Writing Every Day

My goal for NaNoWriMo is 200 words a day. It’s not a very large goal, but it’s one that allows me to keep thinking about my story and keep discovering what it’s about and who my characters are. It’s a goal that’s possible no matter how busy I am with other things. And by the end of November, I’ll have plot elements and characters to work with and begin shaping into a real novel.

 When I know I’m going to write every day, I find that I am always thinking about my story and characters. I see things during the day that influence and inform what I’m writing. I write notes to myself to remind me to write a particular scene. My notebook right now has this list:

 beach
slide
kennel—where dog is—what are you going to get?
church
chores
cow pound
video—there is a house

Each day when I sit down to write my 200 words, I choose one of these and write to describe my character in this place. Every day as I go through the day, I add to my list.

Prompts are another way to get into a story. I use prompts to discover action or to find out more about my character. Here are some prompts that I use over and over. Sometimes I use them as starters for the next section of a story. Sometimes I write them from the point of view of a character as though he/she is saying or writing it. Try these when you’re stuck and see if you can write 200 words!

I love the smell of…
It always seemed so far away…
You can’t be serious…
I wish I never…
I knew I could…
I could never forget…
When the house was quiet…

Don’t worry about how this section will fit into your story. As you keep working and keep thinking, you will figure that out.

I’m ahead of my NaNoWriMo goals. How are you doing?

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