Made in America

National Novel Writing Month: Tips to Get Started

November marks the beginning of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)! The goal of this month-long celebration is to encourage writers to work toward the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 p.m. on November 30.

NaNoWriMo is meant to stir enthusiasm, ignite desire and create a sense of urgency as writers work against the clock to reach the deadline.

If you’ve ever entertained the idea of writing your own novel, NaNoWriMo might be the opportunity to finally put the wheels in motion.

The clock is ticking; let’s jump right in to our tips to get started.

  1. Write about something that you know. Remember that feeling you’d get in school when you had to write a paper on a topic you really weren’t familiar with? That feeling of defeat and confusion plagued you until you finally finished the paper. When it comes to writing your novel, those feelings should be nowhere to be found! Pick a topic that you know and love to begin the writing process. Writing a novel should be an enjoyable experience and not feel like a chore!
  2. Before you begin writing, it’s a good idea to identify the type of novel you’ll be writing. Are you planning on writing a romance, mystery or crime novel? Though there are a lot of different genres and sometimes genres tend to mix based on the twists and turns of the plot, it’s important to at least iron out the general type of novel that you’ll be writing. This will help you narrow your focus before you begin.
  3. Establish a writing routine. For NaNoWriMo in particular, there’s a deadline that will ignite a sense of urgency around completing your novel. To maximize your chances of reaching your goal, create a writing plan and schedule that you can stick to during the process. In the beginning it might seem difficult to adhere to your plans, but as is with everything in life, practice makes perfect. Stick to the schedule and your schedule will soon become a routine!
  4. Remember that you’re in charge! It’s your novel and your idea so do what’s comfortable for you. However, if a person that you trust offers you advice, you might consider taking their ideas under advisement. Receiving feedback from a fresh set of eyes is a great way to enhance your book and make revisions that you might not have realized would benefit the story. But, just because someone has voiced their opinion doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to accept it and change your work. In the end, it’s ultimately your decision as to whether or not you want to heed their advice.

NaNoWriMo is underway! Will you use this month-long celebration to work toward your dream of being a published author?

Copyright Dorrance Publishing, 2016

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