As we enter the last week of NaNoWriMo, children’s author Katy Birchall offers three all-important writing tips to help you reach your final goal.
Writing Tips from Katy Birchall
1. Inspiration can come from ANYWHERE. And I mean anywhere. Always carry a little notepad and pen with you, or note down ideas in your phone—anything can inspire you: stuff you overhear on trains, the weird quirks of people you know, a hilarious comment from your best friend…something tiny can spark the biggest of ideas.
Thinking about it, this tip is a bit stalker-ish but whatever. It’s in the name of great literature.
I recently saw a woman carrying her pet pigeon in a cradle. A PET PIGEON. A CRADLE.
What a legend. That’s going in a book.
2. Don’t feel bad about thinking. I often feel really guilty when I’ve been sitting there, looking out the window at dogs walking past and stuff, thinking about my plot line or a character…and then I realise in the past two hours I haven’t written ONE WORD. But, hey, that’s part of the craft. Thinking is crucial to writing.
Also, sidenote: I have a really ugly thinking face. No, honestly, my university lecturer once pointed it out in front of the ENTIRE class. So, if you have an ugly thinking face, don’t worry.
You’re not alone.
3. Stock up on snacks. This is usually my number 1 tip for writers, but I felt that I had to pretend to be more sophisticated for my publisher’s sake. To write truly great things, you need all the energy, so make sure you have supplies.
Do your own thing but my personal recommendations are as follows:
- Strawberry laces (plaiting these is also excellent procrastination)
- Nutella on toast (or out the jar with a spoon if you’re on your own and don’t have to pretend in the name of acceptable social behaviour)
- Hot chocolate (I just discovered the whole hot chocolate with hazelnut milk thing. WHAT is that gloriousness all about?! My life is complete.)
About Katy Birchall
Katy Birchall is the author of the side-splittingly funny The It Girl: Superstar Geek and its eagerly-awaited sequels The It Girl: Team Awkward and The It Girl: Don’t Tell the Bridesmaid.
She is also a freelance features editor. Katy won the 24/7 Theatre Festival Award for Most Promising new Comedy Writer with her very serious play about a ninja monkey at a dinner party. Her three pet Labradors are the loves of her life, she is mildly obsessed with Jane Austen and one day she hopes to wake up as an elf in The Lord of the Rings. Katy lives in Brixton, London.
Katy’s latest book, The Secrets of a Teenage Heiress will be published by Egmont Publishing on 11 January 2018.
National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), is an annual, online creative writing project that takes place every November. Around the world, people of all ages try to write a 50,000 word manuscript between 01 and 30 November, while gaining support from other writers and NaNoWriMo participants. Find out more on the NaNoWriMo website.