On October 30th, I took Mary Robinette Kowal’s No Prep NaNo Course. I’d heard she has great courses and wanted to try one. This one fit in my schedule, my budget, appealed to my interests, and was timely. The course was great, and I learned a lot.
The thing that really got me though, was an off hand comment she made. She mentioned that she thinks NaNo is a great time to work on skills. She will often pick a specific skill to work on each day. That really clicked for me. I enjoy NaNo, but I seriously considered taking a break from it this year. I’ve won ten years in a row, and it’s a LOT of writing to fit into a single month. But suddenly I had this idea of using the entire month of November as a way to take chances, make mistakes, and get messy (in the words of Miss. Frizzle). Suddenly all of November has become exciting again.
There are plenty of things I want to improve on in my writing. So many that, I’m often crushed under the weight of trying to remember and deal with all of them at once. This year I’ll focus on one issue at a time, and I’ll deal with the rest in edits. I’m calling it my Daily NaNo Challenge. I
like love lists, so I’ve made a list of the first seven days worth of challenge points below. I’ll post a new list each week (the 13th, 20th, and 27th) Feel free to make your own list and start tackling some of your weaknesses. I’m calling this my #NaNoDailyChallenge
- Use more than sight to describe things (touch, sound, taste, and smell)
- Focus on making dialogue sound natural
- Your main character isn’t perfect. Show their flaws.
- Remember to show, not tell
- Don’t start every paragraph with a name or dialogue tag
- Use “yes, but” or “no, and” to solve problems
- Show your characters emotions through actions
What are some of the things you’re trying to focus on in your writing? Have you started writing yet?