Happy October! Or for many of us writers, happy month before NaNoWriMo! NaNoWriMo is short for National Novel Writing Month, which takes place every November and invites writers to challenge themselves to write 50,000 words in one month. It’s a lot of fun to participate, and many published novels were first written during this challenge. (THE NIGHT CIRCUS by Erin Morginstern, WATER FOR ELEPHANTS by Sara Gruen, FANGIRL by Rainbow Rowell, and CINDER by Marissa Meyer all began as NaNo projects!)
There are quite a few ways you can use October to prepare succesfully for your NaNoWriMo project next month.
1. Write out any ideas you have for the plot. Some of you may want to write out a detailed outline. Some of you may just want to jot down ideas as they come to you about things you might want to happen. I suggest you start a new document on your computer or grab a new notebook specifically for this purpose. Then when you go to start your novel next month, you will already have a lot of ideas to start with.
2. Get to know your characters. Do some character development exercises. Figure out who your characters are, and get to know them inside and out so that once you start writing, you will know what they would and wouldn’t do/say/think/feel in the situations you put them in.
3. Get into the habit of writing every day. Come up with a schedule and stick to it. Write every day. October is a great time to try out writing prompts and writing exercises and write short things. Write some short stories or some poems. For inspiration, check out my daily writing prompts.
4. Get connected to other writers. There are so many communities of writers all over the internet. Find writing blogs like this one, writers on Twitter, writing groups on Facebook, or writers on YouTube. (My friend, Tamara Woods, is starting Project WriteTube today – a series of videos from writers on YouTube all about writing and NaNoWriMo. I am participating in this, and we are all discussing a lot of helpful and interesting topics. Check out her intro video and have a look at my WriteTube list to find other writers on YouTube.) Join a writing group in your area. Find other writing buddies online or in real life who are also participating in NaNoWriMo so that you can keep eacch other accountable.
5. Check out the resources on the NaNoWriMo website. There are so many helpful resources there. You’ll find great articles about creating characters and backstory, plot and conflict, preparing for NaNo success, and more. There are also a lot of ways to connect with the writing community on their website.
Get yourself pumped up to write. November can be one of the best times to write a novel! It’s so much fun to get involved when everyone else is going through the same thing you are.