NaNoWriMo ~ Are You Prepared?

Welcome to Rudan Thursdays where we talk about…things! Anything from books and movies, to blog posts and authors, to food and drink.

Today, I’m sharing the blog I posted last Saturday over on NKotWB (that’s New Kids on the Writer’s Block, or New Kids, for those that don’t know. Look on my sidebar – go check us out). It’s all about preparing for NaNoWriMo, courtesy of in-depth tips n’ tricks by none other than Mr. Larry Brooks.

Here we go…

As most of you are aware, NaNoWriMo is right around the corner. I stumbled across whilst perusing my good friend, Gene Lempp’s blog treasures one day…and I’m SO glad I did!

Larry Brooks, author of DARKNESS BOUND and BAIT AND SWITCH, is The Storyfixer.

Recently, he’s been writing posts specifically for NaNoWriMo, and I wanted to share what he’s posted so far with you. So here we go:

#1 – Nail Your NaNoWriMo. Larry kicks off his series telling us that while the name of the game in November is to write and finish our novel, we can begin to develop it in October – start early, be ahead of the game. In this first NaNoWriMo tip, Larry says, Know What You Are Planning ~ imagine that story inside of you inside and out, frontward and backward, and side to side. Visualize all of the angles, visualize the different arcs, characters, plot points. Really immerse yourself in it.

#2 – Keep Your Character Close To Home. Larry says by casting yourself in the lead role, you will develop a character full of visceral emotion and hardy responses.

#3 – Vet and Fertilize Your Story “Idea.” In this tip, Larry explains the differences between “winning” and “succeeding,” as well as “idea” and “story concept.” ~ Differences every writer should know.

#4 – Tell Your Story In Context To…Something. Larry offers tools to enlighten and empower…priceless.

#5 – Don’t Forget To Fall In Love. Use NaNoWriMo to your advantage. Don’t just sit at the computer and “see what happens,” take the concept that speaks to you, that you dream about, that you see in the back of your mind every day, and write that story. Live it, breathe it. Put 200% into it. Fall in love with it.

#6 – Filling Out The Big Picture. Before you can write your story, you must be sure to have three key elements in place. Larry outlines each of these categories in easy to understand language that’ll have you sittin’ up and takin’ notes. So get to it.

#7 – The Most Important Moment In Your Story. Your first plot point. Larry gives advice and tools on how to get it right, even during NaNoWriMo.

#8 – Why and How Your First 12 to 15 Scenes Are Different. Because the First Plot Point is so important and so pivotal to your novel, Larry goes into it further here. He also gives great information for more in-depth study.

#9 – Take A Hike. During the planning stages, it’s easy to become confused and feel adrift. Larry says to take some time to verbally work through these moments with a partner who will quietly listen to you. This can literally be a hike, or as is my case, you can work through it on the elliptical at the gym. He also gives a fantastic bonus tip – you gotta see this.

#10 – Specifics On How To Plan Your Story. Larry dissects and defines each level of story planning: The Visionary Level, The Architectural Level, and The Construction Level. Keys to NaNoWriMo success!

#11 – Cast Your Story With Familiar Faces. Here’s a tip that I not only practice myself, but I’ve also heard about recently from another peer. Using a color photo of an actor as a visual aide is very helpful in adding depth and edge to your character’s personality.

#12 – May The “Forces” Be With You. Here, Larry breaks down five powerful forces, or physics, behind the core competences of writing.

#13 – Begin To Write It Down. Wait just a minute! No cheating here…it ain’t November 1st yet, kiddies… Larry explains in detail just exactly what the heck a beat sheet is, finally.

#14 – Surrender To The Process. The halfway-point pep talk. Definitely need this right now. All of this prep work is a lot to take in, a lot to process, and a lot to manage. Whew!

So there you have it…we’re not finished, not by a long shot, but this is a fantastic start to planning for NaNoWriMo. I encourage all of you to subscribe to immediately so you don’t miss out on the upcoming posts (which you need to head over there right after you finish this to get posts 15 ~ 19!) but if you don’t – for what reason I can’t imagine – I will post a follow-up to this one next week…just in time for Day 1 of NaNoWriMo.

So talk to me. What do you think about Larry Brook’s approach to novel planning? Are you prepared for NaNoWriMo? What do you do differently? Are you going to participate in NaNoWriMo? Why, or why not?

12 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo ~ Are You Prepared?

  1. I’m reading Larry’s posts every day, but we’ll see if I actually apply any of it this year! Last year I made up an entire story on the fly. =) still revising it…lol

  2. Very interesting! I’ll have to check the original post out now. This is especially helpful, since I am compiling links about NaNo for the lovely ladies at (are you over there?).

    I am a serious pantser (I call it being “pantsless”) so I am really trying with having SOMETHING planned before November.


    1. Very cool. I haven’t been over to…I’ve heard a lot about it, and always tell myself I need to get over there, but whatever reason or another never seem to make it. I’ll have to make a better effort now 🙂

  3. I can’t WAIT for Nano! I’m so excited about my story idea. I have only the characters and part of their GMC figured out. I ALWAYS cast my characters, even when I’m not writing Nano-style. I can’t seem to actually write the story well until I know which actor will portray which character. Good luck to everyone entering!

  4. Oh I’ll be checking these out. I’m planning on nanoing this November and I don’t want to get blocked like last year so I do want to plan ahead and get my outline going. Thanks for these tips! Look forward to tracking our progress!

  5. Fantastic to find everything in one place Kate – Fahhhbulous! I am not doing NaNo but these are great writing resources in general. Thanks so much and really appreciate the description info – rockin’!!!

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