Looking to connect with me on social media? Links to all my official accounts can be found here:

<<<<---  If it is not on that list, it is not me. 

Please note that since 2013, there have shown up several FAKE "EelKat" accounts, often using photos stolen from my website. Those accounts are run by a stalker who also goes by the names Kendra Silvermander & Tom Addams. They are wanted by the FBI, so if you run across one of these fake accounts pretending to be me, please report it to FBI Agent in charge of the case: Andy Drewer.

Cliches To Avoid When Writing a Story

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You are reading page #-- of EelKat's Guide to NaNoWriMo. If you have just started reading this, please go back to Page 1 to read this entire 40 page article from it's beginning.

"I want to make my YA novel better. What are the five BEST or most important qualities you look for in a compelling YA novel? How to make my YA novel better and what cliches do you highly recommend I avoid? What are the five WORST things... the ones that make you go "blech" and put the book back on the shelf?"

"What are the five BEST or most important qualities you look for in a compelling YA novel?"

#1: Dialog: Lots of it!

A few phrases of flowery descriptions scattered in here and there between dialog is fine, but when you start writing page after page after page of descriptions, I start falling asleep. There should be dialog on every page. More than 50% (maybe even 75%) of your book should be dialog. The remaining should be largely action.

"What cliches do you highly recommend I avoid? What are the five WORST things... the ones that make you go "blech" and put the book back on the shelf?"




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UPDATE: November 2015: The page you are on now, was written in 2007 and updated every November until 2014 - It was last updated October 31, 2014 and there are no future updates planned for it, as after 10 years of doing it, I have retired from "traditional" NaNoWriMo and am now doing a different writing goal each November.

For the current NaNoWriMo 2015 update see THIS PAGE (which includes the first public release of my Dares Generator and information on how I use it to reach 50,000 words in 3 days instead of 30 days, along with info on how I reached 537,000 words in 2013 and thus changed my writing goals for NaNoWriMo.)

UPDATE: October 31, 2014 -

Due to a major hacking of my online accounts, and the theft and plagiarism of some 1,371 of my how-to articles for writers, I am now removing from public access MOST of my How To Guides for writers. They will return at a future date, but henceforth they will not be available for free. I'm tired of shit-head thieves stealing my work and passing it off as theirs. I'm sorry, to those of you who were not creeps and trolls, I know it's not fair to you, but, the hacking was done by a local person did a lot more damage than you know - the vandalism to my house and cars and the murders of my pets and death threats to my family, are not something I take lightly.

Until we can get to the bottom of this and get this jackass stalker out of my life, I am simply not able to leave my articles online, due to the court case that is now brewing over this. I am also leaving NaNoWriMo, because the local NaNoWriMo ML Kendra Silvermander is the cousin of the man doing the harassment, stalking, vandalism (which included blowing up my house with a grease fryer bomb) and has been not only stealing my how to guides and posting them on the NaNoWriMo forums as her own, but also shows up at local restaurants to threaten me and my family while we are trying to eat. I am utterly disgusted that NaNoWriMo allows a filthy, thieving, vandalizing, scum bag like this to continue to year after year, inciting anti-EelKat riot threads on the NaNoWriMo forum, while continuing to allow her to steal my articles off my web site and post them to NaNoWriMo's website as hers.

This article you are reading now, is one of the few, I have not taken down, it is however drastically shorted. My mega long 20,000 word how to articles are ALL removed now, with only and the ones that remain are stripped of most of the info, with only the barest minimum required to answer the reader question - in many cases the articles are 90% shorter then when they originally appeared, most now under 2,000 words instead of their 20,000 word originals.

Complete Index of
EelKat's Guide to NaNoWriMo
(Including The ORIGINAL 13 Steps To Writing Method)

MANY of these pages are changed to private viewing only now, and or have had most or all of the original content removed - see note above for reason why.

  1. EelKat's Guide To NaNoWriMo
  2. Why Write 50,000 Words In 30 Days?
  3. How Can I Possibly Write a Novel in 30 Days?
  4. Don't Quit!
  5. How long does it take to hit 1667 words? and 50k in one day - is it possible?
  6. Write Now - Edit Later
  7. Write it YOUR Way!
  8. What Is Word Padding?
  9. Word Padding & Why You Should Never Do It!
  10. More ways to write fast without word padding . . .
  11. After NaNoWriMo - Writing to Publish
  12. What I Did In 2006 - Reaching 50,000 using The 13 Step Method to Writing
  13. The Secret to Reaching Word Count Goals Without Using Word Padding - What I Did During National Novel Writing Month 2007
  14. NaNoWriMo 2008: 50k in 3 Days!
  15. Writing Tip: Have Fun!
  16. But, I want to finish a book I already started . . .
  17. Does writing a bunch of short stories count for National Novel Writing Month?
  18. Write What YOU Want To Write!
  19. Accepting Your Writing Style
  20. Writing Advice Doesn't Always Work
  21. What do You Look For in a Book?
  22. Creating Character Profiles
  23. Where Do You Get Your Ideas?
  24. What Genre is My Vampire Story?
  25. What Genre is My Mermaid Story?
  26. Does What You Read Effect What You Decide To Write? or What's on My Bookshelf . . .
  27. WHERE Should I write? Where do you feel you write more?
  28. Create Your Own Writer's Retreat
  29. I Want to Keep Writing December and Beyond: JaNoWriMo, FebNoWriMo, SeptNoWriMo, OctNoWriMo . . . ???
  30. Script Frenzy
  31. GothNoWriMo
  32. Narration for Writers
  33. Novel? Novella? Short Story? How Do I Know What Am I Writing?
  34. ABCs of Writing
  35. How to Become a Writer
  36. Are You a Renegade Writer?
  37. Creating a Fantasy World
  38. After NaNoWriMo: Editing your draft into a manuscript
  39. After National Novel Writing Month: Marketing Your Book
  40. After NaNoWriMo: Home Office, Town Zoning, and IRS Oh My! The Business Side of Being an Author
  41. My NaNoWriMo Journey: The answer the the oft asked question "So what exactly did you write during National Novel Writing Month?"
  42. How Long is 50,000 Words?
  43. Cliches To Avoid When Writing a Story
  44. What are the Benefits of NaNoWriMo?
  45. Is NaNoWriMo About Quantity Over Quality?
  46. How Do You Pick Which Story to Write?
  47. You too can NaNoWriMo like a pro







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