NaNoWriMo is in full swing! That means over 50,000 writers are slugging out 50,000 words, working on the first draft of a novel, in the 30 days of November. But I’m thinking ahead to December when that first rough draft needs revision. Here are 3 things to keep in mind as you’re writing that first draft, so you make your life easier later.
- Character bible. Either open a new file, or keep a notebook beside your computer to keep track of character particulars. Does the character have blue eyes and red hair in the first chapter? You’ll make life easier if you jot this down, so you can keep track of it. Of course, you may want to totally change that in revisions, but a character “bible,” will help you know what you’ve got.
- Timeline. Every time you type a time word, make it bold. This will help later as you scan for bold (or red or underlined or whatever you want) to see if you can straighten up the time line.
- Voice. Take the liberty of writing different chapters in different voices. No revisions allowed until December, so this is a time where you can play as you get the story line down on paper. You could try three or four different voices as you write, and by December, one will emerge as the strongest, most interesting. Word count is important, yes, but so is the spirit of exploration.
And when you’re ready to revise, come back for more tips!
Good luck! Write fast!