Books·Writing Tip

Participating in NaNoWriMo? Anosh Irani recommends focusing on your main character

If you're participating in National Novel Writing Month, writer Anosh Irani says to focus on your main character.
November is National Novel Writing Month. (Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash)

November is National Novel Writing Month, otherwise known as NaNoWriMo. The annual event, which started in 1999, challenges people to write a novel that is 50,000 words in length in 30 days. 

With all that writing to do, staying motivated is no easy feat. CBC Books is here to help. We're publishing two writing tips each week to support and inspire you along the way.

Today's tip is from Anosh Irani.

"Stay with the main character. Chekhov said it really well: 'The main character is the centre of gravity in your story.' If you feel stuck — uncertain what to do in terms of plot or language or how to move forward — just go back to the main character. What is the wound of the main character? What does the main character want? What are they afraid of? Those are the questions. Stay with the character."

Anosh Irani is a Vancouver-based novelist and playwright. Irani's novel The Song of Kahunsha was a Canada Reads 2007 selection where it was defended by Donna Morrissey. His novel The Parcel was shortlisted for the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize and the Governor General's Literary Award for English-language fiction.

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