NaNoWriMo Tips

WRITE IT FORWARD Daily tips and inspiration to help all authors during NaNoWriMo achieve success and continue to move forward even when NaNo is over…check back daily as each day we will post a new tip.

Write It Forward Tip: Consider ‘bookends’ for your novel:  Time (Six Days of the Condoer); Space (Lonesome Dove goes from Lonesome Dove to Montana, but ends back in Lonesome Dove); Character (the life and death of a Spartn in Gates of Fire) or Event (the trial in Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil).

Write It Forward Inspiration: Special Forces Assessment & Selection Thought:  Challenges can be stepping stones or stumbling blocks.  It’s all in your perspective.

Write It Forward Tip: You will tend to outline your book in the same manner in which you organize your daily life.

Write It Forward Inspiration: Special Forces Assessment & Selection Thought:  Defeat isn’t bitter if you don’t swallow it.

Write It Forward Tip: Go to scene selection on a DVD of a movie you like: it pretty much lays out the narrative structure of the movie.

Write It Forward Inspiration: Special Forces Assessment & Selection Thought:  Strength is proven in adversity.

Write It Forward Tip: If your protagonist fails, what happens?  This tells you what is at stake in your story.

Write It Forward Inspiration: Special Forces Assessment & Selection Thought:  To become is hard; to be is even harder.

Write It Forward Tip: If you remove your antagonist from your story, does it collapse?  It should.

Write It Forward Inspiration: Special Forces Assessment & Selection Thought:  The only person holding you back is you; everyone else is merely watching.

Write it Forward Tip: The five elements of narrative structure are:  Inciting, Escalating Conflict, Crisis, Climax and Resolution.  Those are the same elements in every scene.

Write It Forward Inspiration: Special Forces Assessment & Selection Thought:  Difficulties are meant to rouse, not discourage.

Write It Forward Tip: A prologue is only called that because it’s out of time sequence to the rest of the story.  While many frown upon prologues, they are often used successfully, particularly in a genre such as a thriller.

Write It Forward Inspiration: Special Forces Assessment & Selection Thought:  Positive thoughts bring positive results.

Write it Forward Tip: Be able to say what your book is about in one sentence with the subject of the sentence being your protagonist and the verb being a positive one that indicates accomplishing something.

Write It Forward Inspiration: Special Forces Assessment & Selection Thought:  Take your eyes off the price and put them on the prize.

Write It Forward Tip: Pace yourself. This is a marathon, not a sprint. Too many writers start out with a lot of energy and excitement and then don’t have the necessary brain power to finish.

Write It Forward Inspiration:  “I am always doing that which I cannot do in order to learn how to do it.”  Pablo Piccasso

Write It Foward Tip: Answer this question and you’ll find the key to success:  I’ll do anything to succeed as a writer, just don’t ask me to do X.  Then do X. (courtesy Michael Hague)

Write It Forward Inspiration: “My ideas usually come not at my desk writing but in the midst of living.” Anais Nin #writegoal

Write It Foward Tip: When considering point of view in writing, think like a film director and where you would position the camera to ‘film’ each scene.

Write It Forward Inspiration: “If you do not breath thru writing, if you do not cry out or sing in writing, then don’t write, because culture has no use for it.” Anais Nin

Write It Forward Tip: The stronger and better your antagonist, the stronger and better your protagonist must be.

Write It Forward Inspiration: Watch How to Pitch the Johnny Cash Way, get rejected, ask questions, and re-pitch and succeed.  All within three minutes.

Write It Forward Tip: A story grid can be an effective tool for keeping track of your story.  Fill it in as you progress.  Each row is a scene in the book.

Write It Forward Inspiration: “The two most beautiful word in the English language– check enclosed.” Dorothy Parker

Write It Forward Tip: Have core conflict in your novel where the protagonist and antagonist want something concrete and specific and the main obstacle to each achieving that is each other.

Write It Forward Inspiration: Special Forces Assessment & Selection Thought:   The only person holding you back is you; everyone else is merely watching.

Write It Forward tip: Try not to focus on the word count. Set a timer and only check your progress then.

Write It Forward Inspiration:  “You’re going to be unemployed if you really think you just have to sit around and wait for the muse to land on your shoulder.”  Nora Roberts.

  1. Just listened to you warrior writer, pitch the johnny cash way. Very inspiring. Thank you for that.
    Jim

  2. goddessofjoy

    A wealth of inspiration and ideas. It is exciting and encouraging to find someone who has achieved their success, who then is willing to share their knowledge so freely. Thank you Bob.

  3. Thanks Bob,
    so good to hear snippets of all the fantastic info you gave to us in Auckland over that long weekend as reminders, that along with the awesome, already heavily dogeared books I took home from conference, Write it Forward and The Novel Writer’s Toolkit. Have taken all to heart and am making good progress with first novel, “Pony Express” (not its real name, but working on it…) . Have created a blog! bluemistlizzi.wordpress.com and after Friday deadline for the Strictly Single RWNZ competition, on to discover Twitter.

    My sons appreciated the pics with you from the Friday night reception.

    Recent back injury has made me rethink my profession and heading for more writing and a secondary teaching career. Thanks for the inspiration you were to all of us. Looking out (and IN!) for more! Thank you again.

    Kindest of Regards,

    Lizzi

  4. Thanks, Bob. Crisp and insightful, as always.

  5. Thanks for the generous and valuable information. Will use much of it in the coming week.

  6. I clicked on “How to Pitch the Johnny Cash Way” and it gave me an error message, which gave me a sadface.

    These are great tips, though. :)

  7. Great tips, Bob. Thanks for sharing them.

  8. Very pay-it-forward of you to share! I’m working it and aiming to hit the 40,000 mark on the bulls eye this weekend! Go NANoWriMo!

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