On your marks… NaNoWriMo!

Glastonbury Tor cr Judy DarleyJust two days until the start of NaNoWriMo 2017. Are you taking part? I love the concept of this word-packed month, of wannabe writers across the world hunched over laptops desperately scrabbling for inspiration.

I know plenty of writers this enforced period of productivity really suits. For some folks it seems to be the ideal way to stoke up ideas and get them to catch alight on the page.

For me, the beginning stages of novel-writing are all about thinking ahead, and there’s no reason why you shouldn’t do some speedy planning even as you begin to write. After all, what else are you going to do when waiting for buses, in post office queues and doing the washing up?

Here are my top four preparation tips to ensure you make the most of this exceptional month.

1. Form a vision of the story you’ll be aiming to tell, with the beginning already shaped in your mind. If possible, do the same for the ending. Having an idea of the finale you’re working towards will mean you’re far less likely to veer off track!

2. Spend some time considering your characters – working out who and why they are, what their goals are, how they might help or hinder each other.

3. Know your setting. This is one of my favourites, particularly if it offers a valid excuse to meander in a much loved wilderness or similar.

4. Pick out a few dramatic moments your plot will cover and brainstorm them, then set them aside. Whenever your enthusiasm wanes over the intensive NaNoWriMo period, treat yourself by delving into one of those to reinvigorate your writing energy.

If you’re taking part, I’ll raise a glass (or rather, a mug of coffee) to you. Good luck!

Are You NaNoWriMo-ing?

Graf von Faber Castell Anello Ivory RollerballSo we’re already a week into NaNoWriMo 2012 (National Novel Writing Month). How’s it been going for you?

I love the concept of these 30 word-packed days, of wannabe writers across the world hunched over laptops scrabbling for inspiration.

I know plenty of writers this enforced period of productivity really suits. For some folks it seems to be the ideal way to stoke up ideas and get them to catch alight on the page.

I also know that, personally, it doesn’t work for me. My plotlines and characters need time and space to breathe and grow.

I do find myself wondering how many of the 30-day booklings end up becoming fully-fledged novels, and how many of those make it from Macbooks to bookshelves. But just the thought of all that writing going on brings a glow to my heart.

So if you’re taking part, I’ll raise a glass (or rather, a mug of coffee) to you. Keep it up!

Thinking of boarding the NaNoWriMo wagon? Visit www.nanowrimo.org.