Last-Minute NaNo(or: Story)Prep

Doing some last minute prep for NaNoWriMo? Need to get a handle on your story — quick? Don’t worry. You can still do it.

Here’re a few ways how:

1. Don’t rush yourself.
This is one of the most important steps. Writing is a slow process — to rush through it won’t give you a satisfactory story. You’ll just go back and have to spend more time editing. Haste makes waste, they say.

2. Have a clear idea of your story in your head.
Not just an idea, but a plotline. Try summing your story up in one word. For example, the first book of my series would be: “Selyn gets kidnapped by a boy no older than he, and goes to search for the elusive Infinity Circle.” It’s not pretty-sounding, but it’s clear. Know where you start, where you’re going, and how you’re going to get there.

3. Know your protagonist.
You’re going to be sticking with them for the whole book, so you better know them. You don’t have to know every single detail of their life (that will come later as you write), but at least know their basic personality, looks, age, relationships, etc.

4. Place yourself in your setting.
You might not know exactly what you’re setting is yet, but you should have an idea. Just spend some time imagining yourself in your setting. The details will come to you.

5. Slow down.
Like “Don’t rush yourself,” you also need to slow down. Take some time to just think about your story. Meditate a bit, if you want. Do some yoga. Eat some chocolate. Go to Starbucks and type our some random words. Warm-up and get prepared for the long haul of writing 50,000 words in a month. Have fun with this. Know that it will all work out in the end. Know that you’re doing some great and brave and awesome. Know that you will be a better person, and writer, afterwards. Know that your story is going to thank you. Know that “the world needs your novel,” (credits: the NaNoWriMo site) and this is just the first step in getting it out there.

Most importantly: write.

~ J. Dominique


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