012 and 2013, Covenant and Son of Helios, Champion of Ra will get to be published novels of their own one day, but both need a lot of polish and lengthening before they are ready to go. I haven’t completely decided what I’m doing this year, but I’m leaning toward something superhero-ish at the moment. I’ve also thought about doing that new Krueger novel. I enjoy having black powder weapons in my fantasy world wielded by a crazed one-eyed ex-demon hunter/ranger. However, if anyone has any thoughts on what I should write, please feel free to make suggestions. I’ve got a few days.

Anyway, I have suffered happily through National Novel Writing Month since 2008. I haven’t always enjoyed it, and I’m sure my wife hasn’t always enjoyed it. However, it’s made me a better writer and taught me how to write much faster.  I’ve learned to write on spiral notebooks and napkins. I’ve used dropbox and emailed myself words, all to reach 50K in one month. My nanowrimo name is Vashar if you want to give it a try and track your progress along with me. Whether you finish 1,000 words or 50,000 words, you’ll be closer to completing a novel than you were before the month started. You owe it to yourself to give it a try.

All the best!


Deadlines, Deadlines

August 10th? Seriously? Is that really the last time I posted?

Well, unfortunately, it is. I’ve been on a deadline.

I’m working on Cursed Necropolis: DC for Mummy: The Curse. For the record, it’s gone well although slower than I’d like. I have a lot of other projects to catch up on when this is done, but I’ve had a great time writing a roleplaying supplement again.

However, great when I’m on a deadline is a relative term. My memory has been shot. I’ve been stressed like crazy (because I really want to do a good job). I’ve been distracted. A very good friend of mine had a goodbye to America dinner before she left the country to go teach. I talked to her the day before the dinner. I planned to see her, and my daughter had a small meltdown in her fencing class so I forgot about it completely.

Okay, but that’s not the bad part. I didn’t just forget for a night. I forgot for THREE days! Furthermore, I still need to write her an apology, and everytime I think about it, I decide that I’m not sure how to write it and stop. Well, she left in August, and it’s October. So, if she’s reading this, I’m really, really sorry and definitely owe you.

And this is the sort of thing that happens to me on deadline.

So, my apologies to everyone and anyone who I haven’t responded to, who I’ve forgotten and who thinks I’m not acting like myself. I promise that I’ll get better.

Wait… I just had another idea for a character… hold on, I have to write this down…

All the best,


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