I hear all the time through the month of October that NaNoWriMo participants should be prepping their novel by outlining. Now, I’m sure this works for some people, however I’ve found that most discovery writers – myself included – will lose complete interest in their story once it has been outlined. Once the story is outlined for a writer who’s greatest joy is discovering the story via the writing process, they will no longer need to write it because they have told themselves the story. So where’s our list of prep work pre-NaNo? Why are we forced to sift through the long posts directed toward outliners to find something useful to us?
I have compiled a list of links and posts specifically for myself as well as fellow discovery writers. Here is what we can do pre-NaNoWriMo to prepare ourselves, our worlds, our characters – our story for writing.
- Get as much world-building finished as you possibly can: 30 Days of World-Building – Master List
- Come up with characters, give them histories, personalities, descriptions, and archetypes: 365 Days of Character Development & 30 Days of Character Building
- Think up scenes you want to write, either where something in particular gets accomplished or where a specific group of characters are to meet, converse, fight, etc.
- Get to know your characters and your world by writing scenes before the story occurs. Since we’re not supposed to start on our novels before November 1st, this is a good way to get to know your characters. Throw a couple of them into a conversation, get to know them as children, write an interaction between the character and their parents or an ex or an old best friend, explore the scene in which they discovered their greatest fear or their favorite food, and just anything you can think of that precedes your story.
- Lather, rinse, and repeat until November 1st. You will constantly come up with new characters or develop your original characters until they are much more round and full, or new world elements that will make your world more believable.
(If anyone can think of something I’ve missed and can point me in the direction of a corresponding link, please comment below. ^-^)
I hope these resources help you in your creative journey, and better prepare you for your own 30 day quest toward 50 thousand words. Also, if anyone would like to join my buddy list so that we can encourage one another on our individual journeys, here is my NaNo Profile. Thanks for reading, and have a lovely day!