Step 1: Where Do They Come From?

Find a general biome that fits what you envision for this culture. If appropriate, make up your own. You want to focus on how plentiful the water is and where it is, what food sources there are, and what natural resources (wood, iron, reeds, etc.) are available. You’ll also want to look into natural structures like caves or cliffs, and common weather phenomenon like hurricanes or droughts.

If you’re writing a premodern culture with few outside influences, you could stop here, since location pretty much gives you everything you could want. The local vegetation and weather patterns will dictate how they build houses. The natural phenomenon will be explained by religion. The availability of water and food/arable soil/animals that could be domesticated will determine if they are nomadic or not. Their natural resources will determine how quickly technology progresses.

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I did it. I’m in shock right now and I might have burst into delusionaly happy tears right after writing these words, but I finished my story. In November. Final word count: 78,319 #nanowrimo

On November 1st, NaNoWriMo matters. On November 8th, it still matters. On November 13th, 18th, 24th, mmm, yep, it matters. (Thanksgiving? Only pie matters. Do not argue this.) On November 30th? Sti…

Chuck Wendig writes some of the most wonderfully debauched, tell-it-like-it-is commentary I have ever read! Here’s his latest on what all you NaNoWriMo warriors need to do next. Oh, prob not work safe.

8 Ways to Fight the Post-NaNoWriMo Blues

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Are you feeling the post-NaNoWriMo blues? Hannah Rubin, former intern and current writer and designer, shares her tips on how to keep your creative flame bright:

November is over. The thrill, the anticipation, the mad dash—the finish line has been reached. It can feel surreal to step into December and be forced to relinquish the beautiful purpose that has carried you through November, through moments of excited 2 a.m. scribbling, and hours of staring-at-a-blank-screen-while-the-cursor-blinks. It can feel so bizarre that, sometimes, it can feel like it didn’t actually happen.

But, resist the urge to click Save and never look back. Resist the desire to put it all behind you, to laugh about the craziness and no longer identify with it, to resume whatever life it was that you were living thirty days ago. You decided to put all normalcy aside for 50,000 words and write, and you did it for a reason. So keep on with it!

What you need is a plan for keeping the momentum alive. Here are a few key ways to keep the NaNo spirit alive:

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I DID IT. Seriously, I couldn’t have done it without all of you. I have had so many voices and wonderful lovely friends cheering me on here on tumblr and I couldn’t be more grateful for you all. Seriously. All 9,000 of you. (Because that happened today, too.) THANK YOU for helping me get through such a rough year writing. I am so grateful for you all!

if you finished your nanowrimo novel: i am so proud of you for writing so much this month, you are so brave and strong and good and your determination is incredible. i love you. go eat something and sleep and do all those self-care things because you are great and deserve them

if you did not finish your nanowrimo novel: i am so proud of you for writing so much this month, you are so brave and strong and good and your determination is incredible. i love you. go eat something and sleep and do all those self-care things because you are great and deserve them

if nanowrimo wasn’t a possibility to you this year or ever because of health or stresses or whatever: i am so proud of you for taking care of yourself and making the choices you needed to make to be as healthy and safe and happy as you can be, you are so brave and strong and good and your determination is incredible. i know how hard it is to not do something you want to do in order to take care of yourself instead. i love you. go eat something and sleep and do all those self-care things because you are great and deserve them

I Published My NaNo Novel! Jack Soren on Revising His Manuscript, and Magic Curtains

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Jack Soren is a frequent participant of NaNoWriMo, and recently sold a book series to HarperCollins’ Witness Impulse imprint—the first of which, called The Monarch, is available now. We talk to him about his book, and just how he found himself published:

Have you participated in NaNoWriMo? 

I’ve participated in NaNoWriMo several times over the years. The community and general helpfulness is fantastic. The opportunity to work with and mentor other writers is just as amazing.

The first third of the The Monarch's first draft was written during a recent NaNoWriMo. I continued writing for months afterward to bring it to completion, but I have no doubt that without NaNoWriMo there wouldn't have been anything to finish.

You recently became a signed author with HarperCollins. Congratulations! How did that happen? What steps did you make to go from an unsigned author to a signed one?

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Today I decided to sit down to wrap up my thoughts on this year’s NaNoWriMo, talk about my stats, and offer a few inspirational words to everyone who followed me on this strange month!

PS: Thank you for making this NaNoWriMo a wonderful, inspiring, and touching experience~ ♥︎

▶︎ M. Kirin on YoutubeTumblr & Twitter!

NaNo Coaches: The Specifics of Editing a NaNo-novel

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This season, we’ve brought on published authors to serve as NaNo Coaches to help guide you to reaching 50,000 words. Last week’s NaNo Coach, Jessica Taylor, author of the forthcoming novel Wandering Wild, shares how to start thinking about revision:

We’re in the final week of NaNoWriMo and whatever you have to show for your efforts—whether that’s 50,000 words, 100,000 words, or one badass chapter—you’ve accomplished something amazing. You’ve written, and that takes a tremendous amount of courage and dedication. Many people only dream of writing, but you stayed the course and actually dared to write a novel.

Now that NaNo is coming to an end, many of you are thinking about the next step: publication. Editing a draft for publication requires a different kind of daring…

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