Today I have something a little different for you. As many of you know, November is NaNoWriMo (National November Writing Month) when writers set themselves the challenge of penning a novel in one month - or at least writing a substantial part of what can then become their novel. The idea is that for one month you set yourself a word count and stick to it every single day, with most writers aiming to have produced 25-40,000 words by the end of the 30 days. It's a great campaign which is hugely supported by a whole range of people, from those who have never written before to those whose novels already adorn the best sellers lists.
So let me introduce you to Louise Dean, award winning author and founder of kritikme.com which is a new online writing course that helps aspiring novelists write a novel in 90 days. Yes, that's right, 90 days!
A bit more about Louise....
Louise Dean began writing in 1996 – but it wasn’t until 2000 that she decided to start writing full-time. Having already written two unpublished novels, she put herself into an intensive period of study, talking to writers including Seamus Heaney, Gore Vidal and Ian McEwan and reading widely in order to understand the writing techniques and habits of successful novelists.
This period of research paid off, and her first novel BecomingStrangers was published to critical acclaim and named one of The Observer’s top four books of 2004.
Thirteen years and four books later, Louise has won the Society of Authors Betty Trask Prize, the Le Prince Maurice Award, been nominated for The Guardian First Book Prize, and longlisted for the Man Booker and IMPAC. Her most recent book The Old Romantic was an Oprah Book of the Week, and she was subsequently described by The Observer as “a significant voice in British fiction.”
Louise is testament to the fact her writing methods works, and she is now sharing the techniques and insights she has learned with other aspiring authors.
So here you go. Louise's Top Writing Tips on How To Write a Novel in 90 Days!
How to write a novel in 90 days
1. Your novel is a jealous God. Put it first for 90 days (that’s only 0.3% of your life.)
Only children and emergencies come before.
2. Write every day, at the same time, same place.
The same with reading – read every day.
If you do those two things, then your day job will leaven your bread and bring a healthy reality check to you and your writing, and your writing will flourish thanks to the tidbits you bring home from your labours and time in goodly society.
3. Don’t over indulge in binge writing. Slow and steady wins the race. A solid hour a day will see you right. Keep faith with your novel. Don’t miss a day.
4. Don’t sweat the word count.
5. Don’t fret the plot: think character and problem. “What does he or she want?”
6. Keep your notebook with you all day every day, for 90 days. Catch the novel thought and insights you glean from daily life.
7. Create freely. This is what the first draft is all about. Head back to the notebook of your childhood, the secret diary. The handwriting of your first scribblings are very freeing.
8. Don’t be tempted to go back over your work and tweak it. You need to get the story down before you know what to include and what to leave out.
9. You have two pedals. One is writing, the other is reading. When one is running out of juice, use the other to take the pressure off and hey presto you’ll be moving again!
10. Journal the writing process. All evidence shows that this works. Keep an eye on yourself during the write. You will find it very valuable to see that yes, you suffered and worried and yes you found a solution and got through it. Try it.
And one last tip just for luck:
If I were to leave you with one 'prose tip', it would be this:
Write a terribly good sentence that no one has written before, that is true for you and you alone, beautiful, sad and funny, perhaps controversial or contentious, and also understated.
the next sentence.
Delete the second sentence. I can be almost completely certain that in the second you went too far, exaggerated, and spoilt the effect of the first. I see it all the time, in my work and in my writers'. It's the most common error. Catch it sooner rather than later and your work will improve rapidly as you learn to train the wayward growth of your prose by tying it to a strong trellis.
Thank you so much Louise for these great tips! If you would like to find out more about Kritikme then click on the link below and you can also get an exclusive 10% discount using the code MYNOVEL10