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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...