Preparing for National Novel Writing Month can be hard if you’re allergic to plot outlines. And with any method, it’s a steep climb to write 50,000 words in a month. But if you have the urge to join the 34,000 people who last year completed a novel in 30 days, and your pen is poised over the paper (=your fingers poised on the keys), here are some tips.
Thanks to Editor Barbara Bos and Women Writers, Women’s Books for featuring my article today on how to prepare, without resorting to the dreaded outline and index cards (does anybody still sell index cards?).
Preparing for National Novel Writing Month without an outline?
It might be a breeze if you approach it a little differently. Here are some ways to prepare.
- Set a daily writing schedule. For me, it’s first thing in the morning. This year, instead of 50K words, I set my goal as 2 hours of daily writing.
- Write your hook (also known as short pitch). Yes, I know that’s the hard part, but if you can write a good one, it will carry you.
- Write one character’s problem and goal each day. Include that in your word count.
- Research your setting and count the notes in your daily word count. Place it somewhere in your manuscript, or if you keep a manuscript in chapter files, make a file for research notes. Every time you add to that, count it in your word count.
Remember: it’s your imagination, and it’s endless. It may feel like a steep hill to climb, but they’re just words and they can all be changed.
Are you tempted to jump in? If so, good luck! And let me know how it’s going. What’s your pitch or book title? Please share in the comments during November.