Thursday, October 15, 2015

NaNoWriMo: Places & Spaces

In continuing with our fun segments on NaNoWriMo and some easy tips and tricks to conquering the 50k beast in a month, today we're talking about places and spaces. Again, I'll reference last week's post about planning ahead but with the caveat that I'm not saying you have to have everything planned. I get bored with that myself. What I do recommend is giving some key things thought. One of those things is the setting of your novel.

Setting as a Character
Um, Emilie, you may be thinking, I'm not writing a speculative novel. I don't want my walls talking! That's not exactly what I had in mind...though hey, if that's what you write, then by all means ;-)

What I mean by this is the fact that your setting is almost as important as your main characters. (tweet this) That's why I recommend you take some time to really think through where you'll be placing your novel. Setting will help direct the outer elements that affect your characters. It will lend a type of mood to your story. It will also place limitations on you. Once you decide what season(s) your book will be in, then the location during that season will have to be taken into account.

It's in the Details 
Consider your setting as an enhancement. This follows the idea of your setting as a type of character. If your novel is taking place on the white sands of Hawaii or in the dark forests of the Pacific Northwest (with or without sparkling vampires...) that will give a feeling to your writing. A novel in Hawaii will likely be enhanced by the scents of coconut, the feel of sand between your characters feet, and the warmth and comfort of sunshine on their shoulders. Conversely, a novel set in Washington State will likely involve the dampness of rain, the brilliance of deep green forests, and the continual need for you characters to drink coffee. No matter where you place your novel, make sure you can draw in details that will bring vibrancy to your writing. (tweet this)

Know Your Space
This goes to the minute details of your writing. Once you've chosen your place, you must know your space. (tweet this) Just as you are relying on a knowledge of a location, you should also have a good idea of your characters spaces like office, house, favorite restaurants--anywhere that they will (or may) go to.

Depicting details of the space your character is in will help your reader visualize the location, furniture, atmosphere etc. Bring your reader in with details like the ugly Tiffany lamp your characters aunt has had for years or the orange shag rug that hasn't been vacuumed since 1950. Plus, all these details take up glorious words (hehe).

  • Use Pinterest to create a board for your novel. Pin things like decor, houses, locations, and city skylines to help you when you're needing inspiration.
  • Print and post a few pics in front of your work station if necessary.
  • Use Google maps and street view for a detailed visual of locations and to help you plot out specific details to ad
  • Talk to someone from the location (if you're not familiar with it)
  • Go to the town's website. Most have them and you can find helpful, touristy info there.
  • Take time visualizing the interior spaces and get a feel for the house. Make sure you write this down - you wouldn't want your character to go to the left into the kitchen when two pages before they were going to the right side of the house. 
Check out these previous posts:
NaNoWriMo: Why We Write
NaNoWriMo: Brainstorming Tips 

Join our support group to make it through the ups and downs of NaNo:
2015 NaNoWriMo {Support Group} | Facebook

Check out this super fun Blab I was a part of yesterday with amazing authors Johnnie Alexander (a previous guest here on my blog), her daughter and non-fiction author Bethany Jett, and editor Anna Floit of The Peacock Quill. We chat about fun NaNoWriMo stuff and just had a blast!

NaNoWriMo Prep Blab

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