NaNo-Prep (Or Lack Thereof)

Writing Books

I decided about two weeks ago that I would be giving NaNoWriMo a shot this year. The consensus seems to be that a writer should start a new manuscript to gain the most out of it. The goal is to reach 50,000 words on a first draft by the end of November. That averages to about 1,600 words a day. It seems daunting, but I feel confident I can do this.

Problem is, I have no middle for my new novel idea, Ouija Bitches (working title). I have a beginning and an idea of how I want it to end, but no clue what the middle should be. In the NaNo community there’s a lot of talk of Pantsers, Plantsters, and Plotters. From what I gather, most people are Plansters, people who plot out their novel before hand and improvise a lot of it along the way.

I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. I’ve already written several novels, a ton of short stories. I have a bajillion rejection letters from publishing companies and literary agents. Because of my most recent round of rejections, I decided to take a more critical look at my story structure, and my craft. I know that I have great stories, but I realize now that my execution is amateur. If I want to get published, which is my end game, I need to get my shit straight and study.

To prep for NaNo, I’ve been reading a lot about how to approach story structure. I bought a bunch of books that I had no time to read, and definitely won’t be able to read during November. But they’ll be on hand, and I can read them before I read through my first draft with a critical eye.


This is my final night to Outline. I’m sure I’ll have to revise my plan a ton. I found a ton of great resources. This is the best structure guide I’ve found, from Helping Writers Become Authors: The Secrets of Story Structure.

From: Helping Writers Become Authors

From: Helping Writers Become Authors

Despite finding some awesome resources, I didn’t outline yet. Some people say they don’t outline and they wing it, but I don’t think that will work out well for me. Still … I doubt a middle is going to come to me between now and my first 1,600 words tomorrow. WE’LL SEE HOW THIS GOES!

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