Today is Remembrance Day and I certainly will take time to remember the soldiers who were involved fighting for our freedoms during the first and second war. My sister and I have already done a few great poppy crafts, including some from this website.
And of course, we’ll have a family two-minutes of silence at 11 a.m., and after dinner, our annual reading of In Flanders Fields: TheStory of the Poem by John McCrae. Did you know that Mr. McCrae was Canadian? Cool, right?
But as I head into the weekend with lots of words to catch up on for my National NovelWriting Month (NaNoWriMo) project (how are YOU doing?), I thought it might be a good time to look at some things to remember when you’re writing. In no particular order, my top five are:
- Sketch the basics of your story. Who is your character? What does that character want? Do you know the beginning, middle, and the end of your story? (It’s okay not to know the details, but you should have a road map of the character’s journey.) Jot it all down.
- Who IS your character? No, really. Describe him or her with as much detail as you can. This is who your reader will love, dislike, root for, and stick with until the end of the story…you hope. What makes him or her interesting? Character sketches can help you get “unstuck” when you run into writer’s block.
- Create a conflict. This kind of goes with #1, but it’s important to remember that the more conflicts and obstacles your character faces, the more entertaining your story will be. There are many kinds of conflicts—brainstorm them and choose the best one!
- Practice your dialogue. What your characters say is important! Dialogue can reveal plot, advance the story, bring scenes to life, and adjust the story’s pace. Plus, it takes up space! If you’re writing 5,000 words this month with me, you want to keep the words flowing. Aye, matey?
- Start with a bang! Your opening scene is important. Writing fast is good for NaNoWriMo, but if you’re going to spend extra time on a scene, the first one is vital! Start with a day that is different. Use action. Let us get to know your character. We want our readers to keep turning the page…
I know, that’s a lot to remember on a day of remembering! But YOU CAN DO IT! Now get writing…
~ Chase Superman Duffy