Oct 5, 2018

Preptober // Happy Friday

November is known as the National Novel Writing Month, also known as NanoWriMo. For those interested you aim to write a 50,000 word novel during the month of November. I had heard about it two years ago but since it was already into November by then I didn't do it. But last year I remember - a couple weeks into October but I remembered. So I started prepping with what was left in October so I could take part during the month of November. (You can read about my daily experience here: Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, Week 5.)

I definitely remembered this year and during the last week of September I actually started setting up my notebook for ideas, outlining and character sketches. I wanted to be all ready for Preptober, which is basically just prepping for NanoWriMo during the month of October. 

And truthfully I need all the time I can get this year because my idea is definitely not as strong and formed this year as it was last year. I still love my story from last year and actually just finished editing the first draft during the month of September (it took me awhile to get back to it for various reasons I'm not going to get back into today). I definitely need the month of October to form my story and figure out my characters. 

But today I wanted to show off my Preptober notebook. Some people don't like to plan and just sit down and start writing during November and just go with it. But I'm afraid I will get so lost that I will end up losing track then get discouraged and stop. I have a lot going on this year and quite frankly I have pregnancy focusing issues so I need all the extra help I can get so I wanted to spend as much time planning as I could. 

I have a notebook from last year too where I did a little prepping and wrote down a lot of notes. But I wanted to start fresh with a new notebook with a new year to keep everything separate. So I got me a notebook and started setting it up with what I thought would be useful information and prep information to help me be successful during November. 

This is just a basic notebook from Target. I loved my notebook from last year but it wasn't spiral and it didn't even stay open very well so that was a bit frustrating. Although I always prefer dot grid in my bullet journal I wanted lined for this notebook because this was pretty straight forward and I wasn't going to be doing any doodling or crazy anything, so I figured lined would be easiest. 

Just like with all my notebooks I put together an index page so I could quickly refer to something when I needed to. I have thought about color coding but I can't seem to decide, so for now I'm just sticking with the index for reference (I do have to number my own pages which I'm just doing as I go along then going back and putting them into my index).

Next is my preptober checklist. These are just things I want to make sure I establish/do before November. I give myself my deadlines for things like my plot and character sketches. I also have basic things like figuring out the point of view and putting together a writing playlist. This is something that is exactly the same as last year (other than the dates) and I can always add to if I need to. 

Next I have an October and November calendar setup. This is just the basic bullet journal style. I just wanted to have dates and what is going on over the next two months so I can see what kind of time I have and figure out how to work out writing and prepping during that time. November is definitely more open than October at this point but that doesn't mean it can't fill up fast and having an idea of your time during helps when trying to write a certain number of words a day. 

Next is my Title Ideas page and my Plot Ideas page. I obviously blocked off my ideas because I don't want to share what I am working on, but these two pages are pretty straight forward. I think it's good to have somewhere to jot ideas down when you need to. 

At this point I have no idea what I am going to name my characters but you have to start somewhere. I have a two-page spread where I can write down any names I hear or see that I like as a possibility. I didn't blur these out because just because they are on the list doesn't mean I will use them as a character, it just means I like the name or am toying around with using the name. 

These pages are all reference pages I copied from various websites that I thought would be useful when developing characters. The first of those is character achetypes that I got from tamicowden.com and this lays out characters and their personalities and even gives you some idea of what kind of characters to think about in popular culture when writing. It's definitely interesting to look back at your favorite books now and think about the development of those characters and where they fall. 

Then there is 33 Ways to Write Stronger Characters. A good story has good characters and it never hurts to have more ideas in how to write a good solid character. This one I got from well-storied.com.

The last two pages come from 16personlities.com which basically breaks down personality types. On this site you can take a free test and find your personality type. It doesn't necessarily hurt to take the test from your character's point of view and and find out where your characters fit in. You want your characters to be as well round as you can and by knowing about their archetype and personality type, it hurts make those strong characters. 

Next is my settings page. I probably should have let more room for this settings in order to build my world. If I'm choosing a real place then this is a great place to write down locations and research what those places look like. If I'm building a world then I can draw maps and design my world anyway I want. I haven't decided where my story is located yet but in the future I will probably give myself more room to build that world. 

Next comes my all my plot information. This is first similar to the character archetypes, only its for plots. This just gives you a reference of how to look at your story and what you for your plot to convey. 

Then comes a basic drawing of a novel. It's just a visual reference to see how things may fall within an act (if you break it down into a three act story) and how to develop your story.

These pages are just putting more detail behind the plot visual. These page talk more about each act and each section within an act and what should happen during those sections. Another good reference if you need guidance of where your story should go. 

I also wrote out some information about point of view. Before you start your novel you should really choose your point of view so you can stick with it throughout the book and make your story more consistent. Although it's information I already know I thought it would still be good to have a quick reference, just in case. 

Next comes my tracker. You could probably put this near the front of a notebook if you wanted but I just stuck it in wherever. I have two different trackers this year. One to color in as I hit a word count goal which is basically where I should be after each day since the goal is to write 1,667 words a day. The other tracker is a way to see how many words I am able to do each day and breaks it down into more information. However you think would be useful to track is definitely what I recommend. If you just want to write until you get to 50,000 words then go for it. 

Then I have a place to write down songs that I feel go along with my story and inspire me this NanoWriMo. It's nice to have a reference since when I go back later to edit, I can reference those same songs for that same inspiration and quite frankly I may not completely remember all those songs a few months from now. 

The last thing I have written out/am willing to show off in this notebook is this character profile. This is just a quite reference I will use when I start to develop my characters. 

So that's it. Next in my notebook is a bunch of post-it notes that I have jotted down ideas and such for my story for when I start writing out an outline and my character sketches. I am just in the beginning process of that but it's still early in the month still. 

I'm really looking forward to NanoWriMo this year. It's hard to say how well I will due considering I will be due in December and there is just a lot going on. But I want to give it a go again this year. 

But I wanted to share my Preptober/NanoWriMo notebook in case you wanted to take on NanoWriMo and needed some help getting started or for some inspiration. 

Have a great weekend!
Happy Friday!

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