Preparing for NaNoWriMo? Step 2: A pinch of story structure

Grapes on the vine that are so ripe they are almost black.
Let your story ripen and sweeten. Ahr valley vineyard. © Laurel Decher, 2016.

Here’s the second post in a short series on preparing for National Novel Writing Month. You can find the first post here.

Mom always said there were two secrets to pie crust: “Be firm and don’t fuss.” For your novel’s first draft, structure works the same way.

Tinker all you want with the outline and with the revisions (LATER ON), but for now, pick a direction and write on!

Momentum is the power of NaNoWriMo. Go with it. 🙂

That said, 50,000 words can get unwieldy. A sentence on an index card can be a lifesaver.

If your raw ingredients are coming together, try creating a pitch: Who’s the main character? What does s/he want? What stands in his/her way? Why does it matter? More on pitches here.

It helps if you treat a pitch as a puzzle. Work on it for ten minutes and let it rest for a day or two. Then play with it a bit more. Collect some more stuff. Jiggle it around and see what shakes out. Write like you mean it and then leave it to chill.

Have fun and let me know how it’s going!


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Today on The Winged Pen, I’m sharing what I learned this weekend: 3 Ways to Find Out about Your Readers from the Frankfurt Book Fair 2016.





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Laurel Decher

LAUREL DECHER writes stories about all things Italian, vegetable, or musical. Beloved pets of the past include "Stretchy the Leech" and a guinea pig that unexpectedly produced twins. She's famous for a nonexistent sense of direction, but carries maps because people always ask her for directions. When she's not lost, she can be found on Twitter and on her blog, This Is An Overseas Post, where she writes about life with her family in Germany. She's still a Vermonter and an epidemiologist at heart. PSA: Eat more kale! :) Her short fiction for adults, UNFORESEEN TIMES, originally appeared in _Windhover_. Photo: © Jane Joo Park, 2017.

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