Welcome to another National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMO) blog! I’m writing this series as a bit of preparation for November, and today I’m going to tell you how I, a Plantster (half planning, half flying by the seat of my pants) and Discovery Writer prepare for NaNoWriMo in 7 steps.
First, if you have no idea what NaNoWriMo is exactly or what it all entails, you can read about it on the blog I did back on October 4th. Second, this was something I thought to do for those who needed some help getting started, or wanted to research/procrastinate on getting to it themselves.
Step 1: Decide what to write
Last year, I flip-flopped between two different options, right up until November first when I started a completely different book, which I still haven’t finished. This year, as I said last week and the week before, I’m going to be writing the Kalista Chronicles Book 5. I’m actually having a hard time NOT starting this before the first. Especially since I just finished formatting the Christmas Special (which is Kalista book 4) last week and the story is fresh in my head.
Step 2: Log into NaNoWriMo and add the book...
Yes, this is the point where I’d make a mock cover, figure out a temp or permanent title, and post all the info to the project page. I made a temp cover just last week, and I fell in LOVE with it! It made me want to start writing even more...
Step 3: Talking it over
As for most stories, I need to talk it out with someone, so I bounce them off my biggest fan, my support Australian & “Manager,” to see what he thinks. We’ve talked over the ideas and plot points of this book, where things are headed in the series, and I gushed about how the book will begin. He’s excited for it too!
Step 4: outline
I don’t use a traditional outline. I don’t write down chapter 1, and add a list of chronological points underneath. I simply write down a bunch of things that need to happen in the story to bridge the gap from what I’ve written, because I have written books 1-4 and 8-12 already. It’s book 5-7, & 13 onward that still need to be finished.
For this book, I’m jumping right in from the end of book 4, or a week after, which will be New Year’s Eve. I’ve written a few points as to where it will start, what’s been going on since book 4’s end, and all the “loose ends” from book 4, which comes out in December. Just some questions that weren’t answered fully or flushed out more, and storylines that are continuing throughout the series.
I also wrote down a few things I want include, though some might not make it to the final cut. I wrote them on a piece of paper during the editing of Book 4 and last week, I added them to a document that is nearly 1k words. This does NOT count toward NaNoWriMo. This is simply prep.
If you’re not sure where to start prepping or what to include, one of the amazing authors and speakers I follow Shayla Raquel has a 22 page NaNoWriMo planner and workbook that includes the word count number for each day, a detailed character write up, and more! Check it out! (Not sponsored, I just think it’s awesome)
Step 5: Now we wait...
The hardest part is waiting to write the book. To quote Kalista from book 4, “Patience is not my virtue… I have too much desire.” But while I wait, I’ll be working on some artwork for book 4, and possibly even some from this book. I like to do at least one piece of art from this book before I start, this gives me time to think about the book while I wait without writing anything down, instead I pour the ideas into the picture.
Step 6: Prep Social Media
This year, I’m trying to remain active on socials to help promote my books, grow my following, and sell more books, so I’ll be prepping social media posts to my drafts so I can then post them quickly each day instead of taking hours on them.
I will still make a 15 sec video (for tiktok and insta) to update each day, and leave a word count update on the others (bluesky, deviantart, facebook, mastodon, threads, tumblr, & twitter), but the other videos will be prepped before the November. This also includes the Blogs for the month, excluding the Saturday Newsletter.
Step 7: Day of Prep
The very first thing I do on that November 1 isn’t open a fresh document, it’s not even to sit down at the computer. Here’s my prep list for the start of each day:
- Eat breakfast: Something filling that will allow me to write for hours without needing food.
- Post to socials! Day one about NaNoWriMo, Day 2-30 from the drafts)
- Take the dog for a walk, if the weather permits. If not play with her for a good half hour or hour to get her worn out: this way I won’t have her trying to play or get my attention while I’m writing. Instead, she’ll be sleeping. Plus, I get some exercise.
- Grab a snack (for later) and fill my water bottle.
- Put all my devised on Do Not Disturb.
- Sit down to the laptop with my comfy blanket (since it’s chilly now).
- Set my hands to the keys and start writing!
That’s it. 7 steps of Prepping for NaNoWriMo.
Thanks for reading!
If you enjoyed it, leave a comment and/or share it with a friend who’s prepping for NaNoWriMo!
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