Category Archives: Works in Progress

NaNoWriMo 2016

Last year I took my first run at getting 50,000 words written in the month of November. This is the goal of NaNoWriMo, but I consider that my efforts ran parallel to, rather than within, that program. I certainly used NaNo… as impetus to write more and more frequently, but I didn’t sign up to anything or really participate in the community of it.

This year, more of the same.

Here’s last year’s results:

You may need to zoom in to make sense of that

You may need to zoom in to make sense of that

I made it, by the skin of my teeth. The novel I worked on with those words needed extensive reshaping and revisions and edits, but it’s a 90,000+ manuscript now which I completed in February of this year.

Since then I’ve written half a dozen short stories, and made starts or false starts on five novel projects. Clearly I’ve got a problem with diving into an idea and then wandering off to a new idea rather than sticking through.

So, this year I want to get more than 50,000 words in the next 30 days, and I want them all on a single project. I’ve got one with two versions I’ve abandoned, one at about 5,000; the other just shy of 10,000. I’ll maybe draw on work already done in these, but quarantine those words from my monthly total. Adding some of those to the 50k I want to write this month would probably be enough put me in range to finish the novel draft by the end of the year, based on an 80,000 goal.

Whether you’re doing NaNoWriMo, or running alongside like me, or if you’re a professional FT author for whom 50,000 words a month is just you doing your job, I wish you the best of luck. Feel free to check in here, or on my Facebook page (link should be in a menu to the right of this post) or on Twitter (@jmmelican) and we can arrange some writing sprints or similar.


Rakan is a city wracked by division. Within its walls, on its streets and in its waterways, citizens of many species eke their living in a fragile, post-revolutionary peace. These are dangerous times, and dangerous streets, where juicers and dusters will kill for a fix, where the poor must fend for themselves, and old hatreds threaten always to erupt.
       Obiander Starek’s son, Symon, has been missing on these streets a long time. Everyone else has given up hope of finding Symon alive, and maybe Obiander has too, until an old colleague brings good news and bad.
       Inquisitor Tarv is newly promoted, the first kérata to rise so high, and he has a tough first case. An innocent kérata was brutally tortured and killed. Tarv is under pressure from his superiors to show that they made the right call promoting him, and he has only one lead… Symon Starek.
       Tarv and Obiander are racing to find the same needle in a city-wide haystack. Their parallel searches will reveal secrets which powerful forces would prefer to remain hidden, and a scheme to open fresh wounds in a city already on the precipice of chaos.
      Rakan is a New Weird novel, blending influences from Noir, Science-Fiction and Urban Fantasy.