I thought of a few more items aspiring NaNoWriMo participants can do to prepare for November:
- Go to your local NaNoWriMo group get-togethers. Of course, writing is a solitary practice, but you can maybe sit in a coffee shop with others pounding away on their stories. Regions also have before and after parties. Just go here to find your region.
- Find an accountability partner. It could be someone else doing NaNoWriMo or even someone who isn’t, but their purpose is to check on you every few days and make you feel guilty if you get behind.
- Writing exercises. Do short fiction writing exercises up until November 1st to whet your appetite. These sessions should have nothing to do with the actual story you will be writing. Just Google fiction writing prompts and see what you can find.
- Don’t prepare at all. I like to have a sketchy outline of the story and at least a short personality description of each major character. Over-preparation works for some, but the act of discovery while writing is 95% of the fun. Or you may the the spontaneous type of person who wants to sit down on November 1st with zero preparation at all and make it up as you go along. Nothing wrong with that either.
Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern and Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen are just two well-known published novels that started as NaNoWriMo endeavors. How’s that for inspiration?