Pen To Print

Friday Feature: NaNoWriMo

By Claire Buss

The end of October swiftly approaches and for many writers that means NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month. The aim of the game is to write 1667 words every day for the month of November. And we’re talking rough draft here so no time for editing. You can find out more on their website – nanowrimo.org

Those of you who are super-organised and have already planned to take part in NaNoWriMo will have probably spent October planning for the novel you are going to write next month.

However, if any of you are like me, you will have had numerous good intentions throughout October. You may have read various blog posts, shared prepping tips, perhaps even had a conversation with other authors about what you are going to write. But you may not have actually done any planning.

So, here are my tips for planning for NaNo. Ideally, you would have spent October working through this prep in fine detail; however, these weekly prep prompts can be roughed out in a couple of hours. The takeaway here is, even if you don’t have time to physically write down answers for each point, if you at least start thinking about them, you’ll have a good idea of what direction to write in when you are trying to hit your 1667-words-per-day goal.

The Basics


What is your novel about?
Where is the story set?
Who are the characters?
What’s the problem?
How is the protagonist introduced?
What do you want people to know?
What is the inciting event?

The Characters


What problems do the characters have?
How will your characters fail?
What responsibilities will the character take?
How will they overcome these problems?
Will your characters rage or cry?
Do your characters share their failure?

Think about the ending

How does the core problem get resolved?
What is the ultimate showdown?
How do your protagonists hope to win?
How do they fail?
How is the conflict resolved for the ending?
How do the protagonists change?
What have they learnt?

Plotting

What is the character arc?
What are the major plot points?
Three plot points at the beginning.
Three plot points in the middle.
Three plot point at the end.

And all of this is subject to change, because, you know – it’s NaNoWriMo, first draft palooza and who knows what will happen halfway through November, while we strive to hit our 1667-daily-word target?

In order to further assist you in your NaNo journey, we also have a writing exercise by Sarah-Jane Page from EAS Tuition for you this week:

You can connect with Sarah-Jane on Twitter: @sarahjanepage and look out for her interview with us on 8 November.

*****

I wish you all the very best of luck this November. Remember to hoard your snacks and set up a caffeine drip!

Connect with Claire: @grasshopper2407 and visit her website: clairebuss.co.uk

Read the latest issue of Write On! magazine online.

Here are my tips for planning for NaNo. Ideally, you would have spent October working through this prep in fine detail; however, these weekly prep prompts can be roughed out in a couple of hours. The takeaway here is, even if you don't have time to physically write down answers for each point, if you at least start thinking about them, you'll have a good idea of what direction to write in when you are trying to hit your 1667-words-per-day goal.
Here are my tips for planning for NaNo. The takeaway here is even if you don't have time to physically write down answers for each point, if you at least start thinking about them you will have a good idea of what direction to write in when you are trying to hit your 1667 words per day goal.