For those of us who normally just slink off and write what we want, when we want, NaNoWriMo can cause a bit of stress. Good stress! But stress, nevertheless. I like the pressure of forcing myself to write a certain amount of words, although I’m not sure my family is so keen! (I might possibly get a little worked up or stroppy when I am behind, only mildly of course!?), but I spectacularly tanked at the beginning of NaNo this year, so I had to hide away and catch up for everyone’s sanity! I’m more or less on target now, but whether you have managedRead More →

Having heard a few people are having problems with writing for NaNoWriMo, I thought I’d let you know a few things I have discovered this week. 1)  If you are writing on something that doesn’t count your words for you, you can use a free word counter that you can find at  http://wordcounter.net/ , or as an app on the Google Store, Amazon’s App Store if you are using a Kindle, or iTunes. You can either write in the app, or just copy and paste from wherever you are writing. 2)  If you don’t have a word processor, you could always write in the cloud. GoogleRead More →

It can be daunting to think of writing 50,000 words when you are faced with a completely blank page, and on the first day of NaNoWriMo that’s what we’ve all got. Last year, many of the sprints and challenges that are up on the NaNoWriMo site helped me a lot, so I’ve created a little challenge game for us all to see if it will make it a little less painless to start. We’re aiming for at least 1,667 words a day, so hopefully this will get us there quicker. All you need is a die (or just the ability to choose a number randomlyRead More →

I was reminded recently that it’s not just me that struggles to find time to write, we’re mostly all suffering from the same problem. Today’s world is busy, with so many things trying to compete for our time. It can be difficult to turn off notifications for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, children (OK, maybe we can’t turn off the last one, although occasionally a mute button would be nice!) But if you want to write that book you’ve been talking about for years, the time is coming when you are just going to have to. It is coming up to November – which means NaNoWriMo. IfRead More →

Here in the UK we have had a horrendous few weeks with the terror attacks in Manchester and London and now the heart-breaking fire in the Grenfell Tower. If anything can be taken from this terrible waste of lives it is the stories of caring and hope we can take from the good Samaritans out there helping where they can. Obviously our thoughts are with those closest to these tragedies but the truth is that situations like this affect all of us in some way even if we aren’t immediately connected to the people or places where an attack has happened. Living with the threatRead More →

You’ve toiled for months, maybe years, and you have a perfectly crafted, well-edited manuscript that you are hugely proud of. If you are self-publishing you will need to consider what happens at the beginning of the book, commonly called the front matter. But where to start?   As a bare minimum, it should have a Title Page, Copyright Page and Table of Contents. Title Page This lists the title of the book, subtitle – if it has one, author and publisher information (if you are self-publishing you can just leave the publisher bit out.) Sometimes before this page there is a ‘Half Title’ page whichRead More →

The description on the back of your book is one of the most important pieces of writing you will do. The inside of the novel may be the greatest bit of literature ever written but if the blurb doesn’t capture peoples imagination it will never be read. A good blurb makes the difference between someone wanting to read your book or moving on metaphorically through the digital bookshelves and finding something else to read. It needs to capture the interest of the browser and make them desperate to read your novel but before we sort out how to write it, let’s get to grips with…Read More →

As a writer, it seems a strange thought to have to ‘get technical’ and create an author website. However, if you want to find the perfect reader for your books (well, ideally more than one!) then you need to have somewhere they can find you but also find out more about you. It is a little like the Victorian custom of having a calling card, only this is a 21st Century calling card and setting up an online presence isn’t as scary as you might think. You’ll need to choose a name for your site that no-one else has and then find somewhere to hostRead More →

For some people, especially those with creative tendencies, it can seem a scary concept to set up your own website. But I can assure you, even the least technical person can manage to create a basic author site. If you are familiar with using a search engine, you have all the skills you need. It really is as simple as following a few step-by-step instructions. There are two ways of creating your own website: by using a blogging network like WordPress.com or creating your own from scratch. WordPress.com is free but isn’t ideal. This, if you aren’t aware, is a content management system for bloggersRead More →

So you’ve made the decision to write a book. Now what? Where to start? As well as a determination to see it through, the main things you will need to think about first of all are:- Where? What on? When? Where? If you are incredibly lucky, you will have a room where you can lock yourself away from all the distractions of the house, where you feel comfortable and can write for hours on end. Practically though, you are probably sat at a table in a coffee shop or in a corner of the kitchen while the hubbub carries on around you. As lovely asRead More →