NaNoWriMo Nov Day 3: Kiran Millwood Hargrave

Posted by Jazz on Thursday November 3rd, 2016

Today Kiran Millwood Hargrave, author of the magical bestseller The Girl of Ink & Stars, shares her top writing tips for NaNoWriMo-ers. 

What would be your five top tips to budding writers?

1. BUM IN SEAT > No one is going to write your story for you, and unless your hands are tapping/scrawling, the book is not going to happen.

2. BE KIND TO YOURSELF > Writing is hard. If you aren’t good at it already, learn what self care is to you and use it when you’re feeling burnt out.

3. CALL YOURSELF A WRITER > No philosophically bellyaching around whether you ‘count’ as a writer yet. If the label is useful to you, use it.

4. FOLLOW THE STORY THAT SPEAKS TO YOU > I've met so many aspiring writers fighting against the kind of book they should write, in favour of the one they *think* they should write. Don't go with trends, don’t look down on one genre over another. Write the story you want to write, and give it everything.

5. DON’T STOP READING —> Every writer is different, but in my opinion stopping reading something for fear you'll ‘copy’ it suggests you don’t have an idea or voice strong enough yet. Reading is the only way to see what’s out there, and what you could do better. Plus, reading is a lifeline – it keeps you learning, keeps you humble.

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?

Find your space, physically and temporally, and guard it with fervour. Close the door, open the window, turn off the internet, turn up your writing music (if you don’t have writing music, find it!) Do not let anyone interrupt you, not even yourself.

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

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