I’ve participated in National Novel Writing Month since 2010. It has generally been awesome time. Wordcounts have been met, quality not necessarily so. But the point of the exercise is to produce interesting material, and not perfection on the first try — so, really, success is where one finds it!

Many of the novels are set in Avarthrel, a fantasy world that I’ve been designing for a long time.

Attack of the Incredible Statistical Grapheroids!

These graphs show my progress for every year I’ve participated.

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The graphs were created using R. I might eventually release the Jupyter notebook that I used to develop this and the R dataset.

My NaNoWriMo Projects

Dusts of Avalon (2010)

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Super epic sci-fi story where aliens are attacking Earth and only the Knights of the Round Table in bloody awesome mecha mode can save the day. Or something along those lines.

I was actually happy about how this turned out. The original manuscript is available!

Who Mourns for a Lost Dream? (2011)

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Historians in planet Avarthrel are wondering about the curious concept of “carnival wolves” — how it originally started, and what happened long time ago. Turns out their ancestors, millennia ago, were doing some fascinating things…

This was an attempt at fleshing out Avarthrel setting into “Planet A” — essentially, modern/sci-fi era of Avarthrel, that nevertheless has some interesting historical parallels to the fantasy era.

While I started this with high hopes and I’m definitely going to work this out somehow eventually, the end result wasn’t very good because the planning was pretty spotty. But I still think it was a lot more coherent than some of the latter NaNo novels I wrote.

Staring in the Void of Patience (2012)

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Auria Gustawynde travels to Anchorfall to start an independent life. She gets swept up to weird underground conflict that the Order of Dried Petals has to resolve, one way or another — and Auria learns strange and sinister things about her family history…

Continuation of “Death Whispers in the Wind”, a novella that introduces the witch Auria Gustawynde and how she joined the assassins of the Order of Dried Petals. The novella itself isn’t even finished yet, after all these years.

In grand scheme of things, this draft ended up pretty damn okay, if rough. It might very well be workable after some polish.

Through Sea and Dead Fields (2013)

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An intrepid adventuring company in Anchorfall sets out to solve a mystery, based on a note found in the belongings of an executed criminal. Danger awaits in the high seas!

This was my attempt at continuing the adventures of several characters in my Avarthrel short stories, and my attempt at clearing up the drawer of various story seeds and plot threads.

While there was some interesting recoverable material here, it didn’t really work out at all and was left pretty much unresolved at the time I hit the word limit. This one needs a complete rewrite, I think.

Echoes of Mirra (2014)

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Planet Mirra has some kind of a war going on and lots of things are happening? I guess? I bloody can’t remember what this was about.

I think this novel had several plotlines that were basically my first attempt at fleshing out the “Planet A” setting — Mirra is a planet that was colonised by Avarthrelians. It ended up being a right mess.

I’ve always struggled with depression, but I think this is the project where I struggled the most to keep up with the wordcount goals, as should be evident in the graph above. I’ve not really looked back much at this manuscript since then, because it still kind of hurts. But maybe I will, one day.

Guardians in the Shadows (2015)

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The witch-assassin Auria Gustawynde returns to her old hometown for a nice summer vacation in the countryside. Unbeknownst to everyone, one area resident is definitely meddling with things no mortal was meant to touch…

Continuation of various Avarthrel fantasy stories, this was supposed to be more of a cosmic horror story. This story might actually be recoverable, but a lot of stuff went wrong at the time, so this is a very very rough draft at this time.

Chasing the Witch (2016)

There’s teh crepy thing in the wods! And there was a lot of blood, and it was ultra-realistic! OMG!

This was supposed to be a horror story set on Planet A, and a parody of the, ahem, literary techniques in various works of Internet fiction such as Slenderman.

I really struggled writing this due to my depression acting up pretty bad during the time. The novel ended up being a complete and utter mess, and not even funny. Had a few good ideas, though.

Blessings of the Graveship (2017)

An intendured servant is assigned to work on a spaceship. After the ship runs into a mysterious giant spaceship of the dead, she gets blown to space, joins the undead crew and gets her revenge against a very evil sci-fi megacorporation.

Unlike many of the previous attempts, this was vaguely workable, though it’d need a complete rewrite. I mostly wrote it just to see if I could complete NaNoWriMo on my Commodore 64. I could.

The Valley of Trials (2018)

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A young guy is about to join a prestigious adventuring company. The first assignment meant to test his mettle leads them to a forgotten valley — which actually turns out to be far from abandoned…

Another Avarthrel story, this time with new characters. Didn’t really help to write an interesting story, but at least I did get some interesting worldbuilding done, and the project was actually wrapped up okay.

New Amazon Sunrise (2019)

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A mysterious tropical continent, New Amazon, ends up being a battlefield of ideologies. Can two agents make sure disasters are averted and help the continent to be a member of the international community, or are they distracted by their sexy adventures and high action? What about the special forces soldiers who make a tantalising discovery in the jungle? And what about that battle robot the size of an apartment building? And hey, who is this rambling Barry guy?

New scifi/action/thriller worldbuilding project! As far as novel goes, I did meet the word count, but aside of that, this one ended up as a total mess and an unfettered disaster, and it’s all due to lack of planning, which I started but didn’t end! Also, I was kinda busy with stuff. However, I can confirm that the draft was very drafty indeed and there’s actual potential for stories here. …Just not this exact iteration of it. I’ll get back to it in some form.

Intrigue in New Amazon (2020)

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In New Amazon, a big corporation that has deep ties to governmental information technology infrastructure is kind of suspect. One agent, hell bent on protecting democracy, is sent to investigate. But when a manager announces plans for a new project, eyebrows are raised by both the regular employees and the recent contractors alike…

Ok, so another New Amazon novel. Probably even more aimless than the previous one.

Ended up kinda shoddily planned (at least this time I managed to make a complete outline), yet I somehow managed to meet the wordcount. I really should stop making NaNoWriMo plans the week before the show gets going.