Prepping for NaNoWriMo: Embrace Humor

We can all be too serious when thinking about or describing our work, and pessimistic when assessing the probability that we’ll land a publisher. No wonder our brains sputter and grind to a halt! If you’re going to write 50,000 words in November, employing humor is an effective – and fun – way to fire up your writing brain. (My book is available on as part of NaNoWriMo promotion, use PREP30 code to buy it for about $9.00. Promo ends 10/30).

For example, this video, by author Maria Semple, is as clever and original as her novel, Where’d You Go Bernadette? It’s not only beautifully shot (with guest stars!), that list of ways to categorize and sell her novel is a perfect model for not taking yourself too seriously, and an ingenious way to think about the book you’re crafting, and own what you love to write, whether or not it will find a home.

By the way, I read Where’d You Go Bernadette recently and loved it, even though she broke “cardinal rules,” like using a fourteen-year-old narrator for an adult novel, what would be considered too many points of view, and used devices, such as letters and emails.

Lots of clients will ask me why they can’t use six points of view (or more!), letters, emails, phone calls, etc. to tell a story, and I tell them that they just don’t work well, tend to slow the action, and will turn off editors. That said, if you are able to break those rules in a masterful way, creating a unique, well-crafted novel that is startlingly fresh, then you go right ahead.

But back to the video:  as you think about what you’ll be writing for NaNoWriMo, use humor to spur original thoughts and lighten the mood, gifting your brain a dopamine rush that will foster productive writing sessions.

Happy Writing!

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