How I’m Preparing for NaNoWriMo [Preptober]

What’s up, everybody! My name is Q’Zion, and welcome to The Joys and Trials of a Christian Teen!

If you haven’t already heard, National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo fo short) starts on November 1st … and that means that it’s time to write a novel! In case you aren’t familiar with NaNoWriMo, here is the official website’s description of their Young Writers’ Program;

National Novel Writing Month is a fun, empowering approach to creative writing. The challenge: draft an entire novel in just one month. For 30 wild, exciting, surprising days, you get to lock away your inner editor, let your imagination take over, and just create!

Our Young Writers Program supports under-18 writers and K-12 educators as they participate in our flagship event each November, and take part in smaller writing challenges year-round.

ywp.nanowrimo.org

In other words, NaNoWriMo is a writing challenge–both for adults and kids/teens in the Young Writers Program–to reach a personalized word goal by writing every day until November 30th! No editing or revising; just writing.

I’ve “participated” in this challenge for the last couple years, but I’ve never actually gotten my project off of the ground. However, this year I’m planning on writing a 50,000 word novel, starting on Tuesday! Ambitious, right? But don’t be fooled; I didn’t decide to do this challenge unprepared. Today, I’ll be discussing some of the ways that I’ve been preparing for National Novel Writing Month! Let’s get started!

Established my goals for the challenge

For me, NaNoWriMo is an opportunity for me to write everyday, quit worrying about making my writing perfect, have fun, and produce a novel in the process. Although my blog has significantly increased the amount that I write, NaNoWriMo will push that to the next level, and I think that my word goal will really challenge me to increase my writing skills and hold back on my perfectionist ways. The challenge is really all about having a good time doing what I love to do; write. So that’s something I plan to keep in mind throughout the entire process.

Made a schedule (sort of)

Okay, so I haven’t made a schedule where I’ve figured out the exact dates and times that I will be working on my novel; after all, every day is different. But I do know that in order to reach my word count goal by the end of November, I’m going to need to write 1667 words every day. That means that even if I can’t write that many words on a day that I’m busy, I could make up for it on a weekend or on a day when I don’t have much on my schedule. Having an idea of how much you need to write to reach your goal–in baby steps–is super helpful to break down the task in front of you without it being too intimidating.

Gotten to know my characters

In the novel that I am almost done with drafting, I pretty much dove into the writing process with the idea and built on that from there. And while that was fun to try, that project has been at a stand-still for a while, now. Since writer’s block is not really an option when you have 30 days to write a novel, I did a little (no a LOT) more planning this time around. For each of my characters I filled out a questionare on who they are, what they like to do, where they live, their personalities, etc., and I think that really payed off. Now, I can picture how each of the characters look in my head, and I have a better perspective on who they are as individuals. And considering that characters are one of the most important parts of a story, that will be super helpful for me, later on.

Established my setting

Usually, settings aren’t something I do a whole lot of thinking about when I get an idea for a story. Like with my characters, I kind of go where the plot wants me to go. But this time, my novel takes place in a magical kingdom split into 4 (meaning there are four pairs of a king and queen.) Each kingdom has their own customs, geography, and citizens with their own personalities and behaviors. Therefore, establishing my complex setting for this story was a crucial part of making my novel’s first draft as well-executed as possible.

Prepared small rewards with my family

Right after I decided to participate in NaNoWriMo, I made sure I discussed it with Goodmommy. She was so supportive that she even purposed that every time I write 5,000 words toward my goal, she’ll give me 5 bucks! And every 25,000 words, we’ll go out for ice cream! Awesome, right?!? To be honest, I think getting family support and small rewards to look forward to will make NaNoWriMo so much more fun!

Outlined my plot

Finally, I outlined all of the major events of my plot. At first, I wasn’t planning on doing this AT ALL. But I’ve had a pint full of motivation lately, thank God, so I ended up going for it. Now that my plot outline is complete, it will most likely save me from running into writer’s block halfway through November. And as a writer, that’s almost always something to celebrate.


By now, I’m quite sure you guys can already tell, but I’m super stoked to get involved in the hype of NaNoWriMo. Although I realize 50,000 words is a pretty steep goal for my first time doing this challenge, I’m more than confident that I can reach it! Please tell me down below, are you participating in NaNoWriMo this year? If so, what are some things you’re doing to prepare? And if not, have you ever heard of National Novel Writing Month?

Have a happy and healthy rest of your day, everyone! God bless you all and I’ll catch you next time! Peace in! ♡