Curtis Chen: Using NaNoWriMo to Kickstart Your Novel

How you can use NaNoWriMo to jumpstart your fiction writing. Plus, more extreme measures to move your writing forward...if you're up for it.

Mignon Fogarty
1-minute read
Episode #737

In this interview, I talked with Curtis Chen, author of "Waypoint Kangaroo," in which a superpowered secret agent faces his toughest mission yet: vacation.

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We talked about:

  • How Curtis used NaNoWriMo to help him get started on "Waypoint Kangaroo"
  • Why he uses a very old word processor called a Alpha Smart Neo
  • What it took to write and get his first novel published and how different that usually is from writing and publishing a second novel
  • How and why Curtis wrote a 500-word flash fiction piece every week for almost five years
  • What Curtis got from attending conferences, including Clarion West and Viable Paradise
  • How Curtis dramatically changed his life to be able to seriously pursue writing
  • What Curtis thinks are good short fiction markets based on his work as the secretary of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America

You can listen to the entire interview by clicking the player above or by finding the Grammar Girl podcast on any podcasting app, but if you prefer to read it, we also have a complete (rough) transcript.

About the Author

Mignon Fogarty

Mignon Fogarty is the founder of Quick and Dirty Tips and the author of seven books on language, including the New York Times bestseller "Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing." She is an inductee in the Podcasting Hall of Fame, and the show is a five-time winner of Best Education Podcast in the Podcast Awards. She has appeared as a guest expert on the Oprah Winfrey Show and the Today Show. Her popular LinkedIn Learning courses help people write better to communicate better.