Prep-tober Week Two: Pick a Story Idea

Welcome back!

By this point, you should have signed up on NaNoWriMo's official website and created an account. Hopefully, you've also tamed those pesky plot bunnies and decided on which story idea you want to run with when November comes.  

Setting on a story idea can be one of the most challenging tasks for a writer. You want to walk away with a novel that not only entices, motivates, and inspires you, but also touches the hearts of your readers and leaves them begging for more. If you've managed to tame one of your plot bunnies, I'm so happy for you! Congratulations! Pat yourself on the back!

If not, I want to give you three quick tips:

·       Don't Play It Safe: Which idea inspires and motivates you the most? Which one stands out in your mind and leaves you wanting to know more about the character's story? More often than not, that will be the one that captivates your readers the most too.

·       Write a Scene for Each: Your scenes don't have to be fifty pages. Just a paragraph or two for each story idea. Spend about fifteen to thirty minutes on each imagining the characters and plot. When done, you should have a clear concept of which story you want to write.

·       Talk It Out: If you're still struggling, then maybe it’s time to ask close family members or friends; especially if they're avid readers. Explain each idea and see which one interests them the most. I promise you they'll help you pick a story idea that is sure to captivate your readers.

When that's done, and you've decided on a story idea, it’s time to decide on your novel's genre, point-of-view, and tense.  

Deciding on your novel's overall genre is relatively easy. There are five main genres: Romance, Horror, Thriller/Suspense, Science Fiction/Fantasy, and Mystery/Crime. Then, you further break your novel down into sub-genres. Each genre has several different sub-genres so to make things easy for you, and me, I've found a link on Writers Digest that's extremely helpful. I encourage you to click on the link and finalize your novel's genre and sub-genre.

Then you need to decide which point-of-view you're going to write in. Point-of-view is defined as the narrator's position in the description of events. There are four main types:

·       First person: In first-person point-of-view, the narrator relates events he or she is personally experiencing. This is the most common point-of-view used in fiction.

·       Second person: In second-person point-of-view, you become the protagonist. This is used mainly in non-fiction.

·       Third person, limited: In third-person, limited point-of-view, the narrator isn't in the story and relates the thoughts, feelings, and experiences of often just one character.

·       Third person, omniscient: In third-person, omniscient point-of-view, the narrator isn't in the story and relates the thoughts, feelings, and experiences of ALL the characters in the story.

There are specific pronouns you use for each point-of-view. Website thewritepractice.com created a helpful image that I've included below.

 

Point-of-View-Pronouns.png

Finally, you want to decide on your novel's tense. Will your story be written in present tense or past tense? An example of present tense would be:

She lives in Europe. 

An example of past tense would be:

She lived in Europe.

If you find it hard to decide which tense to write your novel in, I recommend writing a chapter in both tenses and picking based upon which chapter you found easier to write. 

Now that you've decided on, and finalized, your novel's story idea, genre, point-of-view, and tense you can log into your NaNoWriMo account and announce your 2017 NaNoWriMo novel. Settle on a title for your novel, make a cover for your novel (I recommend using Canva), write a brief synopsis, and you're all done!

In the comments down below let me know what you're writing about next month! I look forward to hearing about all of your wonderful story ideas. Join me next week and we'll dive into creating character profiles.

Happy Writing!