Friday, 5 November 2010

Write a Novel in Thirty Days Tutorial

Writing a novel in a month may seem insane, but the national writing month’s target of 50,000 words in thirty days is a challenge many writers welcome. Not only is it a fun activity, it also leaves the writer with a first draft of a novel almost in an instant. But what strategies can the writer use to ensure that a novel has been written in a month?

Best Nanowrimo Tips

National Writing Month, or Nanowrimo, as it is also known, occurs annually every November. Thousands of writers take part, bringing a feeling of a collective experience for a pastime that is usually a lonely one. Blogs, forums and books have been written on this writing event. But the writer starting out may need some practical and concise advice on how to write thousands of words every day for thirty days.

The following practical writing tips may help:

Support for Writers During Nanowrimo

Give some notice to family and friends that you intend to write a novel in a month. Seek understanding and support. Clear the diary of events and commitments if possible. Take some leave from work. Plan ahead to grant as much breathing space and support for writing as possible.

How to be a Productive Writer

Writing takes energy. It might not be the same as jogging or weight lifting, but in excess is exhausting. It is a good idea to keep fit, prior to and during the writing challenge month. Regular exercise of the favoured kind will help keep the brain alert and productive. This could be in the form of an early morning swim, a walk during lunch break or an evening cycle after work. Writers who have to fit writing with family commitments or work will benefit from anything from ten minutes.

A balanced diet is great for the brain. It is well known that grey matter has the greatest need for carbohydrates. The complex kind are best, this includes wholemeal pasta, oats, buckwheat and spelt bread. Fish oil capsules can do little harm as it contains essential omega 3. Getting regular sleep will also help brain function.

Anti Procrastinating Program for Writers

With the body and brain in tiptop condition, the writer can make best use of the little time available during the writing month. This means planning ahead. It is a good idea to have some idea of what the novel is about prior to National Writing Month. This means knowing how the novel begins, the key scenes, climaxes and how the story might resolve. Completing fiction character profiles means that the novel fares a better chance of evolving into a character-driven plot, which will make novel easier to write.

Nanowrimo Success

The first paragraph to a novel is like oiling the writing wheels. Think about this before November first. Once the pen starts to flow, don’t look back. Just keep writing. The following writing exercises are essential to getting 2000 words per day written minimum.
  • Use good quality writing materials: Sharp HB or B pencils, erasers, sharpeners and smooth paper. Pen is not ideal, as mistakes have to be scribbled over and rewritten which could make the writing harder to follow.
  • Take the writing materials everywhere with you, either in a bag or dotted about the house. Write whenever time or situations allow. This includes in the car, waiting for the bus, whilst the kids are in the bath, in the garden and even on the loo.
  • Never look back. Editing can wait. Don’t worry if the right word has not been nailed. Get the story down and keep looking ahead.
  • If the flow of writing starts to stodge up, get up and walk about. Run up and down the stairs, go for a quick walk to get more oxygen to the brain. Teachers use this kinaesthetic strategy to keep students alert in class.
If the urge to write takes you, do it. This may happen in the middle of the night or early morning. Take the opportunity but take care not to burn the brain out.

A Thirty Day Novel

Writing thousands of words every day will be easier some days than others. Accept this. The writer may find the flow comes easier as the month progresses, but may hit brick walls. Writer’s block is the curse most writers dread. If this happens, write anything. Skip the next bit and begin on another part of the novel. No one said the novel had to be written from beginning to end.

Novel Writing Organiser

Some writers find keeping track a good idea. If typing on a computer, opening ten files consisting of 6000 words each may seem less daunting than opening one huge file that needs 60,000 words to fill. Small goals can be achieved quite easily. Ticking off every thousand words will give the author a small sense of achievement.

If the novel starts to fall behind schedule, ensure the next day or few days are clear for catching up. If the novel is ahead of schedule, don’t get complacent. Keep going as though the novel is on track.

Relevant advice on writing novels quickly can be found on the following links.

Novel Writing Exercises

No comments:

Post a Comment