The big day is here! It’s time to begin your Nanowrimo novel! Yippee!
One thing that helps me out when I’m in the beginning phases of writing is remembering that even though writing is an art, it is also a science. There is a particular structure that makes for a pleasurable reading experience and pulls your readers along all the way to your dramatic conclusion. There are five parts to every novel:
- Rising Action
- Falling Action
When I’m staring at a blank page and stressing over that first line, I try to remember that if I can’t get that line just right, it doesn’t matter! I can get on with the “science” part, and once the words start flowing, the art will come naturally.
So in the first week, you’ll be concentrating most heavily on the science of introduction/exposition. What does this mean? In the first 10,000 words, you’ll want to:
- Introduce your all characters.
- Provide a snippet of what ordinarily life is like in your novel’s world.
- Introduce the problem that the characters will face as the novel progresses.
It’s a little less scary when you already have your writing plan in three simple steps, but just in case you need a little more encouragement, see below.
- The title: If you can’t think of the perfect title, who cares?!?! Just call it “Work of Monumental Literary Genius,” “My Novel,” or “George.” It doesn’t matter if you have the title picked out already. It will come as you give yourself the freedom to write unencumbered by self-doubt.
- The first line: Again, if you don’t have one already in mind, this is something that will come to you in a brilliant stroke of genius later in the process. If you are stuck, just start with “it all began…” or “it was a dark and stormy night….” The main thing is to start. It doesn’t have to be perfect.
- The first inkling of self-doubt: There will be moments when you wonder if you’ll have time to make your goals or if you even have a novel in you. YOU CAN DO IT! When your inner editor shows up to make you worry, tell him to go sit on a tack. This is your novel, and it is your first draft. It should be a joyful mess.