|courtesy google images|
Well, it's that time again--National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, in which participants work to write a novel in the month of November to the tune of 50,000 words. While I'm not that ambitious this year, I do see it as an incentive to get back to a WIP that's been languishing for awhile. I'm determined to add word count this month as a personal tip of the hat to this month's challenge. We'll see how it goes!
As part of the process, I'm brushing up on novel-writing basics, starting with thoughts on scene:
1. "Scenes are the stepping stones and the chapter is the river, with the opposing shores being two different phases of your plot." --Deborah Halverson, Dear Editor
2. "Each scene has a structure, beginning, middle, end. This implies that something is happening." --Darcy Pattison, Scene 2: Elements of a Scene (Darcy ran an awesome 30-day series on scene a few years back. You can catch the entire series here.)
3. "Scenes are small time capsules. They are potent because they contain more than is openly revealed." --Mary Carroll Moore, "How Chapters Are Built"
4. "The shape of an effective scene is this: First, it orients us in time and place...(it) introduces a question we want answered... (it) finishes on some sort of slightly rising note: another question or a heightened emotion or a new complication or a change of situation--something to keep us reading into the next scene."--Nancy Kress, science fiction and fantasy author
5. "Think of a memorable scene as an inner tube designed to keep the larger work afloat." --Raymond Obstfeld, Novelist's Essential Guide to Crafting Scene
6. "Understand scene and you begin to understand the essence of plot." --Martha Alderson, Blockbuster Plots
Time to rev up the motors and get this story moving, starting with the scene I got bogged down on in the first place. It will take more than luck; it will require getting serious. Don't want to be like the protagonist described above by Ms. Hardy--or the lady in the picture sitting on the sidelines...
Where are you in your writing--moving at a fast clip or in a stall? Will NaNoWriMo give you an incentive to move forward? What are some of your best tips for writing scenes?
p.s. Want some great links for National Novel Writing Month? Check out these links:
Tips for Surviving the Agony and Ecstasy of NaNoWriMo, by Jenny Hansen
4 Visual Tricks for Writers Who Want to Rock NaNoWriMo, by Robin Rivera
15 Story Beats to Keep Your NaNoWriMo Novel on Track, by Heather Jackson
How Word Sprints Will Help You Win NaNoWriMo This Year, Writersedit.com