Sunday, 28 October 2012

Guest post: Vikki Thompson: Write a novel in a month!

Today I'm really pleased to be doing a blog swap with Vikki Thompson, whose excellent blog is The View Outside, which I only recently discovered and would enthusiastically recommend. Next month is National Novel Writing Month (nanowrimo) and as Vikki has twice been a winner, I was delighted when she agreed to my request to write a post on the subject.  Over to Vikki.....

In 3 days time, over 300,000 people across the world will be taking part in Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing month). Their aim? To write 50,000 words during the month of November.

Madness? Probably, but a great amount of fun and, who knows, you may just be the next Elizabeth Haynes! (Elizabeth Haynes is just about to publish her 3rd novel. All three worked on as projects for Nanowrimo - )

So you've decided to join the madness and write a novel during November,  but you haven't got a clue where to start. Well, firstly, you need a story. Not an easy task for any writer, we all need inspiration, something to draw on for ideas. You may already have an idea, but if not, here are my top 10 places to look for inspiration:

1. Newspapers & Magazines: Flick through the pages and pick out stories you like. Make up your own endings. Read headlines, they may just inspire something.

2. Films: Borrow the storyline from a film you've seen recently. Every single story or plot has been done before. Do your own version of a well known favourite.

3. Problem Pages: The agony aunt section of a magazine. Do your own solution to the readers problem in story form.

4. Re-write a Fairytale: Do a modern day version of Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, or how about Beauty and the Beast?

5. Photographs & Pictures: Search Flickr for something that catches your eye.

6. Songs & Song Titles: Most songs tell a story. I still can't figure out why no ones turned The Script's The Man Who Can't Be Moved into a rom com movie!

7. Book Titles: Scan the books on your shelves and use one of the titles to inspire your own story.

8. TV Programmes: Write some "fan fiction". If you don't like what the writers are doing to your favourite characters on TV, write your own version of your favourite soap. Remember, E L James started with "fan fiction" ;)

9. The Nanowrimo Forums: On the Nano site there is a forum called "Adoption Society" which is definitely worth a look. You'll find hundreds of story ideas.

10. Real Life: If nothing appeals, write a fictional version of your life story. It doesn't have to be your real life, try your fantasy one.

I think I might go for number 10 myself this year. I quite fancy the idea of being wined and dined on a yacht by Robert Downey Jnr ;)

About Vikki
Vikki lives in Medway with her husband, 3 adult children (who refuse to leave home) and 2 cats. She blogs, (or should that be rambles?) daily at The View Outside ( and spends her time fantasising about being the next EL James, but isn’t too keen on having to write Erotica to achieve that (unless Robert Downey Jnr is available for research). 2012 see’s her first year at being a Co-ML (Municipal Liaison) for Nanowrimo Kent.

Vikki Thompson    @vikkithomp

Please pop over to Vikki's blog to read my guest post on Targets and Goal Setting


  1. Thanks for the blog swap Jane, it's been great fun! :)


  2. Thanks for posting and hosting - would love to do it again some time! I'm going to sign on to the nanowrimo now....

    1. Add me to your buddy list Jane :)



    2. Will do - thanks! Now have to think about what I will actually write for NaNo!

  3. Everyone has been talking about this challenge, but this is the first post I've seen on strategy. Very nice.

  4. My problem is too many ideas! I need to concentrate on just one thing at a time.

  5. Ha ha ha, I have EXACTLY the same problem Patsy....17 notebooks full of ideas!!!! ;)