Manuscripts Burn


"Manuscripts don't burn"
- Mikhail Bulgakov

Hi, I'm horror and science fiction author Steve Kozeniewski (pronounced: "causin' ooze key.") Welcome to my blog! You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Amazon. You can e-mail me here, join my mailing list here, or request an e-autograph here. Free on this site you can listen to me recite one of my own short works, "The Thing Under the Bed."

Monday, November 16, 2015

NaNo Update #2

HAWM, fellow NaNoers!  If you are not already, make sure to friend me over on the NaNoWriMo site.

So, after last week's update I'm feeling pretty good about the blog this year.  I've been reporting in about NaNo, but also keeping up the regular posts, and that makes me feel good.  This might just be the sweet spot I'll be going for in future years.  In the past, November's often been either me frantically talking about nothing but NaNo, or the exact opposite, I'm so sick of it that I want to talk about anything but when I'm on here.  I think weekly updates is the sweet spot, though, so I'm going to try to remember that for next year.

So what is this week's update?  Well, I'm happy to report I'm standing pretty at about 31K words.  By the end of today I'm supposed to have about 27K (and I anticipate, barring any unforeseen circumstances, I'll be at about 33K.)  So, for all intents and purposes I'm about 6K words ahead of schedule.

Now, you'll remember I was fretting last week about just barely keeping my head above water and how I had been gunning for a "beautiful day" - 5K or maybe even 10K words to just boost me into the stratosphere.  Well, as it turned out, my strategy shift away from that stupidity succeeded.  Last week I just tried to steadily have 2K word days, and a few times I clocked in at 3K, almost two days work.  I never had a "beautiful day," not even on one of the 6 Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays we've had so far this month. 

I did have one day, Friday, where I just absolutely fell down on the job and only clocked about 800 words.  I hate doing that, and it's one of the reasons I hate getting too far ahead, because the temptation to say, "Oh, I'm ahead, I can take today off" is very great.  So let me give you a word of advice, fellow NaNoers: never (and I mean never) take a day off because you're ahead.  It will inevitably bite you in the ass.  It will lead to two, three, four days off and then you're behind.

So I'm treating Friday as a fluke.  I didn't mean to underachieve, and I didn't set out to take a day off because I was ahead, it just sort of happened.  And those days will just sort of happen, which is precisely the reason you need to do a little more than the bare minimum as much as you can.

Okay, so what else?  Well, some of you may be wondering what I'm working on.  The answer is I'm working on HUNTER OF THE DEAD, which is actually a contracted piece for Sinister Grin Press.  HotD originated as a script I wrote in 2002/2003 at a time when I was sick to death of artsy fartsy bullshit in vampire movies - yeah, this was way before TWILIGHT - and it was my ode to the folklore.  It's changed quite a bit since then, as these things do, and it had dropped off my radar for a long time, but my good friend John Waxler has always insisted that this was my best work and I had to make a novel out of it.  To that end, he fronted $100 to "hire" me to write the HotD novel. 

After a few publisher implosions and other things that I don't want to get into publicly, and almost two years later, it's finally happening.  So, something I've been struggling with for a solid two years, something that's existed for thirteen, something I've started over and scrapped completely at least 6 times, is finally coming to fruition.  And it's doing so because of NaNo.  Because I'm forcing myself to jump through these hoops, and as I do, the novel is crystallizing before my eyes.  The NaNo process is even forcing solutions into places I didn't know where there. 

This is why I NaNo, and when folks pooh-pooh it, I always remember that this month is when I do my best work.  It doesn't have to work for you.  It just has to work for the folks it works for, like me.  Okay, I'm starting to get a little preachy here so it's probably time to sign off.  Toodle-oo and good luck, everybody!


  1. With apologies to Doobya, your greatest work is the now-defunct Twitter account Log Log. I'll give you $5 to novelize that one!

    1. I believe I've already established my going rate. $5 gets you 5000 words. That's a short story, tops.


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