NaNoWriMo – It’s that time of the year once again when the competitive professional writers, amateurs, and anyone who has ever had the fleetingly romanced the idea of penning down a novel, sit tight and compete with each other to finish their 50,000-word novel.
It was late November last year when I got to know about this great writing challenge and initiative started by Chris Baty. Although this year, I was ready with the process, but not with the plot. Since I’m still struggling to find my calling story, I thought I’d rather do my tiny part and contribute by writing an article about how I wish to proceed with my novel (following the NaBloPoMo tradition).
I call it the Snowflake technique
Let me tell you, it is the easiest way to write a novel (I have tried it) and build extremely detailed characters. Why? Because here, the story grows and gains details as the time passes. Just like it happens with a Snowflake. Notice how six strands stem from the center and then each one of them is further distributed
Six strands stem from the center and then each one of them further divides into many others at different points, some small while grow larger?
This is how your story should be. Now, I know you writers have very little time off your hands and you are busy writing your stories, so here’s the thing:
What is it?
Write your story as it is in your mind. Be it one paragraph or tens of them.
Now think of each paragraph as one chapter, and elaborate. Try to write three lines for every line that you have originally written. And so on.
Once you are done, let the matter sit for at least a day.
Now, come back to it. Read it all again. If you have written “she was tall” don’t just tell your readers that. This time, write it like this-
“She didn’t need those black stilettos to make her look any taller.”
“The peon looked up at her as her towering face turned red.”
You get that? Think of ways that give you the feeling of something being tall. This way, keep on adding details to one chapter a day.
Again, give your story a break for a day and then come back to it with a fresh mind.
Slip back into the reading mode again. This time, add further details and thicken the plot. Do this exercise till you’re satisfied with the details.
These details will help you hide clues better, in case you’re juggling with a mystery.
RULES OF THE GAME
There are some rules for writing, I always tell my fellow teammates at WiseCalvin:
1. Don’t tell, but SHOW
How will you show? By approaching the subject indirectly, just like we did above with the concept of height.
2. Write, then JUSTIFY
Let’s say you’ve mentioned through a character’s dialogue that your protagonist is a bit rebellious. Then in order to justify, do cite an incident which justifies the character’s such judgment, or an incident that further proves her point right. You can also do a flashback chapter where the reason for the rebellious nature of the protagonist is founded.
If you do not justify what you, you run the risk of underdeveloped characters and novel with plot holes.
3. Make thesaurus your life partner
Yes, you need it, no matter how good your vocabulary is. There is a right word for every situation and every emotion. Your job, as a writer, is to find that word and use it. Laziness will take you nowhere.
A TIP before you rush to your writing desks
Use action verbs. I know that you know that verbs are action words, but what I’m implying is don’t just say it. Use variations.
Add the ‘how’ part to your writing.
“She walked up to him”
“She moved towards him”
“She dashed towards him”
Crawled, ran, whisked, and so much more could be used here.
Said, answered, talked, told, questioned, inquired, implied, replied, frowned, smirked, and the list is endless for “said”.
Incorporate the HOW of the scene and enrich your writing. The goal is not to find difficult or unheard words, but to find the square peg for the square hole.
Drop a few words of comments below and dash to your writing zone.
All the best buddies! 🙂