This November, once again Pete Davison has begun writing an unofficial NaNoWriMo work of fiction.  Last year he wrote WASTELAND DIARIES which you will find on his site, in the side bar.  It was gripping, addictive – each day I’d read his blog before anything else as soon as my computer was on.

His work this year is as acceptional.  As-Yet Untitled Month-Long Work of Fiction, is now up to Chapter 19.  Here is the Link to the first Chapter.

Below are some of my comments to Pete on his blog.  You may get an idea of his writing skills from them.  I hope they give you the nudge to click on the above Link and read his work for yourselves.  The first comment was in response to one of his Game Reviews, but leads in nicely to the Novel Comments.  You can see all the comments in his ‘Recent Comments’ and RSS Comments in the sidebar of his blog site.

OMG Pete (am I allowed to say that?) you are a Wizard With Words – in other words
WWW –                         I read your game-play avidly, then laughed aloud before reading the rest of the blog. The writing skills in both are so great – fluent, descriptive, complex yet ‘user friendly’ (I hate that expression but now it is in use I find it hard to think of another way of saying it because it intrudes into my mind and takes over!) Poodoo! Where was I?
Oh yes I was waxing lyrical about your hugely entertaining writing.  (About a different blog.)

A great start Pete. Drawn me in already. A question – is the current ageof your protagonist 18? Or is he now older, experiencing this with memories of 18, the time of the accident? I ask because his ‘voice’ is older, more mature than an 18 yr old, who for example would say “… my dead sister ” rather than “deceased sister”. I guess this could become clearer to us both as you write more. I know that a story unfolds, and you don’t really know where or how this will be till your hand has written the words on the page. It’s the thing I love about writing.
Love it already. Can’t wait till tomorrow!
Also, now I really have to have a go at it. Where oh where will I find the time??!! Paintings to do, blogs to do for 2 sites, games to test, books to read, life to live . . . How the hell do you fit it all in, I ask, baffled?!!

Okay Pete. I’ve started mine too – you’ve nudged me into doing so. Ta mate!
I think that should link you to its page. Or just  should do so as well. I’d like to know what you think. It might not be worth going on with it. I’m a little unsure. I mean what if the opening is boring? Unlike yours which of course grabs your reader straight away. Mine usually do, but I’m not sure about this. I modified it as I transferred some 3am scribblings into coherence. Hope I didn’t lose the impact of the original. Si g h . . . Why am I doing this? Don’t I have enough on my plate?? Sheeeeeesh! At least, like you, I haven’t officially joined NaNoWriMo this time.

OMG Pete.. You dealt with that tiny age/language issue really well. So impressive. And of course I only know you from what your write, how you write, your apparent nuances and connotations. I don’t know what language level you and your mates used when at Uni. I only know what the young students were like from my mature age position while at my Uni over here. For all I know your language use in casual chatting may have been way more mature and sophisticated than the students I had contact with. Of course in Tutorials was a different thing altogether. And internal monologues are different again, I know.

Anyway, you dealt with it professionally, subtly, smoothly – integrated it as part of the natural narrative. And as it passed me by I didn’t stop to check it over, just rolled on through, as I should, following the text, the dialogue, on and on. It has been worth the wait – a whole long year of waiting – till you started your new unofficial NaNoWriMo. Actually – I need to correct that a little – is it just me, or does it feel like it’s been only about 6 months of waiting? I can’t believe that It’s nearly New Year – if I survive Xmas first of course.

No pressure mate . . . but I want more, more, more!

OMG!!! Sorry Pete, but your writing is so powerful that I can’t help saying it. I will probably want to start any comment to you this month with OMG!
I was almost not breathing when I was reading some of that. Gripping is the word. And I can hear you through it – your voice is so open, psychological, emotional, and delving, deep, deep into the characters.
It’s how I wish I were brave enough to write – it’s all there waiting for me to release it, but I hold back so I don’t shock or embarrass family. What a wuss I am.
I have already had 3 hits on my SINGAPORE SLASHER, so I suppose I had better get on with whatever is coming next in the story. I wonder what that will be??
Is it tomorrow yet? I want to read the next chapter of your work. Stuff mine. :!

I don’t want to keep bothering you, but hitting LIKE doesn’t seem enough somehow.
This is remarkable writing, especially considering it is ‘on the fly’. It leaves me breathless. I could see where it was going just before it went there, but that doesn’t lessen its impact! I wish I could say “Stuff all the other things you are doing in order to make a living, just get on with the f’n story because I can’t wait till tomorrow – and after all “It’s all about meeee.” S i g h . . . Abject apologies for losing control there. Deep breaths. Calm. Patience.
Is it tomorrow yet? Are we there yet?

Am writing a disclaimer for my SINGAPORE SLASHER to the effect that I need to do a lot more research before it is an accurate story set in Singapore. That way I can just let the story unfold and fix all the stuff-ups later. Otherwise I will have to write a different story completely and shelve this one till I can approach it with research in hand.

See you tomorrow Pete.

“Argh, dammit WordPress, don’t close my comment window before I’ve posted it! Ahem. Let me try again and try to remember what I just typed and promptly lost.

Re: the perspective thing, yes, it’s a challenge, but it can work. As a matter of fact, some of the “visual novel” games I’ve been playing recently handle this exceptionally well. One called Deus Machina Demonbane is the example that sticks most prominently in my head — that has a first-person “player protagonist” whom the majority of the story unfolds from the perspective of, but occasionally switches to a third-person omniscient narrator for things that are happening elsewhere without the awareness of the protagonist.

Demonbane never explicitly says “we’re switching perspectives now” though. It makes it immediately clear to the player/reader through the contrasting “voices” of the narrators. Kurou the protagonist is informal, “human” and somewhat world-weary. He often addresses the player/reader directly, and the things he describes are tinged with his own feelings rather than cold detachment. By contrast, the rather Lovecraftian third-person narrator uses rather overblown language and descriptions to make everything sound rather “grand” and spectacular. It’s an effective technique that can be used well in traditional novels too, though you have to take real care to get that “voice” right.

For this, though, I think I’ll be sticking with the single perspective. I did the multiple perspectives thing last year. I could probably work it in to this, but it’ll be a good experiment to try and stick with a single one this time around. We shall see. ” Pete Davison

 Your handling of the First Person narrative is masterful. You stay with your character all the time, and are not tempted to shift into third person to inform us of the actions of the other characters. This is a trap I fall into. I think I need to fill in the gaps for the readers, but you just refer to where they are going and leave it at that – and stay with your first person character – your protagonist. It’s wonderful stuff, and keeps the reader focussed and involved. I will give it a try next time to see how liberating it might feel.

That was neatly done Pete. The section in the middle I mean. It gave me a feeling of deja vu, to the point where I went back through your previous chapters from the first one forward to see which one you had lifted it from. I stopped at about no 6 as I didn’t think it was beyond that. I was thinking what a cool idea that was continuity-wise to repeat a section as a flash-back. But you hadn’t. It was the stuff about the being chased nightmare, and then the clock radio digits which you did use from the beginning that gave this impression.
But the fact that you hadn’t, meant that it was the totally believable familiarity of that section that created the impression – a going back over known territory – a great device.
Don’t think I am reading this in an analytical mind-set – I am gripped by the story, speed through it avidly, pick on the emotive nuances and subtleties, comprehend where the story is going as it happens, and as I finish each chapter sit back with a smile on my face in total satisfaction, and admiration for your ability to write this well ‘on the fly’. In fact I find as I’m reading it that I speak to the characters, telling them what the obvious answer is to their questions, and saying “Of course it’s that” when they get there. I am an outside observer though, caught up in their tale, while they are embroiled in the confusion and emotions of the events.
I’ve tried not to comment for a few days, so you don’t feel bombarded, nor overseen by me – if you get that? But I am waving the flags, tooting the horns, and generally cheering from the sidelines for you. Like in a rock concert, I want to yell “More! More! More!”
PS: By the timeyou finish this novel, I will have an essay on it from all my comments!!

Wow!  Dynamic!  Dynamite!