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Novel Onto Paper

Wasn’t 2010 supposed to be the year you got serious about writing? And did December arrive to find you still talking about writing your novel, but not getting down to doing any actual writing? I’ve been there, and most of you have, too.

I’ve decided it’s time for a change. When 2011 comes to an end, I will have a completed novel, written by me, in my grubby little hands. It may not be published, but is will be written. How’s that for confidence?

Just how am I going to accomplish this task, since I have never managed to do it นิยาย before? After all, wasn’t I the one who signed up for NaNoWriMo two years ago, only to change my mind at the last minute and switch over to their Rebel Writer department so I could write articles instead of a novel?

Yes, that was me, and I have the NaNoWriMo Rebel Badge to prove it. I did write my 50,000 words in 30 days, but not a novel, which, after all, is the purpose of the contest. It did prove to me that I could turn out that many words, and maybe that has something to do with my new resolution to really write a novel in 2011.

Here is how I plan to do it. Join me if you, too, have been a writing procrastinator for far too long.

1. Spend January learning HOW.

Of course we know how to write or we probably wouldn’t be calling ourselves writers, but do we really know how to write a novel?

The least expensive way I know to brush up on your novel writing skills, or to gain some if you don’t already have them, is to head down to your public library and pick up a few books on how to write a novel. If possible, choose ones written by authors that you know have already published their own novels. Skip the sections that repeat things you already know and find the things that will help you in your weaker areas—mine is making my characters sound real.

Another way that will cost you a little is to order a course from someone who is already a successful writer. I raved from Thanksgiving till Christmas about Rob Parnell’s writing course until my husband finally took the hint and “surprised” me with a copy of it for Christmas. He told me it didn’t cost much more than taking me out to dinner so I guess he was happy about it.

I’m already through several chapters of the course, and was a bit hesitant about the advice Mr. Parnell gives about creating characters before we plot our story. He was right, though. I did what he said and wrote at least a page of description for 6 different characters. When I was finished, I knew what they looked like, who their friends were, how many family members they had, where they went to school, what their hopes and dreams were, and whether or not they had any odd quirks that might make them stand out from other people.

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