Nanowrimo : the preparation that works

Edit: Internet just came back in my neighborhood after a huge breakdown. Our Provider took advantage of the incident to do a network upgrade. So, now, we have a faster bandwith for a TV I barely watch anymore. Yeah.

We were off the web for several days which drove me crazy (Hello, my name is Laduchessederat, I’m an internet junkie).



Nano felt really good this year and I think it’s no miracle, it’s a result of hard work and method adjustments.

Before NaNoWriMo

Writing everyday

Since the beginning of July, I had been writing every single day which clearly made writing easier. During these months, I came up with a strategy that seems to work for me.

1/ Brainstorm the idea
2/ Write, write, write
3/ Read, cut, complete, pace.

Writing doesn’t spring out me perfect, it needs a great deal of work done before it’s readable.

Free Writing

I had one objective concerning my characters : connect with each and everyone of them while writing my novel.

I found nothing helps me more than throwing some of my characters in a silly situation and see how they react. Doing this with characters from my novel, listening to what they had to say unveiled many elements I had not thought of : a love story, a feud, how a particular character feels about his job. And so much more.
I used the Daily Post’s prompt to challenge my characters. There’ nothing better to catch them off guards.


Light Plot planning

since 2010, I had been plotting a lot, and into great details. I changed this this year because I felt like I was always rushing the end because detailed planning was sooooo boring I would do anything to get rid of it.
But the story comes first, so I figured out I had to adapt and I read a book entitled Take off your pants that explains a light way to craft a plot, allowing us to have a sense of theme and direction without the feeling of being overwhelmed. It took me time and practice but it finally came out pretty well and allowed some major changes toward the end of the manuscript without putting the whole plot in jeopardy.


During NaNowrimo.

Method Writing

I have the tendency to write long boring passages of inner dialogue and I truly wanted to fight it. In consequence, I went South on my usual writing sessions and used a tip given in the Take off your pants Book. If it does not relate to the Main Characters’ arc of global theme, ditch it.

This made me think a lot and focus my writing on important elements of the story. Easier said than done, but once you go methodic, it’s like cutting weak words, your text suddenly  convey great prose and ideas.

I planned my scenes every night and tried to get excited about them until my next writing session. I used Plan your scenes in 11 different steps. My scenes ended being pretty detailed just before my writing sessions.

I tried to stick to my original plan as much as possible and not jump around the story. I tried to be disciplined and I wrote my story in order, which gave me neatest first draft ever. 10 chapters and a lot of scenes are perfectly ordered.I picture future me, who’s deep in revising mode, shaking hands with present me for this initiative.


The over all result : I wrote a lot during sessions of 2-3 hours each. my average word count was nearly 2k words a day but I remember vividly  other times when 4k were almost usual.

I produced a draft that has been read by my eyes only and that I’d like to revise.

4 réflexions sur « Nanowrimo : the preparation that works »

  1. changed this this year because I felt like I was always rushing the end because detailed planning was sooooo boring I would do anything to get rid of it.

    This is so me too! I’ll have to check out this book. Do you know the author? I oddly enough managed to write in order this nano too. It’s really strange! Glad you have internet back and made your job as editor a little easier. 🙂

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