On November 1st 2016, I will begin the 30 day challenge that is NaNoWriMo : National Novel Writing Month.

Having previous written a novella in around a month (‘The Last Scarecrow‘ which i am currently editing), I thought it would be fun to join thousands of other writers undertaking NaNoWriMo. You can find out more about NaNoWriMo here and view my page too if you so desire.

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Shadowling (working title)

So this is the tentative, working title that I’ll be writing every day in November. I plan to write 3000 words a day which should total 90,000 come December 1st. I’m not planning to re-read too much or edit too heavily as I go. The plan is to get the words into Scrivener (awesome writing software without which I’d be lost), to get the story out, to get to the end.

I’ve plotted most of the book in broad strokes, the beginning, middle, and end, and cast a lively crew of faces to carry the story.

Shadowling will follow Cotton Williams, a first year college student fascinated with a series of supernatural occurrences in the city of Leithwood. The city is positioned at the centre of a strange forest with only one road running in or out. Tales of marauding shadows slipping through the trees have been document for hundreds of years, yet no hard evidence exists. Cotton is obsessed with an investigative blog that she writes about these dark shadows and the ancient, twisted history of Leithwood.

The novel begins with Cotton (an avid reader of Leigh Bardugo, V.E.Schwab, Kas Morgan) attending an after hours college Book Group with her friends Red (a history student who detests fiction) and Marisol (a sultry, Stephen King obsessive). But there is a new face at the Book Group: a young, attractive guy called Neptune. Cotton, Red and Marisol introduce themselves to Neptune and share their literary loves and hates. Neptune has no real interest in literature and admits to attending the Book Group to met girls. Despite this, Cotton feels drawn to him. An odd, powerful draw. Something more than desire, lust, sex. Something… ancient.

On her way back to her halls from the Book Group, Cotton witnesses a figure emerging from a dark building. He moves with a strange gait, like his limbs are made of something other than flesh and bones. His hands appear to be nothing more than spiralling tendrils of smoke, while his needle-sharp hair gleams an eerie pale blue. Cotton scrambles back to her room and feverishly pounds on her laptop, detailing everything about her encounter.

The following morning the police have cordoned off the scene and wheel out the body of a dead student. Cotton suddenly realises that not only did she see some sort of supernatural creature on campus, she must have actually witnesses the murderer fleeing the scene. As Cotton calls on Red, Marisol and Neptune to help her uncover the dark secrets of Leithwood and its supernatural inhabitants, more grisly bodies start showing up on campus…

And finally…

Well, that’s the basic outline for the start of the book. I’ll blog a little more halfway through to let you know how I’m getting on. Right. Deep breath, large coffee. See you in December!

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