Priyanka Nambiar, author of Escape the War

Priyanka Nambiar

Priyanka Nambiar, author of Escape the War

I’m Priyanka Nambiar, runner-up in the Secret Kids contest and author of Escape the War, and I am so excited to be a part of this blog!

Creating Escape the War, my novel about a teenager trying to escape a video game, has taught me a lot of valuable things about writing—and being a runner-up in the contest opened up a whole new set of doors into the world of publishing. I remember the shock and excitement that came over me when I found out I was a finalist! Prior to entering the contest, I was clueless about the industry, but going through the editing process, visiting the Frankfurt Book Fair, and being introduced to the professional environment have changed the game for me. Throughout this journey I have picked up many writing tips and tricks, but here are a few that were essential. I would never have become a finalist without them! I hope that sharing my experience will inspire other writers and give them tools for their own writing processes.

Find a theme or plot you’re passionate about

The more invested you are in your writing, the more you’ll be motivated to work on it. My idea for Escape the War actually originated as a short story I wrote when I was six or seven years old, and when I recently rediscovered the story, I was bursting with ideas on how to revise it. In the past, I’ve tried to write stories on topics that I wasn’t really inspired by, but they never turned out as good as stories with plots that I was excited about, such as Escape the War. I believe that passion is key to staying inspired and motivated.


Don’t be afraid to discuss your writing with others

Talking about my story with friends and teachers gave me different perspectives and a lot of great advice. I was hesitant to talk about it at first, but I soon got enough courage and found it was a huge help! Several of my friends are also writers who could help me work through any parts I was struggling to write, especially since they often ran into similar problems. One time a friend was confused about a section in my story, so she asked a clarifying question. That conversation wound up giving me an idea for one of the biggest plot twists in my book!

Priyanka Nambiar, author of Escape the War

Take breaks!

Don’t force yourself to keep writing just to make a deadline; taking frequent breaks while writing will help keep you from overworking yourself. I would often write for a couple of hours and then take a short break doing an activity that didn’t take a lot of hard work (playing with my dog was a favorite break!). If I ever felt too tired or unmotivated to keep working, doing something to take my mind off of it for a little while almost always fixed the problem. This kept my motivation up throughout writing my book. That being said, be careful not to break for too long—that can also zap your motivation. I’m guilty of accidentally doing that every now and then!

I’m always on the lookout for tips for the writing process, and I hope these tips can help other writers as much as they’ve helped me!

— Priyanka Nambiar, author of Escape the War


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