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The Daily Life of a Compulsive Writer

NaNo Prep Tip #1: Choosing Your Novel October 5, 2011

Filed under: Writing — katblogger @ 7:27 PM
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Now that it’s October, if you’re planning on doing NaNo, you should probably create some vague idea of what you want to write about. (If you’re like me, you’ll have come up with and discarded a minimum of three by now, finally forcing yourself to stop changing your mind.) If you haven’t chosen yet, here are some things to keep in mind:

1. Research is Not Your Friend – While doing NaNo, you need to write large quantities of words very quickly. Stopping to look something up or check a fact will slow you down. Therefore, it’s a good idea to reject stories that involve a lot of research. Books set in modern times in a place you’re familiar with, or a fantasy world you can create completely on your own, are the best choices.

2. This is Not Your Baby – Do you have some grandiose, eternal dream of writing the great American novel? A perfect, Pulitzer-prize worthy idea stewing in your mind? Great. Don’t write it. At least, not now. NaNo is about the glorious freedom of just writing, abandoning crappy paragraphs in your dust as you move on to the next, possibly even crappier one. It’s hard to let your inhibitions go if you want to perfect every word. Save your story-babies for writing at leisure.

3. I Hear You, Dude – You need to stick with this story for thirty days and fifty thousand words. I’ve had many ideas that fizzled and died. Make sure you have a strong grasp on your story, and can see following through with it until the end. Make sure you ‘hear’ the voices of your characters clearly, and have enough to write about them to make it through. If it’s just a vague shadow of a plot, either refine it or try again.

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