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Preparing for NaNoWriMo – Part 1 Plan the Writing

10/3/2012

Novelist Mug and pile of books
If you don’t know what NaNoWrimo is you can check out all the details here http://www.nanowrimo.org/en/dashboard

Essentially in the month of November thousands of people around the world set out with a common goal…to write a 50,000 word novel in that single month. That sounds easy enough doesn’t it? Ok it doesn’t sound easy and it’s not easy but it is doable.

I have completed this task several times and so now I am here with some advice to help others.

I’m giving this advice now – in early October – because a little bit of planning really does help. You know that expression – plan to fail, fail to plan. I’m a HUGE believer so get ready…this is a three part post.

There are lots of writers who write thousands of words year round….I admire those people but they’re probably not worried about completing NaNoWriMo. For the rest of us we get stalled, life intervenes and we lose confidence so hopefully these tips will help.

Part 1 – Plan Your Writing
Part 2 – Plan Your Life for NaNoWriMo
Part 3 – Plan the month of Writing – or tips to succeed.

You’re not allowed to write any of your novel in the lead-up but you are allowed to think about it and map it out a bit so here are a few tips for preparation and for the month of November. If you have any I would love to read them in the comments section. (Hint! Hint!)

1. Do come up with a rough story idea…and have a good hard think about it. Waking up on November the first unsure if you’ll write a mystery, a romantic suspense or a teen romance will not make your task easier.

2. Have a starting point – this may not necessarily be the start of the novel, although that is nice and simple- but a point at which you can get up and sit at your desk and write.

3. Do not write a story you’ve tried to write before and failed at…you need to be charged up to make this work and if you’re ambivalent or stalled before you start..you will fail.

4. If you have some plot or scene ideas write them on palm cards or make a file so when you’re blocked later on you can refer back to them eg Cindy loses her keys at the laundromat or the zombies go for coffee at Starbucks or drive along the Amalfi Coast.

5. You can do character maps/profiles so you for your characters so these may help get your brain in the zone and also give you ideas to draw on.

6. If you’re visual thinker make a Pinterest board or cut photos from magazines…I have a Pinterest post here. http://moniquemcdonell.weebly.com/2/post/2012/09/using-pinterest-to-help-write-and-inspire-your-novels.html

7. Get a memory stick to back up your work

Next up Plan Your Life…this is actually the really important one….

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