10 Questions to Brainstorm for Your NaNoWriMo Novel

10 Questions to Brainstorm for Your NaNoWriMo Novel

10 Questions to Brainstorm for Your NaNoWriMo Novel
Photo by David Schwarzenberg / via Pixabay

10 Questions to Brainstorm for Your NaNoWriMo Novel

Are you ready to write a novel in 30 days?

November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and thousands of writers will be making a commitment to write a novel. Per the rules, writers must start a new story and write 50,000 words to win. The novel doesn’t need to be complete, and if you hit the word count ahead of time, you’re free to keep writing.

The concept of writing a novel in a month is a noble one. It gives writers an opportunity and the motivation to complete a novel, sometimes for the first time in their lives.

It’s no surprise that one of the biggest challenges writers face on December 1st is a really bad first draft of their NaNoWriMo novel. Writers may end up with a bunch of words they can’t use. Plot details that need to be reworked. Setting that needs to be reconsidered. Characters that need to be developed. And story conflict and character motivations that need to be revamped.

For some writers, this is fine. After all, we have to have a first draft in order to get to the editing phase.

But for writers who dislike the editing phase, a NaNoWriMo novel may end up getting lost in their electronic files.

This isn’t to say that writing a novel so quickly is a bad idea. It can be a good thing. Maybe you want to connect with other writers in your area. Write-ins are the perfect way to do that. Or maybe you want to put your creative skills to the test. Whatever the case may be, it’s your life and your story.

But if you want to make the process a little easier, you’ll want to have a plan. Don’t have a plan yet? There’s still time to map out your novel before Day 1.

Before you start writing your novel, take some time to brainstorm. Here are some questions to think about to map out your novel…

10 Questions to Brainstorm for Your NaNoWriMo Novel

  • What is your story about?
  • Who are the main characters?
  • Who is the antagonist?
  • What does your main character want?
  • What challenges and oppositions will your main character face that will keep him from getting what he wants?
  • Why does your main character want what he wants?
  • What are your characters’ internal and external conflicts?
  • How is your story structured, and what are the plot points?
  • What is your character’s “black moment”?
  • And what is the one thing your character would never do (this ties into the ending)?

Knowing these details before you start writing will help you stay on track and produce a better quality first draft.

Jody Calkins
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