For the first seven days of Preptober, I create a structured plan that will help me not only to prepare for NaNoWriMo but the remainder of October as well.
During this first week I:
- Determine what project to devote to NaNoWriMo – In my last post, I hadn’t decided what I would be using for this year’s 30 days of writing. I was wavering between the three choices of:
- a brand new project
- my unfinished works that had the highest word count
- my most favorite unfinished works (I went with this choice, btw)
- Create a NaNoWriMo Binder/Project Folder – Before Scrivener, I kept a physical binder for all of my notes, research, character creation, and thoughts. I still keep a notebook by my bed so I can immediately jot down something I think of before hitting the sack or upon waking. Use this month to take as many notes as possible. Bring your world to life.
- Create a GOAL SHEET – I have a tendency to veer off track of my goal mid-November. My propensity for proofreading as I write slows me down and I lose momentum easily. Having a goal sheet, one situated next to my desk that I can physically look at, allows me to combat some of my known creativity killers.
- Break down your word goals into chunks – Look at your calendar for November and take note of any time you know you won’t be able to write. For example, I’m going camping November 20-24. It’s a huge chunk of time where I won’t be in front of my computer. It’s not normal camping where I can sit around a fire and write, either. The hubs and I have a giant four-day event planned where we will be in the woods hitting other nerds with sticks. (I’m a LARPer. Don’t judge.) That being said, I’ve had to set my daily word goal higher so I compensate for those lost days.
- Get to know your genre – If you are writing in a brand new genre, take this time to curate a few highly rated novels or short stories in the genre. If you’ve written in this genre before, take a look at some of the recently published reads. What did the author do that excited you about the story? What would you have done differently? Were there any surprises that you wouldn’t have thought of? Did the novel/story keep you from putting it down? If so, what made it so readable? What were shared aspects of every story? How can you incorporate those aspects into your writing?
- Get to know your story – If you are rewriting or continuing a WIP, take this time to reread what you currently have. If you are starting from scratch, use this week to imagine the setting of your story. When your characters go about their daily lives, what do they see? What do they smell? Imagine a normal day in the life of your main character from waking until going to sleep. Immerse yourself in your imagination.
- Sign up on the NaNoWriMo website if needed or update any information on your current account – Are any of your friends joining you for NaNoWriMo? Add them as buddies to help each other stay accountable.
It’s time to get excited about your writing. Lay the framework down now so when November 1 rolls around, all you have to do is put fingers to keyboard (or pen to paper). Please like my Facebook page to share your adventures in writing and keep track of my progress. I’d love to meet you!