This November will see my fifth NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). That’s 250,000 words in five years. Actually it’s over 300,000 because 2009 ended up being a 117,540-word first draft… within the month… in fact I finished with a couple of days to spare. I started with a lad lit, then a chick lit but my works have got darker and this year will be another crime novel… I think. I’ve not decided yet and yes, I know, I’m leaving it rather late but back in 2009 I decided what to write with a couple of days to go and look how that turned out. 🙂
There’s also a brilliant My 10 Not So Secret Secrets to Winning NaNoWriMo courtesy of Vikki and her ‘The View Outside’ blog. She’s written on the topic before, on Bridget Whelan’s blog. And Rita Kuehn has written two great articles: on writing novel beginnings, middles and ends and 10 things you can do to get ready to write. 🙂
NaNo clearly means a lot to Vikki, in fact she says that if it wasn’t for NaNoWriMo (or more specifically the former head honcho of it Chris Baty) she doesn’t think she wouldn’t be writing now and as Vikki is an avid supporter of my blog, I’m grateful to Chris too.
So, if you’ve ever wanted to write a novel, don’t wait until you’ve retired (if you have, that’s even better, you’ll have the time!). Do it 1st to 30th November… or at least 50,000 words of it because you can’t edit a blank page.
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Unfortunately, as I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t review books but I have a feature called ‘Short Story Saturdays’ where I review stories of up to 2,500 words. Alternatively if you have a short story or self-contained novel extract / short chapter (ideally up to 1000 words) that you’d like critiqued and don’t mind me reading it / talking about and critiquing it (I send you the transcription afterwards so you can use the comments or ignore them) 🙂 on my ‘Bailey’s Writing Tips’ podcast, then do email me. They are fortnightly episodes, usually released on Sundays, interweaving the recordings between the red pen sessions with the hints & tips episodes. I am now also looking for flash fiction (<1000 words) for Flash Fiction Fridays and poetry for Post-weekend Poetry.