The Daily Port of Call: November 4, 2014

Photo by Alexander Lvov/

Photo by Alexander Lvov/

During the month of NaNoWriMo, the Captains of Writership will be participating in this great sprint to write a novel in thirty days. In lieu of the news and recent posts we usually share in the Daily Port of Call, we’ll be passing along links to some of our favorite articles and resources on a variety of topics. In our year-long, online writing program, we follow the steps of the writing journey from idea to publication. We’ll mirror that structure here, spending a week exploring each of Writership’s Anchors: Dreamtime, Writing the First Draft, Revision, and Publishing and Marketing.

We’re in Dreamtime this week, and today we’ll go a little deeper into the story.

Discover these helpful questions to ask about your story: “[W]here does the narrator stand, relative to the events of this story?” and “Why does my narrator need to tell his story?”

Do you know the answer to your story’s most important question? “The dramatic question is the central element of uncertainty that drives your story. The moment it is asked, your story begins. The moment it is answered, your story ends.”

Everything you experience is grist for the writing mill: Make use of the things around you.

Learn how to mine your dreams for story gold.

How do you write about circumstances you haven’t experienced? “Imagining is the job of the fiction writer. This is what we do, every time we sit down in front of a blank page. It seems as if we’re working with no more than a keyboard or pen and paper, but that’s not true. We have at our disposal every person we’ve ever known, every experience we’ve ever had, seen, heard and felt.”

And because sometimes we need to know a little more, here are seven tips for researching a novel.

Discover these research tools that every writer needs.