How to Prep for NaNoWriMo!
NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, and it's about to begin! Here's a checklist of everything you should do BEFORE you start writing Chapter 1.
1. Find your (best) idea. Create 5-10 ideas, then sift through them and figure out your favorite. In my course, I have an exercise that helps with this process, but for now, just try and pick the best in the bunch - a unique one you are excited about.
2. Figure out the basics of your idea. You don't need to know every nook and cranny, just the bones of your idea so you know if it's worth writing, and if you've got enough action to fill up an entire novel.
3. Outline or Rough-Sketch your novel. In my course, I show you several ways to outline, but if you want to check out my post-card method of outline, scroll down to the bottom of this post for a video!
4. Develop Your Characters. It's almost impossible to write a character who you don't 'know'. Figure out the personalities and histories of your characters before you start writing.
5. Decide the Details of Your Setting. You don't want to stall your writing because you have to go online and find a town for your story, or to figure out the weather in Baltimore in May. Pick the wheres, whats and whens of your story's setting.
6. Set a Writing Schedule. Spend some time organizing your schedule so that you will have a block of uninterrupted time each day. Some authors only need two 15-minute blocks of time per day. Others (like me) need a full two hours. So start setting that alarm earlier, or staying up later. For 30 days, you need to make this block of time - your writing schedule - a priority.
7. Let Your Family and Friends Know. It's important that your family and friends understand that - for the next month - you will be busy. You will need help around the house, and will need to have uninterrupted time to focus on your novel. You need cheerleaders and accountability. Let them know about your story and your goal.
If you want a bigger team supporting you, we'd love to have you in my Facebook group, Alessandra Torre Inkers! There's a huge group of us participating in NaNoWriMo and we'd love to have you join in on the fun! Click here to join.
Are you feeling lost about how to write a novel? Want a step-by-step guide to writing your first book? Click here to check out my online course.
Here's my video on how I outline using postcards: