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Make Your NaNoWriMo Experience Count (4 Excellent Posts)

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I'll be upfront. I've never participated in NaNoWriMo (and have no desire to), but I've observed many writers go through the process.

I know it can help writers put aside perfectionism, procrastination, and inhibitions about writing.

That is: It motivates a lot of people to SIT and WRITE.

One might tend to think: Well, this is a good thing.

Sometimes, I'm not so sure.

When unskilled or unpracticed writers attempt NaNoWriMo, they inevitably end up with a lot of material they can't use.

Sometimes they don't realize they can't (or shouldn't) use it. Sometimes they even think they ought to submit it. (That's actually the least of MY concerns, though it does concern some agents on the receiving end.)

My concern is that NaNoWriMo could be immensely productive, for any level of writer, if approached with a bit of preparation.

Technically, such a thing might be called an outline.

But I call it laying the foundations for success.

What's going to happen in the story?
What does the character want?
What will the turning points be?

Right now, I'm working on a project for Writer's Digest, a 128-page bookazine (a special newsstand-only "book") that focuses on how to produce a novel draft in 30 days.

It is possible, but I'd argue you won't get anything meaningful out of it unless you have an idea of what you want to accomplish.

Otherwise, you're just writing to write. Maybe that's OK.

But I'd like you to have something at the end of November you can build on.

Here are a few excellent posts that will help you prepare for the NaNoWriMo challenge in a meaningful way.

5 Things You Absolutely Must Know About Your NaNo Novel Before You Start Writing

5 Resources to Help You Plan Your NaNoWriMo Novel

Let's Talk About Goals

Three Popular Plot & Structure Methods

Rimma Onoseta: On Trusting the Process of Revision

Rimma Onoseta: On Trusting the Process of Revision

Author Rimma Onoseta discusses how seeing other Black female authors on bookshelves encouraged her to finish writing her contemporary YA novel, How You Grow Wings.

Writer's Digest September/October 2022 Cover

Writer's Digest September/October 2022 Cover Reveal

Writer's Digest is excited to announce our Sept/Oct 2022 issue featuring our Annual Literary Agent Roundup, an interview with NYT-bestselling YA horror novelist Tiffany D. Jackson, and articles about writing sinister stories.

Your Story #120

Your Story #120

Write the opening line to a story based on the photo prompt below. (One sentence only.) You can be poignant, funny, witty, etc.; it is, after all, your story.

5 Tips for Writing as a Parent

5 Tips for Writing as a Parent

Author Sarah Grunder Ruiz shares how she fits writing into her life and offers 5 tips on how to achieve a sustainable writing life as a parent.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 621

Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write an animal poem.

Why Is This Love Scene Here? How To Write Compelling Love Scenes

Why Is This Love Scene Here? How To Write Compelling Love Scenes

Not sure which way to turn when writing intimate scenes? Author Jo McNally shares how to write compelling love scenes that make sense for the story you’re writing.

How Can I Help You?

How Can I Help You?

Every writer needs a little inspiration once in a while. For today's prompt, your character is a high-end retail salesperson.

Phong Nguyen: On Freedom To Invent in Historical Fiction

Phong Nguyen: On Freedom To Invent in Historical Fiction

Award-winning author Phong Nguyen discusses his lifelong dream of writing his new historical fiction novel, Bronze Drum.

Historical Fiction Authors Don’t Expect Their Characters’ Battles To Appear in Modern Headlines, but Here We Are

Historical Fiction Authors Don’t Expect Their Characters’ Battles To Appear in Modern Headlines, but Here We Are

What happens to historical fiction when history repeats itself? Author Addison Armstrong discusses writing about the past and seeing it reflected in the present.