Planning for Nanowrimo 2018

by , Tuesday October 9, 2018
Planning for Nanowrimo 2018

October means Prep Month for Nanowrimo participators this year and I've sworn to be a Planner.

Usually, when it comes to Nanowrimo I have a rough idea and then I wing it. Therefore, I thought I would let you know how I’m planning and see if will help you on your own writing adventures.


I got the idea for D7 (the shortened name of my project) after reading a sci-fi novel and then that idea progressed into a paragraph summary. From that summary three ideas connected to it, along with two characters and two possible title names.


I then turned away from it and put it out of my mind for a couple of days.


When I came back to it I turned to the front of my writing notebook (a blurred photo of which is included in the banner of this blog) and started researching. Suddenly after a week, I had nearly ten notebook pages of colour coded points (orange for research notes, pink for story ideas, yellow for character ideas and green for potential story quotes). This research included ideas of aliens, robots, character traits, philosophy and psychology, all possible things to tie into the story.


I then turned to the plot, organising the many ideas into a cohesive list. I started out with a loose outline of three; what I wanted the story to begin with, something in the middle, and how I wanted it to end. I then started to fit in ideas from there and soon I had a thirteen point list of things I wanted to include. I also noted what the climax was and things that could be obstacles to the characters. (I know now that this may not be the final plan I come up with and more points may be added.)


After plot, I turned to fill in my characters. I started out with two of them, my protagonist and the supporting character, then from there that transformed into three more.

I asked them several questions to get a jist of what they would be like as individuals;

  • What is their role in the story?
  • What is their goal?
  • What do they look like?
  • What do they fear?
  • What is the best thing in their life?
  • What is the worst thing in their life?
  • What memory do they remember most, even if its small?
  • What do they pretend to care about when they are around people?
  • What would break them?
  • What are they reluctant to tell people?
  • What is their strength?
  • What is their flaw?

These twelve questions aren’t essential but they worked for me when it came to detailing what sort of character I wanted to feature in D7.


I read back through my research notes and then organised the world-building part of my story. My notes were lacking in places so my imagination and more research had to fill in the blanks. D7 centres mainly on two worlds, one totally pulled from my imagination and one pulled from research.

I again asked several questions:

  • What does the sky look like for this world - moon, sun, stars etc?
  • What is the climate like and its weather?
  • What sort of animals live there?
  • What is their basic commodity - the product they mainly produce to live on?
  • What is their population like - size, characteristics, family dynamics etc?
  • What is their religion - does it take precedence over science or not?
  • What is their landscape like -  cities, mountains, sea’s etc?
  • Is it similar to Earth - what’s different or the same and how?


From there, more ideas surfaced and several notebook pages were full of both organised and rough thoughts about my worlds.


That is all of the planning I’ve done so far, including; jotting down bits of inspiration I’ve seen along the way to keep me going, designing a cover and writing down an official summary. I might progress further, maybe do character drawings or playlists, or flesh out my plot a bit more but not too much because I feel it will be too tight - if that even makes sense? 


Hopefully, come Nanowrimo, D7 will flourish into the realm of 50,000 words and beyond, becoming my fourth Nanowrimo adventure.


Good luck to all of this year's participants and anyone who is thinking of writing a novel or planning one. I hope that this has helped in some way - or at least enlightened people into how I’m doing things. For now, I have Inktober to contend with, drawing something every day is just as taxing as Nano.  :)


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