Pre-NaNoWriMo Preparations

Almost every year, I contemplate participating in NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month. I get an idea for a book, take some notes, plan it a little bit, and…often nothing happens. I come to the realisation that I’m much too busy to participate. Usually.

This year, I’m working full-time. But that’s it. No school or college. No assignments hanging over my head. Nothing but the 9-5:30 job keeping me from writing. And the thing is, that’s entirely manageable. The very first time I attempted NaNoWriMo, in 2008, I was in my final year at school, with lots of homework to be done, and I still “won”. With several hours every weekday, and every single weekend off, I don’t have an excuse not to take part this year.

Instead, I have a to-do list before it begins.

to do list pre-nanowrimo

As it stands, I’ve edited The Princess Who Lost Her Manners already. It’s a friend’s picture book, and the “editing” was simply getting the files publishing-ready for her, because of my prior experience in that area.

I’ve also done a fair amount of work on my website’s homepage, though how close to finished it is I’m still not sure. I still need to add pretty much all of the content to the site, and I’ve got a week to do it.

As far as my plan for the book is concerned, I haven’t done very much. I might be kept writing for the first day, before the plan runs dry, and that’s a problem. So, I’ve got to address that – it’s more important than any other task on the list, because without it, I can’t really participate. I can work on book covers and my website during or after NaNoWriMo, but the plan needs to be finished before November 1st.

Now, I’ve got my characters figured out already. That part’s sorted and settled; they’ve got names, they’ve got goals, and they’ve got their basic storylines more or less figured out as a result of that. But I haven’t plotted it out so that the story keeps itself going properly, and so the characters’ lives interact as they should.

My novel, entitled The Marked Ones, is a six-POV superhero novel; I’ll be addressing the events of the story as seen by six people, some of whom have abilities, others of whom don’t, and all of whom will be dealing with some of the same events as they strive towards their own goals.

I probably should have chosen a simpler story. Or began planning sooner, and much more aggressively.

It doesn’t help that I’ve decided to increase my social media activity with NaNoWriMo approaching. So that’ll be fun to deal with. More Facebook posts through my author page, more blog posts, more updates on Twitter – basically, just more. I’ll be tracking my progress, while trying to offer advice and insights throughout the month, and beyond.

The words “biting off more than I can chew” come to mind.


About Paul Carroll

Paul Carroll is a writer, born, raised and still living in Dublin. By day he's a student and bookseller, by night he writes fiction and uses social media.
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