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Writers' & Artists' Blog

My NaNoWriMo: Week Two

Plodding along in week two…

This was the week my concentration levels plummeted. Having extra work to do on my days off didn’t help but in reality that’s an excuse. After my initial excitement, I’m finding an average of 1667 words a day tough.

I’ll admit there have been days when the only thing keeping me writing has been the knowledge I’ll need to justify myself in this blog if I don’t.

I’m not the only one suffering for my art. Those around me are dealing with Sami fact queen; everything relates back to the north and the folk music of the arctic playlist has been on repeat. Even my two year old has learnt to yoik. I’m a lovingly hand spun reindeer sinew thread away from being single and friendless.

There’s certainly something to be said for having full absorption in your novel, especially when you’re writing about a completely different time and place. Sometimes I’m surprised it’s not snowing when I leave the house because the world …

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NaNoWriMo Week 2: Ashley Newell

NaNoWriMo advice

How has it been a week already?

Word count for week two: 30,022

Words today: 0 (if I make 100 words today, I’ll be happy)

The Writing Process: I feel like I’ve written nothing this week. Saturday I woke to discover that the people at NaNoWriMo declared Double Up Day; never heard of such a thing before. I don’t know if it’s a new thing or if I’ve just never paid attention before, but the idea is that you double your efforts on this one day. I didn’t make the 6,000 that I aimed for (double of my 3,000 word goal), but I didn’t do too bad with 5,550! 

Every day since has been a struggle. It’s not Double Up Day’s fault, it’s just what happens when I write after a long day and my brain is fried. My on-going victory is that I have yet to go to bed without putting down a single new word! My low point so far is a pathetic 250 words, but it’s still better than nothing!

The Story So Far: I can’t remember what I …

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Write With...Cesca Major

Cesca Major

Over the past four weeks, debut novelist Cesca Major has been asking the questions you, as a writer, need to know the answers to. Currently writing her second novel, her series of vlogs encourages you to write alongside her; tacking the questions and problems that arise together and thinking about your writing in a wider context - a kind of what, why and where of writing. 

You can now read her final vlog, on pinning down what your novel is really about, here. As her series comes to an end, we thought it was time to round up all four vlogs in one place. Listed below you can find each week's vlog and the questions (and answers) she discusses in each.


Week 1: Genre - why are you writing and who are you writing for?

Week 2: Research - What do you need to research and how much time should you spend researching?

Week 3: Where - where do you write and how can it help you as a writer?

Week 4: What - what's your writing really about and how can you find your logline?


Fortunately, Cesca has many …

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NaNoWriMo: Battling Back From Week One Fatigue

Shea Wong

This post goes out to all of you on my social media channels freaking out about being several thousand words behind on your weekly tally. Maybe you got 7,000 words in and realized you hated this story, and the thought of doing another 43,000 words was too much to bear. Maybe you just found out about this magical thing called National Novel Writing Month, and couldn’t bear to wait a whole year to start, so you jumped in this past weekend. Maybe, like me, life really got in the way this past week and necessitated your attention. It’s okay. I’m going to give you a few tips I’ve been utilizing to not only pull myself out of the word count pit, but feel great about it in the process. 


1.In the words of the inimitable Douglas Adams, don’t panic! You may have only written ‘Once Upon A Time’, while the rest of your friends are on the third act. It’s okay. You aren’t in a competition with them (unless of course you have some side bet going on with your friends). You …

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Putting That Completed Novel to Work

Writing advice

Whilst I was ensconced in writing my novel, I used to see competitions advertised for unpublished manuscripts and fantasise about a time when I would be in a position to enter. The allure wasn’t so much the prizes on offer as the satisfaction of having a finished product at my fingertips which I could fire off at will. I longed to be able to able to say, ‘Oh yeah, I’ll give that one a go.’  Well, now I can.

But what is the point of entering? It’s not like I’m seriously expecting to win anything. I’ve never won a competition in my life. What other benefits might be gained from pitting my MS against hundreds, if not thousands, of other hopefuls?

Well, firstly, when putting together a competition submission, I inevitably find myself taking another look at those opening pages or chapters.  I view my submission from a fresh perspective. I wonder what the competition judge will make of it and how it will compare with all the other entries. …

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