Blog Entries
Category: Site News
Tags: writing writers abroad site news

Well we're into the last month of this year and still plenty happening here on Writers Abroad. Now that NaNoWriMo is finished (for some of us!) there should be time to take up an extra writing challenge!

  1. Vanesssa has uploaded today's Monday Muse with a difference. This time you have a couple of lines of poetry to wet your creative appetite.
  2. Jill has contributed this weeks Blog and has shared some of the ways she coped with the NaNoWriMo challenge, so roll on 2011!
  3. The December Writing Challenge is still open (I really must get something in and do some feedback this week) so if like me you're running a little behind don't worry...
  4. The hardback of our Anthology has now sold 30 copies and we have a very small profit which will go towards a competition prize next year.
  5. Our membership criteria has been updated - see Join Writers Abroad and three new members have been invited to join this week. Watch this space for further information.
  6. Membership subscriptions will be requested this week, watch out for an email...

Happy Writing!

Calling All Novice Novelists
Category: Writing
Tags: novel writing fiction Nano

Until a month ago, the longest piece of fiction I’d written was 3,000 words. So, wanting a new challenge, I took part in National Novel Writing Month. Only expecting to reach around 20,000 words - at the start this felt like Mt Everest, believe me - I was totally amazed to complete the 50,000 required.

For any novices out there like me, who are thinking of putting themselves up for this next November, I'd just like to pass on what helped me, and also what I should have done. Hindsight is a fine thing.

* Start thinking through what your novel is going to be about… now! Plot, theme, characters, whatever starting point works for you. Get it going in your head but don't write anything yet.

* Get practice doing the Monday muses on the WA site. It helps you to write more spontaneously, or it did me, even if sometimes it feels like a load of old drivel!

* Check out the short stories you've written. My Nano novel was expanded from one of mine which was too complicated as a 'short', and I liked the theme and the main characters, and took it from there.

* Make a detailed outline. I had 30 scenes of a paragraph each, noting the action and conflict in each one. I soon discovered this wasn't enough and I had to add subplots and extra characters - but with nothing at all I'd have been lost.

* Once you start writing, set aside a regular time to write if you can, barricade yourself in, lock the door, surround yourself with barbed wire, whatever it takes, and just write. Early morning, before opening emails or other distractions, worked best for me. But it may work just as well after midnight.

* Expect some bad temper from husband/wife/partner. This is normal. They hate the lack of attention, but it may do them good! They may even learn how to plug in a hoover. I was lucky (most days) to get support and encouragement, and praise after the event.

So, now what? I’m not going near it until 2011, then I’ll decide whether to quit or commit. Either way it has taught me so much, so for any of you prevaricating would-be novelists out there, I can only recommend you give it a try. You might surprise yourself, like I did.


Category: Site News
Tags: writing writers abroad site news

We are nearly at the end of November and as usual, the grass doesn't grow under our feet here at Writers Abroad. Here are just a few things which are happening this week...

  1. Our Writers Abroad Anthology of Short Stories is now available to purchase in hard copy from Lulu. I can't wait to get mine! Hope you like it. We have had a significant increase in visitors to the site who are downloading the free ebook which is great news.
  2. Jany is testing our creativity in this weeks Monday Muse with two song titles. I have a hunch that these will really get our muse cantering along!
  3. I've submitted this weeks Blog on getting my writing mojo back after an enforced rest. I would be very interested to know your tips and tricks.
  4. The December Writing Challenge is open for submissions. There isn't any theme so it's up to you what you want to submit... maybe turn one of those Monday Muses into a short story for submission?
  5. The NaNoWriMo challenge is nearing the end and we still have members who are rocking on with very serious word counts. Well done to Nicola and Jill who have both reached (and surpassed) the target word count! 

I'll be getting back on top of things with the membership and waiting list, so you'll be hearing a little more from me. In the meantime if there is anything you're unsure about, please don't hesitate to get in touch. And if I've missed anything, apologies, will be back up to speed soon...


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