NaNoWriMo Author Advice: Day Twenty-Eight

Jane Fallon

Jane Fallon

Jane Fallon joins us for day twenty-eight of our NaNoWriMo Author Advice. Jane’s books include Getting Rid of Matthew and Foursome. Her new book, Skeletons, is out next year. Jane gives us her five tips for new writers. 

1. Keep moving forward. Don’t get stuck editing the same passage over and over again. There’s time for that later. I think that a first draft is all about getting the whole story down on paper as quickly as you can, and then sitting back and assessing what you’ve got.

2. If you have a block write through it. Don’t give up because you are stuck on a passage that’s going to be difficult to write. Write a version of it, however bad. Eventually you’ll hit a point where the story flows again. And then it’ll be easy to go back and rewrite.

3. Don’t think you have to write in perfect, grammatically correct, English. You’re telling a story not doing an exam…Otherwise all books would read the same. If you like the way your narrative sounds then fight for it. Don’t make changes you don’t agree with just because someone tells you you’ve split an infinitive or mixed a metaphor.

4. Listen to how people speak. Nobody I know speaks in well thought out, articulate sentences all the time. They stop and start, they change thread halfway through. Keep it real.

5. Be sparing with your use of names. Generally in conversation we only use the other person’s name for emphasis or if we’re telling them off. Having characters say each other’s names all the time is a major bug bear of mine. It sounds so fake and stilted. If you’re worried that if they don’t then the reader won’t know which character is speaking, then there’s something more fundamental wrong with your dialogue.

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I’m Laura. I started Novel Kicks in 2009. I wanted a place to post my writing as well as give other writers like me the opportunity to do the same. There is also a monthly book club, a writing room which features writing prompts, book reviews, competitions, author interviews and guest posts.

I grew up by the sea (my favourite place in the world) and I currently live in Hampshire. I am married to Chris, have a cat named Buddy and I would love to be a writer. I’m trying to write the novel I’ve talked so much about writing if only I could stop pressing delete. I’ve loved writing since creative writing classes in primary school. I have always wanted to see my teacher Miss Sayers again and thank her for the encouragement. When not trying to write the novel or writing snippets of stories on anything I can get my hands on, I love reading, dancing like a loon and singing to myself very badly. My current obsession is Once Upon a Time and I would be happy to live with magic in the enchanted forest surrounded by all those wonderful stories provided that world also included Harry Potter. I love reading chick lit. contemporary fiction and novels with mystery.

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