Hey, very different post today that has (almost) nothing to do with books! But because it's November, I felt like I had to make some kind of post about NaNoWriMo.
NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month, when people around the world have a month to write a novel. I did it last year, and part of it was for my school personal project (because I was in the IB during high school). The project that I personally chose to do was to write a short novel, and I did it in November, because not only was it a good inspiration and motivation, it was also because the first draft was due in December.
Writing a novel is an incredible challenge, although very hard, but very rewarding. As I was writing it, I cursed and swore and regretted my decision, but as it was finalized, edited and printed, I had never felt so proud.
I have no tips for you except that you have to 1) Plan things out and 2) Go with the flow
These are the most typical tips but you have to follow them. Planning things out just avoids getting you in a huge mess. Writing should be done with your gut, but if you start off a book not knowing where you're going or what your intentions are, you're not gonna be happy with the ending, and you might have a crisis in the middle of writing. It happened to me, as I was 5000 words in and realized that nothing was coherent or made sense, nor how and when to end the book. Make a plan before, use cue cards. That is how I write my scripts at the moment, but cue cards are really useful if you want to plan events out. On each card, write down a big event or something that you consider important to the story. At the end, place your cards the way you want them to be. You might end up choosing to go non-linear, and change the arrangement of your cards as you write, but at least you'll know what you're doing and where you're going.
Go with the flow simply means to write when you feel like it, and not when you feel obligated to. A (pretty nasty) quote that my friend always tells me is "if you force it out, it's going to be sh*t", which is true, but a weird mental image. You are never at your full potential when you're not doing something that you are genuinely interested in doing. I had a writing schedule for myself, but realized after two writing sessions that it was a horrible idea. Therefore, I started writing when I saw that I had time, and when I felt relaxed, or wanted to escape school work a bit but still wanted to be productive. If you like to write, you will find moments when you'll really want to write. If not, you can always try again when you feel your "writing spirit" at its strongest. But don't force something out, because chances are, you will be really disappointed.
So as a 17 years old who wrote her novella at 16, I am definitely not the most experienced person or best person to give you advice, but it is exactly because I am so inexperienced that I wanted to share with you. Writing stories for a living is definitely one of my job goals, and starting early to gain experience is the best way for me to attain them. If this is your first time participating in NaNoWriMo, you will probably relate to me and find this hard, but the whole point of the challenge is what makes this month such a fun month. Talk to other writers, make friends and be inspired!