8 Tips For a Successful NaNoWriMo

8 Tips For a Successful NaNoWriMo

As NaNoWriMo is now less than a month away (!), I have been thinking back to how I approached the challenge last year. I hope that by doing so I can replicate my routine and the resulting success that it brought. Last time out, I made a few blog posts along the way about what I did, detailing writing routines and the mindset that I followed, but this article will group everything and more into one place. I do not claim to be an expert at NaNo, but these things helped for me last year, and 1/1 is a 100% record, however small it may be. My 8 tips for a successful NaNoWriMo  1.   Decide on your idea early. I think I settled on the idea that I would write a Christmas book around the end of August last year. A very basic plot outline came to my mind, and I knew what I wanted the feel of the book to be. This...
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Food Writing Exercises: Limiting Adjectives

I continue to work through 'Will Write for Food' as a way to improve my food writing, although progress has been halted slightly due to work (got to pay the bills!), travel (for work) and Magic of Christmas commitments (oh crikey Christmas is coming, fast!). Returning to where I had gotten to, I found that I had left myself halfway through writing two paragraphs about a favourite dish without using any adjectives. (Note: I will probably never say "my favourite dish", instead using "a favourite". I like too many things for too many different reasons to ever label one such dish as an all time favourite.) What was the favourite dish of choice for this exercise? Chicago deep dish pizza! A thing of legend in my mind until I realised a few years ago that I was heading to Chicago and there was a whole intriguing history behind it. The exercise itself, from Chapter 2 of the book, tasked me with writing...
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Thinking of NaNoWriMo 2016: Choosing a Story

As November approaches, I find myself thinking more and more about NaNoWriMo and what I will spend the month working on. Last year, my first attempt at the challenge went really well. In a way, I think it went too well. I am sure that this time around the rigid regime that I stuck to a year ago will falter, crack and fall apart, destroying my momentum and leaving me wondering how I ever managed it at the first attempt. I find myself feeling more nervous about it this time than I did initially. Last year The book I chose to write last year was one that I did not have much investment in to begin with. I came up with the idea for NaNoWriMo, as a story to write within the constraints of the challenge. It had one key idea, one plot, one main character and one point of view. I knew how I wanted it to end, and I knew...
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A Second Path: Getting into Food Writing and Blogging

Alongside my day job, and the writing of a few novels (The Magic of Christmas is progressing well, and a few other things are in the pipeline), one of my big interests has always been food. Writing about food has been a dream that has lurked within the deep corners of my mind for years now. It bubbles up each time the start of autumn brings with it the tempting thought of warmer, comforting meals. Food writing is something I have dabbled in previously, but I have always hit some form of mental barrier whenever I've begun to go anywhere with it. The original purpose of this website and blog was to change my own mindset, to make me think of myself not as 'an aspiring writer', but as 'a writer'. To not think of writing as something I would like to do, but something I actually do. And amazingly, it has worked. I now think of myself as much an author as I do...
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Anticipating Autumn: Is It Pie-Time Yet?

Anticipating Autumn: Is It Pie-Time Yet?

They are the days of fading summer, when grey clouds blanket the sky and bring with them the persistent drizzle and gloom of autumn. When the lights are needed by mid-afternoon. They’re the days that stir in me a dormant, almost primal, desire to bake pie. To savour the richer, more comforting foods that my mouth has forgotten about over the warmer months. In some ways, this is a tragedy; they're feelings that I am ashamed to feel so soon. The British summer is a fleetingly rare phenomenon that can trick us all into thinking that it has passed for another year. It will mess with our heads, throwing us one utterly horrible grey day that makes us think of autumn, before lurching back into long days of sunshine and clear blue skies. So it is always a conundrum when, late in August, I suddenly feel the urge to embrace the changing season and make very autumnal recipes while simultaneously willing summer...
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