5 Things To Do Before NaNoWriMo Starts


It can be done. The whole idea is just to write, but I find it hard to let go and not know where I am heading. Some people can write like that. I can’t.

So here are five things I am doing before the first of November to get me going. It’ll be my first NaNoWriMo, so I have no idea if it will help.

  1. I need to figure out who the protagonist and the antagonist are
  2. I need to know what is going to happen to them
  3. I need to know where my story starts
  4. I need to know what kind of story I am telling
  5. I need to write a rough story timeline

None of this is cast in stone. I write it down in the beginning so that I have something to refer back to when I get lost. I am happy to ignore these if what I am writing is magically working without it, but they will get me going and they may get me back on track. It seems I am going to be one of those crazy people after all. I’ll let you know if it works.

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 by Mia Botha

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This article has 11 comments

  1. Georgia

    This will be my second NaNoWriMo. I “won” last year (got the 50K words) but that story died in revisions.

    Most NaNo’ers focus only on the 50K number and let quality slide a bit, but I haven’t been able to let my inner editor remain that silent.

    It’s a fun experiment but it’s definitely not for everybody.

  2. Terrance Leon Austin

    Thanks Mia. I will give it a shot at implementing these ideas. Bless you.

  3. Michael Komane

    It’ll be my first time too, though I’m panicking for ideas.

  4. Arshia

    Thank you Mia! Nice to have a face to go with Writer’s Write. I hope to finish NaNo this time.

  5. Kristen

    This will be my first year as well. I’ve known about it for several years, but have never had the courage or time to do it. This year things are different and I think I’m ready for the challenge. Thanks for your beginning ideas, this is going to be fun. Good luck to all the participants and may your muse be with you!!

  6. Katie

    Good luck! I have won and lost NaNo over the last several years. My first and third years were the most fun. I have a great idea, and I am trying again this year. The year I had a long outline, and notecards listing the scenes I needed for each chapter was the easiest year to win.
    You can do it!

  7. Kerry Gowin

    This will be my second Nanowrimo. I did not make it to the end on the first try. I am using Ywriter this year. It’s a free download. The developer is a former Nanowrimo participant.

  8. JDC

    In Times New Roman 11 pt. that’s only 2 pages per day.
    My current project is non-fiction but I intend to use this challenge anyway.
    Now, there is a fiction story that is beating on the doors of my head, begging to be let out, but it will have to be patient.

  9. Melora Johnson

    I’ve done NaNoWriMo for several years now. I’ve won just using prompts and writing off the top of my head, actually got several good short stories that way, but this year I am planning. I’ve done some blog posts on it, including a calendar of inspiration and word countdown, which anyone can print out. Good luck!

  10. Jewel Pinkston

    This is my third attempt and strangely enough three years have passed since my second attempt. I have my antagonist(s), protagonist, and a very rough outline. But, will that be enough to keep me going through the entire month? I hope so.

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