Exercises, writing

NaNo ’18: Choosing the Right Project

While NaNo Prep is inching away, there’s still a little bit of time left to choose your project for the insane dash that is NaNoWrimo. Although I’ve already chosen mine, there’s always something more to do to prepare for a challenge as big as NaNo.

Depending on your writing process, there’s a couple of things you may need to consider. For plotter or planner writers, now is when you absolutely need to start making your plans for the story you want to tell. Take a day or two and find some concepts to mesh together. Check out writing prompts, or revisit old ideas that didn’t pan out before. Then start putting your plan together.

As a plotter, you might be drawn more towards a story you feel is well-structured already. It may be easier for you to outline or plot your story in the remaining days of Prep Season. If you’re torn between multiple ideas, try setting a timer and throwing down a quick summary of each idea as far as you have it envisioned so far. This may help you spot where you have more work to do, or help you realize which story you have the most motivation for.

For my fellow pantser and discovery writers, now is most certainly the time to be pulling inspiration! You might try making a list of ideas or things you want to look at, so that if you do come across something you find interesting, you don’t have to waste time hunting it down again. If you have an idea of what you wan the story to be like already, start doing research and making notes now for anything you can foresee needing.

It’s certainly easy for discovery writers to find inspiration, but staying power is going to be key. Take a look at which ideas provide the most fuel for you, inspiration-wise. Remember you can always cut things later, but for NaNo, the most important part might be making sure you have enough material to get through the entire month.

Regardless of your style, also make sure you’re fully prepared to take a step back and try a new approach! If you’re accustomed to letting things come to you as they will, don’t be afraid to try and do a little planning and organizing to keep your ideas straight. If you usually spend more time planning and outlining, don’t be afraid to jump into an idea without a plan, or deviate from what you had originally.



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