So it is just one day before NaNoWriMo begins! Many people will be staying up until midnight tonight to write madly as the clock strikes 12. Some areas have planned midnight kick off parties to all get together and write. Living in rural Alaska, I don’t know anyone within 400 miles doing this as well so I will be writing on my own. I am going to pass on the midnight madness though- not because I’m not excited, but I have to be up early to take my dog out, and I’m becoming an old lady who goes to bed early! I blame it on working for the school and having to be up at 7am every day I substitute. Regardless, I plan on getting up early and sticking to my routine for writing. I talked about the benefits of a routine in a previous NaNoWriMo Prep post.
I have been prepping all of October, using a combination of methods that work for me, (Including Snowflake Method, Hero’s Journey, and Pinterest) and I wanted to share the product of that with all of you:
The photo shows the final plot outline I have created for my novel. It is essentially the final step of the Snowflake method, although I tweaked it a little to make sense in my brain. I have posted it on my husbands whiteboard in his classroom, so that I can see the entire plot right in front of me. I actually learned a lot about my structure and how things were working by getting it all out in front of me in one piece. I love technology, and working on my laptop, but with a file this big, it was begging to be printed. I then was able to read through, making notes about who was in what scene, as well as things I wanted to include or needed to research. It was very helpful to me.
By doing this, I actually saw that there was a huge problem with the original ending I had. This led to a night in turmoil while I freaked out and paced a lot talking to my husband trying to fix the end. Finally, I was able to scribble some notes in my notebook, having figured out how to solve the problem. The next day I added those excel pages to the end of my outline, and was able to see a clean 3 act structure had emerged.
To finish it off, I printed my novel’s Pinterest board, and pasted in the corner the pictures of my main characters and some quotes I found that related to their personalities or the overall story. Now I have inspiration at a quick glance! I am going to post this on the wall next to my table where I write (which happens to be in my dining room) so I will also have a really large, literally looming, reminder to write everyday!
Now I think that the next step is to simply sit down and write. Hopefully this will expedite the process for me, and I can fly through my first draft! I will be updating you all each week on Saturdays with my NaNo Progress.
How do you prepare for Nano? Are you excited to begin? Let me know your strategies (or how you are doing!) in the comments below.