Maybe this is because I’m deep into a Brandon Sanderson kick, but I thought I’d focus this time on worldbuilding instead of character.
What is the size of your world? Even if you’re not doing speculative fiction, It will help if you define the size and shape of your world. Draw it out, if it helps. What are the boundaries? Which parts of the world will your characters spend the most time in? Each POV will have its own world. Where do they overlap? You may find that you need an additional POV to move the story forward.
Still working on your book? I am! I still need an ending. Here’s a few exercises to try based on Christmas songs.
Jingle Bells – music, movement, this song has a lot of sensory details. What can your character see, touch, hear, smell, feel? It is a good sensation or a bad one? Describe it without overwhelming your reader.
All I Want for Christmas is You – Who does your character want and why? Make that wanting drive the story. It could be romantic, but it doesn’t have to be. Maybe they want revenge! Maybe they want a parent or a friend.
Let it Snow – How does the weather affect your story? It can add a great element. Is it summer or winter? That will determine what your character is wearing and whether they’re comfortable outside.
Deck the Halls – How is the room decorated? Have you described the setting? You don’t have to give us every detail, but your readers want to know something. Is it messy, neat, does it smell inviting? Is there a comfy chair or a broken table? Give us the details.
Blue Christmas – This could be all about color, but it could also be about emotions. What is your character feeling? Show us, don’t just tell. And if you want to use some metaphors, that’s great.
Sleigh Ride – Get that character moving! Don’t leave them stuck in one location. New settings offer us a perspective on the story, a chance to encounter new types of characters and challenges.
I hope this list was helpful. Good luck with the writing!
I finished! I know I posted this a couple of days ago, but it was worth posting again.
This was my third year of participating in NaNo, and my first win. The first year I didn’t come as close as I would have liked, about 38k. I tried planning that time. I had an enormous epic fantasy planned and found myself drowning in details as I kept going back and trying to get everything just right before moving on. Rookie mistake, I think.
Last year I got right up till the last day and ran out of story ideas with 5,000 words left to go. I think if I had met my daily goals I would have been OK, but trying to catch up at the end was just too hard.
This year I “cheated” by rewriting last year’s book. I made sure to get my daily goals and I realized that I needed an entirely new ending. In fact, I still haven’t finished the ending, but I’m thinking it over and I feel like I’m close to getting it.
My book is tentatively called The Second Killer and I finished with 50,168 words. Yay!
How about you? How did you do? What did you learn? What are you planning to do next?
I’m still writing! I’m almost to 40,000 words. I’m rewriting a previous story, and I’m at the point where the previous stuff is not working, so I’m having to write new stuff. I hope this new version is better, but at this point I can’t tell for sure. All I know is that the old stuff didn’t work anymore.
For those of you who are writing, how’s it going? Are you still passionate about your story? Maybe that’s what’s slowing me down – I’m not feeling that urge to write. But I’m writing anyway! Anyone who thinks writing isn’t work should try it for a while, right?
Good luck to all of you! And if you’re behind, don’t give up! Your story needs you!
The police were done with their interviews, but a strange tension seemed to have crept over the lab. The nurses and other staff had taken to leaving in pairs so no one had to go out to the parking lot alone. Security was more alert, and several memos had circulated reminding employees of safety procedures. Too little, too late, in Lutie’s opinion.
–WIP, Cindy Bohn
Information about my Work in Progress –
set in Grand Junction, CO
about halfway done, outline for the rest!!
How’s your book going? Are you still excited? Or has the push to write every day slowed you down too much?
Writing should not be a chore, IMO, but it also shouldn’t wait until you’re “in the mood” to write. Sometimes good stuff comes from pushing yourself to write when you don’t feel like writing.
Here’s my book stats so far.
Title: The Second Killer
Setting: Grand Junction, Colorado
Protagonist: Lutie Mitchell, lab technician
Other characters: Eli, Lutie’s brother, also biracial, Special Forces; Josh, Lutie’s boyfriend, Maddy, nurse, Lutie’s best friend, Agent Daniel Stapleton and Agent Jen Moreda, both FBI.
My biggest challenge so far has been continuity – keeping the story in a logical timeline and making sure things are happening in the right order
My biggest triumph has been writing through some emotional stuff and still getting in the words, even when I had a migraine.
How are you doing? Any tips you want to share? Anything you’re struggling with? Let me know!
“Is any of this worth eating? You know what they say about hospital food.”
Lutie gestured with her fork towards his plate. “It’s hard to mess up Jello.”
“My mom can. She puts carrots in the jello.” —
WIP, Cindy Bohn
Hey you writers out there! How’s it going so far? Have you been writing every day? Did the prep help? What are you struggling with?
I’m up to 18k words and starting to hit the hard stuff. At first, I was mostly rewriting old chapters, but now I’ve got some original stuff I need to include and I think it will slow me down. 🐢
Remember, the goal is to write. Hitting your target number, writing every day, doing word sprints – those are just tools. Find your own style and make it work for you. Good luck!
From my unnamed WIP:
“Lutie was a cute girl, but she didn’t wear much makeup or follow the latest fashion trends. She kept her black hair natural and short because it was easy. Her wardrobe was full of scrubs for work and shorts for play. She hardly owned a dress.”