NaNoWriMo Prep

So… It’s that time of the year again! NaNoWriMo (and for people who have no idea what I’m talking about, National Novel Writing Month: aka where writers aim to write a book in a month—you can read more about it here!) is juuuuuussst around the corner. If I’m being honest, I wasn’t sure I’d compete this year. A few posts ago I talked about how I was a bit burnt out from writing and how I fell back in love with writing again & my current MS, and I realized this is the perfect way to continue that. I’ve spent most of…okay, all of…this year editing, revising, and sometimes completely rewriting some manuscripts from scratch. It’s been…interesting.

But I’m so, so excited to dive into this new concept, because it feels like it’s been forever since I’ve had a chance to let myself be bad at writing, since I’ve let myself draft something just for fun instead of revision (although I DO love revision.) I intend on working on my YA high fantasy Fae novel I’ve been dyinnnggg to draft, because yes, I’m totally obsessed with anything and everything that’s elves/Fae related. I have a current working title, which I love, but I won’t share it yet incase it doesn’t stick.

I also plan on blogging weekly with my NaNo adventures, so keep an eye out for that. And add me as a writer buddy on the NaNoWriMo website, because I LOVE meeting new writer friends. 🙂 … And I think we’ll ALL need as much encouragement as possible to get through November in one piece. Join me on Twitter too, where I’m thinking about hosting some writing sprints throughout the month.

nano-2017-participant-badgeAs we’re nearing November, I’ve been thinking a lot about prep…and how I, personally, prep for NaNoWriMo. I’ve always been a bit of a pantser (if you don’t know, pantser = no plotting… Just winging it, basically), because I love to be surprised by the twists and turns in my story as I write it. But sometimes it’s not always the best approach. I know people who meticulously outline every detail of their novel, and others like me who finds that outlining rigidly kills the creative process. The more I write, the more I get to know how my writing process works, and how it changes with each novel I write, and how each novel is a different journey.

In saying that, I’ve realized I’m this strange amalgamation of a pantser and a plotter. Generally, before I write the novel, I’ve had the plot/concept/characters in my mind for some time. Before I write it, I have to be excited and passionate about the novel…or it’s just not going to work.

Prep-wise, here’s what I like to know before I start an exploratory draft:

  • The beginning (this is super important for me—if I’m stuck at the beginning then I’m just going to get frustrated, and want to quit.)
  • The middle and/or the major turning point in the story (for me, it doesn’t have to be a massive plot point—it might just be a shift in my protagonist’s attitude, a reveal of some sort, or something that pushes my characters toward their goals.)
  • The end (this is an obvious one, but I find it difficult to start a novel if I don’t know how it’s going to end, so knowing how the novel ties up helps me come up with key points along the way.)
  • A few key scenes I’m DYING to write (these are the scenes that are aching to spill out of me, the ones that, even when writing is tough, keep me going, because they just need to be written.)

I’ll also have a playlist ready to listen on a loop as I write, and I’ll share some of the songs with you guys during November. If you’re a visual plotter, then Pinterest is also an AWESOME way to prep…and totally counts as research. I’ve been plotting by hand, too, which I absolutely love, and do before every draft/set of revisions, because it makes the novel feel like, well, a real novel, and my perspective on the book changes.

And my final piece of advice

Write the novel that’s aching to be told. Write the tale that’s burning to be set free. Write the tale you’re not sure you can, because it seems too large, too scary, too raw. That’s the story you must tell.

Now I’m off to power through the rest of the novel I’m working on, so fingers crossed I’ll have it finished by the end of October.

Writers out there: Are you doing NaNoWriMo next month? How do YOU prep for the event?

P.S: Have you guys seen The Last Jedi trailer yet?!! Literally watched it about five times now, and I’m obsessed. The music, the voice-overs…I get chills every time. Can’t WAIT for this movie, and Rey looks completely badass.

Currently reading: Just finishing up CRIMSON BOUND (which is amazing!) I then intend to devour Beren and Lúthien. ❤

Currently listening to: Melodrama (Album) by Lorde.

8 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo Prep

  1. Kristi says:

    I’ve been debating what to write for the last week, going between 3 options, and 2 nights ago thought started thinking that a 4th option might be the way to go.

    “Write the tale you’re not sure you can, because it seems too large, too scary, too raw. That’s the story you must tell.”

    This is exactly what I need to tell myself to have the courage to decide for sure to do that 4th option. It’s a story that I know I need to write eventually, but it’s always been out there in the distance, huge and imposing, encompassing, literally, years of time in my main series of stories. It will probably also be one of the darkest things I’ve ever written. But I’m going to do it.

    I am a plantser. I will outline, but probably leave a lot of gaps, maybe even stop the outline before it’s done. But I’m already discovering things about my MC, just in trying to decide if I should write this or not, that I never knew, which makes me realize how little I do know. I know from experience that I do not do well pantsing, so I’ll do some freewriting with this character in mind, and outline the parts of the plot that I know have to happen, and go from there.

    Good luck with your NaNo!


    • karaterzis says:

      I’m so glad it helped!! Writing that story that means so much to us can be super, super difficult, but I think, in the end, it’s something every writer NEEDS to do: dig deep into themselves to tell that story, no matter how hard (and how much we’re scared of failure.) I’ve come to the conclusion that I must be a plantser, too. Going head-first into a story without much thought or outlining will usually just end up falling flat. But knowing EVERYTHING about my tale does work for me, either. So I guess being a mixture of the two is the way for me to go. 🙂

      And good luck for you, too—we’re all here to cheer you on. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Cait @ Paper Fury says:

    Yay for NaNo! I mean I feel bad getting excited for it because I’ll be done in 4 days.😂But whatever. I love the community and camaraderie! And I’m one of those meticulous plotters…and honestly NOT doing that would kill my creative process. I kind of love how different we writers all are?!? We can come up with magical amazing stories in SUCH different ways and it’s so brilliant. I’m basically “prepping” by…not prepping. 😂 I haven’t even got my pinterest board started but I’m NEARLY ready to write out my outline. *fingers crossed*


    • karaterzis says:

      Four days!? I’m fairly certain you could do it in TWO. 😂 I know, right?! It’s so interesting to read about everyone’s process and how different we are! And I have SO much respect for people like you who plot so well! I just…don’t have the motivation, haha, and I think it would just kill my desire to write the story. Good luck with your outline!!


  3. UnicornDustBooks says:

    I’m SO excited for NaNo!! Personally, I HAVE to outline before I begin any new project, because it’s actually my outline that keeps my creativity flowing, not the other way around! I find when I don’t have one I become lost and frustrated and bored…not so good for keeping a novel going. I’m excited to read more about your project 🙂 Here’s to hoping we all have a productive November!


    • karaterzis says:

      I love how different we all are!! But whatever works, works (and I think we should totally embrace that.) I used to be SO down on myself for not plotting (because I thought everyone *had* to do it to make a good story.) I do sort-of outline, so, at the very least I know the direction where the book/characters are heading, which is generally enough for me. 🙂

      I hope so, too! Good luck!


  4. skylerboudreau says:

    I am a fellow plotter/pantster! There’s a a new badge called “plaster” available for those kinds of people this year. Pinterest totally counts as research. Totally. I agree. 😉 I’ll definitely check you out on Twitter. I wish you luck, your idea sounds interesting! NaNoWriMo is a great fresh start. 😊


    • karaterzis says:

      Oh my gosh, really? I should check that badge out, haha. And in all seriousness—yes! Pinterest is so incredibly helpful & inspiring…but sometimes I spend a little too much time on that site and it eats into my writing time, haha. Thanks, and good luck to you, you! We CAN do this!

      Liked by 1 person

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