How to do NaNoWriMo; write a (good) book in a month

NaNoWriMo is here again! You might find this handy if you’re thinking of going for it and writing a book in a month…

ellen allen

nanowrimoNational November Writing Month is on us again. It’s that time of year when you shake your head and wonder what the hell you’ve done with your writing year when you haven’t got even one of the ideas in your head vaguely finished, before you remember that real life has a habit of sneaking in…

One solution might be to join NaNoWriMo. It’s an event that helps to encourage you to write a book – from scratch – with hundreds of thousands of other people around the world. This way, you might just finish. Your aim is to write 50,000 words. That’s only 1,667 words per day…

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Writing is the journey; short-story vending machines

I’m not a big fan of corporations giving us reading material; it just seems a little condescending, like we can’t decide what to read ourselves. But – at the risk of sounding changeable – I loved the idea of the short-story vending machines undertaking trials in Grenoble. Run by the French organisation Short Edition, travellers can choose a 1, 3 or 5 minute story as they move about the city (17% of residents have used them). I love this kind of city project, because it allows anyone to submit a story, rather than providing a platform for established authors. It just seems very democratic, although I wonder if that will remain true if the founders wish is realised when he says, “imagine a distributor in every Starbucks”. Quite.


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Writing tools; emotions

emotionsI stumbled upon a lovely Guardian article this week by Tiffany Watt Smith, which gave a wonderful take on everyday emotions such as anger and nostalgia, reminded me of less commonly felt emotions, such as shadenfreude (when we feel happy at someone else’s misfortune) and introduced me to emotions I didn’t realise had a name (like awumbuk, the emptiness you feel after visitors depart). A real joy for writers and a perfect complement to the Colour Thesaurus.


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