Nanowrimo 2021

NaNo Prep 101 | NaNoWriMo


Sleep eludes me so I thought I would cobble together a post about my Nanowrimo projects for this year. Firstly, how on earth are we already in November?! Where has this year gone, and oh my goodness I have a book coming out this month. THIS MONTH!

Secondly, yes I did say ‘projects’ as in multiple. Why I hear saner minds ask? Well one, because I was hopelessly indecisive and couldn’t choose between the three side projects that currently live rent-free in my mind, and two, because I love challenging myself during Nanowrimo. I’ve set the goal of 50K for each of the projects in question, but it will not be the end of the world if I don’t reach that – instead my main goal is just to keep adding to what I already have, and try and get the stories taking on a little more shape. My plan is then to let them lie in December, which I will largely be taking off from my original writing to focus on some other writing that has fallen by the wayside (Yes, a holiday from writing to do more writing), and come back to them in the New Year and see where I will go from there, as well as continuing to work on the Citadel series of course.

Now onto the Nanowrimo projects!

Project 1: Working title ‘Glass Heart’ (Fantasy Romance, LGBT+)

This is one I’ve talked about on twitter because after lurking in the back of mind and teasing me for ages it finally started to take shape, and it became the ‘project I shouldn’t be working on’ and to date I have about 20K in random scenes and dialogue written. I am not including those words in the Nanowrimo count.

One of my favourite tropes from fanfiction is Hanahaki and for ages I’ve wanted to do something with that, and I always knew that I wanted to do a sapphic romance with it. Gradually that has taken shape to feature a witch-dominated society, with grand houses and balls and an incredibly exasperated Nanny-turned-companion trying to match make between her cursed ward and the newly hired herbalist-assistant. It is already proving a lot of fun to write, especially now that I’ve got a grasp on the main characters Roseanne and Meriel. Although at the same time, it is incredibly challenge because romance is not necessarily my forte and I really want to do this relationship justice.

Spotify Playlist


Project 2: Working Title ‘The Corruption of Ergilad’ (Fantasy)

This one is the project that has probably existed for the longest, and again I do have some written – although not quite as much as I do for Glass Heart, and again that previous word count is not being included for Nanowrimo.

This one is very much inspired by Dungeons & Dragons, and that’s probably why it flowed so well on the first day of Nano as I am currently suffering D&D withdrawal (after one whole week without playing). I’ve been blessed this year to have read some absolutely fantastic books with that D&D influence, which has only increased my desire to play with this idea and to do it justice – and while I am enjoying being able to play with some more of the classic elements, at the moment I am still honing in on how I’m going to make it mine.

Things I do know:

  • One of the main POV characters is a Goblin called Kelp
  • That at least some of the adaptation to The Corruption will mirror adapting to climate change (I’m a geographer and it tends to leak through, and this is something important to me).
  • The lay of the world (I do have a map somewhere, but I’ve got to track it down again – don’t hoard art pads kids) and the rough path of the journey, and some of the obstacles I want to throw in the way.
  • The ending is… well that would be telling

Spotify Playlist


Project 3: The Last Keymaker (YA Fantasy, Steampunk)

Another one that I’ve been poking at for a while, and again I had a little bit written already. This one was sparked by a comment on a panel at Comic-con about how maps were great for locking everything down, otherwise features like cities would always move around because it’s hard to keep track – and my immediate thought was well, what if the cities did move? How would you map that? Maybe that was a reason for them to keep moving, so that they couldn’t be locked down and targeted and the idea snowballed from there – to a world of great, globed cities that roamed the planet. Partly as a defensive mechanism, partly as a way to access and share resources, and from there to what would happen if a city stopped moving and why and how that could happen.

‘Those are old tales, older even than the Stillness’

I wanted there to be some magic in this world, but I also love steampunk and really wanted to play with that element and then I happened to rewatch Flight of Dragons which looks at the conflict between magic and logic and the idea of humanity choosing one over the other. In this case logic – or rather industry and the steampunk elements, were brought about by a choice to move away from the magic of the moving city, until all that are left are whispered fairy tales about how the city used to be. Including tales of the Keymakers – those who could use the magic to power the heart of the city and allow it to move.

Spotify Playlist



So there we have it, a whistlestop tour of my nano projects for this year. Also I am absolutely awful at describing my projects until they are done, and even then summaries are the worst things to write. In one of the writing groups I’m in we refer to titles, summaries and tags/labels as the unholy trinity – but summaries are undoubtedly the worst. I also am wholeheartedly a pantser, so while I know in my head more or less where things are going, the path there is one I discover as I write – and since I write completely out of order too it might take a while.

Are any of you doing Nanowrimo this year? If so, what projects are you working on?


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