NaNoWriMo is just around the corner. I am signing up for my second year. I actually won last year, but it’s still sleeping on the shelf. I’m no expert on NaNo, but I thought I would share a few of my NaNoWriMo prep tips. I’ll include links at the end for websites with more information to help you along.
First off, I am a planner!
If you don’t believe me look at this:
These are the scene cards for the 2015 NaNo Novel I am writing. I’m about 3/4 of the way through with the plotting. I don’t usually use note cards. Normally, I write a massive flowchart on art paper, but I’m not set on the sequence and want to play with it a bit. This is book 3 in my mystery series. The story takes place just before Halloween. You can expect plenty of small town high jinks. Originally, this was going to be a short story, but the characters disagreed.
I’ve also roughed out the character sketches for the villain, victim, and scapegoat. There will be more minor characters as I write but theses are the main new characters to my imaginary world.
My plotting/planning is a composite of many different processes I’ve read about. The Weekend Novelist Writes A Mystery by Robert J. Ray and Jack Remick was very useful when I wrote my first novel and I use a lot of ideas from that book. Especially on characters. Another good resource I use is, How to Write a Damn Good Mystery by James N. Frey.
I’ve got my plot cards and my characters. Now what. On my calendar, yes I have an actual calendar, I have blocks of time marked off for planning my novel. Even though I have the bones of my novel, there’s still planning to do. Several characters have not shown up for work this week. I don’t know if they aren’t in this book yet or not. Because this is part of a series, I have to work on the series plot/character arcs. There are certain subplots that run through my novels and I have to make sure they show up in this one as well. That’s still on my to do list.
Let’s not forget research. I have a little more research to do on Iran, poison detection, and abusive relationships. Fun book!
NaNoWriMo Prep 101
- character sketch
- plot main scenes
- line up subplots
If you are participating in Nano, or thinking about it, here are some sites that may interest you:
NaNoWriMo– this is the official site’s prep page
Writer’s Digest– nice article on outlining vs not outlining
Write it Sideways– tips and resources
SurlyMuse– a hot off the presses post about prepping for NaNo in seven days or less
There you go, that should keep you busy for a while. If you are participating you can find me under the name: writechik!
What’s your plan for NaNo?