Writing a novel first draft via Nanowrimo

Writing a novel first draft via Nanowrimo

Some of us have already ended Nanowrimo, and some of us are about to do so with the close of November.


No matter if you have succeeded with the 50,000 words or not, we all have gotten SOMETHING on our work accomplished and isn’t that the whole purpose?

This post is for those who are now holding that precious first draft. Rock on, you writer, you!


I made my own story a nemesis this month by writing something from the seat of my pants, no outline, no idea what it would be. And it is a very important book in my series. A pivotal book, in fact. Bad idea.

I did a little brainstorming before Nano started. But only a little. With no idea of how I would accomplish all the big things I had to put into this story, well, let me just say, this is the WRONG way to go about penning a Nano book.

I also decided to fluff up a subplot from the last book and make it the main idea for this one, and that makes turning it into a mystery difficult. The silly thing wants to read like romantic suspense! There are points that mystery books have to hit, and this one wasn’t behaving.

The difference between writing a thriller/suspense and a mystery is:

In a thriller/suspense, the characters race against a crime about to happen.

In a mystery, the crime has already happened and the characters have to figure out whodunnit.

In this book, it is almost like I am writing both, and Shannon and Sal’s romance wants attention as well, so shoot-fire, who knows what will happen?

So, on about first draft writing- here are a few things to note:

Write your back cover blurb

Writing the back cover blurb helps you solidify main story elements. 

Shannon has to find a list of missing items in order to know whether the trust left to her is still worth the money her lawyer says it is. Before she can attack the attic, she has to talk to her aunt Nan and aunt Tillie. But something strange is going on at Tillie’s Home Cookin’—IT’S GOOOOD! and Shannon suffers a near miss. Could someone have painted a target on her aunts’ backs? As Shannon delves into the past, she uncovers the present, in all of its dangerous, and funny costumes.

What questions did you consider from this?

From the back cover blurb, a reader begins to form questions about the story inside the covers.

  1. What are the missing items?
  2. How much money is Shannon’s trust?
  3. What is going on at the restaurant?
  4. What near miss happens?
  5. What does Shannon find out about the past?

This is a pretty slim list, and your will likely be deeper and better thought out. But from such a list, you as the writer can begin to create chapters and scenes. This would be very helpful if you need some structure to your Nano book.

The items listed above got me about 20,000 words into my current WIP.  There are many more items to be considered of course, but this was a great beginning.


Check out my latest YA sweet romance, PUPPY LOVE


here : http://a.co/2R3An8C



About master

Kim Smith is the author of the Shannon Wallace Mysteries, and the Mt. Moriah Series- plus, YA fantasy, and Bizarro fiction. All available on Amazon.

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