October 27, 2016

Last Year's VS This Year's NaNoWriMo Planning

NaNo is nearly upon us! Only five more days! Gaah!! I'm freaking oooout! But I'm also really excited, so...yay!

Today, I'm taking you through my planning process last year compared to this year! And let me tell you, it's a big difference.

Get your tea/coffee/hot chocolate/water/any other liquid you want to drink and enjoy!

Last year, I didn't find out about NaNo till around the middle of October...sooooo I didn't have a lot of time to plan. But I had an idea for a story already that I was gonna write before I knew about the competition. So I planned it out and was really happy with it. I was waiting for NaNo to come upon me. 

Yay, that was so easy to plan, right? 

Except that it was a terrible planning job.

Let me show you:

Okay, that isn't the best picture, but I'll explain:
Top: My character spreadsheet, well, the top half of it. I didn't even have them planned out all the way...or halfway...and I thought I was good. Not even their names were concrete...

Middle: Two of my pages of ideas. I had a few more pages of scene ideas, but nothing planned out on an outline for beginning, middle, and end.

Bottom: And I had a diagram thing where the two MCs were supposed to get surrounded by enemies, which I didn't even add because it didn't work with my story.

And that's it, really...


Once I started writing, which was the night of the first day because I did not know how to start my novel, I figured out I didn't plan enough... I was barely making my word count goals of around 2k and getting a lack of sleep.

I learned from my mistakes and have started planning this year since the beginning of October. I would have started sooner, but I changed my first story idea (which I had started planning since August/September) to a new one, but that's a different story (no pun intended ;) ).

I have gone through my characters thoroughly, searching up character development tips and such. I know since this is gonna be a first draft my characters may change a bit, but at least I have a lot of it down and done. 

Here is a screenshot showing some of one page:

There is an awesome book I bought last year that has really helped me this year for NaNo! It's called Writing Fiction For Dummies. Yeah, it's one of those books, but it is really helpful and it's easy to understand! I especially love the Motivation chapter for developing characters and the Three Act Structure plot part. 

Speaking of plot, my mom had this idea for me to use a whiteboard and draw a timeline for mine. It actually helps a lot to see what scenes go where and when they come into play. And it's fun drawing on a whiteboard. :P

Act 1 for me is pretty full; act two has some things; but act three (not shown) hardly has anything in it right now. That's okay, though, because I'm not quite done planning and once I get there, I'll probably have some more ideas.

Besides that stuff, I have a notebook that I've been keeping random ideas in and also loose pages of backstory for all of my characters... Phew, it's a lot of work, but it pays off...or it should once I start writing! It's also fun getting to know all the different characters and knowing what scenes I'm gonna have. :)

I'll have to tell you what my story is about in a later post! 

Are you participating in NaNo this year? Add me as a buddy: Joy4104. 
Also, follow me on Instagram: justjoys_blog

Byyyyyeeee! <3

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