National Novel Writing Month is right around the corner, so let’s find out how you can prepare for it—right now!
Write an outline now. It doesn’t have to be detailed; just get started with some kind of reference. Need help? Download out free novel outlines below:
Just picture it. Draw pictures of your characters or Google pictures of what you think they’d look like.
Get support now. Obviously, what better way to talk about your book than to talk to the NaNos at the NaNoWriMo group. Tell them your book idea or tell them what you’ve written so far. Ask for help! They are the absolute best at getting you quick answers.
Prepare the manuscript. This is actually really fun and can make you feel like a bona fide novelist. Write your title, table of contents (if you have one), acknowledgments, preface, and so on.
Look at book covers. Don’t steal someone else’s book cover, but find ones that you believe would represent your book well. Maybe refer to them when NaNo hits.
Make a NaNo board. This is my favorite part! Get a corkboard or dry erase board and display your outline, character photos, book cover sketches, inspirational quotes—anything that has to do with your book.
Read a book in your same genre. If your book is a coming-of-age novel, pick up A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. See what worked and what didn’t (blasphemy!), and make notes of it for your novel. It’s a great creativity booster.
Pick a NaNo buddy now. We’ve still got three weeks, I know. But find your accountability buddy now. Get together with him and discuss your book and listen to what he has to say about his own. When NaNoWriMo hits and you’re feeling stuck, you can text your NaNo buddy for instant support—or a kick in the pants, whichever.
Make a reward sheet. When you hit 10,000 words, you should get a reward—like a Netflix binge or cheesecake (or bring them together for a beautiful marriage of all that is right in this world). Write a list of rewards that go with each big number you hit. It’ll come in handy, believe me.
Decide on a writing home now. Maybe writing at home isn’t the best fit for you, so decide now where you’d like to write. Your accountability buddy might want to join you at the coffee shop, library, or bookstore.
So what did I miss? What helps you prepare for NaNoWriMo?
An expert editor, seasoned writer, and author-centric marketer, Shayla Raquel works one-on-one with authors and business owners every day. A lifelong lover of books, she has edited over 300 books and has launched several Amazon bestsellers for her clients. Her award-winning blog teaches new and established authors how to write, publish, and market their books. She is the author of the Pre-Publishing Checklist, The Rotting (in Shivers in the Night), and her novel-in-progress, The Suicide Tree. She lives in Oklahoma with her two dogs, Chanel and Wednesday.