Tuesday, November 29, 2011

NaNoWriMo #30: Five Top Tips, and Moving Mountains With Story


Last day of NaNoWriMo! I’m going to put up the last couple of pieces of advice contributed by our published authors, and in the next couple of days I’ll do a little wrap-up.

First up today is Elizabeth Miles, author of FURY. She wrote a great post recently with her top five writing tips, and is allowing me to reprint it here.

“After not using a Power Point or any type of formal presentation for the first set of tour stops with Becca and Moira, I finally decided to create one before I met BF in Toronto at the end of October. I found that it helped me stay on target while talking to school groups. In addition to the requisite "childhood embarrassing photo" and info about FURY, I included five writing tips at the end. My little gimmick (you gotta have one...)? All of them contain the word "out." Here's what I mean:

1) Spill it OUT. 
     Staring at a blank page (slash screen) is the absolute worst. Get something on there, even if it's crap (and some of it won't be). As some of you know, I know an editor who calls this "word-vomming." Whatever you want to call it, don't fall prey to the belief/personal expectation that your first attempt is going to be great, or even that good. Words beget more words, beget more (and better) ideas. Skip around, if that'll help - if you love writing dialogue, get some of that down and then come back to the exposition. If setting the scene is your thing, do that before you start hammering out plot details…” (read the rest of this post here)

Next is Karen Dionne, author of eco-thrillers BOILING POINT and FREEZING POINT. She’s also the co-founder of Backspace, the online writers hangout. And I do mean hangout: everyone from NYT bestsellers to the newest aspiring writer congregates in the forums, swapping advice, news, and support. She’s also very active in International Thriller Writers. But most importantly, she should know that Karen is one of the sweetest and most supportive people in the writing community, and a great person to have in your corner.

“Don't be afraid to move mountains. Accuracy and research are important, but the story has to come first - always.” Karen’s advice is spot-on. Without a great story—something that intrigues readers and makes them keep turning the pages—you have nothing.

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