Tag Archives: bad ideas

Read My Horror Stories + A Call For Beta Readers


Have you ever been enjoying my award-winning Let’s Read posts (perhaps while lounging on the beach or the deck of your yacht, or wherever good times are had) and thought to yourself “gosh this Ronan guy is an arrogant dick, criticizing well-known writers all day”?

Well now is your chance to experience the schadenfreude that comes with reading my writing with your eyeballs!

Back in October of last year I found a Reddit page called r/nosleep, where people write short horror stories. The gimmick here is that everything submitted to the page is treated as real, with some authors even commenting and replying to PMs in-character. I have a great love of that sort of storytelling so I took a whack at writing a series of posts about a fictional small town where weird shit happens. That got waylaid by NaNoWriMo, but now I’ve decided to finally do something with them. The first to parts are up on Reddit, but I understand that people may have an entirely justifiable aversion to going there so I’m going to dump them up on the blog every week or so. Part one is below the break.

But wait, there’s more! The second draft of my NaNo story will be finished very soon- likely within three weeks- and I’m going to be looking for beta readers because at some point this project went from “lolololol look at me I’m writing a novel” to “I’m going to submit this to agents”. I need beta readers with teeth. Sharp pointy teeth, who will criticize my writing so I don’t completely faceplant when Dirk Oxenhammer gets my masterpiece in the mail.

If you’re interested, email me at penguinfactory00@gmail.com and I’ll add your name to the list of people I’m sending the thing out to when it’s done. I’m not, like, auditioning people here or anything- anyone who volunteers to read it gets a copy.

With that out of the way, enjoy this short story:

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NaNoWriMo Day 3: Riding The Wave Of Motivation


We’re on day 3 of the Great Literary Journey. I’m well ahead of the average wordcount that the NaNo forums tells me I should be at by this stage, so I’m pretty proud of myself. Or I was until I actually read over Vampire Airship*, my budding steampunk dark romance noveil. Then I remembered I had spent the last two and a half days writing thousands of words of worthless junk.

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Let’s NaNoWriMo


Hey, everyone, I’m doing NaNoWriMo this year!

Okay, okay. Stop laughing.

Srs talk first: lots of people have heavily criticized NaNo and questioned whether it’s really effective at fostering writing skill, or if it just results in a lot of unpublishable tripe at the end of November. I agree with all of those criticisms. My participation this year shouldn’t be taken as an endorsement of the the NaNo method.

So why am I doing it at all? Three reasons.

1) I’m curious.

2) I think if you view NaNoWriMo for what it actually is- a way of motivating lazy people with a creative impulse to bang out 50,000 word of unpolished first draft- it could be useful in kick-starting a writing habit that might potentially lead to greater things.

3) I’ve written stuff before, but never anything I’d call a finished novel. I had been planning on having another crack at something long-form already, so why not try to apply the NaNo challenge at the same time?

I fully realize that I’m traipsing right into the stereotype of the guy who makes it his thing to take the piss out of other people’s writing and then utterly face plants when he tries to do it himself. But hey, if whatever I come up with is bad enough to entertain someone else by ripping into it on a blog, well, there’s worse ways to leave your mark on the world (and just so we’re clear, I have absolutely no illusions that my noveule will get anywhere close to being published, nor am I entertaining fantasies about actually approaching agents with it- this is purely for fun).

You’ll see frequent posts on this very blog about my deep anthropological insights on the culture and attitudes surrounding NaNoWriMo (research for these deep anthropological insights will be conducted using a forum persona completely disconnected from the one I use for this blog, for reasons that will become obvious when you see the posts) so that will be fun. Also, the NaNo folks do something cool where they get established authors to send you “pep talks” throughout the month to tell you that you’re the best around, no one’s ever gonna get you down. I wonder who’s doing the pep talks this year?


Wow, Catherynne Valente! She’s one of my favourite authors! It’s a bit weird that they only list her three all-ages books instead of the more sophisticated stuff she’s written, but






Well that should be….. enlightening.

Anyway, stay tuned. I might post excerpts and do teaser Tuesdays (Wednesdays?) and all that shit depending on how much I hate myself by then.