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Writing a novel? Here are four things you need to know.

Writing a novel? Here are four things you need to know.

This month, more than 300,000 souls will participate in National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, an annual ritual in which, as the name suggests, one attempts to write an entire novel in a month that doesn't even have 31 days. If you are one of the hardy (or foolhardy) individuals embarking on this ambitious endeavor, I salute you. I also have some advice: Brace yourself.

At some point, likely around the time you are tempted to procrastinate by reading the Los Angeles Times (hello!), the glorious euphoria of beginning to write a novel will start to fade. The words will no longer flow so easily. It will stop being fun. It will begin to feel like work.

Your novel, in other...

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