Dead Zoo Shufflings

At risk of jinxing myself, since I haven’t actually crossed the finish line yet (800 words to go!) I thought I’d do a quick post about this year’s nanowrimo experience, and the first 50,000 words of Dead Zoo Shuffle.

It started off rather peacefully, with a week in less than sunny Cornwall to bash out as many words as possible. Despite being largely sozzled much of the time I did manage to get a reasonable amount done on the incredibly long train journey, and in small country pubs with roaring fires. Really, I wish the entire Nano experience could be as picturesque and relaxing.

The following three weeks however, with work and my occasional attempts at a social life, have flown by at an alarming rate. So quickly in fact that I think I’ve barely been on the Nano forums this year, and have had none of the usual encouraging nanomail chats and banter. I’m a bit disappointed about that, as I always enjoy the sense of writerly community November brings, but it seems this year I had no time to do anything but get my head down and write.

Dead Zoo Shuffle itself is proving to be an interesting book to put together. I knew it would be a challenge, because it was both crime and science-fiction, both genres I don’t normally have much to do with aside from reading them, and I wanted it to be in the First Person. Since the only other book I’ve attempted to write from that viewpoint was a massive failure I half expected to give in during week 2 and make the whole thing third person after all.

But I haven’t. It’s hard, and I struggle with some of the twists and turns, but so far Dead Zoo Shuffle has managed to do something quite rare- it’s kept my interest at all times. Not to say that I’ve been bored shitless by my previous books, but there’s almost always a moment where I think “Ye gods, if I have to write about one more night by the campfire I am going to kill someone” or “How can I make their journey over to this place remotely interesting?”. DZS, with its teeming city planet of dodgy bars and even dodgier mercenaries, with its aliens and spaceships and artificial moons, has been strangely refreshing. Dead Zoo Shuffle has so much to keep me occupied I can barely keep up with it.

So hurrah for Nano for providing me with another interesting November. And here’s to the next 50,000 words!

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