NaNoWriMo Nov Day 6: Tom Ellen & Lucy Ivison

Posted by Jazz on Sunday November 6th, 2016

Day 2 of NaNoWriMo has commenced! If you're still feeling a bit unsure about how to get pen to paper – and get that story in to shape – look no further than Tom Ellen & Lucy Ivison! These two know a thing or two about writing, having been longlisted for the Times/Chicken House Children's Fiction Competition with Lobsters, and having their second book Never Evers published earlier this year.

What would be your five top tips to budding writers?

1. Read a lot! A pretty obvious one, this, but it's very important. You can only get an idea of what works and what doesn't in terms of telling a story by reading other writers.

2. Enter competitions! Obviously it's nice to win them, but the most important thing about doing this is that it gives you a deadline – a concrete reason to actually finish your book. Very, very useful.

3. Try writing as a pair! We sort of HAVE to say this ... But it is honestly a very productive thing to try – when you have another person breathing down your neck, telling you to finish your chapter so they can start writing, it really gives you extra incentive to keep going.

4. Try to write a back-cover pitch! See if you can condense your book idea into two or three short snappy paragraphs. This is useful to keep your mind on exactly what kind of story you're writing/where the plot's going.

5. Do lots of plot mapping! We stick up loads and loads of ridiculously coloured cards on the wall, to map our plot properly and make sure there are sufficient highs and lows and comedy and drama.

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?

Don't feel you have to stick to the exact chronological order of your book. If you're supposed to be writing chapter 5, but it's not flowing on that particular day, just try writing another chapter, further on, that you've been looking forward to. Whether or not you actually end up using the material, it'll just make the process seem fun again, and help you to start fresh.

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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