The 3 P’s: Preparation, Plotting and Planning

Everyone is getting totally hyped about NaNoWriMo which begins in just 5 days, and I’m no exception. I’m taking part for the first time this year and whilst I’m excited about the whole process, it’s quite a daunting task to write a 50,000 word novel in just 30 days. So, how do we adequately prepare?

Plotting and planning, that’s how.

When I wrote my first novel, I wrote a basic story synopsis, a few details about the main characters and chapter outlines. Trouble is, once I started writing, my chapter outlines sort of went out the window and I found my story just had a momentum all of its own. Consequently, it ended up longer than I anticipated yet I don’t see this as a problem. You see, I didn’t have a deadline or a set word count so it didn’t matter. Taking part in the NaNoWriMo challenge is a whole new situation.

To achieve the 50,000 word count in 30 days means an average of 1667 words per day and that will take some serious preparation.

So here’s what I’m going to do.

First off, I’ve downloaded some really cool software from one of the NaNoWriMo sponsors called Write Way. This is only a demo version, but the features it contains will be invaluable in helping to prepare, plot and plan and I’m going to use it to full effect.

Having decided on my theme (which is a complete departure from my novel) and probably the most important thing to do, I’m now plotting the story trying to focus in on how it will develop through to its conclusion.

My next step will be planning each chapter so that the story doesn’t get away from me.

Finally, I’m going to design my key characters and do my worldbuilding so that when we get to the starting line, I’m as prepared as I can be.

So, how are you going to prepare? Have you got any tips you’d like to share? I’d love to hear how your preparations are going and if you’re participating in NaNoWriMo, I wish you the very best of luck!

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One thought on “The 3 P’s: Preparation, Plotting and Planning

  1. I did it last year for the first time, and I had very little preparation done. I had the main idea and a few of the main characters and I new a few of the major plot points. The idea came to me almost completely formed which rarely happens, but for all the stuff between I had nothing. I just pantsed the rest of it, thinking I would have a novella at the end, but at 50k words I might be about halfway through the story. I put it on hold while I finish my 1st novel. (almost done with the rewrite)

    The best advice I can give it to try to get ahead early. I made my word count the first couple of days then missed a day and a few more in the first week and a half and fell behind. Catching up was stressful. I work 50+ hour a week job, so I had to write either in the morning or in the evenings, but was able to use the Thanksgiving holiday to my advantage. My wife wasn’t all that pleased with the amount of time it took, but I think I am a better writer and a better time manager than last year. We’ll see.

    For his year I have the setting and the MC done, but I don’t have much of a plot figured out this time, I kinda know where I want it to go, but I really need to subplots. I hope they emerge quickly. I’m on most evenings and I’ll be cheering you on! Best of luck!

    Todd (aka Kardaen)

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