Behold the NaNo Prep

Since my announcement about signing up for NaNo, I have spent countless hours scouring the Internet for new ways to procrastinate, including but not limited to:
  • catching up on all of my TV shows,
  • re-watching old episodes of Gilmore girls
  • and cleaning my entire apartment in a way I haven’t done since… ever (it’s really, really clean).

My next procrastinating chore is to set up my office…. Or at the very least take all of my office stuff out of the boxes they’ve been in since June. That’ll probably warrant a trip to the recycling bin.

Side Bar Start 
To be honest, I don’t know if I WANT to set up my office just yet. Christine DenOuden (an amazing interior designer and also my sister) from Kleur Design is preparing a Room in a Box for me; I’m going to have the most kick-ass office in town. I mean that! In all of Montreal, my office is going to be the best. I will post pictures when it’s complete, so that you can marvel at the amazing-ness that will be my office. So now, the ultimate question is, do I unpack everything NOW just to have to move it all when I set up my office? Or do I wait and unpack later. Oh the dilemmas!
Side Bar Complete

This is the cover of probably the only writing a novel kit I will ever own… and thus the best one.

In between all of that procrastination, I have actually progressed in my NaNo prep. I’ve read advice blogs by veteran NaNoers and gone over my “You Can Write a Novel” kit by James V Smith… It’s a great reference/how to guide for genre fiction. I was previously working on a Fantasy for which this kit has been a huge help, but have since put on hold due to indecisive plotting. The unfortunate part is that, though I can apply some of the tips to my NaNo project, my new story is not genre fiction and thus doesn’t follow all of those handy dandy rules.

For those of you participating in NaNo or even just trying to write your own novel at your own pace, here are some of the blogs I have found helpful:

  • My You Can Write a Novel kit would be at the top of this list, even though it’s not an online resource… but you can check out James V Smith’s website… Write from Paradise
  • Tips from a NaNo Professor found on the Office of Letters & Light blog (the organizing entity behind NaNo)
  • My Municiple Liaison’s Blog introducing NaNa
  • BookCountry discussions – there is a lot of great advice there for writers of all walks of life…
  • For organizing your character sheets, scene descriptions and more, I use Evernote – I’ll expand on this more in a later post… it’s not a blog for tips on how to write/plan, but I figured I’d sneak that in here anyway.
  • There are more blogs I’ve looked at, I just forgot to make note of them. I will try to remember in the future!
So, here’s what I’ve actually completed so far:
  • Formulated an outline (gasp)
  • Developed some characters. Well, two of them. The main ones. Who I really already had formulated when I conceived the story and thus my productivity on those characters was really just typing up what I had in my head.
  • Outlined the inciting action scene, the climax scene and two minor scenes
  • Planned a side arc/story based on the October Prep Challenge proposed by my ML (it involves having a side story/arc about a minor character whereby five literary devices/stages are used – tragedy, comedy, etc. etc. – and a chef completely ruins an entire meal + the food for the rest of the weekend… haven’t quite ironed out how to include the chef part… but I’m getting there) In my case, since my main character is in a mental institution, one of the other patients is going to be a kleptomaniac who constantly steals people’s things, hides them, then freaks out about losing them. I’m sure that will provide enough literary devices! I think. I hope. Moving on…

Now I’m at the stage where I’m formulating the other characters. You know, all those side characters that you don’t really give much thought, but that add realism to the narrative. For example: the doctor… what is the doctor going to look like? How is he/she going to act? Will he/she be a he or a she? Will he/she be surly or pleasant…. Even if the doctor only appears for one scene, these details are important. The more believable your characters are, the  better the story (due to relate-ability and all that).

Granted, if your plot has a thousand tiny holes in it,  most people will notice; hopefully if the characters are real to the reader, they don’t mind over looking a few thousand plot hopes. Especially if the story takes place in the real world and was written in a month.
I’ll cement my plot. Geez, you guys are so demanding.
Have any tips or suggestions for plotting a story & want to share them? Feel like disagreeing with me or telling me how awesome I am? Comment here! 

One Response to “Behold the NaNo Prep

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