Updated: Oct 11, 2022
'Tis the season for writers around the world to get ready for 30 days of writing frenzy in the biggest fundraising event on the planet. Yes, my friends, it is time to prepare for...
I'm speaking to the NaNo Newbies here. You more than likely have an idea simmering. A vague story plot that's been on your mind for a bit now. How do you flesh it out in time to start writing on November 1st?
Step 1 - Bulk up your Inspiration
Use one or both of the following to bring your book idea to life. Come back to them as often as you need to during your writing process.
Build vision boards. Gather pictures that represent the mood, tone, characters, and settings/scenes that illustrate your book. You can design this in Canva, Pintrest, or go old school and print pictures off the internet, or go real old school and cut them out of magazines However you do it, have images that put you in your story quickly and completely.
These differ from storyboards in that they are sweeping representations of your book overall. Storyboards are visual representations of each scene or in the case of a novel, each major plot point. Storyboards are an option as well, but for the sake of being new to NaNo, I encourage you to keep your prep steps simple.
Build Playlists. Who doesn't love a good soundtrack? Oftentimes, a mediocre movie can be elevated by its soundtrack. The music helps the audience "feel" the movie in ways simple dialog or action can't. The same goes for your story idea. Pick songs that describe your idea; songs that evoke a feeling related to the tone you want to set. Use that playlist to help guide your writing as you go.
Pro-tip - both of these tools not only help you put words to page, you can use them later as part of your book launch and marketing!
*Spoiler alert - I'll be talking about marketing and such soon, so you might want to go ahead and join the Guild, so you don't miss it. Just saying.*
Stay tuned for Steps 2 - 4.
For real, you didn't think I was going to list them all in one post, did you?
A good writer knows you gotta end on a cliffhanger so the reader is sure to come back.
As always, sending light & inspiration.