If you think writing a book in a month is an irrational pursuit, you're kind of right. Sometimes we have to do crazy things to get headed down the right path.
A 30-day challenge can motivate you to do what you've put off for far too long: dedicating yourself to writing (no more excuses!).
In a special newsstand-only issue that I developed, Write Your Novel in 30 Days, I selected the best content that Writer's Digest has to offer on novel writing.
This guide is helpful for any beginning-to-intermediate fiction writer. Even if you don't want to write a book in 30 days, the guide offers milestones and worksheets that can help you no matter what your time frame is like. Here are 3 possible ways to use the guide:
1. Start a new project and finish in 30 days
You don't have to prep if you don't want to—especially if you've been contemplating a specific story idea for a while, and just need motivation to start. The 30-day calendar inside this guide helps you begin outlining on Day 1, and integrates a few key steps into your first week that builds a framework for a successful story line.2. Prepare (a little) before you embark on the program
Before you mark Day 1 of your writing, you can use this guide to create realistic goals and identify the kind of story you want to write. Several outlining methods are also reviewed if you like to go into the writing process with an excellent road map.
3. Revise an existing manuscript
You can still use the 30-day method, and complete all the worksheets in the guide to help uncover potential problems in your story. James Scott Bell's Ultimate Revision Checklist helps you create a comprehensive revision plan.
You can buy Write Your Novel in 30 Days at your nearest bookstore, off the newsstand (available through April 10, 2011). Eventually, it will be available for sale through Writer's Digest Shop.
Worksheets included in the guide:
- Story Tracker (Act I, II, III)
- Story Idea Map
- Scene Card
- At-a-Glance Outline
- Character Sketch
- Character-Revealing Scenes
- Closing & Denouement
- Reversal Brainstorm