At the last minute, I decided to do NaNoWriMo again this year. For those who don’t know, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, and it is a website that helps you to write a 50,000 word novel in exactly 30 days. It can get pretty crazy, but the experience of putting all those words onto paper is amazing! Anyone can sign up, and it is completely FREE. They also have a Young Writer’s Program for kids and teens!
This year I’m going to write a memoir of my time spent in Mexico as a missionary kid growing up. Maybe I’ll even let some other MKs read it when I’m done!
You can check out the NaNo website here. http://www.nanowrimo.org
Some of my favorite writing tips and tricks:
1. Bodily exercise engenders mental exercise. When you are stuck in writer’s block, take a walk and get the creative juices flowing.
2. Outline, outline, outline. You have to know where you’re going, but also don’t be afraid to take a new direction that wasn’t planned.
3. Just write! Write all the nonsense, foolish stuff you want. You can always edit later.
4. Know your characters. Keep a list of each characters attributes so you can remember who has brown hair and who has the tattoo and who chews on their pencil.
5. Keep snacks handy. Eliminate any possible excuses for walking away from the keyboard. It helps to focus if everything you could possibly need is right next to you.
6. Don’t listen to that inner editor, or that doubt-filled whiny voice inside, or the lazy couch-potato who just wants to watch TV. Only listen to the imaginative, energetic, confident voice!
7. Ask the right questions. Always ask yourself “What if…?” and “Why would…?” This helps to develop the story further and really flesh out the characters and setting.
8. Torment your characters. An unhappy character is a person who needs, wants, and is forced to DO something to keep the story moving. A happy character is stagnant.
9. Soundtrack your writing with great background music to keep you motivated.
10. Tell everyone that you are writing a book. Then if you chicken out, you’ll be embarrassed when they ask you about it.
The absolute MOST IMPORTANT tip for writing is….
READ EVERYTHING YOU CAN! Constant reading of good books is essential to a writer. You have to get those rhythms in your head and heart before you can spit out something that means anything.
Happy Writing everyone!