5 Tips for NaNoWriMo: Getting Started

This post by Nathan Bransford originally appeared on NaNoWriMo.

Nathan Bransford is an author and former publishing professional. Today, he offers five tips to getting your novel started. (This post is adapted from How to Write a Novel: 47 Rules for Writing a Stupendously Awesome Novel That You Will Love Forever.)

Writing a novel is hard. So hard, in fact, that some people are intimidated by how large the task looms. But do not fear! You can do this. Here are 5 tips for getting started:


NUMBER ONE: Think of an idea you love enough to neglect everything else you enjoy in life.

When you’re choosing an idea for a novel, you’re choosing something you are going to be spending more time with than many of your best friends and your most demanding family members. You’re choosing an idea that will render your bathing habits irregular and your sanity patchy.

In other words, it can’t be an idea you merely like. Liking an idea will get you to page fifty. It will give you an initial burst of enthusiasm—a dawning feeling of “Hemingway’s daiquiri, I can do this!”—before you inevitably lose interest, your attention wanders, and you find yourself with an unfinished novel that you feel vaguely embarrassed about.

Open yourself up to the world so that the right plot hook or character will flow into you. Prime yourself for inspiration.


NUMBER TWO: Flesh out a vague idea.


Read the full post on NaNoWriMo.