The following posts are a series of writing lessons that NaNoWriMo has taught me. Like today’s, they are things that i have picked up because of the way NaNo is run. My Deadly Writing Sins are a few things i know that I do that might hinder my NaNo Progress. By getting them out in the open, airing the dirty laundry so to speak, i’m hoping to conquer them.
One of the benefits of writing NaNoWriMo is that I have had months to stew and ponder over the novel I’m going to write. (Here is the link to the short synopsis teaser) and (here is my last post about stewing over the plot of this book.)
In doing so, it has allowed me to pick up potential problems before I write them. Yes I have spent months procrastinating (preparing) for NaNo, rather than writing, but for me this is a good thing. I haven’t written the ideas that didn’t work. Yes, stop pestering, I know that writing is about trying ideas and when they don’t work you try another. I know this is just practice. I do actually believe in the “Just Write” philosophy. But at the same time I really enjoy the fact that this book has been stewed. Rather than loosing excitement for it by waiting, I have a crystal clear idea of this book in my head. I can see the movie setting, see the clothes, see the characters that will play the main roles. This is what has lead me to this point.
I was reading James Scott Bell’s Plot & Structure last night, reviewing the LOCK principle and looking at the “gateways” that I have in my book. “L” stands for Lead. You need a great lead. We need to be interested and care about the main character. You have to make the readers read the book desperate to know what is going to happen to him/her. Will they reach their goal, or will the fall into a fiery pit before they get there.
Then it it me.
My Main character will have interesting things happen to her, but she in herself is not that interesting!
Super embarrasing. The supporting characters have quirks a-plenty. they have their insane personalities and they are so much more developed. I mistook exciting things happening to my main character for my lead character being likable.
Now I’m really glad that I stewed this book and had the chance to pick this up now. Granted I could have easily gone back into the book and added the characterization later BUT now I have the chance to re-develop the most important character in the book. To make sure that I start with the best chance possible. As I have said before, I do have a perfectionist streak in me. If it starts out tooooo crappy then chances are i’ll throw it against the wall before i finish. Don’t get me wrong, I like editing and am good at editing, but I like to start with some thing that has a chance of working first.
Back to the drawing board
So for me it is back to the drawing board and i’m going to try and weave some magic into the main character. The supporting characters are full of exciting quirks to start off with but the MC. Bland Bland Bland.
NaNoWriMo Deadly Writing Sin – Identified and Rectified
Tip for other writers:
Make sure your main character is an exciting character, don’t think he/she is exciting just because exciting things happen to him/her. Add the characterisation layers and make that main character as memorable as you can.
By exciting I do NOT mean they need to swing around a gun, or swear at authority or anything, they just have to “Pop, Pop, Pop”
Today I will give away a free kindle copy of Sleepers by Megg Jensen to the first person than can tell me which movie the quote comes from in the above paragraph.
Note: you must have a kindle device, or someway to read the e-copy that i send you the link to
Happy NaNoWriMo everyone,
Buy James Scott Bell’s Plot and Structure - Buy from Amazon here (Kindle copy available)
My NaNo Story Premise - Steampunk YA
Kristen Lamb’s Website – Awesome info on writing topics. Check it out! – Post on Novel Structure