The Daily Port of Call: November 14, 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.

This week we’ll dive into resources to help you write the first draft. In today’s Daily Port of Call, we explore a wide range of tips on the craft of writing.

If you’re stuck with your rough draft, think about it like it’s a maze.

Discover how to use backstory to keep your readers reading.

Discover why you might want to use an unreliable narrator and how to get started.

Explore voice and structure. “If a plot requires a point of view character to deceive the reader—to be an unreliable narrator—that character’s voice requires careful control. The writer may use this character to lead the reader down a false trail, or conceal something that will later be the turning point of the story.”

Here is the secret to making your book un-put-down-able. “Readers read because there’s something in a story that piques their curiosity. There’s something they don’t know about the characters, the setting, or the plot—and it’s driving them absolutely crazy!”

Tricks for pacing: Try these smooth transitions keep your story moving.

Look out for these five ending pitfalls that might cause readers to skip your sequel.

“My first drafts are now skeletons. I gradually add muscle and skin and dress the bones in the revision layers.” One writer shares how she writes her bare bones draft.