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From the Blog: Finding Your Writing Process

Update about our 2022 "Now What?" Novel Excerpt Contest: We received over 650 novel excerpt submissions, the most we've ever gotten! As the person who reads them all first, I am SO impressed and grateful to you all for sharing the characters and worlds you've built. Honestly, I've read so many of them and felt like, "Wait, I want more! Give me the whole novel!" You should all be super proud of yourselves. No matter whether you win or not, I really hope you continue believing in yourself and your stories, because they're legit amazing.

We've passed on the Official Finalists to our guest judge, author Tashie Bhuiyan, and we'll announce results the first week of April.

Please consider sharing your excerpt in the "Now What?" contest forum and reading other young writers' hard work.

From the Blog: Finding Your Writing Process


You need to have a writing process to get down and write your novel, so how do you start? NaNoWriMo guest writer Esther Wildman has some tips on helping you find your writing process.

“Write every day. Write your draft in three months or less. You need an outline to write a novel. Don’t outline, just write.” 

Somewhere along your journey as a writer, you've probably heard or seen lots of pieces of advice like these and more. Before I started to write my first novel, I felt overwhelmed by all of the writing advice I was seeing, much of it conflicting with each other. I thought I wouldn’t be able to tell my story if I didn’t follow a specific formula. But the truth is, there is no one right way to write a novel. There are so many ways one can write because writing is so individual. Whether you prefer to write everyday, only during NaNoWriMo, or anywhere in between,  you get words onto the page. Two drafts or six drafts, detailed outline or no outline, different processes work for different people and different stories. 

As with creating any art, everyone’s writing process is unique. For example, I normally don’t write every day, but I try to challenge myself to do that during NaNoWriMo months. But maybe writing every day is what makes your writing go. You might write two drafts or six, make detailed outlines or jump straight in, or mix it up between different projects. There is no wrong way to do it.

Well, you may be wondering, how exactly might one figure out what works best for them in writing? The good news is, I, with the input of some wonderful friends, have compiled some tips:

  1. Experiment! Try new methods. You won’t know what works or doesn’t work for you if you don’t try it. Either way, you’ve learned something about your writing process. As well as with different projects: for me at least, no two writing projects have been written the same way. Changing the way you write can help you figure out what you prefer. Even for the same project, trying a new method of plotting, for example, can help you see things differently and maybe figure out some new things about your story. 

  2. Look at different tips. I know I mentioned earlier that it could be overwhelming to see, but you might find something that sparks your interest. 

  3. Last but certainly not least, don't be discouraged by other people's processes. If something is working for you, keep doing it, and don't listen to anyone who tells you it isn't correct.

Finding your writing process is a trial and error process, it won't happen in one night. You will probably have to try several ways and methods before you find something that fits. And that's ok, because, as an art, writing is a messy process. And finding what works for you is a continual process, as you learn more about your stories and writing. 

Esther is a seventeen-year-old writer, artist, reader, and daydreamer. Currently, she is writing a young adult contemporary novel about finding friendship in unlikely places. She loves reading historical fiction and contemporary books. Being outside, iced tea, libraries, and biology are some of her favorite things. You can find some of her art on Instagram

Top photo by Becca Tapert on Unsplash  

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