Thursday, October 29, 2009

prepping for the 4 week novel

Here are some tips and ideas to help you write a novel in 4 weeks (this is for NaNoWriMo, but could be used any time of the year). This first post is up a few days before the fun starts if you need help planning. The first week post will go up November 1 and then every Sunday until it’s over. Hope it’s helpful!

Prepping for the 4 week novel can be done in one hour, one day, one month, or while you’re writing your novel – it’s up to you

All you need to do is come up with a plot idea for a novel or an interesting character (preferably both).

Having trouble coming up with a plot? Think about your characters and play “what if:”

*What if this happened? *What happens next? *What would be the best place to start the novel?

*What does my character want, need, fear? *What happens if they get what they want? *What happens if they don’t? etc.

Still need help? Here are a few more questions to think about while plotting and planning:

*Who is your main character (MC)?
*What does your MC want, need, desire?
*What do they try to help them achieve that?
*Who or what thwarts their attempt?
*What do they try next?
*What stops them this time?
*Will they get what they want in the end, or will they grow/change to not want it?
*Does your character want more than one thing?
*Do the things that the MC wants conflict with each other?
*Is your MC struggling against another person, nature, or herself?
*What is the MC’s secret? Does it cause inner or outer conflict?
*Is the MC on the journey by themselves, or do they have a friend, boyfriend, group?
*What role (if any) does the MC’s family play in your story?
*Why does the MC need to tell this particular story about their life?
*What is the emotional journey or tone of the story?

Keep asking yourself questions until you know where you need to start your story and have a general idea of where you are going to go. Or just open a blank document on November 1st and wing it! Whatever you do, have fun :)

Note: The 4 week novel tips are designed for NaNoWriMo, but could be used any time of the year if you are trying to fast draft a story. This is the second post. The first one was on NaNoWriMo Thoughts and Tips