Calling All Writers: It’s NaNoPrep Crunch Time!

NaNoPrep: How to prepare for NaNoWriMo + Get your free NaNoWriMo Tracker!

Hey you!

I’m so glad you could drop by my blog!

If you’re a creative writer, I hope you’re getting just as psyched as I am for this year’s NaNoWriMo!!! I’ve been attempting to get some NaNoPrep done in anticipation of NaNoWriMo. Although I’m not sure if I’ll get to as much as I originally planned (procrastinating writer here), I figured I’d give you all a list of things to keep in mind as you’re preparing yourselves for November’s 50k writing event! Look at the below details you should plan for (or at least consider) as you gear up for the ultimate write fest!!!

*BTW, you can find your free NaNoWriMo tracker at the end of this post! ;)*

Let me introduce you to NaNoWriMo if it’s a new term for you! NaNoWriMo stands for “National Novel Writing Month.” A complete month that takes place in November which is solely and utterly devoted to writing 50,000 words towards a writing project. If you are unfamiliar with this please check out their homepage for all the deets and where you can learn to sign up!

Whether you are a newbie (such as myself) or you have participated in NaNoWriMo in the past, you can read the following on what to think about for basic information concerning your novel so you don’t get stuck!

Planner vs. Pantser vs. Plantser

Let me backtrack a step here and explain the above terms as to which you may term yourself as in the NaNoWriMo process:

Planner: A writer who prepares their novel with background information, character detail, and other similar concepts involved in writing, there’s no such thing as leaving it to chance to remembering something off the top of their head!

Pantser: A writer who just doesn’t give a crap about planning for a novel and have an animalistic urge to write their novel spontaneously!

Plantser: A writer who does some amount of planning for writing their novel, but there’s some other details they haven’t worked out either so when they get to a point they will come up with something!

Personally I am a plantser, but if you are one of the others that’s totally cool too! To each their own! Everyone has a different writing process that works for theirself while other methods just won’t cover it. Regardless of whether you are a planner, pantser, or plantser, you should be thinking about the following concepts in your own novel.


Character Profiles

You should have a good idea of the protagonist you have in mind for your novel, as well as the antagonist. Let me share some details you’ll want to think of for when you write for your audience by imagining your main/side characters:

  1. Name
  2. Age
  3. Type of character (protagonist, antagonist, side character, mentor, etc.)
  4. Backstory
  5. Physical description
  6. Behavior
  7. Psychology
  8. Personality Traits
  9. Relationships
  10. Desires & Fears

Knowing a little of each of these details will help you come up with some great ideas for why your character acts the way he/she does. It also helps you figure out what drives your character towards their goal or away from their fear, which then in turn helps keep the novel going so the storyline doesn’t fall flat.


Literary Elements

Literary elements make up the glue of your novel, it keeps it all held together. I hope you’re thinking about these things as you mentally prepare your novel for writing mode:

  • Genre
    • Such as Fantasy, Science Fiction, Realistic Fiction, etc.
  • Theme
    • What is the personal message you want to leave with the reader? What has your main character learned since the beginning of the story?
  • Symbolism
    • Creative bits that help add detail to the story, characters, mood/tone, etc.
  • Setting (Keep reading for more info. on this)
  • Plot
    • Main event that takes place in your story
  • Conflict
    • Opposing ideals or action in scenes
  • Mood/Tone
    • Helps elicit an emotion or feeling to your scene
  • Point of View/Narrative
    • 1st person (I/Me)
    • 2nd person (You)
    • 3rd person (He/She/They)
  • Pace
    • You may want to keep track of this with sidenotes as you’re writing your novel. Throughout your story has a day gone by? A week? Months or years? It can be easy to forget how far into the story you’ve written in each chapter/segment so be cautious!
  • Outline
    • Placing your plot points on a timeline that helps provide tension to the story


World Building

Not only do characters play a big part in our literary creation, but world building helps suck us into the story as well! Make sure you’re applying these things to your own story’s world:

  • Setting
    • Geography
      • Landscape
      • Bodies of water
      • Atmosphere
  • Climate & Seasons
    • Weather patterns
    • Temperature
  • Time Period
    • Era
    • Social Classes
    • Government
    • Society
    • Culture
    • Social Norms
    • Food
    • Technology
    • Transportation
    • Clothes & accessories

I feel like I’ve only touched the surface of all the possibilities to include for your NaNoWriMo project! How do you NaNoPrep? Do you have any special secrets or tips of the trade? I’d love to hear about them! Share ’em in the comments!

Please subscribe for my future blog posts along with free goodies and writing tips just for you!

P.S.-Don’t forget your free November 2016 NaNoWriMo Tracker or if you prefer your tracker in calendar form you can grab this November 2016 NaNoWriMo Calendar!

Happy whimsies!

xoxo, Ashley


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