What’s Preptober, you ask? Well it’s the best month in the whole year (October) and NaNoWriMo Prep time. Hence, Preptober!
It’s the time of year when those of us participating in NaNoWriMo start to brainstorm, to develop our ideas, to come up with Pinterest boards for inspiration (here’s mine
). If you’re a pantser, this might be all that you do, just come up with a vague idea for a story, the characters, etc.
If, like me, you like to plan a little bit more, Preptober is your best friend!
I love knowing my story’s premise before I start writing. Brainstorming is probably my favorite part of the planning process. I love how bits and pieces of things start to come together as I find connections.
Do you use a notebook, Word (Scrivener or Google Doc), or your phone to help you keep track of your growing ideas?
As you plan this October, you’re going to need a place to record your ideas (you don’t want to lose those. That’s the worst
). So make sure you have a notebook or computer document of some sort where you can add to your story idea as you come up with more information. This is also helpful when you have many ideas and are trying to figure out which one you like the best (often that is the idea you have brainstormed the most about).
Once you have your idea– it’s time to develop the world, the characters, the conflict.
This is the really fun part! It’s time to learn more about your characters. Some people like to do detailed character questionaires like this one
. I like to know a lot about my main character and my villain before I start writing. But I also know that a lot of things will change as I write, characters take on a mind of their own once the plot starts. So knowing the basics about your character can’t hurt.
Learning more about the world (and how your characters fit in that world is also really fun).
Even if your novel takes place in present time and in a contemporary setting, you still need to know how that world works.
If it takes place in a high school what is it like? What group(s) of kids do your characters belong to? How does this world work?
If you’ve created a fantasy/science fiction world, you need to do a lot more world building because this world is all yours– it’s your creation. So you create the society, the geography, government—- everything. Here is a huge, comprehensive (and kind of overwhelming) world building questionnaire
that might help you. Even if you don’t answer every question on here, it will help you create more of an idea of how your world works.
How do you plan for NaNoWriMo? Are you more of a planner, or do you just start November with your vague idea and go for it?
This year, I’m trying to be more of a planner and I’m trying Natalia Leigh’s Preptober Workbook
! It’s been really helpful so far, along with my visual brainstorming on Pinterest. I know the basics for my story and am creating the world and the characters this week! I can’t wait to share more with you as I figure it out.