National Novel Writing Month 2014 is less than two months away, which means it is officially NaNo Prep season! So, here’s a very short list of essential things to do now to prepare for your November noveling:
- Check out the NaNo Prep page! See how it gleams with resources, author advice, and calendar dates for nice online chats with fellow writers.
- Remind yourself how NaNoWriMo works. This really depends on how new you are. Or how foggy your memory is getting.
Here are three tips some NaNoWriMo veterans recently shared on their Facebook page:
- Never edit as you go. If you get caught up with editing, your story will never meet your expectations and you’ll get bored. You don’t want to get bored. Fall in love with your story!
- Don’t quit if you get behind. You’ll still feel happy if you finish a book in December. – Marie M.
- Remember you are doing this for you. Not to impress friends. Not to get published. Do this because it makes you happy. Remember that you love to write, even when it’s hard.
Ready to start planning your November novel? Our NaNo Prep resources are for you.
From now until NaNo, we’ll provide resources to inspire, challenge, and prepare you to write that novel. Look to our blog, forums, Facebook, and Twitter for updates on new stuff, or bookmark this page (we say put it right on your browser bar so you remember your noble noveling intentions).
Let’s start by addressing some of the burning questions you might have:
- When should I commit to this thing?
- What kind of NaNo-novelist am I?
- How the heck do I plan a novel?
- Are there other ways I can prepare?
- How do I meet fellow writers?
You’ll find the answers sprinkled along the prep route we suggest. Read on!
Make a commitment.
Intention is everything. Decide right now that you’re going to write a novel in November, then tell everyone you can. We’ve prepared a few ready-made social media messages for sharing:
I’m officially writing a novel this November during @NaNoWriMo. http://nanowrimo.org #NaNoPrep
I’m writing a novel this November during @NaNoWriMo. This is not a drill. Please man your stations as we practiced. http://nanowrimo.org #NaNoPrep
No big deal, I’m going to write a novel this @NaNoWriMo. But yes, I will accept your undying adulation. http://nanowrimo.org #NaNoPrep
Make the big decision.
Well, the big NaNo decision, that is… Are you a planner or a pantser?
Here’s the difference:
You believe in rigorous preparation.
You’ll spend the months before November carefully fleshing out characters, building worlds, and plotting your story.
On November 1, you’ll have an outline—or at least lots of helpful notes.
You believe in hardcore spontaneity.
You’ll spend the months before November stocking up on inspiration and mayyybe a vague idea or two (if you’re ambitious).
On November 1, you’ll have a blank document and your imagination.
We think both are equally valid! It all depends on the type of writer you are.
And even if you’re a pantser, we recommend reading through the links below… You never know what might inspire you.
Review the prep resources.
Over the years, we’ve posted a wealth of information on how to plan your novel. Check out a few of our favorites:
- What You Should Have In Your NaNo Emergency Kit, Teri Brown
- How to Schedule Time for Writing, Chris Baty (NaNoWriMo founder)
- 5 Tips for Getting Your NaNo-novel Started, Nathan Bransford
- 6 Tips to Finish a First Draft, Kristyn Kusek Lewis and Daniel Wallace
- The Dangers of Over-Planning, Chris Baty
- How Much Research Is Too Much?, Christa Desir
Or, if you’re looking for an all-in-one-place guide, try our books:
- No Plot? No Problem! by Chris Baty
- Ready, Set, Novel! by Chris Baty, Lindsey Grant, and Tavia Stewart-Streit
- Young Novelist Workbook by NaNoWriMo’s Young Writers Program
Interact with the NaNoWriMo community.
Meet some new creative partners, plus earn up to five shiny dashboard badges in the process. You can’t lose!
Fill out your profile information so like-minded writers can find and connect with you.
Choose a home region to be informed about noveling events nearby.
Add a writing buddy (maybe a new forum friend?) by clicking the “Add as Buddy” link on their profile.