Remember what it was like to be in love? I’m talking about those first few weeks or months, when you can barely last a day without each other. You’ll sacrifice work, food, friends, and even sleep to spend a few moments with your beloved.
That’s what you need to feel about your National Novel Writing Month book. Yeah, you need to love it. This can’t be one of those “I-could-take-it-or-leave-it” projects. If you want to write 50,000 words in a month, you need to choose a project that you’re willing to give up stuff for.
In past years, I’ve made lists of everything I love and hate about fiction as a guide to what I will write for National Novel Writing Month. In his book, No Plot, No Problem, Chris Baty calls this the two Magna Cartas (see p. 85 and following).
This year, I am doing something different. I am making my list of favorites around common novel elements:
Point of View
Added Value (This is often the stuff that makes a book rich and delicious for you. It may not fall into the categories above. For example, I love books that have recipes in them—like the novel Bread Alone. I may never use them, but it’s fun to imagine myself cooking.)
Once you make your list, think about how your NaNoWriMo novel will use some of the elements you love. You’ll no doubt enjoy National Novel Writing Month far more if you’re in love with your novel.
Your turn: How do you decide what novel to write for NaNoWriMo?