On this blog every Tuesday and Friday I write about story techniques, structure, and/or publishing. Comments and questions are welcome. I also have a personal blog, Amy Deardon, on which I write about a variety of topics purely as they catch my fancy.

I've written one novel, A Lever Long Enough, that I'm honored to say has won two awards. In my life BC (before children) I was a scientist who did bench research.

My book, The Story Template: Conquer Writer's Block Using the Universal Structure of Story, is now available in both hard-copy and e-book formats. I also coach would-be novelists and screenwriters to develop their story. YOU CAN CONTACT ME at amydeardon at yahoo dot com.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

NANO is Starting!

NANO will be starting on Thursday, so this is your last chance to review strategy before you start...

Let me just list a few ideas that might be helpful as you go:

1. Determine how you're going to write 50,000 words before you start. I favor the "Slow and Steady" approach in which you write 2000 words six days per week, but do what works for you.

2. Make a log for which you can record each day's work, and your total words. Once you start writing use this log to enter your daily word count onto the NANO site. It's fun to watch your words pile up.

3. Start at the beginning, and keep going. Use your list of ten events to stay on track. Also develop a "Notes" file into which you write anything you think of that you don't want to break away to do: change your main character Steve's name to Joe in the first 50 pages you've written, give Joe a baby sister or a sky-diving hobby with concomitant past memories, research ways to fold a silk parachute, and so forth.

4. Develop a "Journal" file in which you can free-write if you're untangling a knotty scene or character issue. THESE WORDS COUNT TOWARDS YOUR GOAL!

5. Have fun with NANO. Use all the tools and friends on the NANO site to encourage you to keep going. Many regional areas have a write-in at a local restaurant on one or two nights, where everyone brings a laptop and pounds away on the keys. Just remember that there are THOUSANDS of people across the globe going through the same work that you are. You are not alone.

6. Don't worry that every word you write must be *perfect.* Even if you end up writing 100% garbage, you've gone through the exercise of putting down 50,000 words in a month. This is OUTSTANDING! You've done well, and more than most people.


Here a few resources to consider:

For inspiration that you can write quickly and well, along with practical tips:

Rachel Aaron: 2k to 10k: Writing Faster, Writing Better, and Writing More of What You Love


Quick method for organizing your plot:

Marg McAlister: The Busy Writer's One Hour Plot

For practical, just-the-facts advice for many aspects of writer's block, plotting, and characters:

Anything by Holly Lisle


If you're stuck you can do these exercises and have them count towards your word count:

Victoria Lynn Schmidt: Book in a Month: The Fool-Proof System for Writing a Novel in 30 Days


And of course, I HAVE to plug my own book! But seriously, it will help you. I originally developed these exercises for my own stuff, and am delighted (and always humbled) that so many have also found them helpful :-)

Amy Deardon: The Story Template: Conquer Writer's Block Using the Universal Structure of Story


Good luck! You can do this.

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