There are many articles out there about how to plan, from a skeleton draft to the Snowflake method. But an extra question you have to ask yourself, especially when taking on NaNoWriMo, is how much to plan as we roll towards the end of the month.
There are, broadly, three types of planner: a plotter; a pantser; and a plantser.
Some writers begin their novel planning with a plot; some begin with a character. Either way, the protagonists, antagonists, side characters, and even the background ones are all crucial to your novel and knowing your characters can make or break a readable, engaging story.
I made a mistake when I began writing my last novel: I didn’t get to know my protagonist like a friend. I knew who she was, her background, and her motives, but I didn’t actually know her. I ended up having to pause in my writing and develop her characterisation, because otherwise she simply felt too flat.
I once read an article that said if you have to spend X amount of hours on a book, you should include the thinking time within that time. Obviously, there comes a point where you really do have to start writing or else there’s no point saying “I want to write a book,” but I think this is a worthwhile consideration. With my previous novel, I spent hours upon hours brainstorming and thinking and daydreaming without writing a single word – and my novel was definitely stronger for it.
Technically, therefore, I feel that NaNoWriMo has already begun. The moment you commit to writing that book, you are taking part in the event itself. From that very first brainstorm, whether its in the notes app of your phone, scribbled on the back of a napkin, or carefully inked into a brand new notebook, you have taken those first steps to be a writer.
Though I am a lover of bookstores, physical pages, and libraries, I cannot deny that I love my Kindle. Yet when the first Kindle came out, I looked down my nose at it unhappily. Why, I thought, would anyone want to read on a screen when they could have the page?
My parents bought me a Kindle in 2015 (ish), when I was about 14, for Christmas. I did use it occasionally, but it mostly gathered dust in the corner of my room. I did enjoy being able to read documents on it, and bought many classics and free books from Amazon to one day consume (spoiler alert: I never did…). Mostly, though, I forgot about it.
It’s October! The season of cosiness, autumn, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and plenty of Gothic, spooky books.
This month, I am actually posting a to be read/possibility list, because I want to participate in two readathons, and therefore there are lots of books I want to complete. So far, I’ve read two books in October (though none are on my TBR…), so I’m already doing quite well I think!
September was somehow more hectic than August, and I had my most disappointing reading month of the year so far, reading only 3 books. Whilst the books were really enjoyable, I do wish I had made reading more of a priority and read more books this month! That’s definitely one of my goals for October: to make time to read.
I love reading series; I think the fact you can be so fully immersed into the world is wonderful, and there is so much scope for world building. Think of the things you’re still learning about the novel and characters in the final novel that you never even thought about in the first!
The majority of the series on my shelf have been read… apart from the final novel. It’s always this last volume that I have trouble finishing. Why is that?
Ed is excited. He’s landed his dream job at Woolf and Wilde, the beautiful independent bookshop in town. On his first day, his colleague Hannah doesn’t hold back from telling him exactly how to do things. Although Ed is intimidated, he soon finds himself wanting to impress her… Then, Ed discovers his mum is dating for the first time since splitting up with his dad. It feels like a huge change, much too fast. But with the help of his friends, and embracing Hannah’s way of seeing the world… Can Ed let his guard down?
I finally got around to reading the final book in this glorious YA series, and I am so sad to let it go!
This month, Books That Matter teamed up with Faber to bring the exclusive Sally Rooney book club box to celebrate the release of Beautiful World, Where Are You. This box had some goodies from Faber and some nice snacks which I’ll talk about in this article!