NaNoWriMo 2017: Meet The Writers

by Gurpreet Sihat

Only 10 more days left of this year’s NaNoWriMo! I’m absolutely positive that you’re all doing wonderfully but, for anyone who needs a little more inspiration, here’s Hannah’s ‘Meet The Writers’ interview. Don’t forget, if you want to see how any of our writers are doing this month, check them out on twitter!


Author Name: Hannah Davies

Twitter Handle: @AG_Author

Q: How many years have you participated in NaNoWriMo?

A: I’ve definitely been attempting it for the past 5 years or so (that I can remember).

Q: How many times have you won NanoWriMo?

A: I’ve only been successful once, but I don’t always count it if I’m honest because it was an early attempt and I wrote a portion of it outside the thirty day window and built upon that.

Q: Are you a panster or a plotter?

A: I’m kind of a mixture of both! I used to be an intense plotter, but I’d have so much of it planned out, I’d almost kind of written it in my brain and getting it onto the page was laborious. If I have no structure, I get nothing done, so I’ve found that a happy middle works best.

Q: Have you ever quit NaNoWriMo halfway through before? If yes, why?

A: Yes, a couple of times, and it’s usually because – for some unknown reason – November always ends up being my busiest month!

Q: What software do you use to write your NaNoWriMo novels?

A: I use Word mostly. Not very exciting, but hey, if it ain’t broke. In terms of other tools I use in writing, I always have Pinterest inspiration boards for a project.

Q: Have you got any pre-writing rituals?

A: If I’m at home, I get a hot water bottle and I always make sure I have a drink of water beside me, because you need to keep your brain hydrated!

Q: What’s your writing routine?

A: I’m in a weird kind of writing limbo at the moment; I finished my dissertation recently and it’s been a while since I’ve written anything I’ve wanted to, as opposed to work I’ve needed to do. When I was in a more regular writing routine, it involved me writing in the evenings and on weekends – maybe three times a week. If I get really into an idea, I just write in every spare minute of the day.

Q: Do you stick to the recommended 1,666wpd or do you set your own goals?

A: I’ve found it’s better for me to set my own goals. Some days I’ll fall behind but on others, I can speed ahead. I know my mood and my strengths as each day goes by, and when I should or shouldn’t push myself. I tend to balance out that way.

Q: How do you catch up in you fall behind?

A: I try to make a point to set aside time and treat it like a deadline. I’ll carve out an hour, or arrange a word sprint with some writer friends. I’m a little competitive, so the push to try and get a lot of words in a short space of time can really drive me! Before I know it, I’ve written an extra thousand words.

Q: How do you beat writer’s block?

A: If I knew the answer to that, I’d bottle it and sell it.

Q: How different is your NaNoWriMo draft compared to a regular first draft?

A: I don’t write in a linear way in either situation, but usually I’m so desperate to get words down for NaNo that I don’t even try to follow a chapter system – my logic is that I can write the bits that are exciting and fill in the blanks later. In a regular draft, I’ll at least work my way through a chapter. On the other hand, my NaNo draft can sometimes be better writing, because I work better under pressure.

Q: Why should writers participate in NaNoWriMo?

A: I think writers should give it a go just once because it’s great to try and write to a deadline if you’re serious about going into the industry. I also think it’s an interesting way to connect to other authors and build a writing community.

Q: What are your top three NaNoWriMo tips for newbies?

A: 1. Week 3 is the worst, so if you have a chance to get ahead in the first fortnight, take it. 2. Do other things if you want to. Go to the movies, go for a walk, or take a shopping trip. You still have to live. 3. Don’t give up if you start to fall behind. I find most newbies get super disheartened when they do and think that they’ll never catch up. So what if you won’t? Just keep going and see what you can do. You might surprise yourself.

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