Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Day Thirty-One: Idea to Novel Workshop: Prepare to Write!

By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

Welcome to Day Thirty-One of Fiction University’s At-Home Workshop: Idea to Novel in 31 Days. You made it! I hope you’re feeling good about your novel and are eager to dive in and get started.

If you’re starting NaNoWriMo tomorrow, take today to prepare.

Decide on Your Writing Plan

With the intensity of NaNo, it’s not uncommon for writers to change their process up a bit. Many write in libraries and coffee shops, or change locations in their homes (or workplaces) throughout the day. Think about where you’re going to do your writing and if you might like to try something new to boost productivity.

(Here are more tips on being a more productive writer)

Gather Your Materials

Once you start writing, you don’t want anything to disturb your momentum, so gather everything you’ll need and keep it close by. Notes, writing books, snacks, drinks, whatever you need.

(Here’s more on finding time to write)

Coordinate with Friends

Doing NaNo with a writer bud? Arrange your writing times and locations so you can hit the keyboard running tomorrow.

(Here’s more on tapping into the writing mode anywhere)

Schedule Time to Write

Make sure family and friends know you’re facing a challenge with a looming deadline and might not be available as much as you usually are. Schedule dedicated writing time so you’ll know you’ll have the time you need to get your words done.

(Here’s more on carving out time to write)

NaNo is a lot of fun, but it can get stressful. If the pressure starts getting to you, take two steps back and breathe. It’s just a motivating tool, so it doesn’t matter if you fall a little behind. What matters is that you have fun and write words you might never have written if you hadn’t tried NaNo.

Take Some Time Today for Yourself

Lastly, relax a little and rest up for tomorrow. The first few days of NaNo are often exciting and you’ll likely exert a lot of energy. Pace yourself so you’ll be able to sustain that excitement and motivation all month long.

I hope you enjoyed this at-home workshop, and that you feel good about the novel you planned over the last 31 days.

If you’re doing NaNo, good luck and good writing! If you want to go back to Day One, you can start over here.

Who’s starting NaNo tomorrow? Who’s still working on their novel plan? Who’s just writing?

Follow along at home with the book, Plotting Your Novel: Ideas and Structure. Get more brainstorming questions and things to think about, in-depth articles, and clear examples of every step from idea to novel.

Paperback: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indie Bound  | Google Books | Books-A-Million | Chapters/!ndio

Ebook: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Overdrive | Kobo | Inktera | Chapters/!ndio

Go step-by-step through plotting and writing a novel. Learn how to find and develop ideas, brainstorm stories from that first spark of inspiration, develop the right characters, setting, plots and subplots, as well as teach you how to identify where your novel fits in the market, and if your idea has what it takes to be a series.

With clear and easy-to-understand examples, Plotting Your Novel: Ideas and Structure offers ten self-guided workshops with more than 100 different exercises to help you craft a solid novel. Learn how to:
  • Create compelling characters readers will love
  • Choose the right point of view for your story
  • Determine the conflicts that will drive your plot (and hook readers!)
  • Find the best writing process for your writing style
  • Create a solid plot from the spark of your idea
Plotting Your Novel: Ideas and Structure also helps you develop the critical elements for submitting and selling your novel once it’s finished. You’ll find exercises on how to:
  • Craft your one-sentence pitch
  • Create your summary hook blurb
  • Develop a solid working synopsis And so much more!
Plotting Your Novel: Ideas and Structure is an easy-to-follow guide to writing your novel or fixing a novel that isn’t quite working. 

Available in paperback and ebook formats.

Janice Hardy is the award-winning author of the teen fantasy trilogy The Healing Wars, including The Shifter, Blue Fire, and Darkfall from Balzer+Bray/Harper Collins. The Shifter, was chosen for the 2014 list of "Ten Books All Young Georgians Should Read" from the Georgia Center for the Book.

She also writes the Grace Harper urban fantasy series for adults under the name, J.T. Hardy.

When she's not writing novels, she's teaching other writers how to improve their craft. She's the founder of Fiction University and has written multiple books on writing.
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Indie Bound


  1. Thank you, Janice, for a month of inspiration and great information.

    1. Most welcome! I hope you have your novel all ready to go :)

  2. Thank you for a fantastic series! While I won't be doing NaNoWriMo yet (because that would be akin to a couch potato running a marathon), this workshop has been a great tool for focus and direction with my current WIP. Good luck to all those brave souls up for the challenge!

    1. You're most welcome, glad you enjoyed it. There's always next year! Or you can do a half-NaNo :) No rule says you can't set your own terms.

  3. This series has been great. I feel much more prepared than I did before. I've now written 5,000 words about my novel before writing any actual pages. It's so cool. I might even be able to finish NaNo this year. Wish me luck. =)

    1. Thanks! That's so awesome :) I hope you rock those 50K words. Sending good writing vibes your way.