Preptober #4: 10 Tips Before You Dive In

I will say that any advice I give you is not one size fits all. I haven’t published a novel myself, but I do copywriting every day. I went to school for broadcast journalism so I know how to make sentences easy to read and understand. I know what I do and don’t like when I read. I’ve written nearly a year worth of posts on the topic of writing, and I’ve always been a story teller…but that doesn’t mean what I tell you is gospel. But if you’ve stuck with me this long, find insight in anything I say, and want more advance or perspective, here’s a few tips before diving into NaNoWriMo.

  1. All of what you write matters:
    Make your words important, hold them accountable, and have it tell your story.
  2. But at the same time none of it matters:
    Words are easily erased, overwritten, changed, and reflected. Don’t let the thought of writing the perfect manuscript the first time stop you from writing at all.
  3. You are the only one who can write this story:
    It’s true. No matter if the idea has already been done. This version, your version, can only be done by you.
  4. Write as much as you can, practice makes for better:
    Even if it’s garbage. Even if you hate it. Keep writing. You’ll get there.
  5. Edit later, write now
  6. If you don’t know the rule, ignore it for now:
    You’re trying to get words down right now. Ignore the rules, get the story out. You can solve it all later.
  7. Writing doesn’t have to be linear:
    If you get stuck in a scene, write a different one. If you can’t work your way forward, work your way back. Nothing has to be done in order.
  8. If you aren’t writing, read:
    Seriously. Read books in the genre you’re writing. Read books in the genre you aren’t. Read books by authors you love the style of. Read books by authors you hate the style. And then figure out why. Figure out why this book works, this one doesn’t. Figure out why you like this set of paragraphs and not these. The best way to learn to be a better writer is to read.
  9. Observe the world around you:
    Listen to how conversations flow. Describe the area around you as if you’re writing it into a novel. Think of how you’d describe your friends or your family as if you’ve never met them before. Watch how people interact with each other. How would you write that? Observe your world to be able to write a better one.
  10. Most of all, take care of yourself:
    There will always be another day to write. Don’t over do it. You’ll get there.

Good luck to all of you taking part in NaNoWriMo. I will be on the journey with you. See you on the other side!

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