The closer Nov 1 approached, the more anxious and excited I became. Below you’ll see and read about some of my final preparations  as well as how my first two days went. (I’m scheduling these posts the night before so they go out at the same time every Thursday).



Final Preparation

nano-scrivAs November 1 loomed, I took the following steps:

  • Set up Scrivener. I set up the plot outline from last week, dividing up 30 empty chapters among the six stages, even though I have no idea how many chapters will be in the book. It just made sense to have something there. See the image at right.
  • Added my characters. I put in the characters I’d prepped under the Character section of Scrivener, modifying the character templates provided to suit my needs. When I first start a book I often can’t remember the characters names so it helps to have them handy.  🙂
  • Expanded my outline. I had hoped to have a more chapter-by-chapter or even scene-by-scene outline before I started NaNo, but I just counano-note-cardsldn’t get there. I did get decide to use index cards to jot scene ideas (see pic below)–the different colors denote (1) current narrative, (2) flashbacks, (3) world building details I need to remember and (4) POV shift for another character.
  • Organized the week’s Goals by Hauge’s Six Stage Structure. (See my post, New Book, New Approach IV: Final NaNo Prep.) In Week I, I need to get to the first 25%. That doesn’t mean I am actually going to write the first 25% of the book by next Tuesday, though I’m allowing anything to be possible. It just meant I hoped to write to and through the points he outlines.

Week 1 Progress

If you do the math, writers should average 1,667 words per day. I assumed I would write more some days and less or none other days due to other commitments and the holiday. Also, I won’t do a day by day with every post because that may get long, but will give word counts and overall impressions.

Tuesday, November 1, Day 1. I was invited at the last minute to participate in a Writing group whose focus this month is, of course, NaNoWriMo. Thank you, Rondi! (Check out her blog post at In the Writer’s Web). They had three 45-minute timed writing “sprints.” Because it was timed and everyone was writing, I was spurred to write–amazing what having working writers around can do for motivation. Every so often I’d catch myself saying, “Well, that’s a crap sentence.” or “Why did I write that?” but I didn’t do anything about it; I just kept writing. Word count: 4,562.

Wednesday, November 2, Day 2. I knew going in this might be trickier because I had my Boulder picture book critique group meeting as well as saying good-bye to a friend who was in from out of town and I wanted to attend a contemplative service. But I looked at the clock and knew I had time to get some words in, based on my experience the day before. Observation: Wonderful things come when you just write. I wrote what I thought was a throwaway line that turned into a scene about the MC’s relationship with her uncle’s butler. It was fun and fascinating and it came about because my timer hadn’t gone off so I just kept writing. Word count: 2.072