Nail Your NaNoWriMo #4: Tell Your Story in Context to… ‘Something’

What happens on the first day of football practice? 

You get a Playbook.  Everything that happens from that point forward is in context to its contents and intentions.

What happens on the first day of class, besides nausea?  You get a syllabus.  With the same forward-looking intentions.

What happens when you write a novel that is not developed in context to something?  Either relative to storytelling aesthetics and/or specific narrative flow?

Disaster, that’s what happens.  So let’s avoid that.

You need a Playbook.  Here it is.

Open this link.  Print out the contents of the post.  Then staple it next to your computer, and maybe on your refrigerator.

It’s that empowering.

Skim the intro.  Forget the closing.  It’s the middle section where the gold resides.  Everything we do from this point forward during this October planning month, and then everything you write during the November writing month itself, is in context to this.

There’s more.

Click here and print this one out, as well:

And then, one more.

The sum of these three posts is more than enough to not only empower you to reach your NaNoWriMo goal, it might just elevate your effort into the realm of expectations-exceeding, writing-something-publishable territory.

The conventional wisdom about NaNoWriMo is both right and wrong.

Right: forget about self-editing in real time as you go.  In fact, overwrite.  Get it all down.  You’re compiling words, so don’t be shy, you can always go back in with a hacksaw later.

Wrong: what you write will almost always require major surgery, this is quantity over quality, don’t set your expectations too high.

Nope.  That’s naive.  That’s defeatist.  That’s… for the unenlightened writer.

If you want that last one to be proven wrong, and if you want to be the writer who does the proving… study these three posts via these three links.

If this stuff doesn’t light you on fire, you are literary asbestos.

Bonus link:

Because if you’ve read this far you’re really into this.  Here’s a little reward:


Filed under NaNoWriMo

6 Responses to Nail Your NaNoWriMo #4: Tell Your Story in Context to… ‘Something’

  1. Great stuff Larry,

    I found that I had saved a couple of those posts a year ago. Thanks for the set up to NaNoWriMo. This is whats missing for most wanna be NaNoWriMo efforts, the set up. Keep it coming!

  2. Jessica Dowding

    Thank you so much for this! It’s so helpful, and I think it’ll help a ton with NaNoWriMo and beyond. I’m new to this site, but I think it’s fantastic. Keep up the good work!

  3. Curtis

    This review of past “core” posts is an excellent idea. Easily could be done on a quarterly or by monthly basis.

    A recurring topic like, ” If I could only tell you four things”
    Read my book and these three posts.

  4. Another great post. Thank you for mentioning us pantsers – some of the preliminary steps can also be great checklists to use at the point where Stephen King would throw away his rough draft to write the story the readers get.

    Every one of these points is gold.

    If you’re a beginner, ready to write your first novel this November, definitely try Planning rather than Pantsing. Planning your novel is like an artist learning to use a ruler. Some artists practice drawing straight lines freehand and they go through a much longer learning curve than someone who just learns to use a ruler first.

    Great planning and outlining is also how many Nanowrimo Overachievers get their fantastic word count. One of my friends set a million-word goal year before last and reached it – because she spent eleven months plotting out every novel she was going to write. I think she also took that month off from work.

    Don’t be intimidated by Overachievers either. Most Overachievers have won several times over and developed good writing habits. They often also have more time to devote to writing in November than others.

  5. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

  6. Pingback: Brian Wethington » Archive » NaNoWriMo Guide