Hullo, fair readers! *waves*
*realizes I waved in the last greeting* *tries to figure out what to say next and fails*
Alright, enough of my inner thoughts and wimpy-ness. Today I’m here to
ramble talk about prepping for NaNoWriMo. 🙂
What exactly is NaNoWriMo?
National Novel Writing Month – also known as NaNoWriMo – is an online program where writers from anywhere around the world take on a challenge to write a novel in 30 days. NaNoWriMo lasts from November 1st to November 30th and is a great challenge for any aspiring author to undergo. The goal is to write 50,000 words, which is considered to be the length of an official novel. There’s a program for adults and kids, and it’s really fun to do. For more information, you can visit NaNoWriMo’s website.
Since NaNoWriMo is a big thing to undertake, it’s important to plan ahead. After all, 50,000 words is a lot to write. And whether you’re a planner (someone who plans ahead before they write) or a pantser (someone who writes with little idea whatsoever of where they’re going), it’s important to have some idea of where you’re going. You have to know at the very least the basic idea of what the story is about.
Obviously, it’s only September, and NaNoWriMo begins in October. But planning ahead is important, and the earlier, the better.
I learned this the hard way. For Camp NaNoWriMo in July, I didn’t plan much of anything for my novel. I was so excited to write that I didn’t allow myself enough time to sort through my ideas. I was left with one jumbled mess. Thankfully, I’ve managed to fix my mistakes, but it’s no easy task.
This year, I want to make sure that doesn’t happen again.
But how do I do that?
Brainstorming is a key to figuring out where you’re going. You have to let your thoughts and ideas be free, and it’s important to write down everything.
Once I got a basic idea of my story (blurbs and snippets to come), I wrote down everything. Every thought, every option, and every idea associated with my story idea. This way, I could get everything out on paper and have it to look back on.
Next, I did a Google search for “developing story ideas” and read articles and posts about developing ideas. I came across a lot of great posts and ideas.
I wrote some main things for my character. I wrote conflicts, fears, problems, reactions, etc. and any other thoughts I had that could play into my story. I thought and thought and struggled some, but I eventually got some ideas down that are vital to figuring out my plot.
Plotting comes easy for some, but for me it isn’t so. Brainstorming is key to figuring out where your plot is headed.
Using Writing Prompts
There are a vast amount of writing prompts that can help inspire you. Use them! Pinterest is a great resource for writing prompts – and boards for your stories is really helpful.
In my NaNo novel, my MC is trapped on an island. I did a Pinterest search for island and found a lot of helpful images that I saved for future reference. Writing prompts can also give you ideas to incorporate into your story that you haven’t thought of already.
You have been warned… >:)
Free writing doesn’t work for everyone, but it is a huge helper in getting down your ideas. I have found that free writing by hand really helps me figure out my ideas, so naturally I would recommend it.
Free writing may seem weird, but it’s basically where you write freely with no burden of plots, dialogue, or anything at all. You just write. Usually when I’m free writing, plenty of ideas pop in my head, and it’s important to write them down – whether or not they apply to your story.
Word warring is another version of free writing, where you get together with (an)other writer(s) and try to write a certain amount of words in a certain amount of time. I’ve done it once with a Camp NaNoWriMo cabinmate and it was very fun! (In case you’re curious, I won. 😉 )
NaNoWriMo can be challenging and even scary sometimes, but even if you don’t “win,” it’s a great experience for writers to get outside their comfort zone and push the writer to just write!
Although I didn’t dive too deep into prepping for NaNoWriMo, I hope you enjoyed reading! If you have any prepping ideas or questions, please drop me a comment!
Are you participating in NaNoWriMo?
How do you prepare your novel?
P.S. I was lucky enough to get to Beta Read Misty’s Shadows! And OH MY WORD IT IS AN AMAZING BOOK!!! I am enjoying every minute of it! 😀