Nano, Short Story and Weird Inspiration


8,509… that’s my count so far with my NanoWriMo project… To be honest, I’m completely fine about it. What I’ve done since the 1st of November I’m really happy with.

I started my Vampire story and with 8K done so far it’s taking a different direction, something I didn’t expect. There seems to be more murder in it… who’d have thought. At around 10K, I plan to outline where I think it’ll go but in reality it’ll go wherever it tells me it wants to go.


Riding the bus to work one about a week ago I was listening to Joanna Penn’s podcast with Mark Dawson when this line popped into my head, “I tore his limbs off like fingers on a KitKat” That was it. Nothing more. I got home that night and wrote 1500 word opening for a new story. Apparently it’s human demon hybrid who has no qualms about killing. Mostly bad people. Mostly.

The other thing I decided to do, stupidly in November, was write a short story in the hope it gets picked up by the Australian Horror Writers yearly publication. I put a fair chunk of time and effort into it and I was really happy with the results but… time will tell. It’s a demon possession story and a guy driven insane as a result. It kind of fed my weird thought on the bus I suppose.

The last thing I completed this week was a beta read for someone. I’ve never read anybody else’s raw material before and it was probably one of the best things I’ve done for my own writing. It was great to read something unpolished and realize other writers have the same issues you have. Blending story lines and character arcs into a solid book doesn’t just happen. I offered my opinion on what I read and instantly felt like a dick but I felt it better than not saying anything at all. I also thought that if I offer my opinion on how I felt it could be bettered than I couldn’t very well cry like a baby when someone said it to me. I really appreciate the opportunity to read the work and hopefully contribute to it in a very small way.

So, that’s me the past week.

Have you been part of any beta reads and how has it helped you?



  1. Don’t feel bad about pointing out mistakes or things that aren’t working well in someone’s story who’s asked for your help. That’s your job as a beta reader. Think of it this way… had you not pointed out these things you wouldn’t be helping them. The trick that I’ve learned, working with a critique partner, is to word things nicely. I try to be as gentle as possible while I’m tearing their story to shreds. Writers must grow a thick skin. Besides, if you hadn’t told them someone else would have– and they might not be so nice.


  2. I’m doing it for people’s poetry and it’s been a rewarding experience both ways. I learn as much as they do, possibly more. I show respect to their work because poems comes from a very deep place and it’s not easy to have people critique your exposed nerves. At the same time, your responsibility is to be honest. I try to minimize the brutality of that as much I can without compromising the honesty.


  3. Hi David! Little did you know you’re my 200th follower (Yes!). Per my post regarding my upcoming 200th follower (and anyone who also wanted one) I’m offering my congrats by reaching out and sending you a holiday greeting card via USPS (see my related post about it). I’d love for something from me to be amongst the pile of cards you’re sure to get this year. Your address will only be used for that purpose- I swear to it. If you’d appreciate this you’re welcome to email me at dottiempls(at) 🙂


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