NaNoWriMo Nov Day 10: C.J. Skuse

Posted by Jazz on Thursday November 10th, 2016

Today the fabulous C.J. Skuse is stopping by the blog to share the 5 things she thinks every new writer should know ...

What would be your five top tips to budding writers?

1. Just get it down on the page – don't get hung up on how badly something reads back in a first draft. There's a magical spell that gets cast in Draft 2 which cleans it all up.

2. Have a clean plan of action – a 30 Point Plan (30 scenes plotted on an A4 piece of paper) always works for me, so that you can write something down every single day, doesn't matter if you're writing against the plot's chronology.

3. Take breaks and walking breaks are excellent to untangle plot threads – I can write whole chapters in my head just walking into town with my dog then when I come back, I'm good to go.

4. Choose a subject or a character you are passionate about and then it won't feel like a chore to revisit them every day.

5. Find people to read it for you (even better, read it aloud for you) when you're finished. Also, put it in a drawer for a month at least so that you can return to it with fresh eyes and you'll then see very clearly what needs correcting.

For those hoping to take part in NaNoWriMo or enter the Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition, what would be your best tip for writing something every day?

I find if you write early in the morning, you can get it out of the way if you have a busy day planned. Just get it done. Write something every single day without fail, even if it's just character notes – don't be tempted to do the 'Oh well, I'll just write twice as much tomorrow' thing.  You'll feel so proud of yourself at the end of the month. It also really helps to condition yourself into meeting deadlines.

Enter the Times/Chicken House Children's Fiction Competition to be in with a chance of winning a £10,000 publishing contract! 

Categories: Blog Guest author

Your comments (1)

Ellie says...

Really enjoying the daily writing advice, especially the idea of the Writing Fairy waving her wand over the second draft!

Added November 10th, 2016 at 12:37 pm