What Can You Do in September to Prepare for NaNoWriMo?

Fountain pen envy…

So…that year went by quickly. Wasn’t I just preparing for and taking part in my very first November NaNoWriMo? Huh. Well, it’s almost that time of year again.

How are you all feeling? Are you ready for NaNoWriMo? I, for one, am not. That’s okay though—we still have time! Some overachieving people have already been getting their ducks in a row, so to speak. That ain’t me, but it can (and probably should) be.

So, what can we all do in September to prepare us for November 1st? Several things, in fact. Undoubtedly everyone’s preparation looks different, but that just means there’s lots of ideas out there to help us get inspired.

First of all, the National Novel Writing Month organization itself is stirring up inspiration via social media. They posted this fun #InstaWrimo challenge (pictured below) on Instagram, and it even makes me want to pull my bare IG account out of the internet ether and get down to business. Also, check out that gorgeous steampunk theme (carried through into this year’s NaNo merchandise *swoon*)!

Via the nanowrimo Instagram.

Pro Tip (Ha, like I’m a pro): You can also find several virtual events and activities at the NaNoWriMo prepsite. For example, this past week at the NaNoWriMo Prep website centered around ‘developing a story idea’, and next week is dubbed ‘Character Week’ where participants are encouraged to begin developing their own complex protagonists, villains, &c. So why not look to the source for inspiration to begin your own NaNo planning?

Find this schedule and more at the NaNoWriMo prepsite!

My preparation for NaNoWriMo typically begins with me choosing a project. Will I be a NaNo rebel and continue my historical romance that I have only about 10,000 words of currently? Or will I start a totally new project—perhaps that holiday romance novel or that fairytale retelling I’ve been considering for a while now? Once I’ve finally decided on a project, it’s time to decide what I want to accomplish—do I want to go traditional and set my goal at 50,000 words, or will I choose a higher or lower goal?

From that point on, it’s about deciding how I work best. I’m a “plantser” by nature, so, historically, I equal(ish) parts plan and “pants” my NaNo project. Lately, using Scrivener has made me more excited about planning my story in greater detail. It’s never too early to start outlining; as soon as I decide on a project and a word count goal, I plan to start outlining my story.

Those are my preliminary (but very important!) goals for the remainder of September, in addition to blogging about my progress throughout the month. I’ll get deeper into the weeds, come ‘Preptober’, and then there’s no turning back—November is right around the corner!

If you are participating in NaNoWriMo this year, what are you doing to prepare this month? What tools or resources have you found helpful to prepare your story idea or outline, thus far?

For fun and the love of The Proclaimers, here’s my #InstaWrimo (belated) day 7:

Reedsy Blog via Imgrum.net

Happy weekend, everyone!

Until next time: Just keep brainstorming, planning, outlining, and writing!

-AW

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