04 November 2016

NaNoWriMo: Best of the Web

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by Jack Hadley Writing Tips

For many on our creative writing courses, one of the most important things Curtis Brown Creative offers is structure. Whether it’s our six-week Starting to Write Your Novel course, or our longer London writing courses or online writing courses, the shape, incentive and deadlines provided by a formally structured course can be key in helping to get that novel off the ground.

Structure is also something the hugely popular annual writing scheme National Novel Writing Month (‘NaNoWriMo’) can offer to students. It started at the beginning of the week (Nov 1st), but you can still sign up; the aim is to simply give you the word-count incentive to get your novel up to 50,000 words by the end of the month, with badges for reaching particular milestones and a prize draw for people who get to the end. There also lots of library events and writers’ retreats which are set up around the U.S, in aid of the scheme.

Whether you can make it to that admittedly daunting figure or not is sort of beside the point; what NaNoWriMo can do is act as that initial jumping off point for writers who need an extra push. Though this kind of pressure isn’t for everyone, it’s a great scheme, and it really works for some writers. In 2014, 175,002 people signed up, and 40,325 crossed the finish line with 50K, which is pretty impressive.

We put together a list of some useful blogs and articles for those of you embarking on this particular novel writing journey.

1 – Author and Curtis Brown client Toby Litt writes wonderfully here about the best ways to prep, and the ‘9 things you need to Write a Novel’.

2 –  The Press Democrat do a pretty nice job of summing up the history of NaNoWriMo, with some useful tips on how to prepare as well.

3 – Check out this fascinating infographic, which gives an enlightening sense of how long it took to write some classics works of fiction. Robert Louis Stevenson wrote Jekyll and Hyde in a week!

4 – There’s nothing that many a writer likes better than inspirational quotes. IBT have put together a nice list to get you motivated for NaNoWriMo.

5 – A fun list of tips here from Culturess, with ’10 Ways to Stay Sane’ when trying to reach that magic 50,000 words.

6 – A nice article on Bustle breaks things down with ‘Six ways to prepare for NaNoWriMo’

Good luck, and happy writing!

For an in-depth course as part of a group of 15 (in which students are selected on the basis of their submission) with a great tutor and participation from our literary agents, apply for:

Six-Month Novel-Writing Course in London with Christopher Wakling (deadline for applications is Wed 17 January).

Six-Month Online Novel-Writing Course with Lisa O’Donnell (deadline for applications is Wed 24 January).

For a dedicated online course for those writing for young adults or children as part of a group of 15 (in which students are selected on the basis of their submission), with a top children’s author, apply for: 

Writing YA and Children’s Fiction with Catherine Johnson (deadline for applications is Sun 28 Jan).

We are offering three low-cost ‘foundation’ courses, featuring tuition from CBC director Anna Davis:

Starting to Write Your Novel (deadline for enrolment is midnight on Mon 15 January).

Write to the End of Your Novel (deadline for enrolment is midnight on Mon 22 January).

Edit & Pitch Your Novel (deadline for enrolment is midnight on Mon 29 January).


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