NaNoWriMo Tip #1 – Always Make a Simple Outline

For many new writers to NaNoWriMo it’ll be tempting to hop in on Day 1 without a plan. I’m sure even some veterans still start without a road. This is a mistake.

Imagine hopping in your car to go on a road trip from New York to Los Angeles but you haven’t looked at the map and have no idea how to get there. It would be a disaster and take you much longer to reach your goal.

It’s kind of the same way with writing a novel during NaNoWriMo.

Some writers worry creating an outline will bog them down in notes, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Creating a simple outline requires you to know your beginning, middle, and end which helps shape your story. Within those three sections, you put in basic scenes with simple descriptions. Don’t overdo the descriptions. Just give yourself enough to work with, like reminder notes. It’s a lifesaver when you get stuck.

Don’t forget to pace your novel carefully, creating a rhythmic pattern of positives and negatives for your main character along the way.

A simple outline shouldn’t take you longer than an hour to two hours. If it is taking you longer, then you might want to put it down, mull it over, and come back.


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