Well, I’ve decided to dive into National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) this year! A short background if you haven’t heard about NanoWriMo: it’s a month-long rush of writing a novel to reach the goal of 50,000 words completed by the end of November.
I’m working on another post for the background of my thinking for the month, and I’ll post that on November 1.
But today, I want to share some resources for others who are going to take part in NaNoWriMo. I thought these three posts to be great for preparing for the month ahead, which is sure to be wild. Actually, these posts have good advice for writing fiction in general, and not just for this event…
- NaNoWhoNow? NaNoWriMo Dos And Don’ts. Chuck Wendig gives a blow-by-blow account of surviving NaNoWriMo. This post is filled with solid advice that has helped me get my head straight before November arrives. Things like… be disciplined (thankfully, I’m not afraid of hard work), be persistent, don’t think your novel is finished simply because it’s 50K words long, and don’t forget to polish the sucker after November is done (I’m sure I’ll have some meh writing in the rush of the month). A damn good post.
- 12 Character Writing Tips for Fiction Writers. Melissa Donovan offers us writers a list of 12 items to keep in mind as we develop characters. These are thought-provoking in considering more about our characters, and some of these may not come out exactly in the action of stories — but instead may influence them. A back story for the character, for example, as well as their family and friends. I bet thinking about these things for the main characters in my NaNoWriMo novel will help shape my writing.
- Lessons from Writers – J.R.R. Tolkien. JMD Reid shares what he learned from Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings about character development. Namely, to make your characters suffer. Give them challenges. This makes a lot of sense to me, for it increases the danger, tension, and drama. It gives readers a chance to root for the characters to overcome the obstacles and come out on top. If a character always gets what she or he wants, where’s the drama and fun in that? This post is a good reminder to push your characters to give them a chance to eventually achieve victory, rather than have it handed to them.
As I mentioned, I’ll fill in some more detail about my thinking behind NaNoWriMo on November 1 — as I’m still wrapping up some other stuff. Good luck to all those participating in NaNoWriMo!