Friday, October 19, 2012

Writing Tips from a NANO Survivor — guest post by @Ginagina7


The following is a guest post
by Gina Rossi.


To all of you brave Nanoers out there, I’d like to have a go at structure.

“Structure?” I hear you cry. “We’re not supposed to worry about that! This is Nano. We’re allowed UN-structure, to write with absolute freedom and without censure.”

True, but a little structural discipline will go a long way to producing a solid first draft.

Here’s what worked for me:

1.) Any back story or flashback moments in your novel? Write them first. Knowing the past can only be good for your story.

2.) Forget about structured chapters of equal length for now, but, each time you type a sentence that offers a cliffhanging moment – suitable for a chapter ending - make a note in the text. Do the same when you find yourself creating good chapter-opening lines – lines that will hook your readers and keep 'em reading. Mark these places so they will jump out when you get to the edits.

3.) Have a go-to-in-a-blocked-panic list of topics. Revert to it when you are stuck and let it lead you. Some examples:

- A quick 100 word paragraph on the physical appearance of your hero in the opening scene
- Ditto on the hero’s personality. What makes him/her uniquely him/her?
- Describe a room in your story.
- A list of 100 good words to describe the seasons/one of the seasons in your book.
- Describe a meal eaten by one of the characters.
- Is anyone travelling? Write 10 sentences to convey the mood.
- Is there a villain? Is he / she a cliché? Turn him/her upside down. Describe the most unlikely villain you ever saw.
- A list of 20 memorable smells. Why are they memorable?

And so on...

Remember, it never gets easier - but you can get better.

Good luck to each and every one of you, and happy writing in Nanovember and beyond.

Check out Gina's Book

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