Recently I commented that October is a great time to prep for NaNoWriMo. If you think about your story and build a strong outline now, you should have an easier time making your daily word count come November.
I’ll probably post something about writing an outline in the near future, but before I get to the outline and plotting stage, I find it helpful to consider the themes I want to incorporate into my fiction, and the pros and cons of certain genres to convey those themes. So here are some genre-specific tips, as well as some general writing advice.
First, here are Ian Fleming’s instructions for writing a thriller. This is a hard to find article by the author of the James Bond novels (usually you will only find edited versions of the article online) (And, for the true James Bond fans, here’s an annotated version of the article that pokes a few holes in the article and pokes some fun at Fleming–but from a loving place). In it, Fleming talks about what sort of ideas and plots make a thriller work as well as some general writing advice.
And second, I recently referenced Terry Brooks’s article, “Why I Write About Elves,” and how fantasy stories can be used to convey difficult and contentious arguments in a way that doesn’t immediately raise flags among your readers. As an added bonus, here is an article by Myke Cole, responding to Brooks’s article.
And finally, here are some writing tips from John Steinbeck, courtesy of Letters of Note.
I hope this gets your NaNoWriMo gears turning. Have fun when writing your story, and write a fun story. And what kind of stories are more fun to write than thrillers and fantasy? Ok, I might be biased. But I hope these tips help with your writing in general, and NaNoWriMo specifically.