The Under Ground Writing Project

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Actually Finishing Novels

Posted by Ali on November 14, 2012 at 6:30 PM

In honor of NaNoWriMo, I'm passing along an article I found. It's not about how to write a novel, but rather about how to finish it. The finishing part is essential, and I say this as someone who has written the same novel twice, only to get stalled out about 3/4 of the way through.


The name of the article is Strategies to Make Sure You Actually Finish That Novel, and it's got a list of twelve things you can try to power through to the end.


My favorite tips that I plan to use to help with the twice-written, never-finished project are:

1. Write the ending first. (Or, in my case, jump from where I am now to the end and skip all the in between bits until later.)

2. Write a terrible ending. (So, I get to jump to the end and just slap something down to help clarify where I think I'm going and where I really ought to be going.)


There are ten other exercises you can try out, and I'm sure there's bound to be at least one on the list that clicks for you. At the end of the article, author Charlie Jane Anders wraps up with great works of wisdom for first drafts, and especially NaNo:


"And most of all, don't forget to have fun with this! The first draft is just you playing a wacky game with yourself. It's the fifth or tenth draft that actually has to be all grown-up and dressed to go over to strangers' houses."

Categories: Writing Process, NaNoWriMo, Books

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1 Comment

Reply John Ridge
12:27 PM on November 15, 2012 
This person forgot the most important step:Banging your head against the keyboard until the thing magically appears.

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