With only two days to go before National Novel Writing Month kicks off November 1st, writers around the globe (including me) are getting excited. And I have already started prepping for NaNoWriMo as a Pantser.
NaNoWriMo, for newcomers, is an annual, international, free event where writers (from seasoned pros to dreamers still in grade school) dedicate time to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboards) and write as many words as possible in the month of November, with the goal being a 50,000 word novel.
"So what is a 'Pantser'?" you may ask.
A 'Pantser' is someone who shows up at midnight November 1st with no outlines, no planning, just an inspiration/idea which we forge ahead with until our books are completed.
For writers who wish to be better prepared, there are also 'Planners', who outline their books in advance, and 'Plantsers', who do some basic planning but nothing in-depth (a hybrid of Planner and Pantser).
"Wait," you may say, "What would a Pantser possibly have to do to 'prep' for NaNoWriMo?"
I'm so glad you asked!
Here is my go-to pre-NaNoWriMo checklist:
-1.) "Announce" A NaNo Novel.
If you're new to NaNoWriMo, you'll want to create a free account HERE so that you can "announce" (set up the details about) your writing project for this year and do the other things on this list.
-2.) Find some buddies/join your "home region".
You may have some buddies from previous years, but the more the merrier! Check out your writer friends on social media and exchange usernames to have a list of accountability partners and encouragement set up before day 1. Want an easy start? Add me as a buddy HERE.
Your "home region" will have local events called "write-ins" in your time zone which you can participate in throughout the month.
-3.) Make a writing playlist.
Okay, so I know this may cross the line into "Plantsing" for some, but nothing sets the mood for barreling through 1,600 words a day like an epic playlist.
-4.) Upload a "working cover" and assign your self-awarded badges
NaNoWriMo stats show that authors with a working cover/working title tend to "win" (hit 50,000 words) more than those who do not. Need something cheap? You can get a working cover for as little s $5 US from Getcovers.com HERE (no, I am not being paid/sponsored to promote them and YES, I have used them myself for all of my working covers).
You can find your self-awarded badges section under your "project" once you announce your novel. Anything from which kind of WriMo you're going to be (planner/pantser/plantser) to small-but-important writing milestones.
-5.) Grab your "Halo"
The final thing on my checklist is something I do to give back to the nonprofit organization, "The Office of Letters and Light" who organizes NaNoWriMo every year both for adult writers and for in-school/in-library writing programs.
I want to put a disclaimer that financial donations ARE NOT REQUIRED to participate in NaNoWriMo.
However, when you make a donation of $5 US or more, a digital halo is added above your profile picture. Many writers wait until double-up donation day to claim their halo for the year, but it's always a nice "thank-you" to the group and keeps this amazing project running.
Now that I've shared my checklist, it's time to get ready for NaNoWriMo!
Looking for some prepping help? Want to come join the fun with a live NaNoWriMo launch party? AutoCrit has you covered!
My Written World
Here I share more about the worlds I write, lessons I'm learning as I strive to become a successful author, and my real-life travel and cooking adventures along the way.