It’s October, and that means my zero prep work for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is feeling some pressure. For years I’ve desired to write a book. I don’t necessarily want to do it to publish; I just want to say I wrote a book! I finally think I am ready to take the plunge. Go big or go home, right? If I am going to try NaNoWriMo, however, I’m the type of person who needs to prep first.

That brings me to now. It’s October, and though I’ve set my mind to writing 50,000 words next month, I’ve done nothing to make that a reasonable goal. I have a basic/brief plot idea; I came up with it when assigned to write the first chapter of a book in a university creative writing class. Since then I’ve written a few more brief scenes, and pondered some character names, but that is it.

To be truly prepared for NaNoWriMo, what would I need to do?

  1. Settle on some character names.
  2. Determine some world-building boundaries.
  3. Maybe figure out how I want this book to end…
  4. …and come up with some ideas for the middle of the book’s plot. At this time, only my beginning is solid.
  5. Flesh out the basic motivations of the main characters.
  6. Make a schedule. One thing is for certain: I know it’s not realistic for me to write every day of November.

So, basically, I want everything planned out before I write it. Yikes! Will I get all of this done before November? Probably not, but at least I know what tasks I need to look at for prioritization.

If you, like myself, hope to write 50,000 words this November, stay tuned for more about this topic. I’ll be blogging my struggle to write thousands of words (almost) daily throughout the month. For those needing more support, CPL is offering several NaNoWriMo Write-In events in November. Glance at a copy of the Loop, or our Classes & Events site for more information! And for those who are also participating in NaNoWriMo, or who did it in the past, share your experience in the comments!



Michaela is a Youth Services Library Assistant for CPL. When she isn't at work, she can be found reading young adult fiction books, visiting a local movie theater or fangirling about all things related to Star Wars.

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