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Writers' & Artists' Blog

NaNoWriMo: My First Week

Rachel Phipps

So, week one. Well, let us start on the positive points. At the time of writing, I’ve written more words of my novel than I did for my undergraduate dissertation in the space of about 6 days. While I usually tap out more than the 10,057 words I’m currently at every single week for work and my blog, it is not so much the number that I’m proud of, but that I’ve managed to stick with it, and in spite of a bad first couple of days, I’m actually writing down bits of creative writing that I’m quite proud of. I can’t remember being happy with even a paragraph of anything fictional I’ve written since I was in my mid teens. (Though I must note that I’m currently reading Gone Girl, the writing in which I adore. Reading such a well composed novel is something I would not recommend at the same time as attempting your own fiction effort if you’re feeling a bit down on confidence!) 

Day one started as well as could be expected; I got a fair bit of writing done with my laptop …

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NaNoWriMo: My First Week

So here we are, one week in...

NaNoWriMo started for me in a blur of Halloween debris, along with a house full of guests.  Judging by the ‘hungover’ comments on social media, I wasn’t the only one starting the challenge with lower than ideal sleep levels.

Thanks to my chapter by chapter planning I got off to a flying start and managed an impressive 5000 words over the first weekend. The scenes flowed and I ignored my terrible punctuation.

By Monday, I was back to work and back to reality, so only managed a few hundred words. However I did get to read the start of my novel to the writing class I attend. Something about reading the beginning made the whole thing real and it was good to see my fellow students wanting to see what was going to happen next.  They also identified a couple of sneaky historical plot holes which sent me straight home grumbling and needing to fix them.

Writing without editing has not been easy.  It’s not so much the …

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NaNoWriMo Week 1: Ashley Newell

NaNoWriMo advice

Word count for week one: 15,160

Words today: 0 (I’ll start after this)

The Writing Process: Getting an early lead has been super helpful. Writing over 3,000 words each day from the start has really saved me as I experienced a few blips along the way. At least I have managed to write something everyday. I did have one day where I was tempted to go to bed without a single word added, but I forced myself to go on. I only added 426 words, but I couldn’t be prouder of myself for sticking to it! I may have had to re-write most of what I added, but to drop the ball now will make it all the more tempting later on.

The Story So Far: Right off the bat my main character turned out to be far rougher around the edges than I had expected him to be. The Detective was always meant to be pretty no-nonsense, but I didn’t realize that his experiences would make him so intense. I’m still not sure if I’ll have to go back later on and tone it down a bit, but once he …

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NaNoWriMo Profile: Rachel Phipps

Rachel Phipps

Name: Rachel Phipps

Age: 21

Hometown: Canterbury in Kent.

Occupation: I’m a full time freelance food journalist, though I do moonlight doing the PR & Marketing for my family's holiday cottages business. 

When/where do you write? I usually write either at the head of the kitchen table, or on the train to and from London. 

Writing background: I’ve been writing solidly since I was about 13 years old. In February 2009 I started a lifestyle blog, and I gradually switched over from writing fiction to blogs and articles. I now write my blog and freelance full time. I write a food column for Borough Market and I have contributed to the Guardian, Refinery 29 and Great British Chefs. I’ve barely written any fiction since I started blogging and freelancing.  

Why NaNoWriMo and why now? I’ve completed NaNoWriMo once before, when I was 17, just before I started my website. This is the first year since then I have not been in education, and I think I’ve got the time. In …

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NaNoWriMo Profile: Ashley Newell

NaNoWriMo advice

Name: Ashley Newell

Age: 25 

Hometown: Prince George, BC; Kelowna, BC; and Calgary, AB – basically western Canada

Occupation: Teacher

When/where do you write? I write when and where I can. Usually it involves many late nights.

Writing background: I have been telling stories long before I could write them. Once I got the pesky spelling issue out of the way, I became unstoppable.  A short story I wrote when I was 13 years old won in the youth category for a writing contest and was published in an anthology, and then I moved on to larger works. I’ve tried my hand at novels, screenplays, stage plays, and at one point I was convinced that I’d be a song writer… we shan’t speak of that.

Why NaNoWriMo and why now?  Peer pressure. Seriously. I was in university, all the cool kids were doing it, and so I took a deep breath and sacrificed many hours of precious sleep. That was back in 2008. I fear I may be addicted now. 

Genre (of NaNoWriMo novel): In short: drama. In the …

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