Happy Halloween! And more importantly…

Happy Novel-in-November Eve!

It’s time to get in mental gear, set up your space, & set sail full blast ahead into the next month of novel-writing adventure. It’s gonna be great!

But before you push off the dock, we’ve a last-minute checklist so you can be sure you’re starting out in the direction towards success. I know. We are JUST like your mum, right?

Checklist:

1. Prepare your space                                                                                                                    

Working from home? Clear your desk of everything but what you need for writing this novel    (ie. your planning notebook, your tablet of choice). Stock up on snacks/drinks that will help fuel you when you’re burning all those creative calories. If you write to music, create a playlist that will get you in the right mood for your novel. 

** 2 items to tape to your monitor/wall (Jeff Gerke’s brillaint suggestion): 1. a picture of your target reader (so you can imagine telling him/her the story as you go), & 2. That paragraph with your story’s core idea & all the things you love about it (when you get stuck in the mud, it’ll pull you out & get you back on track 

2. Turn off your editors! (internal as well as digital)

Seriously. We’re gonna go strict teacher on this & tell you, under NO circumstance go back to edit in the next 30 days! Turn off your computer’s editing software (yes, even spellcheck). And more importantly, turn off your internal critique… he has not place in your project…for the next month at least! Sure, you may hate every word that comes out of your fingertips. Nevermind! Fix them next month. You’re certain to realise changes you shoulda coulda woulda made earlier in the story. Make a note in your document, or write it on a post-it & come back to it later! If you go back, we will know… somehow. 

The only editing tool you need for the next 30 days is your word count to make sure you’re hitting somewhere near the 1,667 word target. But it’s more important you complete scenes/ideas than just tick the word count box!

3. Get Excited!

Now swapping out our mean-teacher hat for our cheerleader hats: You are about to spend 30 days creating a story! It won’t be a perfect story, because that’s note the point. It’ll be a new, creative, in-progress story. THAT is the point. Progress. Something down on paper that you can work with & mould into something great later.

Our final advice? 

Chill out this evening. Once your space is set up, your editors off, your mobile/facebook/twitter/all-other-possible-distractions removed, get comfy, brew a BIG cup of tea, & maybe dip into your favourite book for a little literary basking.

In the next 30 days, the time for hitting your head against the wall may come. You may pull out a bit of hair or upset a clingy friend. But at the start of each new day, remember this: in the words of one incredible writer who happens to be my intelligent, creative, 10-year-old niece Anna…

Writing is suppose to be fun!

So write onward, fellow novelist, & don’t look back!

We’re with you every step of the way…

Mez & Bri