Preptober

Plotting Pitfalls

Found another writing YouTuber: Diane Callahan – Quotidian Writer – this was really interesting to watch and it sparked several ideas for my NaNoWriMo project.

I hope it does the same for you.

Also – found something else that would be a useful tool next month: Word Sprints

I mean, you could easily just time yourself for word sprints but I like that you can set up a group sprint for and your friends.

Anyway, just a passing thought.

Preptober

NaNoWriMo Playlist

Here is my NaNoWriMo Playlist. These are songs that make me think of my story. Whether that’s the title of the song, the song lyrics or just the general mood of the song. You might be able to guess the direction I’m taking my story just from some of the titles.

Anyway, it’s another fun tool in my NaNoWriMo toolbox – and something else I can cross off my Preptober calendar.

Next up: character profiles …

 

Our weather has been perfect lately – low 80’s and sunny. Fall is my favorite time of the year. Enjoy the weekend!

Preptober

Preptober: Character’s Enneagram – Say What?

So what sort of gobbedly-goop am I spouting now?

It’s another personality test, but one that goes into more depth and will give her mixture of personality traits that could make your character more interesting.

First of all, what is an Enneagram?

The Enneagram system
The Enneagram is a personality typing system that consists of nine different types. Everyone is considered to be one single type, although one can have traits belonging to other ones. While it’s uncertain whether this type is genetically determined, many believe it is already in place at birth.

The nine types (or “enneatypes”, “ennea” means “nine”) are universally identified by the numbers 1 to 9. These numbers have a standard way of being placed around the Enneagram symbol. Enneagram authors have attached their own individual names to these numbers. On this site the type names by authors Riso and Hudson are used. They are:

After taking the test for myself, I’m a Reformer and a Peacemaker.

Let’s start with Reformer:

“Perfectionists, responsible, fixated on improvement

People of this personality type are essentially looking to make things better, as they think nothing is ever quite good enough. This makes them perfectionists who desire to reform and improve; idealists who strive to make order out of the omnipresent chaos.

Ones have a fine eye for detail. They are always aware of the flaws in themselves, others and the situations in which they find themselves. This triggers their need to improve, which can be beneficial for all concerned, but which can also prove to be burdensome to both the One and those who are on the receiving end of the One’s reform efforts.

The One’s inability to achieve the perfection they desire feeds their feelings of guilt for having fallen short, and fuels their incipient anger against an imperfect world. Ones, however, tend to feel guilty about their anger. Anger is a “bad” emotion, and Ones strive sincerely and wholeheartedly to be “good.” Anger is therefore vigorously repressed from consciousness, bursting forth in occasional fits of temper, but usually manifesting in one of its many less obvious permutations – impatience, frustration, annoyance and judgmental criticality. For this reason, Ones can be difficult to live with, but, on the high side, they tend to be loyal, responsible and capable partners and friends.

Ones are serious people; they tend to be highly principled, competent and uncompromising. They follow the rules and expect others to do so as well. Because they believe so thoroughly in their convictions, they are often excellent leaders who can inspire those who follow them with their own vision of excellence. Reform movements are frequently spearheaded by Ones.

Ones are often driven and ambitious, and are sometimes workaholics. But whatever their professional involvement, they are definitely active, practical people who get things done. They are natural born organizers, listmakers who finish everything on the list, the last one to leave the office, the first one to return, industrious, reliable, honest and dutiful.”

Huh.

I also tested as a Peacemaker:

“Keeping peace and harmony

People of this personality type essentially feel a need for peace and harmony. They tend to avoid conflict at all costs, whether it be internal or interpersonal. As the potential for conflict in life is virtually ubiquitous, the Nine’s desire to avoid it generally results in some degree of withdrawal from life, and many Nines are, in fact, introverted. Other Nines lead more active, social lives, but nevertheless remain to some to degree “checked out,” or not fully involved, as if to insulate themselves from threats to their peace of mind. Most Nines are fairly easy going; they adopt a strategy of “going with the flow.” They are generally reliable, sturdy, self-effacing, tolerant and likable individuals.

Nines tend to adopt an optimistic approach to life; they are, for the most part, trusting people who see the best in others; they frequently have a deep seated faith that things will somehow work out. They desire to feel connected, both to other people and to the world at large. They frequently feel most at home in nature and generally make warm and attentive parents.”

I would agree with some of this, not all.

I wouldn’t say I avoid conflict, I just don’t care enough to partake most of the time.

Of course, I found out about the Enneagram from Abbie Emmons.

 

Pretty interesting stuff, honestly.

Now, let’s run Maya, my main character’s personality through the Enneagram and see what happens.

She’s an Achiever and The Helper.

Ha! I knew it! When I was watching Abbie’s video and she was going through the various personalities I picked the Achiever for Maya because that’s how she appears in my head.

The Achiever:

“Focused on the presentation of success, to attain validation

People of this personality type need to be validated in order to feel worthy; they pursue success and want to be admired. They are frequently hard working, competitive and are highly focused in the pursuit of their goals, whether their goal is to be the most successful salesman in the company or the “sexiest” woman in their social circle. They are often “self-made” and usually find some area in which they can excel and thus find the external approbation which they so desperately need. Threes are socially competent, often extroverted, and sometimes charismatic. They know how to present themselves, are self-confident, practical, and driven. Threes have a lot of energy and often seem to embody a kind of zest for life that others find contagious. They are good networkers who know how to rise through the ranks. But, while Threes do tend to succeed in whatever realm they focus their energies, they are often secretly afraid of being or becoming “losers.”

Threes can sometimes find intimacy difficult. Their need to be validated for their image often hides a deep sense of shame about who they really are, a shame they unconsciously fear will be unmasked if another gets too close. Threes are often generous and likable, but are difficult to really know. When unhealthy, their narcissism takes an ugly turn and they can become cold blooded and ruthless in the pursuit of their goals.

Because it is central to the type Three fixation to require external validation, Threes often, consciously and unconsciously, attempt to embody the image of success that is promoted by their culture. Threes get in trouble when they confuse true happiness, which depends on inner states, with the image of happiness which society has promoted.”

And The Helper:

“Helpers who need to be needed

People of this personality type essentially feel that they are worthy insofar as they are helpful to others. Love is their highest ideal. Selflessness is their duty. Giving to others is their reason for being. Involved, socially aware, usually extroverted, Twos are the type of people who remember everyone’s birthday and who go the extra mile to help out a co-worker, spouse or friend in need.

Twos are warm, emotional people who care a great deal about their personal relationships, devote an enormous amount of energy to them, and who expect to be appreciated for their efforts. They are practical people who thrive in the helping professions and who know how to make a home comfortable and inviting. Helping others makes Twos feel good about themselves; being needed makes them feel important; being selfless, makes Twos feel virtuous. Much of a Two’s self-image revolves around these issues, and any threat to that self-image is scarcely tolerated. Twos are thoroughly convinced of their selflessness, and it is true that they are frequently genuinely helpful and concerned about others. It is equally true, however, that Twos require appreciation; they need to be needed. Their love is not entirely without ulterior motive.

Twos often develop a sense of entitlement when it comes to the people closest to them. Because they have extended themselves for others, they begin to feel that gratitude is owed to them. They can become intrusive and demanding if their often unacknowledged emotional needs go unmet. They can be bossy and manipulative, feeling entirely justified in being so, because they “have earned the right” and their intentions are good. The darkest side of the type Two fixation appears when the Two begins to feel that they will never receive the love they deserve for all of their efforts. Under such circumstances, they can become hysterical, irrational and even abusive.

Because Twos are generally helping others meet their needs, they can forget to take care of their own. This can lead to physical burnout, emotional exhaustion and emotional volatility. Twos need to learn that they can only be of true service to others if they are healthy, balanced and centered in themselves.”

I won’t say I’m as into this as Abbie, but I have to admit, it’s hugely helpful in shaping my characters.

As you can see, Maya is vastly different than my own personality – I hope I can pull it off. But at the same time, I’m excited to write her.

As for the rest of my characters:

Dree is the individualist

Jax is The investigator

Ava  is the peacemaker

​Damon is the challenger

I think I’ve settled on a theme: You are valuable – the character’s misbelief is, she’s worthless. Or at least not worthy of her family’s reputation.

I’ve also picked out some pictures of my characters from Pinterest:

Good looking people, no?

Anyway, I’m getting closer! This is more fun than I thought it would be. Next, I’m working on character profiles but these personality quizzes are really inspiring me to dig under their beautiful surfaces.

Preptober

Preptober: Daily Word Count Goals

This is my word count schedule for next month.

Let me explain my thought process … the first week of November I am going to be chomping at the bit to get started. I’m always very enthusiastic the first week, somewhat excited the second week, start burning out the third week and then the fourth week I’m motivated to make it across the finish line.

So. I figured the weekends will be my heavy word count days – I will hopefully knock out the word count goals. I figure I can stop, take a break, then come back and keep writing on Saturdays and Sundays. That’s the easy part. My weeks are going to be challenging. I will most likely get up early and knock out 1000 words before work, then sit right down after work and knock out another 1000 words before the day catches up with me and I’m nodding off in my chair. (I can’t even tell you the number of times I’ve practically hit my head on my desk because I’m just going to shut my eyes, just for a second and … *SNORT-SNIFF* Where am I?)

I’m taking it easy on Mondays and Wednesdays. Those are my clinic days and by the time the day ends, I’m checked out. I’m mentally tapped out. I’ve dealt with patients and doctors all day, I don’t have any mental stamina left. On Tuesdays/Thursday, I will try and write before and after work again – we’ll see how it goes. I anticipate these days being my biggest struggle, especially if I”m asked to cover another MA on one of those days.

Fridays are also light days. Not because it’s crazy at work but because Kevin and I go out to eat and then do our grocery shopping every Friday night so we’ll get home late(ish) and I will be losing steam by the time I sit down to write anything. I’m not sure I will be able to write 1000 words, but I’m going to try it.

I will probably use the day before Thanksgiving to look at my outline and plan enough for me to cross the finish line because by that point, I’m usually stuck in my head and I’ve convinced myself that what I’m writing is trash and I SUCK – WHY FINISH??

And then the 30th – I’m using as an extra day just in case my count is off and I haven’t done as much writing as I need to – that will be my last ditch effort to make it across the finish line – I wish it wasn’t a Monday, but it is what it is.

I think the total is 53,000 words, or thereabouts. I wanted to give myself a little wiggle room – just in case.

We’ll see how this pans out.

I’m not really worried about the word count – I can write and spew crap all day long. I just need to not worry about whether it makes sense or not, I guess. I’d like to post excerpts here but I won’t make any promises because if it’s really bad … well … I won’t put you through that. ha!

Remember, you can friend me on the NaNoWriMo website if you wish. My username is take2max. We can cheer each other on. Also, if you’re interested in chatting on the NaNoWriMo website, let me know what your username is in the comments and I’ll send you an invite to the Write Away group I created. Or, you can join the group by clicking this link (just know that it will make you sign into your account – so if you haven’t made an account yet, now would be a good time to do that!).

Preptober

Preptober: Finding a Story Idea

I spent nearly all day yesterday Preptober(ing). I learned a lot, I was inspired, I bought a NaNoWriMo t-shirt and I ended the day more confused and frustrated than when I started.

This outlining thing is for the birds, ya’ll. I feel like giving up before I even start and just go back to pantsing it.

However, I don’t want to get to 25,000 words in and completely dry up, like I usually do when I attempt NaNoWriMo. So. I will force myself to slow down and start putting one foot in front of the other and waddle my way through this mess.

Beginning with a story idea.

I found an excellent site that lists a few hundred story ideas. I read through them all and these are the ones that caught my attention:

1.A hair stylist overhears something she shouldn’t while cutting hair.
2.Three friends go on a trip to a foreign country together, only for them each to get lost.
3.A character is sold the “Best Year of Their Life” by an illustrious company, with the caveat that they must die afterward.
4.An adopted child starts to receive tens of letters from people who claim they’re her parents.
5.An adopted child starts to receive tens of letters from people who claim they’re her parents.
6.In the midst of a war, the women of a local town abandon their neighborhood only a week before their husbands and sons return.
7.A dictator forces an illustrious fashion designer to design the new military uniforms for the war.
8.In a series of weekly sessions, a man recalls his experience of Vietnam to overcome his PTSD. – only it’s a woman and she is forced to recall a crime in which she was a major player
9.A character discovers they have the ability to visit the past and future, but at the risk that they’ll lose something valuable.
10.In the midst of a plague-ridden Venice, an inspector begins a series of unethical experiments to find a cure.
11.Three strangers win a getaway vacation together – one is a psycho path and plots to kill the other two for unknown grand prize
12.A diver uncovers government secrets buried at the bottom of the ocean.
13.A woman is called on a mission to save her lover.
14.A character travels back in time, where they realize they are more important than modern day.
15.A character develops the power to alter their personality, but cannot control it.
16.A matriarch deals with a rising male leader threatening her power. – flip it – patriarch threatened by a rising female.
17.A character’s home is split in two by a sudden Earthquake. They must work to find a way to the other side, where something valuable is.
18.Three friends go on a trip to a foreign country together, only for them each to get lost. Series?
19.A closed exit road sends a character on a six hour detour road trip.
20.A character participates in a march for a cause they believe in when violence breaks out against the people.
21.A prostitute meets with her family for the first time in 10 years.
22.A psychiatrist befriends one of their patients only to realize it was a fatal mistake.

All of them appeal to me in one way or another, but there are a few that really spark my imagination. But believe it or not, the idea that has been percolating in my head for several months now is not listed here. I may, or may not, massage that idea into fruition, I just haven’t decided yet. I need to stick to an idea though because I need to start developing my characters.

Also, something else to consider when you’re picking your idea and thinking about when you’re shaping the story in your head:

  1. Start with the unexpected.
  2. Start with action
  3. Start by appealing to the reader’s curiosity – make the reader want to read more to find the answer.
  4. Start with an understanding of your fictional world – if you are confident about your fictional world, it will make it more believable and interesting to your read.
  5. Start with intensity – “draw us in like moths to the flame, but don’t let the bonfire rage so fierce we can’t get close.”
  6. Build momentum – “The first cardinal rule of opening lines is that they should possess most of the individual craft elements that make up the story as a whole. An opening line should have a distinctive voice, a point of view, a rudimentary plot and some hint of characterization. By the end of the first paragraph, we should also know the setting and conflict, unless there is a particular reason to withhold this information.”
  7. Resist the urge to start too early “You might be tempted to begin your narrative before the action actually starts, such as when a character wakes up to what will eventually be a challenging or dramatic day. But unless you’re rewriting Sleeping Beauty, waking up is rarely challenging or dramatic. Far better to begin at the first moment of large-scale conflict.”
  8. Remember that small hooks catch more fish than big ones – “Many writers are taught that the more unusual or extreme their opening line, the more likely they are to “hook” the reader. But what we’re not taught is that such large hooks also have the power to easily disappoint readers if the subsequent narrative doesn’t measure up.”
  9. Avoid getting ahead of your reader – “One of the easiest pitfalls in starting a story is to begin with an opening line that is confusing upon first reading, but that makes perfect sense once the reader learns additional information later in the story. The problem is that few readers, if confused, will ever make it that far.”
  10. Keep talk to a minimum – “If you feel compelled to begin a story with dialogue, keep in mind that you’re thrusting your readers directly into a maelstrom in which it’s easy to lose them. One possible way around this is to begin with a single line of dialogue and then to draw back and to offer additional context before proceeding with the rest of the conversation—a rare instance in which starting close up and then providing a panorama sometimes works. But long sequences of dialogue at the outset of a story usually prove difficult to follow.”
  11. Revisit the opening once you reach the end. – “Sometimes a story evolves so significantly during the writing process that an opening line, no matter how brilliant, no longer applies to the story that follows.”

Sources: How to Start a Story and Ways to Start Your Story Better

I personally like shocking my readers. Nothing too drastic, just enough to make them raise their eyebrows in slight surprise. I love starting with action because I love reading stories that begin with action. The tip that I think I have the hardest time with is starting with dialogue. I LOVE writing dialogue and I always have way too many conversations in my stories – I definitely need to work on settings. However, I’m going to write my story first, and that may be all dialogue at this point, and then go back and put in fillers later. I think trying to stop and write about the setting my characters are in will slow me down and frustrate me. I never have to worry about being one of those authors that info dump on their readers – but, leaving that information out is basically two, or more people, walking around talking each other’s heads off too much and no one is interested in reading that.

 

Video summary:

Word vomit

Analyzing elements of a good story

Ask: What If …

Challenges seem realistic

Get inspired by living your life

A. Pay attention to things that evoke your own emotions

Develop the hell out of everything

A. Character
B. Worlds

Focus on your characters

If you Google story ideas, you will find many, many, MANY more ideas that might spark your imagination. Even if the idea is enough for you to lift your eyebrow and go “Hmm”, keep track of it. You’ll be surprised what your subconscious percolates when you’re not paying attention. And if your subconscious picks a tough moment to tap you on the shoulder, (because let’s be honest – ideas always come at the WORST possible moment), do not hesitate to write it down. Before long, you will have a slew of ideas for future writing projects, and/or, who knows, maybe you can combine a few ideas for your NaoNoWriMo project.

Also – side note – look over your calendar for November and come up with a writing schedule. I don’t know why I never really thought about doing this before, I guess I always just assumed I would write 1,667 words per day. (Where did I get that number? That’s the approximate number to write every day in November to reach the 50,000 word mark). But let’s be real. There will be days I’m mentally tapped out from working a clinic, or I’m so tired I literally can not keep my eyes open so it’s unrealistic of me to expect I will uphold that 1,667 daily word mark. Not to mention, my father-in-law’s birthday, my birthday, my husband’s birthday, my oldest son’s birthday and of course, Thanksgiving is during the month of November, so my time is stretched. I am going to come up with a realistic writing plan for me. I know that weekends will be the majority of my writing time but I really want to get up an hour early before work and then immediately sit down right after work for an hour and write some more will likely work for me. I’m still coming down from an adrenaline high when I get home from work and my brain is still firing on all cylinders., that would be a good time to catch my brain before it checks out for the night. After about an hour of sitting quietly and no longer being overstimulated, it’s like coming down from a sugar high, I just CRASH and I become a bumbling idiot who can’t string two words together, let alone write them.

Anyway, start thinking about your writing schedule and keep it real.

Happy Preptober!

Preptober, Writing Mechanics

What is the Story You Want to Read?

How does this author not have more subscribers!?

I’ve never contemplated joining someone’s Patreon, but I’m not going to lie, I think I might join Abbie’s.

I found her information HUGELY helpful and I will definitely be applying her tips to my upcoming NaNoWriMo story. In fact, now I’m thinking instead of posting excerpts from my actual novel, I might post the back story of my main character – sort of like a teaser to her “official” story. I’ve been toying around with this idea for quite some time… maybe it’s time to take that idea off the shelf and dust it off.

I also really like her put a board on Pinterest idea, too. I am DEFINITELY inspired by looking at various faces, locations, etc. and I think that would definitely help me.

Good thing that’s on my NaNoWriMo Bingo card.

She just earned herself a new subscriber. I look forward to watching more of her videos.

Video Summary

Step 1 – Choose your Genre
Step 2 – Find your Theme
Step 3 – Meet your Protagnoist – and his/her baggage
A. Desire (the thing they want + think will make his/her happy)
B. Fear (the thing stopping him/her from going after his/her desire)
C. Misbelief (the thing him/her mistakenly believes is true about the world [exact opposite of your theem])
Step 4 – Describe your vibe – three (or more) words
Step 5 – Pick a location

Bonus Tips
Make an aesthetic board – example Pinterest
Make a playlist
Give it a working title

 

Video Summary

Theme – aka the truth you want to teach your reader

Step 1 – why does your story matter to you?
Step 2 – flip the truth on it’s head and make it a lie
Step 3 – find origin of that misbelief – digging into your protagonist’s past
step 4 – Look for patterns – your protagonist acting on his/her misbelief again and again
A. How does my protagonist cement his/her misbelief as a truth again and again
Step 5 – Tell the truth – crafting protagonist’s “aha moment”

Preptober

Preptober Exists – Did You Know?

Geez louise, I am truly OUT of the writing community, ya’ll.

First of all, NaNoWriMo, which stands for National Novel Writing Month, is an annual writing challenge to write 50,000 words during the month of November, for those of you that may not have been aware of it’s existence. (NaNoWriMo also offers Camp NaNoWriMo every April and July, which I haven’t done … yet. The camps are more laid back as far as “requirements.” They are just another tool to add to your writing toolbox to try and motivate you to write).

Here’s a good article to read if you’re waffling on whether or not to participate in NaNoWriMo.

Preptober is a term someone clever came up with to prep for NaNoWriMo during the month of October.

I only heard about this THIS WEEK. Again, I’ve been out of the loop.

But I was instantly intrigued, and the more I looked into it, the more excited I became to participate in it. Or at least, my version of it.

So let’s see if I can muddle through this – care to join me?

First of all, you don’t have to participate in NaNoWriMo if you don’t want to. You don’t have to do anything if you don’t want to. But let’s face it, writing is lonely. And I personally need something to motivate me to write, whether it’s this blog, or my bullet journal because I’ve had a bad day and I need to VENT and PURGE my thoughts and feelings because doing so in real life could cost me dearly. *ahem*

You could prep … any month you chose to.  You are the king, or queen, of your castle. There are no rules.

But I thought I would share what I found with you because it sounds fun and I would like to try it. I can’t promise I’ll stick to it or even finish it, but for now, it sounds fun and I’d like to try it.

After all, I thought bullet journaling sounded like a waste of time when I first heard about it but look at me almost a year later and I’m still going strong. Who knew!

First things first, what project do you want to work on?

  • Novel
  • Short story
  • Poetry
  • Non-fiction
  • Autobiographical
  • True Crime
  • Blogging
  • Other

Whatever you write, whether you’re published or not, YOU’RE A WRITER. If you can put words to paper and make them coherent and/or interesting, then you’re a writer. There are no requirements to this challenge, if you want to write and you’re up to a challenge, then you’re in.

You don’t have to be writing a novel to participate in this challenge. Maybe you want to write several blog posts. Or poems. Or your life story. Or short stories. (I did that one one year for NaNoWriMo). Whatever writing project you want to do, you can participate in NaNoWriMo. It’s not about writing a novel, it’s about writing in general. It’s about pushing yourself to do the thing you’ve always said you wanted to do. It’s about unleashing your creativity and shutting down your inner critic. Your inner critic can be released at the end of the challenge. For now, it’s just you and your imagination. This challenge gives your creativity permission to be run naked and wild through the sunflowers.

(Figuratively speaking, of course).

Secondly, when you plan your writing, do you want to use:

  • The Synopsis Outline (a one/two page summary of your story)
  • The In-Depth Outline (the detailed outline that most of us [or me] run from)
  • The Snowflake Method (you expand your story, little-by-little)
  • The Bookend Method (figure out the beginning and the end and free-write the middle)
  • By the Seat of your Pants or Pantsing (little to no planning – you just start writing)
  • The Headlight Method (plan, write to the end of the plan, see where it goes, plan, write …etc)

I’m sure there are other ways, but these are the most common.

It’s important to know how you plan on writing before you actually write. For me personally, I love the pantsing method. I love to see where my characters take me. And they often take me to surprising places. It’s fun and I thoroughly enjoy it.

However ….

I inevitably get to a point in the story where I have no idea where it’s going, how it’s going to end and does it even make sense at this point? I then get frustrated/discouraged and just chock the whole project. This is why I love short stories because I can write to the point where I get stuck and then, well, it’s a short story, it’s SUPPOSED to end, right??

I’d like to flex my writing muscles a bit this go around. I want to combine both the bookend method and the headlight methods. I want a start, a general ending, and then loosely plan the chapters, allowing my characters to take me somewhere, but at the same time, put up road signs for them to follow along the way. I could write a full outline but ZzZzZzzz .. it sounds so boring. But then again, I said I would NEVER outline, in any form, a mere ten years (minutes?) ago, so, don’t hold me to that.

Anyway, enough about me. Let’s get to the Preptober stuff.

I’ve participated quite a few times in NaNoWriMo over the years, I’ve won a few years. But I never plan ahead and by the time the proverbial gun goes off at the starting line, I’m left in the dust blinking in confusion. Where to start? So. In an attempt to avoid that feeling, I want to actually be as prepared as I can be this go around.

Hence, Preptober.

Because I’m a big child at heart, I like to make things fun. So when I found this Preptober Bingo placard, I couldn’t resist to share it with you guys.

You can find more fun cards at Ink and Times. (I put the free space on there. I figured, free space equals one day off to decompress). The site even offers ideas on what to put on your Bingo card. For example here are the ones that caught my attention from the site and from this site that I think will work for me:

  • Update NaNoWriMo Account
  • Logline and Tagline
  • Brainstorm Your Plot
  • Brainstorm Your Subplot(s)
  • Bookend Beginning
  • Bookend Ending
  • Get To Know Main Character(s)
  • Get To Know Supporting Character(s)
  • Get To Know Villain(s)
  • Get To Know Setting(s)
  • Find Location Inspiration
  • Find Character Inspiration
  • Create Inspiration Board
  • Write A Synopsis
  • Creating A Writing Playlist
  • Research Important Need To Know Facts (1)
  • Research Important Need To Know Facts (2)
  • Find Writing Groups
  • Preptober Workbook

I want to work toward some sort of reward, and I will DEFINITELY reward myself if (WHEN) I win NaNoWriMo, but for now, it feels weird to reward myself for prepping. (Yay! Good job, Karen! You prepared for your challenge!) Uh … no.

But, I thought it would be fun to make prepping for NaNoWriMo more fun. Feel free to copy this for yourself, if you like.

In my (extensive) research on Preptober, I stumbled across this fun workbook at An Aspiring Heroine. It’s free and I like it so far. (Thanks for all your hard work, Tyler!) I don’t know if I’ll follow it each day, but I allowed myself plenty of time on my Bingo card to play around with it.

Here are some more helpful resources in planning for NaNoWriMo.

Helping Writers Become Authors has a good section on how to outline for NaNoWriMo.

Jenna Moreci has some fun advice on outlining:

and

I’d like to try the whiteboard/sticky method that you see in her videos as I think visually seeing my outline might help, too. We’ll see. (SEE what I did there?)

And yet another fun way to motivate you to reach your word count, 4thewords. It’s an online game where you destroy monsters every time you reach a writing goal. Here’s a video walkthrough:

I signed up for it. Who knows if I’ll use it, but again, just a fun way to get the words down.

I plan on using the SmartEdit program as my writing software of choice. I’ve been liking it so far and best part – IT’S FREE.

If you Google Preptober and/or use the #preptober hashtag on Twitter, you will stumble across many more resources – the ideas are endless. These are the rabbit holes I tend to get sucked into (hence the reason I gave myself two research days because I loves me some research, ya’ll!) and if reading over these ideas and resources doesn’t inspire you then … I’ve got nothing else.

I’ll try and remember to update you on my Bingo card throughout the month of October. I’d like to post excerpts from my NaNoWriMo project in November, too.

Oh, and I’ll be putting a NaNoWriMo Bingo card together as well.

I think my biggest challenge won’t be the writing part – I can write/type fast and make my characters do/say all sorts of stupid things, no, I think my biggest challenge is going to have the energy to actually write. Working 40 hours, making time for family, holidays, and you know, SLEEPING, and then finding the energy and time to actually write something …. that’s going to be hard. The few years I won NaNoWriMo I wasn’t working so …. that should tell you something.

And I’m sure I won’t have time to regularly post on my blog during November, but let’s be honest, ya’ll are used to that, so that won’t be a change.

Anyway. I hope this information was helpful and that I’ve given you some places to check out and poked your writing beast.

By the way, my Wrimo username is Take2max if you want to look me up on the NaNoWriMo site and friend me. I even made a writing group on the NaNoWriMo site called Write Away if you want to chat.

Thanks for hanging out with me!