Well, we are one week down on the prep work for NaNoWriMo and discuss some tips that have helped me in the past that you might find helpful as well. The first tip that I would like to share maybe simple and that is to take out a piece of paper and jot down any ideas that I have had for my novel ideas.
I have done this tip a lot, I have done this since I was about nine or ten and have continued to do to this today. The main reason why I do this is so that I can make a list of the ideas that have in mind. This way also I can go back to the list if I ever get stuck. Granted, for The Raven Prophecy, I have made like a hundred or so of these lists. The two times that I have strayed from making the list is with Ravages of Time and The Zodiac Tower.
I can tell you that when it came to Ravages of Time, I so had the story in mind, that I didn’t need to make the list, for I knew what I wanted in the story, who was in the story and where I was going with the story. As for The Zodiac Tower it was similar to Ravages of Time, but only I didn’t have a lot of time to write the story, for it was
written for a class. Now for The Zodiac Tower, I wish that I had more time so that I could make a list of ideas. Here is the beautiful thing with the re-write of The Zodiac Tower, I’m starting to make a list and I’m thinking of doing the same thing with Ravages of Time. The reason for this is since I have written the first drafts, and moving on the to the second drafts there are some things that I want to improve on so that I can make them stronger novels.
My second tip that I have is to get a folder and in that folder I put everything that is for that novel in that folder. The reason may simple but for me I find it helps keep it organized and it doesn’t get mixed up with another story that I might be working on. Also getting stories mixed up is not a good thing either. Now you can put them in one folder if that is what you want, just make sure that you label on the top of your pages which story that page belongs to.
My third tip is to find an image that will inspire you or keep you focused on the project. I find this very helpful when looking at where I want to go with the story that I’m currently working on. Just as an example, with Ravages of Time my focus point was a house. The reason for a house, was the story starts with the house and it ends with the house or more focused on the word home. If you can find a focus image that works for your project, stick with that image, even if the meaning of the image changes, for it will be a focus point.
My fourth tip, which has helped me in the past is to picture if your novel was to be published what would you want the cover to look like. Yes, just draft up a cover so that you have something to hold onto of what a possible goal might be for your novels. I have drafted several covers as you well know for The Raven Prophecy and Ravages of Time. I recently worked on the cover for The Zodiac Tower and my new project for NaNoWriMo, which I will discuss my project in another post.
Granted, I don’t have fancy software like Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop, for what I do have is Microsoft Word, and I think that my covers are turning out quite well. Just as an example, here is the latest cover for The Zodiac Tower:
I love making covers, and each time that I make a cover, I learn something new about the process and what is even possible. But that is something that you can do to with just a little bit of time and patience you can craft covers just as easily.
My last tip for NaNoWriMo is don’t ignore yourself or what you need. If you ignore yourself during the NaNoWriMo then you can’t complete your best work. You can’t focus on the story that you want to write or tell. This is making sure that you are eating, drinking, talking walks, breathing and anything else that you need to make sure that you are being taken care of. Yes, we all know that as writers we tend to eat, drink, sleep, and think primarily on our stories. While that is all good, if we don’t take of us the creators then the story is not going to be written let alone told. So taking care of the creator is key.
These are five tips that have helped me with NaNoWriMo or any writing project that I happen to be working on at least for the first or second drafts.
I hope that you have found these tips to be helpful. I hope that you all of have a lovely writing day.