How to Write Your NaNo Novel Like a Banned Book

How to Write Your NaNo Novel Like a


OMG, there’s 41 Days until NaNoWriMo 2017! Plus it’s banned books week. In honor of both here are two fundamental tips on how to write your NaNo novel like a banned book. Because let’s face it, a banned book is fun to read. And as Tobias Wolff once said:


Here is where you can find a listing of the top 10 challenged books of 2016. Why were they banned/challenged? The most common offenses were sexual explicitness. And the books included LGBT characters, language, offensive viewpoints, profanity and mature themes. So basically, the challenged novels mirrored real life.

So what can we learn from this? That the novels listed were worth reading because they had something to say. How should we incorporate that to our own NaNo novels?

Be unafraid.

Simple really but it can be harder to write without fear than you think. How many times have you deleted what you wrote? Maybe because of concerns about writing something offensive? I admit I have.  How do I deal with it? By writing back what I’d deleted. Or upping the tension or conflict.

Be true.

How? By writing what matters to you. Writing with heart about the things that truly matter: love, family, friendship, a wealth greater than… wealth.

By writing fearlessly and honestly, you’ll help keep at bay that pesky inner editor. You know that little voice inside your head that loves to get in the way by sowing doubts about your writing. It’ll help unleash and maintain the floodgates of crazy and raw creativity. And keep your excitement for your novel from day 1 to 30.

So as you begin prepping and plotting, be true and fearless. Pour as much as yourself and your imagination as possible, uncensored. And let that energy flow all throughout November.

Happy prepping!

What are you writing for NaNoWriMo? What truth will you write about in your novel? Is it a tale about love, family, friendship or something else?

What’s your favorite banned book? (Harry Potter, duh) Read any good banned books lately?




    • Understandable. For me it’s abuse of children, in particular sexual abuse. And of women. But funny enough I’ve plotted a sexual assault scene in my sequel NaNo novel. Wonder if I can do it.


  1. Who’d would have guessed I might have something in common with JK Rowling??? I write based on what idea hits me and the characters take charge of the story. So far most are ‘safe’ in the aspect it’s life-ish but nothing too out there. I don’t see that changing.

    Writing a sexual assault scene is taxing. But a tip from this newbie, if you think writing the actual moment might be too hard, then you fade to black and focus on the after and recovery. Depending, of course, on what your overall goal is for the character and the book. Happy Writing and I’ll see you at NaNo.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Me too. I let my characters take over and try not to coddle them too much.
      Thanks for the tip and will keep that in mind when the time comes. Funny enough in the 3rd book, the MC has a strained relationship with her mother because she was the result of a rape. Have a scene I might keep where she meets her father for the first time. Oh the emotions. Hope I can do it justice.


    • I’m a plantser myself. So my outline more like guidelines I don’t have to specifically follow. Especially when I let my characters write the story.
      Thanks and see you at NaNoWriMo if you do take part.😆


  2. First time I’ll be doing this. In process of outlining story now, one that’s been in my head for a couple of years and yes, it’s got some tough issues in it. Thanks for this push!

    Liked by 1 person

    • What amazes me is that the reason things are found controversial is usually because the people making a fuss over it doesn’t want to recognize and acknowledge anything or anyone different from them and their way of life. Hopefully, in the same hundred years, they’ll be more understanding, accepting and open.

      Liked by 1 person

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