In today’s post, I’m very excited to be taking part in a blog tour for new spy thriller novel Agent in Berlin by Alex Gerlis, published on November 4th, 2021 by Canelo Crime! You can check the book out on Amazon and Goodreads now, but continue reading to hear my thoughts! Thank you very much to The Book Network and Canelo Crime for gifting me a copy of the book.
The first few days have probably been different for everyone. When I scroll through my buddies, I see three types of people: the one who is majorly ahead; the one who is right on track; and the one who is steadily bringing up the rear!
Well I managed to actually achieve one of my goals for October, which was to make time for reading! I’m so used to reading goals passing me by that hitting one has filled me with such joy!
I tried to make at least 20 minutes of reading time per day, which for me is an achievable amount of time where I can also make a decent dent in whatever I’m reading at the time – whether it’s audio or physical. I did also have half-term during October, which meant that I had chance to just sit and read the whole afternoon away, something I’ve not done for a while because even on the weekends I have things to do almost all the time!
NaNoWriMo is just around the corner, and this weekend, I will be preparing for a month of writing furiously! Having participated in NaNoWriMo pretty consistently since 2012, it is helpful to somewhat plan ahead into the month: and preparing a survival kit can help you reach day 30 with most sanity intact.
But what exactly is a survival kit? The NaNo survival kit doesn’t have to be an actual kit, as though some of the things I’ll suggest below are physical items, it can be entirely digital too.
Today I’m excited to participate in the Creative Blog Tour for No Beauties or Monsters by Tara Goedjen hosted by MTMC Tours! For fans of Veronica Mars and Stranger Things comes an all-new YA mystery about a girl whose desperate search for her missing friend unearths dark secrets, preternatural threats, and a truth that could ultimately tear her family, friends, and town apart. Out on December 7th, 2021 from Delacorte Press, this YA mystery thriller is not one to miss!
There are many articles out there about how to plan, from a skeleton draft to the Snowflake method. But an extra question you have to ask yourself, especially when taking on NaNoWriMo, is how much to plan as we roll towards the end of the month.
There are, broadly, three types of planner: a plotter; a pantser; and a plantser.
Some writers begin their novel planning with a plot; some begin with a character. Either way, the protagonists, antagonists, side characters, and even the background ones are all crucial to your novel and knowing your characters can make or break a readable, engaging story.
I made a mistake when I began writing my last novel: I didn’t get to know my protagonist like a friend. I knew who she was, her background, and her motives, but I didn’t actually know her. I ended up having to pause in my writing and develop her characterisation, because otherwise she simply felt too flat.
I once read an article that said if you have to spend X amount of hours on a book, you should include the thinking time within that time. Obviously, there comes a point where you really do have to start writing or else there’s no point saying “I want to write a book,” but I think this is a worthwhile consideration. With my previous novel, I spent hours upon hours brainstorming and thinking and daydreaming without writing a single word – and my novel was definitely stronger for it.
Technically, therefore, I feel that NaNoWriMo has already begun. The moment you commit to writing that book, you are taking part in the event itself. From that very first brainstorm, whether its in the notes app of your phone, scribbled on the back of a napkin, or carefully inked into a brand new notebook, you have taken those first steps to be a writer.