Hello Authors of the Internet!

It’s that time of year again. November is almost upon us, and with November, comes NaNoWriMo! If you happen to be unaware of what NaNoWriMo is, you can find more info here.

So we have 30 days to write 50000 words, which for some people, may be a full novel. But if you’re one for hefty novels like I am, 50K may be only half a manuscript. Either way, proper preparations for this battle is absolutely necessary if you want to create an at least a decent manuscript by the end of November.

(Note: If you happen to be a pantser, I understand if you do not want to go into any prep. But at least having a general idea of what you are going to be working on.)

So where do you start?

Well, what book do you plan to work on? (For example, I’m working on adding 50K to my book’s sequel.) Decide the genre of your book, a title, even if you plan on changing it, and a basic plot idea. If you are a pantser, this may as far as you may go before November hits.

But if you prefer to plot out your books before you start, like I do, I would go on to also create several large and small plot points within the story, so you have an idea of in what the structure your novel is going into.

Tip: Write ALL NaNo notes in ONE journal, to ensure all of your information is in one place, and you won’t be scrambling for notes during November. Write any idea you get for that story in that journal.

For Characters, I found that I really like avatarmaker.com and rinmarugames.com to make a visual of what they look like. Examples of both are below. I suggest doing something like this for all your major characters. (P.S. I am aware that the eyes colors are different on boy boys. I really prefer the second option because he turned out a bit more like I imagined him.)

For setting, Pintrest is my best friend. (Also good for photos of your characters.) I look up ideas like ‘fantasy city’ or ‘rustic cabin’ to help me better describe when I need to. Compile all images you like into a board you can call ‘settings’ and/or the title of your book/series.

When getting ideas for plot, I’ve found that reading lots of fiction works best, although many writers may disagree with me on this one.

If I like an idea used in a different book, I like to usually play with it, and mold it into something that will fit my own book. It isn’t usually the same as the original idea in the end.

Essentials for my NaNo journey for the past 4 years, including some new additions for this year include:

  • Coffee
  • books
  • Sweet food
  • Sleep
  • Water
  • A computer
  • Pinterest
  • My NaNo journal.

Sorry this post in kind of short. What are your NaNo essentials? Are you plotting or pantsing this November? Let me know in the comments below! Also, let me know of your NaNo username so I can buddy you! I’m on both YWP’s site and the normal site.

See you in the comments.

Until next time.

Gabriella Slade


Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in Author Relates, Inspiration, Journals, Writing AdviceLog in or Register to save this content for later.


Hi, I'm Gabriella Slade, YA Supernatural Fantasy Author of Show Me, Book 1 of The Dragon Artifact's Series. I blog every Monday on my website, gabriellaslade.com. Link in my about page.

View all posts


Who’s Online

There are no users currently online


Most Viewed Posts

Check out Teen Writers Conference!