Have Fun with National Novel Writing Month


Hi Everyone

In order to keep the momentum of NaNoWriMo to a peak, I asked Author and Writing Coach Rochelle Melander, if she could do a guest blog post on how to stay motivated during this event and this is what she wrote.

I rocked NaNoWriMo on November 1. By the end of my first writing session, I had nearly twice the amount of words I needed. When I woke up on November 2—a Friday—I felt a sense of foreboding, “You mean I have to do this again?” By the end of that first busy weekend in November, I was thousands of words behind and worried about catching up. And I wasn’t enjoying creating scenes. Instead, I was worrying about whether the scene was realistic, thinking about how this should be easier, and wondering how long it was going to take me to revise this quickly drafted book. All the time, I had my eye on the counter: how many words had I written. (And I’m a professional writer!)

But recently, I’ve had a brilliant, game-changing aha moment: oh yeah, National Novel Writing Month is supposed to be fun. That tiny thought was all I needed to jump back into NaNoWriMo project with some joy. If you’re struggling with NaNoWriMo and need to add a little fun to your work, here are five ways to rock your story:

1.   Add a pop of color. I hear that advice a lot on clothing shows (as well as in nearly every magazine I read). In order to make an outfit compatible with the season, we can add a pop of color with our nails, shoes, or jewelry. Well, why not add a pop of color to our novels? A few weeks ago, I heard a story on the radio about a guy who had invented a working gun that could be printed on plastic using a 3-dimensional printer. My mind went right to fiction: imagine what would happen if a character could print a gun? Now that would add a pop and maybe even a pop of color. Try it: give your character a printable gun or some other unusual 3-dimensional prop to make and use. See what happens next.

2.  Take a page from fan fiction. Many of the students I am working with during NaNoWriMo this year write fan fiction. They borrow the best elements from their favorite novels and television shows, add new characters and plots, and write forward. When they talk about writing their NaNoWriMo book, they get all giddy because it gives them an opportunity to spend the month with characters they are curious about in a setting they have long admired. Try it: list 5-10 elements you like from your favorite television shows and novels. Don’t limit yourself—write down characters, setting, plot points, props, and anything else you can think of. Once you have your list, add one or more element to your NaNoWriMo project.

3.  Make worry work for you. I’ve been a worrier my whole life. Even happy events leave me worrying about what might go wrong. On the other hand, if you’re a worrier, you can harness your imagination and make it work for your writing. In Josip Novakovich’s Fiction Writer’s Workshop, he invites readers to make use of their worries by listing events that could have happened but didn’t (p. 23). These could be events you feared or hoped might happened. Try it: Make a list of at least five of these events and use one or more in your novel.

4.  Phone a friend. On the popular television quiz show, Who Wants to be a Millionaire?, participants could get help by reaching for three lifelines: 50-50, ask the audience, or phone a friend. Often both the audience and the friend were not just wrong, they were wildly wrong. In NaNoWriMo, we might get some interesting answers if we ask a friend or acquaintance for help with our novel. And in the world of NaNo, interesting means more fun for us. Try this: ask your friends on Facebook to give you a fun character or situation to add into your novel. Then do it—put in the zombie librarian or the flying pig, even if they have nothing to do with what you are writing about. Trying to add a unique element to your book will puzzle your brain in the best possible way.

5.  Use Found Passages. I’m enamored of artists who can take old materials and shape them into new items. In Paper Made: 101 Exceptional Projects to Make Out of Everyday Paper, author Kayte Terry teaches readers how to make purses out of old book covers and bracelets out of scraps of paper. As a writer, you can take found passages of writing and incorporate them into your book as well. Jonathan Safran Foer created his book Tree of Codes by cutting into his favorite book, The Street of Crocodiles by Bruno Schulz. What emerged is a novel that is part story, part sculpture. Try this: review favorite books, journal entries, magazine articles, and your old drafts of articles and novels for snippets to mix and match and revise into a part of your book.

Your turn: What tools and techniques do you suggest for letting go and having fun? Comment below! We need your advice!

Rochelle Melander is an author, speaker, and certified professional coach. She is the author of ten books, including the National Novel Writing Month guide—Write-A-Thon: Write Your Book in 26 Days (and Live to Tell About It) Rochelle teaches professionals how to write good books fast, use writing to transform their lives, navigate the publishing world, and get published! For more tips and a complementary download of the first two chapters of Write-A-Thon, visit her online at www.writenowcoach.com

Rochelle Y. Melander 
Author and Writing Coach 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Author of the book,
Write-A-Thon: Write Your Book in 26 Days 
(And Live to Tell About It)
(Writers Digest Books, October 2011)
A 2011 ForeWord Book of the Year Finalist
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
http://www.writenowcoach.com
http://www.writenowmastermind.com
rochelle@WriteNowCoach.com

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Find me on Facebook
Follow me on Twitter
 
 

 

The Liebster Award – Thanks And Nominations


Hi Everyone

On October 25th I was Nominated for the Liebster Award by Wendy from searchingforthehappiness.wordpress.com, thank you so much Wendy, you have an awesome blog and I love following it.

I have recently been away in London and wanted to take time to think about who to nominate before I went ahead and did so.

For this award I have received 11 questions to answer.  Hope you find out a little more about me and if you have any questions, please fee free to ask away.

1.  What has been the most rewarding part of blogging for you?

  • Writing a guest blog post for a HR company and it got a mention in The New York Times
  • Writing a blog post – Any opportunity to write and I am ecstatic
  • Communicating with some amazing people
  • Having Author and Writing Coach Rochelle Melander, guest blog on my blog
  • Having competitions for people to win a copy of Write-A-Thon
  • A blog post from my other blog, http://www.beatredundancyblues.wordpress.com being featured as a headline on Platform 3 online newspaper from Switzerland

2.  What have friends and family said about you having a blog?

My mum can’t even text, bless her, let alone go on the internet but she is pleased when I win an award. My dad picks over grammar, punctuation and spelling and tells me if there is something wrong, bless him. My friends are happy that my blog is successful and are very encouraging.

3.  Has your blog helped you professionally or is your blog just for fun?

My blog has certainly helped me professionally. It has boosted my status as a professional writer and I have other writers following my blog that I feel so honoured by.

4.  How long have you been blogging?

I started this blog in November 2010.

5.  What state or country do you live in?

I live in Exeter, in Devon, in the UK.

6.  What is your favorite hobby?

Writing of course, I adore it from head to toe and back again.

7.  What is your favorite type of food?

I like Thai food, if I can get the place serving it to cater for my allergies. East St Thai restaurant in London is good at doing this for me. I also like Chinese food and the same thing applies.

8.  Do you have a pet?  If so, what type?

I have four extremely beautiful guineapigs who live indoors with me. Snuggles, Peaches, Daisy and Cinnamon.

9.  What is your favorite book?

  • Childrens’ – I like the Gruffalo and all Mr Men and Little Miss books
  • Writing – How to Write a How To book
  • Business – How to Start and Run Your Own Internet Business

10.  What is your favorite movie?

I like the dance movie “You’ve Got Served”, Dirty Dancing and Grease.

11.  What is your favorite thing to do when you have free time?

  • Write
  • Go to the cinema
  • Spend time cuddling my guineapigs
  • See family and friends

It’s now my turn to nominate 11 blogs to win the Liebster Award:

I need to ask all the nominees above, to please tell me a bit more about yourselves by answering the 11 questions below: 
  1. What first inspired you to start writing a blog?
  2. What is the biggest challenge you have ever had to face when writing your blog?
  3. If you travelled through time, what time would you want to arrive at and why?
  4. Do you prefer to eat chocolate or sweets (or neither)?
  5. Do you prefer to read or to write?
  6. What is your favourite genre of writing and why?
  7. What is your favourite non-fiction topic to read about and why?
  8. If you could buy one book that would help you to solve a problem in your life, what would it be and why?
  9. Do you prefer to write at night or during the day?
  10. If you could be any character out of any book, who would you be and why?
  11. Do you prefer to read a printed book or an e-Book?

Congratulations to all the nominees, I can’t wait to see your answers and which 11 blogs you have chosen to nominate.

Write soon
Sandra