Preparing for NaNoWriMo

3:12 PM

Ten days until NaNo!


Basically, I wait all year for NaNo. It's by far the best month of the year. 30 days of caffeine-and-sugar-filled, sleepless, inspiration-driven madness? Bring it on. (Maybe that's just me. I take the extreme pantser approach to NaNo.)

Now, if you're somehow unaware of what NaNo is, allow me to direct you here. If you haven't already, sign up. Take the plunge. Enter the madness. Write that novel in 30 days. It's terrific fun, and a great chance to meet fellow writerly people going through the same thing. Here's my profile, do friend me and I'll friend you back and we can be NaNo pals.

Now, to the entire point of this post beyond ranting about next month!


Planning for NaNo

Spoiler alert: There's really no correct way to prepare for NaNoWriMo, and as far as I know there's no perfect method. If you know of said perfect method, please tell me. I've participated in NaNo for three years now and I still have no idea what I'm doing.

Some people like to plan. Elaborate storyboards, outlines, they've got it all. They'll plan out every scene, every character, every plot twist, even the ending, all before they even start writing. I admire these people for their dedication.

Needless to say, I am not one of those people.

I have characters, yes (and I'm really excited about them!) I have a world that, quite frankly, needs quite a bit of love, attention, and planning before I actually start writing, because setting is fairly important. I know how the story starts, and how the characters will meet, how they'll develop throughout the story, and who may or may not be killed off. *evil laughter* I even wasted two hours of my life and made a picture thingy!                    

Ain't it pretty? 

I do not, however, have a plot. 

Basically the extent of my plot right now.

Seeing as NaNo starts in ten days, this is kind of a problem. But I'm not really worried.

For me, NaNo isn't about having a structured plot, although that's wonderful and kudos to you if you've got one. NaNo isn't about rules at all. It's simply about getting those 50k words out there, about sitting down and pounding out about 2k (for me) or so every day and, at the end of the month, being able to look at that document and say "I did it!" 

Because yes, the Nine GIF was necessary.

And even then, it's not the 50k exactly that's important. That's technically the goal, but I'd tend to stick to the belief that NaNo is, quite simply, about the words. 50k is cool. 40k is cool. 30k is cool. 20k is cool. 10k is cool. Heck, if you sit down and write 5k all month and that's it, that is totally cool. It doesn't matter if you overshoot your goal or just barely make it or just barely miss it or miss it completely. You wrote something, you started an idea you might not have started otherwise, and you got writing done. And that's seriously epic.

This year, my goal for NaNoWriMo is to be surprised. I've got a story idea of the sort that I wouldn't normally write, and I'm going to try it out, just to see what happens. 

I'll probably end up in weird places 

Deal with characters changing their minds and taking the story in totally new directions

doctor who animated GIF

And be ready to tear my hair out from the stress of it all during about the third week

But when November ends and December and all its glorious editing rolls around, I'll miss the whole thing, and be dying for it to come back. 

You're welcome for the painful reminder.

What about you? Are you participating in NaNo this year, or have you in the past? What's your method of planning for the great month of insanity? Comment below! We'll have a party. 

P.S. As always, I am on Twitter, Goodreads, and Pinterest. You can visit me there, or on my NaNo profile page, for more attempted humor and notes on NaNoWriMo.


  1. Love all the Doctor Who images! I "won" NaNo in 2011 and 2013, and I'm hoping to repeat that this year. Usually I have a plot outline by mid October, but so far I'm still getting to know the characters and world. I might have more of a plan by the time November starts, but I'm not going to freak-out if I don't have an outline. I can hardly wait to start writing!

    1. Congrats for winning last year! :-) I think I just barely made it that year...
      And I agree, I can't wait to start either, as you might have guessed.

  2. Doctor Who GIFs are epic. My method of planning for NaNoWriMo has usually been to just jump in with no plan at all, just a basic idea, and pants my way through the month. Which generally works pretty well for me. But I'm trying to write part of a series at the moment, so I'm trying to plan that out a little. The chronic pantser in me is dying a little at the moment....

    1. Sounds like we have pretty similar planning methods. I'm thinking mine this year is going to be some sort of series too, so I should probably work on figuring that out...good look with NaNo!

  3. Oh wow NaNoWriMo seems stressful! Good luck with all of that!:D Do keep us updated with your progress!
    You've brought across your message in such entertaining manner:) I love the gifs:)
    The Journeys of My Beating Heart

    1. Haha! Yes, it's pretty stressful at times, but definitely worth it in the end. :-) Thanks for reading!


hey. hey. talk to me. i'm a fan of comments and flailing with you. go for it.