Week 0 – Getting Ready.
Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month) starts next Wednesday, peeps.
It’s time now to start your plan of attack. Get your pens sharpened and your coffee spiked.
We need to slay this bitch and that means a measly 1667 words a day from the 1st to the 30th. That’s nothing. We’re writers. We know how to hustle. We know how to sit on our asses for days on end. WE GOT THIS!
But hell, what are we going to write about?
Good question. Who gives a fuck? In all likelihood,
we aren’t going to publish this sucker we’ll put it under a pen name so no-one knows it’s us. This isn’t about that. It’s about being part of a team. Pretending you have friends, even if they’re other introverted writers who you’ll likely never meet in real life, that are doing the same shit as you are. Every day in November. It’s comforting to belong to a group.
But of course, we like to pretend that we’re the next Sarah J Maas. So that means we need to get some planning down on paper. Or at least in our heads where most of us live anyway.
Genre. Characters. Big Plot events. What you need to do NOW.
That’s your mission friends. You’ve got 50,000 words to write in November and unless you want to be a badass ninja author (yaas!) and turn up on the first day with no clue (wearing pants or not – no judgement), it’s time to write a few notes.
What are you writing? Romance, Thriller, Zombie farm animals? Scratch down a few tropes that you need to hit.
Major characters? Juice up your major imaginary friends with some flesh and characteristics. Do they limp? Start every sentence with, Yeah but? Have a penis piercing? Who are they? And why would a reader care?
Act breaks? Think about your three major act breaks and what big event should take place. End of Act 1 (25%), Middle (50%) and end of Act 2 (75%). Think of something big. Make it bigger. Then make it bigger again. Don’t be boring. Shock the hell out of your reader.
Beginnings and Endings? Your first chapter is the one that needs IMPACT. What’s going to grab your reader by the balls and drag them screaming in pain through the rest of your story? How’s it going to end? Are you a plot twist writer? (I need your secrets) Are you an emotional writer? (angst it up to extreme). Are you both? (why are you doing Nano, you’re obviously already killing it?)
The rest of the story will come later. Right now we only need the turning points and basics so we have a roadmap.
Get it down. On paper. In Scrivener. On the wall of your basement dungeon. Make that plan lit.
That’s all you need to do this week.
I’ll be back on Wednesday with what to do in Week 1, the easiest week in Nanowrimo writing (everyone slays the first week, it’s the rest that are the problem).
More of this series:
Until then …