As you may have heard (in this interview or this one) my next book is about a young novelist. She’s eighteen, newly published and moved to New York City, and is a product of NaNoWriMo.
For those of you who are unfamiliar, NaNoWriMo is also known as National Novel Writing Month, and is a grand tradition in which a few hundred thousand people attempt to write a book in thirty days. (Actually, they try to write several hundred thousand books. They aren’t all working on the same one. Duh.)
Alas, I finished Afterworlds only a few weeks ago, so it won’t come out until next October. So for next NaNoWriMo, I intend to produce vast quantities of writing advice posts for all of you. (Wondrous altruism or clever marketing? You decide.) But how does that help you brave NaNoWriMoers this year?
It does not.
Luckily, back in 2009, Justine and I switched off in creating a whole month’s worth of writing advice posts, one each day. And unlike tech advice and TV criticism, writing advice never gets old. So here’s a handy set of links for your NaNoWriMoing edification.
The odd-numbered posts are mine, and the evens are Justine’s.
Best of luck to you all!
NaNo Tip #2: The Zen of First (Zero) Drafts
NaNo Tip #3: Dialog Spine Analysis
NaNo Tip #4: Word Count is Not Everything
NaNo Tip #5: Write Your Way Out
NaNo Tip #6: Emergency Unstucking Techniques
NaNo Tip #7: Stealing from Chandler
NaNo Tip #10: Don’t Skip the Tricky Bits
NaNo Tip #11: Passages of Disbelief
NaNo Tip #12: Turn the Internet Off
NaNo Tip #14: Procrastination Can Be Your Friend
NaNo Tip #15: Take the Day Off
NaNo Tip #17: Making Writing a Habit
NaNo Tip #18: Breaking with Stereotypes
NaNo Tip #20: Don’t Wait for the Muse to Strike
NaNo Tip #23: Change Your Brain
NaNo Tip #24: Writing While White
NaNo Tip #25: Read it Backwards
NaNo Tip #28: Take Care of Yourself
NaNo Tip #29: Finish Everything
14 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo”
Yay! A post! And I have read all of that writing advice before. I have a bookmark to it on my iPad. It is because of that that I have a rainbow-colored writing hat 😉
Cool. This is hopefully going to help a friend of mine. 🙂
This is my first year doing NaNoWriMo, so I am extremely excited! I read your pep talk from 2012, which was amazing! I truly wish you had been a Pep Talker for this year!
Thanks for the great tips! There’s a round robin story being written on Twitter too, for NaNoWriMo. Could help with writers block. https://twitter.com/ThriftBooksUSA/status/396276279852670976
OMG!!!! First post, just finished the last days. It ROCKED, but wasn’t nearly as fexcellent or fawesome as peeps, or the ugglies series, which, by the way, was fawesome.
I hope I get to read blue moon soon, I can’t seem to get a hold of it at my library. My school library has a shelf dedicated to your books, but didn’t include the midnighters series on it.
I’m not doing NaNoWriMo this year (due to the fact that it intimidates me and I’m already working on a novel), but I’m reading these tips anyway. I’ve read eight so far, and all I can say is: Served Cold is SO GOOD! I am instantly in love with it. Dialogue comes most naturally to me, so the thought of writing a kick-ass story using nothing but (not even dialogue tags) is rather appealing.
Thoughts on Served Cold (~spoilers!~): On the first read, I naturally thought that the dead one was a boy and the live one was a girl. On the second reading, I consciously switched the genders just to see how it sounded. IMO, the dead one could be either gender (though I like boy better), but it was hard to make the live one a boy.
Also, I totally did not get the affair aspect of it (but that does make a lot of sense), or the fact that the dead one is planning the live one’s demise (whether it be conscious or not), especially the line about ‘Don’t let me go down there alone.’ On the second and third reads, I got a seriously creepier vibe (which works, considering it was for Halloween), and I got chills (in a good way)! It’s my new favorite short story, and personally, I think it’s great dialogue-only. How there are so many layers to it without once info-dumping was really awesome!
Just wanted to thank you and Justine for the thoughtful, inspiring and reassuring Nanowrimo tips you posted in 2009, which I have just discovered. They’ve been extremely useful. Thanks for your generosity.
@6: I agree that Served Cold was awesomely creepy.
Can someone please tell me what Served Cold is?!?!?!
@9: It’s the example story for dialogue spines in Tip #1. Go read it, it’s awesome. (And then read Tip #3 to get even more out of it.)
@Roxanne – well, for Spanish exam I have got to make a book, a collection of short stories. So I read “Served Cold”, and because I really loved it, I translated it to put it in the book. Only hiding the genders doesn’t really work in Spanish, so I had to make the dead one a boy and the live one a girl. I think it sounds better that way, it didn’t feel so right the other way around.
@11: I totally agree about the genders.
English has a LOT of problems (exceptions to every “rule” and whatnot), but the fact that some pronouns can stay ambiguous is kind of cool sometimes. I don’t think many languages have that.
Gotta love NaNoWriMo. Did it last year and finished two novels (one in prep, one just after the deadline). The only major problem is not stopping to edit every time you reread a paragraph and decide that it’s total crap.
I REALLY want to join this Served Cold discussion! I’ll post my thoughts after Tuesday (I have an English exam)!
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