nanowrimo

Hello, writerly friends~ ♥︎

My Writing Advice Masterpost is back! Now featuring the best questions and answers from the last three years, along with all of the videos from my writing advice YouTube Channel!

This post will be updated every week with new writing advice videos, playlists, and responses! So, make sure to bookmark THIS page and follow my blog (maxkirin.tumblr.com) so you don’t miss a thing!

Writing Advice Compilations

Writing Exercises & Prompts

Motivation & Inspiration

Planning, Outlining, and Getting Started

Dialogue

Editing & Revision

Hot-Button Issues

General Advice

Publishing

Writing Music & Playlists

Miscellaneous

Last Updated: 01-24-15. Click HERE to see the latest update. Latest posts are in bold.

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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Why the Most Important Thing About Your Novel Is the Story, Not the Words

The “Now What?” Months are here to guide you through the editing, revision, and publishing processes! Every novel is the “after” picture to the first draft’s “before”. Today, Robin Stevens, Wrimo and author of the forthcoming Murder is Bad Manners, shares how she discovered what really matters to her novel:

The first draft: I won NaNoWriMo 2011 by the skin of my teeth. By the 30th of November my draft was 50,025 words and unfinished (it stopped in the middle of a sentence, and the murderer was not revealed). It was so much looser and more ugly than anything I’d produced before, and I panicked. I closed down the document in horror and simply pretended that it didn’t exist.

But I kept being itched at by that unfinished book. I needed to get the ending out of my head, and that meant going back and looking at the tangled pile of story that was already there. I didn’t know how to tackle an edit—it wasn’t anything I’d ever really done before—but then a friend gave me some advice…

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youtube

Hello, writerly friends! ★

Writing Advice Blitz is back: coming to you as fast as lightning! Today we talk about writing with a word limit, what to do when you love the characters but hate the plot, and a couple writing problems that are actually writer problems (and that’s a good thing!).

Below you will find the list of all the questions I answered in today’s video:

  1. I think I’m losing my connection to my characters. What do *you* recommend?
  2. What do *you* do when you realize you love your characters but hate the plot?
  3. I’m afraid that this story is getting too big for me. What do *you* recommend?
  4. My father says I should write with an audience in mind. What do *you* think?
  5. Do *you* have any tips on writing a specific word limit?  (E. G. 1000 Words)
  6. I want to have pictures of my characters, but I can’t art. Do *you* have any recommendations?

✖︎ Have an idea for a video or question you would like me to answer? Let me know! Leave your suggestions in the comments!

Also, subscribe to me on Youtube for more writing advice videos featuring my silly face, and if you would like (even more) writing tips, positivity, and prompts, then make sure to follow my official writing advice blog: maxkirin.tumblr.com!

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

Why Revision is a Multi-Step Process

The 2015 “Now What?” Months are here! Throughout January and February, we’ll be bringing you editing, revision, and publishing advice from all corners of the publishing world. Today, Lexie Dunne, author of Superheroes Anonymous, tells us about the freedom that comes with revising alone:

My first NaNoWriMo, I was ancient—all of eighteen and very, very green. So green, in fact, that I didn’t understand the rules and didn’t know I needed to verify my word count. So while I crossed the finish line, I didn’t technically win. Six years and several official wins later, November had become an excuse to never sleep, hang out on the forums, drink far too much caffeine at write-ins, and drive myself to madness. In short, it was my favorite month of the year.

Superheroes Anonymous was my 2008 novel, so my memory of it is a little fuzzy. I do remember that I ignored the recommended rest period and kept writing. By December 10, I had a completed manuscript that was even messier than my apartment after a month of neglect and takeout meals…

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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.

Despite the constant harping that writers sit down and write every single day, I will confess to you that I don’t. I sit down between two and four times a week and try to hammer out a thousand words. Since there are only 15K worth of words in a Dragonbreath book, this allows me to finish two a year easily, and fool with other stuff. If I were a conventional novelist, I might work to a different schedule, but there you are.

My only point with that is that there is no one true writing schedule, and writers who will try to tell you that NaNoWriMo is just normal life and all Real Writers write every single day to a specific word count are perhaps being unnecessarily hidebound. I hardly ever write on weekends, for example. And sometimes I can only lay down five hundred words, and I do write Dragonbreath books on the assumption that at some point, I will get struck by lightning and knock out three thousand words and get large chunks of the book done thereby.

I understand why people say these things, since writing is Real Work and it is easy to put it off when it’s not fun any more or get really soppy about the need to be inspired and how it just isn’t flowing and that must mean you are blocked, etc etc ad nauseum, and so sometimes the easiest way to establish that discipline is to sit down every day and demand the brain to perform. If it works, fantastic! Those people may well have a higher level of completed projects than me, and more power to ‘em. However, if you tend to work in jags and spurts and spend several days at the time when you do not Sit Down And Write Goddamnit, I will humbly submit that you are not an imposter posing as a writer, you are not Doin’ It Wrong, as long as all the writing does get done in a timely fashion (i.e. by deadline.)

—  NaNoFiMo
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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!