Story Writing Tips

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High School
Third Edition

Created by the Office of Letters and Light Young Writers Program

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Copyright © 2010 by the Office of Letters and Light

Table of Contents
Introduction Letter Novel Writing How-Tos Inner Editor Containment Button What Makes a Novel a Novel? Good Novel, Bad Novel Creating Well-developed Characters Character Questionnaire Creating Conflict Outlining Your Plot Setting Writing Really Good Dialogue Getting Ready For NaNoWriMo NaNoWriMo Survival Tips National Novel Writing Month Contract NaNoWriMo Calendar Ready, Set, Write . . . And Keep Writing! NaNoWriMo’s Personal Chart of Noveling Progress Beginnings Sub-plotting: The More Plots, the Merrier Details, Details, Details Lists, Lists, and Lists of Lists I Wrote a Novel! Now What? The Workshop Reader Review Worksheet Unleash Your Inner Editor Cleaning It Up Choosing an Exceptional Excerpt Writing a Superior Submission Letter 72 75 77 82 85 87 48 49 53 55 69 43 44 45 3 4 7 10 12 15 19 30 38 1

Hello Author, Here it is, almost November, and you've decided to tackle one of the most rewarding challenges ever: writing a novel in 30 days. Before you begin, we want to commend you just for showing up! You might be feeling a little nervous, maybe slightly overwhelmed. After all, isn't novelwriting reserved for the elite? For the tried-and-true writers of the world? For those that have been in the trenches of fiction, their pens grasped mightily in their hands, and a Shakespeare quote at the tip of their tongues? The answer, our friends, is no. The truth is that you don't have to be a famous author to write a novel. You just have to have a few ideas, some paper, and a pen. It's as easy as that. Writing a novel is kind of like building a bike from scratch: when the pieces are spread out on the ground, the job seems impossible. But if you work piece by piece, before you know it, you're ready to hit the streets. By breaking a big job into smaller parts, you'll find that anything is possible. If you don’t have any ideas about what to write next month, don’t worry. We've put together this workbook to spark your imagination before NaNoWriMo. We'll walk you through creating well-developed characters and settings. We'll show you how to create conflict, outline your plot, and write dialogue that will strike the deepest envy in writers the world over. Then we will be right by your side throughout NaNoWriMo with exercises that will help boost your word count, create plot twists, and get to know your characters better than you might want to. Before you embark on your noveling adventure, we want you to know that whatever your word count at the end of November, you are extraordinary just for giving this a shot. Good luck from all of us here at NaNoWriMo. May your words be many, your imagination be awakened, and your adventure be out of this world! The NaNoWriMo Staff 1

Novel Writing How-Tos

Inner Editor Containment Button
Before you begin your month-long noveling adventure, you'll want to do away with your Inner Editor. What is your Inner Editor? He's the nagging, no-fun beast we bring along with us on all our creative endeavors. He sits on our shoulder and points out our typos and misspellings and every awkward sentence. When he's in a particularly nasty mood, he might try to tell us that we're embarrassingly awful writers, and shouldn't even be allowed to put pen to paper. He is helpful to have around when taking tests and revising things we've already written, but he'll slow you down in the worst way if you let him write your novel with you next month. No matter how ridiculous this might sound, close your eyes and imagine your Inner Editor. Think about what he or she might look like. Is your Inner Editor a man or a woman? Is he or she holding a dictionary? Chasing after you with a ruler? Once you get a good picture in your head of what he or she looks like, open your eyes and push the button below....
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