Chris Baty, founder of NaNoWriMo, offers a suggestion in that book I'm reading: plan your novel in one week, then write. The week gives a solid springboard but doesn't allow one to pre-write the book and ruin it. You brainstorm the characters, settings, some ideas...then get writing. It starts, though, by identifying what qualities make a good book. These are mine:
- For me, the perfect book has moments of panic, but everything turns out well in the end.
- The characters are the people closest to me and those I want to know. They're hardworking, loyal friends with good moral bases. Yes, sometimes they're people in my real life. No, you can't ask me not to include you. (That's like asking Taylor Swift not to write about you after breaking up with her.) Sorry, you know me now, so you have to deal with this reality...although you probably liked me better before you knew this little tidbit, huh?!
- Usually I'm the main character, or she's highly relatable.
- There's foreshadowing, and lots of it.
- Minor details come back, and sometimes they bite you in the butt. (As in life...)
- People save quirky mementos, like plastic spoons and take-out delivery bags.
This leads me to wonder, though: are these the same things people want to read about?! If not, does it matter?