I recently read a book by a new author. All the predictors point to this book (which shall remain nameless) being the next big thing. The premise was relatively new and exciting. It’s a little Sci-Fi, a little Young Author, a little Romance, and some good political intrigue thrown in for fun. It was everything I like in a book and the exact audience I’m writing for.
However, I had a huge problem with this book. The author did some pretty obvious foreshadowing very early in the book. Blinking Neon Light foreshadowing. Additional clues were dropped regularly through the book. But the main character didn’t figure out until chapter 32 what the two of us figured in in chapter 2. I found this not only insulting, but extremely annoying. The author is not dumb. She is creative and organized. She has created an entire world and everything is logical and emotionally solvent. The main character is not dumb. And I did like the way that the author chose to enlighten the character to this information.
As in all things, I say “MODERATION”. Don’t treat your audience as if they are stupid and have to have everything explained to them. In the case of the book, another bit of information was explained TWICE. Of course, don’t leave everything for the audience to figure out either. Your audience is smarter than you think, but they’re not mind readers, either.
I’m a huge Lifehacker fan and ran across their article with Tips for Editing Your NaNoWriMo Novel. They tallied up a few of their favorite tips from writers and some great apps for editing to help you along your way. Below are the topics of the article.
First You Proof Read
Then You Edit and Revise
Apps and Programs to Help You Along the Way
Some Advice from the Pros
November is NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month! The goal is to write a 50,000-word (175-page) book throughout the Month of November
Although this sounds extremely ambitious, the goal is not to have a ready-to-publish manuscript. It’s more about relaxing and just focusing on output. From the NaNoWriMo about page:
Valuing enthusiasm and perseverance over painstaking craft, NaNoWriMo is a novel-writing program for everyone who has thought fleetingly about writing a novel but has been scared away by the time and effort involved.
Because of the limited writing window, the ONLY thing that matters in NaNoWriMo is output. It's all about quantity, not quality. The kamikaze approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly.
Make no mistake: You will be writing a lot of crap. And that's a good thing. By forcing yourself to write so intensely, you are giving yourself permission to make mistakes. To forgo the endless tweaking and editing and just create. To build without tearing down.
I encourage any aspiring writers to get cracking on this project. I’m a little to busy to dig in on this right now, but this may be something I start next year…