It's Almost November

That means #NaNoWriMo is coming. Yes, that once a year writing exercise that gets people to (attempt to) bite the bullet and just write the damn thing. Several new folks have been joining the writing group im in have already done the worldbuilding, character arcs, conflicts, resolutions, and all that but still ask “How do I come up with a story?” Honestly that should be the first thing well before you start making the bricks to build the house. Other folks join and complain they don't want to use their Best Idea Ever because they aren't good enough to write it but don't have the motivation to write anything else. Like, yall gotta get over that.

Tips for November:

  1. Write something totally new. Don't beat your head against the wall with the same concept you've been working on since you were 16. Start fresh, get some inspiration from short stories or movies. Anything you can consume in the next 2-3 days.

  2. Outline it: Sit down and write out an outline for the story (not the synopsis and not the summary). What happens at the beginning, middle, and end that are so important you can't not have them occur. [Guy goes to a bar, guy meets a girl, takes her home, she turns out to be an alien creature, gets beamed back to the space ship, wakes up back at home with a thank you note from the alien girl the next day.] << That simple.

  3. Get a notepad/spiral Use the notepad for things like character names, places, and such so that you can just glance at it while typing. Interrupting your flow by swapping screens or pulling up another window will cut into your progress. What did I name the bar? Oh yeah, type type type.

  4. Stop trying to write Harry Potter/Game of Thrones/Wheel O' Time This is 50k in a month. Unless you regularly write 2k words a day for work you aren't going to bang out a vast immersive world. If you are into that and don't already have the back end made for it then try for fanfiction. I wholly encourage fanfiction for new writers to practice pacing, dialog, etc.

  5. Schedule Writing Time You will not just sit down and be inspired to do this. You might for a few days but after a while you're gonna wander around the room thinking about how the story goes and not actually get it written. It's a pace of 1667 words per day minimum. Don't waste time thinking about what to write. (Do that before hand.)

I had originally outlined something I thought would be easy to roll through next month but turns out I don't have enough story to tell for it. This is why I outline first, easier to toss out or put away for a while. So now I've come up with something that is a decent story (altogether different) that just needs the motivations fleshed out to make it work. Will see how it goes. It's about a young woman who has the genetic ability to visibly disappear. (The invisible man but a girl, kinda.) Not from a freak accident like the Marvel character, she can't make things she touches disappear, no force fields etc. Just good ol fashioned vanilla ability to turn invisible and the consequences that come from that.

Anyway, my 500 word spooky story got put on the Halloween site at work. I'm halfway through doing Earthshine, and will probably do the Halloween short the day of if I have time. Short stories give the impression of productivity don't they?