NaNoWriMo and Novel Writing Tips from the Pros

NaNoWriMo is here again, and you can see a lot of writers gearing up to write their drafts of 50,000+ words to beat the November 30 deadline. I would like to be able to proudly say that I am going to be one of them, but I am not. I am not that confident enough, and I know that I still have a lot to learn. Not to mention I do not have the right resources. We only have one PC in the house, and it’s currently being used as a tool for therapy by someone who is suffering from depression. However, that does not stop me from enjoying some writing tips designed for people to survive NaNoWriMo because these tips can actually be really helpful for someone like me who is writing a book for the first time.

I have been stuck in a pool of green light, seeing so many successful authors with so many followers in their blogs and great feedback on their books. They are doing what I love, and they have made a name for themselves by going after what they want to do. I’m still in the newbie stage, and most of the blogs I follow have already reached their master stage. As a result, I have avoided looking into these blogs, not realizing that these blog authors would want to extend a helping hand to those who would like to get started on writing. For letting my envy and jealousy get the better of me, I missed several posts that would have made me start my book painlessly and effortlessly. If I had been less inclined to listen to my green monster, I would have made some crucial changes in my book that would have lessened the need for editing later. The sad part is, since someone is using the PC, I am writing the book in the traditional way – through pen and paper. You guessed it, editing will be headache.

Getting Into It

So now, here I am, soaking up all the information that I could get for writing the book. I’ve already made a post on one aspect, which is the point of view, but that it something that should have come out later. I made it because it was at the top of my WordPress reader’s feed, and it got me into thinking that maybe there are many other tips that I could use for my book. True enough, there are several, and the one major thing that I’m kicking my self in the butt over is Kristen’s blog on how to write a novel for NaNo that will have less revisions and high probability of finishing and publishing. In context to her NaNo tips is Bob Mayer’s post about adding conflict to your story that centers character agenda.

What I Missed

Kristen talked about three key elements that a novel should have. They are:

  • The Protagonist – which is the main character of your story
  • Active Goal – something that makes the character tick, so to speak
  • The Antagonist – someone who will do everything in their power to make it hard for your protagonist to achieve her goal

All these three could be surmised in a synopsis of your book, something I totally skipped doing since I am itching to write. I neglected doing a synopsis because I was thinking, hell I already have a story in my head, what do I need a synopsis for. Now I know. Your synopsis will help you focus on these three key elements. As long as you have your synopsis, staying in track will be easy.
NaNoWriMo Survival Kit by Bob Mayer

Bob’s outstanding blog fully explained exactly what these three key elements should have, which are glued together through the introduction of a conflict. It’s easy for someone to create a book all Disneyfied and free of any problems. It’s a natural tendency for people to wish and live in a world that is without any problems and conflict. However, what makes a great movie and book interesting and exciting is the presence of a thing that can both destroy the lives as well as solidify the connection between a book’s characters. What we new writers need to figure out is how to introduce the conflict smoothly with a natural transition so that the story will stick to the synopsis and not sound so convoluted and confusing.

So far I have a solid protagonist, but my conflict is not exactly set so that in itself should warn me that my book is going to be slow and long-winded. Another nail in the coffin for me is the absence of the antagonist. If you do not have an antagonist, then how will you have a solid conflict? I already have formulated three antagonists in my head, but that’s the problem. They are just formulas in my head. They are not concrete, they are not well-thought off, and I have absolutely no idea how to push them into my story now that I am in my 7th chapter.

Can I do it without revisions? Like just insert them and then revise the beginning chapters again, making sure that I put a sticky note on the page where I want to put in my antagonist? So here’s the conflict for me, the writer. If I revise now, that would mean starting all over again, and probably dishing out other parts in the book that are (in my opinion so far) making my book come together. However, I have a feeling that the conflict is already there, but I just need to make it concrete and solid.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. evanatiello
    Nov 09, 2014 @ 04:19:20

    Don’t let the lack of a computer stop you, Donna Marie. I wrote my first book in a black and white composition notebook. Talk about sticky notes! I even have pieces of paper taped to pages and others stapled in. I think the perfect process for writing is the process that’s perfect for you and your life and your lifestyle. So keep at it! Good luck.

    Liked by 1 person


    • Donna Marie
      Nov 09, 2014 @ 13:24:54

      Wow, thank you so much for visiting my blog, as well as the inspirational advice! Truly, it’s an honor. I have stopped for now as I am doing some research on how to write a scene in my book without sounding too technical and boring. Aside from that, I am also reading some works as well as critts from scribophile so that I can have ideas on how this section of the book must go. I will seriously consider your advice, and probably buy me some sticky notes as well. Again, my thanks.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: