***Are you ready for NaNoWriMo?*** It’s the question most asked this time of year, right before National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) that takes over the month of November every year. If this is your first time doing NaNoWriMo, don’t stress out too much about it. It’s a huge learning process where you’ll discover what’s most important for you to be able to produce content on a continual basis to move forward towards your end goal of 50,000 words in 30 days. The biggest lesson I’ve learned over the years is that it’s not so much about the end result. What you have at the end of 30 days will in no shape or form be a novel ready to print. Depending on your genre, novels can be 80,000 words and up. Just understand: you won’t be finished with it on November 30th.
Write first. Proofread in December. It’s all about getting the words down on the page (or the computer screen). We published an article a couple of months ago about [ilys]( https://prowritingaid.com/art/375/Where-We-Write-%E2%80%A6-ilys.aspx ), an online platform that only allows you to see the last letter you typed on the screen. You can’t go back and edit—you can only keep typing until you’ve hit your word goal for the day. While this platform may take the “just write, don’t edit” rule further than many writers are comfortable with, the idea remains the same whether you are writing in word, Scrivener or with a quill and ink. Just write.
It’s time to burst your bubble. Sorry! The typical paperback novel is between 80,000 and 100,000 words long. Yes, you completed 50,000 words, and that’s an amazing achievement in 30 days. But 50,000 words does not a novel make. The beauty of NaNoWriMo is that it releases you from worrying about what you’re writing, trying to make it perfect, and instead you just focus on getting words down on the page. And that is a serious accomplishment: 50,000 words in 30 days. NaNoWriMo hopefully taught you that when you’re not seeking perfection, you can get an amazing amount of words out instead of staring at a blank page. So, sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but you’ve likely got more work ahead on that novel of yours. Here's what you need to know...
For hundreds of thousands of writers scattered throughout the world, October 31 is day of mixed emotions such as panic and determination as the day after marks day one of National Novel Writing Month aka NaNoWriMo. In this article, Cathi King gives advice for how to get through the challenge.
What are the most important things to include in your opening chapter? Establish your setting. Introduce elements of your protagonists conflict. Raise important story questions. Make your reader care about your character. Read on to find out more!
Foreshadowing allows you to plant clues, hint at what’s to come, build the tension, or even place a red herring in your reader’s path. You can use foreshadowing in a variety of ways. The resulting action can be immediate or delayed. You can use dialogue or narrative to set the scene, and you can foreshadow a symbolic event or an ethical dilemma. You can use direct or indirect foreshadowing, and it can even be true or false. Foreshadowing can feed the tension of a scene. Who doesn’t know the famous shower scene in the movie Psycho? Right before the character Marion Crane pulls up to the Bates Motel, her windshield wipers are slashing through the rain, foreshadowing what awaits her in the shower scene.
Learn the difference between surprise and suspense and how to use them in your story. In this article, writer Zara Altair breaks down when and where to use each.
Even if your writing is stellar and your characters are engaging, your novel will fall flat if you don't master these five key plot points.
An allegory is a story that evokes two separate meanings. The first meaning is the story's surface, like characters and plot, the stuff that goes into every story. But at a much deeper level, an allegory has a symbolic, heavy meaning. What allegories come to mind? Maybe _The Lord of the Flies_; _The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe_; _Moby Dick_; or _Pilgrim's Progress_?
Supporting characters are designed to move your story forward. Discover their relationship to story context and how that influences the way you write them.
Verbs like "know," "remember," and "imagine" are thought verbs that happen inside a character’s head. They slow the story down. Learn how to replace them with action and detail.
Know the difference between antagonist and villain. Read this article for tips on how to use them in your story to create obstacles for your protagonist and build tension for your reader.
Creating a series can boost your author career and simplify your novel writing. You’ll create benefits as a writer and increase your marketing power. Author Zara Altair offers tips on writing a series.
In this post, Kathy Edens introduces us to six of the most popular novel-writing methods out there: 1) The Snowflake Method, 2) The 30-Day Method, 3) The 5-Step Method, 4) The Write From The Middle Method, 5) The 5-Draft Method, 6) The Novel Factory Methods. The best method is the one that speaks to you. It’s the one that you’ll commit to and use to start writing your novel. But more importantly, it’s the one that will help see you through to the end. Only you can decide what’s the best method for you because every writer is different with different needs and motivations. Choose what works best for you. Or experiment with different methods to find the one that helps you be your most productive ever.
Many readers struggle to figure out how much backstory is too much. DailyWritingTips explores this topic on their blog.