Your fingers are itching to start writing, but according to the rules, you are supposed to wait until November 1 to start working on your novel. Never fear! There are plenty of technically legal ways to get started before November that will put you on track to hitting that 50k mark at the end of November.
Make an outline
Start planning out your story. Figure out scenes and chapters. Decide what major events will take place and where. On those days when you are slogging along, barely able to put together a sentence, you’ll be able to look at your outline and choose from a variety of scenes. Writing out of order during NaNoWriMo can be a great way to get past writer’s block, but it will drive you crazy when it comes time to edit! Answer? Outline! When December roles around and you are ready to start turning your sand into castles, you’ll know exactly where that misplaced scene is supposed to go. Now, There is something to be said for throwing the outline out the window, and don’t worry, Pantsers, we’ll get to that…
Get to know your characters
If you are a Pantser, which means you like to live dangerously and write without an outline, there are still ways to prepare before November. As someone who started out as a Pantser, I get it. You are a free spirit. So how about something way more fun that will let your imagination run wild? You will be spending a lot of time with your characters in the month ahead. Why not get a head start on really getting to know them? Here are just a few fun ways to do that:
Write your character’s backstory in the form of an interview (to make it extra fun, have your characters interview each other!)
Write your character’s dating profile
Make them a playlist (or Mixed Tape, for those of us who remember recording songs off the radio) I Love 8tracks for creating fun mixes, I’ll be making mine and sharing them there!
For the visual thinkers, make a collage of pictures of what your characters looks like, their favorite things, or items you might find in their room.
You’ll be glad you took the time to play around with your characters when you are needing that extra jolt of inspiration in November!
BUY A SHIRT
Seriously. I don’t work for the Office of Letters and Light. I do not receive any support or compensation for advertising merchandise, but I DO BELIVE in the power of the shirt. The first year I participated in NaNoWriMo, I bought the “Winners” shirt about half way through the month. In a weird way, it was something that held me accountable and gave me an extra nudge to finish. I thought, “I bought the shirt, now I’ll feel silly if I don’t win!” Making a financial donation of any kind puts a little more skin in the game. Check out all of the great merchandise or just give a donation.
Check out the Website
There is a wealth of information and advice available on the NaNoWriMo website, including pep talks from previous years (Limoney Snicket is one of my all time faves) and forums to almost anything you can dream. They even have a special page just for Prep. Start making connections and gathering writer buddies who will help you stay motivated and accountable throughout the month. My NaNoWriMo username is Dove314. Come be my buddy!
I believe in you WriMos. This is going to be the best year yet!
Stay tuned for next week when you can find out if you are a Pantser or a Planner, and talk about the pros and cons of each. You can also follow my shenanigans on my facebook page, twitter, and Instagram.
In Case You Missed It...