How to start a novel

While my MoBros are embarking on a visage voyage in aid of prostate cancer (#movember), I’m embarking on another voyage with my #nanowrimo friends : Write a novel of 50k+ words in the 30 days of November.  But how to start?  My artist friend tells me to get over the intimidation of a blank canvas by squirting it with ink – maybe the equivalent novel-writing fear needs to be overcome by spitting on the keyboard?  Or one’s typing fingers at least?  My tactic looks like this:

  • File > new blank document.
  • spit on the keys (or your fingers)
  • type lskadfhj;alskdjvl;kajv;esifjas;lkdnv;lkzn;elkjfh;walehjfal;skdjf  (I mean it… whatever your fingers touch… type it)
  • File > Save As > Nanowrimo2013-Edit 1.

Then I open up the file again, and keep writing…  But real words, this time… here’s my opening line (and it will be edited beyond recognition before I’m ever finished with it, that’s just what’s called making a ‘First Draft’):

I’ve been sitting here for minutes now, staring at the screen.

Keep going.  The ‘real words’ will come in a bit… just get the rubbish out first until there’s a full flow.  It’s going to get better… honest.  So go on… start a novel.  It’s easy!  (The hard part is finishing it…. 😉 )



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