NaNoWriMo is just around the corner. Are you ready? Are you prepared? If not, you’ve got some work to do. I’m here to help.
Last week I wrote a blog titled 5 Ways to Succeed at NaNoWriMo. Today I am going to lay out 5 things to help you writer killer chapters.
- Keep a list of everything included in each chapter close by. POV, characters, setting, weather, and plot points. I am sure there are other things to jot down, but do your best to remember everything so you don’t forget something really important down the line.
- Write a brief description of each chapter to help you understand why it is essential to your story. Before you begin writing, reread it. If you find some chapters that do not belong, eliminate them. Or, at least highlight these darlings so you know if they are worth the effort when you get to them.
- Intermingle subtle tension and in your face tension. Subtle tension is when your Navy Seal character winds up at the rendezvous and no one is there. What do they do next? In your face tension is the bullets that fly from enemy guns when your character is ambushed. Remember the subtle tension, this keeps your readers turning the page.
- Consider framing your chapters by word count. Why? It gives you a smaller goal to shoot for and helps you know when to close things down. Also, you can take a break halfway through and it will keep you healthy and sane.
- Make sure some of your chapters have an arc. There are certain sub-plots in novels that last a few chapters, but still encapsulate things important to the overarching plot. There are also episodes that are small one chapter arcs that give the reader a brief feeling of satisfaction or completion (usually right before you crush the character they love). Take a look at some of your favorite books. You’ll see what I mean.
In the end – good luck. I hope you are prepared. Eat well, sleep well, and have time negotiated with your schedule and/or significant other. Also, an army of friends ready to cheer you on would hurt either.