Preptober Week 2: NaNoWriMo 2020

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Week 2: Outlining and Plotting

I attended a local NaNoWriMo Preptober presentation online Sunday hosted by our local Seattle NaNoWriMo team. I am now energized to do a bit more planning, and a little less pantsing, this year! Maybe less editing on the back end will see my 2020 novel published!

Do you NaNoWriMo? Maybe I should explain what it is:

NaNoWriMo is an annual, month-long, novel writing community who commit to writing an entire novel, start to finish, in November. Edits aside – that’s the work in December and January. Adults usually agree to write 50,000 words as a minimum for the month by signing up {for free!} on the NaNoWriMo website. Of course, the length of your novel is up to you, but 50,000 words is considered a novella. This challenge is open to anyone who would like to participate. Winners, those writers who meet their word count, are considered Winners and are eligible for any number of literary related prizes. Just signing up, aspiring authors have access to a number of free trial offers.

This week, the NaNoWriMo Seattle Preptober team pointed us to Picking a Plotting Method as one of the planning exercises to try. I’m on it! In the past, I’ve been a pantster in years past {flying by the seat of my pants, just getting down at least my 1667 words daily in November}, but I think it may pay for me to be a bit more of a planster {outlining and planning most of my novel before November} this year.

Every year I gear up for it. In the past, I’ve printed Young Writers Program {YWP} booklets for my boys to sketch out their thoughts and we’d dream about the stories we want to write. My teens will not be joining be this year, but I don’t mind writing alone. Besides, I’ll have all my online writing friends to cheer me on!

This writing challenge is for all ages. If you can communicate, you can participate.

What is the easiest way to participate? When my children were younger, I’d simply type the stories they created and narrated to me and print them out. They added art, their own creative flourishes, and viola — authors! We didn’t worry too much about mechanics; it was more about getting the words and stories out of the mind and onto the page. Whether typing, handwriting, or narrated, their stories are important and I’m so happy to have a collection of them as they grow into adulthood. You can use this tool by narrating your story into a translation program -easy peasy first draft.

It’s gratifying to see your words, thoughts, and dreams in print. Whether you are 3 or 103, your words seem more valuable when they can be shared. A story of your own making and creation!

Through the years, I’ve encouraged writers in my local communities and even taught writing classes around NaNoWriMo and the YWP. I focus not only on the tools provided by the fantastic NaNoWriMo team, but I like to throw in my own little tools and tricks from my lifelong writing experience, as well as the experiences I’ve read from authors who write about writing.

Some of my favorites are:

On Writing by Stephen King

Bird by Bird by Anne Lamont

Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg

Other books I love to read to get the creative juices flowing are:

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

The Artist’s Way by Julie Cameron

Though I’ve read countless books and drawn inspiration from so many places – You’ll learn all about that in The Artist’s Way with her suggested Artist Dates. Julia Cameron also suggests writing morning pages – 3 pages, every morning, first thing. Check out my posts on morning pages; they are essentially, a brain dump to allow space for creativity.

This year I’m making new goals, accepting new challenges, and stretching myself as I write my own stories. I’m even in the process of outlining my novel. With my Year of Intention, I’d like to finish a novel that doesn’t need so much editing and maybe even publish it!

I’d love to hear what you’re writing!


Are you preparing to write a novel for NaNoWriMo 2020?

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