Tag Archives: novel writing tips

NaNoWriMo QuickStarts: Genre Before All

Nanowrimo badge

Way back in 2006, I wrote some “quick start” articles for NaNoWriMo participants. We started a couple of months before November, and writers told me that the articles inspired them and helped them to focus.

With just five days before NaNoWriMo starts this year, there’s not a lot of time left, but you can start off the right way, by selecting a genre as I said in this article, Angela Booth’s Writing Blog: NaNoWriMo QuickStart 1: Pick a genre:

“The first thing you might want to do is to choose your fictional genre. Will your novel be:

* a romance

* a Western

* a mystery

* a thriller”

Why pick a genre?

It’s essential because readers have expectations, and they choose a book because they want to immerse themselves in a certain kind of world. If you give those readers what they want, you’ll get readers. On Amazon, readers search for genres, and once they’ve purchased a book or two in a genre, Amazon will serve up more books in the genre in its Recommendations.

Some readers confine themselves to a broad genre, like romance, and sub-genres within the genre. They may read historical fiction for example, and ONLY Regency romances.

Once you get readers who are focused on a specific genre, they’re voracious. They read just about anything within that genre.

I read widely; usually at least one book a day. That’s no hardship; I read fast. If you write in a genre I like, i will read whatever you produce. I’m always looking for new Westerns, for example. Give me a horse and a cowboy, and I’m yours. I also love historical fiction; I read very widely, and if I love a book, I’ll reread it many times.

One of my friends loves Regencies. Write anything set in the Regency era, and she’ll read it. Another friend loves cozy mysteries featuring a sleuth with a dog….

So, as you prepare for NaNoWriMo, choose a genre. This gives you a built-in, bolted on, readership for your book.

If you’re not sure which genre to write in, visit Goodreads/ Explore. You’ll see the genre links in the sidebar on the right side of the page.

How to Be Clever


Sometimes you come across an idea which is blindingly CLEVER, like this Facebook page.

I’ve written about the Piggyback Process, of which this page is a wonderful exemplar.

In this post, A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing: Guest Post by Summer Daniels, the page’s creator says:

“Then at the end of April this year, I had an idea.  I think Melinda DuChamp recently said in her first guest post here that she was ‘not above riding on coattails.’  The same can be said of myself, although I had another ulterior motive as well.  My intent in setting up the What To Read After Fifty Shades of Grey page was to take advantage of the influx of new readers to the erotica genre and point them towards other talented authors (including myself).  Call it a matter of inspiration (or should that be sin-spiration?), good timing, good luck, etc. – whatever it was – the page has taken off.”

Clever, very clever. 🙂

Yes, Blogging’s An Excellent Strategy For Novelists

If you’ve considered blogging for buzz, then decided that it’s not for novelists, think again. You can and should be blogging to build a platform while you’re writing.

This article gives you some great ideas, 13 Blog Post Ideas for Novelists | Michael Hyatt. Consider blogging:

“Excerpts from Your Novel. This is probably the easiest. It has the added advantage of allowing us, your potential readers, to “sample the brew.” Just write a paragraph to set up the excerpt. Oh, and be sure to link to your book, so we can buy it (duh).”

This is a great idea. Remember to blog regularly. It will inspire your writing. You always write more when you know that you have readers. 🙂