Monday, October 8, 2012

Getting Ready for NaNoWriMo

Lots of talk about NaNoWriMo going around. Are you planning to write a novel in November?

What is the best way to prepare for that? Many suggest that you make sure the family is on board and you have all the big things in life taken care of when November arrives. Sounds good. Not a perfect plan with four busy kids, but I think they'll work with me to make it happen.

What about the novel itself though? How do you plan to write 50,000 words in one month?

Last year I found a book that helped me think through the process of writing a novel. Book in a Month gives daily exercises that help with plotting and character development. I've wondered about doing some of the excercises now though so I'm even more ready to dig in and start writing on  November 1.

Book in a Month really encourages you to have some kind of an outline. Many writers say they don't write that way, but I'm realizing that having a basic direction works well for me.

Dan Well's offers suggestions for plotting out your basic ideas as well. His 7-point system leads you through hooks, resolutions, midpoint and pinches. With a basic idea on where your story is headed, you will be ready to jump in with both feet and write, write, write.

I know there are some other great methods for plotting out a story. What method do you use to plot out a novel? What do you do to get ready for NaNo?


  1. Book in a Month is one of my FAVORITE books! I liked it so much I started making worksheets based on her forms. I'm planning on using the actual book for this years NaNoWriMo.

    And Dan Well's 7-Point structure is great too. He goes over it some more in last weeks episode of Writing Excuses.

    My favorite thing for writing motivation is the Write or Die program. It's free to use on his website, but I liked it enough to buy the desktop version. I think it was $5, so it wasn't steep. But it makes the screen turn red if you stop typing for a while. Then it makes an annoying noise. It really keeps your fingers moving!

    Great Post!

    1. This sounds fascinating. That would motivate me to keep writing I think. I'll have to take a look. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Lazette Gifford's "NaNo for the New and Insane" is a WONDERFUL (and free) resource. I would recommend anyone taking up NaNoWriMo this year look it up.

    Best of luck! :)