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Any advice for newish writer welcome!

(6 Posts)
SouthGoingZax Fri 22-Apr-11 11:10:10


I am not new to MN, but am to this section! I've had a few books and several articles and chapters published, but all educational-type stuff (text books, for example).

I am now writing a non-fiction book about our move to our 'dream property'. We are moving into a remote and ramshackle farmhouse with our toddler twins, after years of planning and saving. A bit like those 'a place in Tuscany' and 'Driving over Lemons' books.

I have planned to write as we go along, for maybe 15 minutes a day, recording anecdotes and funny stories about how it goes. Hoping for a Bill Bryson-like tone. I am working full-time as well as bring up the boys (DH is F/T SAHD) and renovating the farm. We are in the process of purchase at the moment. A few entertaining / horrifying incidents have already occurred (for e.g finding out that the septic tanks are in such a state that the current owner has been spraying raw sewage all over the fields to avoid paying for repair).

Do you think this will work? Any hints or tips? Is it a book you'd be interested in reading?

Many thanks in advance.

BsshBossh Fri 22-Apr-11 20:15:56

Hello! It's not the type of book I read however I think a focus on raising your toddlers there would be interesting - a parenting book with a twist! Good luck!

SouthGoingZax Fri 22-Apr-11 20:18:13

Thanks BsshBossh.

Yes, I can see the title page now; toddler disasters on dilapidated farm - How to parent in a pigsty!

belledechocchipcookie Fri 22-Apr-11 20:23:01

Interesting idea. I wouldn't necessarily read it personally though, I write for children as I have the attention span of a goldfish so it works quite well. It does sound more entertaining then the 'my father abused me' type novels. I wish you luck. There's a thread on creative writing which will give you moral support, it can be a lonely business.

Novelist Sun 01-May-11 00:10:36

Hi SouthGoingZax,

I think it sounds like a great idea! I'm a novelist (have published nine books, five women's fic. and have since moved on to write YA), but am taking a bit of a 'break' this year to write a travel memoir as we're moving our family from Australia to the UK for 18 months or so. I think the basis of your idea for your ms sounds great. There isn't much around like this where kids are included.

In the lead-up to writing my ms, I've done a lot of research into the genre and have spoken to quite a few travel memoirists. The top tip pretty much all of them gave me was: don't forget your theme. Because your journey will be structured a lot like mine, I'll pass this tip on to you! It would be very easy to fall into the, 'we did this, then we did this, then we did this' trap.

Also, have you thought about blogging your journey? It might be a good way to keep you on track and get some words down. I'm doing this and have found it quite helpful.

So, when do you leave? We're off in less than seven weeks. Aaaggghhh!

DeWe Sun 29-May-11 20:25:42

Have a look at "The Unsought Farm" by Monica Edwards. It's out of print, but usually copies on ebay. It's about how she (at the time a successful child writer) bought a dilapidated (sp?) farm in Surrey and did it up.

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