Thoughts,  Writing Notes

Writing Four Days

We are four days out from the beginning of Nanowrimo, or the National Novel Writing Month. If you have been writing each day since we started talking, you’ll have at least 3,500 words. If you write for the next four days that will be another 2,000 words. Even if you miss a day, or have missed a day, you are ahead of the starting point of November 1 in this case.

If you haven’t started writing yet, you still have four days until Nanowrimo starts, so you haven’t missed anything. The truth is, you can begin your book any day of the year, and it will be the year you wrote your firs book. My question is, why wait? Now, there are some books that can only be written in their season, but until you try you won’t know.

If you have dreamed of writing a book, or if you tried to start and got sidetracked, here are some tips to help you either start, or to re-start. First, if you’ve started, and discarded it, I would suggest sitting down and jotting down both the idea, and what you liked about it. For now, don’t spend time on what didn’t work, that’s fixable later.

Second, if you stopped but didn’t discard it, get it out and revisit it with fresh eyes. Even if it has problems, or needs to be rewritten, it will give you a jump start on the next phase of writing. I’ve had ideas that didn’t work in various forms for years, but because I kept them in a drawer, eventually they worked when they were in season. A very wise man taught me you have to know the season.

Third, if you want to write, but don’t know what to write, ask yourself what book you would like to read. Almost immediately, you’ll at least have an idea of the genre, and it can be a pointer. If you say I like mysteries, but I don’t want to write fiction, then ask yourself what type of non fiction book you’d like to read. Knowing what types of books you like to read, will give you an insight into who you want to write for.

Fourth, if you know what you want to write, but are struggling with how to start it, there are a few tricks here. One is to write a conversation with two people that are talking about an event that already occurred. You are basically starting the story at the end and working backwards. This will work whether it’s a fiction title, or two people speaking on the impact of 9/11 on our history. You can find your voice through the voices of a two sided conversation.

Another option is start the story in the middle of an event, then you have both a point to reach back to, and a point to go forward towards. For example, the central person in the story being in the middle of a conflict, and tell how they got there, as well as how they get out. A soldier in the middle of a war is an example of this.

What is important is this, you have something to share, and though it can be challenging, it is very doable. I know one man who wrote his book in only three weeks time, you can write a lot in just a few days. So writing four days out from Nanowrimo, are you excited about telling your story? If you are, then I can guarantee you it’s a very exciting journey, and I’d love to be a guide on your journey.

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