We’re a week away from National Novel Writing Month and some of you guys are feeling the burn already. Panic is setting in, prep time (or avoidance) is in full swing. We’re cramming in last minute things we know November won’t leave us time for. It’s like the week before summer break ends…all the fun of freedom at 70 mph!
What if I told you that twenty minutes of prep a day would get you ready to roll out on November 1st with a plan (even if you’re a panster, a person who writes by the seat of their pants with no plot in mind) which will let you kick off NaNoWriMo with ease?
Even better, what if I told you a little prep will keep you writing through the month no matter how crazy life gets? No gimmicks. No short cuts. Just a little bit of play time before the event. Keep reading if you’re curious or scroll down and grab the NaNoWriMo goodies I made this year.
Find three books you love more than any other. They don’t have to be the same genre (and you don’t have to feel guilty if it’s not one you “think” it should be). Write down five things you love about each book. Break it down further by asking what is it about the characters you loved (or hated). Think about the storytelling style. Do you enjoy it? Why?
Next think of three books you disliked and do the same. List five reasons why you didn’t like it. Do the same with the characters and storytelling style.
I’ll wait until you’re done.
*sips iced tea*
Done? Good. Now, I want you to think about your novel. You have before you a list of things you like and don’t like. Since you’re going to be spending an entire month in your own head, you should pay attention to what you find interesting. Keep this list with you.
Don’t force yourself into the well of boredom or else you’ll drown before your book gets a chance to get up off the ground.
For the rest of your prep today, think about your story elements. What kinds of scenes would be fun for you to write? Let your imagination soar with ideas. Jot down the ones you’d really like to try and spend ten minutes or so doing research. In my NaNoWriMo book this year, I’ll have a Were-panther as a character. There’s a scene I can’t wait to write where he’s in panther form and attacks a demonkin (it’s a paranormal romance). Tonight’s research involves their hunting habits, territorial urges, how they kill, and the sounds they make.
Next up will be creating characters who will keep you entertained for a month (or more). Until then, keep writing! Don’t forget to check out the NaNoWriMo images at the bottom of this post. You’re welcome to share and enjoy.
Disclaimer: My experiences aren’t your experiences. If anything you read here helps, fantastic! If not, take what works and discard the rest. Writing is an individual process and there is no “right” or “wrong” way to get it done.
Here are four participation images I set up for NaNoWriMo (I’m not a big fan of their 8 bit graphic ones this year). Feel free to use and distribute. I wish I could take requests for new ones this year, but I’m running short on time with prep for my novel and getting the kids and husband ready for their debut NaNoWriMos. The first one is for Facebook and fits the profile pages (taking into account the profile picture and the extra buttons usually found at the bottom of the cover image.).
My website address will be hidden by your profile picture, but I put it on there so you can find me again next year if you want NaNoWriMo goodies. Please note that a Facebook GROUP cover image is a different size and wouldn’t need the profile gap you see on this one. If you’d like to see what it looks like on a Facebook page, check it out HERE (during the end of October through November 2013).