What I’ve learned this Nanowrimo

This is the fourth time I’ve tried to write a rough draft of Continuo, my cellist/music producer contemporary M/M romance, for Nanowrimo. I wrote a 30-scene outline, one 1666-word scene per day; I did research, I made playlists, I pondered over characters’ names, I thought about themes and hero’s journeys and character arcs.


I love this story. I’m enamored of this story.


I can’t seem to finish this story.

Not in 50,000 words, anyway, and not in 30 days. Every time I go back to this plot it gets bigger: it went from two men meeting in a park to a decades-long romance-turned friendship-turned romance again. I’ve dropped characters and added more, I’ve added locations and events — and I’ve realized something. This story wants to be big.

No, this story wants to be big.

I’m not afraid of big stories, of course; I’ve written my share. With this one, I’ve been thinking a lot about structure, and how not to make it overwhelming, and I think I’ve decided it will be a series of novellas rather than one long novel. (Of course I also often ask myself, Maybe it’s a screenplay..?)

I am planning to write it all before releasing any parts. The influence of the past is very important to Continuo, and I’d like to have the end written before I decide exactly what happened in the beginning.


I’ll try to blog about Continuo during the writing process. We may be in for a long, long tinker before this thing is done.

Six Sentence Sunday 4-15

I’m kind of between stories at the moment, trying to figure out what’s next and all that, so this week I’m going to give you one sentence from six stories.

  • They might have stared at each other for hours if the barista hadn’t cleared her throat and said, “Seventeen eighty-two,” in the tone of someone who knew they were interrupting but had business to carry out.
  • He knew little about Willa Emerson, but it seemed to him the ring would suit her perfectly — pretty, not overly elaborate, classic.
  • They smiled at each other, shyly, and at Julian’s side it was Archer’s turn to look exasperated.
  • He’d come a long way from the gawky kid Orin had known, all elbows and knees, whose grace was only visible when you put a bat in his hands and placed him in front of a ball.

  • “I don’t think I’ve seen him sleeping since he was in elementary school.”

  • “Okay, so Siri said this is the closest coffee shop to my apartment and I have to start my morning with coffee, and of course the movers were late so I haven’t even unpacked my coffee maker yet, so can you tell me how to get to the Ely College campus from here with minimal turns because I have zero sense of dir–“

Six Sentence Sunday

Every Sunday, I will share six sentences from one of my works-in-progress.

His mouth looked so soft, and his eyelids were heavy, but his gaze was as steady as it ever was and there was a faint smile in the corners of his eyes. “Go to sleep, sunshine,” he whispered. “Close your eyes. It’s been a long day.”

“I don’t want to sleep,” I said. “What if you disappear?”

Six Sentence Sunday

Every Sunday — or in this case, Monday — I will attempt to share six sentences from one of my WIPs.

“Nope,” said Liam. “I used to live for the trips to the Chicago Institute of Art. My brother and sister, they didn’t like it much, but me and my dad would go a few times a month. It was our thing.” He paused a moment. “We were going to go this Christmas, but–” he shrugged. “Next visit.”

Six Sentence Sunday

Every Sunday, I will attempt to share six sentences from the current WIP.

We went down the passage to the nursery, and Noel peeked in.

“There’s no fairy light,” he murmured and pushed the door open, then muttered, “Christ,” and went into the room.

“What is it?” I whispered, my eyes not yet adjusted to the dark. “Noel?”

“Malcolm, turn on the light,” Noel said in a tight voice, so I reached into the room to find the light switch.

The bed was empty.