3 Ways to Prep for NaNoWriMo

It’s the first Wednesday of October, the spookiest month of the year, and that means it is the beginning of one of three new blog plans for Just Ink and Paper – Writing Wednesday. Every Wednesday my posts will be themed on writing tips, techniques, and updates on my latest projects. Today’s post is about how I’m preparing for National Novel Writing Month. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, check out their website to learn more. Here are three ways that we can all get ready over the next four weeks!

1. Schedule and Plan Your Other Projects

November is going to be a long month. Whether you are going to be writing exactly 1667 words a day, are doing reverse NaNo, are starting a brand new WIP or are being a rebel like me and finally finishing that project that is years old, it will be time consuming. To make it as stress-free as possible, it might be an idea to organise yourself in advance.

I am writing and scheduling all my November blog posts now so that you guys can read them on time but I don’t have to write them alongside my novel! I’ll be allocating timeslots to social media so that I don’t fall out of the loop each day, but also so that I don’t become distracted. In terms of my job, my social life, and my other hobbies, I’ll be keeping a diary to ensure that I am looking after myself and keeping myself in check! Trust me, I would love to take the whole month off work but unfortunately a girl has got to eat!

2. Tackle that TBR Pile

Seriously, it’s called ‘research’. Stephen King famously said “if you don’t have the time to read, you don’t have the time or the tools to write.” So basically the King said it so you have to do it, otherwise you’re essentially ignoring gospel or something.

I have three books that I included in my end of the month book haul over on Instagram which I am hoping to read in October. If I manage to get through those early, I’ll definitely be looking for fantasy reads to prepare me for writing my fantasy story. I might have a look at the Mortal Instruments books for some help with the urban fantasy elements.

3. Prep that novel

The whole point of this exercise is to write a novel in a month. Even if you’re a total pantser, you will to prepare what you’re about to write. Although if you’re some kind of superhero pantser who won’t have a clue and is literally going to sit down and write on the 1st November without thinking, well then I guess this point doesn’t apply to you and you’re either a genius or just incredibly confident. Either way, fair play and good luck.

I, as a plantser, will be using my stack of notebooks and my storyboard from the past few years to guide me through my approach. My hope is to be a little less prescriptive and just go with the flow of the keys but I at least need to read the first few chapters I’ve written so far. If you’re interested in isolating the main plot points, or even fully planning and outlining all your scenes, check out my post on why a storyboard could be the ticket! Another great tool is from the NaNoWriMo site itself. Take this quiz to see what planning style would suit you best! I’m the 9-Step Plot Dot!

Hopefully if you’re coming on this journey with me, please add me as a buddy on the website! I’m finally writing Book One and if you’re interested in the series, please check out it’s prequel Eleri’s Kingdom. Let me know in the comments if you’re taking part in NaNo and/or Preptober. I can’t wait to hear all about your projects!

-L x

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