Hitting the target

With the arrival of December I can say farewell to Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month) until next year.  It’s been a great experience and I’m delighted to report that I completed just over 32,000 words – thus hitting my own personal target.  For the writers out there who haven’t tried Nanowrimo, or anything similar, then it’s worth considering next year.  If you’re keen you don’t have to wait until next November as there is also Camp Nanowrimo which runs in the summer.  This gives you an opportunity to write with others within a virtual writing group. Of course, it’s not for…

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Why do writers write?

I have often wondered what it is that makes me want to write.  Why am I drawn to this sometimes pleasurable, often torturous pursuit? From the earliest discoveries we can see that humans wanted to set down symbols to convey a message.  Words are after all just our modern-day equivalent of those symbols.  Perhaps our prehistoric ancestors wanted to report to their kinfolk that they had seen a wondrous animal to hunt and eat, or found an ideal spot to make camp. From those earliest days we know that writing was used to inform.  Since then, one of its important…

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N is for Novel, of course

It stands to reason that we should choose novel for the N of our alphabet journey. The OED definition of a novel is interesting: a fictitious prose narrative of book length, typically representing character and action, with some degree of realism But, in fact, if we look at the derivation of the word we discover it can be traced back to Middle English (and Latin, of course) and where it meant a novelty or a piece of news. How many of our novels represent a novelty?  Do you struggle to find something truly novel on bookshop bookshelves?  And what is the news that our novels bring us? Is that the realism that the…

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New or old?

Do you like the idea that many of the words you use everyday come from centuries ago when the world was small and life was simple? Did you know, for example, that the ‘barbecue’ probably comes from the 17th century Spanish word ‘barbacoa’ or even the indigenous South American people – the Arawaks – who used the word to describe a wooden frame on posts – food for thought, so to speak. (info courtesy of the Oxford English Dictionary). Or do you like the idea of the newcomers on the block…OED tells us that ‘byte’ cropped around the 1960s as ‘an…

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