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During the recent series of Red Pen Launch webinars, I was blessed with the support of romantic novelist and veteran RedPenner, Patsy Collins.   With NaNoWriMo less than a week from now, I've invited Patsy to tell us her plans for November. So, Patsy, NaNoWriMo 2015. Will you be taking part? I've not completed NaNo during the last couple of years, and previously I've 'cheated' at NaNo and used it to write 50,000 words of...

The secret of winning NANO - going through that 50K barrier before time runs out on day 30 - boils down to setting goals and meeting targets. On the NANO site, each time you enter your word-count-to-date, a bar chart tells you how you're progressing. If you're on schedule, writing your 1666 words per day,  it's good to see today's column above the target line. If you're slipping behind, it can...

NaNoWriMo fast approaches and it's crucial, before I start writing for real at midnight on 31 October, that I make some decision on tense and voice. First question: which tense to use? Past or present? Past tense would be the easy option. It's the natural way of telling a story - something that happened in the past, recounted now. Using the present tense can create a sense of immediacy. It can...

  Hoorah! The powers that be have opened the doors at NaNoWriMo 2015!   The first step - if you are new to NANO, is to Register: choose a pen name and write your author bio. Here's what mine says. Then complete as much detail as you can for your 2015 novel.   While there’s a large international community of Wrimos via the NaNoWriMo website, you can also meet up and write with other Wrimos in...

September has gone and it won't be long before NaNoWriMo opens its doors for this year's participants. This weekend I'm gearing up to taking the next step in the planning of my Safari Supper novel. My story arc offers me an outline of the chapters - assuming I decide to present my story in chronological order. I'll certainly aim to write it in that order - and decide later precisely how it...

What a Carry On! The character who organizes the Safari Supper is central to my story. Although she may not be the main character, she's important to me. Her husband is also a key player, as a foil to her and for the role he plays in the distribution of wine to the hostesses. I might need the poison to be delivered via the wine - haven't decided yet! While other characters...

If asked 'What's your new book all about?', I can say 'Safari Supper is a whodunnit', that much I know. The next question - to myself - is: What's it going to be like, as a 'reader' experience? What's my writing style? It's probably easier to say what Safari Supper won't be! I'm not aiming to write anything gruesome. All (there's more than one?) deaths will be quick and painless with not a...

Hoorah! My story arc is written. I've been waiting for ideas to come but today, determined to make progress, I opened my Scrivener project 'Safari Supper' and just started typing. The words flowed. It never ceases to amaze me how, faced with a blank page, given a prompt, I can write. What I write comes from who knows where. Hence my tagline: I don't know what I think until I read what...