Tips from Bognor Write Club for novel-writing November

Members of the Bognor Regis Write Club
Members of the Bognor Regis Write Club

Members of the Bognor Regis Write Club have shared their creative tips.

In a Mancunian poetry club about eight years ago Becky Brooke really got the creative bug – and it seems to be spreading. Becky, now a member of the Bognor Regis Write Club, said: “I always wanted to be a writer ever since I was little.”

November is the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and last year more than 350,000 people globally signed up to the writing challenge, with more expected to take part this year. NaNoWriMo is a challenge to write 50,000 words in 30 days.

Chris Baty, a founding members of NaNoWriMo, said: “We had taken the cloistered, agonised novel-writing process and transformed it into something that was half literary marathon and half block party.”

NaNoWriMo is as much for beginners as experienced authors.

For Professor Alison MacLeod, an author and University of Chichester lecturer, as a child writing was a kind of magic. She said: “With just a sequence of black marks on a page, we can send powerful ideas and images from our minds to others, across time, across space.”

For the members of the Bognor Write Club, writing is about ‘me time’, self expression and giving the introvert a world to create.

For Ann Caine, a mother of twins, books and writing are a way of connecting with her girls. She said: “If there are things they’re worried about, like starting school, I’ll go to the library and look for stories...through a book you can start to talk about it.”

To get started Bognor Write Club members recommend morning pages – writing for half an hour at the start of every day. The idea is to establish a new habit, to write whatever comes to mind and silence the inner critic.

Robert Winter, an IT business analyst and Bognor Write Club member, recommends writing a profile for each character before starting. Write about things like their needs, secrets and contradictions in character to get a fully-rounded character to drive the story.

Professor MacLeod also recommends keeping a notebook for ideas, doodles, observations and overheard conversations.

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