Final Preparations

As we hurtle towards the first week of November, you should have your main characters figured out, the foundations of your world built, and a basic plot line figured out. If you’re one of the lucky ones, you’ll have already done all this stuff and be able to spend this week relaxing. If you’re scrambling to get ready still, never fear; thousands of Nanowrimo participants don’t find their plots until November’s already begun.

That said, there are some things you should try to do this week. With just a few days left before November 1st, it’s important to make sure you’re prepared–and not just on a story level either.

So what should you do this week? Check out my handy to-do list:

1. Name all important characters. Even if this means just picking placeholder names for now, it’s important to name your characters so they’re easier to keep track of when you’re writing. This is especially important if you have a large cast.

2. Map your main character’s town. Try to map any other important places you can think of, too. This will help you when characters are traveling and you need to keep track of their direction. Knowing your towns pretty well also adds a layer of realism to your novel.

3. Finish any outstanding projects. Whether these be projects for school or intensive novel edits, try to finish all your big projects before November first. It’s best to start November on a fresh slate, so that while you’re writing your Nano you don’t have to worry about so many projects.

4. Stretch your writing muscles. It’s a good idea to do some writing exercises over the next few days to ease into the crazy writing routine you’ll have to keep up in November. Try answering prompts online and setting yourself a daily goal of something like 500 words. This is enough to be a challenge without being totally insane, and you can use these exercises to develop your characters and learn more about your world.

This week we’ll go over several other things which you should do while getting ready to write your Nanovel. In the meantime, make sure you’ve got the basics of your story worked out as we begin the final countdown to November 1st.

6 thoughts on “Final Preparations

  • I’m excited about nanowrimo this year and a little nervous as I always am. Trying to figure out how I am going to keep up with my blog during November… any ideas? I find it hard enough to write the average 1,667 words a day without also posting something a couple of times a week.

    • Hi there,

      It’s never easy keeping up with blog posts while also trying to write a novel. I’ve struggled with this every year and some years I frankly haven’t kept up with my blog. That said, probably the easiest way is to incorporate Nanowrimo into your blog–write about your weekly challenges, the easiest scenes you’ve written, and your word count. If you can’t find a way to fit that into your blog, it becomes a lot harder. Just remember that your blog posts don’t also have to be 1, 667 words long; they can be a hundred words long if that’s all you’re capable of writing on a given day.

      Good luck with your novel!

      • Thank you so much. This weekend I’m going to try to write a couple of posts ahead of time, but not many because I have a lot of character development to do this weekend. I’ll take your advice and probably post well under my usual average. Good luck to you as well. I’ll look for you on

    • Hi Jill,

      Outlines are overrated anyway! You can do it with or without one, as long as you’re determined–for me, outlines are always rough guides rather than exact manuals.

      Good luck this Nanowrimo season,

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