Breaking News

YWP Participant Pep Talk from Ramona T

Writing a novel is a difficult journey, one that I still have yet to finish. But over the years I've written for NaNoWriMo, I've found a few ways to make that journey a little easier.

1. Don't get too hung up on your word count goal. This may seem counterintuitive, but if you focus too hard on that 50K goal (or 30K, or 10K, or whatever you choose to try for) you can end up setting yourself up for disappointment, especially if you're a high achiever like me and overestimate the amount of time and energy you'll be able to devote to your goal. 

Instead, focus on the story you have to tell and how close you come to realizing your vision. Even if you write very little in terms of word count, it will never be a waste if you get to know your characters, your world, or your writing style just a bit better.

2. Be realistic about the amount of time you can devote to NaNo. We're busy people, and depending on your situation you might be too overwhelmed with other responsibilities to write for more than a few minutes each day. And that's okay! Schedule out the time slots you need and make sure you set a word count goal that makes sense with that amount of time.

3. Don't be afraid to switch up your story as you go. I've gotten stuck several times with no idea where my plot's going to go, and only broke free when I started working on the scenes I really wanted to write, whether they were much later in the book or alternate events that veered away from my outline. Even if you don't end up using those scenes, they're still valuable to write as they allow you to practice your writing skills and help you figure out where you want your plot to go.

4. Get help from other writers. The forums may be distracting, but there are also so many helpful resources and perspectives from your peers at your disposal. You can engage in word wars with other writers, make your way through word crawls on your own, and ask for worldbuilding advice, plot suggestions, and encouragement. No novel is created in a vacuum, and the input of others is the main reason I've gotten this far.

Above all, write what makes you happy! It's hard to stay motivated unless you're writing something you have an emotional connection to, and if you care about your plot and characters, that's going to show through. 

I hope some of my tips were helpful, and I wish you the best of luck on your novel writing journey this November.

photo of Ramona T.

Ramona T. is a sixteen-year-old writer who focuses on novels and poetry but has recently gained an interest in songwriting as well. In their spare time, they enjoy listening to music, rewatching their favorite shows, and reading YA fiction. They also enjoy having debates with their friends and petting their cats. They've been working on the same novel for over two years, but they haven't gotten sick of it yet! They love their story dearly, and they're still hoping to get it published someday.

View All Breaking News