Inspiration and how-to for choosing what to write for your novel in a month
SECRET 2 -- WHAT WILL I WRITE?
Pick a tentative genre.
It is recommended that for the novel in a month challenge you choose a genre that is not one that you usually write. It is even best if you write in a genre you have never before written in. I will cover the why of this later in this chapter.
Of course, you WILL have to be at least a little familiar with the genre. I always read a novel in the genre I chose during the month before the challenge. The more reading you can do in that genre prior to November, the more familiar you will be with it and the better you can write in it. Plus, you get to do a lot of reading, with a good excuse. I am always looking for ways to justify more reading.
Another way to become familiar with your chosen genre is to do an Internet search on writing the ____ (chosen genre). Almost any genre you chose will have a lot of free information on writing in that genre. There will usually be ads for books you can buy giving writing information for that genre (and others). These are sometimes excellent resources; be discriminating. Also, don't get too caught up in surfing the 'net. You can waste a LOT of time that way. You want to do as much planning as you can, not just surfing. I do print out some of the information that I feel will be the most informative and inspirational. In fact, I usually print out a LOT of information. You can get enough information to equal a book, some of it better than what you find in books.
I file all my printed information in a looseleaf binder, with dividers. I am a binder freak. I have all sorts of binders. But, really, printing it out and putting it in a binder is basically the same as having a book, but better. You can pick and choose what information you want to put in your “book” - your binder.
The rationale for choosing an unfamiliar genre is that your “inner critique” will not be active to hamper your free writing. Also, if you have no writing habits associated with the genre you are writing in, you can better just let go and free write. Another reason for choosing the unfamiliar genre is that this exercise is supposed to be FUN! Choosing something you don't normally work in makes it seem less like a daily grind, or work.
It is important to recognize that you are NOT writing a finished draft. You are doing basically a free writing exercise, even though you will probably do some preliminary planning. Just get it on paper (or in your word processor) and have fun doing it. You may hate the genre you are doing. That's okay. You don't have to do it ever again. But, commit to finishing this one work. It is good practice for later when you may have to write something that is not necessarily of your choosing. Plus, you never know. You may decide you like it after all.
The key to this secret is to chose something for fun. It may never see the light of print, but have fun writing it, and know you will learn something in the process.
ASSIGNMENT: Research one or more genres that are new to you, either as a writer, or as a writer and reader. Find information about how to write that genre, and find a list of books to select from in that genre. (If you are having difficulty, and you bought the ebook, email me and I will send you some info).
Choose the genre you plan to write and choose a couple of books to explore. Then, choose one book to read. I do this by going to a local bookstore, or even on Amazon.com, and checking out several.
When you have chosen the genre and book, send the info to me. I will email you back. I will try to give you further information about writing, as well as maybe a suggestion for further reading.
Have fun! It is great to stretch and try new things.
NOTE: If you have bought the ebook, you are entitled to personal coaching. Send me your assignment. I will send a frequent email for encouragement. I DO have your name. If someone else bought it for you, such as for a gift, then send me their name when you submit your first assignment. It is not necessary to do so each time. I will make note of your name.