Tag Archives: novel

NaNoWriMo Success: 3 Tips To Achieve Your Goals

NaNoWriMo Success: 3 Tips To Achieve Your Goals

I was chatting with a friend who’s entered NaNoWriMo several times, and has an excellent question. She asked how to achieve her goals this year. She’s never published any of the novels she wrote in November, even though that was always her goal.

Her challenge: “Every time I do NaNoWriMo, I tell myself that this year will be great. But even though I finish, I never do anything with my novels. What’s your advice?”

How to achieve your NaNoWriMo goals

Writing a NaNoWriMo novel is just like writing any other novel. Every novel you ever write will have irritating problems. Often those problems involve editing and revision. Or something else.

For example, I’m working on a novel right now, and am within 2000 words of finishing it — but I’m not happy.

I’d like to add more scenes. I won’t. I’ll just tell my inner editor to shut up. If I start adding more scenes this late stage, I’ll unbalance the structure of the novel, for no reason other than feelings.

So managing your feelings is our first tip.

1. Be aware that your feelings always change

If you’re feeling depressed about your NaNoWriMo novel at any time, take a moment (five minutes, no more) to review your goals for the novel, as well as what you’ve done so far.

In my “we need more scenes!” novel, I’ve written 60,500 words when I aimed for 55,000. I structured the novel for 55K words. Since I’m at the deadline for this novel, adding more scenes would be madness.

Any feeling that something’s wrong with your novel is just uncertainty. Like all feelings, it will change.

When you review your progress, your feelings won’t change immediately. But they will change. Tell your inner editor “thanks for sharing”, and keep writing.

My friend reported that she hadn’t reread any of her previous novels because she felt that they were a disaster — feelings, again.

We’ve created an editing schedule she can begin after NaNoWriMo so that she can knock all of her novels into shape, and get them published.

2. Edit as you go, to avoid depression on December 1

Most of my friend’s feelings about her novel stem from post-novel depression. It’s normal to feel bereft and disoriented when you’ve worked hard on something, and it’s done.

Editing as you write helps with that. Generally speaking, I’m against editing while writing because too many authors keep reworking chapter one until they stall on their novel completely. They’ve lost their inspiration and their vision. Editing is a completely different mind state from writing.

However, if you suspect that you might feel overwhelmed when your first draft is done, edit as you go. Wait until you’ve completed a chapter of three scenes (or however many scenes you choose) then edit that chapter.

By the way, I’m talking about editing as revision, not editing as tinkering with word choices. Macro editing, rather than micro twiddling, if you like.

3. Schedule revision and editing — and publication day, if self-publishing is your goal

Writing 50,000 words in November is a wonderful effort, and kudos to you when you finish. It’s a huge achievement.

If your goal is to self-publish your NaNoWriMo novel, there’s one important thing you need to do before you start writing — create a schedule for revision, editing, and publishing. Yes, create that schedule now, and stick to it.

Blurbs Sell Your Books: Craft Irresistible Blurbs, And Sell More Fiction And Nonfiction Today

Blurbs Sell Your Books: Craft Irresistible Blurbs, And Sell More Fiction And Nonfiction Today

eBook: $5.99
You can, when you discover the secrets of writing blurbs (book descriptions) which sell. More info →
Buy from Scribd
Buy from Kobo
Buy from Inktera
Buy from Barnes and Noble Nook
Buy from Apple iBooks
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Master Fiction Writing: Craft A Novel in 31 Days

Master Fiction Writing: Craft A Novel in 31 Days

$4.99
Author:
Series: Selling Writer Strategies, Book 4
Genre: Writing
Tag: writing fiction
You want to write a novel. Perhaps you can't get started. Or maybe you got started, and then you stopped.You need a plan, broken down into easy steps. This program began as a 30-day challenge which I organized for readers in 2010. Hundreds of writers joined the challenge and completed it. They wrote novels. More info →

Resources to build your writing career

Get daily writing news and tips on the blog’s Facebook page.

Need help with your writing? Visit our online store, or check out our ebooks for writers.

Writing A Novel and Finishing It

Writing A Novel and Finishing It

You’re writing a novel. Perhaps it’s the novel of your heart, the novel you’ve always wanted to write. Or perhaps you got all enthusiastic and wanted to join friends doing NaNoWriMo.

That first flush of enthusiasm — I’m writing a novel! — has long gone. It’s dawning on you that finishing a novel is a challenge. Anyone can start a novel. Finishing it is something else altogether, and it’s hard.

Get a Strategy: Sit and Stay

Leo Babauta at zenhabits has some excellent advice, because all writers face the same problem. They want to run away:

Whether I’m writing an article or a book chapter, creating something new is not easy. I open up a new document, and instantly want to go answer some emails or clean my kitchen or read that long article on magician Ricky Jay.

Don’t run. The feeling doesn’t mean anything — we all get it. You need a strategy to deal with it. Leo gives you some good advice.

Here’s what I do. I sit. That’s all. It’s what Leo advises too: “Sit there, and look inside yourself.” I sit, and just breathe for a few moments. Slowly, I get back to myself. I can hear birds outside my window. Maybe a car drives past. I get in touch with my hands, my feet. My breathing deepens.

Maybe an idea for the novel floats into my brain. If it does, I’m good. I start writing. Maybe no idea appears. If this happens, I reread the last two or three thousand words I wrote.

Then, right in the novel itself, I create an entry in a character journal. It can be a major character’s journal, or a minor one, it doesn’t matter. You may or may not use the journal entry in your novel.

Here’s how it helps. Dropping right into the middle of your story gives you perspective. You’re writing about real people (real to you, and your readers), and they have problems. You should feel your enthusiasm rekindling, and you’ll write easily for the rest of your writing session.

If you don’t want to write a character journal, try…

1. Getting Clear on What’s on Your Mind

Maybe you had a fight with your partner. Maybe your child has problems. Just grab a pencil and paper — or open a new computer file — and start writing. Start with these words: “here’s what’s on my mind. How do I write anyway?”

2. Killing Off a Character (or Characters)

This often works, because when you’re writing the first few chapters of your novel, you create characters with abandon. They seem necessary, at the time. However, these bit-players clutter up your novel, and you lose focus. Your subconscious mind is well aware of this. Your resistance is the early-warning siren.

Let’s say you’re writing a mystery. You’ve got a crime, and a sleuth. You created the sleuth’s family. He has a wife, and three teenagers. The wife has problems, the kids have problems. Before you know it, the crime’s left center stage, and you’re writing a family drama.

Make a note to yourself that you’ll trim his family down to size, and get back to the point of your novel — the sleuth solving the crime. You can delete scenes later, for now, keep writing. Refocus.

3. Writing a Later Scene You Really Want to Write

If you’ve been writing chronologically, look at your outline. If a scene jumps out at you, write that. There’s no rule which says you have to write a novel from beginning to end. You can jump around as much as you like.

I often do this, because it works. It’s always easier to write what you really want write. Trust yourself. Your subconscious mind is wise. You may find that once you’ve written what you want to write, the answers to the scenes you’re struggling with magically appear.

So, there you have it — some idea to ensure that you keep writing, when you want to run away. Remember: sit, and stay. Don’t run. 🙂

Hot Plots: Craft Hot-Selling Fiction in 5 Minutes (or less)

How To Write Commercial Fiction With Hot Plots

The big secret of making money from your fiction is writing a lot. And publishing strategically and consistently. Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited program ensures that authors can make money from short stories, and all kinds of fiction. Moreover, whatever you’re publishing, you have a global audience.

You’re about to discover the easiest, fastest, and most fun plotting method ever. You can use it for all your fiction, whether you’re writing short stories, novellas or novels. Take control of your fiction now, and publish more, more easily. Discover Hot Plots.

, on Twitter: @angee, and find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Earn while you learn, with Angela’s Writing Classes..

Write a Novel With 8-Hour Wins

Write a Novel With 8-Hour WinsYou want to write a novel, or you’re already writing a novel… Either way, you want to complete your novel. Not only do you want to complete it, you want to write a sizzling page-turner which has readers jumping onto Amazon to leave you 5-star reviews. (Yes I know… unlikely. But you can dream. :-))

You can do it in eight hour sessions, as we describe in 8-Hour Wins:

You want to write your novel as an 8-Hour Win. That’s impossible, isn’t it? Maybe not. Here’s all you need to do, if you can write 1,000 words in an hour — serialize your novel. Then write each episode as you would an 8-Hour Win.

In this case your 8 hours would become 10 or 20 hours or more, but that’s OK. “8-Hour Wins” is a framework you can use to write anything you choose — just create the project, and keep track of your time.

Does This Mean You Need to Sit Down for 8 Hours at a Time?

No. Here’s how 8-Hour Wins works:

  • Hour 1: get your idea
  • Hours 2 to 6: create!
  • Hour 7: edit your creation
  • Hour 8: sell it!

The framework exists so that you have a process, and a limit on your time. If you read my writing journal, you’ll notice that I schedule everything. And reschedule, because: Murphy’s Law.

Everything takes longer than you expect, and things go wrong. All the time. That’s perfectly OK. You just go to your schedule, and reschedule stuff. And yes, some nights I do end up working late because I have things I need to keep on track, but it’s all doable, as long as you have a framework.

Let’s say that you have just 30 minutes each work day to complete your novel. That’s 2.5 hours over the work week. If you can manage eight hours in week on your novel, you’d need to make up the 5.5 hours on the weekend. Let’s say that you manage three hours on Saturday, and 2.5 hours on Sunday… done. If you’re writing a novel, you’ll extend that process over several weeks.

Estimate how long it will take you. Writing and editing will take you longest. Getting an idea will take you no time at all – try using the story-starter concept here.

Can you use 8-Hour Wins to complete NaNoWriMo?

This year’s NaNoWriMo is almost upon us. Yes, you can use the process to get your novel written in a month. Keep the serial publication idea in mind. We talked about serial fiction strategies here, and said:

Each Episode Needs to Give Value: Create a Plot Arc, With Climax (Cliffhanger.)

Your challenge with serial fiction is to make each episode in the story satisfying. Yes, you want readers to read the whole thing. However, each episode has to deliver entertainment and value. So each episode has a throughline, with a setup, action, and climax.

The Magic Is You!

One student said the eight hour process was “magic.” There’s no magic. Just you, and a framework in which to work on your novel. As you start writing with the process, you’ll imagine that you have more time. Realistically, you don’t. But when you use the process, you feel as if you do.

Try it. More on 8-Hour Wins here.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.