picoNaNoWriMo and Writing Projects

I couple of weeks ago I saw a comic about NaNoWriMo. Apparently it stands for National Novel Writers Month. A challenge for budding writers is to complete a novel within NaNoWriMo. Not a long novel mind you. Just 50,000 words (gasp!).

My postgraduate thesis isn’t even a fifth of that and it’s already about 100 pages of solid writing (if you take the pictures and tables out of it). Soooo, I set myself a more achievable target, a sort of picoNaNoWrimo if you may. A collection of linked short stories set in the same world, each about 4,000 words long. That would be a total of 12,000 agonizing words worth of writing.

I decided to mix it up a bit. To flex my skills, I decided to play around with my narratives. Each short story uses a different type of narrative and varies slightly in the form of it’s language. Each story also reveals a little bit more about the world in which the fiction is set.

I initially only meant it as a personal project, but now my mind is obsessed. The characters and their quirks become more real each time I think of them. This project could go on for a loooooong tiiiiime.

On the positive side, it has made me more meticulous. I can’t stop going over the pages and correcting real and imaginary flaws. I have also given thought towards completing the two full size novel projects that have been in the back burner for a while.

The first Tetrad (I didn’t want to use the word ‘trilogy’, sounds so ostentatious) actually exceeded the expected 12,000 words. I managed to push out 18,000 words!! Go me!

Here’s a snippet:

I plop onto the lounge settee for a session. It’s been three weeks since the Simon Magus incident and I still can’t bear to sit in the very chair in which I was skewered. The past two weeks have mostly been spent in getting me up to date with the weird world of the Six Societies. “Hi Temi, How are we today” Doctor Adegbite starts. I’m about to reply when my mind starts to hum.

A shimmering space on the carpet between us slowly solidifies into a stooped old mongoloid man in a saffron robe. A slender woman in a stark plain oriental style dress and a severe, lean face holds onto his arm. She glances at me with a dirty look – Societans generally don’t like Magi, and it seems she has a clue as to what I am – and with a little bow towards the Doctor and the old man, she shimmers out. After all the attitude she gave, her phasing (or dream shifting as the societies call it) is far slower than mine.

The Doctor stands and glides over to help the old man into a seat whilst I look on puzzled. Finally she gives a slight bow and introduces him. “Temi, this is Monk Tenzin, Thought Father of the Third Society, Oracle of the Psychics and our Seat on the council of Six”.

He’s really old and gnarled, but very solid, like one of those very bonsai trees I read about when I was younger. He has a kindly smile, a shaved head and long, wispy, snow-white beard. His milky eyes don’t seem like they can see me that clearly.


“It has taken much discussion and debate but finally, we of the council of the Six would like to ask you a favor. Not just for our sake, but for the sake of the world. We would like to provide our unanimous support behind you as a candidate to lead the Seventh Society.”

My mouth turns dry and my mind goes blank. My heart feels like it’s been sprayed with kerosene, lit on fire and then suddenly quenched with ice-cold water. There is no Seventh society. Talisman Magi appeared after all other Societies had been founded and the so-called Method Magi only started about two centuries ago. Magi are proud, individualistic and generally badly behaved. They’ve never had a cause to band together.

If you’re interested in reading more, the first Tetrad is available for free if you sell me your soul….

Just kidding. Shoot me a mail at kwesi.woode@gmail.com . I’ll send you the latest draft if you ask nicely (slight changes in stories are subject to the continuous obsessive editing of my beta readers and I). It will be in either .ePUB or .MOBI format.

I’m also interested in recruiting collaborators to write parallel anthologies and one shot stories within the same universe. Hit me up with the same email link if you are curious (literally; just click the link to send me mail).

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