NaNoWriMo Nov Day 21: Sophia Bennett

Posted by Jazz on Monday November 21st, 2016

We're nearly at the end of NaNoWriMo! With just over a week to go, here are some tips from acclaimed author (and previous Times/Chicken House Competition winner) Sophia Bennett to get you to the finish line ... 

What would be your five top tips to budding writers?

1. Ignore what you learned in school and cut down on the adjectives and adverbs. Make the ones you use really count.

2. Invest in a great thesaurus. Those little booklet ones don’t really cut it. A nice thick one from Roget may inspire you when you’re stuck.

3. Read things you don’t like. Or don’t think you’re going to like. Reading outside your comfort zone is a great way of expanding your stylistic horizons.

4. Write to an author you love and ask him or her for their tips. Having them addressed to you directly really helps. I wrote to Susan Marling, the journalist, when I was about 14, and her advice to me made a big difference.

5. Enjoy it! Every now and then you’ll hit a rough patch. Write through it. But most of the time, it should be fun.

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?

Set yourself a space to write and a manageable word count. 500 words, for example, isn’t much to write, but it all adds up quickly. You may write more and feel really proud of yourself, but if you think ‘It’s only 500 words – how hard can that be?’ you’re more likely to write something than nothing at all. And daily writing does make a real difference.

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

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