This is as much for my own benefit as anyone else’s, so I don’t have to figure it out all over again. What I did was:
1. Attach the drive. For ease of use and avoidance of syntax challenges, you might rename the volume to a single word name, like “THISONE” or “helloooo”. Often, the volume might already be named “Elements” for an external Western Digital drive. Which I tend to buy.
2. Launch a Terminal window and enter the following line and hit [Enter]
sudo nano /etc/fstab
Enter your Mac password and hit [Enter] again.
This opens the editor and once there, you’re going to add the following line, where you replace “THISONE” with the volume name you chose in step 1.
LABEL=THISONE none ntfs rw,auto,nobrowse
Don’t forget! Replace THISONE with helloooo or Elements or whatever the actual volume name is.
3. Press [Ctrl+X] to close the editor, press [Y] to save changes and hit [Enter] to accept the file name.
4. Eject, unplug and reattach the drive to your Mac. You should now be able to read/write/delete/manipulate the files on your external drive.
5. Once you’re done, you can reverse the process in steps 2 and 3, removing the line from /etc/fstab.
This procedure has worked with several NTFS drives and failed on two.
Not catastrophically, though – I still had access to the files, just not write access.