The Update: November 2018

The Update: November 2018

Happy NaNoWriMo! It has been a year since the last mad scramble to complete a full 50k word novel, and I’m giving it another go this year. I’m excited for the project I’m taking on, I’m going in with an outline in hopes of having something worth refining once crossing the finish line.

This November is also exciting for another reason. I signed up for an online course through LitReactor. I love my local critique group, but I feel that, in order to bring my writing up to the next level, I need some instruction and feedback from a professional working in my particular genre. So I signed up for a course taught by a well known author and editor who is known to not hold punches when it comes to feedback. We’ll see how it goes. I have a feeling that my ego will take some hits, but I hope to come out the other side with a stronger understanding of where I need to focus and improve.

In other news, the 2018 Writer’s Corner anthology published by Village Books is out! You know, the one I have a story in and helped to edit for. It is ready for consumption and can be picked up and/or ordered from either Village Books location in the Bellingham area. I’ve yet to find a way to order it elsewhere and it’s not planned to be released as an e-book. I think it is also a limited printing. Do not fret though if you are unable to get ahold of a copy. I will be published again in the future. I’m determined, be it in genre magazines, small press, anthologies, or self published.

I think that is all my coffee starved mind can produce tonight. I’ll have another update for you all next time. Let me know if you are doing NaNoWriMo as well. You can find me as JWDonley if you need a writing buddy.

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The Update – October 2018

The Update – October 2018

 It has been yet another month. Time is slipping by faster and faster as I get older. It seems like, as the months pass, minutes and hours are robbed from my life leaving me with only the scraps to try and fill with the multitude of tasks I want to accomplish.

This past month has not been the most prodigious for me, at least not for my writing. I did make a little progress on a short story I’m working on, but nothing else. I need to get the first draft of that story wrapped up so I can start prepping for NaNoWriMo. It is only a month away, I want to come to it more prepared than I did last time.

Last year I went in expecting to attempt a handful of short stories with only a few notes on each going in. I ended up using one of them and turning it into a whole novel, and, because I was unprepared to do so, the end result was a draft I don’t think I’ll ever use. This time I will just do a novel and go in with my characters and setting fleshed out as well as have a rough outline started. I really want to have something I can use by the end of November.

That being said, I’d love it if I had to the time this month to take on a couple other tasks as well. I have a handful of  short stories with feedback that are ready for my next draft. I keep putting them off because of other ideas and projects that come up. Hopefully I’ll have some time this month to work on one of them.

I also want to spend some time thinking on how to resurrect my Patreon page, now that I have a smattering of content I can share. I’m still doing research on what to do there. So far I’m thinking about having three tiers. There would be a $1 support tier with no real perks other than the fuzzy happy feeling of supporting art. There will be a story tier where you will get a 1000 word or so story every month, and a slightly higher one where I may offer audio readings of my stories.

I’m also playing around with ideas about some sort of genre web-zine I’d love to lead, but that is not something I can do on my own.

I think that is all I have for this update. If you have any ideas for what sorts of things you’d love to see on my Patreon page, please let me know.


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The Writing Update – December 2017

The Writing Update – December 2017

December has arrived, and I can come up for air.

NaNoWriMo Victory!

I just finished spending the month of November slinging out 50,000 words for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). I’d attempted this twice already in the past, and failed both times. This time, I pushed through and crossed the 50k mark on the last day. Please gaze upon my amazing chart of word progress.

Now I have to dig in and revise this 50k steaming pile of hastily slung words. Having finished a NaNoWriMo, I’m still trying decide if quantity is better than quality. I had quite a few days during November where I felt like I’d put a bullet in the head of quality and wrapped its body in plastic before driving over the state line with it in my trunk. But, oh well. At least I have a chunk of raw material to work with.

If anything, I hope that I’ve developed a better, more consistent, habit of writing. I want to use the momentum I’ve gathered to finish some other projects.

Not NaNo Writing Projects!

Now that NaNo is over, I can turn my focus back to my preexisting writing projects.

I’m still working on my Shadow novel, and publishing the chapters each month on my Patreon. I would love to finish the first draft of the full novel in order to move on to a new big project.

(Speaking of Patreon, you should definitely check out my page. For $2 a month you get a brand new chapter of my horror novel in progress, Shadows, delivered directly to you. It is a novel about an heir to a drug cartel who is fighting a rising evil trying to escape the world beneath our shadows.)

I’ve also got a short story I need to polish up. It’s been through a few rounds of revision. I need to address the last round of comments, then put it through a rigorous editor, and then start submitting it to magazines for publication.

It’s an awesome feeling so close to done with a project, even thought it’s just a short story.

Writing Groups

As for writing groups, I’m still attempting to find a critique group that is just the right fit for me. So far, I’m involved in a large one at a local book store. It’s a wonderful group, and I will continue to attend and submit. Though, I’ll only be read at that group about once every other month.

There is one other I’d like to check out, but their meeting night keeps conflicting with other items on my calendar. I’m hoping that next month I’ll be able to sit in on their group for the first time. I’d like to get a feel for how the group flows and functions before I submit my own work.

Wrap Up

And that is all for this month. My writing progress has gotten exciting, and I want to ride the high of the NaNoWriMo success for as long as possible.

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Joe’s Writing Update – November

Joe’s Writing Update – November

It’s November! And that means it is time for NaNoWriMo!


NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. Every year, on this month, writers from across the globe all make an attempt at writing their own 50,000 word novel. It’s insane.

I’m going to be a bit of a rebel though. Instead of writing a novel, I’m going to write 50,000 words worth of short stories.

Here are the stories I have in mind:

  • ‘Hunting Club’ : A man becomes rich when he sells his condo in a town that once was dying but now is bustling. He uses the money to visit Ireland where he joins a secret hunting club. They own a large walled in area where members hunt a mysterious creature that takes the form of whatever the hunter desires to kill.
  • ‘The Pestering’: The last man on earth, known as the Miyagi man (he’s obsessed with the original Karate Kid movie), attempts to fend off the poking claws that rip through from another dimension. These claws have have already poked the rest of humanity to death.
  • ‘Rotweiler’: After getting his VHS player repaired, a man is confronted by a talking dog.
  • ‘Arsonist Soul Collector’: A college student, desperate for money responds to a strange online want ad.
  • ‘Travellers’: Two addicts discover that they can pass into another world through each other’s shadows. But they can only do this when high on their new drug of choice.

We’ll see how it goes. I’m hoping to come out of this with a set of rough drafts I can meld and hammer into polished stories.

Other Writing News

In other news, a few days ago I published chapter 4 of my horror novel on my Patreon. So, be sure to become a Patron today so you can catch up with the story.

Once I get 10 Patrons I’ll make an embarrassing YouTube video of me talking about myself and my writing.

You know you want to see me turn colors on camera.

And, after I get 25 Patrons, I will start recording myself reading each month’s chapter or short story.

(Psst! It’s only $2 a month. Tell your friends, Tell your family, Tell that guy who works at the sno-cone stand down the street.)

I’m currently writing chapter 11 and quickly approaching the end of book 1 of, what will become, a trilogy. Anyone who has been a patron for at least 4 months, once I finish the book, will get a fancy ebook copy. If there’s demand, I’ll work out having physical prints made as well.


I think that’s all of the big writing news for this month.

Until next time!

Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do,
J. W. D.

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