So, you’ve climbed on the NanoWriMo bandwagon and pledged to write 50,000 words in 30 days. Congratulations! You’ve already taken the first step by signing on. And you’ll have the support of thousands of other writers who will be accompanying you on the journey. The euphoria is strong and you feel the wind beneath your wings. Make the most of it.
Start with your main characters. Have a broad idea of where your plot is going. Write down ten or twenty quick ideas and build your story around these. Pepper your story with conflicts. Move the plot forward with every chapter. Action, emotion, dialogue, narration ― everything has a place in your novel.
Feel the fear, the joy and the love that your characters experience and then recreate it for your readers. Liven up your scenes with smells, sounds and sights. And don’t leave your keyboard at the end of your day’s writing without some idea of what will happen the next day. Why is the heroine upset? Will the hero be able to fight off the threat? Let your mind work on it as you sleep.
Or write a few sentences of your next chapter before you shut down your computer. That is a surefire way to stave off writer’s block.
Yes, you may come upon that dreadful day when you sit staring at a blank page, not knowing where you are headed. Your title seems dumb and your characters foolish. You don’t know why you started this whole exercise. Don’t worry, that’s normal too. Just unclench your jaw and skim through what you’ve written till now. Maybe your characters have come alive and are refusing to go quietly down the path you have laid out for them. Good for them, and for you. That’s what makes them leap out from the page and grab your reader’s attention.
Play along. Have fun. If you are writing a thriller and get stuck, kill somebody. A love story? Have the hero do something crazy to woo his girl. Let your zest for life spill over on your pages. That’s the secret of a racy tale.
Usha Narayanan is a writer from the colourful world of advertising and media. Her first novel, ‘The Madras Mangler’, (http://goo.gl/lRMHgr) is chock-a-block with chills and thrills and has received several favourable reviews. Her next two novels, a romcom and an action-packed fantasy, have been picked up by leading publishers for publication in 2015. Connect with her at www.ushanarayanan.com, www.facebook.com/writerushaand www.twitter.com/writerusha.