Last year I declared myself what NaNoWriMo dubs a ‘pantser’. With only a blank document and my imagination, I began to write. It’s safe to say I only got a week through the challenge before I found life getting in the way and I gave in.

This year, however, I am prepared! Armed with a fairly in depth breakdown of a plot and a word target list I am adamant of sticking to, this is going to be the year I finally finish it!

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But what is NaNoWriMo?

NaNoWriMo is the National Novel Writing Month. Running through November every year, it challenges its participants to write a 50,000-word novel in the space of a mere 30 days.

Throughout the month, the organisers post up a tonne of helpful writing resources for those that have signed up to the event in order to help them learn valuable approaches to writing and suggest critical habits to adopt (including the importance of setting goals and of writing everyday, practice makes perfect after all). They even send pep talks from successful writers right into participants’ inboxes throughout the month to help them keep going. All in all, it helps writers reach their potential and unleash the novelist sitting inside them.

So what am I writing for NaNoWriMo?

This year I’m working on A Tale As Old As Time, a Christmas themed romance novel. Dedicated to a dreamer in a dream, ATOT is the story of an elf, a note and a present at the back of the Christmas tree.

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It’s coming on Christmas.

Trees are being decorated, twinkle lights are being put up, buskers are playing carols. Even the moodiest of children are skipping down the streets, dressed warmly in their scarfs, jumpers and woollen hats. The streets are full of Christmas cheer.

But there’s one girl, standing in the window of the coffee shop in which she works, that looks out at this scene and feels nothing but sadness. Fifteen years ago, Grace Eleanor Kelson’s father died of cancer, tainting the holiday that had both loved so much. Seven years later, her best friend, Kathleen McCallister, went missing – she simply disappeared one day, leaving a note that told everyone she was running away so not to bother looking for them. Now, there seems to be no reason to be happy at this time of year.

Until now…

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