NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month kicks off on the 1st of November and the goal is to write 50,000 words in the month. That’s no easy feat but writers around the world do it every year with great success. It works out at 1,667 words every day and I’ve tried and failed twice now, managing to hit between 25k and 30k. The key to succeeding with NaNoWriMo seems to be in the preparation and planning done throughout October and so, this week’s column is all about NaNoWri Prep. I’ve gathered together some of the best advice and prep tips and hopefully these will help you sail past the 50k mark and collect your NaNoWriMo badge.
- https://nanowrimo.org/nano-prep-101 – NaNo Prep 101 Workshop: This is the official NaNoWriMo Prep workshop where you’ll find all the information you need on getting ready to tackle the big write come November. It includes sessions on developing your story idea, creating complex characters, developing your plot or outline, how to create a strong world, organising your writing time, and more. It’s all here and you can download a prep handbook and access special forums.
- https://shaylaraquel.com/blog/nanowrimoprepguide – You Quintessential NaNoWriMo Prep Guide: This article begins by explaining what NaNoWriMo is followed by how you participate. It’s packed with free downloadable print sheets that you can use including a novel overview, character list, protagonist and antagonist character sketches, your novel research, and more. There are links to some excellent craft books too.
- https://www.writersdigest.com/be-inspired/nanowrimo-and-nanonfiwrimo-prep-your-30-day-writing-challenge-preparation-checklist – NaNoWriMo 30 Day Writing Challenge Preparation Checklist: This is from Writer’s Digest and can be used for both fiction and nonfiction writers. It begins by talking about needing a good strategy in order to succeed followed by advice and a comprehensive checklist to get you ready. The checklist includes getting clear about your goals and the project you plan to work on, figure out what research you need before you begin, commit to a daily writing schedule, and begin to focus.
- https://nybookeditors.com/2017/10/nanowrimo-prep/ – How to Prepare for NaNoWriMo: If this is your first time to attempt NaNoWriMo, this article from the NY Book Editors is for you. It talks about planning out your novel now and the difference between plotters and pantsers. It also give a brief overview of using the Snowflake method of outlining and an example. There’s information on how to compile your research and the tools you’ll need to complete your project. Having a daily goal is mind is key and with NaNoWriMo the minimum word count required to complete the 30 day challenge is 1,667.
- https://blog.reedsy.com/guide/nanowrimo/how-to-prepare-for-nanowrimo/ – How to Prepare for NaNoWriMo: This is a step by step guide from a writer who has successfully completed NaNoWriMo numerous times. Step 1 is all about what you can schedule in advance and how creating a schedule can really help. Step 2 talks about outlining and planning your novel in advance. Step 3 is organising everything so you have it to hand. There’s information on brainstorming your plot points in advance so you know where you’re going, understanding your characters, and identifying the stakes of your story. There’s a lot in this guide so be sure to schedule some time to read it.
- https://www.asthebirdfliesblog.com/posts/preptober-nanowrimo-prep-prompts – Preptober Tips & 100 Preptober Prompts for NaNoWriMo Prep: If you find prompts helpful for getting your creative juices flowing, this NaNoWriMo Prep article is for you. Preptober happens during the month of October when you get yourself ready for the big task of writing 50,000 words during November. This article includes 40 Preptober prompts for if you don’t have an idea for a novel yet. It also has 31 Preptober Prompts for fiction and there are some great questions included in this to get your mind really thinking. There are 31 prompts for nonfiction writers too. You can use these prompts at any time of the year so it might be a good idea for prompt lovers to bookmark this article.
- https://medium.com/write-wild/how-to-prep-for-nanowrimo-in-7-days-173a67d6ea68 – How to Prep for NaNoWriMo in 7 Days: This last link if for those who procrastinate and tend to leave everything to the last minute. This is a guide to getting ready for NaNoWriMo in just seven days. Day 1 is all about creating your calendar and there are free downloads included. Day 2 is the planning and sketching out of your plot and this is broken down into steps for those who already have a story idea and those that don’t. Day 3 is working on your characters and there are some handy questions included. Day 4 is location and settings and again there are some great questions for you to answer. Day 5 looks at underlying themes. Day 6 is creating your outline and Day 7 is getting ready to begin your NaNoWriMo project the following day.
I hope you’ve enjoyed all these links on NaNoWriMo prep and are now geared up to take part this November. Remember, if there is a topic you’d like to see me cover, all you need to do is get in touch with me via any of my social media links.
(c) Amanda J Evans