• Gina Vallance

Writing Onyx: The Magical Blank Page


Today I am beginning my journey of

writing my new novel's outline in preparation for the Nano National Novel Writing Month also known as NaNoWriMo, a month-long creative writing challenge that takes place every November. During the month of November, writers from all over the world published and unpublished, are challenged to write a 50,000 word first draft of a novel! I have wanted to join this challenge in years past and there was always something that would get in the way, unfortunately. This year I told myself I am doing it!


I can't wait to meet other writers in the challenge since NaNoWriMo also gives writers the option to join a local group of writers and meet up for in-person writing events, online forums and facebook groups. Published authors also offer mentorships! If you are a writer and would like to join the challenge with me, please visit www.nanowrimo.org for more information or to sign up.

The novel I am writing is tentatively called Onyx and it will be the sequel to my first novel, Amberly and the Secret of the Fairy Warriors. Onyx is a magical goth fairy who lives in the Dark Forest, the place where Amberly, a colorful Whimsical Fairy thinks her father has disappeared to. To learn more about Onyx and Amberly, grab a free copy of my audio book, Amberly and the Secret of the Fairy Warriors here with your free audible trial!


Even though writing the first draft of a book is my favorite part of the writing process, the blank page can be a little intimidating, so I've decided to think of the first blank page as if it were a magical pond, and visualize my words spilling onto this paper pond from my pen like a rushing stream.

I am very much a plotter rather than a "panster" and I love creating the skeleton for my novel first and foremost. I have learned so much from my favorite writing book, Save the Cat Writes a Novel by Jessica Brody. This book makes the whole novel writing process so much easier! The author of the book teaches writers about the 15 story beats every great novel must have and helps you map out your chapters within the three Acts.


So, today marks the first day of writing my first story beat and I will continue to write the rest of the story beats during the next 14 days. Starting October 1st, I will begin the outline for each chapter using my 15 story beats in order to prepare myself for beginning to write the actual draft of the novel during the month of November! However if you are a fly by the seat of your pants kind of writer, Nanowrimo is also for you as well! You don't have to create an outline. Whatever your style of writing or genre may be, I hope you will join me!


Another book I have found so helpful is the Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to Character Expression Second Edition by Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglist. You can find a copy of the book here. Every successful story has one thing in common and that's emotion. Emotions are what drive our characters actions and words, which in turn, drives the story line. This book is like the bible of emotional expression and I highly recommend it.


Happy writing and reading and have a fairy magical day!



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