NaNoPrep, NaNoPlanMo or Preptober [Resources]

As usual, I am personally of two minds concerning joining up for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) again this year. But if I do write within the month challenge, I want to go in with minimal planning/mostly pantsing, and take it easy. So, below are some current resources.

I’ve been spending the last few months in series prep mode anyway, but realise that I still don’t have enough of a handle on some structural, character and setting elements. Which is why if I do sign up for NaNo this year, I’m going to go into the second novel with large gaps. Being more of a sequential writer, it’s this that makes me slightly fearful of NaNo, but fear’s always a good sign that I’m heading into an area I can learn from.

There’s not (so far) been a huge amount of NaNo resources published out there on the web this time around. Even the normal desktop poster-calendars and worksheets made by some helpful writers are not as yet available. But here are some of the noticed resources:

  • Writing coach, and author Jennifer Blanchard has been sending out some simple preparation tips through her newslist this month. You can find them on her blog here. I especially enjoyed her simple 7 Questions to ask for story plotting. Also look out for the guest posts including Janice Hardy’s on Show not Tell, part of a Better Fiction blog tour. Jennifer will also be running a Story Planning Day via a free virtual workshop on the 25th October.
  • At What is a Plot Com, Shaunta Grimes is running 31 Days of Being a Ninja Writer. Sign up for the newsletter or read the daily posts.
  • The Plot Whisperer‘ author Martha Alderson won’t be writing a new project in November, but has invited those interested in refining a current draft into the month while she also refines a novel of hers. Martha intends refining her “Refinement Program” over the month, starting 1st November, and will be sharing the process on her blog.
  • Writing Coach Lynn Johnston, along with Britt Malta, are currently offering a package with video content and two ebooks including Lynn’s The 30 Day Novel Success Journal. Available here, currently for US$17 (not an affiliate link).
  • YA Fiction site, Riveted, has a series on NaNoPrep, with new tips published on Tuesdays. Here’s the latest.
  • The creators of the best writing program, Scrivener, traditionally offer great discounts on the product for NaNoWriMo participants and winners. Literature and Latte have just today released their special 2016 trial version offering for Wrimos. For those who already own and use Scrivener, the latest templates with NaNo compile settings are now available too.
  • Many other writing apps are offering sponsored discounts for winners again this year, including my own favourite cross-platform writing repository app, Evernote. Offers are here on the NaNo website.
  • The NaNoWriMo website refreshed 4th October, with the theme of Space for this year’s event. The site has a new web feature – a timer for your own personal wordsprints. If you like the competition of wordsprints with others, look out for these through the forums and twitter. Speaking of Twitter, NaNo is running all kinds of #NaNoPrep events including tweet-chats. See the event calendar here. This Thursday there is a free webinar with Reedsy editor.

Nano-Checklist.pngAnd I’ve just created a new Free Resources page which shares, amongst many other things, a one-page downloadable NaNoWriMo Checklist for preparation. The Resources page is found in the main menu link.



My Own NaNo Plans

Although I’m still not sure if and what I’ll be tackling in November, these are the possibilities –

  • I won’t be spending time on blogging about my own NaNo attempt this year.
  • I may tackle three associated projects – a refinement (as Martha Alderson calls it) of Book 1 in my series, and a first draft (mainly plantsered*) of Book 2, and some series world-building on-the-fly.
  • I have rejoined Second Life, the metaversal world where I get to go around as an age and beauty-defying avatar (or occasionally as a dog or skeleton if I feel the need). This is to make use of a couple of SL things – a writing group that forms around NaNoWriMo, and the fact I’ve setup the land I live on to offer me the sounds of ocean waves and natural sounds to write to. My Second Life may last only a couple of months, but as this is the third time back, I am keeping the avatar active when leaving again. I intend opening a simple blog to post up my own second life projects including the reason I’m there – writing. I may from time to time share links to those posts on here, you never know. On that note, it’s from my Second Life writing studio (yes I have one in real life, and now a virtual one also) that the header image comes from. Virtually, I’m much tidier than in reality.

*Plantsers, as coined at NaNo (you can get a personal web-badge with it on) is a mutant cross between plotter and pantser (or planner and pantser?). Book 2 is semi-planned, but I need to really drill down on 5 to 7 key scenes or else, in attempting the first draft I may make some serious series issues regarding arc growths and series throughlines.



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