goals, Process, Reading, Writing

The month before NaNoWriMo

October (or “preptober”) when preparing for NaNoWriMo can be very strange. Even having done NaNo two years prior, I still don’t know what to do to truly prepare. Part of me wants to have a good general outline done, one part wants to get some writing done, another part wants to read, a fourth part wants to better plan out my characters and make playlists, and the last part wants to just play video games.

My solution: attempt doing all of it while also working my part time job.


This year, I’m rewriting GBaMD and as such I already have a good idea of what’s going to happen in the novel. However, I am overhauling a lot of the plot, so I’m concerned about not having an outline (to keep me from reverting to my original plot) despite the fact I usually work better just pantsing the novel.

The problem: I don’t know how to do an outline that works for me.

If I do make an outline for a novel, it’s usually pretty non-specific. I tend to just write general plot points and figure out the specifics as I write. Unfortunately, for this rewrite, it’s the specifics I’m worried I’m going to default back onto plot points that didn’t work in my original draft.

What I’m doing:  I’m attempting to follow an outline based on plot breakdown that I learned in high school. Even though I like to be a rule breaker and ignore this stuff, it seems to be usual for this particular novel.

In case you don’t know or aren’t sure what I’m talking about, I’m referring to exposition, inciting incident, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution. These are usually laid out in a diagram that almost looks like a heartbeat. Basically, I’m outlining what occurs for each of these points without having to go into too much detail, but with enough detail and structure I’m not concern about falling back on old habits.

The other thing I’m doing is I’m going to make sticky notes for each point and have them on the window by my desk for me to see while writing. It’ll also be a mark of progress because I’ll remove them as I pass their points in my draft.

Writing Before NaNo

Planning my novel makes it very difficult not to write it immediately. As such, I’ve started the first chapter and am thinking about writing at least two chapters before November.

Why I want to do this: To have myself already immersed in the story before I have to pump out daily word goals.

It’s a well known fact to anyone who’s ever done NaNoWriMo before that the second week can be one of the toughest. The challenge of NaNo isn’t as new and exciting, you’re tired, and regardless of if you’re a plotter, pantser, or plantser, the story can be tough to continue. I’m hoping that having started my draft beforehand without the stress of NaNo, will help me fully immerse myself in the story and help stave off a lot of the second week blues.

Basically, I’m hoping that if I’m already immersed in the story, then it’ll be easier to stay that way even with the stress.


I made an October TBR to relax with before NaNoWriMo.

The problem: I’ve only read one so far and it’s already halfway through the month. I’m not sure if I’ll get anymore done with work and stuff, but I’m hoping to get at least two more of them read. I’ve been in quite the reading slump most of this year, so I’m not sure I have a solve to this. All I know is I want to read.

Characters and Playlists

I want to better plan out my characters for this draft.

Why I want to do this? I know one of my weaknesses in writing is character development and making sure my characters don’t all sound the same. As such, I want to help future me when it comes to editing and fill out character questionnaires and plan out their arcs. I’ll be using my writing journal to do this and I’ve already started.

I’m utilizing NaNoWriMo’s resource “Novelling How-tos” to make these character questionnaires. Once the questionnaires are filled out, I should have a better idea of their arcs as well as how to make them true individuals. If I don’t quite have enough, then I’ll find more resources to help me.

As for playlists, I like to make a playlist for my WIP, each character and the ships I have. I’ve made a lot for this novel already, but I want to remake them.

Procrastinating or Self-care?

I’ve been playing Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey a lot since it came out.

The problem:  I can’t tell if it’s procrastination from all my goals or self-care.

Maybe it’s a bit of both. I have a lot of stress coming from multiple facets of my life right now and playing this game provides me with some escape. However, writing and plotting usually do this for me to, that’s why it’s unclear if this is more on the procrastination side of things.

The partial solution: My husband is also playing the game, so when it’s his turn I can actually do my writing/reading things.


So that’s it for today, thanks for reading! Let me know what you do for NaNoWriMo prep!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s