For some writers, a blank page is a scary thing to face. Others see all that white space as an opportunity, and can’t wait to dive in and tell their story. The vast majority of us probably fall somewhere in between, with some ideas making us eager to write, and some fighting us every for word. I’ve discovered through (often painful) trial and error, that my novels go smoothest when I spend some time planning them. I don’t have to figure everything out, but knowing what my core conflict is, what my character arc will cover, and who my antagonist is makes it a lot easier to write the novel. I struggle less, my plot comes together more easily, and the first draft turns out much cleaner. Since October is the planning month for writers gearing up for National Novel Writing Month in November (where you write 50,000 words in 30 days for those who haven’t discovered this yet), let’s look at some ways to help you jumpstart your next novel idea. 1. Know what your book is really about. Not truly knowing what I was writing has caused me more writing frustration than anything else I’ve ever encountered. […]